Sick – AGAIN – no way…

The virus that Todd and Aidan have been fighting for this last week beat me down and kicked me in the head a few times today.  I’m a pile of misery.  So I’m sure this next bit will shine out even more, because of this unhappy physical status.

I got a perfect score on my research paper.  The professor wrote that she doesn’t often give out perfect scores and she noted that I clearly deserved it.  Of all the professors I’ve had in my graduate program so far, I’d have to say that she made me work the hardest and when I read her feedback, I almost cried.  I put so many hours into it and to come out with this recognition?  Well, it was worth all of those times when I didn’t feel that I deserved the grades I got.

And I gained so much out of that project as well, even as I was moaning over all the hours I had to put into it.

So not only did I achieve something that felt great academically, but I also gained knowledge that is applicable and valuable in my professional, academic, and personal lives.

It’s a great feeling that almost makes up for this wretched head-aching, sore-throat making, snuffly, queasy mess that is my body.

sickly moonfire


Happiness is…

Being with my kids.  Bren and I had to pick up Just Dance 2.  Given that we had a sick Aidan and sick dad to contend with, it only seemed fair.  We danced until we were both sweaty, which really isn’t saying much given that we’re both so out of shape.  I anticipate sore muscles tomorrow.  The plan is to dance some more tomorrow too.  In between reading statistics and “feeding the cold” for Dad and Aidan, we’re going to get moving to some fantastic songs.

Now if we can evict the germs from our house, it’ll all be good.

Time for rest.  I really want to be up for a bit of dancing tomorrow!


I’m definitely not management material

I finished up this last class and discovered something critical about myself…   I am not management material.  Honestly, I think I’m only marginal as a supervisor.  I care about the people that have to report to me and I want to help them achieve great things, but I think I stink at the supervisory portion of my job.

Actually, that, combined with the public speaking factor is causing me to feel like I’m turning into a marginal employee at this point.  I work hard and I’m achieving some good things in my development as a new financial aid counselor, but the mere thought of speaking to a large crowd of people makes me sick to my stomach and frankly I’ve had a few good crying jags over the pending presentations I’ll have to do.  I have no idea how I will get past this, although I’ve certainly got some good folks trying to help me with it.

Anyway, this recent class that I’ve just finished up was excellent.  I wish I could say that I did well in it, because (regardless of what grade I get) I truly didn’t do my best.  The fatigue and the stress are winning right now.  My stress knots have developed their own stress knots.  My attention span is thin and I am hyper-sensitive.  I went through a training session today with a high-pitched electronic keening sound in the background of the entire 1 1/2 hour presentation.  I think it will be weeks before I forget the feeling of that sound in my teeth.

I asked Todd last night if he thought it was perhaps a case that I will never find satisfaction in employment.  He didn’t have much to say for me and it makes me wonder.  What could he say really?  I told him that I suspect that I won’t ever find true satisfaction because I want something for myself that I simply cannot have.

What is hardest for me is that time doesn’t stop with your children.  You can say things like “Oh, I’m going to wait until after I’ve had children to pursue my career” and you can shift priorities around, but set things aside or stop time with your kids.  They just keep growing up, faster and faster.

I’ve mentioned before that this is absolutely the best part of life – right now – when they are young and here and with us.  I mean that.  When I think about what it’s like when they are older and move on to live their own big lives, I realize for me this is that best point.  I can hug them each day and I can talk to them.  I can be a part of their adventures, watching them grow and discover.  I can kiss them goodnight and tell them I love them each night.

My mom doesn’t even get to see my sister on a regular basis, except maybe a couple times a year.  If she’s lucky.  I haven’t really spent any time with my mom in many weeks.  It seems awful to me.  I’m not talking about clinging to your children or trying to live vicariously through them (or some other ridiculous thing like that).  I’m talking about sharing in their lives.  I think about how lucky my husband and my sister in law are, that they get to see their parents on a regular basis.  And yet, I don’t expect my children to make limited choices in order to stay close to us.  I know that the days will come when they have to head off on their own.  Yes… that thought can reduce me to a blubbery mess too.

The point is that this time we have when our family is young and together and close is finite.  It’s fleeting.  I’m not sure if that’s why being away is so hard or if that might be part of it, tossed in with the fact that all I ever wanted was to be a mom.

I don’t know.  I really don’t.

I just wonder if that doesn’t have something to do with my always seeking my place?  Maybe that’s why I’ll never be satisfied…  never be truly happy away from my family when I’m at work.

It’s sad because I always feel like I have to qualify this and say that this isn’t about genderizing or saying that it’s a “woman’s role” (which, by the way, pisses me off more than words can say – it’s about personal choice and what is best for the person).  It also has nothing to do with a romanticized idea of what it would be like staying home.  I’ve done it, however briefly it was, and it is hard work that never ends… no vacation – limited “sick time” and a whole lot of doing it 7 days a week.  It’s like a gaseous cloud that expands to fill your waking moments.

It’s just where I want to be.

Tonight Todd threw a mini-fit – and I’ll qualify this because he’s tired and he’s down sick again – he said that all he does is cook and then cook more.  He then went on a little rant about doing the dishes and then cooking some more.  I think the kids thought he’d lost his mind.

I had to smile.  We had just talked last night about how he understands how hard it is to stay home and do it all, because he’s doing a lot of it right now.  We kind of negotiated a deal for the future…  when he gets out of school and is fully employed professionally (income-allowing), we’ll look at me staying home to take care of the infinite number of things that need to be done.  I’ll take care of things, but it also doesn’t mean that I’m going to sit back and let all this education and experience go away.  I’ll figure things out somehow – maybe look at writing seriously, instead of this half-hearted stream of consciousness thing I do here.  If it happens… if we’re able to make it work…  I’ll do it in a heartbeat.

No.  I’m not management material.  Not by a long, long shot.  But I’m learning how to accept who I am, little by little.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to stay home with my kids.  It could be that it’s something that we can talk about now, with the years of Todd’s education still ahead of him, and that’s all it will ever be.  It’s that tiny possibility though, that’s what might help me to hang on through all of this anxiety and stress.

So good night from one wiped out moonfire.  I kissed the boys goodnight.  I tucked in the stuffed dragon and I gave a few “I love you’s”…

…I hope I have good dreams.

Tomorrow is another day.

Bullying, pt. 2 – Happy Ending

The principal at our son’s school pulled both boys in and worked with them to determine what happened.  It came out to a happy ending and with a little interpretation to help the boys communicate, it turned out that our guy wasn’t targeted.

It could have been bad, but because we said something to the school, they immediately took care of it.

I’m so relieved, I can’t even express it.  During the course of all of this, I talked to our son…  and he’s in a strange place.  I don’t know what to do about it right now.  I’m beginning to wonder if he didn’t manage to inherit my lack of coping skills.  What a horrible thought, if that’s the case.  I don’t know.  I have to think about this some more.  I’ll write when I can form a coherent sentence.

I have one thing to say though…  If you suspect bullying, you have to say something.  If you don’t, it could go bad.  If it comes out that there’s nothing truly negative going on, it can open doors you didn’t even know needed to be opened.

Now I’m going to go think on things for a bit before I become unconscious for the night.


I can’t believe I even have to write about this, but here it goes:  Our oldest (second grader) came home today and told us he had a bad day.  When we asked why, he told us an older boy hit him, pushed him over, and then kicked him when he was down.  Our son was very matter of fact about it, but when I asked him later, he said that he did cry when it happened and his teacher sent him down to the school nurse.  He was supposed to talk to the principal as well, but she was out of the office at the time, so we told our son to make sure he talks to the principal tomorrow.  My husband is going to stop in too.

What disturbs me the most is the way my son recounts this and says that the kid kicked him, not just once, but twice, when he was already down.  When I asked Bren if he was ok, he didn’t appear upset but said, “not so much.”

Words are failing me.  How do I help him understand how to deal with this?  I sat down with him this afternoon, when he first got home, and I told him to avoid being alone with this other child.  I also asked him to talk to us or the school counselor (who is the mom of one of his best friends) if he needed to talk about what he was feeling.  But I can’t stop thinking about it right now – according to my son, the kid didn’t say anything before, during, or after the incident.  How do you talk through a problem with someone who just does this out of the blue?

Bren was the target of bullying in kindergarten too.  How wrong is that?  What on earth could possess a 5 year old to pick on another 5 year old??  The after-school teacher told us that this other kid zeroed in on Brennan like a heat-seeking missile, almost every time.

And we’re not even to junior high, when the worst of the bullying happens.

My husband was picked on too.  Unfortunately for the kid who did it, my husband studied karate for years before the infamous “show down.”  So this makes me wonder, for physical bullying is this what it comes down to?  Violence isn’t the answer, but I have to think self-defense has to be.  What does that mean for me as a parent?

Our son is different.  He’s not a sporty kid.  He doesn’t meet those cliched genderized notions of “boy” that seem to provide some sort of protection for them when they’re young, but matter less and less as they become men.  I feel the pressure to change it…  to change the inputs we give him, because maybe he won’t feel alienated as he gets older.  Then I get mad and wonder why it has to be that way.  I want him to be truly himself, with all his quirks and his wonderful, loving personality.  It sucks that I’ve even had these thoughts of “fitting in” pop into my head.

I really am at a loss.  I want him to be resilient and self-sufficient.  I want him to be safe to be himself.  How on earth do you get there from here?


descent into non-productive

I’d really like to turn off these hormones, given that they are driving me insane.  I sat at my desk today, thinking long and hard about whether or not a doctor could find the location of the offending part of my brain and give it the boot.  Then, of course, I had to stop and think about how incredibly terrifying it would be to have someone intending to transform your brain, whether you’ve volunteered or not.  The world tipped a bit.  I got queasy.  I decided it wasn’t a great idea.

If all goes well – and that is a big IF – within a day or so I should begin feeling better because the damn luteal phase will begin to switch over to the beginning of the next cycle.  I’ve been told my best option is medication but the stuff doesn’t help in a truly effective manner and instead I’m left with this one bit of time each month where I feel like I’m losing my brain.  Is menopause going to be hellish too?  Am I left with the dictates of these hormones until it all dies out?

I was not as productive today as I’d hoped and planned. I read a quote somewhere and it still seems appropriate:  “God laughs when you make a plan.”  Who said it?  Did I quote it correctly?  Dunno.  Not going to look it up.  Just going to take the sleeping pill and knock myself out.

And I’m hoping that tomorrow brings some peace from the tension, the anxiety, the urge to cry at everything.  Please.

moonfire dropping off to sleep now…

I will admit it, I’ve been reading sports articles…

When the hell did I turn into a football fan?  Really??

Bren and I were discussing drugs and the stupid things people do because of them tonight.  It’s weird having a child old enough to discuss things like this with, let alone knowing that he’s really getting what I’m talking about.

So we ended up talking a bit about the nature of addiction – what it is and how it impacts our bodies.

I will fully admit it:  I am a Boise State football fan.

How do I begin recovery?  Do I even want to?  What kind of snacks are we going to have for tomorrow night’s game?

Yeah.  You see what I mean, right?  (so many question marks… I think it’s my record)


It’s turning into a double-chocolate cookie type addiction.  I can’t stop.  I read the articles.  I pore over the blogs.  I watch…  pre-game shows! Oh hell.  I cannot believe this.  Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing pink and socks with sandals and doing fist bumps (shit, I did that with Brennan tonight, but seriously, it was worth it at the time).


Whatever.  I’m enjoying myself.  I love having something to root for.  I’m excited about something other than my own little sphere of influence, limited as it is.  These days fun is in short supply, fading under the pressures of work, school, and family.  Other than the weight I might gain from my honey’s delicious “tail gating” food, it’s free and not so bad for me.  I can laugh about it and how much I’ve gotten into it, especially when I’ve been resisting the temptation for so many years.


In other news, the meeting went well tonight.  We’re going to work on some things.  I’ve given my friend free rein to be creative about ways that my family can survive the miserable financial situation we’re in.  I trust her and I know she’s a conscientious person who will do her best to come up with a plan (or start of a plan) to get us back on track.  I’ve got “homework” and I need to gather the remainder of the information together, no matter how miserable I am about it.  At least it’s a start.

Now I have to get Todd on board with this.

But that’s all I’ve got for now because we’ve got a busy day tomorrow.  Then again, when are things not really busy in this household?