Mid week blues and pain

Weather is gorgeous today. I wish my mood could reflect this sunny, mild day. I got a mouth sore a few days ago and the stinging pain feels like pins in my mouth. OTC medicine hasn’t helped much either. Wasn’t it like 2 weeks ago I had the undereye twitch?!

My body responds to fatigue like this. I’ve been on overdrive, feeling restless, and trying to keep kids entertained with activities. And no babysitter help to occupy the kids.

A couple of messy activities, gardening and cooking, wiped me out. Peat soil that got too soggy for herb seeds. This is what happens each time we undertake a project: 2 eager kids touching this and that, instructions out the door, and getting things all mixed up.

Before the mess

Soggy soil on the living room floor that I ended up blow drying to make it fluffier.

Attempting Korean rice cake dough with crushed red beans. Disaster. Clean floors afterwards but the dough debris all over the stove and counter.

And today a few flies flew into the house after we watered our seedling peas and onions outside. You would think it’s a wild animal that scampered into the house.

Screaming every time it flew by them. This is so childish of me, but I holed up in their play room and told them where to find the fly swatter. Then ,Elliot ran in and asked me if I could catch it with a clear cup so they could observe it. Ummmm, no.

10 minutes later…all the commotion over flies that can’tbe ignored…mommy pest control service and I’m back to the couch.

I need to remember God is in control and that my day is a gift from him. Then I think, what’s the point? I’ve been grouchy all day. What difference does it make now?

D0It doesn’t seem like what I do matters and that’s my problem.

Thanks for listening to my midday woes. Feeling more heard after writing this. Wishing everyone stays well and finds happiness in the daily details.

Insightful poem about being six-years-old by A.A. Milne

“Now I am Six”

When I was one,
I had just begun.
When I was two,
I was nearly new.
When I was three,
I was hardly me.
When I was four,
I was not much more.
When I was five,
I was just alive.
But now I am six,
I’m as clever as clever.
So I think I’ll be six
Now and forever.

Poem by A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh character and books

When I found this poem, I immediately thought of my 6-year-old daughter. In the past year, she has matured so much in the way she talks, behaves, thinks, and feels. Here I go…a proud mama.

She surprises me with her use of words and information she retains. I still think of her as a baby and don’t realize how much information she comprehends and retain. Last week she asked me, “Mommy, what does Hypoplastic Left heart mean?” “What’s happening with my vocal cores (she doesn’t hear the “d” sound when it’s pronounced)?”

Elliot 6 and Ellis 4 in this photo Looks like he’s trying to push sister away.
Ellis, our 6-year-old diva

Her loud laughs, thoughtful questions, and dance moves she does when she thinks no one is watching make my heart cartwheel. For Elliot it was only 2 years ago, but he talks about being 6 like it was eons ago. He refers to it as his baby days: maybe it’s a big brother thing.

Sometimes, I get reminiscent and talk about the days when they were born or toddlers. They can’t get enough of it and want me to keep remembering, which keeps getting spottier over the years.

Another thing about being six: Ellis starts some stories with the preface, “you know when I was young, I used to…”

When she figures something out for the first time that 10+7=17 and 7+10=17, she snaps her finger, taps foot, nods head up and down, and stands akimbo. She says, “I need water. I’m parched.” It’s like she saying, “Look at me. I’m growing up. I know stuff that I didn’t know yesterday!”

Me too, kid. I’m learning and relearning for the upteenth time something new with you everyday!

John Dewey and his empowering words for education

John Dewey is one of my favorite progressive educators from the 20th century. His thoughts inspire me to focus on the bigger aims of teaching and learning.

Also, want to give a shot out for my educator friends and dedicated parents working hard for your kids! Hope you know how special you are.

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

Butterfly watching in the Rainforest at California Academy of Sciences

The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning.”

A messy but fun slime experiment. Clean up was a nightmare
Can’t resist poking heads into astronaut’s lab station in space
Journeying together despite the occasional spats and sibling rivalry

A new school year already?!

School has already started for many or will start in a matter of days. I can imagine the spectrum of feelings a lot of us are experiencing: first-day jitters, anxiety, excitement, fear, relief, dread, freedom, anticipation, happiness, hope, among others.

I have mixed emotions. Since I’m my kid’s teacher, I feel an enormous amount of pressure. I do love my role and see it as a privilege to homeschool, but it’s daunting at times.

When I feel overwhelmed though, I try to focus on my long-term goals: education involves learning how to tackle new challenges (it’s not all fun and games); comparisons accomplishes nothing positive; celebrate individual successes; choose quality over quantity; and lastly aim to cultivate a discerning and reflective mind.

Being a homeschooling mom teaches me to trust that my kids’ minds are actively processing even when results are not tangible right away. And it makes me wonder the blind faith my parents had in me.

Growing up I was a late bloomer and things clicked way past the time it should’ve occurred. Compound that with the effects of brain trauma from a car accident: I was a hot mess. I fumbled through classes and feigned tummy aches. Despite them all, my parents cheered me on, paid for endless tutoring, and believed (or faked it well) that I would succeed. I wonder how they must’ve felt waiting for me even when I wasn’t showing much progress.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. β€“ Confucius

This year I pray that I will become a better teacher, co-learner and investigator, and guide. I want to have more motivation, patience, and a spontaneous mindset to explore new things. Eeek…I enter it with trepidation. But I know God will sustain me through the doubts and insecurities. In the big scheme of life, my mundane stuff seems insignificant to God, but to Him they are not.

Psalm 120:1:   
β€œIn my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me.”

Isaiah 40:31:
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

And my hope for kids, parents, teachers, and others involved in raising kids have a blessed, peace-filled, and fruitful school year!! Wishing many “a-ha” moments and joyful hearts pursuing mindfulness, God’s wisdom, and gratefulness.

And how can I forget the most important factor?? Fun and happiness.

Have fun, laugh more than usual, be spunky, love your kids for who they are, and pat yourself on the back more often.

 “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”Winston Churchill

My kids say I killed their pet frogs

If you remember from my previous posts, I wrote about our pet tadpole turned frog. Kids named him Ribbit. He didn’t do much except eat and poop, so we had to transfer him to a small filtered tank. It was torturous to keep up with the frequent water changes and all the commotion it created; wet floor, dripping water, too much cleaning up after kids who love to make big messes.

Ribbit adjusted well to his new tank with three new snails: Gooper, Sticky, and Sticko. But the kids were worried that he was lonely. So I ordered a new frog from the same company we got Ribbit as a tadpole.

Our new frog named Rocket

A small white box arrived a few days later; inside it, a skinny pale frog swam around a clear plastic bag. His fast swimming determined his new name: Rocket.

When we put Rocket in the tank, we checked constantly to make sure Ribbit wouldn’t eat his new friend; African Clawed Frog can be aggressive towards each other if there is a big size comparison. Thankfully they were cohabiting peacefully. Rocket must’ve been aware of his smaller stature, because he rarely interfered with Ribbit’s eating.

Deliriously happy
Small, skinny, translucent. Getting Rocket acclimated to the tank’s temperature. The light makes him look like an alien here.

One day Ellis told me that they were best friends now: Ribbit gave piggy-back rides to Rocket.

Ok, so all things were going smoothly.

Rocket exploring his new home

But last week we had a fiasco. It might have been a combination of factors, but the kids are convinced that I killed both frogs from a bad water change.

Thursday night our two amphibians swam erratically and seemed restless. I thought maybe they were excited with the new water change: I couldn’t have been more wrong. The next morning I found Ribbit floating heads up near the filter and Rocket sitting motionless at the bottom of the tank.

I debated a long time deciding if I should add this picture, but I wanted to show how their body swelled. They got bloated in the water. I apologize if this picture upsets you.

Kids still tear up when they are reminded of their pet frogs. Elliot tells me that even though they died, we will always remember them as good frogs to us. Then, he asks me in an exasperated tone why I killed their frogs: couldn’t I have been more careful?; why didn’t I wait longer with the water conditioner?

It’s a difficult life experience to process. The next day we went to PetSmart and got a couple of neon tetra fish named The Speedy Bros. And our neighbor gifted us a tiny snail from her tank: so tiny it doesn’t look real but it zooms all over the tank. It was named Mini-go.