Posted in Personal growth, Raising kids

Frenzied day: juggling kids and their needs on a dentist outing

Wednesday started with a frenzy. I was taking both kids to their dentist appointment and I barely slept the night before: too much coffee too late in the evening. 

As I grabbed the last minute things to take with me, I realized that Ellis’ antibiotic was still in powder form.  She needs to take it 30-60 minutes prior to her dental cleaning to prevent bacteria from infecting her heart. Keeping track of when to give her the medicine within the recommended time frame, in addition to all her morning ones, usually stresses me out. It was no different this morning.

When Chris picked up the medicine on Tuesday, we assumed the pharmacist reconstituted it already. I couldn’t even get mad because the pharmacist probably thought he was doing us a favor: longer shelf-life and convenience to mix it when we needed it.   

I called Chris for help. Ringing, then voicemail. He was probably in a meeting. So I stashed the powder bottle in my bag and decided the best thing would be to reschedule Ellis’ appointment; only Elliot would have his check-up. Ugh, whatever, I’ll figure it out on the drive there. I told Ellis the situation expecting her to be delighted but her response was unexpected.

Ohhhh, the drama that ensued: Ellis moping because she needed professional help to check for loose teeth. The first baby tooth that falls out will magically turn her into a big girl. Elliot, hearing the commotion, asked with a grin if he could skip his appointment too. Sorry dude, you’re still going in. And the barrage of questions demanded answers that I wasn’t motivated to give: “How come she gets to….?” “Why do I have to…?” 

Five minutes behind schedule and I’m running out of time to tend to my OCD counting before leaving the house.

We all had different needs begging for attention that morning.

I asked myself in exasperation: can’t these kids just give me one silent minute to count in peace? I’m not asking for too much. I just need to check the stove like 3-5 times until I’m reassured that it’s turned off. And if the kids don’t need my immediate attention, I can spend a few seconds to check more thoroughly by placing my hand on top of the burner. (I know it hasn’t even been turned on and it’s not hot at all, but I still feel the need to check). This behavior is bizarre, irrational and compulsive.

It was a wild morning. Thankfully, the antibiotics situation resolved. Chris called back and walked me through the steps to reconstitute the powder at the dentist’s office. And to Ellis’ dismay the dentist did not detect any wiggly tooth. 

In the meantime, she can check herself for any sudden shakiness while keeping up with good dental hygiene. The former she does enthusiastically, but the latter with much reluctance and complaining like you wouldn’t believe.

I think God created kids to be adorable, with their small angelic faces and big smiles, to help parents to overlook the small things. There’s so much going on raising kids and living life that I’ve got to learn which battles are worth fighting. 

Photo by Caio Resende on
Posted in Raising kids

Kids say funny things #2

I’m doing something new on my blog. My first “Kids say funny things” post received many positive comments and views. It may have brought to mind conversations that readers have had with small children or recall things they said themselves as kids.

It was also fun for me to write: great memories to record parts of my kids’ childhood and their growth. This is the second post of “Kids say funny things.” My postings will be spontaneous: you can’t plan when kids will have their adult-like conversations. So stay tuned! Thanks for reading. 🙂

In the car, older brother preps his sister for dance class sounding a bit like me. They whispered as though I couldn’t hear them even though they were only in the back seat of the car. 

Elliot: Ellis, we’re almost here. Promise that you’ll do the class (dance) today. No crying and getting grouchy like last time. Don’t you want to practice for the recital?”

Ellis: “I do,” she says irritated with her brother’s nagging. I didn’t say anything except to remind them that we are one minute away from class. She takes out her annoyance by kicking the back of the driver’s seat with her foot.

Elliot: “That’s not nice. Say ‘sorry.’

Ellis: “Sorry,” she says to no one. 

Elliot: “Don’t just say ok then change your mind when we get there. Like whaa…whaa…whaa…whaa,” he says flicking his wrist back and forth with each “whaa”.

Ellis: “Ugh…I won’t. Okay?” “But you and mommy sit in class with me.”

Elliot: “We will,” he says satisfied with her response. “But remember you promised (to take the class).”

Ellis is worried that she hasn’t lost her first tooth on her 6th birthday:

Ellis: “I’m six years old now, but my tooth is not falling out.”

Mommy: “It won’t fall out right on your birthday.”

Ellis: “But I want it to.”

Mommy: “Why?”

Ellis: “Because I’ll get a gold coin under my pillow or a toyyyyy.”

Mommy: “It will fall out soon, but all your baby teeth haven’t even grown in yet.”

Ellis: “Uh huh, but this one feels itchy” she says totally ignoring my comment.

Mommy: “That’s a good sign. Maybe it will get wiggly soon.”

Ellis: “I’m wiggling it with my tongue right now,” she says mumbling.

Mommy: “What? No you’re not,” I say surprised. 

Ellis: “Yes, I am,” she says with a smirk. 

When I lean in closer to look, she says, “Ok, maybe it’s not.”

She giggles with a shrug and says, ” I’m kidding.”


Posted in learning with kids, Raising kids

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.

Posted in Faith journey, Personal growth, Raising kids

Thoughts about daily life’s hiccups

Having small kids means getting comfortable with last-minute changes. Winter is harder with all the bugs going around too.

My ongoing challenge has been dealing with missing out on regular kid’s activities that I think will give them a fun childhood. It’s all the expectations and assumptions that I think we should be doing. You would think that after years of practice running to and fro Ellis’ medical emergencies I should have become accustomed to it by now. It’s still hard!!!!

We were all recovering from a recent bout of bronchitis, sinus infection, and cold; the kids and I were on antibiotics. Then, we were physically well for about three weeks. And Elliot has come down with a cold again! Pediatrician said it’s a virus so he needs to ride it out; no antibiotics this time.

It’s been a wacky week with him feeling under the weather, on and off, and this morning his symptoms are full blown. Another bout? Called the pediatrician to see what we should do. While he is still coughing and has a runny nose, he’s considered contagious. Another bubble existence?!!!!!

And Ellis keeps whining that she’s not getting personal attention. She holds her blankie and softly cries into it making puppy sounds saying “I need ten’tion.” I explain that when she’s sick I give her all my attention, but when brother is sick I need to tend to him. She ignores what I’m saying and continues to whine. Pediatrician says it’s because she’s so accustomed to all that attention since birth.

“where is my attention?!!” That’s her show of discontent.

The little one hasn’t caught it yet and I’m hoping she doesn’t. When she gets sick, our whole family goes on high alert.

I need to take these life’s hiccups with more stride. Life gets messy with small kids…they go from one cold to another. It takes time to build immunity. I realize it’s harder to be the person who is sick, so I need more patience on this road to recovery. See, this is where I feel disappointed in my attitude.

I wonder what God wants me to learn through these experiences. Maybe: let go of my plans and trust God with my days?; let go of personal disappointment and ask for God’s wisdom?; trust that God will fill in the gaps?; stay teachable?; or get my priorities in order?

Learning is hard; it brings mixed emotions in yourself as you wrestle with old and new beliefs. It also asks you to have the courage to create new paths in your thinking. Motherhood is challenging and it’s a self-refining process. I realize the depth of my selfishness and that realization gets me down.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24

I’m telling myself to have a good day before the day is over. I would feel worse to have spent the day with a cloud hanging over me, but I know today can be salvaged with God’s help!

Posted in learning with kids, Raising kids

Kids say funny things

Kids give funny replies to everyday questions with their wild imaginations! I hope the following tidbits make you laugh a little this Monday afternoon.

Recent conversation with Ellis as we’re learning about the heart’s function:

Mommy: “Why does a heart beat?”

Ellis: “Because it’s dancing…la…la…la”

Conversation between siblings after Ellis accidentally overturned a can of sugared fruit bites on the table.

Elliot:” E-lllis, why did you do that??”

Ellis: “Oh, sorry.”

Elliot: “Wait.” (as he looks closely at the mess) “Is that sugar?”

Ellis: “Yea, it is.”

Elliot: “Can I have a taste of it?”

This recent conversation occurred while admiring our new 3-gallon aquarium housing 1 African Clawed frog and new Black Racer Nerite snail. Ribbit, a predatorial frog, was surprisingly co-habitating peacefully with its new tank mate. However, one week later Sticky was nowhere to be found.

Mommy: “Oh my gosh, I think Ribbit ate Sticky (new snail).”

Elliot: “What? He did?”

Mommy: “I can’t believe this. He ate his friend! You don’t eat your friend. You can’t eat your friend!! Ribbit, I’m so mad at you!!”

Ellis: “But he was hugging Sticky the other day.”

All of us were sad and disappointed that our frog will consume anything in its path. It will be lonely by itself. But it was hard to fathom how a small frog could eat the snail shell completely.

The next day while cleaning the tank, Elliot spotted Sticky under the sea anemone accessory. He was hiding on the rubbery bottom part of it.

Elliot: “I found him, I found him. He’s under the sea anemone. Ribbit didn’t eat him.”

Ellis: “I want to see. I want to see.”

Elliot: “Mommy, you better apologize to Ribbit. You hurt his feelings.”

Mommy: “I’m sorry.”

Elliot: “Nooooo, say it like you mean it.”

Mommy: lifting the lid and muttering in a solemn voice, “I’m sorry I falsely accused you of eating Sticky.”

Elliot: “Okay, that’s better.”

This conversation happened 2 years ago with Elliot, but I recall my shock clearly.

Mommy: “The letter ‘c’ is for the word cat…kuh…kuh. What sound does ‘c’make?”

Elliot: “Mee—owww.”

Mommy: speechless

Thinking maybe he misundertood me, I asked a similar question.

Mommy: “‘D’ is for dog….d-uh…d-uh. What sound does ‘d’ make?

Elliot: “Ruff ruff.”

Mommy: speechless.

Decided to let it go and continue with learning sounds before asking specific questions. His answers were funny and alarming to me at the same time. Safe to say we laugh about it now.