Yeah, that might what you be what you’re thinking about some of my serious blogs as of late. But this analogy between my recent pensive posts and the Abbey Road song of the same name provides a nice way further explain my stance on the purpose of bold expression.
“‘She’s So Heavy’ was about Yoko (Ono),” John Lennon told Rolling Stone in an interview in 1969. “When you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me.’ You just scream.”
Sure, Lennon was talking about his muse, and no, I’m not screaming. But the point is the same: dire situations require immediate action. And since I am a journalist by training, the written word is simply the means by which I try to get my head above water, culturally and politically.
Spring semester strides
Of course, I cannot forget about the ultimate topic of interest to my readers: the adorable and precocious 3 Amigos!
We’ve been back in the swing of homeschooling for a few weeks now. Things are going well, although I do have to occasionally do battle with a negative, complaining Houston.
It’s not that Houston necessarily dislikes homeschooling. In fact, he finds great joy and takes great pride in learning. But what he finds annoying is that he often has to stop playing in order to “do school.”
Plus, Houston has to deal with the fact that Gabriel and Zeke aren’t technically in school right now. So the fact that they sometimes get to continue their horseplay, while he’s beckoned to his studies, is a natural bone of contention — a typical, competitive reaction to the dynamic of being one of a brood.
Houston would rather take part in a feverish group instruction with bros, whether that’s Mommy teaching all three a single lesson, or Mommy pre-schooling the twins, while Houston does kindergarten and Mommy oversees three boys doing two different lessons.
I, on the other hand, prefer the more attentive one-on-one teaching method, that is, when Houston decides to cooperate and the twins offer us a rare moment of quiet and no interruptions. It’s just less strain on my old brain; plus, multi-tasking just isn’t my forte these days.
But I better get used to a class size larger than one or two, since the 3 Amigos will all be officially under my instruction come the fall. Can you believe I will be homeschooling two kindergartners and one first-grader in a matter of months?!
As far as Houston’s attitude goes, I do have to explain to him that school — no matter home, public or private — is simply the law for kids his age and older. All his friends are either being taught by their moms or are down the road at the local elementary school, so it’s nothing to get upset about.
I also try to remind Houston of some of the wonderful homeschool memories we’ve already had, when we’re learning amazing things, soaking in the knowledge and clicking communication wise. I try to call to mind our sense of pride in accomplishment.
When recently rushing to finish up a lesson before Jessie’s arrival, I said, “I know you like doing math, but you probably think playing with Miss Jessie is more fun.”
To my delight, he replied, “I like school better!” Whether or not that’s necessarily true for Houston all the time, it was certainly music to my ears.
Houston has also made strides (better eye contact, speaking louder and more articulately, and exhibiting more confidence) with his CC presentations. One of his best was when he used used homemade sock puppets to tell a made-up scary story. Very cute.
We do other things besides homeschool
We had our first snow of winter on 1/18. Obviously, the dudes were ecstatic. They don’t have winter boots or good gloves, so they didn’t last long outside, but they definitely got their fill of the white stuff.
Gabriel’s basketball skills have improved drastically since games resumed after holiday break. In fact, he made two baskets (first ever, to my knowledge) at last weekend’s game. You should’ve seen his face; he was beaming with joy!
G-man has also become a better team player and all-around trooper. He has played the last two games from beginning to end and without complaint. Gabe’s newfound endurance is certainly appreciated by his coach.
His team is kind of like the Bad News Bears: some players are good, but easily tire; others love to play, but don’t like to share the ball; some don’t show up for games; and others just prefer crying on “the bench.” Gotta love youth sports.
This, of course, makes for uproariously entertaining games, and Gabriel is having a wonderful time, making friends and learning a lot in the process. Go Wildcats!
After last Saturday’s game, Daddy took us to the Science Center to see the Accidental Mummies of Guanajuoto. Zeke was a bit scared, but mustered up the courage to enter the exhibit.
The kids were wide-eyed checking out all the bodies, especially the babies, and were captivated by each mummy’s story. My always-inquisitive boys asked a million questions and we all enjoyed this educational outing.
This week, we finally finished the third book in the Shiloh trilogy. What’s funny is that Santa brought them the box-set of the Shiloh DVDs, but I wouldn’t let the boys watch Saving Shiloh until we’d completed our reading.
It was worth the wait, though. The 3 Amigos were absolutely riveted by the film, as they were with the first two (Shiloh and Shiloh Season). They also liked talking about the many differences between the book and the movie.
Provocation + Pride = Parenting
I’ve come to realize that January is the hardest month for parenting and reflecting back on the past few years proves it. I suppose it’s a mix of the post-Christmas doldrums, the gloomy wet weather and getting back onto a more regimented schedule.
I’m also becoming increasingly aware that, for whatever reason, Wednesdays suck! I’m clueless as to why this is so, but the last few weeks have borne this fact out in spades.
Consider Zeke’s penchant for tantrums, Gabriel’s for whining and Houston’s for a bad attitude. Now these past few Wednedays didn’t have all three boys doing their thing at the same time, thankfully. Instead, it has been a revolving door of equal-opportunity naughtiness from morning till night.
Interestingly, the 3 Amigos’ behavior on Tuesdays and Thursdays has been pretty darn good recently. So what gives? Is there something about Hump Day I should know?
As with most older kids, especially first-borns, they sometimes feel the need to bully their younger siblings. Miss Christie says she calls Asher “Little Dictator” when he’s in said mood, so I borrowed the moniker for when necessary with Houston.
But I’ve since updated it to the retort “Don’t be an Obama.” Sure, we discuss current events with the kids and speak rather directly about our disdain for the Left’s authoritarian policies.
But we also don’t want the boys to abhor our president. So we have to be careful in what we say and how we say it.
“I hate Obama,” Houston recently said. I explained that we mustn’t hate anyone and that we should instead pray for him to become a better man and a leader with more integrity.
And then at bedtime one night last weekend, Houston offered a prayer request for President Obama. Thank goodness I’m finally getting through.
I mean, it’s fine to adamantly disagree with someone without detesting him and wishing him ill. After all, such hostility can eat up the person doing the hating.
More importantly, I want my kids to pray and love on people in the hopes that they, too, will come to know Christ and the ultimate freedom He offers up for everyone. I know that’s a hard sell for kids sometimes, but it’s a lesson worth learning.
On another positive note, I think I forgot to mention the 3 Amigos’ charitable giving at Christmas. We had given each of them the option of donating $5 or $10 from his piggy bank to either the March of Dimes or the TTTS Foundation.
Houston immediately said he wanted to donate $10, split between both organizations. Fortunately, Gabe and Zeke followed his lead.
“Mommy, I thought about my giving,” commented Houston a few minutes later. I assumed he was regretting his big-dollar donation. “I would like to give $15 instead,” Houston explained. I’m so proud that my occasional “Little Obama” is typically such a sweet, self-less dude.
One day healthy, the next day not
Since a couple different flu strains worked their way through Miss Christie’s house, Stephen and I decided to get flu shots for the whole family. So far, so good.
Gabriel did, however, have a seemingly random 48-hour sickness late last week. Fortunately, his symptoms were minor — just fatigue, loss of appetite and a slight fever — and G-man’s doing much better now.
Houston had a random, quick-recovery “injury” in mid-January. He strained his groin while playing in the gym post-CC community. Not sure how a 5-year-old can do such a thing by simply running and shooting hoops, but thankfully, Houston was fine a couple days later.
Big bro had his annual wellness exam two weeks ago. He is 53 pounds and 49 inches. In fact, he grew some 4 inches taller since his last checkup a year ago.
As Dr. Gay describes it, “He’s off the chart” for height, but the perfect weight for a person that size. And here I thought Houston looked emaciated.
She prescribed Houston a nasal spray to alleviate his enflamed nasal passages. The thinking is that this will not only help relieve some of his seasonal allergy symptoms, but it will also curb his persistent (although, increasingly minor) nosebleeds.
The doc found that Houston also has enlarged adenoids, which are probably the cause of his occasional intense snoring. We’re going to get an x-ray to see if removal of the tonsils is necessary, and then we’ll just cross that bridge when and if we get to it.
I, too, may have to get surgery. My left wrist had been hurting for about a month. This pain isn’t new, it’s just that when I got it in the past, it only persisted for a couple days. But this time was a lot more painful and debilitating.
I had an appointment with a hand specialist and turns out I have a triquetrum fracture. I had already seen the doc for the same problem back in February 2011, but the fracture was so tiny back then that it didn’t show on the x-ray.
Since this type of injury is caused “when the hand absorbs an impact beyond its means,” our best guess is that the fracture was caused by having three kids in diapers around the time of my first appointment — a messy and exhausting period of my motherhood that I must have suppress.
Now that I think back, I recall lots was lots of fighting against diaper changes, including spastic kicking and intense pushing against my left arm, which I used to hold their strong legs up. Hey, where’s my workman’s comp?!
Anyway, the fracture has apparently grown over the years to be pretty significant in size. I am splinting my wrist now and have a follow-up in a month to see if an MRI/surgery will be necessary. Good times.
The funny thing is that I already had surgery on my right wrist back in the summer of 2006, but that was due to a tear in the tendons and a gangliatic cyst. God has blessed me with so much that I suppose I can’t complain much about being a weak-wristed old lady. Could be worse, for sure.