Composting

May 16, 2019

We’ve been composting the mice bedding in our back yard. It has been breaking down fairly well thanks to some red earthworms that are working their way through the pile. I’ve come a long way from my fear of anything wormy since I actually think they look cute. I still wouldn’t touch then though.

So since we have this abundance of fertile soul, we’re trying to plant sunflowers again. I’ve been negligent to my plants and garden before so I wouldn’t trust myself with anything more than a simple plant. Plus, when we go on holidays in summer, the plants tend to suffer and die out…. One reason why I dread having a house with a yard because I’d probably have to pick up gardening!

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KF80 and KF9

May 13, 2019

Got another drawing by my little guy for Mother’s Day. Big guy cooked dinner for us – rack of lamb, roasted corn, garlic butter mushrooms and scalloped potatoes, eaten with rice 😆 That Asian need to have rice with every meal. It doesn’t seem to have been passed down to little guy though. He eats rice like he does vegetables – dutifully and under duress.

Working out

May 10, 2019

I’m all sore from doing a high intensity full body workout the other day. My interest and persistence waxes and wanes but overall, I think I’m getting stronger. I have a long way to go to achieve my ideal of a healthy muscular body that is less prone to injury as I grow old. I’m hoping that with deliberate training, I’ll stave off the eventual aches and pains of aging as long as I can. It’s strange to think of myself in my 40s but the truth is that it will come whether I want it or not.

Communication

May 10, 2019

We’ve been working a lot of communication skills. It seems like little guy doesn’t pick them up just from being around other people. Maybe part of it is because of his avoidant personality, he tries to avoid confrontation at all costs and thus get little practice in more back and fro discussions/ arguments.

He seems to know what should happen in theory but in practice, stumble because he is in the moment and that part of the brain just didn’t light up.

So I walk him through what other people might interprete what he does differently from what he means.

I do sometimes jump to conclusions about what people mean and get angry, which makes it harder for me to keep my cool and ask appropriate follow up questions that would clarify things. So I’m not perfect either. Things are always easier in theory than in real life

Focus

May 8, 2019

We’ve been working on his focus during karate lessons. Last week, he was apparently making faces at himself while sensei was teaching some moves, all while standing at the front row right next to sensei. While I believe he is not trying to be disrespectful, he also wasn’t at his best that time. Partly I was to blame since we had a tiring homework session right before that and I lost track of time. When he starts another lesson already mentally fatigued, that makes it harder to focus and when his brain wanders, it gets into all kinds of trouble.

I read a book last month about how kids can actually make rational decisions if you present all the options and pros and cons for each. I’ve been trying to present the scenarios for him so he can practice making good decisions. We talked about what the problem is and discuss possible ways to solve it. He said he would try to rest more before lessons and I also reminded him of what to think about when sensei is talking about “What is his hand doing? Which direction is his body facing? Feet, head etc” my rationale is that by giving him a checklist of things to think about, it leaves his brain less time for wandering about aimlessly. He seemed to have done well the last lesson so we’ll keep trying this out and hopefully his focus will improve and he’d have learn a new technique to fall back on.

Fitness and Self Acceptance

May 7, 2019

Ever since Christmas break, I’ve been snacking way too much at all the wrong times. Like sometimes right after a meal and basically eating when I’m not hungry but just simply tired or needing something to chew on or craving salty, crunchy things, most of which are not good for the body. So that together with just plain getting old and slowing metabolism, I’ve been looking less pleasing to my eye than before….

It’s sad that for women, you are so used to being judged by your appearance that you start to judge yourself. No one would look at a guy who out on a few pounds and say he looks fat/ ugly or comment about his sense of fashion. And Asian standards of slimness is even more unhealthy and demoralizing.

I was listening to a podcast about healthy body acceptance and I am starting to feel a little better about my body. (I’m easily inspired it seems but probably just as easily forget and fall back on old ways of thinking) We recently had our lipid profile and heart pressure checked and they turned out really well so I know I’m healthy.

I want to focus on finding fun physical activities that we can do together or that I don’t mind doing alone. I don’t think I’ll ever enjoy going to the gym or jogging!

It’s Spring but I’m Sick

May 2, 2019

Ironically, we all caught a cold just as the weather turned good. On the bright side, we’ve all mostly recovered with a few days of rest. Little C was going strong through it all and going to school and karate etc.

We even managed a short hike last Sunday.

The funny thing is, our allergies seem to have disappeared when we moved from the East Coast, so that’s really great!

Struggles of Staying Home

April 30, 2019

While I enjoy staying at home and how it’s a good choice for our family, I can’t help but feel like I was a waste of educational resources and not valued by society. Not that I truly care about or think that people look down on me, or that I hope I will be venerated for my ‘sacrifice’. I think I’m more worried about what would happen if I had to look for a job for whatever reason. Because despite my education, I feel like I won’t be able to enter a more intellectual job that I’m qualified for. Or maybe I’m overthinking things because in America, ageism isn’t actually as pronounced as in Asia. (My brother recently left his job, and I worry about whether he’ll be able to find a new job since his well past 40s.)

I guess if nothing else, I should be able to get a teacher certification and teach math. When I was younger, I remember thinking about how absolutely rubbish I was at teaching because it was all so intuitive to me that all I could say was “You just do this.” That probably put an end to that childhood dream of being a teacher and making red check marks all over some kid’s homework. I have been getting better now that I realize that as with most things, teaching is a skill you have to learn. Little C is my guinea pig of course but I think we’ve been doing well so far.

The good thing is after typing it out, I kinda figured out what was troubling me and I feel much better about the choice that I made. I find it silly that I have trouble sorting out the thoughts in my brain and frequently would need to write things down and everything will suddenly seem a lot clearer. I guess my new strategy of giving feedback to C makes sense: I hold back from making negative comments right away (if I can), and then think over it and write it down on a post- it for later discussion. That way, I can concisely summarize the problem and not lose that little guy’s limited attention span over a long winded discussion.

 

Handy-mum

April 24, 2019

We don’t own a house yet but I’m definitely learning new housekeeping skills. Our sink was almost clogged. Water was barely flowing through it. Today, I finally managed to remove the sink stopper (this one is held on by a clip under the sink) and cleaned out all the gunk and hair stuck in it. I made sure to watch a video on how to remove and put it back and also took pictures of what it looked like before so I could easily put it back. So now, the sink is working beautifully again, and I’m feeling all proud.

I think we are definitely ideal tenants who take good care of the apartment. Plus, who else would put up with all the screaming and stomping from the terrors upstairs? I’m still unsure about whether we will buy a house. I’m reluctant to move for now since he’s enjoying school so much. The logical time to move would probably be in another 2 years when he’s ready to go to middle school.

‘Our’ Crow

April 23, 2019

This is the crow we know as ‘kaukaka’, so called because it tends to do this rattling call instead of just the usual caws. It hangs around our bus stop with two other crows. Just thinking it’s funny that we notice nature so much more compared to when we were in Singapore.