Thursday, March 6, 2014
I am mostly a loner. I have been a loner since childhood. My relatives *get me, but I struggle with the niceties of group connections. By struggle i mean, it confuses me. I notice how so many adult group friendships are built around a mutual dislike of a person or thing. i don't think bonds built around a mutually negative feeling, can end well or exist well. I could be wrong but I like my relationships to be built on a mutual appreciation. Positive interactions even if the environment is negative, if two people can connect based on finding positivity I can get with it. Being a loner has its drawbacks. Human nature seeks connections with other humans. On the bright side there ares many different types of people that it's possible to find the types that fit my type. Parents at gymnastics are always asking me about TR. When she wears her leo her physique is like Angela Basset in What's Love Got to Do With It.". People ask me if she ever had any fat, they comment on her strength, her talent and ask how long she has been doing it. For the most part they look at her and assume she was born this way. Perhaps. Mr. A was a college athlete and has a high number of 1st and 3rd cousins who are professional athletes. My extended family never had a professional athlete and he has 3 or 4, I consider that high. So I think genetics play a part. But more than that Mr. A is a human gymnastics facility. I would share his secrets but he might want to sell them one day. Our super babies take nurturing in addition to nature. QT has amazing hand-eye coordination and has since at least 4 months old but we nurtured that as well. I don't think talent is enough. Motivated untalented people have greater success than a naturally talented person who does not put forth hard work. We try to teach hard work to our kids, because resting on talent or even thinking talent reauired less work, gets people nowhere. I think labeling kids as gifted does them a disservice, especially if curriculum is not individualized. Gifted people also have to work hard to accomplish things. I look at many of my gifted and highly gifted classmates and recognize that they are still very gifted but were unprepared to meet the challenges of adult life. Kids who are labelled regular, know they have to work and don't get misled into believing things will be easy. When I look at all the gifted people sitting in cubicles next to regular people and making the same salaries and doing similar work, I wonder what was thevbenefit of a gifted label. I I digress. I don't want my kids getting sucked in to labels. I want them to know my favorite quote: Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “Press On” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. - Calvin Coolidge When parents are telling me about how amazing TR is I tell them she was a preemie and was crawling in her incubator. When she was an infant and I would say that people thought I was crazy. I had to send videos. Now that they see her using her body in all sorts of ways, they believe me. She is a strong girl. She spent less than 2 days in the neo-natal intensive care. The rest of her time in the hospital was spent gaining weight. She was born a fighter. The weight gain issue is another interesting thing about her. I was breast feeding/pumping and my supply was enormous. I could fill four bottles in 30 minutes. At the hospital the doctors recommend adding formula to the breast milk to increase the calories and speed weight gain. That also means bottle feeding instead of breast feeing. I has been doing it until I nurse whispered in my ear. She told me that she could look at me and tell I cared about my weight. She said preemies tend to be overweight as kids and no one has figured out why. She said after years in the NICU she has seen all of the mothers add those extra milk calories and once those fat cells were put on the baby, the baby would just have them. So no, she never really had any fat. Fortunately she was born during a summer heat wave and is just warm blooded. She stays hot! I thought about the nurse comments and after that I used my breasts to feed. I had been more than disturbed by having to pump milk and still use a bottle and that was all the reason I needed to end the madness. I would lay TR on my chest to cuddle and her head would head to my nipple. The doctors had said she was born before the sucking reflex but she found a nipple and sucked. The nurses had to measure input and output so I think that is why they preferred the bottle. They put some type of notes in our file. I know this because we were friends with her pediatrician and when she saw the record she started laughing and asked us what happened. But hey when you have a preemie, the nurses act as if it's their baby. She was our first so I was sorta letting them run things. I eventually got my backbone upright and took on my mamabear role. We had to battle them to gain control. But I appreciate them for all they did and their desire to keep TR healthy.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Having 2 active kids means the A family stays busy! I think having a parent at home and whose primary job is supporting the family is vital. My goal is to quit and be full-time mommy. Between laundry, cooking, cleaning, loving and being attentive to my family, there is barely time for grocery shopping, banking, organizing and the never ending, ever growing tasks necessary to run a family.
I look forward to summer and a break for everyone. It is interesting how public education focuses on the bottom percentage of kids. I understand the kids who struggle eed more help but that helps causes the middle and high ability kids get the short end. TR's school rejects a high number of applicants based on entrance assessments. The school accepts students who perform at a specific level. I told my mother that and her response was, had the school ever thought about educating the kids? I agree with my mom. I think most kids can learn with good supports. I also think a mix of abilities is good. Don't overwhelm the school with low ability kids but don't exclude them because they may benefit. I believe having too many low ability kids pulls everyone down but those kids might also be brought up in the proper setting. I used to hear that China assessed students in kindergarten and based on those assessments, the kids would be placed in different tracks. Everyone is not given an academic education. When the U.S. compares its education system to China, it ignores that the U.S. allows every kid into public school. Other countries do not. I can't compare the success of a private school that has entrance assessments and a public school that accepts everyone, because the private gets to select those it believes will be able to keep pace. We signed QT up for martial arts. He loves it! I had no idea it would be so costly. I am willing to cancel cable to fund this new expense. We don't have much else to reduce. Mr A says if we do martial arts, we have to end his gymnastics. Gymnastics is for me. I spend 4 hours at gymnastics for TR and QT needs to do something besides entertain himself for those hours. The other dilemma is TR also wants to take the martial arts. That would be $500 per month for both kids. Kids are pricey.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
One of the best parts of my work, is my ability to work more and work faster when I need more money. The worst parts is sometimes I want to stay in my bed but the work must be done. I recently asked Mr A if we really had $1k of disposable income each month last year. I know we were able to splurge a lot more last year but were we spending $1k per month? TR's tuition has made me realize that we have somehow gotten ~10k extra a year to spend. I will accept tat God is a provider. He gives us our daily bread. I have decided to take a break from t.v. I recognize that t.v. distracts me from progressing. I do not want to be so entertained that I do not focus on my potential. T.v. will no longer be my background noise. I am pleased that our kids are not t.v. people. I think because their early years were spent outdoors, they are more into play and physical movement. QT starts Karate today and TR starts girl scouts today. Our family is quite busy but i think this is the age where kids have a good amount of free time and can explore activities and appreciate those activities.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Monday was the 100th day of school and TR did a 100-day project. The school had a variety of small celebrations. TR and I were chatting as she got ready and I asked her something about her class reading. To my shock and awe, she informed me that she is the only kindergartener who can read books. Her classmates can read their math, but not books. This news has me stumped. It makes me wonder how reading is learned. She now reads at a 2nd grade level! We are the parents that did not believe we needed to teach our baby to read. I am sure we could have, but that might have come at the sacrifice of the many other things we got to enjoy, like playing at the park, museum, art, music, talking about everything and observing things. We have gotten reports that she now plays around during lessons so we are working on that but the best part is her kindergarten teacher keeps her engaged. I remember being in 1st grade and being tortured by my classmates who struggle to read 3 letter words. TR is not having that struggle because her teacher seems to have figured out how to make learning interesting for everyone. TR's class does Letterbooks and TR loves to work in those Letterbooks. It is great when the curriculum can be adapted to meet a range of abilities. Her reading comprehension seems better that her reading which I value as more important than ability to call out words. I live in a city with a main newspaper written at a 6th grade reading level. I don't want my kids stuck with elemmtary level reading comprehension. If your reading is limited, you are trapped into the challenges of life. QT has been a busy kid. The public library has chess classes, so I plan to add that to our schdeule. Once kids start school it is difficult to get time to expose them to the many offerings available. I feel like school deprives TR of so much. Why is the school day so long and who prescribed an hour per subject? I am sure school could be 4 hours and turn out well-educated people. I think arts, culture and time with family are important needs. So the A family is still working on our private school. I think we have 3-4 other families willing to develop it with us. If TR pursues gymnastics, it will be great to design a program that gives her the ability to remain in a school. I am exhausted with the school planning. It used to be simple. You sign up at the neighborhood school and trust that the government wanted to and would produce an educated populace
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Somethings I have observed and consider interesting. Most of the private school kids seem to be only children. Mothers with young kids in daycare/school sell the idea that the kid is learning a lot. I am sure thy do. The mothers with kids in day care/school, sell the idea that the kid needs to socialize. As a mother with kids at home or with kids playing at the park, I had to remind myself not to buy in. TR is doing excellent in kindergarten, she is loving school, loving learning and has easily made friends. I was correct that for my family, it was more beneficial to let the kids have time and freedom from the structure of school for as long as possible. Those memories of my family and our L.A. days of fun and freedom warm my heart. L.A. was a great place to have our young family. I work better in sunshine, but I am getting better at working in the winter months. L.A. was mostly sunshine, so it was easy to be motivated. The sun and constant visual exposure to what money offered. My business economy was better under Bush. I understand that Obama is trying to collect all of the money but big business can afford to make loopholes and small business gets stuck in the paperwork. I feel like big business wins when small business is drowning in paperwork. There is work to be done and living in the bay is pricey, so the work must be done.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
I may be late but I recently realized that in friendships, people have types of people they like. In relationships it is easy and acceptable to figure out your type of guy or gal. If a guy is not a woman's type, she doesn't bash him or say he is living life wrong or is human waste. When a woman is not another woman's type in a potential friendship, things can get ugly and hatred gets spewed. In reality t.v. I like kandi, phaedra and kenya. I liked deshawn. I have never been a nene fan. I was neutral on sheree, I felt a little bad for her since her life seemed not to be what she wanted it to be. The reason i like kandi, phaedra and kenya is they are determined business women. failure and setback does not make them hide. I like that they do not direct their lives based upon who likes them. I liked deshawn and porsha because both were unashamed in her role as a housewife. I cannot figure Cynthia out. As much as I do not like nene, I don't relish in anything bad happening for her. I was shocked to read people on social media relishing bad things befalling Phaedra. As far as I know the most these women have done is annoy each other on national t.v., and embarrass themselves and maybe black women for the entertainment. They have done nothing to warrant someone being happy at their pain. Too many people (I mostly mean black women) live for the come uppance and fall of other women (black women). I guess if a persons life has disappointed them maybe that person wants to know they are not alone in their misery. I checked out twitter after my television thing and had to shake my head. Black women I do not know, salivating over the possibility that I might be suffering. My in law has a mental illness, we are still working to get her help. The people who were hoping I'd be fat, ugly, broke down or in marital conflict saw I am cute, slim, with a husband who loves and protects me and a family worth note. The women rooting for a glimpse into my suffering on social media were trying to find out something about my deceased brother in hopes that could give them opportunity to talk about me. Vultures. My family can be googled and things unrelated for criminal activity are found. I mean you are sick when you need information about a deceased person you never knew, to run down a person who does not know you. But I get it, I'd probably be mad too, if I realized that the black girl I thought was a unicorn was actually real. There are cute black women, from a lineage of successful black people, who grew up as a have, who did well as an adult, found love with a successful and loving black man who loves the children they created within the union of marriage. I wonder what occurs in a person's life that someone who they never met, and who won't exist if they turn off the web or t.v., can bring them to points of emotion strong enough to want to see their pain. I have met people who I felt like did a better job at life than me, and instead of being mad at them, I use them as an inspiration to do better at my life. Don't allow your container (your body) hold on to these negative emotions. When you dislike people who do nothing to you, dig deep and ask yourself what it is about that person that pushes your buttons. When you want to see bad happen to a person, ask yourself why? Why would another person's pain bring you pleasure and figure out how you can improve your life so that you are so content that your heart has room to want good things for others and that you gain no pleasure from the suffering of another.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Sometimes we accept things because we do not know our options. Sometimes we focus on our options instead of seeing the good in what we have. Life is unscripted, and the options we choose can lead us to unknown paths. TR is enjoying her new gymnastics program. When I learned her old gym did not have a scholarship for us, I took her to a different gym to try out. When we arrived at the new gym, she realized she had options and refused to return to the old gym. I told her that she could choose which gym to go to. I then learned that she did not like the woman who was set to be her new coach. The woman had made a silly threat to remind the kids to point their toes. TR was concerned about the threat. I had never met the new coach and had been wary about her over a few things. When the gym said the scholarship deadline had passed, I was done. Mr A is a coach at a private school and knows that when a program wants you, they alert you to scholarships. TR's old gym did not tell us they existed. I heard a woman asking about them and she was told the scholarships are only for team kids. The gym said they would work with us, but we don't want to add financial strain to our life. It's good to have options and I feel a little bad that TR did not know she had an option to choose a different gym. School things We visited a cute book store in the island of Alameda. The book store had a children's section and had books identified by reading levels. TR chose a book and read it in the car. Later than same evening, she read the book to me. My baby can read! She is reading at a 2nd grade level. She was not reading at the start of kindergarten. I think having a class of just 3 kids, allows her teacher to teach at a much higher level and pace. Her school has nearly 2 hours of recess, math, music, art, history/government, daily p.e., chapel and many other course offerings. They do not spend the day teaching to tests or drilling reading. We still think young children do better when play is accessible to them, so this school fits our educational goals for our child and it is great to see how well-rounded she is and how much she loves the school day.