Monthly Archives: April 2013

The REAL Post – Deciphering the Language of a 3-Year Old

Forgive the previous attempt to post this… I am still figuring out how to blog from my phone 🙂

This morning my 3-year old was fixated on kids riding cyborgs. Over and over again he said, “those boys shouldn’t be riding cyborgs on the playground. We have to take them away.”

With two older brothers who love all things robots, Transformers and Legos, the fact that the word “cyborg” is in his vocabulary is only natural. However, I really was at a loss for a few minutes as to what he was trying to tell me.

Then he said, “Daddy rides a cyborg. But those boys shouldn’t ride them on the playground. We have to stop them.”

Then I remembered that a few days ago we had gone to the playground while my daughter was at soccer practice. We usually go while either she or her brother are practicing, but this time the playground was occupied by big kids on skateboards. I told my kids we would not able to play that day because of this. So I asked my 3-year old if he meant skateboards instead of cyborgs.

“Yes,” he said. But still he went on about those boys on their cyborgs!

Puppy Dog Tails Part III

Here is my 3-year old:

David painting3

I adore him.  He paints pictures and builds tall Lego towers.  He lays in the flower beds with our dog that’s twice his size and sits in my lap to cuddle.

And I think how undeniably cute he is…

Then he comes down the stairs, smiles up at me with his missing-tooth-grin, and says sweetly,

“Hi Mommy!  I drank my snot…”

David - lunch with family


Concentration – intense mental application; complete attention (

Not that anyone reading this needed a definition of “concentration,” but there it is.  And I must say, when I read it over and over again, it seems almost like an alternate state of existence.  Or something that monks acquire after years of prayer and silence and vigilance.  So why is there so much emphasis on our children having this ability?  I don’t know about other adults, but I find it nearly impossible to do anything with intense mental application.  And I actually know the importance of it!  I can set my thoughts well into the future and understand that without concentration on the present, it will be a rough journey to get ahead.  Yet, day after day, in most tasks that I undertake, I am distracted, physically, mentally, or both.

How then, can we expect our children to concentrate like little robots on so many things?  As many parents probably do, I throw the word around quite a bit.  “You’re not concentrating… pay attention!”  or “Concentrate on your schoolwork and get it finished!”  in sports, “Concentrate on the ball!”

I remember being in church as a child and wanting to listen to what the priest was saying during his homily.  I tried so hard to concentrate on his words!  But try as I might, my little mind wandered all over the place and before I knew it, he was finished and I didn’t have a clue what was said.

During church, my boys’ eyes dart around and they fidget.  I’m sure their minds are in a million, exciting places.  My daughter, however, actually verbalizes the paths her wandering thoughts take her.  They all start out semi-on task and end up way in left field:

“Mommy, who is that saint?”  She will point to an icon on the wall.  I may tell her, followed by a “Shh.”

“Mommy, how come you didn’t name me Emprazelda?  It’s a beautiful name.”

“Shh!”  But she just can’t help her little self:

“Mommy, what did you do with Isaac’s umbilical cord?”  WHAT?!  Where in the world do these things come from??  Not to mention, he’s 14 months old now!

But concentration during school “hours” is the most challenging.  Some days, for whatever reason, my children finish quickly and most of the day is theirs to do as they please.  Then other days, it takes H-O-U-R-S to write three little sentences in a journal.

Today I sat on the couch as the baby played around.  It was after lunch already and the boys were still struggling to finish up a few assignments.  These three tasks had already been in front of them for at least 2.5 hours.  My oldest came downstairs and said, “Look!”  He proudly showed me a large, gray ball.  It was a perfect, tight ball of something.

“What is that?”  I asked.

“It’s cat fur!  I rolled it into a ball.”  I stared at him and I stared at the ball.  Sheesh!  No wonder it was taking hours!  Had he gone around and collected every bit of fur in the house?  How had he rolled it so tightly and perfectly?  But I didn’t ask.  I just smiled and told him to go upstairs and please finish his work.

I Forgot Some!

Hopefully I did not forget anyone else.  If I did, I will add you, too!  My only excuse is it can be challenging to type with a bunch of kids hanging on my arms 🙂

I am always amazed by other moms and how they manage their days.  I feel like we are flying by the seat of our pants most of the time, so for those who have so much more on their plates, WOW!  One such mom/blog is Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities.

My uncle, Phil Brewer, is another amazing person.  He has now authored three books!  When I was a kid, I send letters out to all my extended family in hopes of getting a bunch of letters back.  He was the one who always faithfully wrote back with a beautiful postcard.  I still have all of them today and they are a treasure!

Most Versatile Blogger Award


Yay!!  I’ve been nominated!  Thank you so much to The Disscocial Mom for nominating me for this award.  Since this is my first time doing this, I am going to copy and paste the award rules and go from there 🙂

Rules for the Versatile Blogger
1.Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
3. State 7 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
5. Notify these bloggers of the nominations by linking back to one of their specific blog posts so they get notified back.

I started blogging about a year ago as sort of a way to relieve stress (not that moms have any, of course), and also as a way to start writing again.  I have always loved writing, be it poetry, short stories, and now about my kids!  I am a proud mommy to five kids: four boys and a girl.  I am a wife to a very patient man who has been putting up with me for almost 13 years now.  We homeschool our kids.  Things don’t always go smoothly, but then again, what does??  I get asked a lot if we are going to have more kids:  I hate that question!  I also get asked if we plan to homeschool “forever:”  Yes, unless for some unforeseen reason I am unable to continue doing so.  Things I love besides my family: art, playing piano, music in general, watching movies with the hubby, eating food, taking walks, and my faith.

I follow many blogs, but here are just a few.  First, the Peckish Kiwi always has the most amazing food and drink posts.  And as I said, I love food!!  His reviews are witty, well-worded, and complete with mouth-watering pictures.  Secondly, The Robertsons of Mumbai, Currently Living in Thailand, is an all-around neat blog.  Jennifer is a raw food chef and holds raw food classes in Bangkok, Thailand.  I would be at every class… if I lived in Thailand :).  Her blog has a little of everything for everyone on it.  Mister G Kids is a teacher’s blog/comic strip about funny things kids say and do.  He has great talent and a sense of humor!  A dear friend of mine from middle and high school is now a great mommy to two little boys.  She is a photographer and poet and I always enjoy looking through her pictures and writings: Phero Photos.

Thanks again!!



Bullies have always been around and, unfortunately, they always will.  Has bullying gotten worse?  I do not claim to know.  All I know is I was bullied horribly in school and now, as a mother, the thought of my own children being tortured unnecessarily brings me to my knees.  I am sure that most parents agree that bullying is not okay and hope that their children never experience it.  I have, however, spoken to people (parents and not yet parents) who think bullying is healthy in some bizarre way.  It builds character… makes them stronger… teaches them how to stand up for themselves… um, am I missing something??  A kid must be kicked in the stomach to know it hurts?  Or to burn their hand on the stove to know it’s hot?  Do they need to be called a string of nasty names to know they don’t like being made fun of?  I think that kind of logic is the most ridiculous and illogical bunch of nonsense I have ever heard.

My oldest son, who will be 12 in a few months, used to be autistic.  I say he used to be because he has since come almost fully out of it after being homeschooled and having his diet changed at age 7.5.  His last diagnosis 4 years ago was Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified – a long name for “your kid has some characteristics of autism but not enough to fully diagnose him as such.”  When he was in public school kindergarten for two years, he experienced a lot of bullying.  I did not really know it at the time because I was not there and his teacher never told me anything.  It turns out, she was one of the bullies, too.  Unfortunately, he did not know how to communicate very well and was unable to tell me what was going on.  Our after-school conversations never reached more than: “How was your day?”  “Fine.”  “What did you do?”  “I don’t know.”  Any more questions were met with silence.   A few times, he said some things that really bothered me, and when I pressed more, he would stop talking completely.  He said things like, “My teacher kicked me,” “she grabbed my face and squeezed it.”  It hurt me to know something was going on, but not know what.  We pulled him out after that second year because he had learned nothing.  He could not count, read and could not communicate with us.  I could sense his unhappiness and did not want him to hate school.

Now that he has been out of school and functions like most other kids his age not on the spectrum, he has told me things about what went on.  He has told me the things kids said to him… the things the teacher said to him.  He told me how he was not allowed to go to the bathroom because the teacher didn’t believe he had to go.  Or how he was yelled at by the teacher for taking too long in the bathroom.  The list goes on and it hurts deeply whenever he just randomly tells me something.  He knew the whole time that it was mean and it always hurt him, he just lacked the ability at the time to tell me.  For all the kids who cannot express to their parents the pain of their day, either out of fear or an inability of some sort, my heart breaks.

Yesterday, my 8-year old got into the car after soccer practice and he burst into tears.   I asked him what was wrong and he said the kids were mean to him and were calling him “tiny” and “little b**ch.”  I was seeing red, but I calmly texted his coach and told her that some kids had called him a bad word.  She replied that she was very sorry and would find out who said it and talk to that child.

Obviously, we will all experience bullying in our lives.  As adults we will have to deal with bullies, too.  We will even have to deal with parents who bully our children and allow their own children to bully.  So for the people I have talked to who say homeschooling denies them of this wonderful experience, perhaps they are right.  My “sheltered” children are not used to this.  The friends they have are not used to it either.  They are all missing this experience.  And let me tell you something: I am okay with that!  They may be sheltered and protected from that kind of “education,” but they are not incomplete people as a result.  They shine with innocence and happiness.  They do not suffer from anxiety and all these other crazy things I hear about, like kids cutting themselves because they are hurting so much.

The world can be a very cold, evil place.  They will find this out soon enough.  Why must they be thrown to the wolves when they are still so young and lacking the tools to deal with it appropriately?  Sure, they learn… or suffer the consequences.  At home, in public or private school, not every day will be an ice cream sundae.  There are good and bad days and some days that are just hard.  But our children are young and innocent for only a short period of time.  I do not mind keeping that innocence in tact while growing their good character, morals, education and souls in a safe environment.


New Toys

Guess who got a new toy? Mommy!! Yes, parents get toys too. When my kids get new toys, I get to hear about its awesomeness continuously for the next few weeks (or until the thrill subsides). I mean right now my 8 year old is telling me that being a kid is great because you can play with your toys all day.

Sometimes, I must confess, it gets a little tiring hearing about their new and fabulous toys for the umpteenth time for days after Christmas or their birthday. However, I am in an unusual state of understanding today as I play with mine and completely neglect all other responsibilities.

For years I have settled for the cheapest phone that did the bare minimum that I require: calling and texting. Two years ago I got an iPad and was a zombie on it for days. But now I have an android phone and OH MY GOSH!! I am in love! My kids are asking me questions but I am oblivious. Lunch? Didn’t we do that yesterday? School? Eh, we will get to it eventually.

I have downloaded tons of cool apps. I am Swyping this whole post from the WordPress app on my phone!! Two days ago I had no clue what Swype meant. But now?? It’s like the future and I just now got here.

Now to find more cool things on my hand held piece of amazing…

Portrait of Mommy

My daughter loves to draw pictures of her family, of her and me together, and sometimes just of me.  While I love them all, I found this one particularly adorable mainly because of its accompanying description:

“Here, Mommy, I drew a picture of you.  I made the eyes big because big eyes are cute.  And I put whiskers and cat ears on you because those are cute too.”

Yana's drawing2

Childhood Dilemmas

As carefree and simple as the lives of children may appear to be, it is not all marshmallows and rainbows.  They are actually complex little people struggling every second, and unlike adults, they voice these struggles every single second. 

Take my daughter, for example.  I love her dearly.  It’s just her and me in a house full of loud boys.  Thankfully, she can play with the boys but still want a pink room, painted nails, and a Rapunzel dress instead of a Spider-man costume.  However, lately we have not been getting along as well as I would like.  This truly breaks my heart and I plan on spending more one-on-one girly time with her from here on out.

Now when she gets caught doing something she has been told many times not to do, I might tell her what she did was naughty.  I never say “bad,” as I do not believe my children are bad.  Bad is for people who are bad on the inside, which most children are not.  Naughty is just making kid mistakes.

Today as we were loading into the car for one of the kids’ soccer practices, she said to me, “Mommy, you know what the hardest thing for me to do is?”

“What’s that?”  I asked, struggling to buckle everyone up.

“To be good when I’m being bad.  Because even though I want to be good when I’m being bad, it’s just so hard!”