Angelica has been doing work to earn an allowance lately. Fundamentally she has to have a perfectly clean room at the end of the night. If she does, she earns a quarter. This morning she is earning an extra quarter by bringing a load of her father’s clean clothes upstairs. Naturally she has to take more than one trip. I appreciate it because getting up and down the stairs is a lot and the fewer times I do it a day the better. She is really enjoying earning money for different things.
Neighborhood kids have been coming over to play constantly. It gives me joy to see her play with other kids and have so much to look forward to! Lately our home has been fun central with kids circulating through. Sometimes one of the girls is here for hours. Angelica is so happy!
Academically Angelica has really been blossoming. Her love for science bodes well for her academic future. She wants to go through the books we have. She also loves to watch video clips about a variety of subjects. YouTube kids is a great way for her to learn and see different things. I really like that app. It’s great for parents because you can add what channels you allow your child to watch.
I really wonder what Angelica will be someday. Will she be a scientist? Storm chaser? Video producer? There are so many things that she could be. It’s fascinating to watch her bloom. That’s the thing with kids. If you plant a rose bush you know you’re going to get roses. When you make a baby you have no idea what you’re getting. What is my daughter becoming? Whatever it is I can’t wait to see. She might be a hairdresser or an artist or own a grocery store. She can do anything. It’s all dependent on her aptitude, interest, and work ethic. This is one of the joys of being a mother. Giving your child the resources and then allowing them to become what they are meant to be.
At Craig’s suggestion, we started to consider giving private school a try. I was on the fence. I love homeschooling. Of course, I followed Craig’s lead and began to call different schools.
When I told Angelica we were going to look at some schools, she started crying. “What about homeschool?” I told her we were just looking at schools to see what there was and that she might like school. She pointed to her collection of science books we do together. I promised we could do her homeschool books together when she got home from school, that we could always learn together.
WE FELL IN LOVE WITH A SCHOOL! It is absolutely wonderful. I took Angelica with me on the tour, and she was beaming as we walked around the school. When we got out to the car she immediately told me she wanted to go to school, and asked if I could please tell Daddy that it was a good school and I liked it I did, Craig took another tour with me, and that was that. We were both sold. We applied. She got in. It is settled. Angelica is going to school this Autumn.
Today we are locked inside by a blizzard. There has only been a couple of inches of snow fall, but the wind is really high which makes it a bigger storm. Part of our flagpole snapped off and broke. The wind is blowing so hard that the snowflakes can hardly fall to the ground because they keep being pushed sideways across the land. Angelica’s occupational therapy was canceled because the clinic was shut. She did her speech therapy in a video chat. I had an appointment up near Denver and I had to cancel it.
Craig is sleeping because he works a mid tonight. I’m trying to make the most of this day being shut-in. Truthfully I’m really grateful. I feel like I’ve been on the go so much and I’ve just gotten tired of it. There’s always an appointment or something to go to. Sometimes that’s nice, like earlier in the week I got to get the first massage I’ve had in ages. It was absolutely phenomenal. My body felt so good. I’m going to start going more regularly. Other times the speech therapy, tutoring, occupational therapy, psychiatrist, therapist, and all the other appointments really add up. I just want to recharge at home and have a clear schedule.
Earlier this afternoon I set up an art space on the dining room table for Angelica. She used acrylic ink, her watercolors, and alcohol ink to create some art. I think she had fun and it was good to get her using her creativity. Right now I have a TV show on for her. We lost power for a little bit, and now I’m afraid that the power could go out again at any time. I’m running appliances as much as I can. Laundry and dishes are running. I’ve been charging up my phone and charging up my Kindle, since if the power goes out again light will just get dimmer and dimmer and my Kindle will be the only thing I can read from. And then in between charging my phone and my Kindle I am recharging the charger that charges them. Charge. I just had to say that word one more time.
Anyways, I’m just trying to enjoy electricity as much as possible in case we don’t have it again. That probably won’t be an issue, but I want to make sure that everything chargeable is charged just in case, and that I’ve gotten as much housework as I can finished. That’s why I’m letting Angelica watch TV now. Usually I let her watch a little bit in the evening after a day of playing or making art. However, since it’s a possibility we might be sitting in a dark house later I’ve decided to put it on now.
We had been determined to wait until after Angelica’s learning evaluation in Denver at the end of January to start any form of tutoring to help her with math and English. However, I found a tutor who came recommended on a board by parents who have children with learning disorders. I decided to call her and get a feel for what she does. Ultimately we decided to go ahead and start the tutoring. Already this teacher is making some progress with Angelica. I’m sure it’ll be quite a while before we start seeing anything major, but it’s still really good to see her getting in there and learning something. This is a licensed teacher and she uses a special curricula and really works on the level of the child.
Angelica really likes her, as do Craig and I. I really hope that this works out well. We need help teaching her to read and do basic math. From there hopefully we can take it ourselves, but I want her to start building on these basics now. Science, History, and Bible are going absolutely wonderfully. Angelica is so smart and she’s so curious and there’s always something new to learn. I have bought her over 20 of those DK Discovery books and I have more on the way and even more I’m going to order in January. We have enough material to take us through for years. And of course there’s always more scripture to learn. We watch documentaries regularly.
I feel so blessed and privileged to be able to stay home and homeschool Angelica. It’s wonderful to see her learn new things and to let her pick what interest her for the day and start going over that material. It’s always a joy as a mother when you get to see your child happy. This time together is so special.
God uses our children and our experiences as parents to refine us like gold. Just as we greatly impact our children and can even bring them closer to God, our children do the same to us. Through the sacrifices we make for them to the trials we have with them, if parenting is done with the right spirit it can make us more holy.
Yesterday my daughter Angelica pointed to the veil on my head and I asked why I wear it. I hadn’t really intended to address that topic until she was older, but since she asked I decided to go ahead and explain it. I told her that the veil meant that I would obey her daddy and that he would be the leader of our family. It means that my husband is my leader and that I submit to him, meaning that I follow his authority. I told her that one day she will have a husband and it is important to let him be her leader.
I also explained that I wear the Veil out of obedience to God. Wearing a head cover is not just for married women. I headcover out of reverence for God. I also headcover because of the Angels, but I decided not to get into that with her at this age.
This topic may seem a little bit mature for a child who isn’t quite yet 5, but I figured if she is old enough to ask the question then she is old enough to get at least a basic answer to that question. Perhaps it is better to teach her about submission young. I hope she will choose to wear a veil or some sort of head covering. The Bible says that that is what we are supposed to do, and furthermore I have found that wearing one reminds me to be a better wife. But even if she decides, based on her interpretation of scripture, that she does not need to wear a head cover hopefully she will learn lessons from me about submission and letting your husband lead. I want her to learn The importance of being a helpmate, and letting her husband be the leader that God designed him to be. I believe this is biblical. But I also believe this will give her a happier marriage if she understands the difference between the role of a man and the role of woman. Part of my job as her mother is to teach her to be a good wife. I’m not teaching her to be a doormat. But I do want to teach her about submission. Maybe it’s time to start and this was a good first step. She seems interested in wearing a veil herself, so maybe she will pick up on the more important aspects of respecting and honoring her husband as well.
As a family becomes bigger, family resources become diluted among the increasing number of siblings in the family. Only children get more time, attention, money, and verbal interaction from their parents than do children with siblings. As demographer Judith Blake put it, rather bluntly, families with larger numbers of children tend to dumb down family conversation and activities to suit the youngest children in the family instead of the oldest or the adults, and thus “becomes weighted with infantile minds.”
Because Angelica is an only child our household is geared toward the intellect of adults. This could increase her SAT scores and help her go to a great college and go on to graduate school if she so chooses. Because she is an only child, we have the money to get her Farsi and Russian lessons, as well as music and dance and sign language and really tailor her homeschool experience to her needs and strengths.
Project Talent was a study that tracked 440,000 kids in high schools across the country until they were nearly 30. They tested the subjects for 32 types of intelligence and only children outscored others in 25 tests and equaled others in 4.
The book from which I am drawing this research is called One and Only, and is written by an only child who is also the mother of an only. It is an in depth, fascinating read even if it does have a natural bias.
Judith Blake is cited a lot throughout the book, and sometimes that isn’t a good thing. She tends to take the human factor right out of things. Big families are beautiful, and give you a network of people to love. It is true that a variety of researchers and writers including Dalton Conley have shown a real competitive advantage for only children. But then I look at friends who have 2, 3, 4, and 5 kids or more and see how much love they have and how their kids are never lonely.
Anyway, just doing some research on only children and birth order and finding some interesting facts.
My surgery to reattach my intestines and get rid of my colostomy bag is in less than 2 weeks, on Wednesday, October 25th. I am definitely nervous about it. Everything from getting an IV to having my intestines reattached and eating afterward without ripping my intestines apart, to the pain after surgery. I am afraid of the IV because nurses tend to have a really bad time getting an IV in me and I have to be stuck several times. When that fails, they may try to give me a midline, which is painful. I’ll find out this Thursday at my pre surgery appointment what the guidelines are for me eating, but whenever I’m allowed to eat I’m going to be afraid of a whole lot of pain and torn intestines. I am also going to miss food, as I’m guessing I won’t be able to eat for awhile. And I am dreading the pain when I wake up from surgery. I was in a lot of pain when I woke up from the surgery that gave me my colostomy bag, and this is supposed to be more major surgery than that.
At the same time, I am so thrilled that I won’t have to live with a colostomy bag anymore. I just have to get through this surgery (well, possibly two more surgeries depending on how things go) and I will be back to normal. I am so excited that I am counting down the days.
I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks. I’ve spent a lot of time hanging with friends and reading. I am excited about my new secret sister. I’m in a group that just started a secret sister swap. You get a name and address and some basic information about the person, and then you send them little cards and gifts. You also pray for them. In April you find out who your secret sister was. I need to get creative with my little gifts.
I am taking a break from writing and instead focusing on reading and researching. It refreshes me. You can’t take water from a dry well, or withdraw from a bank account you haven’t been depositing in. Well, I have withdrawn and withdrawn from my creative account and now it is time to make some deposits by reading.
Angelica’s 4th birthday was on October 4. We had her party on Sunday the 8th. Vicki and Joel, my inlaws, came to town for it and my parents and my sister were there too. My parents brought a pinata and she had a blast with it. She has been munching on the candy all week. She loves all her gifts.