Sunday, September 12, 2010

Feeling giddy about writing

Woohoo! I'm so excited to come back to my regular Sunday morning cafe, sip my tea, and write to my heart's content!

Two nights ago, I had an amazing, cinematic dream that I knew would make an awesome novel (and later, a movie?). But (a big BUT), I don't think I know how to express such a cool story in words! It kind of has a Lord of the Rings feel to it, so maybe it's time to actually read the trilogy. I've never been a reader of fantasy, but it's never too late to start! This will be for research mainly, but who knows? Maybe I'll actually enjoy it. I'm not sure if I'll use the story for my National Novel Writing Month project. I'll probably save it for when I'm a better writer. National Novel Writing Month is going to be the time when I just pull something out of thin air and see what happens. A stream of consciousness novel -- haha! That would be fun to read.

Argh -- I have too many ideas in my head to really know where to start writing today. I guess that's a good thing. With homeschooling, there's always an overload of information.

Maybe I'll start with how I'm feeling. I feel energized, youthful (in the last two days, two people have commented on how young I look), and optimistic about the future. But I feel pretty darn naked in these leggings I'm wearing right now. I'm suited up already for my dance class which follows this writing session since I'm too lazy to change right before class in the studio dressing room. Usually, I wear the ones that hug my thighs and butt just right, but flare out towards my feet. These are your typical high-waisted (ugly!) leggings that smush everything from the vulnerable belly to the shy butt, from the embarrassed thighs to the less inhibited ankles. It's mostly my butt that feels really exposed. I'm used to wearing hip-hugging jeans, but somehow this is a little different. These pants leave nothing to the imagination. I might as well be strolling down the street in my birthday suit. Fortunately, I'm feeling pretty confident these days, and my body is in an "acceptable" condition for exhibition (I'm working on getting an "excellent" rating in my head). So, for now, three and a half stars? Maybe almost four?

Enough of that. Last month, after a deep discussion with my husband, we decided that we needed to have regular dates to increase the health of our marriage. Fridays have been our date night (two dates managed so far). 1.5-2 hours seem to be enough for us to get a nice dinner in Berkeley (luckily we're blessed with marvelous restaurants in this town) and catch up with what's going on with us and the kids. And we get to hold hands. I miss that. Holding hands were a common occurrence before we had kids -- now, we've got to work at it! It's such a simple pleasure for me.

Homeschooling is really going great. Of course, there are days where I'm completely frustrated about not feeling like we accomplished anything on my agenda, but then I look back, and I realize that Maylin accomplished a lot on her agenda (and that's okay!). For example, my anxious days are actually very creative days for Maylin -- she may have evaded my strict morning schedule of math and grammar, but she drew a comic, wrote several paragraphs on her self-initiated story project (typing it all on her own), and continued programming her animation project with Scratch, a visual programming language accessible to people of all ages, among other things. I will feel better personally if we can get back on track (she was sick for a couple of days and it really put a wrench in our schedule) and fit in our yoga, math, grammar, and reading in the morning -- she can have the entire afternoon and evening devoted to her own activities.

I have been informally homeschooling three year-old Stefan as well (just turned three last week). He recognizes most of his uppercase and lowercase letters, can count to 29 (with some trouble around 15 and 16), knows his shapes (we're working on ovals and octagons now after mastering the others), has known his colors for forever (although he mixes up yellow and white often -- interesting!), and is excellent at matching games (thanks to our newly-acquired iPad, which was actually a gift for a wedding that didn't happen in the end). He loves books, still leaning towards train, car, monster truck, construction equipment, and jet airplane themes, but I am so relieved he now likes good old storybooks now, too. As I'm reading to him, I occasionally run my finger across the sentence, and I think it's really helping him understand how reading works. Sometimes he runs his fingers across the sentences, too, and attempts to "read." It's the cutest thing.

Another wonderful is seeing Maylin and Stefan read together. Maylin will often initiate a reading session, and it's just so precious to see them sitting quietly next to each other on the bed sharing a book. With homeschooling, these beautiful moments happen more frequently. And with homeschooling, I can see them creating a stronger bond as sister and brother than they would have without the homeschooling. Homeschooling is a gift. The most valuable thing about homeschooling is the freedom of time. The kids have more time to cuddle, play together, read together, "work" alongside each other...I am sure that the strong friendship and sibling love that they create now will continue to flourish through the years.

This seems like a good place to stop. I'm still feeling good, but maybe I feel even better, now that I've released my thoughts to the universe. I'm off to my jazz dance to get my butt kicked (and enjoy it, too).

Until next time...

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