Sunday, September 30, 2012

Snips and snails and spiders and bugs and.....

..... that's what my little girl is made of right now!!

As I chronicle her desire to learn about her world, I sense that my journey along with her will quickly take me to unfamiliar and maybe even uncomfortable places. However, since I don't want to squelch her interest in something, I'm going to do my best to get over my discomfort!

With that said, today I will be sharing about her recent pets. This little girl wants a pet. BADLY. A puppy or kitten would be ideal, but since we live in a rental home whose owners are much less into us having animals than she is, anything furry is out. So she decided to bend the rules on what does and doesn't constitute a pet.

We found a spider in our kitchen. One of those big ones with a body so fat that you doubt your ability to even squish it, should you ever summon up the courage to attempt it. Mark was at work and not due to return for hours. So I did what any other terrified person would do - put a jar over it and left it there for Mark to deal with later! Somehow, over the next couple hours, I was talked into keeping it in the jar. We looked up what kind of spider it was (a wolf spider, whose venom, I learned, is poisonous but only very mildly; not dangerous to people, phew), and attempted (failed) to catch bugs for it to eat in its new home. We kept the spider for three days. Anna carried it around in its jar, read books to it, slept with it next to her bed, and was just pleased as punch to have acquired a little pet. When it became apparent to us that the spider (who Anna named, to my absolute horror, 'Anna') would not eat any of the bugs we caught, we released it back into our yard. This launched a minor grieving process ...

... until -- we found the lizard! In almost exactly the same place as we'd found the spider, no less - a sure sign that we should consider a second pet. The lizard needed a larger home than a mason jar, so we dug out Anna's little fish tank (which, before you suggest it, will shortly be brought back into use as a fish tank to house a fish or two, since we desperately need a real pet!). Mark helped her look up the lizard on a classification chart, and we determined it to (maybe!) be a Four-lined Skink, also known as a Plestiodon Tetragrammus. Again, the fish tank accompanied Anna wherever she went, and little lizard was introduced to all of her toys.  Again, though, it didn't seem to want any of the food that our research promised it would love. So, after a few days, back outside it went.

We have since caught and released two other forms of spider, and today she asked about the colour of blood of both spiders and fish. Back to the computer we went (one day I will be on the ball enough to go to the library and get books out for her rather than just consulting google!), and went through these two pictures, at her request, in pretty significant detail:

We went over the pumping action of the heart, pointed out the heart and brain areas in each picture, and translated this information to her own body.

And now that she is awake, this post is done :)

I'm back ... maybe!

Well, my last post on here was about 9 months ago, and began with a desire not to let time slip away from me.


Since that post, my little brand new baby boy has turned 10 months old and is now pulling up on everything taller than himself, eating markers and stickers that Anna leaves within reach, and winning this mama's heart more every day.

Anna is three and a half, and is learning learning learning about her world! (More on that in a minute.) She is so stinking smart. This is getting both of us in trouble as she tries to reason me around to her point of view MANY times each day! She is a fabulous big sister who loves her little brother (except when he is impatiently and loudly waiting for his meal in his highchair) and helps me take care of him.

Mark has graduated from residency and is working in St John Urgent Care sites around Tulsa. His hours when he's working are loooong. BUT - he only works 14 shifts a month, praise God! So we are seeing a LOT more of him than we used to. This has been a learning curve, and we are still working out how to adjust our home routine on days that he is here. But it is fun :) We are chipping away at our school debt (both medical and nursing), and should have it all paid off by this time next year. Again - praise God! We're looking at our options for overseas missions once we're debt free.

And me? Well ... every day looks a little different for me. I love - LOVE - staying home with my babies. One morning a week I work on a mobile medical van for Good Samaritan Health Services. We function out of a church in North Tulsa (on Tuesdays, at least), and I am very much enjoying being a part of clinics. The rest of the time I am managing things on the home front! I certainly have my rough days, and struggles or challenges running around in my mind, but on the whole I am so happy with where my life is right now.

Part of the reason I have decided to try blogging regularly again is that Anna seems to be entering a new phase of learning. I want to record this somehow, and I'm not sure whether it will be on this blog or on a separate one. For now, it's here.

In the last couple of months she has started asking questions that have involved me looking up answers for her. Actually, what this more often looks like is the two of us sitting down at the computer and researching her question. For example, she has a book that tells the story of a little girl who had to kill a dragon. The dragon had green blood ... and this prompted questions today about the colour of other animals' blood. (She already knows that blood travels around the body in little 'tubes', and that when one of the tubes gets cut, we bleed.) So we got online and looked up the circulatory system of a fish and a spider. How fun is that?!

Now - I know that this is not likely to be information she retains into her actual 'school years'. But right now her desire to learn is very strong, and I want to capture some of what we learn together so that one day she (and I!) can look back at what she achieved and was interested in during these months.

And if I have extra time and energy, I may even try to post semi-regular updates on the rest of our lives too! We'll see... :)