Aloha Friday!

aloha friday yoga

Today’s non-running accomplishment:
Yoga morning


Kinda started late because I took my time making the obentos this morning.  It’s been awhile since I last “decorated” their rice so I did…but the elephant is supposed to have an eye (cuz it’s facing sideways) and a ribbon.  Didn’t quite turn out that way, but oh well.

I love these small gadgets to make these obentos creative!  I have been slacking on the creative side, but lunch is lunch.  At least they are getting good healthy ones from home.

Started my yoga again with…meditation.

Then stretching my hips and arms to wake my body up.

Sun Salutation A (5 times)

Sun Salutation B (5 times)

Half primary series.

I also added the pigeon pose at the end before my favorite lion pose and shavasana.

Today’s pick Ardha Baddha Padmottanhasana!

Benefits of this asana:

  • strengthens the knees, ankles, quads, and abs
  • stretches Achilles tendon, calves, hamstrings, and hips
  • opens shoulder
  • lengthen spine
  • stimulate abdominal organs
  • calms the brain
  • improves balance

Pretty cool pose.  I’m getting closer to being able to grab my toes, but I’m still working on it.  The right side is easier compared to the left side.  Practice, practice, practice!

Yesterday, I had one of those moments…. the mommy moments.  And it’s not one of those happy, energetic, enthusiastic, positive, caring, nurturing, self-composed, calm mommy moments but the “momster” moments.  I got so frustrated with them with their lack of motivation and attitude towards studying I couldn’t tolerate it.

The main struggle is all in the inside- mixed emotions.  Frustration, irritation, discouragement, encouragement, happiness, sadness, guilt….I don’t like to push them to do their Japanese but I think it’s very important that they know their other native language.  I think it will be a huge disappointment once they become adults that I didn’t try hard enough to teach them.  I know that if I fail in this area of parenting these girls, I would not be able to forgive myself for just giving up.

But it’s hard! Sorry to sound like a crybaby but it sure is hard to teach them Japanese.  Daughter #1 should be learning 3rd grade kanji, daughter #2 should be studying 1st grade kanji.  1st grade kanji- not so bad.  Pretty simple strokes, nothing too complicated.  Daughter #1 is still trying to learn 2nd grade kanji because this past academic year, I’ve been just struggling with 1st grade material.  She finally remembered everything that she needed to know for 1st grade but because she doesn’t use it on a daily basis (like writing and reading), she forgets.

This year, we got the textbooks from the Consulate of Japan but they give out the materials for the grade that they will be in.  So I missed 2nd grade completely and we have 1st and 3rd grade materials.  Is she ready for 3rd grade?  Not at all.  So already, I have this pang of guilt because she’s behind but I gave myself some slack.  I told myself, it’s all good as long as she’s learning something.

Everyday during the summer, my parents have been teaching them Japanese (daughter #1- 2nd grade materials, daughter #2- 1st grade materials).  It’s been very helpful because I’m not feeling so overwhelmed from all the stuff I need to do everyday.

But yesterday I realized that these “momster” days are creeping up on me.  Once my parents leave,  I will be doing the whole crazy-momster routine everyday.  Starting with making obento, exercising, getting myself & the kids ready, bring them to school (whenever I have to), picking them up from school (whenever I have to), cooking dinner, teaching them Japanese, doing their homework with them, doing bath, doing dinner, cleaning up, putting them to sleep, folding laundry, etc.  The list goes on and looking at the list itself, it doesn’t seem so horrible.

Of course, a kid doesn’t want to go to a full day of school then to after-school care program, come home to do homework, and study another language that they don’t use other than with their mom.  Why would they?  They’d rather play.  I don’t want to push them to the edge of breaking apart.  I know they have a lot to do already.  I know they are doing their best.  But when I see them slouching, unmotivated into learning Japanese, writing kanji with dirty handwriting, etc. all gets me upset.  The environment and the way we were disciplined about learning and studying are so different from the US and Japan- that’s another struggle.  It matters a lot that they care about how they write because we were taught as kids that your handwriting is the mirror to who you are.   You write with distress and disgust, you are seen as a distressed disrespectful person.  I cannot say that my Japanese handwriting is the best.  It’s not pretty at all.  But I try my best to write very neatly.  It also shows respect towards the other person who will be reading it.

I told my daughter who showed me her homework for school yesterday-it was scribbled-to go erase the answers and rewrite them neatly because if I was the teacher, I would feel disrespected from a student turning in his/her work this way.  It shows that you just did it to just get it over with.  Not to learn, not to care about what you write. I don’t know if this makes any sense to anyone.

Argh.  I know that there will be a day when I would just miss these days of me stressing over these stupid things in life.

習字 (Left: effort, Right: Patience)

But seriously, why is Japanese so darn difficult.  Why are there two or more ways of reading one kanji character.  Why why why. I even get discouraged from teaching.

To make my day a better one, I think we will definitely go to the food truck event tonight.  Yep, filling our tummies with some yummies (dessert) sounds like a brilliant plan. Then, I’ll have to run it out tomorrow. ha! The cycle of life- pretty balanced out right? eat-run-be happy.


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