Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 & Cool Culture

Our first Cool Culture Family Pass was giving to us in the Fall of 2009. Easter Seals Child Development Center is apart of a selected centers and schools to be apart of this program.

So what is Cool Culture?
"Cool Culture connects low-income families and cultural institutions, empowering parents and guardians to take advantage of these unique educational resources.

Our programs are specifically designed to help low-income families overcome the obstacles that prevent them from visiting arts and cultural institutions. Once these obstacles are removed, parents and guardians learn techniques and approaches to make their visits as beneficial for their children's learning as possible.

And because we provide access to a range of cultural institutions, each with its own valuable resources, we offer year-round opportunities for families to support their children's education." (Cool Culture, 2010)

Well said Cool Culture. :-)

The Guobadia Family Pass gives as access to 90 museum, zoos & gardens across the 5 boroughs. In the 2009-2010 season we used our pass 16 times. I shared ALL my Cool Culture adventures on my blog and I shared it with the Cool Culture Facebook page. The people over at Cool Culture were impressed by my adventures and is featuring me and my family in there Spring publication of Family Time Magazine out in February. I can't wait to read the interview and see all my pictures.

We were lucky to get our second pass in November. I've already used the pass twice. My goal is to use our pass more this season.

Tales of A Sick Mommy

I started this post with my Blogpress app on my iPhone last night.

I have been too sick to enjoy the milestone of my 300th blog posting.

I have all types of weirdness happening to me.
-First it start at work last Thursday. I was feeling sluggish. I visited my Bestie's house after work and felt extremely tired after an allergic reaction to the three cats and one dog... The kids had the same if not worst reaction. The allergic reaction was big because it's winter and all the windows are closed up and her home just under went contraction. There was hair everywhere! Which really isn't any one's fault.

-So Christmas Eve, Alex and Becky woke up feeling under the weather but they were not too sick to open gifts a little early.

-Christmas day Alex had a fever and did not want to get out of bed. We ended up visiting my sister very late and leaving early. While sitting at my sister's house I felt drained out all energy. I wasn't in a merry mood.

Everyday since then I've slept most of the day way with the kids. Every bit of sickness I had the kids had. The 20 inches of snow on Sunday didn't bug me because I was too sick to care. For most of the week I was on my own with the sickness and the kids. My husband was called into work for the snow emergency on Monday and he recovered on Tuesday and was off on Wednesday.

On Thursday, I felt a little better so I went out with the kids to get their blood work done. That was taxing to my body and I felt right back into sick mode.

Today I am feeling a little better but I am staying in doors... I don't want to lose progress.

What a way to spent my vacation? I guess its a good thing because I would have to take days off from work if I got sick any other time.

This week made me realize that stress was a key factor in me getting sick like this. The first moment my body was able to relax BOOM I got sick!!!

In 2011 I MUST work on my stress levels.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, December 27, 2010

My 300th Post

Wow! I have reached my 300th post. When I posted my 1st post, I didn't think I was going to make it to 300. Apparently, I have a lot of things I like to share. One thing that love to do the most on my blog is create list. I've created lists on just about everything. So to celebrate my 300th post I am going to list my new year's resolutions. Here we go....Enjoy!

1- Be healthier. I have to change my bad eating habits. I keep saying that I am going to change it but it never last long.

2- Be active. Yes, my kids keep me very busy but I need to stick to an exercise routine and stick to it for the entire year. (2010 Resolution that was unsuccessful)
3- Get Organized. I can't seem to get it together. 

4- Live life to the fullest. I feel that I spent most of 2010 in a negative mood. Many events happened that I thought I never have to deal with and I am still dealing with them. In 2011, I am leaving all of that behind and live life even if I have to leave some people behind. 
5-  Make new friends. I have noticed that my real life friends list is very very short. I must change that. 

6-  Burn a hole in my Cool Culture Family Pass!!!!

PS: Have ever mention that my favorite number is three and its multiples.

White, Black and/or Brown Monday

The Beginning ~ Blizzard Dec 2010
Becky & Alex enjoying modern art @ QMA

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Red Saturday

Book Fair Super Hero

Christmas Joy

2010 & Mom

A lot of things happened to me in 2010... My blog highlighted the great stuff that happens.... Something you get stuck on the negtive thing going on in life you can't see the good or great. My purpose for blogging is to make sure I focus on the good and put it into words no matter how crappy my life may feel.

Endless great events happened in my life and 90% of those events were related to my children. Becky, Alex and Aly are my life. They keep me on my feet and make me want more out of my life.

Here is my top five great things of 2010 with the kids:
1982 Brooklyn, New York

1-Only waking up at 9am three times this year...thanks guys for letting me sleep in those three times.
2-Teaching Alex how to say Guobadia.
3-Teaching Aly to count to 10
4-Teaching Becky how to use PowerPoint
5-Hugs & kisses everyday

Here is my top five great things of 2010 minus the kids:
1- I don't care what you say...I am happy I finally got an iPhone
2- I didn't kill anyone this year... oh no I've said too
3- Being apart of
4- having few good friends
5- Just being me! (If you don't like it ...too bad!)

In 2010, my relationships with others was ok. (with my kids...AWESOME!)

My sister, Katrina, is the only blood family I have left. Everyone else either found god, moved away or are unknown. She helps me a lot with the kids...thank god! I may not agree when some of the things she wants to do ...but she still there for me.

Stood by my BFF Roxy side while she drove herself crazy all year...and was here when she asked, "Am I crazy? and "Why is my stomach making that noise again?" and say, "My goal today is..."

My relationship with my husband.... I am not going to talk about that.

All in all 2010 was a difficult year for me (outside of the kids)... I hope that 2011 doing end up the same way.

2010 & Little Al

My silent child. She is talking more but she is quiet most of the time. Well except when she is screaming to the top of her lungs when she doesn't want to nap.

This year Little Al started Early Intervention. She has learned a lot of her home and center based service providers. She has improved. She finally gave me a name.

She still doesn't let me touch her hair unless Yo Gabba Gabba is on.

This year she learned how to walk and climb up to places she should not be. She has also fallen too many times and has marks to prove it.

She has learned that she can give her Barbies dinosaur back rides.

I can't wait for the speech switch in her brain turns on .... I know she has a lot to say but no way to tell me.

2010 & Little Al

My handsome "little" boy.

This little boy has given me A LOT of gray hairs this year. He learn how to do a head stand on the sofa and flip out of it.... SMH!
Potty training ....roar... I've never picked up so much poop off the floor in my whole life. I hope to pick up less poop in 2011.
Tear, tears and more tears....Alex has cried a river this year. We are working on his expression language.

He has learned how to:
-write his name
-pronounce his last name
-play nice with Little Al
-ask for things with matters

He has learned so much this year and I can't wait to see what's in store for him.

2010 & Big Bea

Where do I start with her?

She is a great child. This year she proved that she is a gensus. Her teachers only complain about spelling and penmanship... but are those complaints....nope. She is an amazing learner.

She is the strongest nine year old little girl I know. She lives with two families and isn't angry about it. She understands that her dad and myself are no longer together. She enjoys the memories that are created with both families. Her dad and I "fight" over our "Big Bea share time" all the type because we want to keep her as much as I can. It's so hard to share when she is so AWESOME! We do it without any real fights.

She keeps me strong and keeps me moving.

Friday, December 24, 2010

2010 & Easter Seals Child Development Center & My Als

I am going to be post a series of "2010 & ..." So many thing happened in 2010 I won't be able to fit into just one blog post.... well I can but it will be way too long.  Easter Seals was first on my list.

Big Al started attending Easter Seals Child Development Center November 2008 for Early Intervention. Him entering this center was the greatest gifted given to our family. Last school year he was placed in classroom 7 with Helen and the gang. He made the most progress in her class. He was able to make progress because he was there full day five days a week. EI was only half day five days a week. He made so much progress he almost lost summer session 2010. He couldn't be denied because he was 50% delayed in areas other then cognitive ability. He only had two weeks off and regressed with transitions only! No summer session would have harmed him.

In April he was fitted for a leg brace and ankle support because of toe walking. Dang insurance doesn't cover those types of devices. So I had to come up with A LOT of money. The braces were delivered in June. It was like he has a new set of legs. He walked, jumped, skipped and lived better with his legs. He grew out of his "legs" in November. The braces were worth every penny.

As he continued the rest of the year at ES, He has improved in ALL areas. He has met a hand full of goals in his annual IEP.... AWESOME! We are currently searching for placement for him next September. I have my fingers and toes crossed.

Little Al entered ES the day after her 2nd birthday to classroom 8. She attends EI half day three days a week. This is not enough. Her teacher, Jessie, is trying to finish the impossible paperwork for an increase of services. In class, she has only showed "AH-HA" moments. At home, she is jargoning, singing and counting. She has a lot of work that needs to be done with her. She is in the same spot Big Al was two years ago. The only different is the overhaul and budget cuts done to EI. It was "easy" to get services for Big Al and effin' hard for Little Al. She has a mother that doesn't take no as an answer.

Besides services Easter Seals has given us tons of other things. This year Easter Seals have given our family:
- a well adjusted four year old boy
- a summer time birthday party for Alex
- AMAZING memories
- TONS of pictures of all classroom/school activities
- TONS of artwork
- a few pool visits to the Castle Hill Y
- two winter coats with hats and scarfs
- two Christmas hams
- Cool Culture Family Pass
- 15 service providers that love the Als
- some cool Easter Seals Walk with Me tee-shirts

Green Friday

Mirror Fun at New York Hall of Science

Tree of Language

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Orange Thursday

Male vs Female Immigration

One shortest, smartest fourth grader I know.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Blue Tuesday

My cold feet on frozen ground at the New York Botanical Garden.
I am sure my toes are blue in my boots.

I Love Color....Don't You?

To celebrate the:
1- first week of winter...(a season I've learned to dislike)
2- winter recess that is starting very very soon
3- holiday season
4- and becoming more locally

I am going to be posting pictures this week with color is the break down for the week.

Tuesday -Blue
Wednesday - Yellow
Thursday - Orange
Friday- Green
Saturday -Red
Sunday -Pink
Monday - White, Black and Brown

Feel free to join in on the fun and post to your blog or social network of choice.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

BronxMama Christmas Meetup

Today the Als and I went to BronxMama's Christmas Meetup at the PeaceLove Cafe.

On the way to the meetup, Little Al had a great nap on the BX19 and didn't wake up until we got to the cafe.

It was great to see the Bronxmama ladies, Nicole, creator,  and Lisa, contributing writer.

I didn't know the small PeaceLove cafe existed. It was very classy and fancy. Too fancy for my kiddies. Lisa said, "I don't know all this fancy stuff and Norrin." 

It was refreshing to get crafty. Big Al enjoyed the glue, the foam boards and the mess. Little Al ...not so much. Once she hear the beat of the drums in the middle of the room, that's all she wanted to do. I pulled at "Yo Gabba Gabba" on the iPhone. It worked for a little while.

Big Al loved loved loved making the reindeer and the foam gingerbread house. He was very focused on the task. Little Al tried to get away and out many times until she was done. "WAAAAAA!" We had to make a quick exit. Once we were outside she was fine....smh!

On the way home Big Al was very proud of his work. He stared at it the whole ride. We played with it all evening.

Little Al's gingerbread house didn't make it home in one piece. She could care less. Big Bea is fixing it as I type.

Now I have the craft bug in me. Today's crafting circle made me miss my Girl Scout Troop. We were crafting fools! 

P.S.: I used my old Canon 3.2 mega pixel camera again today. The few pictures that I did take came out great!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New York Botanical Garden - Holiday

Baby it's not cold outside....IT'S FREEZING!
So weeks ago I decided that I needed to go to the Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden with the kiddies. I've never been to the train show and I've seen Mike Woods, Fox 5 Weatherman, visit the show many times.

Today seemed like a good day to go because Big Bea's ballet class with cancel because of the BDT's holiday show tomorrow. Perfect! I can steal her away for a little time and we can go see some trains.

Ok....who told winter to came so early this year.....Did we even have a fall season? I don't remember if we did.

Anyway.... We got to the entrance of NYBG at 1pm... I wanted to be there at 11 or 11:30pm but NOOO!
Aly decides while I am getting everything together so what we can head out the door that she was going to stir the water in the toilet with a Q-tip. SOOOOOO...... we arrived later than I wanted. SMH!

Because we were "late" the next available time to see the train show was at 3:45pm. OK... I know that I can keep these kiddies busy for that long..... so I thought. So off we went.

The reflecting pool has great big Christmas tress in it. The trees had giant ornaments on them. Next stop Everett Children's Garden. The theme for the holiday season is Gingerbread Adventures. Wooden cut outs of gingerbread boys and girls, moms and dads were place throughout the garden. Very cute....some were kinda creepy. We stopped off at the spice tent and learn about different spices that are commonly used during the holiday season. We visited five stations and learned where spices like what part of the plant ginger and cloves come. We glue some of the spice to our nature field notebooks. I am very proud that Big Al was able to write his name on the cover of his book even with all the kids running around every where. I was also proud that he dipped his entire hand into a jar of ginger....smh! maybe not so proud. At less he didn't back slap me with a hand covered with cinnamon...Thanks Little Al  I felt like a gingerbread mom when we left the tent because of all the spices on my clothes.

We headed to the discovery center and saw a great collection of gingerbread house. The houses smelled sooooo yummy. After we were done in the children's garden we head to the tram. This was our first time on the tram. We were heading to the Tootle puppet show but the tram ride was so great that we decided to stay on. Little did we know we were going to be frozen by the end of the ride. The tram narrative was so interesting that I can't wait to get back on the tram in the spring. We were done with the tram by 2:30pm...We were was too cold to stuck around for the train show and heading home. Big Al and I decided that we were going to came back over winter break.

The ground was frozen and the weather was freezing but NYBG is still amazing. We have officially visited NYBG during each season. Great stuff! You must visit....given if it's cold.

PS: I left my battery for my Sony 12mp camera at work on Friday so I had to use my oldie Canon 3.2mp camera. My pictures are still awesome!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In a Blink of an Eye.....

....and she was gone.

Yesterday, Brenda Ivette Hernandez Carranza passed.

When I think of Brenda.... I always think about her laughing and having a great time. She always....ALWAYS put a positive spin on everything. I would never forget one of the few time her, myself and Erick hung out... I took Brenda home. She turned to me and said, "You know I always liked you...and I know you will always like me."...... you know... that is very true. Brenda's road may have not crossed mine in many years but she left an impression on my life that will never go away.

This morning, I checked my Facebook like always.... I read through the status with one eye open and didn't really read them. I thought to myself...."Wow, Brenda post pretty early today....she is not an early poster." It didn't hit me what I read wasn't from her until noon. At lunchtime I get a chance read and re-read status, links and pics. I didn't reach the morning posts yet when my good friend, Jay, text me about her.

I scrolled down and read, "On 12/13/10 at 8:08pm, God asked Brenda Ivette Hernandez to take on a bigger role: Angel. I find it hard to find the right words to show you how much you truly meant to me, Gabriel, your parents, your sister, and everyone else you knew. But I can say that we will always love you, now, and forever..." 

Before I could finish reading I called Erick. He explained to me what happened......I heard his emotions in his voice....something the Erick never shows......I hung up the phone....I started to cry......

He explained it to me .....but I couldn't process it.

I've only kept up to speed with her via Facebook....where I was able to look at her life through a glass window. 

She was like me.....It is hard to say was.....she is like me!

She is the proud Mom of a beautiful boy. 

She is loving Wife.

She struggled to make the perfect world for Gabriel.....

Knowing that she is gone makes me think about my own life. 

This can happen to me....blink and gone. 

Life really is too short to be stuck in an unhappy place. 

Rest in Peace Brenda .... You were to young to leave this Earth but like your husband said you have a more important job to do.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Parent Teacher Conference at Easter Seals for the Al's

This pass Thursday I attended Parent Teacher Conference at Big and Little Al. It was at 8am....I got there before both teachers...hehehe... Hey what can I say I am an early bird. I wanted to talk to Little Al's teacher, Yessie, because I had a lot more questions for her then Helen, Big Al's teacher. I saw whom ever got there first and Helen was first.

Well, Big Al is doing wonderful to the point where service may be taken away. Our hope is after the turning five evals are done he will have enough of a delays in Speech, PT and OT that he will be granted summer school and a special education seat in September of 2011. Currently, he is only 20% delayed in cognitive ability. This a great improvement. His delays in other areas are 55% and above. If he doesn't show too much improve he is stay in special education. That doesn't bother me one bit. But if he shows a lot of improvement he will be placed in a normal Kindergarten class with support services. That is something that I believe that he is not ready for. Kindergarten classes are capped at 25 students. That will not be a good thing for his sensory. I think he have the ability for a "normal" setting by 1st grade.

I showed Helen the work that I am doing with Big Al at home. We are working on writing his whole first and last names. He can currently write Big Al without help. YAY! I also shared his love for "Your Baby Can Read."

Helen says that he loves learning. He doesn't fight the learning process and he catches on quickly. She says he has so much potential to do so much in his future. "He has the ability and a great mom to back him up." I told Helen about Big Bea's perfect scores for 3rd grade ELA and Math and she said, "He can totally do that too." I believe that once he overcomes his expression language delays he can rule the world!

Helen needs to be Little Al's teacher next year. *cross my fingers and my toes*

Now on to Yessie.... She was very positive with her feedback. She pointed out that Little Al is getting used to routines and drink from an open cup. She needs constant reminders. She also had "Ah-Ha!" moments during rug time. She is still in the process of filling out 30 question justification report to have Little Al go from 3 days to 5 days. She is starting to use some jargon in class. She is also good at matching items. I informed Yessie that Little Al can count to 10 and say: Mommy, Daddy, eat, apple, again and yes. She was totally shocked because she won't do it for her. I suggested to push Aly a little because she is still adjusting she needs a little push. Little Al is getting it together... it's going to take a lot of work .. just like what we did and are doing with Little Al.

Early Intervention and Committee of Pre-School Special Education do work! I don't care what anyone says. People are so worried about labels and judgements... boo to them. My kids are better student because of EI and CPSE. DARN IT!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What's My Name?

Little Al gave me an early Christmas gift.... She gave me a name....FINALLY! I am offically Mommy! She didn't say it because she was repeating me or just making sounds...YAY! Last night after tub time, she looked up at me and said, "Mommy." "What did you say?" She laughed.

After that we went to the living room where my husband was.
I asked, " What's my name?"
She laughed, paused and said softly, "Mommy." I gave her the biggest hug ever.
I pointed and said "What's his name?"
She laughed, paused and said softly, "Daddy." and laughed some more.
I asked, "What is your name?"
She laughed and laughed and laughed and said, "My name Alysin."
Close but totally awesome!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Our first destination for these Cool Culture season was to the Brooklyn Children's Museum. I really love this museum. Brooklyn is very lucky to have this great space. I can't wait for the Bronx Children's Museum to be complete.

Big Al remember the museum from our last visit there in May. He was our tour guide. He took us all around...I helped with the guiding so that we wouldn't end up in the sand box. I didn't feel like having two sand covered we magically skipped those parts of the tour...hehe.

We were able to visit the Totally Tots exhibit this time around. It was the best part. There was plenty of play areas for tots 5 and under. Big and Little Al ran around and around. In the toy area, Little Al found all the dinosaurs and lined up and did her happy dance. It was the cutest thing. We enter the section where the kids can play with water and water toys. Big Al rolled up his shirt and jumped right in. You can so tell that he goes to a great school. He was on mess play auto pilot. Little Al on the other hasn't been trained long enough... I blinked and she was wet up to her elbows. Big Al don't need any help staying focus but Little Al did. She kept putting all the toys in her mouth. She also tried to climb into the water. They both had a blast with the water. Big Al's transition issues are slowly disappearing. He walked away from the water without a tear.... Little Al on the other hand.... shake my head... she didn't.

We head up stairs for a snack...num yummy. Juice and carrots for all! On our way down the stairs ...not fun. Little Al lost her footing and fell. She fell down a few steps before my husband saved her. She was very scared and has a scratch on her face but she is good. That would have been a terrible fall if he didn't catch. (NYC -EI can't tell me that she doesn't need PT with the amount of falling this girl does.)

You know that the kids had a great time because they were BOTH out cold asleep before we made it the end of the Eastern Parkway. Here's the picture to prove it:

I have one complaint about today.....

Unruly children at the museum. The museum is meant to be interactive not destroyed. As we travelled from exhibit to exhibit, I notice the very popular exhibit were a complete MESS! This is very upsetting. Why would an adult ALLOW their child(ren) man handle the exhibit and leave it a mess? PEOPLE! Teach your children to clean up after themselves. Yes... there are staff members their to maintain .... they are not their to clean up your mess. SMH!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My Cultural Wish List

A few weeks ago I was blessed with a Cool Culture Family Pass for 2010-2011. YAY! Here is my wish list for the next year. I hope to make events out of some of my trips and share some of the fun with other families. I put a * next to the places we've been too already.

-Bronx Museum of the Arts *
-The New York Botanical Garden*** (12/18/2010) (04/21/2011) (07/02/2011)
-Van Cortlandt House Museum
-Wave Hill (08/20/2011)

-Brooklyn Botanic Garden
-Brooklyn Children's Museum* (11/28/2010)
-Brooklyn Museum (07/24/2011)
-New York Transit Museum**

-American Folk Art Museum
-American Museum of Natural History**
-Children's Museum of Manhattan* (03/27/2011)
-Children's Museum of the Arts
-Gracie Mansion
-Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum*
-The Jewish Museum
-The Metropolitan Museum of Art
-Museum of the City of New York*
-New York Historical Society
-Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
-Sony Wonder Technology Lab
- The Studio Museum in Harlem (1/16/2011)

-Museum of the Moving Image (re-opens 1/15/2011)
-New York Hall of Science* (04/19/2011)
-Queens Museum of Art*
-Queens Zoo

24 places on my list.... I am up for the challenge!!

Edited on 07/02/2011

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I'm Thankful for....

Sometimes things in my life great so crazy it is very difficult to see the good. During the holiday season that is tons great things all around. I am thankful for many great things in my life. I have packaged it a neat list. I just love list...

10- Coffee - I know that coffee is something very weird to be thankful for but without it I am a mean zombie.
9- Working for CS50 - There has been a lot of mad slinging lately but I am happy that I am able to be a part of that crazy life at 50.
8- Easter Seals Child Development - This center with its AMAZING staff has helped my family overcome A LOT! There are two many amazing people to list. I like to call them our "Fleet of Service Providers." They gave us coats, hams, Cool Culture and fun times. They also gave us hope and joy.
7- Early Intervention Home-Based Service Providers: Roberto, Garnett and Karen. Roberto and Karen worked with Big Al and did such a GREAT job I request them to work with Little Al  Gernett was new to the crew but worked her behind off with Aly. Without their help all three kids would be lost.
6- Ms. Singleton - She help shape Big Bea's mind to the genius child she is today.
5- My sister from another mother, Roxy - Roxy....Yes you are crazy but that's what I love about you
4- My sister, Katrina - She is the only blood family I have left in my eyes. We may not see eye to eye a lot but we have each other's back. We also make sure that our children will appreciate each other and not isolate them from each other.
3- My blog - I may not be the greatest writer but I love it. I am able to express myself and share it with the world. Throughout my entire school career writing was very difficult for me. Things just never clicked in my head but I wrote journals and diaries for practice. Blogging is apart of my daily life and I am happy that it is.
2- Being right 98% of the time - Yes I am right 98% of the time ... just face it.
1- The trio. They drive me insane but they are my reasons to want more out of my life.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bronx Children's Museum - Ideas by Big Bea

This morning on our way to the bus stop Big Bea and I were talking about where I was this weekend. See she spends her weekend time after dance with her father. This weekend her step-dad took her to dance which is something that I normally do. I told her where I was going but it didn't click as to where I was until she saw the News 12 Bronx piece I was in this weekend. (Along with the creator of Nicole Perrino and assembly women Vanessa Gibson.) I was shown writing ideas for the new museum. Maybe next time I'll have an

So this morning I asked her... if you could build a museum with anything that you want in it... what would you have in it? Oh girl, the juices were flowing. Here is the list that she came up with:

1- Large foam building blocks that you can make into a castle
2- Ball pit
3- Science explorer center
4- A mini MTA bus that we can pretend to drive
5- Tunnels
6- Learn about different careers... life sized cutouts of different people...with buttons that you can push to hear about their jobs
7- Craft time with Mom and Craft time with Dad
8- Pretend time as a DJ with turn tables
9- Make a HUGE shoe and pretend you are the old lady that lived in the shoe and a story time area for story time with family
10- Pretend cafe with pretend food with little tables for children to sit at

Community School 50 Forum

Today at our school we had a community forum. This forum was the staff's response to the letter giving to our community re-guarding our school. The letter that I spoke about a few post ago. It was great to see many community members siting in our auditorium today. I was a bit unhappy I was asked at the last member to speak. (I wish I was prepared)

Many staff members were line up to speak. Ms. Singleton (the greatest teacher EVER!) spoke first. She is an educator. She has been a teacher for 32 years. She spoke about the untruths in that letter. She spoke from the heart and was near tears. I was to heck am I suppose to follow the greatest teacher ever. I spoke from my heart.... I think that we all did. Many others spoke and begged for help for our children.We all touched upon taking the community of children and making them our own. In a lot of cases, we spend most of daily lives with the students in the classroom than with our own children and families.

Mr. Gjika was the most vocal in getting the support that our school needs. He, being a second year teacher, knows first hand the lack of support giving to new teachers of 50. He knows why our new teachers do not have a great turn over. As a new teacher, why stay at 50?

Why stay at 50?

We have a unique community.
We have character.
We have staff members willing to change the world to teach the children of 50.
We have each other.

 I hope that today was the first of many forums at we will have to keep our doors open.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Imagine the day when you tell someone that you are from the Bronx and don't: step back, grin or say "oh you don't look like you are from the Bronx."

Imagine the day that the stigma of the Burning Bronx is washed away.

Imagine the day that we can say, "We are going to the Bronx Children's Museum!"

That day is almost here.

The Bronx Children's Museum is set to open its doors by 2013.



Today, I attended a forum for the museum at Bronxworks, Inc. (The old C. A. B. building on the Grand Concourse.... I have no idea when that change happen.) shared the information about the forum on her web-site.

It's was very interesting to see the grass-root group trying to make this museum really happen. It is no longer a dream...

They have found a space where the museum will be created. It will be at the Parks Department Building J off of Mill Pond Park near the new Yankee Stadium and the Gateway Mall.

What does the Bronx Children's Museum need right now?

They are seeking community input.

They are listening to Bronx families to shape the face of the museum.

Go to their website to see how your family's voice can be hear.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

235th United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Ellis Island

What a historic night! Last night, My husband and I attended the 235th United States Marine Corps Birthday Ball. This year it was held on Ellis Island. I've lived in NYC for 30 years and have never been to Ellis Island.  We were there after hours. The weather was great for mid-November. We took the ferry over and back. On the way to the island the ferry was rocking back and forth like crazy. It was too funny. No one had their sea legs on. Hey its the Marine Corp not the Navy. (The Marine Corp is a branches off of the Everyone was thrilled. It was great to see everyone in their Dress Blues and medals as far as the eye can see. The ladies were dress beautifully. It was like the prom.... again.

The ceremony was always. This year's speaker was a StgMaj. What a speech! He was so hyped to be at Ellis Island with 1200 Marines, other service members and civilians in attendance. His speech flowed this a song. This was Brooklyn born StgMaj last Marine Corp Birthday Ball. He will be a retired StgMaj after 30 years in the service. He got everyone on their feet by the end of it.  Shoot.... that speech would make anyone want to sign the dotted line. HOOORAH!

It was nice to be without children for the night....which is very funny because it was very quiet. We didn't have a lot to talk about without the kids around. Weird.

The food service was great. The wine flowed all night. I shook a lot of hands too. 

All in all it was a great night. I can't wait until next year.... I am sure next year's venue is not going to bear Ellis Island.

Edited 12/4/2010: You can find the portraits everyone took at the Berish Photography website.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Community School 50 Fact Sheet

Today, I received a letter from the NYC Department as a parent (not an employee). It was a fact sheet about my dear school. You can visit the fact sheet here

The first sentence states, "PS 50 has struggled for years."

The last sentences states," Regardless of the outcome, the DOE will work continuously with PS 50 staff and families to ensure that students receive the support they need and the excellent education they deserve."

What's in middle is a whole lot of facts and statements. The facts is the data taken from attendance rates and test scores. The statements says will work with staff members and families. 

Looking at this letter with my parent eyes I see that my child is failing because the DOE says so. I see that the teachers aren't teaching my children the content needed for my child to be successful. WHOA! I need to pull her out of the school.  

My child is apart of the 21% & 31% who is on grade level in ELA and Math, respectively. My child attended PS50 for four years and did not fail. In fact she scored the highest scale scores possible for ELA and Math. Is she a failure because the school is failing or is she holding up the school?

Unlike the other 24 children in room 410, Becky has a parent that sees both sides of the story. I see my staff members begging for help and getting none. I see no support given to green and seasoned teachers. I see children being passed over because the teacher has to deal with the interruptions of unruly students. 

Where is was the support for PS 50 when the DOE decided that PS 50 started to struggle. 

Where is the support right now. 

Where was the support when the school had a massive lose in employees over the last five years. Where was the support when the school had a 400 to 500 drop in the number of students attending PS50.  Where is the support for our new Principal cleaning up the mess left for her?

What am I going to do about this as a parent and a staff member? 

I am going to:

-Support my child's teacher by making sure she is ready of the school day
-Sent my child to school everyday
-Make sure my child has a learning environment at home
-Support my co-workers
-Send out letters
-Let the world know that PS 50 will not close. 

Amy Vega Guobadia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Crochet Time With Mom

For a few months now, I've been working on my new couch-potato blanket. I am still working on it and the kids can't wait to wrap themselves in it every night instead of when mommy let's them. The colors are very bright and lively. I wanted to share my creation and the steps to get there. Now my directions are for someone who knows a little something about crocheting (very little). Here we go!

1-Chain (Ch) the desired long for your blanket. I crocheted the length of my sofa which is about 243 chain stitch.

2- Row 1: double crochet (dc) in the fourth chain stitch. The three ch will count as one dc.

3- dc in the next three ch

4- cluster 3 dc without finishing the last step

5- yarn over (yo) and pull thru to finish the cluster

6- dc in the next three ch

7- 3 dc in one ch

8- repeat 3-7 until row is complete row

9- at the end of the row ch 3 and repeat 3-7

10- repeat 3-8 until you reach the desired length

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Exceptionally Smart Child ~ Big Bea

Today was parent-teacher conference at Big Bea's school (which is also the school I work at).

I have on going discussion about her progress with Ms. Kirton all the least once a week. Each discussion is usually the same..."Big Bea is a great learner....she just needs help with her handwriting." What more can a mom ask for? No complaints. This conference wasn't any different. She only needs to improve her handwriting and spelling. Which go hand and hand. She eats information up. She knows how to use her brain. I am so proud of my monkey. Remember her face people... she is going to be someone!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

I have to say my favorite grade of all time would have to be Pre-Kindergarten. When Big Bea was in Pre-K, I love every moment. The best moments always involved a song. She thought me all the days of the week via sing. Well....Big Al is in Pre-K now and  I am loving it. A few Fridays, I was lucky enough to be able to sneak away to his class for a little while. I was very excited because I was able to stay for rug-time.... In Pre-K, rug time = SONG TIME!!!

His teacher has a tin box with laminated card with the title of songs. The asst. teacher started off today's song session. A card is randomly placed on the rug for every child in the class. This works very will because there is only 12 children in his class. Each child gets to pick which song that the class sings. I didn't realize just how many songs he knew. He sing ALL 12 songs. So that very day....this mom started SINGING!!!! (more) Now I am not the best singer. I know that I can not be on American Idol but I enjoy singing with and to my kiddies.

Now his's favorite song is Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes. I don't know if he pick this song up in school. He has been singing it a lot because he is currently addicted to Your Baby Can Read Videos. He sings this sing endlessly. Today on the way to my sister's, he broke out in a soulful version of the song. Very cute! Little Al is starting to learn the words. Becky just loves singing right along with them. She doesn't care that she's 9 and the song is for early childhood.

I have noticed that singing helps with everything. It helps with:

-calming the Als down from crying moment
-brushing teeth
-waiting around for the bus
-bath time
-and more things that I can't think of right now

There is always time for singing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

All That Beautiful Hair!

This post's topic is about HAIR! Oh boy, do I need some help.... It's not for me or Big Bea.

I have a very full head of long hair that I have learned to deal with our time. I have enough hair on my head for three people.  When all else fails a bun always works for me.... It's rare that I go bun-less. tee-he. Big Bea has very thin, long, straight hair. Her hair is extremely easy to manage. She wants curly hair but that's not happening. Now... on to Little Al  She has extremely curly, course, very dense and long hair. The only way to tell that her hair is long is by pulling straight one curl.

Until Little Al was one year old I didn't have to worry about her hair. She has a curly afro. After that her hair changed. It because very dense, course. I ask every person I knew with the same type hair what to do with it. Every person gave me a different answer. Now Little Al's is 26 months and I am very frustrated with her hair. I have run out hair style ideas and different ways to treat her hair.

So now I ask my readers with the same type of hair as Little Al .... What can I do to make it manageable? Is there anything product that you swear by? What other hairstyles can I do?

I love Little Al  hair...I want to treat it right. I can't do the same thing that I do to my and Big Brs's hair to her hair. I've made that mistake a long time ago.

Thanks in advance for all your help.

PS: I can't cornroll to save my life...HELP!