Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Very Close to My 200th .... post. This is my 192nd blog post since I started June 2007. I am going to full steam ahead to my 200th. I can't believe that I've made it this far. It seems that I have had a lot to talk about this month. This month I've posted 21 times... AWESOME! That is a record. I hope to beat that record.... Is it possible for me to post every day? Maybe?

I almost feel like have a party to celebrate this milestone. We'll see.....

In the mean time, here is a list thanks to listography:

List all the animals you've seen in their natural habitat

1- Deer
2- Geese
3- Toad
4- Raccoon
5- Owl
7- Blue Jay
8- Lizard
9- Blue Crab
10- Jellyfish

Monday, June 28, 2010

How Do You Spell Success?


Ms. Singleton was Big Bea's 3rd grade teacher. She is a great teacher and co-worker. If you don't know by now, I work in the same school Becky attends. She has attend this school since head start minus 1st grade and I've worked there since the summer of 2001. 2nd grade was a rough year for Big Bea because a lot of change happened. I was very excited to know, at the end of 2nd grade, she was placed in Ms. Singleton's class. I knew 3rd grade was going to be a great year. Big Bea was comfortable the moment she walked in the classroom. Ms. Singleton never let her class feel the stress that was placed upon the staff of the school this entire school year. Ms. Singleton is very supportive and loving. She attended Big Bea's Ballet Recital and had help calm butterflies to days leading to the big show. I am happy that Big Bea was able to enjoy her class before she retires.
Ms. Singleton pulled out all of Big Bea s strengths. She was class president and student of the month. She was picked for the Theater Arts program. She is a model student.

Of course, I have to give myself credit too. I was able to give Big Bea the environment she needs to successfully complete her homework and study. This is very hard to do with two special needs brother and sister running around.

I felt validation again when I read the teacher comment section of Big Bea's report card. She wrote:

"Rebecka is a wonderful little girl, who has helped to make my year a pleasant one. She has excellent manners and you should be commended for raising such a fine child. With her friendly, cooperative attitude, she will always be a pleasant addition to any class."

I am happy with Big Bea's success in the 3rd grade. It's a breathe of fresh air to know that she is on track. Like I've said before... You must support those who had talent.

Hands down: Ms. Singleton is the greatest 3rd grade teacher ever.

I can't wait for 4th grade with Ms. Kirton.

PS.... Summer vacation officially start today at 2:41pm.... YAY! I get to be a stay at home mom until September 8, 2010. AWESOME!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Potty Training on the Brain

Big Al is almost at the mother land of potty training....mostly because of the outstanding job Easter Seals has done with him. When he entered CPSE, there were two pages in his IEP just for potty training. I can proudly say that he has met every goal in the potty training portion of his IEP. His new IEP only has one goal for potty training. GO BIG AL! I can't wait for him to reach this goal. The goal is for him to express the need to use the bathroom, 80% of the time. Only 80% of the time because you have to figure in the bus rides.... no potty on the school bus.

Right now, He does not any express the need to go potty...number one or two. He does go to the toilet when you tell him to with little resistance, but only to urinate. Bowel moments are ....ROAR! You know when he wants to BM because he wants to watch TV in his room and he has a nervous look on his face. He runs like a crazy man in the kids room and five minutes late he come looking for me and only me. $\%^$#@!!!!!!! He hasn't put two and two together. I try to stop the madness and get him to the toilet with no success. :-(

His Sensory Integration Disorder and speech delay are making potty very difficult. He can't feel when his bladder is full and he can't express that he has poopie in his pull-up. This summer is going to be non-stop poopie patrol and stop the madness. I've read that waist bands and underwear tags can throw off sensation to the area. I am going to do the naked bottom method. I am going throw on an over sized tee-shirt and set him free. Wish me luck!

I know I have at least two more years of diapers to deal with. Unfortunately, she is no where near ready for training. Little Al is following her brother's foot steps closely.

Red Hot Saturday

Today is the last day of color week... I hope you enjoyed all the colors. To see the the pictures of the week of color I did this week and in 2007 go here.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


This is the last week of school for the children at Easter Seals. Big Al's service providers have work wonders with him. I've seen first hand how much EI and CPSE helps with development.

This time last year Big Al:
-had 100 words in his vocabulary
-spoke in single word commands
-was scared of the potty and toilet
-refused to drink from an open cup
-called himself Big Al and Little Al bebe

Now he can:
-attempts to couple words to communicate
-uses pincer grasp
-reads his name and calls himself by his name and his sister's by their names
-draws cars
-enjoys books
-stacks blocks like a pro

These lists can go on forever.

His success is due to a list of teachers, therapist and doctors that has help him for two years now. I have to give myself credit too. Not accepting no....'I don't know' are foreign words to me....high expectations = great talented service providers.

I want to share a conversation between myself and Big Al's SE teacher and OT.

Today was the graduation ceremony for the fifth grader at my job. I am going to miss a lot of the kids in this graduating class. The Valedictorian included me in a list of teacher that made life at C.S. 50 great, interesting and fun. I am proud of many of these students and I can't wait to see what the future hold for them. I see doctors, actors, politicians and superstars in these kids. I am happy to have had been apart of their lives.

Pinky Pink Tuesday

Day three of a week of color... to join in on the fun go here. Enjoy

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Blue Sunday

This is the first day of color week. To follow along go here.
Here are today's pictures.... enjoy.

American Museum of Natural History

Holy Cow, it's hot! Me and heat are not friends at all... I am very cranky when the temperature goes passed 80. It went up to 88....bleh! So what do I do on this hot day....go out and get some culture. The Al's and I went to the American Museum of Natural History. It's been two years since I've been to this museum. Today's visit was very quick. We explored: African Mammals & People, People of Mexico, Central and South America, Advanced Mammals and of course Dinosaurs.
Big Al was excited to see so many different animals and fossils. Little Al was scared of the stuffed Elephants in the Hall of African Mammals. She did not let go of my shorts until they were out of sight. I enjoyed the South American Peoples exhibits. As many times I've been to this museum, I've never visited that exhibit.
Today's visit was very short because of the large number of visitors. There were tons of tourist and lots of dads. We must visit again but on a weekday. I was very close to making today a double museum day. The exit we used left us across the street from the New York Historical Society. It was very tempting. I had to get back on the train before the D train was full of Yankees & Mets fans.
This museum is sensory friendly but only in the low traffic areas. The dinosaurs area is very distracting. The volume of the crowds made Big Al very nervous and he wanted to leave quickly.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Week of Color

To celebrate:

1- last whole of work before summer vacation

2- first day of summer

3- graduates all over the Bronx

4- my love for photography

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

Monday - Yellow

Tuesday - Pink

Wednesday - Green

Thursday - White, Black and Brown

Friday- Orange

Saturday - Red

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

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Out of the Books: Into the Dance.

AMAZING! Big Bea had her first ballet recital today. She performed with Bronx Dance Theatre at Lehman High School. She performed in "The Wizard of Oz" portion of the program. She was so light on her feet. I am a very proud mother. She was very nervous all day. She was nervous to the point where she was making herself sick. When we got there, she pulled herself together. Once we got to the dressing room, she had her game face on. Her biggest consider was making sure her teacher came.
All the performances were amazing. I can see Big Bea going from with Bronx Dance Theatre.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Orthotic Device: Ankle-Foot Orthosis & Supramalleolar Orthosis

So.... Big Al's leg braces came home today.... YAY!... He was very excited to have them.
They have trucks and road signs on the plastic. His OT sent them home so that I can take him shoe shopping. I have to find a pair to fit over the devices. Right now he is wearing them with Big Bea's shoes.
So what are these things??.....
"Ankle-foot orthoses (AFOs) are orthoses or braces, usually plastic, encompassing the ankle joint and all or part of the foot. AFOs are externally applied, and are intended to control position and motion of the ankle, compensate for weakness, or correct deformities.They control the ankle directly, and can be designed to control the knee joint indirectly as well. AFOs are commonly used in the treatment of disorders that affect muscle function such as stroke, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, polio, multiple sclerosis and peripheral neuropathy. AFOs can be used to provide support to weak or wasted limbs or to position a limb with tight, contracted muscles into a more normal position. They are also used to immobilize the ankle and lower leg in the presence of arthritis or fracture, and to correct foot drop. An AFO may also be referred to as a foot-drop brace." (Wikipedia, 2007"An SMO (Supramalleolar Orthosis) is indicated to assist in controlling ankle medial-lateral stability during stance, but because of the shortened lever arm it is not considered to be very effective in controlling sagittal plane motion. An SMO can also control for rearfoot position and pronation/supination of the foot." (Physical Therapy Products, 2007, )

The wonderful service provider at Easter Seals noticed that Big Al is a toe walker and has a hard time alternating legs while walking up and down steps.

Unfortunately, my health insurance did not pay for these devices .... I spent a small fortune on them... so we have to make good use out of them.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Big Bea, The Ballerina

It's Showtime!!!....almost. Sunday, June 13, 2010, Big BEA will be dancing in her first ballet recital. I am super excited. She looks amazing. She won't show me any of her moves but I am sure she is a super star! I know that I am going to cry tears of joy when I see her on the stage. She dancing to "Some Where Over the Rainbow." I'll blog about her recital on Sunday.

Today, she took her first dance photos. We rush, rush, rushed to get her looking fab for her picture. The prep for the picture took an hour and the picture took three minutes. Weak.

I am so proud of my Ballerina.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Six Down...

and many more to go.
Can you believe it? We've been to six cultural institutions! We started our adventure in April and I am looking to continue this flow until our Cool Culture Family Pass expires in October. The pass gives us access to 90 cultural institutions in New York City... Let's see how many we go to.
Here is a list of where we are been so far:
1- New York Transit Museum (Brooklyn)
2- New York Hall of Science (Queens)
3- New York Botanical Gardens (Bronx)
4- Bronx Museum of the Arts
5- Children's Museum of Manhattan
6- Brooklyn Children's Museum

Here's the plan for the summer: I want to use my Cool Culture Family Pass twice a week. Summer Vacation starts 2:41pm, June 28. So by the time I return to work on September 8, I want to have had visited 20 places (give or take). Wow that seems like a lot, but I think I can do it.
Here is the next ten place I would like to visit:
1- Wave Hill (Bronx)
2- Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum (Manhattan)
3- American Museum of Natural History (Manhattan)
4- Museum of the City of New York (Manhattan)
5- Museum of the Moving Image (Queens) Closed until 2011 :-( Edited 7/3/10
6- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (Manhattan)
7- New York City Fire Museum (Manhattan)
8- The New York City Police Museum (Manhattan)
9- New York Transit Museum (Brooklyn) (Again)
10-Children's Museum of the Arts (Manhattan)

I would like to take my friends and family along on my adventures.
Now that I have this great pass I want to use it to give my children an experience that without it I would not be able to. I have learn about so many new places I had no clue existed. But now that I am learning more about free admission days, I can plan my future pass-less adventures and give them great experiences without breaking the bank. I also don't want to stop exposing them to cultural and plain old fun things just because two out of three of my kids are special needs. I believe that every children needs to be exposed to the rich environment around them, especially if they live in New York City.
Big Al is a perfect example of learning from exposure. Although he still has transition issues and endless sensory issues, he has learned how to sit for a meal at a restaurant. He has learn that he has to stay in his seat on the bus or train and wait for Mommy to tell him to get up, no matter how long the ride is. Little Al is where Big Al was. He has come very far and with Big Bea's help I am sure Little Al will learn too.