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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The New York Botanical Garden With My Girls.



I took advantage of a beautiful summer day and took my girls to The New York Botanical Garden while Big Al was in school. We experienced the Edible Garden. The cook from Growing Chefs made an apricot parfait. Little Al had a very, very, very hard time sitting still for this demo but nonetheless Big Becky and I enjoyed our first cooking show. The stage was awesome and the weather was perfect for outdoor cooking. The tent allowed for a great breeze and great views. In the end we got to taste the parfait and it was yummy. Two thumbs up!

The birds, bees and dragonflies were out enjoying the lovely summer flowers. The sweet smells floated on the breeze. We even saw a hummingbird. It moved too fast for a picture.
Align Center

The only thing that was disappointing was the Conservatory was closed for upgrades. It going to reopen in November. Good thing I was able to experience it during our spring visit.
Big Bea's favorite part was the water fountain in the Children's Garden. My favorite was Edible Garden and Little Al's was just walking around in a quiet environment.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Easter Seals Child Development Center & The Al's

We are the luckiest family.

Almost 2 years ago I started the early intervention evaluation progress for Alex. I was 7 months pregnant with Aly when I met the service coordinator from Public Health Solutions. It was an overwhelming feeling to have. I suspected Alex to be delayed months prior to the evals but I delayed the progress because it was hard to swallow and the added stress of my husband being in USMC boot camp. Nadia calmed my down and guilded me. She was the first of a fleet of people that I have met that have work with Alex. I requested center-based services for Alex because I was sent to return to work from maternity leave in late October and I can't have the multiple services and the little help I had at the time. Nadia worked really hard and get Alex a seat in less then five weeks. She needs a cape. Many of the therapist didn't believe that she was going to get a seat so quickly.

So where was this seat......It was at the Easter Seals Child Development Center in the Bronx. In November of 2008 Alex started his center-based early intervention program. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend his first week of school with him because I had to return to work the work before. My brave 2 year old son took the school bus to this strange place. They took pictures of him, made him drink from an open cup and sit next to other kids. He cried and so did Mommy. He cried everyday for 10 months. God bless the teacher and teacher's aid. For his entire stay in early intervention all ...all of his service providers were named Karen....weird. There was Karen, the OT (home-based), Karyn the SE teacher and Karen the speech therapist . What a lucky boy... there was no need to remember any other name.

Easter Seals gave Big Al so much. They gave him the tools he needs to be a happy little boy. The world is less scary.

He is currently in CESP at the same center and he no longer cries down the hall way to his classroom but he is still emotional (something everyone is working on with him). Open cups?...no big deal...watch him pour milk in that cup. Pictures? CHEESE! Kids? Pull up a seat.

Now we are very lucky that Big Al is benefiting from Easter Seals.....he is not going to be the only one. Little Al as a seat for September for Early Intervention. If all goes well with the Early Intervention hot shots from the city, Little Al will be joining her brother on that school bus in September. The best part is I will be joining her for her first three days of school. So the tears will be at a minimum.
I look at her now and I am so nervous...but I know she is in great hands. She is going to smile for the camera and wonder why is this person giving her an open cup. She is going to hate messy play and going to love reading time. I hope she will have the same classroom teachers, Karyn, Helen and Joanna. I can't wait until I get the first picture home from the school showing an awesome activity.
Next year's Easter Seals walk is going to be extra special.

The first picture is of Big Al's first day of school, waiting for the school bus. The second pictures is of Little Al the first day of EI home based services.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Queens Museum of Art

Today we visited our 8th cool culture spots, the Queens Museum of Art. This museum is was great. My favorite exhibit was The Panorama of the City of New York. "The Panorama is the jewel in the crown of the collection of the Queens Museum of Art. Built by Robert Moses for the 1964 World’s Fair, in part as a celebration of the City’s municipal infrastructure, this 9,335 square foot architectural model includes every single building constructed before 1992 in all five boroughs; that is a total of 895,000 individual structures." (QMA, 2010)

Roberto Moses changed NYC for some good but mostly bad... I'll leave that for another blog post.

It was fun trying to find different neighborhoods on The Panorama.


The rest of the museum was interesting, too. There was world's fair, photo and painting exhibitions. I wish the museum was a little bigger. It's small but a must see.

This museum is sensory-friendly, especially The Panorama. The lighting was dramatic in some areas but was not distracting. The noise level was very low.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Bronx Zoo with The Girls



Today, we had a break from Little Al's back to back to back services so...to the zoo we went. Big Al was at school so it was just the girls. It was sooooo humid today. The animals were sooo lazy.... they had the right idea. I haven't been to the zoo for fun since Vicky (my niece) turned 5... she is going to be 8 next weekend. I've only visited for work on school trips....weird....I live so close ... I should really be there more.
Today, I found out that Little Al has a weak stomach. We were standing in the petting area of the children's zoo and she starts gagging when she saw the goats feeding. We need to leave there quickly.... we didnt leave quick enough...gross.
All in all it was a great day out with my girls.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Staring into Space.

It's been two weeks and four days since I've started summer vacation. I feel like I am not on any type of vacation. Between the kids' services, catching up on house work and entertaining a 9 year old, I feel like I am in a fog. I have caught up on alot of things that would be no big deal if I was a stay at home mom for the other 10 months of the year. Sigh! It hard to keep up with any type of me time, reading time or blog time. I feel like a crazy women by the time its the kids bed time. As soon as there is any type of quiet....Mr. G is snoozing on the sofa... :-(

I am going to try hard this weekend to be exciting.... We'll see...

Here is a recipe that I tried out yesterday and the kids LOVE IT!


Mom's Tofu & Berries Smoothie: (Yes tofu)
Ingredients

1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup blueberry
1 tray of ice
1/4 milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 ounces soft or silken tofu

Directions
Make the Smoothie: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and pulse to chop everything up. Flip the switch to high and blend until smooth.
Pour the smoothie among 4 glasses

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We're The DANCERS!

Today was the first day of summer dance classes for Big Bea and Big Al. If you didn't know from Facebook here is what they are taking, Big Al is taking Creative Moment and Big Bea is taking Hip-hop. They are taking classes at the Bronx Dance Theatre.

Big Bea was very excited and nervous about starting a new class. She really didn't know what to expect. When she came out of class she was super happy. She danced a new type of dance. She was very sweaty and really likes her teacher. A plus for her, she made new friends. Hip-hop class is very up beat and fast. She gets to shake her booty to the latest hip-hop songs. Good stuff.

The teacher for Big Al's class said he did a good job. She was Big Bea's ballet teacher during the regular school year. He made friends right away too. When he left the class this little girl "hit" him to get his attention so that she could give him a hug good-bye. Aww so sweet. I asked him if he had fun he said, "I had FUN!"
Before going in to the studio he was impatience and upset. He has a hard time with transitions and routine changes. He was somewhat used to going to the dance studio but not for himself. He didn't understand why he needed to be fitted for ballet shoes and why he had to wear different clothes. Many tears later... he understood he need to go in that room and Big Bea was going into another. As soon as the door opened he left mommy in the dust. It was so cute to see him in a sea of pink. They are going to treat him like a king. King Big Al!


I can't wait for next week.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Happy 200th!

WOW! I made it to 200. It took three years but I made. To celebrate my this milestone I made artist trading cards (ATCs). It's been a while since I've made anything scrap related. I've been a little bit busy with some things. I am happy that I have this blog as an outlet to the happy moments of my life with my kids. My life as a whole is very unbalanced. There are less happy times then I wish. Like the bubbly person I've been for most of my life, I look at the good in everything no matter what people close to me may think.

So why did I start my blog on Sunday, June 24, 2007? I have two reasons why started my blog:

1- I read my former co-worker's, SuLu, blog. She was a teacher at the school that I work at. She was (and still is) a jewelry maker. She moved cross country to Portland, Oregon. Her blog is about her adventures in family, food, photography and of course her jewelry. She inspired me to start.
2- My children. Since becoming a mother my world has completely changed. It wasn't until I had Aly that I saw that I could be a better mother....Super Mom. I wanted to share my kids milestones, accomplishments and abilities. I also wanted to share my ideas and adventures with other mothers and show them that if I could do it they can too.

If you noticed about my blog archive some months I didn't post. I let negatively steal my happiness at those moments. I promised myself that I am not going to let that happen... no matter how cloudy life is there is a silver lining and I must highlight it here.
Here is a list my favorite posts:

10- Five Random Things About Me!
9- This Mom's Mom.
8- First Day of First Grade
7- 40 Things Before I am 30.
6- Independence day and Palm Springs
5- Big Boy and 36 Weeks Pregnant.
4-One Month Later...
3- How Do You Spell Success?
2-The Sensory Diet, Orthotic Devices and Health Insurance Denial
1-The Al's, Cool Culture & New York Transit Museum



I just want to thank you for reading my blog, even if you are not an official follower. I hope to have a bigger following soon. I am looking forward to posting my adventures for the next 200 post. (Don't forget to post comments and click on your reaction at the bottom of the posts)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She Speaks Softly.

Since being home on vacation for eight days, I've notice that Little Al makes more sounds and have a larger vocabulary in then I thought. She talks very, very low. I never noticed it before because of the busy schedule I have and Mr. Big Al loudness. Along with apples she says, yeah, yes, daddy, ball and food. Here I thought she could only say yeah and daddy. I am sure as the time go on in our vacation she will have a larger vocabulary. Lucky for Little Al, we are going to have a lot more Mommy and me so it will be easier for your to talk.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Looking at the World Through Rose-Colored Glasses.

I am still reading Happy by Dr. Ian Smith and I have reached another exercise in the book that I would like to share with you. Here are the questions:

"A. List seven events or situations that have disappointed you recently."

Now this is the hard part...

"B. Take the seven items listed above and find something positive in each of them"

I would love to share with you my answers...but I don't want to put anyone on the spot.

Dr. Ian Smith says, If you practice every day finding the positive in a situation of disappointed, positive perspective will naturally become part of your life.

Baby... It's Hot Outside!

That's why I am keeping myself indoors, as much as possible. This afternoon is going to be a rough.... waiting for Big Al's school bus. The sun peaks over our apartment building just around 1pm and the bus get here at 3am. I should try to fry an egg on the front steps. Good thing Big Al's bus has AC.

I love air conditionoing. I hate the summer weather. My favorite seasons are spring and fall. Fall is volleyball season and spring is softball season. Its been that way since high school. I don't play those sports that much any more but fall and spring always remind he for those sports. The weather is just right for almost any activity. The summer hasn't been around for long and I want it to go away...lol

I just need to get over it. Mike Woods will help with that.

Here's how to beat the heat:

-Stay out of the sun.

-Use an air conditioner if you have one. Set the thermostat no lower than 78 degrees.

-If you do not have an air conditioner, keep rooms well-ventilated with open windows and fans.

-Consider going to a public pool, air-conditioned store, mall, movie theater, or cooling center.

-Fans work best at night, when they can bring in cooler air from outside.

-Make a special effort to check on your neighbors during a heat wave, especially if they are seniors, young children, and people with special needs.

-Drink fluids – particularly water – even if you do not feel thirsty.* Avoid beverages containing alcohol, caffeine, or high amounts of sugar.

-Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose clothing that covers as much of your skin as possible.

-Never leave children, pets, or those who require special care in a parked car during periods of intense summer heat.

-Avoid strenuous activity, especially during the sun’s peak hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

-Cool showers or baths may be helpful, but avoid extreme temperature changes.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!!!!

Today we visited my Bestie, Roxy and family for the 2nd Annual Holloway Independence Day BBQ Blow Out!! Yes I named it! Hey a great gathering needs a name.

How many kids can you fit in a kiddie pool? .... Well today we fit two toddlers, one pre-schooler, one early adolescent and one middle adolescent.... They had a blast!

Watching the kids in the kiddie pool was the best part of the day. It made me think of a simpler time. When all you had to worry about were water wedgies and pool toys. Days like today makes all the hard work worth it. Big Al was showing off his new speech patterns. "Mommy, I want a hot dog, please." Little Al was trying so hard to stay in the kiddie pool...and went napless. Big Bea was trying to keep cool and not melt.


Great friends.....Great food.... Great memories....

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Apples...Apples...Apples

Yesterday Little Al said APPLES!!!!.... It was totally awesome. She said it when her special education teacher was here. He was using memory cards to introduce new vocabulary. She really like the cards because they were chubby and had simple pictures on them. He was saying the what was on the card and she was looking at the cards and looking at him. I was looking out the window when he said look she is saying it...aaaapples....aaaapples aaaaapples. This was the first time she labelled something. He was surprised... "She never said that before?" "No way!"

This was an especially great moment for her teacher because she gives him a very hard time, all the time. She hears him but doesn't want to listen. This makes his job very hard. I am pleased that she gave him something to show speech progress.

Now if she could only say mommy....

Friday, July 2, 2010

Adventures in Potty Training!

Potting and toilet training is not fun. Add sensory integration disorder and its torture. I've been potty training Big Al what seems forever. At school, he is dry as can be. His teacher and OT have worked very hard to get him to pee in the toilet. At home.... (shaking head).... we have issues. After reading Toilet Training & Sensory Integration Disorder, an article by Ellen Ciurczak, over and over I am going to be at this for a long time.

Our adventures include Mr. Big Al not wanting to poop anywhere but in the kids room, him peeing on the Dora sofa and Little Al sitting on it and him walking around the house with pee pee socks. (shakes head again)

One advance happened today....he did the pee pee dance.... He resisted to go to the bathroom but the pee pee dance never lies.... Just one step closer....I can dream of a day where there are no more smelly pull-ups in my home.
Potty Training Big Bea was awesome. It took one day and a cup of candy fish.....oh how I miss those days.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Makes You Happy?

Happiness is something that I have been in search for all my life. I didn't have a picture perfect childhood and adulthood isn't a ride in the park. I can type until the end of time about the negatives in my life past and present.....I never like to focus on this.

I am an optimist. The cup is half full.... silver lining....sunshine. My life experiences have tried very hard to change that. I feel that the world around me tries so hard to crack my shell. I am a very forgiving and patience person. I give until I can't give anymore. I push forward for successful.... and if you don't know by now... I don't like the word no.

Have two beautiful special needs child and a perfect little lady tests me everyday.

I am currently reading the Sony Reader version of "Happy: Simple Steps to Get the Most Out of Life" by Ian K. Smith. He is an optimist too. I am a few chapters in and I am enjoying the refreshing upbeat and happy attitude the tone of the book has. I am going to create my happy plan. This a plan that well give me happier days.

You know me and my lists....
I am going to:
"List 5 things that are most meaningful in your life but are not money or material possessions."
I posted this question on my Facebook page and got some good answers. Here are my answers:

1- Big Bea, Big Al and Little Al  This three monkeys give me that most joy in life. No matter how much they drive me insane...especially Big al... they can put a smile on my face.

2- Dominick, Victoria and Christopher. My sister's kids are nutty but are a joy to be around.

3- Patience. To deal with one and two you need tons of them....more patience is needed for Big Al and Vicky...those darn middle kids.

4- My work ethic as a mother, student and para.

5- Being a strong women.