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!