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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hit The Restart Button.

For many years, I have tried to change my habits. Time and time again I hit the restart button and say, "Ok today is the day I start."

Well I just hit that button once again.

Today was the last day of work and the start of my summer vacation. I am going to try to make this restart stick.

Wish me luck!!

Hit The Restart Button.

For many years, I have tried to change my habits. Time and time again I hit the restart button and say, "Ok today is the day I start."

Well I just hit that button once again.

Today was the last day of work and the start of my summer vacation. I am going to try to make this restart stick.

Wish me luck!!

Amy's Guide To Summer Fun With The Kids.

The best part of working for the Department of the Education of The City of New York are the summer vacation. Unlike other department of education in other states, our 10 month salary is annualized. So that means we all still get a pay check during summer vacation. YAY!

After working for the DOE for 9 years, I have learn that I have to take advantage of seven entire weeks off. I try to plan something to do at least ONCE a week. So here is my guide to getting the most out of summer vacation.

Museums:

New York Botanical Garden: You must go every season! I plan on visiting the Spanish Paradise: Gardens of the Alhambra. Flamenco and Spanish guitar...need I say more?

American Museum of Natural History: New exhibits to see are: The world's largest dinosaurs and Frogs a chorus of color. So means Mama's taking many trips to AMNH.

Queens Museum of Art: The only reason to go to QMA is The Panorama of the City of New York. Bring your camera and go neighborhood hunting.

El Museo del Barrio New York & Museum of the City of New York: You can visit this two museum in one day. They are across the street from each other on E 104 Street. After the visit you can take the kiddies across Fifth Avenue into Central Park.
Intrepid Sea, Air Space Museum: It's a little pricey but very worth it. The upper deck is the best especially on a hot summer day.

Parks:

Crotona Park: Summer concert all summer long. One concert: Slick Rick / DJ Brucie B Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 7:00PM.

Governor's Island: Public access to the island is Friday-Sunday and Monday holiday. Beautiful!


Beaches:

Orchard Beach: Free (my favorite word) fireworks on Thursday, June 30 @ 9pm.

Coney Island: The Cyclones, hot-dogs and Luna Park. Fun, fun, FUN!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Easter Seals Child Development Center Class of 2011

Today is the beginning of our good byes to Easter Seals for Big Aland 50 other students heading into kindergarten. Out of the 51 students apart of the Class of 2011, 17 attended Easter Seals since Early Intervention.




The day started with dropping off Big Al is school, something that he is not used to. He is a bus kid. He thinks that getting on the school bus is the only way to get to school. He began to cry when we got to the classroom and realized he left his power ranger in the car and mommy was leaving. His teacher and I know what to do in this case and do the dance.

After way too much standing around and waiting we were finally let into the Castle Hill Middle School 127's auditorium. We sat in pretty good seats right behind the graduates.

After some more waiting (something Little Al does not like to do) the graduation program began. Big Al was apart of the color guard. The program said that he was doing the English greeting but there was a last minute change. He held the Easter Seals banner in front of the sea of red.

After some speeches from board members of Easter Seals New York, a slide-show was shown. Class by class the slide-show let us see how much fun they had at Easter Seals. There was a picture of Big Al when he was two years old with the worried face during sensory play. It took me a second to realize that it was him. He has change so much! The entire class of 2011 sang three songs on the stage. "The Earth is Our Mother, The Wheels On The Bus" and "Goodbye Song."  After that each child was called to the front of the stage to get their diploma. Big Al was very excited when he got his diploma. He told Star very loudly, "I have a roll of paper!"


Getting His Diploma

We were able to say our good-bye in the gym of the middle school and take our last pictures with his teachers. His classroom teacher will not being working with him for summer session. I'll be OK with that ...I think.


Next week, is his last week with the AMAZING Helen. She is truly apart of our family. She has been his teacher for two out of the three years at Easter Seals. She has set the standard for all the teacher to follow. It's going to be hard to fill her shoes. Big Al is her favorite student and it completely shows in the way she speaks about him and the amount of work in the classroom and the way it is displayed. I hugged her many times today and whispered in her ear....you are not getting away from us that fast....Little Al will be with you in September and the next two years.

Thank you: Helen, Diana, Ruth, Estrella (Star), Mabelle, Karyn, Nelly, Amarilis, Jennifer, Norma, LadyBird, Heddy, Kara and the rest of the gang. You are all AWESOME and you have help built a great foundation for Big Al.
First Picture Taken @ Easter Seals
Last Picture Taken @ Easter Seals

Big Al & His Big Day

Later on today Big Al will be graduating from Easter Seals. (Psst, don't tell Big Al but he still has 7 weeks of school left. I heart 12 month IEPs.) This is just the first of many achievements Big Al will reach. He entered Easter Seals Child Development Center on November 12, 2008. It feels like such a long time ago.


Waiting for his school bus ride.
When he entered Easter Seals CDC Big Bea was early in her 2nd grade year and Little Al was just two months old. My husband was in California with the United States Marine Corp. I also wasn't a very constant blogger. I don't have a blog post of that day. I'll never forget the day I placed him on that small school bus. I had just returned to work a few days prior and I was an emotional wreck. The night before I made a name tag for him to wear on his travels. I was so  nervous that he was going to get lost because he couldn't tell anyone his name. I was putting all my trust into people I had only met one time. I look back now and I am pleased that I let my baby boy be apart from me. He could have had home-based services and delayed the travels but inside I knew this was what needed to be done. When he came home he couldn't tell me how his day was or tell me what's his teacher's name. He grunted and kept life moving. Every day for 10 months he cried to board the bus. He didn't want to go away. Then one day it clicked, he stopped.
My boy is not the same child. He talks my ear off everyday. He is interactive. He is amazing. I can't wait to see him in his red cap and gown. I hope the weather holds up.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Bronx Dance Theatre Presents: Big Bea & Big Al

I am the proudest mother in the world right now. (I'm trying to hold back the happy tears long enough to blog.)

Today, Bronx Dance Theatre presented part 1 of Flipping Channels at Lehman High School. I've waited all year to see my dancers dance. Parents aren't allowed to watch during classes. All we can do is sit in the hallway and listen to the music.

Big Bea has been very nervous about this day for weeks. Last night she said, "Mommy I just want to sleep the day away so I don't have to be nervous anymore." I told her, "You can't sleep because you are my shining star. Your room is going to be too bright to sleep in."

The hours leading up to the big show were crazy as always. My brain was swimming in the running list I had in my head. Backstage snacks, foe-bun, toys, fluff and everything else that needed to be done. We got there just in time, even with a quick change into other hole-less pair of tights.

Little Al was very excited to be in the auditorium. She started counting and labelling the posters on the walls. Every one got to their seats and it was showtime!

Big Al's class were second on the line-up. His segment was called The Disney Channel with music from The Parent Trap Soundtrack. Once the girls and two boys got on the stage the oohs, awww and laughter began. Tears started to swell up in my eyes as I saw Big Al cross the stage. The lights were very bright but he still had a smile on his face. He learned every dance move. His partner did not, she was busy doing something with other girl. He wasn't going to let her mess up, so he kept grabbing her when it was time to do something. TOO CUTE! He was getting down with his bad self! Leo, the other boy in the class, was very scared and barely moved.

Three performances passed and Big Bea was up. Her segment was called Classic Arts Showcase with music by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Just AMAZING! Big Bea really showed off her stuff. The music moved much more quickly then last year. Big Bea kept up to speed. She was front stage right the entire performance. She was also given more moves to do. She has learned a lot this year in ballet and it shows. She kept her performance a secret to me and I see why. She didn't want me to know that she is has been move to the front not only because she is short but because she is AWESOME!

The entire show was great and the boys stole the show. There were five boys in total and all eyes were on them.

I love that my kids are involved in something together that brings all parts of our family together. We all come together in support of our children.

Looking at Big Al on the stage you would never know his is a special needs child. Autism was not written across his costume. He danced like a prince. Many years of work got him on that stage.

My son has Autism and he is a DANCER!  (as tears rolls down my face)

I am so happy that I made the decision to have them enter Bronx Dance Theatre. Running back and fourth on Saturdays @ 11am and 2pm, prepping them for class and the big show and making sure everything was right (even nagging a little) is beyond worth it.

I can't wait until I see Little Al on that stage in 2013. She enjoyed herself the most. She was dancing in her seat and singing to all the Lady Gaga songs.

Time to rest the dancing shoes for now.

Pictures curiosity of Erick Vividor.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Easter Seals Walk With Me 2011 & The Last Day Of Color

 Because of my work schedule and everything else in between, I rarely get to visit Easter Seals Development Center for events that The Al's  their classes may have. Give me a Saturday event anytime!



I raised an amazing $540 for Easter Seals, AWESOME!


The rain held out long enough for us to do arts and crafts with one of the aides from Big Al's class. We enjoyed some great music and company. Then back to the Bronx we went for ballet dress rehearsals for my dancers. Tomorrow is the big day.
The last day of the week of color. Saturday White, Brown and Black.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Red-ish Monday & Rectial Pictures

I love being a dance mom. I love that my kids are involved in something outside of school. Something that I wished I did as a child instead of staying home and doing nothing. My kids are not in competitive dance, they dance for fun. Their big show is on Sunday. I can't wait to see my dancers on stage.

Today they took pictures with this year's costumes. Becky looked like a beautiful young lady and Alex looked like a cute pie! In BDT parents are not allowed to take peeks of what the child is doing. It avoids A LOT of drama. Yes. it would be great to see Becky and Alex do their thing but I want them to explore dance sans-mommy. So I dress them up to look their best and sent them off for their photos. No tears...for them anyway. My babies are growing up so quickly.

Here are my Monday Week of Color Pictures.

Aly @ ES

Blooming @ NYBG

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Blue Sunday & Some Purple Too

Flower @ NYBG

World's Fair Tickets @NYSci

When You Mix Red and Yellow....It Makes Orange... ALRIGHT!

To celebrate the:

1- first full week in June and the most busiest one
2-17 more work days until summer vacation
3- LIFE!


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

Sunday -Blue & Purple

Monday - Red

Tuesday -Green

Wednesday - Yellow

Thursday - Orange

Friday- Pink

Saturday -White, Black and Brown


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

On Your Mark, Get Ready, Set.......GO!

The busy schedule of June events has begun. School functions, dance recitals, parties and a walk. I am very excited that we are able to participate in so different events.

This weekend we attended Easter Seals School Picnic. It was great to finally be apart of this event. I finally got to see The Al's with their peers and therapist in action but just in pictures.

This weekend we also attended friend/co-worker's son's birthday party. We all enjoyed ourselves at Casa de Cornish. Yummy BBQ and fun for the kids and adults.

Tomorrow is Big Bea's FINAL state exam for 4th grade. Thank God! Testing has drained everyone. Because she has worked very hard on all her exams, after tomorrow she doesn't have to wear her school uniform anymore. (Because Mommy said so!)

Tomorrow Big Al and Big Bea are taking their dance photos. Tonight, sewed, steamed and polished everything. I can't wait to see them all put together.

Next weekend is the walk, dress rehearsal, the big show and another birthday party.

PS: Happy 31st Birthday to my Angry Black Man.