Sunday, June 23, 2013

First Soccer Season.

I am so very proud of my Big Al. He completed his first season of soccer. He was very difficult for him physically to keep up with his teammates. He did his best and his coach encouraged him to keep going. Week after week he wanted to go to soccer. He wanted to play with his team mates. He wanted to run around and have fun. I am happy that I made that decision to put him in. 

His team did not win any games this season. Our team weren't upset about it. Week over week our team worked on basic skills. At each game they used these basic skills to make it difficult for the other team to score. They stopped, kicked and sent the ball in the right direction. 

Great friendship were formed. 

Big Al earned his very first medal.

He moves up to the next age league next season. We have all summer to get him ready for the older kids.  

Little Al will be playing next season too....This is going to be interesting. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Closing The CPSE Chapter

I am so happy to finally be done with CPSE. This last school year has been the school year of little to no progress for our Little Al. I believe that the progress that she did make was because of what I work with her at home and what a few of her out of classroom service providers.

If you noticed that over the last school year I really didn't share much of what was going on with my experiences with Little Al in CPSE. Because we are the family that knows what is right and wrong, we were screwed with Little Al placement within her school building. We were given a weak teacher. She  only did what needed to be done to keep Little Al quiet and not crying. In my eyes that means this teacher showed up to work not to work. My daughter requires a lot of work and I feel that this school year was stolen from us.

She only has summer school left and she is off to a better adventure.

Not all of her time at Easter Seals was terrible. We had to pleasure of having Melissa touch Little Al's life. Melissa is amazing. She was Little Al's teacher for EI and year one CPSE. She loves each and every one of her students. I made it my mission to say thank you to her today after Little's Al graduation ceremony. Little Al loves Melissa. When we walked into Little Al's old classroom you can see the joy on her face. Melissa saw and still sees the potential I see in my daughter. She sees her doing so many wonderful things in her future.

Things could have been different and Little Al could have joined Big Al at his community school this September  Little Al has lots of catching up to do.

I promise you she will be out of the 6:1+1 setting out of D75 and before leaving elementary school. My goal is her in our local community school by 2nd grade.

If you know anything about me....I don't play around with two things:

-My Kids

-My Goals.

Bronx Dance Theatre Presents: Once Upon A Time

This dance recital was not like any other recital recital. This dance recital included all three awesome kids. We really lucked out that all three kids were not only on the same show date but also in the same act. The stars were aligned when BDT created the casts. I had already posted about my worries about Little Al getting on stage and being able to handle the controlled chaos backstage. I had to be prepared for anything. Even prepared to miss the show. I put my fears aside and focused on how far she has come.

Little Al was set to be on stage first. That really didn't turn out that way. As soon as the curtains open I didn't see Little Al's class that was the first clue that something was up. Suddenly a backstage volunteer comes jetting in my direction asking for Little Al's mom. She said, "The teacher needs you backstage right now." I quickly ran backstage in my 4.5 inch heels to come to Little Al's rescue. Big Bea was right next Little Al trying to get her to calm down. Nothing was going to calm her down. She was red and sweaty. The noise level backstage was too much for her sensory to handle. I calmed her down the best I could but I needed a quiet space. The teacher directed me to a room off to the side. It was quiet enough that she quickly calmed down. She saw an apple and rose in a basket and was completely amazed by it. She wanted to show her teacher what she had found. This was a very, very, VERY good sign that she was going to be able to get on stage.

It was go time. I was off right behind the girls as Little Al joined her class. She settled into her spot and the curtains opened.

She did her best to overcome the echo in the room. She turned and she twisted. She jumped and ran and when the entire class was off stage she was not. She loved the opened space and backdrop so much she created her very own solo. She was dancing about while everyone offstage was softly screaming, "Someone get Alyson." You could hear the audience laughing so much. It was laughter of joy. She was picked up by a onstage helper as the class exited the stage.

I suddenly became in charge of ALL the creative moment girls and getting them safe backstage. I am a natural at herding small children. So off we went. When we got back stage all the girls sit down nicely. Big Bea helped me gather all of Little Al's things. Little Al was coming with me. She wasn't going to be able to handle the finale. We rushed to get back to my seat because I didn't want to miss Big Al.

I am so happy that I didn't miss him. His smiling face was the first thing you saw when the music played. He was the leader of the girls stage left. You saw how excited he was. He grabbed his partner and she lead him. (Psst...Big Al the boy is suppose to led.) He has really learned a lot in the few months he returned to dance. He loves being on stage.

I am sure that I am biased but he was the star of that number. When he left the stage I realized that there was no helper on the stage for his number. This is a major step for him. He is in a class that did not need extra help. Yes I saw his teacher offstage but there was no one on stage to direct them.

Big Bea was up next. She was so beautiful and graceful. You can see how much she had grown into a youth lady. She has long arms and legs. (When did this happen?) She didn't smile. She told me later on it was because she was so tired from being in the same room as creative moment.

Big Bea is in that age group where they can keep going with ballet or stop. Most girls stop because they think it's for babies. The girls in her age group are there because they want to be. That makes a whole of different on the quality of performance.

I am very proud of Big Bea, Big Al and Little Al.

I am so full of joy.

When we got home I asked Big Bea and Big Al if they would like to continue going to dance in September  They both said yes. I am going to ask Big Al again in September because I think his answer may or may not change. I asked Big Bea why she wanted to stay? She said that it's a great place to meet new friends. We all like the same things and we talk about a lot of stuff. Good answer Big Bea.

Looks like we going to have another recital next year.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Dress Rehearsal For Little Al

The day before the big show of just as stressful if not more stressful. Dress rehearsals are long and at arrival, they are crazy. They are especially crazy with massive amounts of parents that a new to the big show game. They have a million and one questions and want to rage against what has been in place for years. I tried not to be in the way of the flow of things. Little Al's dance teacher was holding on to us tight. (Us meaning me and another Easter Seals parent.) 
Blurred vision
I got to see Little Al meltdown a few times backstage. She did her best on stage. She followed along but the echo in the auditorium slowed her down. This is something that I knew was going to happen. Each and every show that Little Al has seen she holds her ears. There is no difference in sound between sitting in the audience and dancing on the stage. 

I know I am not going to sleep well tonight. I am going to be worried about Little Al. To top it all off I misplaced her gloves. 

Break a leg Little Al. 

Mommy is worried over nothing...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mom of Three Dancers

When Big Bea was about 3 years old I knew I wanted to enroll her in dance class. I just never thought that I could ever afford it or if I ever had the time too. At that time I was working six days a week and struggled a lot financially.

Four years ago I was determined to enrolled Big Bea into a ballet program come hell or high water. I had already lived in my neighborhood for three years and I had my eyes on Bronx Dance Theatre. This studio was only five blocks from my apartment building. I must have pass by it a million times. Each and every time I passed it I would think to myself that I need to go in and get information to enroll. One day I did. After her first season and first performance I knew I wanted her to continue and I wanted Big Al to dance.

When I enrolled Big Al I knew it was the right thing to do.
Now we had two dancers in the family.

And one REALLY big show.

Then we had two really big shows. 

I tried Mom & Me with Little Al and I knew she wasn't ready for Creative Moment. We were offered a scholarship to the studio from Little Al's school to do Creative Moment. I could not say no. I couldn't hold her back. She had to let least try. 

....and then there were three.

Sunday is the big day. 

Sunday is the big show. 

I get to see MY dancers hit the stage. 

I can't wait.

Oakley New York Mini 10K

The Oakley Mini 10K wasn't originally on my list of races that I had planned for the year. It wasn't on the list because Saturday races are difficult to fit in the family schedule. Saturdays are normally reserved for taking the kids to soccer and dance. A runner and a dance mom can not live in the same time and space. After much thought....I decided that I needed to do this race. Besides getting a beautiful finisher medal, this event is an all women event. This is very empowering to participate in a girls only event.

Now because it was a girls only event, I wanted to girlie girl my running outfit. So I decided to buy a Team Sparkle running skirt. I picked out two, one teal and one pink. I wasn't sure what the race tee-shirt color was going to be so I wanted to have options with the skirt. Luckily for me the race tee-shirt is pink and black! I matched everything accordingly.

I love my OCD to take pictures of every thing in sight. It's pretty amazing the amount of pictures I have on my iphone. While I was traveling down to Central Park I got the greatest text from my running buddy. He was handing out MEDALS!! That made me even more excited about this race. Volunteer vests are not flattering.

When I got there I quickly made it to muddy baggage. It was pretty gross. I posted to IG this picture. I had to let my people know that if they were trying to find me I couldn't see them. I didn't have my regualr glasses on. I am blind when I have my sunglasses on. I don't have my prescription in the lens. I really need to change that. (and NO! I don't do contacts people.)

I found my way to my corral. The last corral of course. I am going to change that next year. 

Check out the outfit! Even my K-tape was pink. This was the girly-est I have ever been at a race. I love it!! 

I tried my hardest to stay in one place so that my people could find me but no one saw me. Bummer. How could anyone find anyone in the sea of women?

I noticed one huge difference between regular races and this race...women talk way too much. I couldn't hear anything at the start of the race. So much talking!!! Suddenly we were all off!!! We were running up Central Park West. This was the first time I ever run up that street. It was great seeing the street numbers increase so quickly. I finished my first mile in 11:50, that's my fastest race mile to date. Within that first mile Kathy from NYC Runner Girl ran right passed me. We have tried endlessly meeting each other with out just running pass each other. No luck at this race either. The miles seemed to go by very quickly. Around mile 3.5 my left ankle started to hurt badly! I had to walk most of mile 4 because of it. It think it was the Harlem Hill that caused the pain. I kept it moving. Suddenly...I look up and see a purple skirt!!!!
It was Jackie!! I ran with Jackie the last half of the Brooklyn Half. I ran up too her and gave her a giant running hug. It was so great to see her. We ran about a mile together. I fall back a little because of that ankle pain. When I reached the end I walked right over to my running buddy, I got my beautiful medal and a great big hug! 

My result were great. I was a little disappointed because my pace was sub 14 minutes until my ankle started to hard. Even with the ankle pain I managed to PR for 10K. 

I was so very happy to get home and get my sweaty clothes off of me. 
The kids attacked me when I walked in the down. Big Bea LOVED my medal. I let her wear it the rest of the day.

A few days after the race I got a surprise on IG.  
I am a winner of those awesome shades I am wearing in the picture. I tried them on when I picked up my bib, took a picture and posted on IG. I never thought that I was going to win them. I am so happy I did. I can't wait to pick them up. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Holding Back The Happy Tears

June is here and there is no turning back now. June is Big Show season. This Big Show is the biggest ever. All three of dancers are going to be in the same recital with Bronx Dance Theatre. This Big Bea's fourth show, she is the veteran. This Big Al's third show and he has stated that he is the best. This is Little Al's very first show.

It was a very difficult choice to say yes to Little Al and the Big Show. There is a lot going on with her and focused it the last thing on her mind. She has learn plenty over the last month. All thanks to BDT's patient staff and Easter Seals CDC for providing a scholarship for her to attend.

Today we had our appointment for family dance pictures. When I was getting the kids ready it hit me....this is happening....All of my babies are going to be on stage. I didn't let my doubts stop my babies from being on stage. As I took out their ballet shoes I had to hold back the happy tears. I am so proud of my babies. Life isn't easy for them but n June 16, 2013 my babies are going to show off what they have learned.

I've always believed that kids are a reflection of their parents (most of the time). My awesomeness has rubbed off on them. They are stars in my eyes.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Don't Stop Don't Give Up

Big Al successfully stopped the ball during his soccer game today. It was absolutely amazing!

Last fall Big Al gave up ballet. Since I didn't want him not to have an activity to do, I signed him up for soccer. I signed him up for South Bronx United recreational soccer. He was super excited when we went to pick up his gear. Here he is on his very first day. 

The first half of the season was all about learning to not touch the ball with your hands. The whole team had a problem with this. The first half of soccer time was practicing this. When it was time to play Big Al was sluggish. He really had a hard time focusing on the game and moving from one side of the field to the other. By the end of the game you can see he was wiped out. To the "normal" eye you see a tired kid but to me I see his physical delays showing. He was never upset that he can't keep up with his team to just kept going. He didn't let anything stop him. 

Fast forward to today....

We have reached the end of the season. Big Al only has a few more Saturdays of soccer left. When we get to the field he quickly wants to run around to warm up. He is not afraid to kick the ball with the other kids that are on the field waiting for practice to start. He has learned how to kick a still ball with a running start. 
It's the normal for a team to be a few players short and today was no different. When ever the referees ask who wants to go to other team to makes things even Big Al always, always, ALWAYS volunteers. Because he volunteers so much (so of today) he has officially played on every team in his league. Every one is always impressed that he is so willing to play for other teams. Every one says its the sweetest thing ever. It's very noble of him. 

In noble fashion, he volunteered to play for the Lime Green team while his team played on other field. While playing with Lime Green he stressful stopped the ball from going towards the other team's goal. A little light bulb went off in his head and you saw the moment when it happen. I am so proud of my son. He has definitely come a long way since the start of the season. Maybe next season he will score a goal.