“My Family” Picture Books by Claudia Harrington

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

At the library you can always find me searching through the new titles in the children’s section.  I love picking books that are going to teach and show my children something different.  I want them to know and understand different topics including families that aren’t your typical mom and dad.  I don’t shy away from books that deal with topics that are deemed controversial.  For me, if it’s age appropriate and tackles the topic in a respectable and loving manner, then I’m checking the book out and reading it with my children.

The “My Family” picture books by Claudia Harrington was a great find at the library.  I was quickly drawn to them and super excited.  I didn’t think twice about putting them in the check out pile.  I was able to find 3 titles out of the 6 in the series.

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by Claudia Harrington, Illustrated by Zoe Persico

Here’s a brief synopsis of these titles above:  Lenny is the class reporter in these books and he follows his classmates home for a school project.  He learns about Elsie and her life with her two moms, Connor and his life with his dad and military mom, and Jasmine and her life with her two dads.

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These are the other three book titles in the series.

Honestly, what I loved the most about these books is the innocence that is conveyed through the character’s story of who does what within their families respectively.  Each character’s way of life is what they’re accustomed to and they can’t wait to share it with their friend.  I loved that!

I highly recommend these books.  You should check them out at your local library and if they don’t have it, request it!

Take good care all!

Until next time…

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Remember me?

Hello everybody!

Remember me?

Probably not, but that’s okay because it’s my fault.

Let me re-introduce myself. I’m Angelica and I hope you guys are doing well.

A lot has happened since my last post, which was back in April of this year.

Here’s the rundown:

 

1. My sister and her fiancé announced they were expecting their first child!!!

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Congrats Dave and Monchie!!

2. My youngest daughter turned 4 years old and we had a party at the bowling alley! The theme was Peppa Pig and my husband made her TWO cakes! Yes, my hubby made those cakes you see below!

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Two Peppa Pig cakes

3. My daughter received a certificate in her school for writing an essay on the most special woman in her life. She chose to write about her Grandma Rose (my mom, Rosa).

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The essay read:  A remarkable woman in my life is my Grandma Rose.  She’s a very brave and strong woman.  She became ill a few years ago and isn’t able to walk without her crutches, but she recently surprised us by walking without them by using her special brace on her right leg.   This was very exciting for me.  I held her hand and we walked together.  It’s a memory that we now share.

(That’s a black and white copy of the original above.  My daughter drew the picture and asked my mom if she could send her a picture of her wearing the brace so she could draw it.  My daughter gave my mom the original for Mother’s Day.)

4. My oldest daughter turned 7 years old and we had another party at the same bowling alley! The theme was the Minions from the movie, “Despicable Me” and this time around the cake was store bought (yeah, we got lazy, but the cake was still yummy).

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The birthday girl and her Minion cake!

5. My daughter successfully completed the first grade!

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Summer vacation begins!

6. We went to see the New York Yankees play against the Toronto Blue Jays!

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My youngest strikes up the funniest poses! 🙂

7. We went on vacation for a week with family to a Pocono resort, The Villas at Tree Tops. We had a lot of fun and great memories were created.

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8. Final days of the summer were spent going to the library and spending time with family, then it was back to school!

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My oldest entered the second grade and I’m keeping my youngest with me at home, even though she can enter Pre-K, but I’ll rather have that time teaching her myself and having fun together before she officially goes off to school next year.

So that’s the recap and there are so many things in the horizon, for example, we’re preparing to move (yikes, more on that later on), a Halloween themed baby shower as well as a destination wedding next year in beautiful Puerto Rico. Oh boy! or girl…it’s a surprise, due in November. We can’t wait and I hope to be a better blogger!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

 

A stressful month…

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’ve been missing in action and it’s due to my wonderful powers of procrastinating, lack of ambition, and finally my computer crashing (even though there were warning signs for several months that something was awry in the system, I chose to…I’ll give you one guess…If you said, procrastinate, then you would be correct).  Plus, I’ve been dealing with the fact that my daughter’s 1st grade teacher left after teaching for a month and her replacement didn’t seem to keen on picking up where she had left off.  In fact, my daughter was constantly coming home without her sight words for the week or knowing the lessons needed to complete the homework assignments.  My instincts kept telling me to do something, speak up.  I voiced my concerns with the principal and vice principal of the school.

“Let’s give the new teacher some time to catch up.”

Every day I felt this weight getting heavier and heavier. 

“Let’s give her a week.” 

I felt the stress building up.  I didn’t want to let my daughter down.  After all, this is her education and it does start from the beginning, especially now with the common core standards in place.  New words and mathematical strategies are being introduced to our children every day.  So, if they’re not learning these very important lessons NOW, then they can’t continue to the next grade.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was when my daughter and I had to go online and learn how to do the new math strategies, that should have been taught in class on that particular day, but weren’t, in order to complete her homework assignment.

“Time’s up lady!” 

I’m not saying that I have a problem teaching my daughter because I don’t.  I am her first teacher, her advocate (like her Kindergarten teacher told me), but she’s also going to school for a reason.  Right?

Yesterday morning, the weight was lifted off my shoulders when I called the school for an update and was informed that my daughter was happily in her new class, with her new teacher.

Goodbye October, hello November.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

A lesson learned

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

This past Sunday, my daughter lost her second tooth.  I know what you’re thinking, “here comes another crazy mom detailing every single milestone her child goes through.”  And yes, I do that once and awhile, but there’s more to this story and I wanted to share it with you.

My daughter had wiggled her tooth to the point where it was unattached (in the back), but still hanging on tight (in the front).  This, of course was driving her nuts because she wanted a certain fairy to pay her a visit so she begged me to take it out.  I tried, but couldn’t bring myself to complete the mission because I didn’t want to damage her gums or something, I don’t know.  Then my husband calmly came into the bathroom with a tissue in hand and gently, but swiftly, took the tooth out like nothing.  Olivia and I were shocked and then the excitement ensued.  She wanted to place the tooth under her pillow a.s.a.p.  I, on the other hand started panicking a little because I wasn’t ready with the little surprises the “tooth fairy” was going to leave behind and it was already bedtime.  Lucky for me, my husband came to the rescue, once again, and found two chocolate gold coins for me, I mean the tooth fairy, to place under Olivia’s pillow as well as a crisp dollar bill and a lost tooth certificate (I printed that out after my daughter went to bed).

As we prepared to tuck Olivia into bed, she suddenly remembered something.  She told us that a classmate had taken her tooth to school to show everyone.  We asked her who and her excited face completely shifted into a more serious, sad-looking face as she remembered something else.  The same little girl didn’t want Olivia to sit next to her one day.  Olivia’s quivering voice and innocent, sad eyes simply broke my heart.  She continued to tell us how this little girl didn’t want to be friends with her as well and that she didn’t know why.  We reassured her that it was ok and with that my daughter remembered her tooth and her excitement returned.  Just like that and I learned a lesson from my daughter.  She wasn’t going to let that incident in the past take away from her current joy.  Of course that lesson learned was short and sweet for me because it wasn’t easy to go back to the happiness at hand.  I was still dwelling on the fact that my daughter’s feelings were hurt.  It was gut wrenching seeing my little girl’s smile turned upside down and hearing her say, “I don’t know why she didn’t want to be my friend.”  As a parent, you never want your child to get hurt, but deep down inside we know that it’s part of life and that it’s going to happen, no matter what, because we can’t be with them 24/7.  We can though teach our children to be kind to others and stand up for those who need help.  Those are the lessons that I’m going to be teaching my girls as well as many others.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Dads Take Your Child To School Day

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Today was a special day at my daughter’s school.  It was their annual “Dads Take Your Child To School Day” (A project of the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance).  It’s special in my household because I’m normally the one that takes my daughter to school while my husband goes to work early, but today Olivia got to walk hand in hand with her daddy all the way to school.  Just them, and the smile on her face as I waved goodbye from my window was priceless.  It’s very important for children to have a male figure they can count on in their lives.  The flier that was sent home with my child inviting dads to this event also stated that “If dads are unavailable to attend the event, invite grandfathers, foster fathers, step-fathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers or male friends of the family.”

I applaud this project and their efforts to promote awareness that everyone in the family plays a very important part in a child’s life.  My husband absolutely loved taking part in this event because he’s a devoted father and he’s always curious to see how things run, especially his child’s school.  He was able to see Olivia in her class first hand and she was able to introduce him to her classmates.  It was a win, win situation that’s worth it in the long run.

Start building a great relationship with your child and their school today.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Celebrating the one you love

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

My husband celebrated his 37th birthday last week.  We decided to spend the day at the New York Aquarium as well as the kiddie rides in Coney Island.  The aquarium is currently under construction, due to Hurricane Sandy, so many of their exhibits were closed, but we were able to see the seals perform.  They were magnificent!

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We finished our Coney Island adventure/birthday celebration by taking a quick walk on the beach.  My husband and I gazed at the cruise ships as they sailed away, while the girls played with the sand and filled up their shoes with it!  🙂

We got home late and I was so happy that we had given the birthday boy his card and gifts early on in the morning.  I want to share with you the words that I wrote to this extraordinary man in his birthday card.  Why?  Because I want to celebrate the one that I love.  I do believe that I hit the jackpot and I’m not going to apologize if you think that I’m bragging because finding a companion that truly accepts you and takes everything into consideration is hard.  He is by no means perfect, but he has so many qualities that many men lack or simply don’t want to share with their significant others.  We say, “please” and “thank you” to each other.  These simple words can mean the world.  He says to me, “Thank you for taking care of our children,” and that fills my heart, soul, and mind with calmness.  I feel appreciated.  I say to him, “Thank you for working hard to support our family,” and that shows him that I value him going out into the tumultuous world and sacrificing time with his family in order to give us what we need to survive.  We NEVER curse at each other because we RESPECT one another.  I’m not saying that I don’t curse because I do and so does he.  If I stub my toe, oh yes, the shit word will be flying out of my mouth, but if we happen to have a disagreement, curse words don’t help.  They make things worse and the respect card gets thrown out the window.  It’s as simple as that.  Plus, it helps that we genuinely love each other so there you go.  I wholeheartedly believe that friendship before a relationship is a great foundation for an everlasting union.  Just think about it, there are many people who are friends for life.  So, why not incorporate that with the one that you love?

To, Angel

Love, Angie

“Thank you for loving me and taking good care of our family.  You are the greatest example by far of what a real man should strive to become:  A loving husband who understands and respects his wife and a proud, doting father, who’s also hands on, and loves his children to pieces.  Thank you for your commitment and your strength.  I hope all your wishes come true because YOU deserve it.”

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Celebrate the one you love!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Back to school!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Today was the first day of school for my oldest daughter, Olivia.  She started the 1st grade and I will admit that my nerves were acting up, but I didn’t let them get the best of me.  Olivia on the other hand, was as cool as a cucumber so I hushed my neurotic side down because I wanted her to stay that way.  We got into the groove with our school routine.  Brush your teeth, eat breakfast, uniform on, hair done, backpack, and out the door.  Once we arrived at school, of course, things were chaotic, but manageable.  My husband and I were able to dodge and weave our way over to Olivia’s new teacher where we introduced ourselves.  She was very happy to see us both there with Olivia.  We said our “see you laters” and off Olivia went to sit with her new class.  I waved goodbye a couple of times and watched her from afar as she chatted up kids and showed them her summer collage.  I left with a small pang in my heart, but I was more calmer than last year leaving her in school because I could tell that Olivia was comfortable.  Here’s hoping that she has a great school year.

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Students were instructed to put together a summer collage and bring it to school on the first day.  I glued all the pictures and had Olivia write a small description of the things that she did and the places she visited during the summer.

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Good luck my 1st grader!

Take good care all!

Until next time…

A Dream Come True Playground

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

What if all playgrounds had a name like this?

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Or were developed in this manner?

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I think the world, at least the parenting world, would be a much happier place.  My sister-in-law, Vera, found this playground while searching for places to visit during our vacation in Virginia.  We couldn’t get out of the car fast enough to explore this place and yes, there was a huge parking area.  Brilliant!

I greatly appreciate a well thought out and constructed playground.  This place was so visually beautiful with the rainbow colors.  The play areas were age appropriate and even had a square umbrella on top that shielded the sun.  Again, brilliant!  There’s absolutely nothing like this where I live so my girls had a blast here.

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I love the names of each area.

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My youngest, Sophia, enjoyed making sounds in the musical area and perfecting her balance.

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There was your traditional swings as well as these that are for children who need additional support.  I love that concept as well as the safety guard that goes over the child (Sophia was getting off the swing so you can’t see the guard, which is in the back).  There was even a swing for children in wheelchairs.  I had never seen that before and I immediately thought, “That is so wonderful!”  Sorry, I totally flaked on this one ’cause I didn’t take a pic of the swing.  I was just too mesmerized with this place and running after Sophia.

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My oldest, Olivia,  and her cousins, AJ and Victoria loved the hammock.  I mean, c’mon, look at those smiles.  They’re beaming!

Of course, there’s a great story on how this playground came to life and if you would like to check it out then go here:

http://playandpark.com/news/press-releases/play-park-structures-helps-make-dream-come-true/ and here

http://www.harrisonburgva.gov/dream-come-true-playground

I say, “GREAT JOB!” in making this playground and including all of these features for all kids.  I hated leaving it behind and wished that something as beautiful as this was closer to me.  I can’t wait to visit it again and hopefully go more than once.

This place is definitely a dream come true and worth a visit.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Celebrating a couple of anniversaries on vacation

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

We’re back from vacation again.  This time around we invited our family members to join us for a week at a Massanutten resort http://www.massresort.com/v.php?pg=2 in McGaheysville, VA.  The place was lovely and the condo we stayed in was spectacular, but your wallet takes a beating if you want to do several of their activities.  We mainly stuck to the playgrounds and the pool, which were free.  The one activity we decided to pay for was going on a pony/horse ride along with petting and feeding the farm animals.

My daughters and I rode on a horse for the first time ever.  This was pretty exciting and the smiles on their faces filled my heart with sheer joy, especially my youngest who we thought was going to bail, but instead her grin extended from one ear to the other and it stayed put from the moment she got on the horse until we said goodbye to “the horsie”.  I was very proud of them because when you’re far away from the horse and just looking at them, it seems like it’s not such a big deal, but once you’re up close and about to get on, it’s a different story.  The ride wasn’t long, but it was definitely a great introduction and there are a couple of riding schools where we live that I’m going to be looking into.  Hey, you never know and the more experiences they get out of life, the better.

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 My cowgirls!

We also had fun at the feeding/petting farm.  I was definitely hovering over my youngest because she was getting a little bit too close to the animals and I was afraid of them biting her.  There were ducks, a turkey (who looked pretty mean so we stayed away from its cage), goats, donkeys, a camel, alpacas (my youngest, Sophia, couldn’t stop feeding these guys and she giggled the whole time with them), pigs, rabbits, and a zebra.  Yes, a zebra.

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Olivia was fortunate to be able to feed a baby camel named Clyde.  She also had a lot of fun feeding the donkey who was eating up a storm.  Sophia’s faved animal was the alpaca and she also enjoyed feeding the zebra.

During our vacation I celebrated my blog’s first year anniversary.  It sort of crept up on me and I was shocked that a year had gone by even though it’s around the same time as my wedding anniversary, which I also celebrated.  My sweetheart husband and I have been happily married for twelve years now.  Our family members made a special dinner and we enjoyed it together.  We didn’t need to go out by ourselves because we wanted to be with our family and to make things less stressful we decided to not give gifts, just celebrate together and enjoy being on vacation.  By the end of the week, Olivia desperately wanted us to stay for another day and my four-year old nephew was not happy that we were leaving.  In fact, he was down right mad and didn’t want to say goodbye, but I still kissed him on the forehead real fast.  🙂  The kids not wanting to leave just showed me that they had a wonderful time together and we will definitely be doing this again come next year.  I told my sister-in-law, “Let’s make this family vacation a tradition because we all had a great time.”  I just need a calendar for 2014 so I can jot it down asap.

Take good care all.

Until next time…