Proof is in the grade!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Happy belated Veterans Day (THANK YOU to all veterans and those currently serving) and my thoughts are with the people in the Philippines and their worried friends and family throughout the world.  May help arrive as soon as possible and heal those in need.  May the people who lost their lives rest in peace.

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So, I’ve been wondering whether or not I did the correct thing in asking for my daughter to be placed in another first grade class with a new teacher.  I got the answer this past Friday when my daughter’s teacher wanted a word with me regarding speech therapy for Olivia.  I told her that we tried to get her therapy last year while she was in Kindergarten, but due to her above average grades, they felt that she didn’t need the therapy.  Olivia’s new teacher balked at that.  We are starting the process once again in order to give my daughter the help she needs because this year it’s affecting her spelling, writing, and communicating skills.  There are certain letter sounds in which Olivia has a hard time pronouncing so if she’s writing a word that includes these sounds, she spells the word wrong.  At home we do practice with her enunciating certain words and letter sounds, but she still needs a therapist.  Within a week, her new teacher picked up on this and that’s why I’m loving her.  Also, my daughter was given her first spelling test with the words of the week, which we studied for by writing them over every day, looking at homemade flash cards, and making sentences for each word.  She scored a:

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The proof is in the grade.

I did the right thing and the added bonus is a teacher who’s going to battle for my daughter to get the services that she rightfully deserves.  Last year, Olivia’s Kindergarten teacher mentioned that there was some issues regarding her speech, so we started the process of requesting speech therapy for her.  It was completely drawn out.  My husband and I scheduled and attended meetings, I wrote many letters and finally (many months later) my husband took Olivia to be evaluated, per an appointment made by the Board of Education.  This evaluation proved that Olivia was not struggling in school.  They concluded that she was above average, but that’s not what we asked for.  She can’t say certain letter sounds, but because she was achieving superb grades in Kindergarten, they decided that she would grow out of it.  That was their conclusion.  Obviously they were wrong, because it’s starting to affect her now in the 1st grade and if not dealt with, it might get worse, but I’m not going to let that happen.  No matter how many letters I have to write or meetings I have to attend, my child will get the assistance that she needs.

I’m her advocate.

I’m her mom.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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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…

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…

Funny face lunch times two

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

You know I love making funny faces in the form of food for my daughter, Olivia.

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I made this funny face monster (apple slices, banana, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, white cheese and mayo sandwiches) for her lunch the other day and made something else for my youngest, Sophia.  Well,  Miss Sophia was not happy that I didn’t make her a funny face lunch as well and the reason why I didn’t make her one is because she can be picky with her food.

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Cut to a few days later and I made these funny face lunches using apple slices, a cherry tomato, banana, marshmallows, mini chocolate chips, a cheese stick, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Both girls loved seeing these funny faces, but only one of them ate the whole thing up.  Take a wild guess who didn’t finish her plate, but it’s ok.  She has her days and I will continue to present her with these special lunches until she says enough.  Until then, bon appétit

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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Think Breakfast

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Yesterday was my daughter’s last day as a Kindergartener!  It’s definitely amazing how I can feel as if time flew on by, but at the same time the jitters and anxiety over the first day of school are still fresh in my mind.  Like they say, “it was just yesterday…”, and that’s how I’m feeling.  With time, the unknown (school/Kindergarten) became familiar, but now we’re full circle and back to the unknown (1st grade).  I say unknown because I have absolutely no recollection of my time in the early years of school and this is my first kid entering the school system, so there you go.  Now, I can only hope that some of her new friends are placed in her new class and she’s given a great teacher like the one she had before, whom by the way I want to thank once again for writing a lovely message in my daughter’s Dr. Seuss “Oh, the places you’ll go! ” book.  Her message made me cry because it was so nice of her and I couldn’t wait to show it to Olivia.  I did debate on whether or not to keep the book and its messages a secret for a great surprise in the future, but then I don’t think the memory of each teacher would be fresh.  At the end of every school year I’m going to do my best to get a personal message from each teacher written in that book just for Olivia.  It’s a great idea and I knew once I heard about it that I was going to do it.  I’m very happy that I did.

Changing subjects and making the title of this post relevant, I wanted to share with you a great program that was introduced to my daughter at school.  It brings awareness to eating a healthy breakfast.  There’s even a song and dance called “Think Breakfast,” which Olivia performed with her class at her school during their annual festival dance.  She also received a water bottle and a pedometer (promoting hydration and exercise).  The pedometer was a hit with Olivia.  It simply fascinated her that this little gizmo could count her steps.  Of course, she put it to the test by walking around our apartment and stopping every so often to see the latest number.

Olivia: What number is this?

Me: Two hundred and fifty-eight

Olivia: Whaaaat?  That’s a really big number.

Me:  It sure is.  You’re walking a lot.

Olivia: I want to walk until it says 1 mile.  What number is that?

Me: Ten thousand, one, zero, zero, zero, zero.

Olivia: Whaaaat?

🙂

Check out the website for recipes, videos, activity pages, and games.  I had both girls watching the video, learning the dance steps and singing the song.  A funny and wonderful memory just for me.

http://www.thinkbreakfast.com/

Take good care all.

Until next time…

My Kindergarten Graduate!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Another day, another milestone has come and gone.  My darling daughter, Olivia, graduated from Kindergarten today.  It was pretty exciting and the ceremony was kept short, sweet and simple.  Her school decided on breaking things into sessions, which is great because kids (and some adults) can get antsy when things take too long.  At my daughter’s ceremony/session, there were 3 graduating classes.  Their names were read by their teachers and each class sang an inspiring song afterwards.  When they were done, we all filed outside and my daughter was given her diploma by her teacher.  Lots of pictures were taken and off we went home.  It wasn’t drawn out and I didn’t even cry one tear, which is very surprising!  The sun was shining and my heart is contempt with knowing that my child had a wonderful start with her education, had a kind teacher, and made new friends.  I can only hope that things run as smoothly as they did for the following school year.

A special thanks to Mrs. Licata!  You will always be her first teacher and she absolutely loves you!

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1st grade, here I come!

Congratulations Olivia!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Building blocks + Mario & friends = FUN!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I believe the best toy we ever bought after having our first child was a set of colorful building blocks (STEP 2).  From the moment we received them, back in 2008, it has been non-stop fun for both my girls and visiting family members.  We corral and store the blocks in an empty, taped up diaper box.  These blocks have nurtured my children’s imagination, creativity, color and shape knowledge.  Also, let’s not forget the most important aspect of blocks, knocking them down.  If there’s ever one toy to get and keep for a while it’s definitely this one.

Today, my youngest brought out the blocks and decided to include Mario and friends (another great toy purchase because this little girl loves these plush toys to bits).  She asked me to help her build it tall so she can “bust through it.”  Okay, I told her to bust through it and she had a ton of fun doing just that.

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TAKE GOOD CARE ALL.

UNTIL NEXT TIME…

It’s School Spirit Week – Wed., Thurs., and Friday

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Today is the last day of my daughter’s school spirit week.  Here’s what we did:

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Wednesday was Crazy Hat Day

 My daughter, Olivia, wore her Perry the Platypus hat from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb.  It’s not exactly a crazy hat, but it does have great personality and Olivia loves this hat.

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Thursday was Decade Day

I decided that the decade of peace and love was the way to go so my husband bought a plain tee and a tie dye bandana for Olivia.

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I took the bandana and scanned it on my printer so I could have the same image to iron on my daughter’s T-shirt with transfer paper.

It came out great!  I told my daughter to say, “peace and love,” but she got all shy on me and didn’t want to say it.  Oh well, she still looked so darn cute!

And last but not least…

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…Today (Friday) is Jersey Day

Students were asked to wear a jersey or shirt of their favorite team.  The Mercado household are big NY GIANTS fans so off she went with her T-shirt and I picked up her hair using red, white, and blue ponytail holders.  Let’s go Giants, when the season starts again, of course!

It was fun putting together and participating in her school’s activities.  I can’t wait for next year!

Take good care all.

Until next time…