Crazy Hair Day

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Last week we celebrated all things great of Dr. Seuss with book readings, poems, and special activities that included wearing a hat to school (crazy or favorite), Dr. Seuss colors (black, white, and red), pajamas, and our favorite, crazy hair.  Of course, my daughters were super excited, especially my young one because it was going to be her very first crazy hair day at school.

I wanted to do something special, but keep things simple at the same time.  This is what we came up with:

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We decided to turn a hair bun into a birdie’s nest by taking brown, tan, and green pipe cleaners and twisting them around the bun so they could look like twigs and leaves.  Then we stuck several feathers in and last but definitely not least, the main attraction was these little paper birdies that we found at AC Moore craft store.  It was easy to attach the birds onto the bun because the birds already had a metal hair clip.

Of course, these buns can be decorated more and taken to another level, but like I said before, I wanted to keep things simple.  My girls were super happy with the results (mission accomplish!) and ready to participate in crazy hair day.

Take this idea and let your imagination and creativity fly!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and at my daughter’s school they did something pretty cool this year.  They wanted their students to decorate and bring in a valentine holder for their valentine cards and treats.

My kindergartener and I decided to decorate an empty graze snack box (graze.com) because it was already partially decorated for Valentine’s Day (red hearts) and it was the perfect size to transform into a purse/clutch valentine holder! 🙂

We just added my daughter’s name in the front (covering the graze name) along with some 3D valentine stickers

and glued a piece of purple construction paper in the back and decorated it with a variety of stickers.

Back

I secured the box with a little bit of clear tape and made a slot, which we decorated with a fabric, flower ribbon, for the valentine cards and treats to go in.

We recycled the clear plastic backing, which you can probably see in the first 2 pics, of the glitter tape decoration that we placed around the box (not shown in the pics) for the purse strap.  I then showed my daughter how she could hold the box two ways:  as a clutch with her hand or a shoulder purse with the strap.  The giddiness that ensued after transforming that box into her valentine holder will stay with me forever. 🙂

As for my third grader, she had a vision and it involved one of her favorite cartoon characters, SpongeBob Squarepants.  She loves that little dude!

She didn’t want to do plain, old SpongeBob though.  No, she wanted to make SpongeBob in his Kuddly Krab work uniform.   This uniform is featured in the episode titled “Bossy Boots.”

We printed out some pics of SpongeBob wearing the uniform so we could easily reference it.

I also made a template of the purple flower design that’s on the uniform so my daughter could easily trace, cut, and glue the design onto the box.

The materials we used were a cereal box, construction paper (pink, yellow, purple, white, and neon green card stock paper), and pipe cleaners.  We also printed out a small spatula and a “Krabby Patty,” which we taped onto his hands.

        

From a cereal box to “Kuddly Krab SpongeBob Squarepants!”

           

Here’s the breakdown: We gift wrapped the box with pink construction paper using tape and glue.  My daughter traced a big circle out of yellow construction paper for his face and two small circles for his eyes with white paper as well as two little squares for his front teeth.  She then drew the details herself.  She used the template for the purple flower designs and we glued those down as well as his face.  The pipe cleaners were used to make the antennas, arms, legs, socks, and shoes.  She wanted to place two pink hearts on the antennas instead of the red K’s.  For his yellow hands I copy and pasted a picture of SpongeBob and cropped the pic until his hands were the only things on the screen, then printed and glued onto the pipe cleaner.  We did the image two sided so it was easier to glue.  A slot at the top of the box ensures that valentine cards and treats will go in nicely!

There you have it!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!

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…

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…

Comparing First and Last day of School pictures

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I wanted to share this idea, which I did with my daughter, that I saw on Pinterest.  On Olivia’s first day of school we took pictures, of course, but I also took pictures on her last day of school so we could compare and see how much she grew.  Boy, did she ever!

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Her sweet, little baby face has disappeared and in its place is a sweet, little girl who had so much fun learning.  I’m going to do this every school year so I can see my little girl grow into a fine adult.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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…

Many thanks

Many thanks

Thank you for being Olivia’s first school teacher.                                                           

Thank you for being so kind.                        

Thank you for noticing her struggles and fighting for her rights.                                  

Thank you for teaching her the tapping method, which she loves to utilize.                                              

Thank you for the smile that appears on her face when she’s read

something at her own pace.                                                             

Thank you for teaching her songs that she loves to sing.                                                            

Thank you for being a great teacher.          

 Thank you for everything!

– Angelica Mercado

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Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

There is officially two more days of school here in Brooklyn and I’m sending my daughter up to the last day for two reasons.  I want her to finish her Kindergarten year like a pro and I want her to enjoy the central air conditioning the school has to offer because it’s freaking hot (93 degrees to be exact)!  I’m also sending my daughter with a thank you card filled with graduation pictures and those words above.  I wrote them for her teacher who is a great person and I’m so glad that my daughter was able to begin her education with a smart and kind woman.  She will never be forgotten and she will always be her first teacher.  Thank you Mrs. Licata!

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…

A glance at today’s school lunch from home

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Many thanks to those who liked my happy faces lunch.  I do enjoy making them for my daughters.  I wanted to share how I make my oldest daughter’s lunch for school.  At first, I was very scared of what I would pack for her since I’ve never packed a lunch before and I wanted to send her off to school with food that was healthy and, of course, that she liked.  This is what I packed for her today:

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I try to do as much as I can the night before.  When I’m making her Peanut Butter & Jelly sandwiches, I basically prep the bread by cutting the crust with a Good Bites cutter (yellow thingy above in the pic), then I seal it away in the sandwich container.  I do the same for the veggies.  I cut and place in the fridge.  In the morning I put the PB&J on the bread and a little bit of salad dressing on the veggies.  I also cut a piece of banana and put some peanut butter on it.  This is one of her faves.  I also include a snack like goldfish crackers with raisins.  As for her drink we do water one day and the next day I add a small juice box plus her water bottle so she drinks juice for lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The containers that I use held baby food once from Target’s brand Up & Up.  They’re pretty handy and stack up well in my daughter’s lunch bag.

I try to stick to serving sizes because that’s important and I do change up the menu days so my daughter doesn’t get bored with the food.  I’m always on the look out for new food ideas to include in her lunch bag, especially healthy ones, and I’m doing my best with food labels, which can be tricky.  I’m not going to say that I don’t let my daughter indulge in sweets (lollipops, ice cream sandwiches, cookies, etc.) because that would be a lie, but my husband and I try to keep her active by taking her to the park, Saturday mornings they train in Judo, and every week-day, as long as the weather is cooperating, I take her scooter with me when I’m picking her up from school so she can scoot home.  Every little bit helps and counts.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Welcome Spring!

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Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Some mornings are very hectic in my household even when I try to have things laid out already.  Time is a sneaky little monster that jumps out horribly at you when you’re trying to put shoes on, zip up sweaters, wrap scarves around, and place hats on two little girls with ants in their pants.  Oh, and don’t forget bundling yourself up.  Today was a good day.  I was able to leave the house on time and actually walk my daughter to school instead of jogging/running with her there before they slam close the doors.  She doesn’t mind the fast pace though because in her case she BOUNCES her way to school with excitement practically every day.  My kid doesn’t do walking, unless there’s three feet of snow in which then she wants to drag her feet and bask in the glory of snow heaven.  Other than that, it’s all running everywhere.

This morning my daughter was EXTRA excited because they were going to dye eggs in her classroom.  Her teacher asked that the kids bring in two hard-boiled eggs and I was brainstorming yesterday night on how I was going to transport these eggs without them cracking in her bag.  I thought, “Why not use the egg carton itself?” so I cut off one of the ends of the styrofoam carton and placed the eggs like this:

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Then I put it into a food storage container that fit perfectly and off to school she went with her eggs safely in her backpack.  I don’t really remember if I ever dyed Easter eggs with my mom or even in school, but this year we’re definitely going to be dyeing some eggs come Easter week-end.  I just have to remember to be patient and have fun, no matter what messes occur.  Let the cracked eggs and spilled paint fall where they may.  That’s what brooms and paper towels are made for, but just in case I will repeat silently this little mantra, “Just let go and make sweet memories.  That’s all that matters!”

Today is the start of Spring so lets welcome it with open arms even if we’re still bundled up over here in Brooklyn.

Take good care all.

Until next time…