Or Lack Thereof

When you enter corporate America there are certain things you sign up for, health insurance (hopefully not a crappy one), higher salaries and a yearly bonus. In the 16 years I’ve been on the street I’ve always received a fair assessment of my work and in turn a bonus. Even if the bonus wasn’t always what I expected, given the climate of the market the excellent feedback on my work was enough to keep me motivated. UNTIL this year.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Last week one of my friends made the huge decision and left the firm for greener pasture. She’d been at the firm for 7 years and though vocal about her issues to management she, like many other saw no evidence of any substantial change. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by other women in my firm (myself included). So when she hit me up to meet in our cozy enclave and let me know she was leaving, I was excited for her and hopeful that this would be the opportunity to get our concerns out. We spent so much time discussing the key points to the changes, and fine tuned them to the point that only a blind man couldn’t see what was wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

My Boys

Like most of America I’ve been watching, crying and praying about the George Zimmerman trial. Sometimes I think the amount of time I invested in watching it was crazy, but I needed to see the outcome.  Read the rest of this entry »

The very first question every parent gets when there is a new addition to the family, “Who does s/he look like?” I usually answer that they look like both of us but there is always one reason who will disagree (annoying).

This time around every woman I know said Le Munchkin looks like his dad, while every man I know said he looks like me. Well I’m here to say the men were right! Look at this kid, he’s all me!! It helps that my husband agrees. LOL

WELCOME TO THE BLOG WORLD LITTLE BIT!!

One June 2, 2013 I had the pleasure of attending the Brooklyn Baby Expo hosted by the fabulous ladies of A Child Grows in Brooklyn. Along with my two little ones I took the trip to my home of Brooklyn and oh my goodness, we have a great time! As soon as we stepped through the doors we were greeted by amazing vendors. Read the rest of this entry »

In the last month CJ and I have used music to get up and go in the morning. I usually opt for a Machel Montana’s “Pump Yu Flag” because look it’s all about jumping and moving. Click the link, you’ll see for yourself. If all you can focus on is not knowing what he is saying then you’re probably dead, LOL. Read the rest of this entry »

Last night when I got home, I was greeted by a note from my son’s teacher about how he is not making good decisions. In her note, she defined “good decisions” as the ability to sit in his seat, raise his hand things of that nature. I read the note several times before speaking with my husband to get his thoughts. Just as I suspected he thought two things:

1. CJ was being singled out.
2. We need to be harder on him when it comes to school. Read the rest of this entry »

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C.J is blessed to have both his maternal and paternal Grandmothers as well as a Great-Grandmother. The Mr. and I would be lost without them. They nag us, they sometimes yell, but we know it’s all out of love (and their crazy need to control). Now that all the niceties are out of the way, I have a theory about grandmothers.

My Theory: Once mother’s become Grandmothers they become liars.

YEP I said it, LIARS. Some like to say selective memory, but that’s just being nice. My Mom has such “selective memory” that sometimes I have to check in with my siblings to make sure I’m not crazy. This all hit me a few weeks ago when I spoke to her about teaching C.J. how to count and identify coins. I decided to get rolls of coins so he could learn to count—a roll pennies to start. He’d have to count to 50 to complete a roll. This would help him identify the coin, how many make 50 cents and most importantly, this activity would keep him busy. Win, Win,Win and for every roll he finished he could keep and deposit it into his account. Genius right? Well I can’t take the credit for it because my mom made us do it when we were kids. I hate coins to this very day because of this chore. The smell of pennies make me want to gag. I do believe some of my fiscal responsibility comes from having done this.

After deciding to share this with my son I called my mom. I was sure she’d be beaming with pride because I remembered this and wanted to do it with my son. But BOY WAS I WRONG! Not only was she upset, she went on and on about how unnecessary it was, and why would I have him waste time when he could just go to TD bank and dump his change for free. When I protested and said we did it she screamed, “No, you did not, Ra stop making things up,” I was flabbergasted! I made up some excuse about having to go because I was questioning my reality.

Did she really not make me do this? Am I repressing some weird memory. I immediately called my older sister, who could barely hold the phone she was laughing so hard. When she settled down she confirmed that YES my mom had us roll coins and I wasn’t going crazy. Thank God I’m not an only child because i could have ended up in the looney bin over this one. LOL!!

Styling and Profiling

When I look back on old pictures of the kids in my family I get a good laugh, but mostly I fall in love with our outfits. My mom loved to shop, so we were definitely stylish, but what I loved was that we looked like little kids; no labels plastered across our chest, bottoms and backs—the closest we got to that were underoos. In 2011, that’s just not the case and I grow increasingly frustrated with shopping for CJ. After a recent trip to Herald Square (a very rare occurrence) I came up with this list: Read the rest of this entry »

When CJ started kindergarten in September we were anticipating homework from day one to get him in the groove. I wasn’t expecting anything big but maybe a worksheet to finish from the day. That didn’t happen. His new teacher eases the kids into work and homework started around mid November.  I spoke to a few parents and they were not happy about it (neither was the Mr.) but I just felt like it gave me more time to get him up to speed.

I was lucky to have a friend whose son also had the same teacher, and she saved all of the homework projects (SCORE!) and gave them to us in the summer. Even though I had them I can honestly say I didn’t stick to them like I should have (*sigh* I’m such a slacker sometimes) but I did utilize other tools that really helped. Here are a few of my favorites.

Writing:

CJ has known his alphabet in song since he was 2 years old, he sang it all the time. He could even identify the letters as long as they were in order. As he got older he started to be able to identify them even out of order but not as easily, that has since changed. The next step was to get him writing. I can honestly say that I felt defeated in that before we even got started because CJ is left handed. I psyched myself out with that and thought if I could teach myself to write really clearly with my left hand it might help (it did a little) but what really made the difference were these cards.

 

These cards are often used by kids in Montessori programs and are made of sand. The cards have a coarse touch and allow the child to feel what writing the letter feels like. CJ didn’t like them at first complaining that they hurt his finger tips but I can assure you they are not rough enough to hurt, my son can just be a tad dramatic. Now he loves them and when I take the box down he’s ready to go. Even though he has now mastered writing the letters I still use the cards and think I will way into at least the first grade. The cards run about $35.00 on Amazon and are worth the investment. For the DIY moms out there here is a link for making your own: DIY Sand Letters.

Reading:

So we got to a place of ease with writing letters thanks in part to the Montessori sand letters and CJ’s teacher introduced with the first batch of homework the Dolch sight words. Dolch sight words are the 220 most common words and 95 nouns found in children’s book. The Pre-Primer and Primer words should be mastered by the end of kindergarten to give a comfortable start in 1st grade reading. I was kind of excited about this because I’m a big reader and I read to CJ every night so CLEARLY he is going to take to this like a fish in water right? UHM yeah not at first. We started with flashcards, he took to them for all of a day before just getting silly and not wanting to use them. I was frustrated, my husband was BEYOND frustrated and that only lead to CJ being frustrated.  So what did we do, we turned to technology, the iPad to be exact.  There are tons of apps to be used but the most basic and distraction free is ABC Sight Words.

This app contains sight words from Pre-Primer to 3rd grade and has a separate link for Nouns and cost nothing! It’s one of the best free apps we’ve used. Easily navigated a voice guides the kids through each word allowing the kids to hear the word, each letter (when touched) and more importantly trace each word. This app saved a lot of lives on the way to summer camp(how’s that for a review). Once he was comfortable using the iPad we added the flash cards back into the mix.

So this has worked so far, the challenge is keeping him from getting bored, tired and frustrated. I have a few tricks up my sleeves though. I made myself a promise to review all the tools I’ve been using good and bad because I’m sure I’m not the only parent out there trying to figure it out.

 

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