Friday, August 28, 2009

Chu and Kindergarten

My oldest son, Matthew (we call him Chu at home), just started kindergarten last week. This is his second week of school. I've never been relieved my whole life that its FINALLY FRIDAY!! He was so excited to go to school last week he woke up at 5:30AM just to remind me to wake him up at 6:00AM. It's a big CHANGE for him. Waking up early, eating a very early breakfast and a different schedule than summer. A few days ago though I have noticed he's been having some meltdowns after school. I figured he's just tired and not wanting to do anything after school. But he has homework 4 times a week - Monday till Thursday. Right now they're having to do 15 minutes of reading everyday and writing. Matthew is not fond of writing at all. He's doing great in reading but when it comes to writing he's really dreading it. He says it's boring. I don't really want to push him but he needs to get his homework done. So doing homework with him is like pulling teeth everyday!! He doesn't want to take a nap after lunch anymore so he gets really cranky.
Today, I talked to some of the parents having the same problems with their children. They have to deal with their kids crying coming out of class because they said they got to orange that day. They have a discipline system where when they do something "bad"or not paying attention in class they get to flip a card and it goes from green, to yellow, to orange and to red. Matthew's gotten to orange once and yellow twice I think. At first, Ryan and I would talk to him about it...asking him what he did to get that and he can't even remember. We gave him incentives and positive reinforcements if he stays in green.
Then, when I talked to the other parents they said their kids feel the same way that the teacher is very strict...for a kindergarten teacher she's really not the huggable type...and not the kind who gives high fives to kids....uh for me this is a red flag and as a mother I feel so bad now...that I've taken a step back and really think about this. Maybe I've pushed Matthew too hard..this is just the second week of school for Pete's sake and he's already feeling so pressured to do all kinds of things. Not to mention, 3 &1/2 of school and no recess! Yes! the teacher said it's not even enough for them to get their academics done. These are 5 year old kiddos....and couple of weeks ago they've just been hanging around the house doing nothing but playing and goofing around.
Now I really feel like I have to volunteer as much as I can just to be able to sit in the class and try to see what's really going on. If it's too much pressure for my son, then we'll have to move him to a regular school. I liked that he's in the advanced class right now because in preschool he seemed to be bored but now I don't know anymore....
I have to see to it that from here on out...when he gets out of school everyday, we do something fun...just to have him loosen up a little...and to remind him that he's still just a kid. For the mean time, I'll keep a close eye, as much as I can, with what's going on in his class. I'm sure it's very overwhelming for the teacher to to be by herself with 25 kids (5 year olds) in her class. I'm sure she needs a lot of parent volunteers and maybe by then we can all loosen up a little!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to school

Last week, my son got back to school and it was a sad and happy day for me. He's growing up so fast and I'm happy that he's really excited to go back to school but I miss him so much during that time. I guess I just get all mushy everytime he goes back...but I'll get over it. This is a new school so I was anxious to see how he'll fit in and after a few days of being back to school he says he's loving it.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summit County

Well, I just got back from a very nice vacation in Summit County, Colorado. It was really fun. The whole family really had a blast. Before we left I've researched places we can go and things to do as a family. Having little ones, I know I had to plan things in advance that would work with their schedule and our budget. We rented a townhome in Silverthorne. I really recommend VRBO. We were able to get a great townhome that had 4 bedrooms and it was spacious and a great upgrade from staying in a hotel. I was really happy to find out that the prices in the grocery stores up there are the same as the ones we have back home. I love Kroger supermarkets ( King Soopers / City Market ). They have fresh produce and lots of organic items with prices that really fits your budget. They had tons of restaurants and fastfood places you can go to but a lot of times my family and I love to cook and have meals at home. Renting a townhome lets us do all that.
Oh, did I mention the Silverthorne Outlets. Talk about good deals. I love to shop name brands for less and this is the place to go. Especially for kids clothes. Just up the road from HWY 6 is Dillon and further up is Keystone. And if you take I-70 going west, the next exit #203 leads you to Frisco and Breckenridge.
I'm not much of a skier or snowboarder but in the summertime. These are just the kind of places I'd like to go to. Beautiful spots, LOADS of outdoor stuff to do...for the whole family. In Frisco, we were able to rent a boat. It was a 12 seater and $150.00 for two hours around Lake Dillon was not a bad deal. We were able to take our kids and each took a turn with dad on the wheel. They thought it was the best. I talked to my mom on the phone and she asked me where I was and I told her I was at Walmart at that time. She can't believe there's a Walmart up there but it's there in Frisco. We were able to get what we need for our little camping activity all at Walmart. Good deal. Frisco is a nice little town with breathtaking views of the mountains and the Lake Dillon. They also have little shops and museums in Main Street and the kids love to just walk around.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

3rd Grade Picture

One of my friends just posted our 3rd grade class picture in facebook and it just brought back a lot of fun memories. I was able to get in touch with one of my classmates that I tripped before and he fell hard on the table. He cried really hard I remember and I apologized to him again for being a little rascal back then. Now we can really just laugh about it. I told him having kids tamed me. Looking at our classroom in that pic made me sad. It was not even much of a classroom. Just some plywood walls separating the classroom from the hallway and I can see some fans attached to the wall on top of the blackboard. But as kids we didn't really care about the appearance of our school. We still had a lot of fun back then. My teacher Miss Ruth was really nice and patient after going through 2nd grade with a terror like Miss Evelyn...we used to call her Evilyn...hahaha.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Fresh organic produce vs junk food

I have been closely monitoring a lot of the products that I've been buying in the supermarket. I'm not only watching my budget very closely but I'm also really trying to feed my family healthy organic foods as much as the budget allows. I know with our economy right now, a lot of people are trying to manage their budget but how far would we go with stretching our budgets? Lately, I've been trying to get as much fresh organic produce as I can. When I start buying those and feeding my kids with the good stuff before we go to the "other treats" then it really gets them used to eating healthier stuff rather than starting to eat the sweets and chips before the actual meals. I know we are spending as much money buying junk foods as buying fresh fruits and vegetables. I'm most certainly not a SAINT on this. I still give my kiddos treats but I'm trying to make it a lot more harder for them to get it but NOT BUYING THEM ALL THE TIME. And it really makes a big difference. It's absolutely hard to say no to them when it's just right on the cubbords. I've also noticed that my kids eat more when they're eating healthy foods and I don't feel bad giving them more food because it helps them grow.

Eating Right

I just read this article in Yahoo about foods that speeds up your metabolism. It's pretty much suggesting that we eat foods that are fresh and it's nothing different than what's in the food pyramid really. We just need to keep a well balanced diet. Eat more vegetables like spinach, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, cabbage, beet roots, assorted beans and dark and leafy vegetables. As for the fruits, eat more blueberries, melons, apples, citrus fruits and tomatoes. Skinless poultry, eggs and peanuts are good sources of protein and fish is very rich in omega 3 and will boost your metabolism by burning up to 400 calories a day. Of course don't forget your whole grains like brown rice, cereal, barley and oats.
Drinking lots of water, 6-8 glasses per day and exercise at least 3 times per week will help a lot too. Right now, since it's summertime we really need to make the most out of the fresh fruits and veggies that are available in our market. And what better way to exercise than to engage yourself in outdoor activities. It's fun, healthy and it won't even feel like you're working very hard since you're enjoying the outdoors.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy Busy Weekend

We recently just started taking the kids biking and they love it. That's another thing we can do as a family in the weekends. We have a couple of bike trails in our area we'd love to go to and it has nice views of the lakes and mountains. We really just have to take advantage of living here in Colorado with lots of outdoor stuff to do. The kids would love to feed the ducks and birds but we told them that they should obey the rules of the WILD and that is to not to take the WILD out of the WILD ANIMALS. Lots of signs everywhere about foxes in the area and I'm sure that's not all that's there so we just really stay on our path. This is what's great about Colorado...we can just be minutes from the mountains and from the city. We got the best of both worlds if you ask me. =)