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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

There's A Kindergartener in the First Grade

I keep hearing that saying over and over again and it comes to me whenever I have to make a serious decision about some part of raising Chunks. One of the perks of raising him on my own is that I don't have to run anything by anyone else and it matter but it also means if I make a decision and things get screwed up I wear that shame all by myself. 

Why does my baby's tie look short?? lol
Chunks started a new school for Kidergarten and was selected to be in the Gifted & Talented program, so we were looking forward to a "challenging" Kindergarten year, right? NO! Lol within the first week his teacher expressed how impressed she was with his reading and speech. I thanked her and asked that if there is anything I should work on with him to let me know. The next Monday, the Principal asked to see me, uh oh!

I get to the school, nervous about what Chunks  could have done and she let me know that she had been evaluating Chunks and another student and wanted to do a trial week of him sitting in the first grade class. WHAT?!? She told me he was pretty ahead of the NY standard for Kindergarten and didn't want him to get bored and not fully stiumulated. Honestly, I was side eyeing the program HARD, but I asked to look at the lesson plans and showed it to a few of my friends and former high school principal and in the end I agreed to the trial but was still unsure about him skipping such a major academic year. I mean, it's Kindergarten!

Well, he spent all of last week in the first grade and so far they have had two tests: 1 Grammar and 1 Math. Only one student got 100% on both, guess who??

 I've asked him how he liked school and he is loves it and is excited and seems to be handling the work pretty well and has fallen into our homework/study routine just fine, he's made friends with the other first graders, and size wise he fits right in. For now he's technically a Kindergartener in the First Grade while I decide what to do. 

I started school early and didnt have a problem adjusting (except lying about my age lol) and I have aunts and cousins who skipped grades in school with no problems either but everyone's different and I just want to make sure I make the right choice not only academically but psychologically for my boy, we only get one shot at this childhood thing and I'd rather take my time and measure this thing out twice and cut one good time.

Have any of you skipped a child or had the option? Would you rather skip early or later in their school years?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Project 52FIVE

I missed posting Week 3 last week so this will be a two-fer...

Rapid changes in seasons are hell for your little lungs :-( (3/52)


Last dinosaur search before bed (4/52)

Today all of NYC is in reflection of what this day means to us and the world abroad. With all the madness happening everyday recently and in light of President Obama's broadcast last nigh,t we're even more on the alert but we have to leave this all in God's hands, go on with our days like we did 13 years ago, and pray that He continues to cover New York, America, and all countries fighting for their need to be heard. We Remember.

Monday, September 8, 2014

NYStateofMom Travels: DC



This post is super late since this trip was before my blogging break but it was easily one of my favorite trips yet...

Ever since March I've been trying to get to the capital, really to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival but everything got in the way for months until finally one week I found an empty weekend and asked Chunks, "Hey, wanna go on a road trip?" and he was more than on board so I booked a hotel and we hit the road. It was on this road trip I discovered my son CANNOT stop talking! I mean seriously! 4 hours of traveling and I think I've used every distraction I know and every known English and Jamaican variation of "Please be quiet" because you can't say SHUT UP to your 4 year old, right? ::SIGH:: 

Anyway, safe travels led us to the beautiful Hamilton Hotel. That little Starbucks sign right next door made it an all around winner! Sleek and comfy and walking distance from the White House, we loved our room and the overall feel of the hotel and did I mention there was Starbucks? Oh, OK!


As a born and bred New Yorker, no matter where I am my objective is to not look lost so naturally I planned our tourist undercover days out and used my secret weapon, the Map app on the iPhone. OK, tip #1-When you aren't sure of where you need to be move over to the side of the street like you're texting or something (never look up and around all touristy), type in the address/site you need to be at, put your headphones in and let Siri guide you while you look like you know where you're going but still able to hear your kid rattle off question/fun fact #75,425. Yea, you're welcome!


We stayed close to the mall and fell in love with how similar the entire city felt to our beloved NY, like a more historical Manhattan. I was so excited to just soak up the history and architecture. When I updated my mother on the trip she said she could see me in DC if ever I left NYC (imagine that). 

I haven't been to DC since I was a kid so it was fun to re-learn the city with my little guy too. Chunks was excited to see where his room would be when he becomes President, so our first stop was the White House. There weren't any tours that afternoon so we asked the guards a few annoying questions and had lunch.


Hands down the Lincoln Memorial is my favorite stop, everything about it is captivating, from the walk to it up until you're standing at Lincoln's feet. 


I didn't think I'd be as moved as I was walking through the War and Vietnam Memorials. Every sculpture, every monument gave you a feel of how hard war life is and how much respect is due the men and women in the service.


Our second day, we finally made it back to the mall and fell into a D-Day Memorial service that was so much like Sunday morning church service we stayed the entire morning. Vets and current military gave testimony of their time in battle and their decisions to turn their lives over to Christ, so surprising and so moving.

We finally made our way to the Dr. King memorial and there are no words! Absolutely amazing! The statue is so stoic and strong and all that pretty sky behind it makes it incredible. A MUST see!


The day was incredibly HOT so we got out of the sun for a bit into the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. There's so much for kids to do on all levels of this place and it's FREE. The lines were long of course but the staff made sure to entertain the little ones and keep the displays short.


We ate in the gorgeous Regan Center and walked through the city's China Town. This was the first trip Chunks actually wasn't ready to leave, even at Disney he was ready to go home on the second night but when I told him we were headed to Baltimore and then home he wasn't too excited. Hmmm?? There's still so much we didn't get to do and see, I think I'll plan a little more and try this road trip again.



I'm thinking I might need to invest in a portable DVD player but tell me, do you have any travel tips to keep little one busy while you drive? Have you ever been to DC? What's your favorite thing about it?

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Weekly Ambitions


Quote for the Week:
Children are apt to live up to what you believe of  them. ~Lady Bird Johnson 
Weekly Habit:
- Take at least one photo this week for Project 52FIVE!
- Commit to working out at least twice a week. I now have a pudge I can no longer suck in, damn fries.

Weekly Goal:
Blog three times this week and figure out an editorial calendar and wether or not those things will work for me.

Weekly Challenge:
Chunks is with my parents for maybe two hours after school until I get off from work, now that school is starting I want to work out a study schedule that keeps Chunks reading and learning more than watching tv and googling dinosaurs while not imposing on them too much. They think I'm too stern with him when it comes to school but Obama's mother used to wake him up to do math problems and Asian parents would have him in violin lessons while learning another language at this age, so vocabulary words before dinner is a cake walk, yes? 

Have any of you used Editorial Calendars for you blogs? Do you tend to stick to them or go with the flow?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Dear Summer + New Photo Challenge


HEY CYBER WORLD!

I took a little e-break this summer, aside from a few Facebook updates I haven't been on many blogs/Twitter/or even my own blog space here and used the time to work in LIFE during my favorite season. Just to give you a glimpse in the typical day in the life this summer:

5:20a Slam the alarm off for the 3rd time and finally get up and get us ready
6:20a Make it to the train station
7:45a Grab Starbucks, pray for no stupid questions for at least 1 hour
8:00a Cut on work computer and answer stupid question #3
4:00p (on a good day) Leave work
5:30-6:00p Dinner with Chunks
6:45p Shadow ER docs at neighborhood hospital
Midnight Face plank into bed pray the morning doesn't come too quickly.

So with me trying to get the career side of life together for October, I've had to consciously make the effort to work time in to be Mommy and plain ol' Candace the woman. We've thankfully ticked off a lot from our Summer to Do List and will cross off a few more before the chill of Fall kicks in and I've been able to hang with some friends and do a few things just for me. 

While we've been trying to live this summer, Cease (my Canon Rebel) and I spent more time together and I decided that when Chunks turned 5 in August I would start a new project to celebrate the milestone year. Y'all, I still can't believe I have a FIVE year old!!! Everyday he hits me with something new, something awesomely HIM I am so grateful for the opportunity to be his mommy and to still be here because this single mommy hood isn't all that easy but we're making it and he's thriving! For that I'm proud.

I've attempted a 365 project before and well, umm, see what had happened was... yea that didn't work so, for this I've started a 52 week photo challenge that I'm calling 52FIVE where I'll take at least one picture a week for the year. My hope is to stick with it, while improving my photog skills, and at the end make a photo book with all of my favorites to celebrate.  I've started a Tumblr blog to keep them all together and I'll post my favorites for the week here, wish me luck! Oh, I've also put a quick link in the menu bar in case you wanted to check them out ;-)! Here's my faves from the first two weeks:

{Week 1/52} FIVE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIG BOY!
{Week 2/52} Faithful Friends

And One For Good Measure

So obviously I'm having a little Black and White obsession right now, we'll see where this week takes me. Just picking up the camera and getting to know others on their 365 journeys has been amazing so far.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Ambitions

Am I the only one who plans for a non-eventful weekend only to be running ALL weekend long and then does a mad dash to get ready for Monday and the following weeks on Sunday evenings? Yeah? Just me? Ok...on to this week's ambitions.


Quote for the Week
Have enough courage to trust Love one more time and always one more time. ~Maya Angelou

Weekly Habit

I realized last night that I haven't picked Cease up in about two weeks! TWO! I kept feeling like I was missing something and I think it might just be time practicing my hobby. So this week I'm going to try to get in at least one picture this week and see if we can't make this habit stick.
::SIDE:: My last habit of drinking more water actually stuck and is sticking. I'm a little under a gallon a day! I need a cute water bottle that won't leak in my bag and is easy to open with one hand, I'm a multitasker.

Weekly Goal

Chunks and I are working on tying his shoes himself, I've even created an embarrassing yet effective song about dinosaurs to help him remember the steps but I haven't been consistent with practicing with him. This week I hope to get him through the first loop on his own. My personal goal for the week is to carve out some "me" time, I can feel the burn out coming so some time away will be had this week.

Weekly Challenge

This week's challenge is a continuation from last week, $20 allowance for the week. I did good with the first week but it's still a struggle for an emotional shopper who thinks her wardrobe sucks! Keep me in prayer folks, it's real lol


Are any of you working/worked on tying laces, what worked? What are your weekly ambitions?




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