Monday, December 31, 2012

Past, Present and the Future!

          Can you believe it's almost over?! You look back on the year and see a lot. Look back at your accomplishments and hope to do it again! I got invited on to higher level gymnastics team and was very successful, I play the trumpet, I got on the Honor Roll, I created a blog with my mom, and I entered my first year of Middle School! Take the time to think about your experiences of 2012. What have you done? What do you want to improve in? It's a new year, new start.
                     Also don't forget all the resolutions. Boy, are they hard to keep. This year I have one broad resolution. To stay healthy and in shape, to improve myself in general. What's yours? Don't forget to have a...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!!!!!!

           Hi, everyone! I would like to wish everybody Happy Holidays! Also a thank you to anyone who follows me! This year I was very good and got a lot of fantastic gifts from Santa! I celebrate Christmas. This year I got a new Chromebook laptop therefore making it easier for me to make a blog post. I will try as hard as I can to do a post once a week around Wednesday maybe. Sometimes the week is busy, but I plan on making a New Years resolution to stay as committed as possible. My mom and I are trying as hard as we can to make this a great year!! Keep an eye out for our posts. We would love to hear what you have say. Feel free to tell us through a comment! Have a great New Year! Happy Holidays.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Entry Two

                         This is my second entree. I hope you enjoy it...

       2:24 pm          Dear Diary,
The wind is crazy. It's raining lightly. Now the trees are swaying, back and forth and side to side. They look like they were struggling to stay up against the powerful wind. There are even less leaves on the trees than before. Right now I'm on top of the heater ,obviously, writing to you. All that's next to me is a small, yellow Ticonderoga pencil and a window. The ground looks like it's made of leaves, the wind is so strong. I'm worried a branch will fall off. Or maybe the power will go out. Who knows.
I'll know in a couple hours when I write again.
                                                  Abigail Bermeo

Again, I will continue to write more entrees until it's too late too see anything.

Hurricane Sandy: Entry One

               Today is 10/29/12. In NJ there is a hurricane. Sandy. All day I am going to be writing entrees. Here is the first...
           8:30 am   Dear Diary, 
Today all the news reporters were making a big deal about HURRICANE SANDY! They said it's supposed to be worse since 1938. It hasn't hit yet. It's not even raining. Right now I'm watching TV. Waiting. I'll tell you more when Sandy hits. 
                                                           Abigail Bermeo
P.S. I put the time so you can see how Sandy progresses.

                 As you can see I talk to my diary like it's a person. Almost like I'm writing a letter. Technically I am writing a letter to my diary. 
                 I'll keep updating as the day goes on.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Conversational Book Review

Confession from a mom: Once my kids were old enough to read on their own, I stopped reading with them. Phew! There; I said it. I feel better.

Then, Irony showed up and told me that now that my kids are older, it's time to start reading with them again.
What???  I thought I was done with that.
Not so much.
Because as kids get older and can handle more intense books with strong lessons, this is just the time to read with them and then talk about what you're reading. It helps develop better kids, duh!
Okay, Okay.

I knew Irony was right and through Pat Tilton's blog, I've seen some great books to read that address the topics I don't know how to discuss with my kids: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Aspberger's Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy.

Another confession: I've really enjoyed the time A and I have spent reading together. It forces us me to stop everything and spend time reading and talking with my daughter; the perfect antidote for a workaholic like me.

And so, we're going to review the book we're currently reading together, Out of my Mind, by Sharon M. Draper, in the form of an interview. Cute, right?
Here is part one, which is based on the first four chapters of the book.

Tray: Do you remember any words from early on in your life like Melody does?
A: No, but I remember images sometimes. Like 2 years ago at the beach I remember our kite got stuck in the sand dunes behind a fence that they put up.

Tray: What do you think it would be like to have a photographic memory?
A: It would be good and bad. good because I could remember every word, every math problem. Life would easy. Bad because if I remember something scary then it will never go away.

Tray: You and I talk a lot together. After school, while walking in the park, and through letters this summer while you were at camp. How would you feel if we were unable to talk together?
A: I wouldn't like it because if I don't say something that's on my mind it bugs me forever. Plus I love to talk. Talking is how everybody communicates.

Summary, from the author's website: Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. Always. And there’s no delete button. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school—but NO ONE knows it. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

They All Have A Strike

As I wrote in my original post pertaining to this Strike System, I believe in empowering children. This helps them to learn from mistakes, understand the importance of making decisions, and feel important. With all of that in mind I worked with my daughter, who thinks it would be a great idea if kids wrote parenting books, and supported the Strike System.
Let me just say that I've already used it and for me, it was quite easy, and liberating.
The rules are simple: There is a goal at the end of the week for a Fun Friday Night. During the week, misbehavior, which is primarily based on listening and me not having to repeat myself three seven or eight times, results in a strike. That's it. Super simple. So far, there is one strike already on the family calendar. What drove me to it? Nothing unusual, just trying to do something fun.
We spend our summers at the pool. The kids like it, I like it. It works or everyone. The challenge- getting everyone dressed in bathing suits and out the door. In my opinion this shouldn't be difficult since it involves doing something FUN. Or so I thought. After asking my darling people several times to get ready, with no one ready, I lost it and rather than scream and yell, there was a strike. That's it.
Next strike, I get to decide what is taken away from our Fun Friday Night. It could be pizza. Could be television. Could be dessert (we like to make homemade ice cream together). We'll see, but what I can say is that after that strike, everyone was promptly dressed and out the door to have fun at the pool.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Strike System

This week Mom and I are trying the Strike System. During the Strike System Mom will be looking out  for certain things such as  cleaning up after ourselves and making the bed. She will also looking for stuff behavior-wise too. Such as listening, no stalling at bedtime and finishing dinner. Last, but not least, Mom will look out for simple stuff like table manners, no TV on week days until our work is done. Every time we disobey one of the above then... BOOM! A strike. Sometimes if you're really good and really try your hardest to listen and you already have a strike maybe Mom may take the strike away. Remember to be on your best behavior! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

If My Daughter Wrote A Parenting Book

Ok, Mom here. When we started this conversation, I really wasn't sure of where it was going, and part of me thought: there's a reason why kids don't write parenting books, because they're kids!
But instead, I reached into my let's use this as an awesome mom moment and take the conversation further. I had to admit, I was impressed with my daughter's thought process. 
I also had a little flashback to when she was in preschool. As an avid NON-reader of any parenting magazines or books that would have been helpful, I was somewhat clueless when it came to my first child. So, the preschool teachers were my teachers. Through them, I learned that kids need to feel empowered. They like to be given choices and encouraged to make the right decisions or give the correct answers based on those choices. With that in mind, I said, "Ok. Your principal was right- we were all kids once and no one likes it when people get mad at them, but discipline is important. What would you do?"
The result was the Strike System. After a lengthy discussion about positive vs. negative parenting and what strikes meant compared to earning stars (which we have been doing for the past five years) I came to a conclusion. From the moment our children are babies, we try to read them and interpret their needs based on non-verbal communication. As time goes on, and verbal communication develops, we are still trying to figure out what is best for our kids. Which begs the question: why NOT ask our kids what they think (once they reach an appropriate age to have that discussion)? Why not engage them in some decision making? It helps them feel empowered, and when they are old enough, they can actually participate.
As a parent part of me wonders, is this the right move? Am I giving up too much of the Mom role? Which is quickly followed by; if I involve my daughter and she doesn't respond to the new strategy (or better said her strategy) then do I go back to old ways?
However this all ends up, it provides a platform for discussion. An open dialog between parent and child in a time when as each day passes, our children move closer to independence and farther away from us.  I'll try the Strike System and see where it goes. Just that change alone could keep things interesting over the summer but more importantly my daughter and I will be able to test her theory together.
If the Strike System doesn't work, we'll have to talk about the next option. Together.
But, if this new strategy (of empowerment) fails after three strikes, I might be back to figuring this out on my own.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If I Wrote A Parenting Book

If I were a parent I would ask my child how to write a parenting book. Why? Well, as you know, I am a kid. And just a couple of days ago I was in the car with my mom. I told her a story, and here it is...
One day during school my principal was talking to the fourth grade about our behavior. He told us about when he was a kid he did the same things we did. He never liked getting punished. He said that even though sometimes our behavior isn't the best he'll never get mad at us. Sure he'll punish us and teach us the right thing, but he'll never get mad.
When I finished telling my mom the story she brought up a good point. Mom said that there is a big difference between being mad and punishing. That gave me the idea: What if kids wrote parenting books? Think about it; kids are the ones who know how they want to be treated. Obviously you can't ask a five year old how they want to be treated because they're going to say that they want a trampoline and  ten packs of gummy bears for breakfast. But if you have a child age 8 and up then asking them could be a smart idea.
I just so happen to be over the age of 8. So my mom asked me. I answered: Friday nights. We always do fun things on Fridays. I told my mom a good way to inspire me to listen would be to use the strike system. The strike system starts like this:
Your child will start out with 3 stars. When they have bad behavior or don't listen you give them a strike. This is what every strike means:

Strike One: Strike one is like a warning just to let your child know that you are paying attention to their behavior and to be careful about what they do.

Strike Two: Strike two is your choice on what to take away from your child. Whatever you choose to do must be something that your child will be sure to learn what their mistake was when behaving badly.

Strike Three: Strike Three means that there will be serious consequences to your child's behavior. But remember to not get mad at your child. You may punish them but don't get mad. Teach them what's right.

What's my mom's perspective? She'll be chiming in tomorrow.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

I scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

        Almost all moms love Mother's Day. Well, besides Mother's Day, her kid's, and her husband, my mom loves ice cream! This year for Mother's Day we got my mom an ice cream machine! She asked for it around the beginning of March. The day she opened it (Mother's Day) we had to use it. But the ice cream came out liquid-y. Then we experimented with chocolate. The ice cream came out with perfect texture, but my brother put in too much vanilla. It tasted horrible! We tried the chocolate again a couple days later...PERFECT! A perfect Mom has perfect opinions. My mom decided to make cinnamon ice cream. When I tried it I fell in love with it!
 Do you like ice cream?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for Apple

For most people an iPhone is the one phone that they are saving up for. Why? Apple products are one of the most efficient things that people think of. If a child says they  want to be able to listen to music then the parent gets them an iPod not an MP3 player.  Apple is the richest company in today's world. If not the world than the country. What I like about Apple is that when loading they aren't usually slow. The technology they have is amazing. Like Siri. I've always wondered how she does what she does. What do you like about Apple?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Tiger Rising

         I just recently finished a book called The Tiger Rising. It was a wonderful story about a boy named Rob who has a rash on his legs. Everybody thinks it's a medical issue but really it's sadness. His mother just died and he is very sad. In his mind there is a mental suitcase where he keeps things like his mother's name, tears and the tiger. He lives in Florida in a motel called the Kentucky Star. There is clear woods right behind it and Robert has a secret. The owner of the Kentucky Star has caught a Tiger from the woods and it is deep in the woods in a cage... Rob is the only other person who has seen the tiger besides the owner. When the "new girl" in his school arrives Rob finds this sassy girl to be quite interesting. Her name is Sistine like the Sistine Chapel. She has a lot of questions for Rob like: Where's your mom? What's your mother's name? Where's the "tiger"? Rob is surprised that when he was widdling in his room he carved Sistine. Somehow he ends up showing her the tiger.
        The owner of the motel gives Rob a job; to feed the tiger. He says he wants it fat before he kills and skins it. When given the job Rob is also given the keys to the cage. The relationship between Rob and the Tiger is amazing to read. When I was reading it I felt like I was actually in the story!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tumbling Together

I'm not sure why, but when Abigail was born, I thought that within a week or so we'd be doing girl things together: nails, walks, reading, and probably cooking. Well, we had a lot of together time, but it wasn't quite like that.
Fast forward ten years and one thing I had never thought of doing together was gymnastics. My last competition was about 25 years ago and I had no expectations of getting back into it. This year, I was fortunate enough to find an adult gymnastics class in the same gym where Abigail is about to become part of a competitive team. What a great experience to be able to speak the same "language" as my daughter and share a sport where we both are able to feel the freedom and exhilaration of flying through the air. We can relate to each other beyond our daily routine and I understand both her drive and motivation with gymnastics.
To that end, I have moved a tumbling mat, temporarily, into our family room so I can help her with some tumbling before school. Something I envisioned when she was a baby? No. Something I will forever cherish? Absolutely.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Perfect Picture Book: Are You My Mother?

Title: Are You My Mother?
Written By: P.D. Eastman
Illustrated by: P.D. Eastman
Publisher: Beginner Books
Suitable for ages: 5 and under.
Themes/Topics: Humor, interesting moments, and fun
Opening: A mother bird sat on her egg. The egg jumped.
Brief Synopsis: A little baby bird can't find his Mother. He ends up asking cats and dogs and all animals if they are his mother. Will he find his mother?! Imagine if you couldn't find your mother, what would you do? Where would you look?
Links to resources: I found this page with activities that can be done at home. And there's also this page from Activity Maker.
Why I like this book: Are You My Mother? is a book about a Mother bird trying to find some food for her baby bird before she hatches. But while she is gone a little baby bird comes out of his egg. He can't find his his mother. He looks in the silliest places for his mother. He even asked a dog, and he's a bird!!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Welcome to Our Blog!!!!

Hi! Welcome to our blog. Mom and I created this blog for many reasons. One of them is to have a mother/daughter relationship online and the other is to help you have one too.We'll build out pages as we move along and add content. As we do things together like read books, see movies, and other fun stuff we'll share those experiences with you.