Thursday, August 28, 2014

VMA's Then and Now

The other day Phi and I grabbed some water and goldfish crackers and got comfy on the couch to watch the MTv Video Music Awards. I love award shows and the VMA's were always one of my favorites. But this year as my daughter sat next to me rooting on her favorites and singing along to all the performances I was hit with a big realization, I am old. I had no idea who half of the presenters, nominees, winners and even performers are. I had become my Mom asking questions like "Why does that guy have a giant clock on as a necklace?" 

I got to thinking about the VMA's back in my hay day. 20 years ago. The 1994 VMA's were in New York and hosted by Rosanne Barr. Yes really! This was the year that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley had that awkward kiss on stage. The Video of the Year award went to Cryin' by Aerosmith. You remember that video with a young Alicia Silverstone getting her belly button pierced. Other award winners included Salt-n-Pepa, Soundgarden, Counting Crows, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Nirvana. Performers included Aerosmith, Boyz II Men, Green Day, Beastie Boys, Bruce Springsteen and others of the sorts.

As much as it sucked to feel super old and uncool, I am glad to see Phi have the same love for music as I do. She was just as excited to see Ariana Grande win the other day as I was to see Janet Jackson win in 1994.

Now I am off to google search who the hell "5 Seconds of Summer" are. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Homeschool 4th Grade- Week 1

AND we are back!

We are officially back into the swing of things. It was not an easy transition for any of us. We have a new schedule this year and will be in class on Wednesdays for a few hours. So Wednesdays will be our recap days. We had some forgotten backpacks days, late afternoon sessions and the dreaded return of math.

Language Arts: Character Traits and Motivations, Vocab, Personal Narrative: This year we are working out of an actual text book. The book was sent home and will be kept at home for the school year. We dove right in and worked through the first chapter. We did some vocab and I made up a fill-in sheet as well as a little quiz so she could practice her vocab. The rest of the assignments were all about characters traits and motivation and how those things make the events of a story take place. I used the movie Frozen as a reference point because's Frozen. We talked about Elsa and Ana's character traits. We talked about how much Ana loves her sisters and how brave and kind she is. These traits motivated her to go into the snow and search and rescue her sister. I asked The Phi how the story would change if Ana's character traits were different. What would be different if Ana didn't like Elsa and was jealous of her sister? My favorite assignment of the chapter was Phi's story she wrote. It is all about 2 friends who are in a scavenger hunt contest. She talked about each character's traits, one was kind and smart, the other sneaky and adventurous. She used these traits to make a really cute and sweet story.

Math: Place Value and Number Sense: Oh the dreaded math. Phi went into math with a pretty bad attitude. Math was our toughest subject last year. Right away it was very apparent that we did not do enough math review over the summer. The basics were giving her trouble. Things like addition and carrying in addition were a problem. When I had to say "7+3 does not equal 73" I knew that we were in trouble. I really think that part of the issue is that she has this "I suck at math" mentality. I think that if we can break through this way of thinking it would make math so much easier to get through. I am open to any suggestions! So this week was a lot of review when it comes to place values, standard form, written form and expanded form. I found this great YouTube video from a teacher that helped Phi with place values. After the worksheets were done we spent the rest of the week playing place value games on-line for math. This site has a bunch of great links for math games. We also touched a bit on roman numerals and graphs.

Social Studies: Where is California? California's Land and Water: I love California. I am so proud to be born and raised in the Golden State so I am excited that part of social studies is going to focus on California. This week we looked into the landforms of CA and how they make this place special and beautiful. We also talked a little bit about John Muir. Besides the worksheets and answering text book questions the project was to make a map of California and list 3 different bodies of water, what is North, South, East and West of CA. We printed Phi an outline of CA on 11x17 paper and let her paint and label it. I love the little pictures she added.

Science: What are Producers and Consumers? This section was all about producers (plants that make their own food) and consumers (those that have to eat producers or other consumers to survive). Well let me let Professor Dr. Sophia teach you about them.....

Producers and Consumers from Elissa Lerma on Vimeo.

So we made it through week 1. Joey and I are not fighting and Phi is not in tears so week 1 went way better than week 1 last year. We are looking forward to 4th grade and the adventures it will bring! 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quince Anos

Happy 15th Birthday to my beautiful, smart and talented niece. 
The first real love of my life. 
Maria Angelica
aka Chone
We love you like crazy, 
Tio Joey, Tia Elissa, Sophia and Louie

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday!

Happy Birthday My Loves! 
My Llama and My Fel the Thrill
I am so proud of the smart and funny people you are becoming. 
I love you both like crazy. 
- Nani Lissa 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Louie Starts Pre(Home)school

As The Phi starts 4th grade and we are getting school supplies and all organized to homeschool her for the year, Joey and I realized that we had this little 4 year old crazy girl running around who probably should learn how to count to 10 soon.

When The Phi was 3 and a half we had her in preschool. Mostly because at the time she was an only child and we wanted her to figure out how to interact with other kids. Since Louie not only has Phi, but has her all the time thanks to homeschooling, we never saw the need to send Louie to pre-school. If you follow us on social media then you know that Louie is cute and funny, but the kid does not know her alphabet. Joey and I decided that it is time to start working with our wacko.

So Louie has started Pre(Home)school this year. (She starts kindergarten next fall)

This is in no way an actual curriculum. All we did was buy some workbooks and bookmarked some web pages with free preschool printables. We started yesterday while Phi was at school so that we could focus on Louie. We worked on 2 worksheets that were simply tracing a line from left to right and from top to bottom. The entire time she worked she called me teacher. At one point she just got up and walked to the TV to watch some cartoons. She waltzed back in 10 minutes later and when I asked her that that was all about she said...

"I was going to talk in class so I left so I wouldn't talk and get in trouble." 

We looked over her work and she got stickers for her good work. Then later that night she was so excited to show Poppa her work. Then Poppa quizzed her on her right and left and so got them all right. We are going to call Day 1 a complete success. Even though this happened...

Blogging about homeschool Pre-K for Louie. Here is a sneak peek on how it's going. I can't be too upset, she's a Lerma, it's in her blood.

But I have a feeling the novelty of the "Classroom", "teacher" and "homework" will wear off and then we are dealing with this...............

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

And even more doctors

Over her lifetime Phi has seen about 10 different doctors thanks to her eczema. Yesterday we added a new pediatric dermatologist to the mix. She came highly recommended by Phi's immunologist. (Phi also has a allergist, opthamologist, regualr dermatologist, and a pediatrician)  So we had to jump through some hoops and wait over 3 months to finally see this doctor. Yesterday was the big day. 

Of course because we frequent doctor offices the girls know that to come prepared with entertainment. 

And even after the waiting room there is always more waiting in the exam room.

As Louie and I entertain ourselves with selfies, poor Phi has to deal with going through the same exam routine over and over again. All the different doctors we have seen over the years always tell us the same things. We have tried it all and it has never worked very well.

Louie is very much like her father, when things get too serious she busts out with the comedy. This time she tried to ease the tension by taking "Uncle Rico" like selfies.

"Make your hand into a fist and slowly bring it up under your chin".

And then being the little evil genius that she is, she figured out how to make it her profile picture on her tablet.

Despite Louie and her antics, the doctors visit was a lot of information thrown at me. The doctor took one look at Phi and stated "This is bad" which was a relief to hear. No other doctor has said that to us before. Other doctors always downplayed her skin issues. This doctor listened to our history, listened to the things we have tried and immediately jumped in with a new approach.

When we first started dealing with all this we were told that immunosuppressive therapy is the most extreme and last resort. This new doctor told us that we were there. She understood what eczema does to our household. She understood what Phi is going through and she wants to do what she can to make it go away. She believes that this therapy could do just that. This is a tough decision Joey and I have. It is over a year time commitment and we and Phi would have to be up for the medication, light therapy treatments and monthly blood work. It all sounds scary but this doctor has other patients in Phi's age range that have had success with it. She talked about a 12 year old girl who went through the treatments and has perfect skin now.

For the next 2 weeks Phi is on another round of prednisone. This time it will be for 15 days instead of the 3 days she did last time. She is also on a stronger steroid ointment. twice a day. The hope that this will clear up her skin. We see the doctor again in 2 weeks and that's when we will make the decision about the immunosuppressive therapy. In the meantime we are trying to get as much information as we can.


Friday, August 15, 2014

Homeschool: Back to School 4th Grade

We officially went back to school today. It was more of an orientation day for the kids and the parents. The real work starts for Phi next Wednesday. We are continuing with the home school program that we did last year. Last year had a rough start, but in the end we really liked the program.

Phi is starting 4th grade and has the same teacher that she had last year. From what we can tell from orientation that will be the only thing that stays the same. New classroom and a new curriculum. This gives us some concerns of course. Last year felt very thrown together at the last minute. We were hoping that with one year under her belt this year would go much smoother. Since they have completely changed the curriculum I have a feeling that this year will go a lot like last year. We will be learning right along with the teacher so we will have to have a "go with the flow" attitude. That attitude starts now. We were told that this year we would be utilizing the on-line options for school and work. We had these last year but did not use them past setting up our profiles. The orientation packets gave us all the log-in info and none of it worked. So now I wait for the school to get back to me.

The bottom line will always be Phi's education. We are excited to be back in school again. We are looking forward to family field trips and fun projects. We are looking forward to studying geology and California history and reading new books!

Here's to a new school year! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Louie Goes to Ikea

Over the weekend we had a few hours to kill so we made a stop at Ikea. I love this place and we needed more kids utensils. We haven't been in a long time so she didn't remember ever being there. It was like going for the first time for her. 

I am pretty sure she is standing on the sticker that says "do not stand on the cart" 

All set with her pencil, notes and measuring tape. I asked her what she was in the market for and she said a new kitchen. First Phi asked to push the cart, but only after a few twist through the maze that is Ikea she was over it. And yes Louie does not have shoes on, her flip flops kept falling off so into the giant yellow bag they went.

Then Louie discovered the little toddler seats in the bathroom. And no I was not going to the bathroom when I took this. I had already finished.

She somehow got some tennis practice in while we were there.

And of course in true Louie diva fashion she demanded some alone time.

We eventually found the pack of kids utensils we were looking for. Under $2.00 for a whole set of plastic forks spoons and knives! Louie carried the little package in our giant bag.

Those Ikea bags really do come in handy when your 4 year old needs a lift.

All and all I think  Louie enjoyed her "first time she remembers" trip to the magical world of Ikea. 
She never did get that new kitchen she was shopping for. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Polar Bear Shaved Ice

On the way home from Art Walk we made a pit stop at Polar Bear Shave Ice. Pearmama recently mentioned this place on social media and it looked pretty amazing. It did not disappoint. 

Since we split one large between the 4 of use so went with vanilla. Unlike other shaved ice these are milk based so they taste like ice cream. They have some exotic flavors like green tea, taro and their sesame is suppose to be amazing. After you pick your flavor they will add all the toppings you want. We opted for strawberries, chocolate chips and gummy worms (because Louie wanted something pink). The last part is your drizzle. We obviously went with chocolate.

Louie just walked in and saw this picture and said "I want to go there again but get 4 ice creams".
Someone did not like sharing. 
 These are like no sno-cone/shaved ice I have ever had. As we were waiting a customer told us it was like "cold cotton candy" and that is a pretty good way to describe this. It is so light and so fluffy and just melts in your mouth.

And 30 seconds later......

Friday, August 08, 2014

Riverside Art Walk

The first Thursday of the month in downtown Riverside is Art Walk. All the museums are open late and for free. There is also lots of vendors on the streets selling cool art. We love to go and last night was one of the best ones! 

Walked by this awesome exhibit poster. Oh Elvis! 

The RAM (riverside art museum) had some really cool wing sculptures out front. They were made of recycled products. This one was made of the bottom of cans....

This one was made of cut up cans.....

And this one was made up of bottle caps. The pictures do not do the colors justice!

Poor shortie Louie...

Of course we made Poppa pose too.

We really love wandering museums. We most of us anyway.

The second room at RAM was an exhibition all about soccer jerseys. After my sisters got my kids way into soccer during the World Cup they were very stoked to see this.

This was one mans collection!

The girls asked if we could go to the Riverside Metropolitan Museum to see the stuffed animals.

Are we in a museum or at Nana and Tata's house?

 We ended art walk by heading over to Urge Art Supplies. A very cool place. Recently Phi had a few commissioned drawings (Thanks Tia Picos, Betty and Martin!) and with her first art paycheck she bought herself her first sketchbook. I am so proud of her and I can't wait to see the awesome drawings she fills this book with!