Thursday, September 27, 2007

Back to school night : 2nd Grade

Talk about feeling heavy, I certainly felt the bricks coming down on my shoulders after being informed on what my child will be learning as 2nd grader, daily, weekly and for the whole school year.
  • Reading: 20-30 min, every day through out the whole year. As parents, we are encourage to ask open ended questions about the plot, compare and contrast characters in the book vs. people we know and also asked our child to prediction of how the ending is going to be.
  • Writing: All 2nd graders are expected to write grammatically correct sentences with punctuation, and capitalization etc. They also have a journal that they keep to write down their free flowing thoughts, and ideas.
  • Spelling: The school has cut down the number of words the kids need to learn on the weekly basis so I’m SO happy about it.
  • Math:
  1. Number sense
    • Place value of whole numbers to 1000
    • Addition and subtraction of 2 and 3 digit numbers with regrouping ( not sure what regrouping means)
  2. Algebra and functions
  3. Measurement ( metric vs. English units of measure for length, volume, area and perimeter)
  4. Geometry
  5. Statistics
  6. Data analysis
  7. Probability
  8. Problem solving
These kids will be tested weekly on a math fact sheet. 3 min time test with have 36 questions ( i.e. 5 sec/question). One must score 36/36 on the test before one can move on to the next math fact sheet. If the child complete the whole cycle of sheets then they will start the cycle again but the time allowed is reduced down to 2 min ( 3.3 sec/question). This time constraint sounded stressful for the kids and parents. Got to figure out a way to make this fun for her because it’s going to be part of her weekly routine until she stops going to this school.
  • Science
  1. Earth Science: Rocks, soils, fossils
  2. Physical Science: Learning about motion, sound energy and magnetic energy
  3. Life Science: Life cycle
These topics are interesting and appropriate for her age and I strongly feel that making the connection of motion and PE may motivate her to like PE more.
  • Social Science
  1. Government
  2. Exploring Family Roots
  3. People who supply our needs
  4. Cultural difference etc..
  • PE: My favorite subject in school but not Danielle’s. School’s expectation are basic: participation and sportsmanship so that to me is the easiest subject out of all. Shows up, give it your best and don’t feel bad if you loose. I plan to work with Danielle on jogging and softball to build some self-confidence out in the field.
After meeting her teacher, I sense that she’s stricter than her 1st grade teacher. I felt her intensity in her sentences, and sternness in rules and expectations . We will have a parent teacher conference in November so we’ll see how it goes. I was sitting with other parents and one mom was trying to console me by saying “ It sounds like a lot but it’s not really that bad. Just wait until she goes to 8th grade.” It’ll be interesting to compare the workload for Secondo 5 years from now. I’m sure the school will provide more testing and homework in this time span.

Changing to more lighter and funny subject
Last night, for a brief moment, I turned on the TV and Dolly Parton was singing 9-5 while the professionals were dancing on the floor. I noticed how skinny she’s getting and how her small frame accentuate her large breast even more than before. We all went to bed before knowing who got kicked off the show and I had the dream that I had a boob job gone wrong. They were shaped like pyramids and there’s nothing the doctor could do to fix it. I blame Dolly for this wicked dream of mine. I'm happy with what I have and will not get an augmentation even though most of my neighbors have one.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Feeling heavy

For the pass few days, I've been having this heaviness feeling on my chest which required me to purposely taking deep breaths to get rid of this feeling. Have I forgotten how to breath properly?
I recently found a Shiatsu place by work and decided give it a try. My regular Tui-na lady broke her arm so it'll be a while before she's able to work with her hands. I was expecting a Japanese lady for the Shiatsu but she turned out to be Chinese. I told her areas of my aches and pains and she asked if I wanted traditional Shiatsu or Chinese ba-guan mixed with massage. Ba-guan is a technique using suction cups on are of pain and promote circulations. I decided to go with ba-guan because I've had success with that before. She told me that her technique is really call fei-guan (flying cups) because she used light levels of vacuum and flies over the back quickly. Fei-guan felt pretty good. On the lower back area where I felt sore, she left the cups there a little longer. During the massage sessions, she asked me to practice deep breathing. She'll pushes harder on my back as I exhale and she asked me to extend my exhalation as long as possible. It felt as if I was practicing yoga breathing while she's working on my muscles. When I forgot to breath, she'll breath loudly as a reminder so I worked hard breathing while she worked on my back.
She felt too much tension on my shoulder and her advice was to relax and rest.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Workout, Reading & Food

Hubby took the day off today so I was able to take the 5:30 AM cycling class which I normally couldn't because of the kids. I like the class because it's not crowded and it kicked up my metabolism to face the day. In class I noticed this lady who shrunk so I congratulated her and of course asked her how she lost so much weight. She told me that she went on weight watchers, continued with working out and lost 30 pounds.
Workout log:
Time: 1:08 min. (I kept the monitor on while driving home)
Cal: 496
Ave heart rate: 147 b/min
During class, the instructor announced that she'll be teaching a 3 hour ride next Saturday to raise money for MS. Can I ride for 3 hours? Hypothetically it'll take off 1500 calories from my body but then I'll be dead tired and non-functional for the rest of the day.

I just started reading/listening Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami on my drive in to work. So far I barely know Kafka who time traveled and the story jumped to Mr. Nakata who's taking advice from a cat that speaks a "common language to human". It may be one of those stories where I have to go back and re-read the first couple of chapters to complete the circle.

On with my favorite topic, food

I've been meaning to post this Vietnamese shrimp egg roll that mother in law orders when we have get togethers or birthday parties. It tasted like typical egg roll except the exterior has more crunchy bits and there's a shrimp wrapped in the middle of the fillings.

Above is my version of Pad ke Mow, which I learned to make from my Thai friend #2. It wasn't a big hit at the party because I didn't add any Thai chili. There were lots of left over so I had this dish for a week, got tired of it and have yet give it a 2nd chance. Very similar to Chinese chow-fun plus basil and chili.

This is virgin Mojitos, contribution of Angie. It is tangy and sweet, perfect drink for the hot summer days we've been getting lately. The downer is that I saw how much sugar she added so I had one small glass with lots of ice.

Main ingredients are
  1. Lime juice
  2. Carbonated water
  3. Sugar, lots of sugar.
  4. Slices of mint leaves

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nothing particular

I read other people's blog and they acknowledge and celebrate the birthday of their blog where as I, can't remember when I started blogging. When I looked back, I can't believe I've been blogging for over 3 years. I recalled the day when I emailed Mir and told her how uncomfortable I was sharing my thoughts on cyberspace. I'm too vulnerable! Writing is not my strength and who wants to be judged for creativity, writing style, grammar,& content? Right around that time is when my grandmother from my mom side passed away. Mom and dad went back but I wasn't there for the funeral which made feel guilty. I felt that my time on this earth is quite limited and I wasn't really connecting with my brother who lives up north, my aunt in Indonesia nor my old friends as much as I liked. Back then, I enjoyed reading Bulleye's entries about poker tournaments, Fresno's hot's entries about his gripes on certain products but as time goes by, they stopped blogging yet I continued. I still keep their sites on my favorites hoping one day when I click the link and I'll be surprised by a new entry.
Look back, I've lost some blog sites but met some really cool friends over the years. Some days blogging does feel like a chore when I have other more pressing things on my plate and I'm not sure if anyone out there still interested in reading my stuff.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Last month of swim lessons

Danielle had a short break and she started up with private swim lesson last Saturday. She did really well with back stroke and her teacher said that Danielle took instructions well and we, the parents should continue to bring her to the pool to practice so that does not regress too much by next summer. She also said that it's good to mix up private lessons and group lessons so the kids can encourage each other and see what they are capable of learning.
I also signed Secondo up for swim lesson for toddlers. She did not like being dunk in the water but she loved playing in the pool. The lesson is more for me on how to encouraged her to kick, moved her arms and blow bubbles in the water.
After swim lessons, we went to my company picnic. They served BBQ chicken, BBQ steak, hotdogs, burgers, & fruit salads. They had raffles with the main prize being Wii and other stuff (toys, gift cards, pillows, etc) that we could put our tickets into if we are interested. Like last year, we did not win anything. The picnic is very much the same as the year before so I'm planning to participate in the planning meeting to change it up a bit for the coming year.
We went to Barnes & Noble after the picnic to check out the new Magic Tree House book "Monday Mad Genius" for Danielle. Danielle read all the other Merlin mission so she was really excited with book # 38 and finished reading the whole book. I didn't get to read much because I was busy putting things on the shelf after Secondo took toys off the shelf. She's not the type that will sit still for 5 minutes on her own to read a book. She would rather explore the book store, play with toys or have me read with her.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to School

Today is Danielle's 1st day of school as a 2nd grader. It's exciting for her, new clothes, lunch box, back pack, and school supplies. It was nice to see some familiar faces in her new class and everyone appeared taller and have more front teeth than 3 months ago. Her teacher seemed kind and caring so I hope she doesn't get shuffle around because the principal does re-shuffle students to combination classes based on true attendance. One minor issue I dislike is that her class room is a pre-fab, portables or trailer. It's not that big of a deal, just something she'll get used to. I was there at 7:30 AM and the heat was unbearably hot. The principle provided option for the kids watch cartoon during recess instead of playing outdoor.
I recall that 2nd graders get tested so I'm going to look into it on parent's night next week.