The parent-teacher conference

blog 016Yesterday,me and my husband attended the parent-teacher conference. It didn’t last long. We were scheduled for only 15 minutes. An hour after I picked up our oldest daughter. It was a busy day for me.I worked overnight and taking catnap helped a little bit.

The teachers are so nice. I was amazed how many teachers they got for a small class. In the Philippines, I only had one teacher per class unlike our daughter,they have three teachers. And I think there are only 14 students in her afternoon class.

It’s a good thing,the teacher has good ratio when it comes to each student. And with the fact how handful they are.

I’m not sure if I’ll take this as a bad news. A little disappointment maybe but although I wasn’t surprised by this after listening about the teacher’s report.

Our daughter needs to be in Special Education,although we have to wait in a week or two about the confirmation if she needed to be a part of this program. I’ll keep you posted.

They’re thinking she’s having hard time to understand directions (and some words) and easily get distracted. She talks good and sometimes she surprises us with the words that she says.Anyway,the teacher said,when she asked her “to get the red paper from your folder in your backpack,”she had a hard time to comprehend. She would stare at her with confusion.

We notice sometimes that it’s hard to get her attention especially if she’s doing something like watching TV or playing. I have to tell her one-by-one what I wanted her to do. But things like, “help me to carry this laundry basket” or “pick your toys” or “put your shoes away’,I never had problem with her following my command.

She’s not good in colors yet. When she was two,her favorite color was pink. All pink,nothing else. And now,it’s green! And I have to work so hard on this one. She knows red,blue,brown,black,white but when you show her something or if I tell her,this is color! She’ll get it. But few minutes later,it’s green again.

And with the numbers. The teacher told me she needs to learn how to count from 1-10. I asked her about it because  I know our daughter can count but sometimes she jumps counting like 11,13…. So when we got home last night,I had to sit with her and ask her to count. She did great. She counted from 1 to 10. The only problem with her numbers is she’s not familiar when you show her each number and that’s what we’re going to work on.

blog 021It made me feel pretty bad because we focused too much on alphabets and coloring which she’s really good at. The teacher told me,she’s ahead of her class when it comes to letters. She knows twelve letters when they only learned six of them. She also knows even the small letters.

As a parent,I know what areas to work with her. I didn’t focus well teaching her everything. I was satisfied when she knows how to count,that’s it but being well familiar with one of them is pretty important. One problem with our girl is,she’s a little emotional one. And I explained this to the teacher. When she hears someone raise their tone or get too serious talking to her,she cries. And she got emotional to her once.

I don’t think our daughter has learning disability. She talks good and maybe there are words she won’t understand or thinking she needs speech pathologist to improve her speaking skills. One thing I gave them insight was the gal I used to work with who was married to a Mexican,the gal was American by the way. Their son’s teacher thought he’s having speaking and learning disability because just like our daughter but the fact that what we have in common,we are teaching our kids to be a bilingual. A year after that,her son was talking and understanding words like a smart cookie. Plus,he speaks two languages at a very young age. That moment gave me hope yesterday.Watch out! Our girl will get better these next few months because her mama will set a new study time with her.

For me,it’s good we have this kind of conference so that we  know how our kids do at school and we can also work with the teachers to help them improve. I didn’t take this in the wrong way and I understand that every kid is different and they will catch up with every pace of the learning process. She might be behind learning this and that but she’s ahead learning something. So,I will let her take her time. And the fact of the matter is,few of her classmates are already a year older than her.Some attended daycare schools who already learned the basics.

So we’ll see what happens next time!

Learning from others’ financial mistakes

blog 017One of the fascinating topics I can read and could talk about all day is money specifically saving. You know that we have financial challenge that hopefully we get through in next couple years,at least. Paying it off in one year would be great.

Aside from reading others’ blogs that focus on money like,how they get out of debts and all these amazing stories that will make you hook to come back and read those blogs often, I heard few stories personally from people who are facing financial hardships. Harder than what we got,I thought.

When you hear someone tells you that for them to keep their bills payment in flow,they have to work so hard-like having two or three jobs in one week. I can’t believe how some people work that long. I work at least 35 hours a week and if it’s inevitable to extend longer than my shift due to delays or the store is just plainly busy,I stay a little longer. But I’m a type of person who wants to go home right away when the clock hits my end time. I want to spend time with my family and do some chores to make me feel I enjoy life.

But when you are in a certain financial woes,you have to do what you got to do. When someone said,I have no money and before the paycheck comes,it’s already spent. Well,sometimes we feel the same way here but not too often. Like emergencies that come up or when the car broke down,etc.

But when I listen to other people’s stories like they’re broke because of the bills. I become a little bit nosy. Especially to those people with no kids at home or high grocery bills to spend weekly. I usually ask,how come they’re broke. For example,having kids is expensive -their clothes,foods,educational expenses,etc. Those expenses add up to your family budget.But to hear other people (who don’t have kids at home) complain really make my curious mind dig more investigation.

These what I heard and learned from those folks!

  • They don’t strive to save money. When I tell them I make homemade bread or something from scratch,I feel I said something magical. You could see on their blank faces the unexplained emotions-amazement,the-what(?!)-face, Really moment!, and the can’t believe expressions.
  • They go with the flow. If everybody does this and do things over and over again despite the financial hardship they’re going into. Let it be! They don’t do something opposite because they are more worried about what their friends gonna say about them.
  • They keep up with the Joneses. For me,these are the people who define the American dream in different language. A lot of people lost their possessions because they took this dream to the next level. Some people go extreme even their crying pockets are screaming but still,to keep up with somebody is such a huge test.
  • They just don’t know how. There are people who honestly don’t know how things work. Sounds pretty sad but it’s true. When I tell someone about the discounts I get by doing smart shopping,I always get a response “I didn’t know that!“.
  • It’s in their mindset. When someone tells me, “I’m broke”,I wanted to say “You’re not!”. When you have money to buy cigarettes or booze every day,you’re not broke. To me,broke means no money in your pocket. Not even a dollar to buy donuts. Or cup of coffee. Broke to me means you are behind your bills and the disconnection notices keep on giving you panic attacks every night. Or your car is about to be repoed. Since,I’m so honest like this. I told someone that her smoking is all about psychological when she told me she can’t quit because it started during her solitary.Not being judgmental because I don’t smoke and I was told,”you don’t understand us,it’s not easy Gladys!” But when you hear from someone that a divorce was a leverage. He quit smoking,right away! I know a gal who’s always broke before her paycheck comes,maybe if she will stop spending money on her nails every month,it will help her somehow. Do you know how expensive to get your nails done? I do mine.

When a mother told me that she can’t take her kids to second-hand stores and yet she was complaining how broke she is. I kindly told her,she might want to explain to her kids her financial situation. Like buying new snickers and clothes are not possible when you have so many bills to pay. When a lady told me,I can’t save money. I offered her my advice to learn how to cook. They eat out every night! They spend at least $10 and yes,they doing it seven times a week! Let’s say $10 is the given amount,it’s $300 in one month just eating alone. In our household,we’re lucky if go eat out once a week. It’s expensive for the four of us to go somewhere even going drive-thru. My husband likes combo,the girls love fries and chicken nuggets. And me being a little saver,I just share with them and it costs us, $10 at least! Just a drive-thru foods. Heck,it’s just almost my hourly wage.

Learning from others’ financial mistakes is somehow beneficial. And it’s free too! We learn based on what they do and what actions they keep on doing to live their lives financially. When you are having a hard time to keep up with your bills,maybe it’s about time to stay home more and cook homemade meals,or quit drinking and smoking,or learn things from scratch. How about preparing your own breakfast every morning and teach ourselves that it’s fun to pack lunch at work and if possible minimize habits that will hurt your budget.

Before end of the year

028Time is running so fast and I have all these plans in my head that before this year ends, I want to accomplish a lot of things. To be productive in some other areas.I want to be more organized and find new things to do once in a while. Okay,I’ll leave that “new things” for next year. Maybe like painting and other sort of creativity.

027I don’t mind going to the library once a week but my plan is to stop (temporarily) borrowing books. I have two books to finish first. Then I will make sure I’m done reading all the books I bought from the library and Goodwill store. So far,I have all my favorite books in collection. I don’t have certain schedule on book reading. I spend half hour here and there to enjoy finishing one book. I read before I go to bed,if I’m not tired that time yet or when the girls are taking a nap in the afternoon or if they’re occupied by something.

026Since holidays are coming up like wildfire, I want to spend these remaining productive days baking every week. I still want to learn a lot of things when it comes to making delicious breads. I want to learn how to make flat breads,flavored breads,rye bread,rolls and the list goes on.

I want to broaden my cooking skills especially making from scratch. I found out it’s not that hard to make mac & cheese homemade compared to buying boxes that being retailed at the store. I want to learn how to make marinara sauce,taco seasoning,salsa and even noodles. I want to learn how to  make them in my own kitchen.

025I want to improve my photography skills. I take pictures every day. A good thing I have little models here who force me to take pictures of them when they feel like it. Well,they always feel like it.

Usually, Every.Single.Day!

029Just like the other day,I got a chance to read my camera’s manual-I skim read. Surprise! I have this for so long now,maybe a year and I didn’t really pay attention what other amazing features my camera has. I want to be familiar with it like I should. I just learned how to set the rule of third grid yesterday. Yay to me! To learn some boring but interesting part of it,like aperture,ISO,release mode,etc.

030I’ll be burning dvd/cd these coming days. I have tons,maybe thousand of pictures in the computer. I want to transfer both videos and pictures so that I can delete them in my computer files. Just taking over my computer. These pictures and videos are from the moment they were born and to this date. I know,it’s a lot of memories but I love it. This is something I can let our girls watch when they get bored. Or we can sit on the couch as a family and watch these beautiful memories. The videos when they were born,their first birthdays,when they used to play while I was hiding so that I could capture that moment. It’s really nice to watch them when they’re unaware of your presence.

Giving myself timeline on things I want to do in the remaining months of the year makes me feel more productive and I can tell myself that this year is pretty good to me.

I can’t wait for productive Gladys kicks in!