Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family Vacation!

Many people feel that wealth, a successful career and material possessions define your happiness. However, for me the crucial ingredient to a happy life is spending quality time with my family. This weekend was by far one that I will never forget because it was our first official vacation as a family. We've travel before but for specific reasons; graduations. weddings, birthdays and so on. This time we left our home and venture out on our own for no other reason than to enjoy one another. I was told once that children learn about families from the time they spend in their own families. Therefore, this weekend was hopefully a great learning experience for Ari. We started our weekend with Mommy & Daddy time, we got a couples massage at  Essential Spa. Then, we went horseback riding for the first time. This was an interesting activity considering my horse (Mufasa), decided to take a de-tour and sit on a bush in the middle of our trip. But overall, I am safe and sound so not too bad for the first time.

After our interesting horseback riding we got something to eat and headed to watch a movie before picking up Ari.  Afterwards, we drove to Orlando for our family vacation. Andre (Hubby) purchased a Groupon for Coco Key Water Resort, we thought it was perfect because it included a water park and it was located in a great area with plenty of additional activities to do and many restaurants. It turned out to be a great deal. I can see why many families go to this resort for the weekend. It is definitely a place for families to spend quality time.  

After a fun-filled Saturday at the Water park we headed to Universal Studio on Sunday morning. The hubby and I purchased year tickets months ago but only went to Universal to attend their concerts.  We decided it was time to go during the day and experience the park with our baby girl. Universal was so much fun it was like Andre and I were kids again. We had a reason (Ari) to want to take pictures with every single character at the park. Having kids gives you the okay to do things you always wanted to do but felt weird doing-like getting super excited about the characters and wanting a picture with ALL of them.

Ari was not very fond of all oft he characters but towards the end she started to warm up and even started giving the characters a high five. After watching the parade at Universal we headed back to reality. Quality family time does not need to have a specific agenda or planned activity. This time can be spontaneous and varied in length from a few minutes to several hours depending on the situation. This weekend was the perfect quality time that I needed with my hubby and little girl and I am thankful!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Building a Positive Identity

Today during our play time Ari began to color her pictures. At first she used the crayon box with all of the colors and then she saw a box of multicultural crayons and she was intrigued by it. Then I began to think...
Multicultural Crayons

Building positive identities  means teaching our children to love themselves and to provide opportunities to immerse in good relationships with everyone regardless of who they are. This begins at home! We all want kids to grow up in a world free from bias and discrimination. We want our children to feel loved and included and never to experience the pain of rejection or exclusion. But unfortunately, the reality is that we do live in a world in which racism and other forms of bias continue to affect us daily. Discrimination hurts and leaves scars that can last a lifetime. Even before I had Ari, I feared her growing up in a world with so much hatred. My little beautiful biracial little girl will be judge because of the color of her skin, her hair, her culture and many more. This topic has been dear and close to my heart. I have played over and over again how I would react  to raising a biracial child and how I would feel if someone mistreated my little girl (Besides trying to hurt them! lol). Since having Ari, the fight to make sure that Ari grows up with a positive identity has became my number one priority to the point that sometime I worry.. if perhaps I worry a little too much. I try to make sure that school is a diverse place and even church needs to be diverse. The world is ever-changing and though we are changing our churches have not. When I married my husband, I decided to join his church shortly after an incident at the church made me feel uncomfortable. On that day I knew that my daughter would not attend that church and then I began to search for a church that our entire family would be welcomed and loved. From time to time I observe the interaction between children at my school and wonder how would Ari react to the world around her. Will you triumph over adversity and became a woman with a strong identity? Or would she question her beauty and identity because of what society may say or do? My plan is to build a strong woman who believes that her worth is based on the love she gives, the relationships she builds and how she makes a difference in this world.

This is my plan as I raise my daughter.
1. Provide opportunities for Ari to interact with other children who are racially/culturally different from her.
2. Respectfully listen to and answer Ari's questions about herself and others. Talking is key! 
3. Teach Ari to value the differences between people as much as the similarities. 

In the meantime I am going to continue to LOVE HER IN EVERY WAY she never has to feel the need to obtain the love from anyone else. For now, I think I'll let her use the colors of the rainbow to color her pictures and teach her that each color has its purpose, but together will always make a beautiful rainbow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lessons I've Learned! Vol. 1

Having children will truly provide you with a learning curve. I've learned so much about various topics ever since I had Ari. Here are the lessons I learned this week. Every day is a new day full of surprises and I am loving every minute of it.

  1. Dora's little partner's name is Boots- Clearly I do not watch Dora often enough.
  2. Chuckie Cheese is not the best place to go on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently everyone in this city attends on Saturdays.
  3. My daughter understand what pee pee means, but chooses not to tell her mommy when she goes! :(
  4. I am officially an IPhone crazy person. Yes, I ordered my new IPhone 5S!
  5. Cupcake and ice cream = A very hyper toddler.
  6. I love my daughters curly hair! I hope she loves it as much as I do when she is older.
  7. My little Ari has a bigger vocabulary than I've realized.
  8. Having a thin tall toddler is a huge issues when buying clothes... especially long pants.
  9. Purchased a cute little dress from Gymboree withj the matching headband for Ari's fall pictures. When I showed my husband his response was: "She looks like she is going to the jungle!" (Not exactly the response I wanted to hear)
  10. Your food is always better than theirs... even when it is the EXACT same thing. (Toddlers!)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Book Mondays! Vol. 1

Water your mind! Read!
As a lover or reading and as Reading Coach I always knew that Literacy would be a big part of my daughter's life. Since the day she came home from the hospital I have read to her every night. As a Reading Coach and teacher I always loved Children's Literature. Since becoming a mother I have gain a deep love for books for toddlers. I have found a new reason for reading in my life. Therefore, I decided to share all of the wonderful finds of books for Toddlers. My plan is to share a few books that I am loving at the moment and books that are great for young toddlers every Monday. You can click on the name of the book to find the book on

 Brush, Brush, Brush by Alicia Padron: I found this cute Board book by accident. Ari is learning how to brush her teeth so this is a great book to reinforce brushing her teeth and the steps to brushing her teeth correctly. 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle: As the newborn caterpillar snacks through the pages (leaving behind a hole to stick a little finger through), he gets bigger, fatter, and turns into a lovely butterfly with wings the color of Swiss cheese, oranges, and cherry pie! Ari loves to stick her little finger in the little holes that the caterpillar leaves behind. Great book for understanding the life cycle of a caterpillar!
 Where is Baby's Belly Button? by Karen Katz: I LOVE THIS BOOK! (Well, so does Ari) I was told that a toddler needed to learn their body parts by 18 months so frantic I went to the book store to find a book that can help teach Ari her body parts. This book was a great find. The repetitive text always asks, "Where is baby's (certain body part)?" Ari is super excited to get to lift the flaps to find the hidden pictures. The pictures are bright and cute. This book is perfect for that stage when toddlers become fascinated with their belly buttons!
 Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. : This book does a great job at teaching colors with its repetitive text. By the time Ari was 16 months, Ari could depict every picture and state it by name and color. The pictures were actually some of her first regularly said words.

 Love You Forever by Robert Munch: A Kindergarten Teacher introduced me to this book last year and immediately I knew that I needed to buy this book. "I'll love you forever / I'll love you for always / As long as I'm living / My baby you'll be."  Any loving parent,  will recognize the overwhelming love the mother in this story feels for her son. This is a story that portrait the love that a mother has for her child from birth until old age. The tears come when the mother gets sick, and can't finish the song. Her son then holds her in his lap, rocks her, and sings to her. Then he goes home, picks up his newborn daughter, and sings. A book of unconditional love!

Check back next Monday for additional books. If you have any suggestion please let me know, I always love to learn about new books to read to my baby girl.

Happy Reading!


Friday, September 13, 2013

Iphone Apps for Toddlers

Technology is all around us so its no surprise that our very young children love to interact with every gadget available. They love to play games or watch videos on our computers, iPads and iPhones. I am definitely not opposed to kids using technology, especially when it helps to keep them occupied and entertained in necessary situations.  The waiting room of the doctor’s office, anyone? Or while you are driving and trying to focus on the road. Or perhaps you are trying to buy some groceries. Anyone that has a toddler understand that a few minutes of quite means a very good shopping, waiting or driving experience. It makes total sense: our kids are designed to mimic us (their parents) and when seeing us with our iPhones in our hands or pockets half the time, Ari decided that she wanted to do the same. At first it was all about just pressing the HOME button for fun. Then I got a “bright” idea to download a baby app. It was the end of life as we know it. Enter the world of Toddler iPhone use. Therefore, in the last few months I have downloaded a few more app for both my iPad and iPhone that I consider to be live savers. Here are the top apps that we love.

Scribble Lite
 Scribble Lite- Toddlers love to draw colorful pictures. Turn your iPhone into a miniature sketch pad. Draw your masterpiece, then shake to erase. With tons of colors, pen sizes, and draw-on photo options, the possibilities are endless.

Alphabet Animals
Alphabet Animals- Perfect for a toddler, this game is packed with colorful animations, animal sounds, and tons of tips for learning their letters. Every child should get an early start to literacy.

iTot Toddler Flashcards-Just like traditional flashcards, iTot Toddler Flashcards teach the names of animals, foods, and other objects, as well as the alphabet and numbers. You'll get hundreds of beautiful cards in this simple application. And with language support, iTot Cards can teach these words in French and Spanish, too! Great app for building vocabulary.

MakeitPOP- Great app that will allow your young toddler to practice their fine motor skills. The balloons need to pop.

Laugh & Learn: Where is puppy?- Great app that practices naming the body parts with a cute little puppy. A good friend of our gave Ari the Laugh  Learn Puppy so its nice to have the puppy and then she sees the same puppy on the app.

Laugh & Learn:  Shapes and Colors- This app is great for practicing shapes and colors with your kiddo. Learning is done through interactions with animations, sounds and sing along songs!

What are your favorite Apps for toddlers? Share... I am always ready to try new things!!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Potty Time!

           Let the fun begin! Well ladies and gentlemen, the potty training has begun. Ari's preschool begins to introduce the potty to the kiddos at 18 months. Since Ari is the youngest in her class she is the last baby to be introduced to the potty. Day after day she has observed her friends going to the potty and for the first time last Tuesday she was able to join the fun. The excitement on her face was priceless! For the rest of the weeks she got to go to the potty just like her friends. She was introduce to flushing and washing hands and she definitely felt like a big girl. When she got home she eagerly would say “poo poo,” and head straight to the bathroom. The hubby was super excited at first until he realized that nothing was happening she just wanted to sit on the potty and feel like a big girl. As first time parents we continued to entertain Ari until both of us decided she was playing with us.

            Some people say that the best time to potty train your child is at 2 ½ and that you should wait on the signs. Therefore, I decided to review the “signs” and see if Ari is truly ready. Here are the Potty Training Readiness you should know according to Staying dry for 2 or more hours, sticking to a regular schedule, being able to take off pants, having the ability to get to the potty, interest in the potty, and communicating when she needs to go. I must be honest I have not really paid that close attention to Ari’s behaviors towards the potty. I know one thing for sure she loves the potty now!
  1. Dry for more than 2 hours- Yes
  2. Regular Schedule-For the most part.
  3. Able to take off pants- No
  4. Get to the potty-Yes
  5. Interest in Potty-Yes, Yes and Yes!!
  6. Communicating-Yes and No (Ari is able to communicate but I am not sure she knows/understands why).
          Ok, so overall I think we had a few signs of readiness but, I also believe its to early to tell. I believe there is no harm in trying to introduce the concept and seeing how your child reacts. However, to my surprise her teachers text me with the cutest picture of little Ari saying that Ari pee peed in the potty. Yay!! OMG could this really be happening so fast?? Ari's Great Grandma had purchased the Fisher-Price Cheer For Me Potty Seat that provides realistic toilet .This Fisher Price baby potty seat can be used in two stages. While the first stage is a full potty on the floor for the beginner with an easy clean bucket, in the second stage the seat and lid come off and snap onto the adult seat to help transition to the 'big' potty. The baby potty seat also includes a retractable toilet paper roll holder and a chrome flush handle that clicks when used, to make your child feel like a grown-up. I was eagerly waiting for us to get to use this potty. However, she has no interest in this super adorable potty. Instead she wants to struggle with the big potty.
 Immediately, I send Andre to get two potties, one for upstairs and one for downs stairs. I wanted the basic potty that goes on top on the big potty. So, we ended up with a potty seat  no bells or whistles but Ari loves to go and sit in the potty!
 I will continue to update our journey to being potty trained!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gymnastics Classes

Today was Ari's first day at Gymnastics! I wanted to capture this moment so I asked the hubby to attend so that he could take pictures of Ari as she participated in the class. Registration was quick and easy, and the woman I spoke with was very friendly. The sitting room (viewing room?) was stuffed with parental types watching their gymnasts of various ages through a giant clear window.  First, we gather in a circle to do fun stretches, sing and dance to songs and took turns showing off our rolls. Next we moved on to the circuits where each child learns jumping, balancing, swinging and strength through various stations. Ari definitely loved the trampoline and the foam pit. She avoided the balance bean and refused to even touch it. Overall, I think its worth placing little Ari in Gymnastics. I cannot wait to see all of the things that she learns from Gymnastics.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Daddy does hair too!!

Generally speaking my husband stays away from our daughter's hair. He'll wash it and brush it as needed. I suppose I was not very surprised by this behavior as I do not believe I have seen many fathers happily do their daughters hair. I understood that he would do the basics and did not expect him to whip up some really cute braid hairstyle. Our daughter has a head full of curly hair so it is not the easiest to managed. On Monday, when I picked up Ari, once again her hair was in a big poof. My husband finds the little fro with a headband to be his favorite hairstyle. Maybe because all he has to do is condition and go. I too love her little fro, but her hair is getting so thick and curly that the cute little fro is now massive. I decided to tell my husband that it is time to actually do our daughters hair. This is was our conversation:

Me: Babes, you really need to do Ari's hair. She always looks crazy when I pick her up.
Him: Well, you need to put out enough bows. I use whatever you put out. (Mind you I don't always put bows out).
Me: You can part her hair and do two ponytails on top and two on the bottom part.
Him: That's a lot of work.
Me" Really! Two parts... you don't even have to braid, just put the hair in a ponytail.
Him: We shall see.

Okay fast forward to yesterday morning...I received a text message with these picture.  
I thought it was pretty good and was glad that he actually listened to me. Then, I read his Facebook status...
Status says: My work. Big ups to the moms who have the patience to part/path their daughter's hair. Man oh man. Love u Cynt Curry

Okay, so I have to say he did a great job even if he thought it was difficult to do. Apparently, Ari wouldn't sit still. Maybe, I should have told him to get her some toys to play with while you do her hair. Now, I know that he is capable of doing her hair so my expectations are now higher than ever :). I was once again reminded that I am so lucky to have such a great dad for my daughter.

Baby Room...

My 18 month old!

Ari is 18 months old and I continue to read, that a toddler bed should be in our near future. However, I cannot help to be sad that my baby is already a toddler. Well, I started thinking that maybe I would want to redecorate and turn her room into a big girl room. I have this idea of getting her a big girl bed and painting her room a pretty gray color with light pink decorations. I want her room to be girly but something that she can grow with. Immediately, I began to pin ideas on Pinterest and got super excited about decorating again. I decided to take some pictures of her current room set up for memories and then realized that I am not ready to part with the baby room just yet. I want to hold on to my baby a little bit longer and keep the room the same way as the day I brought her home. I remember being pregnant and wanting a bright colorful room for my baby girl. I love Owls and thought that would be the perfect theme for the baby's room. It was perfect then and it is still a perfect room for my baby girl. Maybe the room will remain for a few more years. Decorating will just have to wait a few more years!!

Ari's precious baby room!