This Week I Read…

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The Night Before First Grade


Amazon Summary:

It’’s the night before the Big Day—-first grade! Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore’s classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers —as well as the “heroine” of the story— and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.

AJ’s Review:

She’s going to first grade and wants to be with her friend, but they are in different classes. They are sad, but meet new friends, then they are all friends. The new friends are twins, I know twins, but they are a boy and girl. Twins means you are born at the same time.

Mommy says I have to stay I’m going into first grade like the girl. I’m a first grader.

Mommy’s Review:

The book’s writing and premise is based on “The Night Before Christmas” which is cute. Apparently there are a bunch of books The Night Before for each stage in a kid’s life. Too bad adults can’t have books like that…The Night Before I get paid, ….A New Job, …..My Wedding, …..I Gave Birth, …..Everyone Got The Stomach Bug.

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading? 

This Week I Read…

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Only One You


Before we get to the book review, AJ is excited for the summer reading program. For AJ reading every night, even during the day is not an issue. He loves to read and create his own books. As of today, he has read 10 books, so we have to get to the library to get his prize.

This year the prizes are…

  • 10 books: Summer Reading poster
  • 20 books: Ice cream gift certificate to Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe
  • 30 books: Get your superhero photo taken.
  • 40 books: Cool sunglasses courtesy of the Friends of the %%%%%%% Library.
  • 50 books: Toy Chest gift certificate (toy store in town)

Amazon Summary:

There’s only one you in this great big world. Make it a better place. Adri’s mama and papa share some of the wisdom they have gained through the years with their eager son. Their words, simple and powerful, are meant to comfort and guide him as he goes about exploring the world. This exquisitely illustrated book explodes with color and honest insights. Kranz’s uniquely painted rockfish, set against vibrant blue seas, make an unforgettable and truly special impression. Only One You will inspire parents and children of all ages as they swim through the sea of life.

AJ’s Review:

He is the only kid like me. His parents tell him lots of things because they think they have wisdom. Mommy says wisdom is knowing a lot of things. The mommy and daddy want the boy fish to have fun, make friends, and see lots of art. Art is everywhere, it is, I’m serious. 

Mommy’s Review:

It’s nice to read a book that features an only child, even though it does not focus on being an only…just portrays a family with one child. There are books about new babies, different types of families, and stages in kids’ lives. So if I come across a book about an only child I grab it up and want to celebrate our family. 

This book is inspiring and sweet. It doles out wisdom that all parents want to instill in their children. It does not focus on making lots of money or being powerful. Instead the parents want their child to see the beauty in life, be happy and, make a difference in the world.

This was one of the books we bought using a gift card from his Grandma and Grandpa. we bought a few first grade books, and a bridge activity book to get him ready for first grade. . 

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading? 

This Week I Read


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Loose Tooth


Amazon Summary:

A young boy wakes up one morning to find that he has his very first loose tooth. But no matter how much he pushes, pulls, and wiggles it, it just won’t come out!

Lola Schaefer’s energetic text and Sylvie Wickstrom’s exuberant illustrations perfectly capture the excitement and anxiety of a child losing his first tooth in an appealing book about a childhood milestone

o Beginning readers will recognize and respond to the familiar situation of a child with his very first loose tooth.

o Energetic and engaging, Lola M. Schaefer’s very simple story is perfect for the youngest beginning readers.

o Expressive and lively illustrations will delight young children.

AJ’s Review:

I had a loose tooth, but then it fell out. I swallowed it while I was eating lunch at school. Now the tooth fairy is getting a “poop tooth”. Don’t worry, Mommy says she has magic to clean it off and I still get money. The’s boys tooth came out all by itself, just like mine.  

first tooth

Don’t mind the face paint and stamps…it was a kindergarten celebration to get ready for first grade.

Mommy’s Review:

An easy to read book with word and sentence repetitions to reinforce decoding of text. The boy has a loose tooth and wants it out, but it won’t come out. His family tries to help, but then it comes out all on its own. Perfect for beginner readers and kids who are just loosing their baby teeth.

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading? 

AJ is SIX today!

My son is six! Yes six years old!!!. Where did the time go? Seems not too long ago that it was six years of trying to become parents. Six years of heartbreak, pain, desperation, and loneliness that have now been replaced with six years of bliss, love, exhilaration, hope, and awesomeness. We became a family because of you!

I’m the mom to a six year old. I’m the mom to a boy who will be passing kindergarten and moving on to 1st grade! I’m a mom of a cool dude. I’m the mom of a handsome, intelligent, caring, kind, independent, stubborn, motivated, and talented little man.  I can’t wait to see how he changes the world.

Questions for Dinosaur at age 6:

  1. What is your favorite color? red
  2. What is your favorite toy? Picachu (Pokemon)
  3. What is your favorite fruit? mango
  4. What is your favorite vegetable? broccoli
  5. What is your favorite show? Pokemon
  6. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? cold cut sandwich
  7. What is your favorite thing to wear? my pocket shirt (shirt with a small pocket)
  8. What is your favorite game? Monopoly Jr
  9. What is your favorite snack? Whole Food’s duckie crackers
  10. What is your favorite animal? monkey and gorillas
  11. What is your favorite song? Row, Row, Row your boat
  12. What is your favorite book? The Runaway Bunny
  13. Who is your best friend? Daniel
  14. What is your favorite breakfast? Bacon (only allowed on the weekends)
  15. What do you like to do when you go outside?  monkey bars
  16. What is your favorite drink? water
  17. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
  18. What do you like to take to bed with you? ALL of them, but Mommy doesn’t let me
  19. What is your favorite thing to eat for dinner? pizza
  20. What do you want to be when you grow up? a Pokemon Master and a dad with six kids

His answers when he was five years old, four years old...


AJ when he was still in his preemie clothes…my tiny little man



preemie outfit

AJ over the years

PicMonkey Collage 2015

 Six Year Old AJ

anthony collage blog

This Week I Read…

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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


AJ has had this book for some time, I forget when and where he go it. It’s a great book to read every so often.

Amazon Summary:

The perennially popular tale of Alexander’s worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child’s bookshelf.

Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.
And it got worse…
His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!

AJ’s Review:

Alexander is having a bad day. His brothers are mean to him. His mommy and daddy yelled at him. He wants to go away where people are nice to him. Sometimes I have bad days and I don’t like them. But Mommy and Daddy still love me. I still love them. 

Mommy’s Review:

A classic book that will always teach kids it’s okay to have a bad day. It’s okay for things to not go the way you want. The next day things might get better.

The one major thing lacking in this book is the mom or dad hugging Alex. There’s no acknowledgement of Alexander having a bad day, but still being loved and cared for. There’s no understanding from his parents that it’s okay to make mistakes and get in trouble, it’s okay be be angry. There’s no reassurance that tomorrow will be a better day. 

AJ actually asked why his mommy didn’t hug him and tell him she loves him to the moon and back. I thought it was a valid question. What do you think about that? 

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading? 

Finally On The Right Track

finally on the right track

After years of of meetings, aggravations, and fighting, AJ finally has the services he should have gotten years ago. He was denied speech services after he aged out of Birth to Three services. In Connecticut the school district then takes over at this point and assign one elementary school to handle these preschool meetings. At this meeting, I was told his speech issues would go away naturally. He was denied OT services numerous times when he was in daycare all through his third and fourth years. They claimed he did not qualify, but gave pages upon pages of activities and resources the daycare teachers could do to help AJ. The daycare was amazing they did all they could, but even they knew AJ needed extra support they could not provide. If he had all those recommendations and needs, why not just give him services? It’s simple really, he wasn’t in their school and wasn’t their issue so they didn’t have to deal with him. When he did start kindergarten he would be at another elementary school in the district so he would never be their problem. It made no difference that I was a special education teacher and reading specialist in NY, they didn’t want to give out resources and time to a kid that would never be their problem. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

Now that he’s in kindergarten that has all changed. I am truly happy with the school and how they have responded to my son’s needs.

First it started with AJ having a 504 plan and getting OT two times a week, then daily breaks and brushing have been added on to his plan. He’s getting speech and reading services to help him with his phonemic and phonological deficits, they will both use a multisensory program to improve his decoding and encoding. He is also going to meet with the school psychologist for a group social skills session once a week. His IEP will begin the rest of this year and continue for 2015-2016 school year. As of right now he is classified as learning disabled since they are not sure if his attention difficulties are due to his sensory issues or ADD. When we go for his annual doctors’ appointment, we can discuss all this with doctor. We will wait and see if the doctor wants to do an assessment for ADD or tell us to wait till September.


I am not crossing dyslexia off the table yet. AJ is very smart and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother. He understands and expresses vocabulary above his grade level, he loves to read (what do you expect from a mom who is a reading specialist), can answer both literal and inferential comprehension questions, make predictions, describe characters, and summarize text, His deficits are in the areas of phonemic and phonological awareness. What is that you ask. Well HERE is a great explanation.

I know first hand what happens when students are not given the support they need. Students who are given services too late, struggle in the later years and will never catch up to where they are supposed to be academically.

This describes AJ now, he spends all his energy on trying to sound out and write letters, that his amazing stories are getting lost in the frustration. If this is happening now in kindergarten, what will happen when he’s in third and fourth grade and he still can’t properly read the words on the page or write down what he expressed aloud. Now with reading support focusing on a multisensory program, we will see if and how AJ improves.

AJ will also be getting summer services for the month of July, this will effect the time he spends at daycare summer camp. I know he will be upset about missing field trips on Thursdays, but he really needs support over the summer. I will try to get him back to daycare camp in time for swimming and horseback riding. It’s not his fault the previous school did not do their job and give him the services he needed; but AJ needs extra time to catch up. Summer school is only three days a week, three hours each day for four weeks. After that he will have all of August to enjoy summer camp. I’ll make sure I have fun activities planned on the weekends.

What are your kids doing this summer?


I know I’m taking a big risk posting about this. There are people who will judge, tell me what I should have done differently, or just send negativity my way. I say go for it if it makes you happy. Their negative vibes will have no effect on me. I know AJ and I have love and support that outweighs any negativity. Besides, I own the domain, therefore this is my blog and I can post whatever I choose. I want to be honest and open with my readers, I want to share our struggles and joys.

Do your kid(s) receive support services? Was it a battle or did the distinct
provide services immediately?

Great resources

This Week I Read…

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The Bully from the Black Lagoon


We bought through the Scholastic Reading Club at our school. Click HERE to check it out. Does your school have one? What books have you bought your kid(s)?

Amazon Summary:

Hubie has heard there’s a new kid in school. His name is Butch Pounder, and he is rumored to be a mean bully! Did Butch really beat up the football team and eat the teacher’s pet at his last school?

Hubie thinks he’ll end up in the nurse’s office, when he finally runs into Butch. But, of course, Hubie’s imagination has run away from him again! All Butch wants is a new friend to show him around school, and Hubie is just who he needed!

AJ’s Review:

He thinks the new kid is going to beat him up, eat him, and throw him away. He is scared of the bully. Bullies are not nice, but he’s not a bully. He’s a good guy and wants to be friends. I’m nice to everyone and like to make friends. 

Mommy’s Review:

Very cute book about a boy who misunderstands what he hears about the new kid or hears rumors. Hubie works himself into a frenzy thinking of horrific and devastating things the bully can do to him. In the end, the new kid is nothing like what he heard he would be…he’s jut a new kid looking to make friends. 

Teaches a great lesson…never judge someone before you meet them. 

Kid Lit Blog Hop

What are your kids reading? 

New Experiences and Challenges



This past Sunday, for Mother’s Day I ran walked the Run Like A Mother 5k and AJ did the 1 mile for kids. What an experience it was, wish I had done that sooner. This was my first time attempting anything of the sort. At one point I almost cried. It wasn’t because I couldn’t do it, it was the overwhelming power of the moment. Just looking up and seeing all the kids in their blue shirts and all the women, moms, daughters, sisters, aunts, grandmas, and friends in their pink shirts. What a sight it was. I could feel it in the air and I am so proud to have been a part of it.

I walked the 5k in 55 mins! For me that is darn good. Next year my goal is to jog it in 45 minutes, if I do better than that is great. Even AJ is excited for next year. He said he will practice running so he can run with the big guys. I think he wants to challenge himself to run faster as well!

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I recently learned how to effectively tie my sneakers when running walking. I never paid attention to this extra hole and really could have used this for my 5k. I tried it and it’s AMAZING, it really works. I didn’t have the irritation above my heel or on my pinky toe! Even the bottom of my heels didn’t hurt as much. Did you already know about this?


What do you listen to when you exercise? Music used to be my motivation for long commutes and exercise, now it’s a good book. I don’t own an iPod, but with Audible I can listen to any book, anytime, and anywhere. All you need is the Audible app and an Amazon account. You simply download the book and listen till your heart’s content. Want to know what books I’m reading and read my reviews? Do you post about your book reviews? If you do you can link them up every Monday. Here’s my latest book review and linky.

Sign In to Audible        bookreviewbutton-2

I still borrow CD books from the library, we should all take advantage of that. Though they may be cutting back on CDs they can send from other libraries to your library. Did you know you could do that? If your branch doesn’t have the book you want, you can go onto bibliomation and have the book sent to your branch when it’s available. Not sure what to do, just ask a librarian. Neat, right? Well, I really hope they don’t cut back on that, but afraid they will.

Each new book brings on a new journey, a new adventure, a new family. I don’t want to leave this place,

I want to press a button and like magic additional chapters appear and the story continues. 

It really is devastating when a book ends. No matter if the ending is what you wanted, feared, hated, or cherished…you don’t want it to end. Then you start a new book and the possibilities are endless, but you never forget your old friends.


AJ is going to be six next month! Can you believe it? 6!!! Where did the time go? The fact that it took us 6 years to become parents and that is how old our little guy is! All those years of depression, worry, anger, jealousy, worry, fear are now replaced with love, hope, joys, craziness, passion and family.

Every milestone, every accomplishment, every worry, every frustration is truly a blessing I once thought I would never get to enjoy.

I think it’s time to start working on his party supplies and gift bags. I have to start taking his 6 year old picture make a collage of his previous b-day pics. Do you go to a professional or do it yourself? I have been using PicMonkey to edit pic and make collages and it’s a BIG money saver. The more you practice the better you get at it, besides it’s fun to create your own!

This Week I Read…

Yes, I’m changing a few things here. My guy is growing up and therefore this blog must grow too. While I’ll still keep the name and content, the way posts are presented will change. I will be referring to my little man as AJ, as this is close to his real name while still keeping his anonymity). Now on to the book review.

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Dog in Boots

knight for a day
We bought this book about a year ago, or perhaps even two years ago. We read this every so often, it’s still one of our very favorites.

Amazon Summary:

Inspired by his favorite story about a cat with fantastic boots, Dog heads out to the local shoe store and emerges with some splendid footwear. Wants and needs are contrasted through the process of trial and error in this cheerful picture book.

AJ’s Review:

Dog is so silly, he wants to be like the cat in the story. He wants boots, but doesn’t like them. Then gets high heels and flippers, but doesn’t like them. He already has paws but doesn’t know they are awesome.

Mommy’s Review:

Even though this book is adorable and silly, it has the wondrous message that you MUST always be happy and love who you are and what you have. Dog thinks he needs all these different types of footwear to be a great dog and do great things. In reality, his own paws can do it all…if only he had seen the versatility and wonder of his own paws in the first place.

Dog tries various shoes and silly things happen. AJ can just about repeat the book word for word. The illustrations are wonderful and appealing. 

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Run, Walk, or Perhaps Crawl

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So after watching the race for years, I’m joining the Run Like a Mother Race 5K in my town on Mother’s Day!

No, I will not be running, but I will be walking. I thought I would be crawling after a few minutes, but I surprised myself as I trained for the race. I walked 2.3 miles in just 47 minutes last weekend! Then today I walked 3 miles in 55 minutes!!!!! I did it!!!!

AJ will be joining me too! The kids get to run one mile before the moms run. How exciting is that! He gets his own shirt and a medal for competing.

What do all the contestants get for participating? We get a recyclable tote/grocery bag, a Jockey Performance Tech Tee, a race bib (with timing chip affixed) and some small goodies. Pretty awesome right? After the race we get a ribbon I believe. I’m going to pick up our shirts and goodies Friday afternoon.

I hope Hubby takes lots of pictures, I want to capture all the great moments. I got some great advice, don’t worry about the other racers, just focus on me. Don’t worry about competing with anyone, just compete with yourself! So I plan to do just that, I’ll continue listening to Tess Gerritsen’s new book on Audible.

Die Again: Rizzoli & Isles | [Tess Gerritsen]

At the finish line, which is the local park, they will have stands with activities. I really am looking forward to the being a part of it all. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day? I’m hoping to go to one of the local restaurants and get have brunch with my guys afterwards. Then we have to all walk back up a hill to get home, but after a 5K it shouldn’t be too bad, right?

How about you? How will you be celebrating this Mother’s Day?


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