MY BABY’S VIRTUAL BIRTHDAY PIZZA PARTY

Life as we knew it has changed. And I hate it! This is the second year that my baby had to have a virtual birthday party. It makes me a little sad that her memories will be different, but I have to remind myself that this too shall pass, and she is enjoying her memories. Since I’m still not comfortable being around people, I had to figure out a way to get creative.

We had a Roblox virtual pizza party! The party started at one and simultaneously at 1:30 PM, pizzas were delivered to North Carolina, Maine, New Hampshire, Chicago, Georgia, California, And Texas! For my daughter and all her cousins. They were all very excited that they got pizza at the same time, and they got to hang out and play Roblox together.

What Covid has done for me is making me realize quality time is everything. This is the second year I baked her birthday cake. It’s not perfect, but it didn’t have to be. She loves it, that’s really all that matters.

Roblox cake

I was one of those parents who didn’t really want my kid looking at a screen all day, but with working from home, birthday parties, and life, I am thankful for FaceTime, Zoom, but most of all, Roblox.

Dear Rhythm,

Ima keep it short and sweet because a lot of people are reading this. I just want to let you know my life really began when I had you! I am so thankful I was used as a vessel to bring you to life. You have taught me so much and have given me the freedom I didn’t even realize I needed. Being your mother is truly a honor! Stop growing up so fast! Happy Birthday, my Bright, Beautiful Baby Girl!

Momma

Www.TherealCherie.com

ONE OF THE BEST THINGS ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING

Picking books that interest you is one of the greatest things about homeschooling. Besides Charlotte’s Web, I can’t remember one required book that we read in school that interested me at all. Since I went to an all-white school, there were none that I identified with either. In my house, my daughter’s books are eclectic and all-inclusive purposefully, just like the world.

As 4th grade is winding down, one of our final reads was Sadako And The Thousand Paper Cranes. Rhythm loved the story. 

Hiroshima-born Sadako is lively and athletic–the star of her school’s running team. And then, the dizzy spells start. Soon gravely ill with leukemia, the “atom bomb disease,” Sadako faces her future with spirit and bravery. Recalling a Japanese legend, Sadako sets to work folding paper cranes. For the legend holds that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again. Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates the extraordinary courage that made one young woman a heroine in Japan. 

This book sparked a few very interesting conversations between us. Just so happens that Israel is bombing Palestine, as she was reading this. She wanted to know how many of the children that were bombed would get leukemia. Very valid question. So, I went to Google, which prompted us to have a whole unit on exactly what leukemia is. Then, she was telling her Grandma (my mother) about it and my mother began to share that her Uncle died from Leukemia as well.  Rhythm was mind blown, that fact one of her very own relatives died of the same thing, which brought the story home for her. It was not just something that happened in Japan. She was then excited to share with my mother that she was born the year before Sadako died. Just the fact that she remembered the dates and how old Sadako was, is remarkable. “She was already 21 years old when you were born grandma,” Rhythm said.

I was pleased with her impromptu oral report back to Grandma, so I didn’t make her write a report, but we did go to YouTube to help us with an art project. 

I felt it was only right she makes her own paper crane! Thank God for tutorials because I wouldn’t have known where to start! Her Uncle Chris lives in Thailand and he sent her some beautiful oriental inspired paper last year that we made into fans. So, I went and got the kit, and she used the paper to make her very own paper crane!  

Crane

This was a terrific book with a fun activity to really make the lesson a memorable end of the year activity for my little 4th grader! 

Yes, we do homeschool in PJs a lot since Quarantine.

WE CALL THEM CHOPSTICKS; IN JAPAN THEY CALL THEM OBAMA!

80 billion chopsticks are made every year. One tree can produce 4,000 chopsticks. 80% of those chopsticks are made in Japan.

Did you know when you use chopsticks, you’re actually using 50 muscles in your fingers, your wrist, your arm and your shoulders. Eating with chopsticks is officially a workout.

  • Teaching children to eat with chopsticks is a great extension lesson for homeschoolers;
  • It’s a life skill.
  • Teaches fine motor skills.
  • Helps hand eye coordination.
  • Slows you down when eating, so kids have chew time.
  • Gives instant reward from your hard work of being challenged.

Did you know?

They were originally cooking tools, then people started using them to eat.  In honor of Asian Americans Heritage Month, it was only right if we had an Asian Inspired lunch!  Not only was it yummy, but Rhythm got to show off her chopstick skills and I learned she likes pot stickers more than dumplings! She really likes dumplings, so that’s a big deal, lol. 

Asian Meal

A SAD DAY IN THE JOHNSON HOUSE WAS CURED BY AUNT MICHELLE!

I am sad that I have to announce Molly is no longer with us. Yes, my daughter’s fish after 4 years has been called home! She transitioned back to the earth and my daughter took it hard! I mean she screamed and cried! She had lost her best friend! She was too upset to bury her. She asked me could I do it for her. I told her, “Sure I will.” All I could do was hug her and let her know she was a good pet owner to Molly and reminded her that Molly lived a good life! She had 3 different bowls with major fishy bling, the fish literally took flights (plural) outa town! That made her giggle in between the tears.

She climbed back in her bed and turned on YouTube so she could watch other people play Roblox. (I don’t get it but that’s a whole different blog) For about 15 minutes, she has screamed and cried… then the doorbell rang! 

Her Aunt Michelle sent cookies all the way from Boston! Within 15 minutes, these giant cookies came to the door with 4 containers of ice Cream and chocolate milk! Lol, the tears stopped quickly! Hero Auntie saved the day and turned the channel.

While she still grieves over Molly being gone, it’s been a few days, but she no longer cries because she’s still working on these giant cookies! 

Aunt Michelle, thank you for always having your baby’s back. You taught me a huge lesson and listen; these cookies are amazing. Hahaahahaha! You are the best, thank you so much! 

R.I.P., Molly, you lived a great long life! 

Pray for me everyone. Now she’s asking me for a Teacup Yorkie or a Teacup Maltiepoo! I’m a sucker when it comes to this girl’s wants but I dunno if I’m ready to travel with a dog now… I told her we would talk about it again when she’s 7. I bought myself a few more months. (Whispering to you) I hope she forgets! Smh 🤦🏾‍♀️ 

MOLLY HAD POPEYE

Yes, another blog about my daughter’s fish. Popeye disease, yes, I said. The disease is medically known as exophthalmia. 

That is a condition where the eye of the fish is swollen and protrudes abnormally from its socket due to various underlying diseases. This issue can affect a single eye or both eyes.

Luckily for us, it was just one eye. I didn’t want to write a blog when it happened because I was the bad mom who refused to take a $5 four-year-old fish to the vet! Sure, money holds no value on love, but I just wasn’t doing it! But now that the fish is alive 4 months later and has made round trips on the plane, I am confident I made the right choice.

I am not a person that will give advice until I know firsthand it was gonna work or not. Long story short, my daughter looked into Molly’s bowl one day in September and her eye was huge. 

Molly had Popeye. After reading over the Internet how to cure it, I finally came along one page that told me simple Epson salt would cure it! 

Off I rushed to get my mask and shield on and headed to CVS to buy some simple Unscented Epson salt.  

When I got home, I cleaned out Molly’s bowl and put in a few tablespoons of the Epson salt. I changed the water every other day and before the week was over, Molly was cured! Her eye was back to normal. 

So now my family jokes that I’m Doc Mcstuffins: the pet vet! This damn fish is truly like having another kid. 4 years and counting! 

www.TherealCherie.com

THE GIRL WHO TRAVELED WITH A FISH

There once was a girl who traveled with a fish 

she didn’t wanna leave it home 

all her kids did was bitch

Moaned and complained 

Molly was her daughter’s best friend,

they were driving Mommy insane! 

Get a sitter?

No, we can’t 

mommy Ima miss her!

This betta has been alive for 4 years 

I didn’t know my daughter was gonna shed tears

It’s a fish 

but you’re my everything 

I will grant every wish

I called TSA, they giggled but I packed her

2020 had Molly being a damn world traveler! 

I don’t know what I’m gonna do

She’s asking for a teacup yorkie or a teacup maltipoo

Ain’t no way in hell Ima traveling with 2! 

7 suitcases, kids and my mom and a damn fish 

Making round trips! 

We were gone for 3 months but finally we are home! Halo passed on but Molly is back home

She’s a champ for sure

But pets I can’t take NO MORE! 

www.TherealCherie.com

IT’S OFFICIAL!

The Christmas countdown has begun. One of my favorite ways to count down the days until Christmas is to pull out her holiday book collection and read a different one every night. It’s my version of an advent calendar.

People often ask me what program I used to aid my daughter in becoming a strong reader. She was 5 years old reading at a 4th grade level. Now she is 6 years old reading at a 5th grade level. There was no curriculum used and no quick fix. To be honest, it was simply the fact that I have read to her every day of her life. Even when she was in my tummy, I read everything out loud. When she got bigger, I would read to her and point at the words as I was reading. By the time she was 2 years old she was recognizing words and reading them back to me.

Because she is a big reader, I make sure to put seasonal books away so she can’t get to them year-round. This keeps the excitement going for her and the anticipation of rereading some of her favorites. This year I will be pulling out:

Snowy Day

The Nutcracker in Harlem

Too Many Tamales

All Of A Kind Family Hanukkah

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Piñata in a Pine Tree

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Grace of Christmas

Hanukkah Bear

The Night Before Christmas

The Seven Days of Kwanzaa

The history of Kwanzaa

Li’l Rabbits Kwanzaa

All titles can be found on amazon.com

What are some of your favorite holiday children books or early chapter books?

PUMPKIN CARVING PARTY

I’ve got good news homeschoolers: pumpkin carving is definitely a craft so it counts as art class. Pumpkin carving has become a tradition in our house. It all started when my daughter was little, she loved Spookley the Square Pumpkin!

Giving it a name and a face is her favorite thing to do. I cut open plastic bags and literally placed it right down on the kitchen floor. Pumpkin carving is messy, and this is a way for really easy cleanup. I get down on the floor, open up a garbage bag and just throw everything else in it.  I make sure to give her a wooden spoon and a huge bowl so she can scoop out all the goodness and put it in the bowl. She loves getting her hands dirty and acting silly with the pumpkin’s insides.

Pumpkin Carving Party

We put aside the goodness for another activity I’ll write you about next time. Because my daughter is small, I made sure that I bought her those child friendly carving tools and I have her draw the face that she wants on the pumpkin before we actually cut them out. And then I help her carve out the face that she wants. I make sure that she remembers not to rush, to use small, controlled motions and to keep her hands dry so that doesn’t slip on the little carving tools. I make sure to put the top on the pumpkin so that she doesn’t feel compelled to put her hand on the inside of the pumpkin while she’s cutting, that way I don’t have to worry about her cutting herself. Tea light candles from the Dollar Store are the perfect substitute for a real candle. 

And if you feel that your child is too small to actually carve a pumpkin; it doesn’t mean that they need to be left out of the fun. Give them a sharpie and let them go to work, maybe some glue with some googly eyes, some sequins and rhinestones. Let them just have fun and be creative. One year my daughter painted a pumpkin and she loved it. Don’t get caught up in details, just have fun and make great memories.

PUMPKIN PATCH

It’s that time of the year again! PUMPKIN PATCH TIME! I feel blessed to live in a great place that has many awesome patches nearby. It all started when my daughter was little, she loved Spookley the Square Pumpkin! So, the first year, after we went on a hay barrel ride, drank hot chocolate, rode a pony and visited the little petting zoo they had, she took me on a mission. She had me walking down row, after row looking for a square pumpkin… which of course she did not find. But after a while, she forgot she was looking for a specific shape because she found the perfect one for her. She said it was asking her to please bring it home.

I was relieved we could finally leave LOL. She took pictures and waved bye to the people that helped us, but most of all, she got the perfect pumpkin for her. Allowing her to choose for herself not only makes her feel like a big girl but also brings her so much joy since it will become her friend for the season. She always puts a seatbelt on it and talks to it on the way home.

I know I will miss these sweet moments one day. I hope she enjoys the pumpkin patch for many years to come because I truly enjoy watching her search for the perfect pumpkin. Stay tuned to Fridays post when I will write about carving out this Jack O Lantern.

DO KIDS STILL BOB FOR APPLES?

Get your kids up and out of the house and make sure they live! It’s fall, make sure they enjoy the crisp air and the season change. Bobbing for apples wasn’t something that I got to do often as a child with friends because it’s kind of gross and a great way to be spreading germs with a bunch other people. I did get to bob for apples with Soleil once when I was a kid! My mom put a bunch of apples in a container and led us onto the balcony. I remember thinking those floating apples were so funny and diving my face all the way in and down holding my breath trying my best to get an apple was fun. I remember my mom timing us and cheering for us. Then being all wet with a towel around my neck, eating an apple and giggling with Soleil.

I figured this is something my daughter would love to do after going to the apple orchard herself. After I wash the apples, I made sure I got a plastic container, filled it up with water and grabbed a few towels. I explain the rules to my daughter, grabbed her school timer and let her go in the back yard! 

She giggled with excitement at the thought of putting her face in all that water. As she wrapped her hands together around her back, she giggled some more. Once she settled down, she was ready! It was a great way to keep her entertained for about 5 minutes. After she got 3 apples out, she quit! She ate the apple and giggled about it for the rest of the day. It’s the simple things kids remember most.

Memory Made! Let’s see if she asks to do it next year…