Saturday, May 19, 2018

Spring 2018 Recital

Lina was beaming at the spring recital. She received the compliment that she stole the show :-) She performed two solo classical music piano pieces: "Musette" in D Major (by Bach) and "Allegro" in B-flat Major (by Mozart). She had a blast.

This was the final live performance of the academic year at the conservatory of music. Since it was in the evening, I needed a hot cup of chai latte from a bakery for the necessary boost of energy. We celebrated after the recital by eating a delicious dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant. Lina ate tortilla chips with homemade salsa dip, 3 soft tacos she created (filled with steak, chicken, beans, cheese, guacamole) & a yummy flan dessert.

We both adore Lina's perfect piano teacher and this is the 3rd semester with her. Lina is 10 years old now and this will be 4 semesters total of musical instrument lessons. We can't believe 4th grade will be over in less than 6 weeks. I am happily checking off all our to-dos before summer break. She had all her medical appointments. Lina had zero cavities at the pediatric dentist. She was given a clean bill of health by the pediatrician at the annual wellness physical exam (including 20/20 vision for both eyes, perfect hearing test, she is totally fit etc.) As an aside, it has now been 1 COMPLETE YEAR that Lina & I have NOT gotten sick (we did not catch a cold for a whole year, nor the flu for a whole decade) which is NOT easy in NYC! (8 million people here and we ride the subways & buses a few times every week). We did not even experience spring allergies this year, so we really lucked out. In addition to writing end-of-year academic reports, I will be focusing on finishing the curriculum with Lina (for math, we covered multiplication and division algorithms for decimals recently & she LOVED it!) and I will research places for us to have fun & stay cool since the dreaded summer heat & humidity is upon us soon.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Japanese cherry blossom festival

We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's annual Sakura Matsuri event (traditional Japanese cherry blossom festival) for the 1st time. Lina is a huge fan of Japanese culture (the language, food, customs, shows & movies, video games, manga graphic novels, fashions etc.) so she had a blast. She enjoyed wearing her kimono (and Tsukihoshi sneakers), seeing anime cosplay costumes worn by teens & adults, attending a Sohenryu tea ceremony for families and looking at the beautiful cherry blossom trees.


Lina also enjoyed shopping at a Japanese market with saved allowance money...loved handmade kawaii (cute) hair accessories, lovely wooden doll (big discount due to tiny chip on top; we don't care about imperfections :-), met female manga comic book artist and purchased self-published comics and bought volume 1 of two series of wonderful manga graphic novels Yotsuba&! and The Girl from the Other Side. She bought a gift for me too...a nod to my love of ring with a detailed tea cup on it.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Little Zoo Vets + Alice's Tea Cup

Lina looked forward to the weekly after-school class with tweens this month at the Central Park Zoo. The Little Zoo Vets class (for ages 8-12) gave Lina the opportunity she has been waiting learn more about internal medicine and perform physical exams with live animals (there was a bunny, a duck and a goat) using real medical equipment and supplies.  Zoology was covered with informative lectures (topics included ears, heart, lungs, GI tract, bones, bandages etc.) and fun hands-on activities with models and crafts. There was a jeopardy-type of quiz game at the end (one team called themselves The Big Cats and Lina's team named themselves The Cute Goats). The class was led by Dr. John M. Sykes, a distinguished veterinarian and a calm, patient, intelligent teacher. The class timed out well...because Lina could see her teacher on the reality TV show called The Zoo (season two started on Animal Planet), since Dr. Sykes is a WCS veterinarian and works at The Bronx Zoo. There were also two friendly and knowledgeable education assistants helping out with this terrific class.

Lina was thrilled to examine "the cute and wise goats!"

Our subway stop was a block away from Alice's Tea Cup, so the girly girl was pleased when we stopped by for delicious scones (our favs: pumpkin caramel and chocolate chip oreo, with clotted cream) and soothing tea (Alice's faerie potion was a hit, with osmanthus flowers, elderflowers and lavender).

Friday, March 9, 2018

Welcome 2018!

We kicked off 2018 with animal interactions (we will have plenty more this year).

February Field Trip Fun Day to the American Museum of Natural History included the live butterfly exhibit (see photos below, they landed on Lina's flower headband and butterfly print dress), 3D Earthflight movie (a flight across the world on the wings of birds) and the interactive "Our Senses" exhibit (with a terrific live presentation).

Yes, Lina did get some scooter days in, thankfully, this winter...whenever it wasn't snowing or super frigid outside...we lucked out in NYC...and had some February days that were 60 deg F -70 deg F to enjoy...she was thrilled to see mama with pigtails those days...she told me I looked 19 years old, ha (though, she prefers I stay my hair is obviously going would be the case with most middle-aged adults, if they simply embrace their natural beauty).

One of our winter hiking days included a break to get on a rope-climbing structure...

and resting by a lake to greet beautiful swans, geese and ducks...

Also, Lina is still having a blast with her piano lessons (4th semester at a music school; 3rd semester with the same perfect piano teacher)...

AND Lina is now a science student at an after-school class with a terrific teacher, I'll post the info in a few's worth the commute into Manhattan...because Lina is a social butterfly and she is already making friends with the half dozen tweens in this class (ages 8-10)...they seem to enjoy math and science as much as Lina does...and they are all mature, friendly, kind and intelligent kids.