Category Archives: Sonya

Happy Birthday to Kobe!

Today, Kobe turned 1 year old! Jeff and I planned a really fun day with him:

First, we went to The Total Dog for a swim lesson. At the Total Dog, Kobe was fitted into a vest before he got into the water. At first he was very skeptical and clung to our instructor, but he started learning very quickly. Previous to this experience, he’s only swam for about 2 seconds at Fiesta Island. At the Total Dog, he had a positive and rewarding experience with swimming. By the end of the session, he was going out on his own, fetching the toys, swimming back, and begging for more! I’ll put up a video of him swimming soon!

We came home for a break and lunch. Kobe took a nice nap because swimming was a real workout for him. Then, we went to Dexter’s Deli to get a birthday cupcake for him =). We enjoyed the yummy cupcake at the Del Mar beach. Kobe got to run around in the waves and enjoy the beautiful San Diego weather.

Kobe and Jeff strolling on Del Mar Beach

Kobe's birthday cupcake

Since Kobe got pretty dirty today, we took him to the DirtyDog Pet Wash and Boutique to get cleaned up. Here, we gave Kobe a bath by ourselves. They provide you with a nice bath tub for the dog, shampoo, conditioner, towels, brushes, blow-dryer, everything! We definitely think we’ll be back in the future, it was very convenient and close by off of Carmel Mountain Road.

Jeff washing Kobe

All in all, today was a great day and Kobe was pooped out after all the adventures we had today!

Kobe passed out


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Schools and Creativity

Our professor shared this with us today and I thought that I’d share it with whoever else would like to watch it. Ken Robinson is a funny guy and he talks about how we need to foster creativity  in schools instead of squashing it.

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Adventures of the Kobe Part 1

**I realized I wrote this back in April and never finished it, but I’m going to post it up anyway

(Disclaimer: While writing these posts about Kobe, I have come to realize just how much bigger he has gotten since we first got him. It’s pretty amazing..but of course that’s what everyone kept telling us)

In hindsight, Kobe was a great puppy, still is. He’s been easy to train, friendly (sometimes too friendly) to all people and things, and keeps on loving. It didn’t take too long to get into a routine of eating and going out to pee/poo, which made our lives a whole lot easier compared to the first few weeks we got him. The only real health issue we had with him was that he would get a bout of diarrhea about once a month, usually getting bad enough that we had to wake up multiple times in the middle of the night just to take him out. After going to the vet the first two times, we got some medication that seemed to help each time. However, after the third time, we decided maybe it WAS the food that was causing it, even though he had been eating the same “Taste of the Wild” food since he was at the breeder. So, just to give it a try, we gave Kobe “Blue Buffalo” after the 3rd run-in with diarrhea, and it worked! He’s been having solid, healthy poop since then! I still don’t know why the first dog food caused the diarrhea, I guess it’ll remain a mystery.

We’re really lucky that we live in an area that has so many dog friendly places. Kobe’s favorites have to be the Nobel dog park and Fiesta Island.



Kobe (14 weeks) at an IM football game. He used to love tearing out a lawnmower

Kobe (15 weeks) could still fit in the chair

Now, he’s almost full-grown. At 9 months, he is now almost 70 pounds! There was one day we met up with the San Diego Golden Retriever Meet Up Group to go hiking around Lake Murray. It was fun to see 25+ goldens walking around and we got to join in the fun and exercise. Kobe loves to make new friends!

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Transitioning from 3rd to 1st Grade

My spring break was pretty relaxing, but now we are back at school and in full swing of things again. We just found out our new placements, I’m in 1st grade now at Florence. I’m happy that I have good friends to carpool with to school and debrief with afterward. I’m also excited to get Rusty as a supervisor.

We went to orientation and stayed in the classroom all day today. It’s definitely a big change!! My new cooperating teacher is really nice. She says that she used to be a reading specialist, so she’s really strong in the reading/language arts area, so I’m excited to see what I can learn from her expertise in that area. On the other hand, she says that she’s not so strong math-wise.. She uses the InVision curriculum/program and basically just follows from there. She says she doesn’t like it as much and it’s a new program that the school is doing, they used to have Harcourt? Anyway, the students right now are using counters, determining which color has more and which color has less. How many more? How many less, that kind of stuff. I think it will be interesting to observe her teach math and how to work with the curriculum/program that’s given to us, and maybe I can find some way to do more in math.

The kids. They are bouncing off the walls! It’s kind of crazy! There are 24 in our classroom, 12 girls and 12 boys. In this classroom, it’s about 50% second language learners. The girls are very sweet, they don’t even know me, but they love that I am here and they are already giving me hugs on the first day. Some of the boys are kind of crazy and they are already trying to test me and trick me! While the teacher is doing some guided reading with 4-5 students, she has the rest of the students do centers/stations, there are about ten stations going all at once, 2 students per station, but it’s like the room blew up! The students got their materials and some got to work, but some of the others were definitely off-task, “helping” each other, unfocused, and they were all over the room. I probably would have it more structured and organized. I know it’s going to take time for the students to recognize me as a student teacher and that I have the same authority, but those boys are trying to trick me already!

It’s been an interesting day and the next 11 weeks will definitely be a challenge and an adventure!

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Halfway done with Graduate School

It’s been a long, long, long time since either of us have posted and I’m going to try to update this thing whenever I can!

For the last two quarters, I’ve been at the same school, Carrillo Elementary in San Marcos. It was such a nice school, good neighborhood, awesome teachers and staff, i had the BEST teacher everrrr, learned so much from her, real bright kids, involved parents.. it was seriously the best first placement ever. I feel like, before I was in the program, I already had plenty of experience tutoring or doing Reading Stars and teaching here and there. I thought that I already had the basics down and wasn’t sure what I was going to really learn in grad school, but I feel like I’ve learned A TON and I feel like I still have so much to learn, but i’m 1/2way done with my program!! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is classroom management, which is still the hardest thing for me, but I feel like I’ve had good role models and now I have more strategies! My teacher, Mrs. Martin was seriously the best mentor ever, I enjoyed watching her teach and she has a lot of good ideas that I’m going to remember and use in the future. Her teaching style is pretty similar to me but its so refined and I just want to be like her!

This quarter, I feel like I have accomplished a lot. For the undergraduate EDS classes, I was just a mentor, and TA in classrooms, just helping out the teacher and being an extra helping hand. I never really had to teach, just observed someone else teach. This quarter, I’ve actually gotten to be a teacher. We had to plan and teach the lessons and then do assessments too. Even though Mrs. Martin is in the room, she’s sitting on the side just taking notes, and not helping me at all. I am really the teacher in the class, so I have to worry about time and pacing, my lesson, watching the students, monitoring, etc etc. At first it’s a lot to handle, and I feel like I’m getting the hang of it and getting better at it. I’ve had a lot of fun teaching the lessons.. I’ve been really involved in teaching math lessons… I did a lot with fractions, and my students and I had some interesting discussions about where fractions belong on a number line. I also had some exciting science lessons: there was one lesson where we explored bird beak adaptations.. so some birds have strong short beaks so they can crack seeds, pelicans have long scoopy beaks so they can catch fish and filter out the water, hummingbirds have long thin beaks to get nectar, and eagles have sharp beaks so they can tear meat apart. We did a simulation and the kids really enjoyed it! I also did another science rotation where we explored fossils and extinction. I think that teaching language arts is okay… nothing too brilliant, I feel like its the same as what we’ve done when we were in elementary school. And history/social studies has been interesting too.. I thought that it’d be kind of boring and dry, but I managed to do a history/social studies sequence about the 3 branches of government that turned out well. We researched presidents and made posters, we discussed, debated and voted on a bill (like congressmen), and then we learned about the Little Rock Nine and about the plessy vs ferguson and brown v board of education cases. Overall, I feel a lot more like I can be a teacher in a classroom of 30 students, and I don’t feel like a TA anymore.

On the last day, the kids all wrote letters to me and they made it into a book for me. They also made me an apron and they all wrote their names with glitter glue on it. Super cute!! I admit it, I teared up a little when I told them I’d miss them so much and had to say goodbye! It’ll be interesting to see where I go next quarter.. it’ll probably be very different, and challenging.. and it’ll be interesting to see if I can apply what I learned this past quarter to wherever I’m placed this upcoming quarter. I’ll let you know =)

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Kayaking at La Jolla Cove

Yesterday, Jeff and I redeemed our Groupon for OEX Kayaking at La Jolla Cove. We went with our good friends Randall and Lizzy on Tuesday, when it was really foggy and overcast. It turns out that we got there too late, which was not made clear to us over the phone. After Jeff complained a little bit about the confusion, they offered to squeeze us in on Saturday which he said was fully booked already. It’s a good thing we went on Saturday instead, the weather was beautiful! 80 degrees outside, not a cloud in sight! We suited up with a life jacket and a helmet and headed out toward the left side of La Jolla Shores. We grabbed oars and all boarded our double seater kayaks and pushed off into the ocean. As we were going over the waves, we saw a huge peach colored jellyfish near the surface of the water. As we went out, we also saw a bunch of big leopard sharks swimming just a few feet under us! There were so many of them! We went out in a group of about 14 people or so, with a tour guide named Tyler. He showed us around La Jolla Cove and we even got to paddle into a small cave. We saw some sea lions and two sea lion pups playing around too. The 1.5 hr tour was well-worth the Groupon and I’m glad we were able to enjoy it on a sunny day-it’s too bad we didn’t have a camera to document our trip.

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Kobe & Us

On Thursday, September 16th, we welcomed in the newest member of our family, Kobe. He is a golden retriever puppy, just a little over 10 weeksold. We’ve been thinking a long time about getting a puppy (I’ve wanted a golden since I was a kid), and we finally decided that this was the right time. So after days of researching and searching, we finally decided on a couple breeders that we wanted to check out. The first one we went to was a very nice woman in Escondido, and she made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. It didn’t hurt that she had been breeding golden retrievers for over 35 years and used to be the president of the Golden Retriever Club of San Diego.

This is a picture the breeder took of Kobe

The puppy at the breeder!

We knew we wanted a male, and she had told me earlier that she only had one male left that was “pet” quality, which basically meant that they didn’t have the ideal bone structure compared to “show” quality dogs, and cheaper too. However, with the puppies being categorized at such a young age, there’s never any guarantees, meaning a pet quality puppy has a chance to look just as beautiful as a show quality puppy. Either way, we instantly fell in love with this little guy and his cute personality. We decided he was the one, so we never even made it to check out the other breeder.

Kobe comes from champion show dog parents, both coming from a long line of champion show dogs over the past 6-7 generations. Hopefully these great genes will let him live a long happy life! He has a great temperament for a puppy; so far he can be super energetic or a pooped out pooch. It took him 3 days to get crate trained, and from day one he’s been getting better and better with potty training. Yesterday was the first day he had no peeing accidents inside, and he’s learned to either scratch at the door or bark to let us know to take him out to take care of business.


When he’s pooped out, he loves to sleep under the couch.

We want to train him well, so we’ve been reading up on training methods. We went with positive reinforcement, and it’s been working great. He has learned to sit very well already. Other than the times that he’s been chewing on things around the house (and us), he’s been a good boy. He loves to sleep under our chairs and couches on the floor, probably because it’s a cool surface for him to sleep on. Kobe also does very well with other dogs and meeting new people. He doesn’t freak out or yap wildly like small dogs do, which is great.

Chilling by his crate with Snoopy

On the 3rd day, he stopped crying in the crate and was comfortable enough to fall asleep in it!

Everyone that meets him always tells us to take lots of pictures and videos of him because he’s going to grow real fast. I believe them; Kobe has grown in the few days we’ve had him. He can now jump up on the couch and climb the stairs! We’ll be sure to document everything!

Sit...good boy!

If you’re in the area, you should come over to play with Kobe!

The fam minus Chester



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