Parenting

¡Que Viva la Lactancia!

Published by:

¡Féliz Semana de la Lactancia!

Una de las cosas más especiales en mi jornada de madre a sido el placer de lactar. La lactancia siempre fue una meta para mi. Con mi primer hijo fue un poco difícil, los primeros meses no producía leche, mi hijo tenia icteria, y el dolor era horrible. Una noche mi abuela me dijo que no hiciera sufrir más al bebe y le comprara formúla. Pues fuí y compre una lata. Le suplemente la leche materna por dos semanas. A las dos semanas fui a una reunión de La Liga de la Leche. Ese mismo día busque en Internet todas las formas para producir mas leche. Compre Fenugreek, Mother’s Milk Tea, semillas de sésamo, avena, hasta cerveza.

Y con la información de la consultora de lactancia y todas mis herramientas me dí a la tarea de producir leche. En menos de una semana estaba produciendo como una “vaca”. La satisfacción de lograrlo fue el mejor sentimiento del mundo. Tuve la dicha de lactar a mi primer hijo hasta su primer cumpleaños. ¿Por que no lo seguí lactando? Por que estaba embarazada nuevamente. Por mi historial médico y diferentes episodios de anemía mi doctora me recomendó no lactar durante mi embarazo.

Gavin Nursing

Antes de que mi segundo chico naciera, fui y compré formúla. Y para mi gran sorpresa mi leche ya estaba lista. Esta vez me propuse lactar solo 6 meses, ya que era bien difícil bregar con un chico de año y medio y un recién nacido. Pero pues la leche estaba fluyendo bien y seguí lactando. Para no hacer la historia larga, Dios nos tiró una curva y a mi chico lo diagnosticaron con neuroblastoma a los 10 meses. Entre medio de sus procedimientos le tuvimos que dar formula, pero las enfermeras del hospital insistieron que lo mejor era que le siguiera dando el pecho.

Glenn Nursing

Pues seguí el consejo y estuvimos 18 meses lactando… Y ¿saben que? Lo hubiese seguido lactando si no hubiese estado embarazada por tercera vez. Con mi tercer tesoro todo fue bien natural. No compre formula, no compre fenugreek. Simplemente se pegó. Con Grace fue bien difícil para mi el destete. No fue opcional, no fue planeado, y todavía sufro que no la lacté más tiempo. Cuando tenía 15 meses me fue en un viaje de trabajo y la deje con mi mamá con leche materna en botella. Cuando regresé al cuarto día no me quería mas. Trate de ofrecerle y no quería- ella quería su botella.

Grace Nursing

Todavía me parte el alma que no voy a lactar a otro bebe. Esa conexión para mí ha sido lo mas bello (obvio despúes de traerlos al mundo).

Esta semana de la lactancia es dulce y amarga a la misma vez. Es una jornada que ya terminó y tengo que recordar lo hermoso pero también pues me da sentimiento no poder seguir esa conexión con mis hijos.

Esta semana celebremos en GRANDE. ¡Que viva la lactancia!

 

Cancer/Neuroblastoma St. Jude

The real cost of Pediatric CANCER

Published by:

How St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is helping families

Cancer sucks. We all know this. But we always think of the medical reasons cancer sucks, there is another reason cancer sucks and it’s the cost of treatment. When my son got diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2012 we were lucky enough to have insurance, yet even with a tip insurance company we still ended up with a lot of credit card debt paying for deductibles from his treatments. From simple checkup visits and blood work to MIBG Scan and surgeries. The one thing is clear is that money is the least of the worries when we deal with cancer, yet is a clear impediment or aid in the treatment of the disease. The most beautiful thing about St. Jude is that families don’t have to worry about spending a dime on treatment.

This is part of the alphabet displayed at St. Jude made by the patients.

This is part of the alphabet displayed at St. Jude made by the patients.

The idea of free treatment goes beyond monetary. St. Jude understands that families should only focus on treatment, on spending quality time together and be able to receive the best treatment, without having to worry about how to pay for that treatment. The relief a parent feels when he knows that there is something that he doesn’t have to worry about. That it doesn’t matter what the child needs, St. Jude will be there to give it, without expecting anything in return.

The cost of cancer is beyond what people think. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars. And those are just the treatments that the child NEEDS. Not even optional or supplemental treatments. In our case, although we had insurance, the insurance didn’t cover the anesthesia for the MRI. My sons treatment consisted of MRI’s every month, for the first year. Because he was under 2 years old and the MRI was of his torso, he had to be sedated every single time. Every MRI was around $2,000+ just for the Diprivan (propofol). Imagine having to pay that on top of the MRI co-pay (if you have insurance) or the whole MRI? And then the bone scan, and bone marrow test, and chemo, or radiation. All the blood work required at EVERY SINGLE VISIT!

I can keep going on and on, but I think you got the picture. St. Jude is definitely a hero not only for the patients and their treatment but also their families. It eliminates such a burden. And this is why you and me are so important. All those donations you see St. Jude asking for? All the stores, restaurants, teams that partner up with St. Jude? The St. Jude Walk or Marathon? All those events, all those donations, go straight to those families. And I should also add, those donations don’t only help cover the cost of treatment for the patient, they also feed the families and help pay for housing and transportation and even education.

Last year at the NYC walk

Although we just welcomed the month of August, we don’t have to wait until September to do something to help these children and St. Jude to continue their mission. September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and also the St. Jude Walk. You can sign up and participate in your city, or just make a small donation.

If you want more information on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and their mission you can visit their webpage here.

I am a proud St. Jude Blogger Ambassador.  

 

Travel

Discover Maryland, perfect destination for the whole family.

Published by:

Summer trip to Maryland

Maryland is about 3 and a half hours from NYC. It’s on my way to DC so we’re pretty familiar with the highway, but we really don’t get to explore it that much. This summer I made it a mission to discover Maryland. There are all types of attractions and entertainment for the whole family, from city centers like Baltimore to beach getaways like Ocean City. I like to enjoy more of the historic part of Maryland, so our destinations are a bit different. I also consider what the kids like and what they would enjoy the most. These places you can visit in a week or do different trips. It really depends on how comfortable your kids are in the car, and how quickly you see the attractions.

Stop 1: Scenic Route to Point Lookout

There are a couple of stops on the way to the lighthouse, including stop 87. This stop is a memorial to the Civil War men that died. Just down the road is another interesting stop which is the Civil War POW camp. Here you can see the pictures of the POW’s and it’s just interesting. Although my tots are in the younger side, I do try to make their vacations and trips educational fun. So we were playing games, finding the names with the letter A, B, C and so on. We also played, find the oldest date. Click here for more information.

PointLookout

Stop 2: Point Lookout Lighthouse- Point Lookout State Park

This is such a cool house lighthouse. It’s an original structure from 1830. There is a tour that you can take and see the inside. It’s also inside the State Park, so there is hiking trails and beaches that you can enjoy. We happen to just hang out by the lighthouse trying to find a ghost from a window (supposedly the lighthouse is one of the haunted places in the county). It was also a nice windy day so we enjoy the waves from the ocean. There is more information on the lighthouse here.

Stop 3: Washingtonian Center, Rockville 

Washingtonian Center is just a fun place. There are a bunch of things to do including swan, paddle boats and a carousel and train. There is also a movie theater and a nice boardwalk with restaurants and trails. And hello if you need a break from sightseeing there is a Target right there. For more information on their events visit their website.

Stop 4: Historic White’s Ferry, Poolesville

This ferry is just fun for kids. It’s short enough, it’s only $2 per car and the kids just enjoyed it. The ferry gets you across the Potomac to explore the side of Maryland with the most Civil War Trails and interesting places. There is also a small park on one side of the ferry and you can get food and snacks. Head on over to their site for details.

WhitesFerry

Stop 5: Monocay National Battlefield, Frederick 

Monocay is pretty cool. Not only is it a National Park, there is also a bunch of trails to discover in the park. My kids love hiking and being outdoors so these trips but them right in the middle of nature and history at the same time. They also have a Junior Ranger program, where the kids get their own booklet and become responsible for the park.

Kids

Stop 6: National Shrine Grotto, Emmitsburg

The National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes is a space that is highly spiritual. And although it is religious, the space is just beautiful. It has incredible views of the city. The kids loved the statues and the spaces with a lot of greenery and beautiful architecture. There is also a pond and if you are religious you can fill a bottle of water with Holy Water. If you don’t really believe in the religious there is also an old cemetery.

Grotto

Stop 7: National Harbor, National Harbor

I’ve written about the National Harbor before and still include it in this list because I absolutely love it. Not only is it a 10 minute drive from D.C. there is so much to do. There is the new Capital Wheel, a small park for kids, the sand area, tons of restaurants and shops. They have a bunch of events like movie by the water and concerts even during Christmas time. Check out our last post on the harbor by clicking here.

NationalHarbor

Of course like I mentioned there are other places if you like more action: Six Flags, Ocean City and the National Aquarium. All in all Maryland has everything you need to have an awesome vacation. I am so glad we get to explore new destinations. If you like to travel with kids, don’t dismiss our own land. There is so much history and culture, and is never to early to show kids interesting historical sites, especially if they are the history of our country.

Events

Back to School ready with Momtrends

Published by:

It’s July. It’s still summer but it’s also time to get ready for back to school. As always Momtrends knows the best trends and things our kids need to succeed. This year was no exception and there was top brands and fashions in the house. Some of the brands I have loved since last year and since the kids were babies and some are completely new.

DSC_0501

Fashion

Joules is a brand of clothing that I had heard off, but never seen their clothes in person. I was smitten by the quirky designs and simple comfortable clothes. My favorite pieces were the coats and the graphic tees.

Keen Kids has been a family favorite for years so I was happy to see their fall line of shoes. The fabric boots are cool, easy and comfortable for all the little feet.

DSC_0493

Gear

Yoobie is known for their colorful school supplies. The brand is still exclusive to Target but with their new Pharell x i am OTHER it’s worth it to take a trip and check out all the items. They have everything from paperclips to notebooks and backpacks. My favorite? The gel highlighters that I’m pretty sure the teacher would be jealous of.

Mabel’s Labels by far one of the MOST important things for kids to go back to school. Labeling everything is key. Mabel’s is super high quality labels. I am not kidding when I say these labels are durable. We used them on everything last year. On the shoes and the lunchbox and the uniforms. They lasted all year!

Nalgene Lunch Box Buddy is their new lunchbox designed for kids. It comes with an adjustable ice pack and the cover doubles as a tray. It has plenty of room and you can configure it however you like. I love the colors and the simplicity.

nalgene

 

Food

Earths Best has been a staple in this house since I had babies, but now they have a whole lot more variety for the older kids. Including chicken and fish nuggets, but my favorite were the cheese stuffed pretzels and the pizza bites. They also have a large variety of bars and snacks.

Ella’s Kitchen has drinks for even the pickiest of eaters.

DSC_0511

Other things that are a MUST

Vamousse is a lice treatment. It doesn’t have the harsh chemicals of other products so it’s safe to use often. They not only have the shampoo and treatment, they also have a lice treatment powder! This is great for beds and stuffed animals.

Juniorbeads are from the brand Chewbeads that we already love for mom. The Junior line is designed for kids to be stylish but also to help them deal with anxiety or even fear of the dark (they have a glow in the dark one that is uber cool). Different styles in bright colors they make a perfect accessory for kids.

Juniorbeads

 

Wall POPS! Is another brand we are very familiar with and love. We have been using the calendar all year and love it. But not only can you be ready for school with calendar there are also other useful items like chalk decals and maps.

Paula’s Choice Skincare has a whole line of acne treatment for all skin types, so if you have a teenager breaking out from hormones or you as a mom are breaking out from stress this is perfect.

As always Momtrends hosted a fabulous event. Thanks for inviting us.

Movies

Captain Fantastic- Best Film this Year

Published by:

No doubt this movie will be nominated for a few Oscars. Probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. Not going to lie, it was a roller coaster of emotions. I cried, I laughed, I cringed, I thought, I felt.

CaptainFantasticTME

The movie starts Viggo Mortensen and is the story of Ben and his six- yes, you read that right, six kids. Ben and his wife decide to remove their kids from society and live in the woods. The kids have superb intelligence, as they read and are home schooled by their father. They also have amazing physical endurance.

The opening scene is by far the most gruesome scene, and I will not spoil it for you, but if you don’t like to see animals die, close your eyes. After opening scenes, we learn that the kids mother has been gone for 3 months but we don’t find out until later. The story of Captain Fantastic follows the family as they struggle to stay together and fight the outside society.

It’s hard to discuss this movie without giving anything away. I will say the story touches on mental illness and how it can gravely affect a family. It also speaks to parents as we struggle to decide what is best for our own kids. I was in no way, expecting to have the reaction I had to the movie. It really did put so many questions in my head about parenting and existing and just living.

After the movie screening we had a Q & A with Viggo. I was so very impressed. This man has a huge passion and this movie not only proved how good of an actor he is but also how smart he is. Honestly our hosts The Moms, Melissa and Denise, noticed how he was speaking and one of them said he should run for office.

CaptainFantasticTME2

I know I give a lot of great reviews to movies. I love movies. But this one, seriously, the best movie. The acting was beyond superb and the story is unique and relevant to any parent at the same time. This is an independent film which makes it even more special, because what they accomplished was nothing short of extraordinary.

Here’s the trailer for the movie. Please go see it!

Thank you to The Moms for another great screening and to Viggo Mortensen for taking the time to talk to us moms about this film.

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 2

Published by:

Diaper Bag Essentials 6 to 12 months

(Post contains affliliate links)

At 6 months the needs of a baby change. We introduce solids and they start snack foods, therefore the needs and essentials in the diaper bag change as well. Here is the list for this time period.

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Diaper Cream (Again Honest Healing Balm or coconut oil work best)

-Outfit change (onsie, socks, pants, shirt)

-Bib. I loveeee loveeee the Bumkins bibs and reusable bags. We still use them daily.

-Spoon/fork for feeding baby (always carry your own!! We like the OXO Tot On-the-Go Feeding Spoon)

-Baby Food. If you make your own, like we did for the first couple of months, we love using the Bunky Bag to store the baby food. It also comes with a clip. Read the full review here.

Best babyfood storage

Best babyfood storage

-Blanket (moms favorite are aden + anais swaddle blankets)

-Teething toy

-Bottle/Formula/ Nursing Cover (Like I mentioned before, I don’t carry the nursing cover and just use a burp cloth instead)

-Burp Cloth

-First Aid Kit (In the first aid kit I now include Tylenol for teething pain)

-Hand Sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Toiletries

Diaper Bag Organization

Always keep the bib/spoon together in a zip lock bag.  If you choose now you can carry your own purse. I try to keep diaper bag and purse as one for as long as possible as it makes everything much easier. If you do leave the diaper bag in the car, like I do, don’t forget to take your wallet inside!

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 1

Published by:

Diaper Bag Essentials Newborns to 6 months

(Post contains affiliate links)

When you have a baby, the most important thing you carry is a diaper bag- well besides your baby! It should have everything you need. But, what exactly do you need? If you’ve been around moms and all of them will carry different things in their own diaper bags. Well, after three kids, I have come up with my own list. I hope it helps! I have split it into 4 parts.

PART I: Newborn to 6 months

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Changing Pad

-Onsies (2)

-Baby Hat

-Blanket

-Pajamas or outfit change

-Socks

-Diaper Cream (I like Honest Healing Balm or straight up coconut oil)

-Bottle, formula or Nursing cover (if you nurse and choose to use one). I skip the nursing cover and just use the burp cloth to cover me.

-Burp cloth

-Rattle/Toy/Theeting aid

-Hand sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Mini First Aid Kit (Make sure it has ointment like Neosporin, Band-aids, alcohol wipes & gauze)

-Travel size toiletries (Baby wash, lotion, powder, baby brush or comb, baby oil, and I carry Q-tips)

Diaper Bag

A couple of ideas when it comes to diaper bags:

1) Keep it in the car at ALL times. It makes going out much easier. If you are worried that you’ll run out of diapers, grab a couple of diapers, put them in your purse, then move them to the car diaper bag. I also keep a box of wipes in the car.

2) OR skip the purse altogether and only use the diaper bag as your carry-all.

3) Estimate how many diapers you need for the day. For the newborn, I usually carry about 10 diapers on normal outings, because they poop so much and the diapers are tiny, so they don’t take that much space.

4) Look for a lightweight diaper bag. Some bags because of the fabric, features, etc. can be heavy on their own, and will only get heavier with all the essentials in there.

5) Check for easy to clean fabrics. It’s only a matter of time before a food pouch or diaper cream will blow up in your bag.

In my next post I’ll do 6 to 12 months diaper bag essentials…

What is the most important item in your diaper bag? 

Español My non scripted life Parenting

El RACISMO de hoy !Es el mismo de ayer!

Published by:

– Volvemos a la segregación

Honestamente nunca había pensado en lo que es la raza y el color de una persona. No quiero sonar ignorante pero es la verdad. No era algo que me afectaba en lo absoluto cuando vivía en Puerto Rico. Al mudarme a Estados Unidos me di cuenta poco a poco que habían ciertamente diferencias raciales y culturales que no entendía. Pasó el tiempo y me enamoré.

Cuando me enamoré del hombre que ahora es mi esposo y padre de mis hijos, nunca me imaginé las reacciones que las personas al conocerlo.

Recuerdo como si fuese hoy un amigo que me preguntó: ¿y que tu vas a hacer si tus hijos nacen de colores diferentes? Por que la pregunta, por que mi esposo es negro. Al momento no entendí la pregunta y al pasar del tiempo hasta se me olvidó. Pero todo cambió en el 2009, cuando descubrí que estaba embarazada. Ahí comenzaron un sin numero de inseguridades por mi hijo que todavía no había nacido. Mi hijo nació saludable y tan pronto lo vi, no vi color, solo vi a mi hijo.

Le damos para adelante a la historia. Seguía mi vida normal. Hasta que visité el National Civil Rights Museum. Este museo se encuentra en el Lorraine Motel, lugar donde asesinaron a Martin Luther King. Esa visita me cambió de una forma que no puedo explicar. Pensar que hace solo unos años, mi esposo y yo no podíamos estar juntos solo por el color de nuestra piel.

Fue una visita bien conmovedora, regresé una persona diferente.

Mi temor ya no es tener hijos de diferentes colores, mi temor es que mis hijos puedan sobrevivir en este mundo al que yo los traje. El racismo es real. El racismo existe y mata gente todos los días. 

Y ahora estamos en el 2016. Y veo las noticias y no lo creo. Siento que estoy en el museo de historia reviviendo los años del movimiento de derechos civiles en 1960. Volvemos para atrás.

Michael Brown en Ferguson, Missouri

Tamir Rice en Cleveland, Ohio

Trayvon Martin en Miami Gardens, Florida

Eric Garner en New York, New York

Alton Sterling en Baton Rouge, Lousiana

Estos son solo algunos de los que han muerto por solamente su color. Es triste pensar que cualquiera de ellos podría ser mi esposo o mi hijo.

El dolor ya no es ajeno. El dolor es propio. Solo pensar en las familias que no tienen paz, en todos los niños que tienen que preocuparse de como se visten o donde están por que los pueden matar por solo su color. Eso no es forma de vivir.

Lo más triste de el problema que estamos viviendo es que estamos luchando por la igualdad. La igualdad con la comunidad Gay, la igualdad con las religiones y a la misma vez nos dividimos solo por el color de la piel.

¿Hasta cuando vamos a permitir que la sociedad, ósea nosotros mismos, nos dividamos en colores?

Lorraine Motel

Lugar donde murió Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

Fashion Just for Mom-Beauty

Summer Style: Maxi dress 2 ways

Published by:

My favorite item of clothing for the summer, besides my jeans, is a maxi dress. Maxi dresses can be super versatile and comfortable. Wear them with flats for a zoo outing with the kids or add some wedges for a date night. All you need is to change accessories around and you have a completely different look. Here I give you some ideas on how I like to style the dress.
For the day look I like to keep it simple with a big bag, that can also double as a super chic diaper or beach bag, a chunky necklace and bracelets but in the nude-brown color and leather sandals. I love these sandals in the summer because they look good with EVERYTHING.
For the night look I choose a small clutch bag (that is also cross body- perfect for dancing), the same chunky necklace and bracelet, except this time in black as well as the wedges for a more sultry vibe.
There are definitely a bunch of ways that you could style the dress. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep neutrals for the day and dark colors for night. As far a makeup and hair, I like the same rule- very neutral during the day. Think: BB cream, mascara, some bronzer and gloss with messy hair or a braid. For night-time, foundation, a smokey eye and rosy cheeks would work best. As for the hair, take the braid from day to-night by putting it up in a messy bun or letting it down into messy seductive waves and voila!
Have fun and remember just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice comfort for style- maxi dresses let us have it ALL!
Maxi Dress 2 ways

 

Tell me what’s your favorite summer style?
Want to get the look, here’s my top choices to recreate the look for less than $100! 
(There are affiliate links below)
Maxi Dress This blue one I loved and the price is pretty awesome $35.90. Best of all? It has pockets.
Day Look: Tote bag, necklace, cuff bracelet, sandals (I really do love these Billabong ones!)