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Category Archives: kids

#WordlessWednesday / #MiercolesMudo

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#WordlessWednesday / #MiercolesMudo

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Expectations

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I was recently speaking to a lovely, smart, high raking executive, who’s also a latina, mom, and an immigrant.  She was telling me that due to her particular circumstances her family’s expectations of her were for her to be an unwed, teenage mom.  

For some reason that really struck home.  It was something that I’ve never thought of, that I’ve never reflected back on and yet, WOW…  

Let’s start off with the fact that my parents really have no idea what it is that I do professionally.  My mom knows that I’m smart and wonderful and all of those fabulous adjectives created to be generally supportive.  My dad is happy that I married a good man and that I have a good life and whether or not I actually “do” anything is neither here nor there.  My best guess is that this blissful ignorance is cultural.  

Growing up, I had my own views on things, and one of them was image.  I often told my mom “who cares what I look like now?!  I’m in school, I’m a teen, now is the time to take advantage of my freedom” and I did.  

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Then I found myself on a wonderful journey of life, and learning that had nothing to do with a traditional education, but again to my family my path has always been misunderstood.  To the point that I wonder if I’m crazy, or if they’re not listening.  What’s even more hilarious, frustrating, ironic is that they gave me the foundation for my career.  When I was born my father already owned his own business, so I was typing and taking messages at a VERY early age to the point of being able to run an office by 14.  Yet at one point in my life my father suggested that I was a secretary, which left me a little stunned as I looked at him and said, “Papi, I HAVE a secretary”.  

I gave up on trying to explain to my parents what it is that I do eons ago.  They see that I’m happy (and in my dad’s case he sees that I’m married and happy) and this makes them happy, y ya.  Until I told them about going to the White House with the LATISM Top Bloguera retreat.  

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Yes, they were excited, but what struck me was the phone call I received from my mom after sharing pictures with her, “mija, es que para mi ir a la Casa Blanca y a l a luna es lo mismo“, in other words, going to the White House is as attainable as a trip to the moon.  Which I appreciate.  It is a pretty big deal, depending on what circle you’re in.  For me it was an honor, one for which I am very grateful for, and  but it’s a little overshadowed by my wondering, is it that my parents had no expectations from me or that the world is so amazing that they did not want to achicar las posibilidades (limit my possibilities)?

Either way, I tell you what… it’s given me the desire to aim for the moon!! #SiSePuede #YesYouCan

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Y padres (parents) let’s give our little ones something to aim for.  Perhaps giving them concrete ideas (astronaut, doctor, inventor, teacher, mother, race car driver, all of the above) and positive role models (within the community, not just on TV).  Let’s have our little ones shoot for the moon!  Even if they miss they will land among the stars. 

A cocinar!

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Ayer a la hora de comida le dije a mi niña que íbamos a comer arroz, “is the rice fresquecito, acabado de hacer?” me pregunta mi niña, a lo cual le respondo que no. Al preguntarme porque, pienso que es porque no tengo tiempo para hacer arroz, porque se me ha atrasado el día, porque todavía tengo una pila de cosas que hacer, porque no me gusta desperdiciar la comida y que calientar al arroz de anoche no tiene nada de malo, pero para hacérselo corto, le digo, “Puedes hacer arroz fresco, o te comes el arroz que ya esta hecho”.

Mi niña es un poquito complicada, me imagino como son muchos niños, y adultos.  Algunas veces me cuesta mucho trabajo para que haga lo mínimo y otras veces se bota y haces cosas que me dejan con la boca abierta.  Anoche fue una de esas ocasiones.  En cambio de alegar, agarro una olla y se puso a hacer arroz!  Claro que la di unos “tips” antes de empezar y le medí la sal, y estábamos juntas, pero ella hizo el arroz y estaba tan orgullosa de su trabajo!!  Esta mama paso su tiempo con su hija admirándola con orgullo, y les sugiero que le den oportunidades a sus niños que hagan más cosas solitos.

Dejen que pasen un poquito de trabajo para que aprenden a agradecer las cosas y para que aprendan a trabajar para alcanzar sus metas.  No todo en la vida es fácil, y prefiero que aprendan estas lecciones conmigo jovencitos de una forma sencilla que cuando estén grandes, en la calle, o en la universidad y se sientan solitos, miedosos y los errores le traigan problemas grandes.  Así que si a los 6 años mi niña cocina el arroz, more power to her!  Es causa para celebrar lo que hizo en cambio de pensar que so una mama mala.  Y si, mi niño cocina también. Todavía no lo hace solito, pero en mi hogar si comes, cocinas.

XOXO



Frack’s “Big Giant Chicken” – a recipe

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Yes, I can cook.  I can’t bake, but I can cook.  I actually love to cook, and if I had a prep chef and someone to do the dishes for me, I would love it even more!  I also love food.  Really good food.  Some would say I’m a foodie.  And because I love my kids, I’ve shared my love of food with them.  It infuriates me to go to a restaurant and have the waiter immediately tell me about chicken nuggets and hamburgers for my children.  I sincerely believe that feeding kids that processed crap is a form of gastronomic child abuse, wait… do I see a soapbox to stand on?!  Another post for another day…

So here’s the deal.  I have a vegetarian child, and a carnivore child, and my carnivore child Frack looooves him some chickun!  OK, so we all love chickun (except for Frick, she’s a vegetarian remember?).   And like so many other moms who have soooo damn much on our plates, it’s a challenge to cook, let alone something healthy, fast and delicious.

Well… I did it!  I found the perfect recipe!  When I cook steaks, I make it simple. A little rock salt, extra virgin olive oil and voila!  Delish.  So I thought, instead of all of the marinating, and rubbing and putting garlic under the skin, let’s make a simple roasted chicken and see if it flies, and it did!  It rocked!  The only downfall is that it smells delicious, which means that the entire time it’s cooking, Frack is asking me continuously if his “big, giant chicken” is ready.  Remember, to a 4-year-old, a whole chicken is big and giant!

So here’s how you too can make a big, giant (and delicious) chicken:

Ingredients:

  • A whole chicken (pick a size that’s good for your family, I cook a small one and always have leftovers)
  • Half a head of garlic
  • A small onion
  • Oregano
  • Rock salt
  • Powdered garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)
  • Pre-heat oven to 325
  1. Take a roasting pan, line it with aluminum foil (for an easier clean-up) and spray it with Pam or another non-stick spray.
  2. Remove the chicken from the wrapping, remove all the “stuff” from the cavity and rinse the bird.
  3. You now have two options, if you want a darker skin, dry off the chicken and rub olive oil on it.  If you want a lighter skin don’t dry it off.
  4. Take half of the head of garlic, peel and cut (or crush) put it to the side.
  5. Take the onion and cut it in half.  Use approximately half of the onion and cut it into quarters.  Put it to the side.
  6. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the garlic and onion pieces.
  7. Sprinkle the top of the chicken (the breast side) with rock salt, garlic and oregano and voila!!  You’re done!  The oven will do the rest!

Put your soon-to-be delicious chicken in the pan, put the pan in your pre-heated oven and wait.  It will take approximately 3 – 4 hours depending on the size of your bird. Some have pop-up thermostats, or you can calculate approximately 20 minutes per pound. Serve with the sides of your choice (in my house rice, corn or broccoli and depending on my mood, a salad) and enjoy!!

A quien no lo gusta los bomberos?

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Como mama de dos niños quien trabaja, muchas veces se me hace difícil hacer tiempo para mi niño pequeño.  Por eso mismo encontré unas cosas que podíamos hacer juntos, sin gastar dinero y – no me juzguen – sin invertir mucho tiempo, lo cual en esta casa es un lujo.  Un día se me ocurrió parar en la casa de bomberos.  Ahí aprendí que cuando las puertas están abiertas uno puede ir a visitar, los bomberos siempre son muy complaciente con los niños, porque como he aprendido, los niños y los animales suelan esconderse cuando hay un enciendo.

Por lo tanto ahí pudimos pasar un ratito lindo (entre hacer quehaceres y recoger la niña de la escuela) haciendo algo que mi niño le encanta, y que ojala le dará memorias lindas para siempre.

Este post es parte del blog hop de Plaza Familia cada martes

Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s right.

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Something happened when my daughter grew into a size 6.  I stopped buying her clothes.  The days where everything I saw was “soooo cute” were replaced with horror.  Sweatpants with words on their bottom, padded bras, strapless dresses… it was all too much.  Without really making a conscious decision, I just stopped buying her clothes.  It took me a little time to realize what the problem was, it wasn’t that my baby had grown out of the toddler section into the little girls’ clothes, it was that for the most part, little girl’s clothes are completely inappropriate.

Think about it.  Why is it ok to dress our little angels in miniskirts?  What message are we giving our daughters by buying them padded bras?  They are paying attention and if we allow them to dress scantily now, we are telling them that it’s perfectly acceptable to dress in a provocative manner.  And in a few years, when they enter that tween and teen years, will it still be “funny” or “cute” when they want to wear a miniskirt?

This phenomenon of dressing children in our image isn’t just for girls.  Most of the boy’s clothing is “street-style”, hoodies, skulls and crossbones, dickies and plaid shirts.  Are we raising gentlemen or gangsters?

Parents, what examples are you setting?  Are your clothes too tight?  Did you brush your hair today as you ran out the door to run the kids to school? Do you dress like your kids friends? Are you kids embarrassed to be seen with you?  It’s just as important the example we set as the clothes we choose for them.

All children have their own likes and dislikes.  My daughter loves glitter, as I’m sure most 6yo’s do, but I’ve taught her that if everything has glitter on it – top, pants, shoes – you just look like a big piece of aluminum foil. No one can appreciate what you have on.  When she told me she wanted pants with glitter on the bottom, it was that she wanted embellished clothing, not that she cared where it was, but unfortunately, this is what she sees on other kids, so this is what she asks for.  As parents, our job is to guide them.  Our children don’t know the perils of dressing provocatively, or of the endless choices out there, so talk to them, offer solutions and be frank.  Not every child has the same rules that we do in our home, and that’s ok.

Cultivate your child’s individual style now, so that they are confident in their choices later on, and able to be proud of what they are wearing, whether at school or at abuela’s and you will save yourself a lot of heartache now as well as when they are older.

The Move

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When you think about the many families who have been uprooted and have lost their homes, I shouldn’t complain, and trust me when I tell you that I am grateful everyday for what we have, but catholic guilt aside, let’s be upfront and honest. Moving sucks.

We recently made the move from urban to suburban and…it sure is dark out here! 

Sure, there are great things like the fact that I haven’t seen traffic since we moved out here, and that I’m conveniently located to EVERYTHING, and that practically everything has a drive through, and did I mention I haven’t seen traffic? But I also haven’t seen people.

Yeah, yeah, there are people everywhere but they’re not as friendly as city dwellers, and I get that same look I used to get in the 70’s in Georgia that went hand in hand with the question, “what are you?” plus people here keep asking me if my very caucasian looking kids speak English…

I’ve just started a new job which I’m thrilled about, but my search for childcare is bleak.  Apparently everyone wants to take care of my kids, but with their kids at their house, and I’m just not comfortable with that. Sittercity and craigslist aren’t as commonly used here, so I’m going  to the churches, even though I’m not a churchgoer, to network for a sitter.

Frick has been a champ, starting a new school mid-year without a hitch, but there’s no parent list, no invitations allowed in the school and despite the fact that I’m making it a point to arrive early to introduce myself to other parents as we wait for the kids to come out, they aren’t very interested in making small talk.

My husband and I keep telling ourselves that it would have been a totally different experience had we moved in the spring or summer.  I guess we’ll see what happens in a few months, and if the first thaw works with the families as much as it does with the foliage!

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