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That’s why it’s called “practice”

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George Carlin said it best, “Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice”?

I’m not here to bash the medical industry, or to point out what a study found several years ago, that pharmaceutical companies spend more money on marketing than on research and from my many contacts and friends in the medical field.  Nor will I point out that as soon as we saw the commercials for the magic pills that cure everything from being too inactive to being too active many people started shopping doctors, looking for the ones with the loosest scripts.

What I would like to talk about is finding the healthcare that’s right for you, whether it’s just you, your parents or your kids.  You need to have a level of comfort with your doctor.  It’s your body (still right?  that didn’t change overnight did it?), you know how much time/effort you or whomever the patient is able/willing to invest, and there are options.

This is what I mean. Prior to becoming pregnant, I did my annual physical, y ya!  Thankfully there wasn’t more to it, so practically anyone could handle that.  And I hated doctors.  Actually feared them a bit.  Then… I became pregnant and was forced to find a doctor with whom I was going to have a relationship with.  For those of you who haven’t had a baybe, it’s an intimate process.  Plus, for your first pregnancy you have a lot of questions and occasionally those questions, feelings or concerns could sound a little… crazy, so you need an OBGYN that will answer your crazy questions without letting on that he or she is secretly laughing a bit and thinking, “oh those silly 1st timers”.  In my case, I wanted my OBGYN to deliver my babies, versus going to a practice where you are shuffled around from doctor to doctor.  Apparently this is hard to come by, but I persevered. I asked other moms, my regular doctor, other doctors until I found “the one”.  Really, he’s great.  Delivered both babies and even noticed my pedi during delivery 😉

Same with pediatricians.  While still pregnant I started interviewing other parents and my OBGYN for suggestions.  Then I made an appointment with the pediatrician’s office.  Many pediatrician’s offices are accustomed to this, and you really should meet them because when you baby is born or sick, is not the right time to find out you picked a quack – and believe me, they’re out there.  Here are some questions I asked which you may want to consider:

  • Is the pediatrician you’re going to see covered by your insurance? Sometimes the practice is, but not certain all doctors in the practice.  I know, odd, but true.
  • Do they have before/after work appointment times? What about weekends?
  • Is there a charge to page the doctor on call? First time parents, this means that at 1am, when your baby is doing something unfamiliar and you’re not sure whether or not you should freak out you can get in touch with your pediatrician or someone from there to give you advice before you haul yourself to the ER for no reason.
  • Make sure the pediatrician’s beliefs are something that you are comfortable with on topics like antibiotics and vaccines.  Yes, there are standard practices, but trust me, some doctors are waaay more liberal with medicines than others and there are some doctors that agree with spacing out vaccines more than others.
  • What about sick visits? You wake up on Monday morning and your child is sick, can you get a same day appointment?

You want to be sure that you have chosen doctors whose decision you are comfortable with. And no matter what don’t ever hesitate to get a 2nd opinion. Be it for yourself, your children.  It’s your right and well-being we’re talking about here.  Get informed, ask questions and if something doesn’t sound right, get a second opinion!  Doctor’s can be a great ally, but remember, they are people too.  They are not infallible and as one doctor put it, once your out of medical school, it’s hard to stay updated on everything.  And many doctors still don’t prescribe to holistic treatments or CAM‘s, so shop around, the right doctor is out there for you!

XOXO

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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



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.

Eight days…

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Yes, eight.  Count them!  8 days until the LATISM conference here in Chicago.  The conference that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year – or spring?  I can’t remember, it’s all been a blur.  One fantastic, mind-blowing, inspirational, frustrating, amazing, stupefying ride.  And it’s not over yet!

During those months there were so many other amazing things that happened in my life (a girl cannot live from work alone right?!) a few highlights include:

  • The time I Zaarly‘d someone to come clean and @AHauntrepreneur from the Zaarly Chicago dream team was the one to respond (which for the record, his mama did a good job, that boy can clean!)
  • The fabulous BlogHer-a-thon with @AnaRC and @ergeekgoddess, that’s 72 hours en tacones learning, networking and meeting all the fabulous twitterati like @LaLicenciada @laflowers @typeamom @presleyspantry and, WHAT?! Nipples and feet?! NOOOO @nibblesNfeasts !!!
  • A live radio interview with Poco A Poco bilingual radio show in Chicago with the energetic and intelligent Maya Escobar and her fabulous father, Gonzalo Escobar.
  • Frick attended a high tea with me at the Intercontinental Chicago for the Royal Wedding and it was executed phenomenally!  Every detail, every flower, every delicious morsel.
  • My husband and I celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss!  More like my husband and I and our kids (they keep following us around!!  Something about make us breakfast, help tie my shoes, I can’t do my buttons – geesh!!) celebrated our anniversary.
  • We took a family vacay to the Choo-Choo Hotel in Chattanooga, TN.  It sounded like a cool experience for the kids, and, thanks to my fabulous shopping techniques, I scored a deal for 2 nights in the converted train cars (1 night would have sufficed).  We also went to Rock City while in Chattanooga, and it rocks!  Plus, there’s a Starbucks right across the street.

Like that, there are many other great stories and people I’ve met along the way, but now, eight days before the conference, I’m freaking out because we’re moving to the suburbs at the end of this month!!!!

“I had no idea” aka “When your child enters school”

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Last year Frick was in PreK.  They played.  They sang.  They danced.  It was so much fun!  So much fun in fact that she craved more.  So we did “homework” at home.  Mind you, I’m not an educator, and I’m not very patient so God bless my cutie for actually wanted to learn with me.

This year as we were “lucky” enough to have been accepted into a Magnet School (urban speak for what suburbanites consider normal).  It’s not my neighborhood school but it holds promise.  The promise of a “better” high school, therefore a greater chance of higher scores and a great college.

Mind you the entire “selective enrollment” process is more like entering college then what you would expect for Kindergarten, it is after all just Kindergarten!  Well here in Chicago we don’t mess around when it comes to the “right schools”. It’s a two-tiered system.  You have you innocent little preschooler tested as “gifted” which are tests administered verbally by college students to preschoolers in an alien environment to ensure the best success.  Well, we did that.  I did not tutor my child in advance like some do, but we did test.  Then we filled out the paperwork requesting entry into one of the “better” schools, stood on one leg, rubbed our bellies, patted our heads and waited… and waited… and waited.

Am I crazy?  Was the question I got from an education reporter, “your neighborhood school is just fine!” Which she’s right, it is.  But according to the current information available from “those in the know” the reason parents are chomping at the bit to get into a “good” kindergarten is because this sets them on a path for success.  The chances are greater to getting in since not all parents at this age are willing to go through the process (trust me, it’s a nail biter and I did feel slightly ridiculous during the whole thing, until I received the acceptance letter).

So why am I telling you the harrowing tale?  Because you my dear, yes you with that adorable baybe pulling at your hair while you read my blog post.  And you, with a 5th grader.  And you, dad, yes you too.  We must not only be involved in our children’s education – as we show them through our actions that we care – but we must be involved in the policies.  We must learn, we must speak, we must make changes.  Or else you too will end up driving 90 minutes each way to get your little one to school in the morning.

The morning drop off

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Dear Parents,

When you drop off your kids at school this morning, please pull the fuck over.

I get it.  The safety of your little angels is important enough to warrant the creation of a traffic jam, yet not quite paramount enough for you to get your ass out of the car…

Hum!

 

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