Tuesday, June 12, 2012

In the Presence of Beauty

Hola Mi Gente! I know it's been a while, but that's a story for another day.  I wrote a small article for my company newsletter and I wanted to share with you.  Feel free to share and leave comments.

Enjoy!  Until next time mi gente!



In the Presence of Beauty 
By Londi Jaramillo, Director of Membership Accounting

Elijah at the Ball Park

 Mothers always look for opportunities to brag about their kids, don’t they? I am the very proud mother of four sons, each of whom manage to shock me and keep my life very full and exciting everyday. 

Two of my children are involved in a great organization called Beautiful People. Beautiful People is a non-profit organization based in Wallkill, New York (Orange County) that provides adaptive sports for children and young adults with disabilities.

I found out about Beautiful People when I was at my son Elijah’s yearly meeting to discuss his Individual Education Plan (IEP). You see, Elijah is 9 years old and has multiple disabilities, which include severe developmental delays to learning and to his fine and gross motor skills. During the meeting I broke down in tears (which happens sometimes) because I was frustrated, as Elijah feels left out sometimes when he has difficulty socializing with others his own age. Also, he can’t participate in organized sports like his brothers. He’s eager to play since his brothers are in sports leagues, but he can never play. What do you say to your child when he asks why can’t he play? It broke my heart.

When Roses Blossom 

I encouraged my oldest son, Giovanni, to volunteer with Beautiful People as a buddy who helps other children and signed up Elijah for baseball. When we started, I was overwhelmed with happiness. 
Giovanni Helping one of the Children
Without this organization, many of these children would never have an opportunity to play sports. These young people are affected by disabilities ranging from autism spectrum to cerebral palsy.

This is now our second season with Beautiful People and Giovanni continues to volunteer on Sundays, and Elijah is back on the field. There is no greater joy in my heart than to watch my children engaged in such wonderful activities, one helping others and one having an opportunity to play. I’m so proud of my two sons and all of the volunteers and players that come out each week to help and play.

You can learn more about Beautiful People on their website at http://www.beautiful-people.us/.

Brothers together at the Ball Park

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today's teenagers

My 16 Year old son Gio
The recent viral video "Facebook Parenting: For troubled teenagers" and all of the responses make me wonder about today's teenagers.

As the mother of a 16 year old son, I struggle with him daily.  Let me preface this by saying, overall he's a good kid.  I'm not saying that because he's my son, but I say this knowing all of the things kids could be doing and knowing what I was doing at his age.....well, like I said...he's a good kid! But I find him to be disrespectful, and is it me or are teens just more disrespectful to their parents now-a-days?  Are they ungrateful?  Or is this a reflection of our parenting?  Should I have deprived him more?  Maybe I gave him to much?  I don't know.

Maybe this is something that is not uncommon but I'm just experiencing it myself now that I have a teenager. Its just that this is not something that I would have gotten away with.  Or maybe I'm just old school, but this sh*t is not tolerated in latino households!    Hopefully its just a phase and I raise a respectful young man.  In the meantime, I will throw my chancleta or give him a cokotaso when he gets out of line!  

Check out the video that I mentioned above HERE.

Well, until next time Mi Gente!



Monday, February 13, 2012

Getting back in Control!

I am so very disappointed in myself.  I can't believe I've let my weight get out of control again.  What's so disappointing about it is that I know what I'm supposed to be doing and I know what I shouldn't be doing.  It started with the excuse of stress, then vacations...then parties, then holidays, and now here I am.  I've gained a whopping 27 POUNDS!  What you may not know about me is that with my last pregnancy (my youngest is 3 1/2) I ballooned to 211 pounds and was devastated after I had the baby. I worked really hard to lose over 70 pounds and there is no way I'm going back!  Well, the good news is I know what I have to do and am already on my way.  All these years of dieting and one thing I've learned is that the best thing for you is not fad dieting, but really just getting back to the basics and eating right.  Changing your habits and keeping the right foods in your house. 

Here are some fundamentals that are the easiest thing to do right away in your home,  not just for you, but for your entire family:

1.  Keep fresh fruits available
2.  NO WHITE grains.... only whole wheat or whole grain.  Why?  They are healthier for you, but also eating less of it gets you fuller faster and keeps you fuller longer! How can you go wrong with that?
Bread...easiest switch
Pasta...start with thin spaghetti if you're nervous.
Rice....I can never make a good brown rice, so I actually use the uncle Ben's microwavable rice, it takes like 90 seconds and it's done, it's really good. I also buy the brown rice from the chinese restaurant.
3.   NO SODA (Watch the juices also!!) Way too much sugar!  For soda addicts this may be the hardest thing to do.  If you must.....have 1 diet soda per day.  If you need the taste of your regular soda, diet orange is good, also the new Pepsi Max and Coke Zero taste like their full sugared counter parts.
4.  Eat breakfast!!  And...make sure your kids eat breakfast.  Any breakfast is better than NO breakfast.  

These are just some things that I think you can do right away.  In the long run its all about making choices every day.  When you're in the supermarket or about to put something in your mouth, stop and force yourself to think about what you are putting in your body or what you're giving your kids and it helps.  Start reading and comparing labels.  I have a ton of other suggestions but I think I'll spread them out.

I know one of the things people think is that eating healthier is expensive.  Well the people at Walmart are helping to make that easier for everyone.   Walmart is putting this "Great For You" icon for healthier choices to help making choices for you and your family that much easier.  When you see this logo you can feel good about what you're buying for you and your family.  Check out their press release here.

Now I didn't put this post up as a lecture. I put it up because I always feel like when I put myself out there in terms of my goals, it helps keep me on track, and also I know how hard it is as a latina there are certain things that I love....Did you read any of my blogs around holiday time?  I don't want to say...don't ever eat this or don't ever eat that, that would be hypocritical.  I love my food and I think its OK to eat what you want and indulge from time to time and don't deprive yourself.  But when you make better smarter choices every day, those indulgences won't hurt you!

Anyhoo, maybe I'll put up some suggestions more often and also I'll keep you updated on my journey to get back on track!  If you try any of my suggestions let me know I'd like to hear about it.  If you have any suggestions or things you want to share with everyone share on!

Until next time mi gente!



Monday, January 23, 2012

Confessions of an Out of Control Mommy

Hola mi gente!  First and foremost I am floating on cloud 9 with MY NY Giants making it to the Super Bowl!  Did you watch the game last night?  Second of all, I have to figure out when I can give you all the updates from Vegas and what I thought you would really enjoy from CES.  It takes time to piece that together.  Third of all, you may have noticed that I've taken about a week or so off from writing and this entry will explain why among other things.  Fourth of all it's Monday and I'm putting up a "confession" but what sort of consistency have I even had lately?

There was a time that I was one of those parents...you know one of those parents that you envy because their kids are in bed by 8:30 every night and the house was nice and quiet.  Yes, that was me, once upon a time when I had one kid.  That was even me once I had two kids (two kids with 7 years between them).  Yeah, no problem.  Well try me, moving 60 miles away from work, now having 3 kids, getting home late to make dinner...little babies requiring your attention, two of the kids in diapers.....not so easy any more.  Now add another kid.  Now, take 1 teenager who doesn't listen.  Take a 9 yr old who has his own agenda.  A 6 yr old who would go to bed, but hey everyone else is awake and a 3 yr old who thinks it's party time all day long!  Add in a mom...who is lucky to get home by 7, 7:30 trying to make sure the kids eat, take a bath..brush their teeth and get in bed at a reasonable hour.  Not to mention when sometimes you spend hours with one of them trying to get them to complete HW because said child has a learning disability and well can be very difficult when he doesn't want to do something.  Yeah, so....you, you who were complaining before...does this put things in perspective for you?
Anyway....we got home from Vegas Monday night, not too late, but late.  The kids were up and we got to see them and put them in bed.  It was good to be home.  Monday night it snowed, and I was thrilled that they had a 2 hour delayed start for school because I didn't have to get up too early.  I took Tuesday off and stuck to my plan for the day which was....take it easy.  I cooked early, stayed in pajamas and relaxed all day long.  Tuesday night however, didn't pan out as I expected.  As I laid down for bed and got the kids in bed around 9ish...(a little on the later side).  I'm laying down and watching a little TV and settle down because I had to get to work the next morning and the kids just wouldn't settle down.  They were in bed and they just kept on playing in bed.  I could hear them laughing and playing all night.  I had to get up several times to quiet them down and what not.  It wasn't until after 11 when they finally shut up!  So of course they all had a hard time waking up the next morning.  I had to fight with them to get ready.  I had to take stock and try to think of a plan.

If you remember my entry for New Year's "goals" I mentioned my health.  Well, getting rest is a big part of me getting well and being well.  In order for me to rest, there needs to be some changes in this house and big!  I feel like I have lost control!

So now what?  What do I do?  I'm trying to get back some control in my life so that I can get well but its not that easy.  I decided to take a break from writing last week so that I can work on getting my household affairs in order.  Namely....getting my kids on a schedule.  First night started getting kids in bed by 8 and they were asleep by 9.  So far so good.....fast forward to last night....it was just like Tuesday night all over again.  

So what do I do?  Do I continue to sacrifice the things I enjoy like writing this blog and clipping coupons and sacrifice my health because I don't get to rest?  Or do I just accept things as they are and allow my kids to rule?  Or do I try to find some balance?  And if balance sounds like the right thing...well, tell me, how do I actually achieve that balance?  How do I actually achieve that balance?  How do I actually achieve that.........................

Until next time mi gente!



Thursday, January 12, 2012


To Smurf Village!!!!

In the spirit of CES 2012 (which I'm heading to tomorrow morning.  What mobile apps are you addicted to?

Let me know!



Monday, January 9, 2012

My Little Fan

Free Stuff!

Howdy folks! Have been busy taking decorations down, running around as usual, getting ready for Vegas (4 days left) and busy being the crazy woman I am.  This Sunday MY NY Giants beat the Falcons down, got a few cool freebies from couponing so all in all a good weekend!

Well, yesterday something happened with my son Jonah and it moved me so I have to share.  In the early years of our marriage, my husband really didn't watch much sports around the house.  In fact, I watched sports more than he did.  It was easy for my oldest son Gio to like whatever team I liked since I seemed to be watching the most sports.  Well we all know  THAT changed!  Nowadays, seems like sports are always on and my husband is the one watching.  So anyways, after a while my son Gio took after his dad and became a fan of his father's teams.  Let me break it down.  Baseball...Me - NY Yankees, Hubby - NY Mets.  Football - Me - NY Giants, Hubby - NY JETS Luckily we are both NY Knicks fans!  This opposition big Gio and I have when it comes our teams is fun.  Makes it interesting when they face off against each other.

So yesterday I was watching the Giants game (did I mention they beat the Falcons yesterday badly?) yeah, so yesterday  i was watching the game and just going insane, cheering and shouting at the tv all by myself.  1.  Because I'm the only Giants fan in the house 2.  My son Gio is a Giants hater and  3.  Big G was at work.

I mention to the littlest guy Julian that he has a shirt with blue footballs on it for the Giants.  Jonah jumps in and says, mom I have a blue shirt with footballs on it.  So I ask him to get the shirt.  He comes down with the shirt and I tell him to put it on to help me cheer for the Giants.  He didn't look like he wanted to put the shirt on, I thought he just didn't want to go through the trouble of changing shirts.

A little while later I notice him walking upstairs and he looked sad.  I asked him what's wrong but he said nothing, but that nothing like obviously something is bothering him.  I say "Come over here Jonah, what's bothering you?"  He says nothing, so I ask again.  I say..."Jonah what's wrong?  It's ok.  Is it the shirt?"  He didn't answer but looked sad and conflicted.  Sensing it had to do with the shirt,  I say "Jonah if the shirt is bothering you, take it off.  It's ok, you don't have to wear it."  He takes off the shirt and puts his t-shirt back on.  Then he looks at me and says in a very quiet voice "It's just that I'm not a Giants fan".  

Right then I just felt so proud of him.  I said, "That's ok Jonah, you can like any team you want.  You don't have to be a Giants fan" and I gave him a big hug.  I don't know what you got from that, but I just felt that he has such a sense of integrity and didn't want to betray his loyalty.  Anyhoo, I also thought it was cute.  I told my husband and he couldn't stop laughing.  Later that day he tells my son Gio "GB, mom almost made me root for the Giants, but I didn't.  She almost made me!"  Too much.  Gotta love that kid!

Until next time mi gente....




Thursday, January 5, 2012

Winter TV Line-up

What are you watching on TV this winter?  I know what I'm watching.  First of all, unless your team is OUT.....It's serious football time.  Its play off time right now and MY NY Giants are in the play offs.  They start next Sunday taking on my sister city the ATL Falcons.  So, I will be watching football for the next few Sundays through the Super Bowl!!
Also, unless you've been under a rock somewhere you know that the NBA is back.  So, whether I like it or not, there is non stop basketball on at home.  We're hoping the NY Knicks will step up their game this season, but it's so nice to have the NBA back on and it feels weird that the season has just started after the lock out.

But enough about sports some great shows have come back for another season and my DVR will be working OT.  First off starting this Sunday night Shameless returns for a second season.  If you didn't watch the first season of Shameless, check your channel guide and see if you can get caught up before the new season starts.  Usually they marathon previous seasons of shows when the next season is about to start.  This show is hilarious.  It is about the disfunctional of all disfunctional families and takes place in Chicago.  Shameless airs on Sunday nights at 9pm ET on Showtime. If you want to get a feel for Shameless, click HERE for Season 2 promo!

Then for Monday, Castle is airing another new episode.  Castle is not my favorite show, but I can't get enough.  It's light and I usually set my DVR to record Castle because I like to watch it when I'm folding laundry.  It's something that I can watch while doing something else and not have to worry that I'm missing anything major.  Castle airs Monday nights on ABC at 10pm ET.

On Tuesday Jan 17th, the 3rd season of Justified starts! This is a great show.  Ladies you can watch the fine U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens take on the bad guys and I think he gets confused which side of the law he's actually on.  Fellas you can watch a modern day gun slinging cowboy with a great story line.  Justified airs on FX on Tuesday nights at 10 ET.    Catch a trailer of Justified HERE.

Of course American Idol returns for it's 11th season on Fox.  I watch American Idol, but not like I used to.  I like the audition shows and I watch when I'm not busy especially as it gets closer to the end. Lets see how this season goes.

Something New....There's a new show coming out this Sunday that will air on Showtime directly after Shameless.  It's supposed to be a comedy and it seems really funny.  It's called House of Lies. It looks promising and I can't wait.  You can watch the promo HERE.

Well, that's my TV line up for this winter.  If you don't know what to watch or are looking for new shows, I suggest you try some of these out. What are you watching this season?

Until next time mi gente!