Honestly, I haven’t been in a rush to potty train my youngest son, Anthony, who is 2 years old today. I felt the pressure to potty train his older siblings much more than I have with him, especially with my oldest. I came to the conclusion that just letting my kids start potty training when several of the “readiness” signs are present is a better approach than starting the process when I want/need them to be ready. They are more willing to potty train and I am less stressed about the whole process.
Up until a few weeks ago, Anthony was only interested in doing this when he went into the bathroom - getting the toilet paper and, well, making a big mess!
I am also currently pregnant with my 5th child and this seemed to complicate Anthony’s potty training a bit. Part of me wanted to wait on the potty training process until after the baby was born. Honestly, up until a few weeks ago, he really had no interested in wanting to use the bathroom. We even received an awesome celebratory package from our friends at Pull-Ups. I hoped that it would encourage him to start the potty training process. It came with his own potty training seat and set of Pull Up. The package also included a potty training progress chart, coloring sheets, stickers and a few neat items for helping him celebrate potty training milestones. However, what he really wanted to do was play with the potty training seat that came in the package and wear it around his head!
After participating in a teleconference with two child rearing experts as part of this campaign, I was more convinced than ever that we would start potty training when we was ready, not when I wanted or needed him to be. Then, a funny thing happened. In the course of a few weeks, he started showing all the signs of potty training readiness. He would tell me that his diaper was dirty and would bring me a new one! He wanted to follow his older brother (he is 4.5) into the bathroom and would say “me” while pointing to the toilet. I decided it was time.
I pulled out the awesome package he received from Pull-Ups and this time he was super interested in not just playing with all the neat items, but USING them.
We are a few days into the potty training process and so far it’s been going ok. We have had about a 50% success rate…which is not great, but this kid LOVES his potty seat and his reward system. The Pull Ups Big Kid App is one of the tools that has been helping him stay motivated and it keeps me on top of this task (it’s easy to lower it's priority when you have 4 other young children in the house who also need you). I love it! Check out all the neat features in the snapshot below! I love the countdown timers starring Disney’s Lighting McQueen and Minnie Mouse - they help me know when it’s time to remind my son to take a Potty Break. I tend to forgot! Plenty of helpful hints and an entire library of expert articles to help keep you
GIVEAWAY! So what do you think of Anthony’s potty training gifts? Could they help your little one get started or encourage them with the potty training process? If so, enter to win a celebratory package from Pull-Ups in our GIVEAWAY!
You can enter on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway
We hope that you have a wonderful Easter. We are taking a few days off around here to be with family and friends. This spring we will be sharing some new delicious and good for you recipes, crafts that the kiddos and you will love and awesome tips for staying healthy. In the meantime, check out our best Easter tips:
Recently, I was very fortunate to participate in a teleconference discussing potty training with two experts on the topic, Dr. Andres Cotton and Jeannette Kaplun. Even after having potty trained 3 kids and now starting to think about potty training my 4th (and expecting a 5th), I had questions about this milestone. We all know the common advice “they won’t go to college in diapers” but nonetheless it’s common for parents and caregivers, even those of us with plenty of previous potty training experience, to have questions about the process.
The teleconference was really encouraging for me in a number of ways. First, Dr. Cotton and Jeannette Kaplun reinforced the fact that each child is ready to start potty training on their own timeframe. Second, when used properly a rewards system is fine to incorporate in the potty training process. Finally, do what's best for your child not what you want to be ok for them, yourself or your family.
Meet the two experts, Dr. Alberto Cotton and Jeanette Kaplun.
Dr. Alberto Andres Cotton is a well-respected Miami based pediatrician with 17 years of experience who began his career in medicine in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some of his notable achievements are working with the Miami Children’s Hospital Haiti Medical Relief Tea where he was voluntarily deployed to provide assistance, and being featured on Univision’s top morning show Despierta América to share his expertise on health related topics. He now resides in Miami, Florida with his wife and three children. In Miami, he divides his time between working at the emergency center at Miami Children’s Hospital in addition to working at his own private practice. Dr. Cotton has dedicated his career to the well-being of children, as well as providing Hispanic mothers with the right information to give the best care. Dr. Andres Cotton has teamed up with the Pull-Ups® Every Flush program to share his expertise with Hispanic moms by offering tips and advice that challenge some of the preconceived notions of potty training.
Jeannette Kaplun is an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized parenting expert who has over 17 years of experience on TV, radio, online media and as a published author and conference speaker. Born in El Paso, Texas, and raised in Chile, Jeannette is truly bilingual and bicultural. In 2012 she launched her bilingual platform for Hispanic women who want to look, feel and do their best, Hispana Global. In 2011 Jeannette won LATISM´s Best Parenting Blogger award and in 2002 was named as one of the most influential Hispanic journalists by the Hispanic Media 100. She is known as one of the leading Latina bloggers in the US and in May 2012 was invited to the White House as part of LATISM’s Top Blogueras Retreat. She began blogging about her pregnancy and motherhood in the early 2000’s, which makes her a true pioneer in the Latino/Hispanic blogging world.
1. When to start potty training?
I wrote about how I have started at different times with my 3 older children. Now, I am thinking about starting to train my 4th. He’ll be 2 in just a few weeks and is starting to demonstrate a real interest in potty training. As a matter of fact, I put him on the potty not too ago since he expressed interest. Do you know what happened? He screamed and cried, very loud! And for a few days after this, he refused to even enter the bathroom! So, needless to say, he’s not 100% ready. A part of me really wants to push him on with the potty training process, because our 5th baby is due in July and I would love to have only 1 child in diapers. After listening to Dr. Cotton and Jeannette, I have decided to wait until after the baby is born and we have settled into a routine; especially considering that we have experienced regression with potty training when a new baby has arrived in our home.
Check out what Dr. Cotton and Jeanette Kaplun had to say:
Dr. Cotton: At the beginning of potty training, we need to know there are different stages that makes the process longer, at times painful and there may be a point in time where you may go backwards. The first stage is when your child does not give you signs that he/she need to use the restroom. He/she may be playing and not notice they are wet and it does not bother them. At this point you do not need to worry. The second stage is when your child will have the urge of taking off their pamper because it bothers them and they start asking for diaper change. The third stage is when they start asking to pee. You will then take them to the restroom and he/she may not be able to make it on time. The fourth stage is when they ask for the restroom and they make it on time to use the restroom. At this point they are ready and you should watch for the best time to stop using diapers. It is a long process but it depends on every child. Every child is unique and they cannot be compared to other children that were potty trained by the age of two or three. Every toddler has their norm and rules to follow as well as every family.
How normal is regression after potty training?
Dr. Cotton: It is very normal. Like I said before, you shouldn’t get mad at your child. It can happen that your child reverts at a moment of stress. If at that time he cannot control his urine, he will most likely revert so he/she can advance later on.
Jeannette Kaplun: Also, if a sibling is on their way, it is very normal to see regression. Whenever there is stress or change in the child’s life you can expect some kind of regression. Sometimes it’s an accident.
2. What about using the rewards system?
Personally, we have used a rewards system in our home and found it very encouraging for our kids. My first two received M&Ms each time they used the potty; but we moved away from that practice with our 3rd. I had embarked on a healthy living journey for my family, especially with what we ate, so it didn’t make sense to reward potty training with candy. Instead, my son used a sticker chart and when it was filled he cold pick a small “prize.” I found that his worked well.
It seems like family members and friends will have an opinion about whatever approach you have decided to take with the potty training process for your child. My mom (who was visiting) when we were potty training our 3rd thought that using any reward system was silly. She could not understand why a child would need a prize for using the bathroom and why we made such a big fuss over it. She would say "Pero, si es necesario, no un juego!" (Going to the bathroom is necessary, not a game!). In a way, I see her point. She potty trained 4 kids, without a reward system and, according to her, without major problems. However, I think that as long as the reward is small, it’s ok. What’s been your experience with this? Have you used a rewards system? Obviously, the most important reward is that you give your child praise and encouragement. Lots of hugs and kisses are perfect too!
Here’s what the experts had to say:
Dr. Cotton: It is always good to celebrate in small ways because if you celebrate big, you will never finish celebrating all the time. You should reinforce every moment in a positive way. Never reinforce anything your child does wrong in a negative way. There will always be accidents in which the child will go back many times and we cannot punish them for that. Always be positive with them and move forward. Always keep them positive because it is a very had stage in a child’s life.
Jeannette Kaplun: At first you should celebrate everything they accomplish, as Dr. Cotton says and I as a mom, I do not recommend you to celebrate excessively. If that is the case, the child will be waiting for a big celebration every time they use the restroom. You should mark the time of celebration to reinforce in a positive way. You do not need to give them the whole toy store, instead you can sing them a song or write it down on a table. There are many ways to celebrate it.
3. It's ok to wait, listen to your child and be honest with yourself, you know best.
As a Latina mom, I know that potty training traditionally happens at a younger age in Latin America than in the United States. My mother thought that I had waited too long to potty train my children. So did my aunts. And I had friends whose kids were trained long before some of mine. I know that it's ok to wait until my children are really ready.
A funny side note....My husband does a lot of work in China, so I have to come to know a little bit about potty training in the culture by my conversations with his associates. Wow, I was blown away, they are potty trained when they are very young, often starting as early as when the child is 6 months old! Shortly after learning about traditional potty training in China, I was discussing the topic with a good friend whose parents are from India. Sure enough, potty training traditionally starts early there too!
Well, after freaking out that we weren't doing the same or toilet training in a weekend "marathon" session, I realized that it was ok to take my time. Phew! I mean, just check out the picture of my youngest....this is what he prefers to do with the toilet paper at this age!
Guest Post By Bernadette Lueck
Nutritionist, mom and owner/program director of
As parents it is our responsibility to take care of our children. They are our focus and passion. I have learned over the years from parenting my own eight children that kids can teach us so much. If we listen carefully they will remind us to take the same care of the big kid in all of us.
If you are full stop eating:
How often do we hear from our children that they can't finish their dinner because they are too full. We on the other hand will eat every bite because it tastes good or we perceive that the uneaten food must be thrown away. Sometimes we even finish their plate because we don't want it to go to waste. We lose sight of the fact that foods primary purpose is to nourish us. Putting on extra pounds over the years comes from lots of missed opportunities to listen to our "I'm full" signal.
Give this a try next time you sit down to eat. Eat slowly and enjoy your meal. After 15 minutes ask yourself if you are full. If the answer is yes, put the rest away for a snack later or for the next meal.
Keep it clean, simple and colorful:
Children like simple food. They often like food that is free of sauces and gravies. Our diets should be clean of extra breading and fat. Vegetables should be clean of anything that takes their natural color and flavor away. Try to eat a rainbow of color each day. Food that are colorful are full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Avoid food that comes in a box.
Go outside for a little recess:
Vitamin D is an important vitamin that many adults are deficient. Our bodies will produce Vitamin D in response to sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for bone strength as it helps the body process calcium from the diet. Take time to soak in a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air each day.
Take a nap and go to bed on time:
Getting proper sleep is important in the prevention of depression, heart disease and mental clarity. Disrupted or shortened sleep has also been shown to contribute to obesity and hormonal disorders. Set a bed time for yourself and be strict about it. Have a nightly routine of a little quiet reading, journaling or a non stressful television program.
Don't eat things that are foreign to you:
We have become so trusting when it comes to the foods we eat. Many of the foods we eat are processed or genetically modified. The next time you are at the store, look at the ingredient list of the food that you are considering buying. Do you know what each ingredient is and why it is there? If the answer is no than don't trust it as being wholesome and nourishing.
Bring a Sack Lunch:
Pack a healthy lunch for yourself each day. Include lean protein, some vegetables and fruit and water. When we take the time to carefully plan our nutrition we don't fall victim to the fast food lunch. You'll be saving money as well as nourishing yourself.
Crawl before you walk:
When our children are born we don't expect them to walk until after they crawl and not run until after they walk. Be kind and loving to yourself and remember that healthy, positive change involves those baby steps.
I am very happy to share with you a new partnership between Vidacoco and Huggies! I am officially one of their Madrinas del Baño - working with their Pull-Ups brand to bring you lots of potty training tips, based on my experience and expert advice.
I hope that these posts will help readers in some keys ways:
- Pull-Ups is motivating parents to stick with Potty Training. I will post helpful tips on how to deal with challenges that many of us have encountered with the process.
- Every try by our children in their quest to potty train deserves a little celebration!
- Did you know that four million toddlers will embark on potty training each year? It's important to understand the process so they stop when setbacks occur (they tend to always to!) you can continue towards potty training success.
- Many myths can surround the process of potty training. What are they and how can we address them?
- Find out more about why experts say you shouldn’t start training your little one until they are ready.
- Training pants can help make potty training a fun and easy!
- Find out about helpful tools and resources, such as the Pull-Ups Big Kid App which helps parents with potty training.
When Do I Potty Train?
I can honestly say that having potty trained 3 kids, the right time to potty train has has happened at different ages for each child. I pushed my 1st born to potty train on the early side. All the “signs” that she was ready were present, so when we was 18 months I started the potty training process with her. Overall, it went pretty smoothly, however, she had a very difficult time with night time potty training.
My 2nd daughter started day time potty training when she was 2.5 and a few months later she was night time potty trained too! She was by far the asiest one to potty train, it really took little effort on my part. I think that seeing her big sister use the potty was really encouraging and it helped her to potty train very quickly.
My 4 year old son potty trained when he was 3 years old, the latest of the kids potty trained, but it took him less than a week to potty train - the shortest amount of time! My youngest is 22 months old and he's just about ready to start too! The kiddos are all below!
When do I start? As you can see, potty training can look very different from child to child, even within the same family. There are signs that can signal that your child is ready for the potty training process. It's important that you start when your child is ready, not when your mom, friends or other moms say that your child is ready to potty train. Consider these signals
- Your chid wants to be changed after pooping.
- They tell you that they have pooped their diaper.
- They have an interest in the potty.
- Everyone must know the "potty training plan" and be on board.
What's a Potty Training Plan? Once you have determined that your child is ready to begin the potty training process, decide what approach you want to use. Things to consider are:
- How often do you want your child to use the potty?
- Will your child use a small child sized potty or will they use the regular toilet?
- People who spend time with your child must be aware of how you are potty training and be on board to help when they are with your child.
- What is your expected time frame? Do you want to work on this very hard for 1 week - almost never leaving the house - or are you prepared to give it more time? I am not sure what is better, I think it depends on your lifestyle and how quickly the process moves along.
What about setbacks? Setbacks will happen, often. Have patience when they do or when the process takes longer than you wanted/expected it to. When accidents do happen, I found that it was a good idea to have the child help me clean it up. I explained to them that the pee and poo go in the toilet, not on the floor, etc. I found that our setbacks usually occurred when our family schedule became increasingly busy or when a new baby arrived in our family. It can be extremely easy to become frustrated with the potty training process when setbacks occur; but don't give up. The setbacks are temporary, eventually they will get the hang of it.
Make it fun! Make the potty training process fun with a few simple ideas. If you decide to use a child sized potty, consider letting your child picking one out. Consider using a rewards system to celebrate each time your child successfully uses the potty. I used them with all 3 kids and found that they worked really well. You can make your own or simply google "potty chart template" and many options are available. We used a very simple potty training chart and each time time they successfully went to the bathroom we placed a gold star on it. My son liked having his starts placed on his shirt and showing them of! You can consider giving your child a simple reward for their successes. If you don't use rewards elsewhere, don't worry. Remember that lots of positive reinforcement, attention and love are also key! Celebrate in whatever way is right for your family...Check out how Huggies helped some kids celebrate - wow!
Stay tuned for future posts on this topic! Meanwhile, visit facebook.com/pullups to learn more about Pull-Up and check out this video on YouTube.
We recently took a family vacation to Chicago (from the LA area) and I was so happy to have Munchkin’s Travel Booster Seat on our trip. Those of you who have traveled with kids know how much stuff you need to pack for these trips - even on the short ones you seem to pack everything but the kitchen sink! We've been there, bringing way too much stuff on many trips, only to have to carry it with us. Well, this time we wanted to keep our kid gear to a minimum, so I really thought about what we were going to take on our trip. With 4 young kids ages 1.5, 4, 6 and 8 years old, the gear adds up fast! After reading some great online reviews of the Munchkin Travel Booster Seat I knew that this was a must-have item for our family. I should note that this travel booster seat is designed for mealtime, not for safely transporting your child in a vehicle.
First, the booster seat instructions are simple and in just a few minutes, you can securely attach the booster seat to a chair using the seat's built in straps. Honestly, I was wondering how the booster seat would stand up to my youngest son, who can wiggle out of almost everything – high chairs, car seats, baby swings! Guess what, the booster seat is very sturdy! I didn’t have to worry about my little guy falling off the chair and hitting the travertine floor.
In addition to my 1.5 year-old son, my 4 year-old was also able to comfortably and safely use the booster seat. The internal frame is strong (it's weight max is 50 lb.) and the height and legs can both be easily adjusted. This means that it can grow with your and it's ideal not just for toddlers, but also small children.
We brought it with us to restaurants, relative's homes and even on our sightseeing excursions. Here's my younger son enjoying his breakfast from his booster seat. Doesn't he look happy? Alas, I wish I had better pictures to share, but I didn't have my nice camera on our trip - the lens broke before we left and I had to rely on my phone.
See how it secures to a chair?
One of the best features of the booster seat is that while it's very sturdy it’s also very lightweight. In fact, it was usually the job of my 4 year-old-son to carry it for our family - a job he really loved! That's me in the other picture with my two boys, and the travel booster seat! The booster seats looks like a stylish bag, doesn't it? One of the best features is that that it has a compartment that is perfect for storing your child's feeding items or extra travel accessories. We kept a set of child's cutlery, snacks and a small plate in the there - perfect!
There are two more features that I really liked about the travel booster seat. The seat is padded, which makes it’s comfortable for little bodies. It's also very easy to wipe clean. That's a huge bonus for me, my kids are messy!
If you are planning a trip, I would highly suggest that you bring one these along for your toddler. We were very happy that we did! The seat retails for about $29.99, so it's a good buy. In fact, I liked this travel booster seat so much that we now keep an extra one at my mother-in-law’s house. She lives nearby, and we tend to visit quite often, so I like knowing that it’s available to use when the kids visit her and she likes knowing that she can easily put it away when we leave. It's also great for daily use in your home, especially if you are low in kitchen space.
Would you like your very own Munchkin Travel Booster Seat? Enter our giveaway to win one! This Giveaway is managed via Rafflecopter giveaway. Please follow the link below to enter. It's super easy! You can enter to win numerous ways!
Enter here! a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: In the spirit of transparency, I received a Munchkin Travel Booster Seat to help facilitate this review; however all opinions expressed are my own (and they are honest!). I appreciate when bloggers give honest opinions on products they review and I do my best to do the same.
Did you a resolution to lead a healthier lifestyle this year? For many people, a new year means new health and fitness goals. While our fitness goals often start strong, many of us find that keeping up with an exercise routine becomes a challenge.
One of the most common reasons that keeps a lot of people from maintaining or even starting an exercise program is that they believe the myths that exercise needs to be done at an expensive gym or that could simply never be an active gym going type of person. Both are wrong! In truth, plenty of scientific research actually shows that, any kind, and any amount of exercise is better than none at all. Did you know that according to research, in spite of all the hype on trendy exercise programs, for many individuals it is easier to stick to a home-based fitness program?
That’s right - you do not need a gym membership! In order to get your daily dose of overall-just-good-for-you physical activity you only need a pair of athletic shoes, comfortable clothes and a little motivation. Keep it simple! That’s why I am so excited to share with you The California Milk Processor Board’s new series of ten (10) “Hazlo Ejercicio” video segments to encourage you to get up and get moving! The trainer and his assistant will coach through the video segments, just like having your own personal training, for free and at home! The exercise routines are fun to do, especially with your family, right at home!
The video segments will air on Despierta America every weekday morning from January 7th to January 18th between 7 am and 8 am (PST), but you can always visit Hazloejercicio.com to watch more easy-to-do exercise videos and share them with your friends.
One of the reasons I am super excited about sharing the video series with you is because I am expecting my 5th child and staying healthy throughout this pregnancy is super important to me. With 4 other young children in the house, getting to the gym can be hard for me on some days, so having a great selection of easy and fun exercises to do at home is a great fitness option!
One of my favorite exercises from the series is called the Ninja Black. The name is cool, but the exercise is super easy to do. See, all you need is a mop (or broom!). The Youtube video will show you exactly how to do it!
A few other tips:
- Do not try to do it all at once: short bouts work just as well. Scientific research shows that moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute intervals, and it can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes uninterrupted. Small exercise segments are ALWAYS better than no exercise at all!
- Daily fitness-time. Set aside specific days and times for exercise, and just make it as much a regular part of your daily schedule as everything else you do. Make it your goal to carve out your own special time to take care of your health.
- The family that works out together... Recruit friends, family, and children in your mission to health. Think of it as showing them how much you love them by motivating them to be active and healthy!
This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
It’s that time of year when a few things are on our mind. For me, I think a lot about my family and the good people in my life or who have been part of my life, like my mentors. I have mentioned a few times on my blog that I grew up in a tough neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. My parents worked very hard to make sure that I had everything that I needed to succeed in school and to stay out of trouble; however, they like many parents can always use an extra hand in these tasks. I was fortunate that, through my school and community activities, I met some wonderful women who became wonderful examples to me. My young brother and sister also share similar stories. The mentors provided and incredible resource to us – surely helping us navigate the challenges of living where we did and instead focusing on our talents and dreams.
Did you have a mentor in your life who had a positive influence in your life? How did they help you? As the new year approached many of us start to think about our personal resolutions, usually focused on what we are going to “give up” or change in our life. How about this upcoming New Year you consider becoming a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters?
At Big Brothers Big Sisters their goal is to match volunteer mentors (Bigs) with children, (Littles). Do you know what? Latino youth need our help more than ever. Big Brothers Big Sisters need a few good good hombres y mujeres to serve as role models to our youth. When I found out that one of my mentors grew up in the same neighborhood but had so much success in her life, I was really moved. To meet and know women who were living their dreams despite growing up in a tough neighborhood was really motivating. If they could it, I thought, so could I. More importantly, these mentors were now working with kids just like them, as mentors!
Essentially, Big Brothers Big Sisters changes lives. Compared to children not in our program, “Littles” are LESS likely to:
- Skip school
- Use drugs
- Begin drinking alcohol
- Hit someone
- Why Latino Bigs are so Important
About 20% of the children that they serve are Hispanic – a number on the rise. Yet, only 9% of Bigs are Latino. Also, more than 70% of the children ready and waiting to be matched with a mentor are boys, yet only 3 of 10 volunteer inquiries come from men. I really encourage you to consider becoming a mentor, especially if you had a mentor in your life. I know that we are all busy, but being a mentor is not too time consuming. They also come from all walks of life. This is of my favorite mentoring success stories from Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Want to learn more?
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on YouTube.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on Facebook.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on Twitter.
- Go to www.latinobigs.org or www.bigbrothersbigsisters.org for more information
Many people have life changing moments. For me, that moment occurred when I was a high school sophomore and walked into my mentor’s law firm. Lupe was an attorney working a large firm in downtown Chicago, not to far from where I had grown up. She had asked me to meet her at her office because she wanted me to see where she worked and to meet her collogues. Wow, I was so excited! This visit to her office was really a huge moment for me.
Lupe was my mentor at an after-school program for low-income, inner city girls in Chicago. Every week I would meet with her with for about 20 minutes – I found her simply fascinating. She had grown up in the same neighborhood where I lived and we attended the same high school. She was a successful corporate attorney, a sharp dresser and always had great advice for me. She challenged me, encouraged me, and most importantly, taught me the importance of serving our communities.
The office was stunning. I loved it – there were large windows overlooking downtown Chicago, people going past in nice suits and her colleagues were so nice to me. Years later as a college student I ran into her at the same after-school program where she had mentored me, on my way to mentor a young Latina in the same program! I volunteered as a mentor in the same program because I wanted the girls that I mentored to walk away from the program having learned how to strive for their personal best, that an education will open up endless possibilities, and that growth as a person and leader involves giving back to their communities. These were the same lessons that Lupe's mentorship had taught me.
I feel so fortunate that throughout my life good people have mentored me. In college I heard from an Assistant Dean about a young professor who was working on researching Latino families. I met with this professor because her research was so fascinating to me – she was studying young children who served as translators for their Spanish speaking families. These kids were essentially the link between their families Spanish speaking world and the English-speaking world. I too had this role as a child, helping my parents and family navigate the world outside of our immediate Spanish speaking community and I thought it was fascinating that someone thought this was important to study. I started working with her and over the next few years I learned so much from her. Dr. Orellana was such a wonderful example of good work ethic, honesty and a commitment to educating people about the important work that children of immigrant families do as translators for their family and community.
As a young adult I was fortunate to learn about the wonderful work that Big brothers Big Sisters was doing in the Los Angeles area, my new home. Eventually I worked for them and in that time I was so impressed with the work that they were doing. They are simply amazing. Big Brothers Big Sisters match adult volunteer mentors (Bigs) with children, (Littles). Do you know that Latino youth need our help more than ever? It’s true that youth who participate in their programs are more likely to avoid risky behaviors like skipping school, using illegal drugs or drinking underage. I know that my brother, 2 sisters and I “made it” out of very tough neighborhood for 3 reasons – my loving parents, our Church and wonderful mentors. It is imperative that more of us, hombres y mujeres, step up and serve as role models to our youth.
I wholeheartedly encourage you to get involved as a mentor. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money, just a commitment to helping change someone’s life. Did you know that 81% of adults who participated in the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program as Littles say their Big Brother or Big Sister caused them to broaden their horizons – to change what they thought possible in life?
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on YouTube.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on Facebook.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters on Twitter.
- You can see my previous blog on Big Brothers Big Sisters.
“El Vaso Medio Lleno”is at it again – sharing his message of positivity by launching a new web series that focuses on incorporating positivity into your daily life! The webshows are sponsored by Toma Leche, and will include ten (10) webisodes that will air from November 5th through January 6th. I am really looking forward to seeing what El Maestro has up his sleeve!
The first webisode is titled “El Mejor Flan del Mundo” and was filmed at popular Los Angeles bakery, Porto’s Bakery & Café. It includes an interview with one of the owner’s daughters Beatriz Portos, who share her family’s recipe for one of their most popular deserts – flan! Yum! One of my favorite childhood memories was walking with my father to my local panaderia and buying a treat, usually flan. Even now as an adult we still do this! I am in the LA area and my parents are in Chicago, so when I visit my parents we take a walk with my kids to the local bakery. My kids love this new tradition!
Check out the webisode below!
What did you think? I love how milk based recipes are so yummy and make me feel nostalgic, they bring back lots of great and happy memories! You can find El Vaso Medio Lellno Webshow on El Maestro’s Youtube Channel. Subscribe to view new webisodes as they are released!
One of my favorite milk based recipes is a twist on classic rice pudding, arroz con leche. This version uses brown rise instead of white rice. The milk provides the added calcium that my 4 growing kids needs. The chia seeds provide extra fiber. It’s delicious! Did you know that the chia seed originated from Mexico and Central America? It was staple in the diet of the ancient Mayans and Aztecs! Their super healthy version of arroz con leche always leaves a big smile on my family’s face!
- 1 cup brown rice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons anise seed, crushed
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 whole cloves
- 4 cups water
- 1 egg
- 3 cups low fat milk
- 1 (12-ounce) can low fat or fat free sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raisins, optional
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- In a small sauce pan cook the brown rice in 3 cups of water over low heat for approximately 40 minutes. Check on the rice periodically, as you may need to occasionally add more water.
- Mix egg and milk together in a separate container.
- Once the rice has cooked transfer it to the medium sauce pan and add the milk and egg mixture. Add all remaining ingredients.
- Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until brown rice is soft.
This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.