Three years ago I was pregnant
Mother’s Day 2010, I remember being ill and thinking I was just fighting another bought of kidney stones. I remember dropping off a plant to my mom and her telling me that I looked like shit. For about two weeks prior to Mother’s Day, I was hugging the toilet bowl and refusing to see a doctor because the stones were going to go away. I remember our dog JuanGa, not leaving my side as I battled these kidney stones. The week after Mother’s Day came and I finally said to Raul, ”Let’s call Freddy” our friend who lived close by and a doctor. I remember going to get blood work on a Friday and the next day Raul opening up the results. Before our friend could come over and read them, we read that we were going to be parents. It seems so long ago, but it wasn’t.
I was shocked, stunned, cried, and was in denial for a long time. I was not ready for the commitment and change but it was going to happen. It was our choice to be parents and we had been told by several people that in 2010 we were going to be the parents of a girl. I was skeptical about the news but Daniela was born later that year. I had to see her to believe that she was really coming. When I went on vacation with Raul, before Daniela was born, I remember a man telling me that I was going to know what love really was when Daniela arrived. I of course was like, yeah that is what they tell me. I was seven months pregnant and scared to admit that perhaps his words and the words of others were going to be true.
Daniela shows me in all sorts of ways that she loves me; she rubs my toe or arm when I bump into something and she asks, ”Estas Bien? Te Duele? ” Her instinct to help kicks in and I know that one day she will pay it forward to others. She helps me get in and out of the shower and hands me my towel. She will lick me instead of kiss me and laughs about it when I say, “Yuck.” All the things we do for her, she is doing with us. It is amazing how she interacts with JuanGa and gives him rubs when he hears a strange noise. I think my biggest fear was accepting this change and it took me a long time to realize that she was here to stay. I count my blessings everyday that she is walking, screaming, crying, learning, and loving us. With help from other women and Raul, I started to learn how to appreciate those special moments where she showed me compassion and love.
My cooking assistant
Since I became a mom, all these little ideas come out of my head of what we could do to teach Daniela all sorts of things from painting, to crafting, singing, dancing, and even real life situations. I remember having a conversation with my neighbors about potty training Daniela. I told them she was attempting it but that we were not pushing her to do so. I did mention how she was learning other things like cutting mushrooms, tomatoes, and even helping me bake. I am glad that she learned how to cut because for a few days I was not able to cook or bend my fingers due to an injury. Daniela stepped up to the challenge of helping me until her grandma arrived from Connecticut for a visit. One of the neighbor’s mentioned that I was probably glad I taught Daniela how to cut instead of using the bathroom. Although my girl was not potty trained, I am glad the neighbor realized that Daniela was helping me with everyday chores. (She used a plastic knife with supervision from me, I gave her a pot, she put all ingredients in the pot, and I stirred.)
Strong Women all around me
Since moving to an apartment complex, I have been blessed to have women who are moms to children of all ages and moms to four-legged, sentient beings. We have had conversations of all types and I was missing that type of bond with women since I moved to Puerto Rico. I have kept in touch with all the strong women from my childhood and adulthood; some who are moms, soon-to-be moms, some who aren’t, those who have chosen to adopt their husband’s children, and those who are moms to four-legged beings.
I have met new women and their families via social platforms and community groups. I read about the triumphs and when they have hit roadblocks and I feel as though we are all on the same journey of making the most of what is in front of us. I read about women making the best decisions they can for their children whether it be with their spouses, partners, co-parents, or by themselves.
If you want to read about strong women and what they do every day to ensure the happiness and health of their children and how they support other women and families, please consider joining these groups on Facebook and wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day:
An Angel for Ellie : Hilary and Jim update their surviving twin daughter’s progress on a daily basis. Her name is Ellie. Read about how they were diagnosed with TTTS and their journey thus far. A little angel guides Ellie from above and her name is Gracie.
Nick Collazo Stay Strong Fight Hard Team Nicholas : Lillian and Luis are from my hometown in Connecticut. Their son is battling childhood cancer. Their oldest daughter is a survivor. This is a very strong family with a wonderful community of friends and family holding benefits for them in order to help them financially and emotionally.
TTTS : This stands for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Our parent mentors, Vanessa and Gabriel, started this group on Facebook to support other families that have gone through or are currently going through the same experience. Jesus guides their surviving twin, Gustavo, from above. These families are amazing and if you follow the group, you will see what community and family really means.
Imani Corbin Erbs Palsy Fight : Maritza and Sebastian are family members currently navigating the world of Erb’s Palsy with their daughter Imani. I wrote about her and she finally had her surgery today. This is going to be a long road for my family members, but I have faith that Imani will come out winning.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!
Before becoming a Dad, I use to spend most of my time in front of a screen.
I was constantly transitioning from one screen to the next. My choice of screens was my smart phone, my laptop, my iPad, a TV, and one of the many monitors I had in my office.
Screens Can Drain You
For me I know how powerful a screen can be and how much it can drain us. Just to think that a screen consumed more time than the quality time I should have been dedicating to my loved ones, makes me a bit embarrassed.
Making the Best Use of Screens
Every day I seek ways to make sure that time in front of the screen is used with a purpose, aligned to business, or to clearly communicate with those I truly love.
We don’t spend much time in front of a TV. Last summer we decided to cancel Cable and we use Hulu + on occasions to watch some shows and movies.
My Toddler and her First Screen Experience
My daughter, who is a bit over 2 years old now, gets monitored with her screen time.
Her first screen interactions where with my iPad. It was useful since we where able to complement in teaching her colors, numbers, and the ABC’s. We made sure those interactions where balanced out with other learning exercises far away from the screen.
Toddler’s 1st Videos
Daniela’s 1st videos where seen on an iPad or computer monitor.
Most of the videos our daughter preferred watching were created by Payasa Agapita and her sidekick Che-Ché.
Payasa Agapita and Che-Ché have evolved over time. Their videos have become more educational and practical in nature. They are useful for parents and teachers when it comes to teaching them numbers, colors, or the vowels.
For bilingual families, there is an opportunity for you to have your kids watch videos in Spanish so they can understand and learn Spanish while having fun with these two creative and funny clowns.
Most of my screen time, when it is not tied to work, is watching something that is friendly enough for my daughter to watch.
How much time do you invest in front of a screen and how do you make sure your kids have a good balance with the many screens that surround them?
By the way, We’re celebrating!!! This is the 100th edition of our weakly comic Strip. So excited to see a dream grow into a reality such as this. I hope you guys enjoy reading them at least as much as I enjoy making them! Thank you all for your continued support. Many Blessings!
Today is Raul’s 33rd birthday! We are so happy that he is in great health to be by our sides everyday. At times when things become hectic with Daniela crying, me barking, and the dog whining, he has the gift of difusing major meltdowns from all of us. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful and patient human! And yes he is way more patient than I am. Daniela and our dog JuanGa are very lucky for this special gift!
We asked our friend Maria from Dolce Maria Sweet Creations, (located in Caguas, Puerto Rico) to make a birthday cake for Raul that was totally vegan. The frosting was made from dark chocolate and decorated with avocado! The cake was vanilla flavored but almost tasted like it had a hint of coco flavor as well. In order for the decoration on the cake to be vegan friendly, Maria was a genius in using avocado.
Leave a little message in the comments to Raul or send a message to him on Twitter at @rj_c!
We love our Papá Hero!
Pictures thanks to Raul and I
The Poquet iPhone 5 case was given to Raul at SXSW Interactive by the Reyneau Company as a review sample. Although it is a free sample, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.
There is always a plus when Raul goes away to conferences especially ones like SXSW Interactive; the knowledge he shares with me about what is new, the folks he met up with, and the items he brings back for me to review. Last year it was the Runnur and I am still using it as my go to mini-back pack when we travel around the island.
Poquet iPhone Case
We have been using the Otterbox Defender for the iPhone 5 and our daughter has dropped it on many occasions without damaging the phone. When Raul showed me the Poquet for my iPhone 5, I was not convinced about using it. It did not have any protection covering the screen which worried me because in the hands of a toddler anything can slip and fall. I was hesitant about using the case and expressed this to Raul. But he told me to try it out and give it a chance. The phone fits in the case and it has a rubber holding it in place. It fits snug and can’t slip out as easily as I thought. It was an easy install and then the testing began.
The one I got was plain but you can put your company logo on the back. If I was a fancy mom and used lipstick, the mirror inside of the Poquet would be good for touching up my lipstick. There is a compartment behind the mirror for a credit card or two, business cards, and money. I thought it was a little heavier than what I am used to with other cases but according to the website it is made using recycled aircraft aluminum.
You can read more about the specifications on the site. I still put it in my Runnur and did not think it was durable enough for me or for when Daniela handles my phone to take pictures (our 2 year old.)
The first time I dropped the phone with the Poquet case, I freaked out. It fell right out of my Runnur from one of the pockets where I am to put a water bottle and it dented the area that has the least amount of aluminum (camera area).
I dropped it from at least a foot off the floor and onto the pavement. The phone did not slip out. Our daughter did drop it once but she was in her car seat. On another occasion I dropped it from more than a foot off the ground with the screen facing the floor. Raul and I both said, “Ouch!” But no cracked screen or losening of the phone due to the rubber gripping the phone.
In the weeks that I have been using the Poquet, I was hoping that Daniela did not toss it like a bean bag. I was the one dropping the phone; it is safe to say that it is Mommy Proof! The Poquet has hit concrete, tile, and plastic with some scratches to the case and none to the screen. Daniela liked the mirror and I think if we can get some rhinestones, I’ll let her decorate the back.
Poquet case is another option
I really had my doubts, but my phone has been safe from the multiple times it has hit the floor. Since we carry more cards like health insurance cards, ATM cards, license, and wholesale club cards, I still use my Runnur to carry what doesn’t fit in the Poquet. If Raul and I ever go out on a date, it might be an alternative to a clutch purse so I don’t have to carry too much with me. The Poquet has done it’s job; protect my phone from a mom who drops it all the time.
Have you used the Poquet as an alternative to other iPhone Cases? Let us know.
Thanks to Rachael P. Cox of Reyneau for the review sample.