Saturday, March 18, 2017

Life is TOO Short Not to Live it!

I have a new outlook on life.  Life and how I live it has become my priority. I am reflecting more on my life and thinking of all the things in life I've always wanted to do.  The things that I once enjoyed don't give me the same joy. I am learning that those you counted on aren't always going to be the same people, and that's okay.    

Maybe getting older is making me more aware of my mortality, or maybe learning that my mom has lung cancer has increased my awareness of it.  She has chosen to refuse treatment and live out the rest of her life. She wants us to enjoy her and not watch her suffer.  My mother is a very strong stubborn woman, who has been through so much, but always gets through it.  I see where I get it from.  Whatever the reasons are that changed my perspective, it has given me a better appreciation of life and the time that is spent while I am alive.  

As long as I can remember, I've never really felt like I fit in, and longed to be accepted.  I have learned that blood may connect you, but doesn't hold you together.  I've had family stop communicating with me, without ever being given a reason why.  I have other members tell me how they've witnessed others ridicule me behind my back. I won't ever deny that it has hurt me.  I tried reaching out looking for answers. I never got answers, but I have forgiven them none the less. I would never deny our relationship but I will not push myself on anyone anymore.  I truly appreciate those that want to be a part of my life and accept me.  

As a child we can't wait to grow up and become an adult.  Time felt like it was on pause. A minute felt like a hour, an hour felt like  forever!  But as an adult we wish we could be children again.  Time flies and there aren't enough minutes in a day. So make sure each minute and every hour is spent doing what makes you happy.  Most of all give 100% in everything you do.  If you can't, then say no.  

Death is imminent, and we may not know when it will happen, so we might as well make our time here meaningful.  I am learning that I need to take better care of me.  I need to heal my mind, my body and my soul.  As someone who suffers from anxiety disorder doing this can be difficult.  In an effort to heal myself and reduce my panic attacks, I am trying to worry less about what I can't handle.  Having expectations can be disappointing, so I am expecting less of others, and Instead I am setting higher expectations of myself.  

I have always known that tomorrow isn't promised, and we shouldn't waste it being miserable. None of us know when we lay our heads down at night if we will wake up the next morning.  So if you do, you should be grateful for another day and make the best of it.  Don't spend your days or time doing something you don't enjoy.  You shouldn't be somewhere that you feel forced to be.  If you happen to be in that type situation, make the best of it.  

Tell those you love that you love them.  Let go of grudges and forgive.  Life is short and can be taken at anytime.  So live life.  Do what makes you happy. Invest in those that are worthy of your time and effort.  Take chances. Say what you mean, and really mean what you say. Cry because you're laughing too hard.  Love like your heart has never been broken and dance like no one is watching!  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Tis the Season for Sensory Friendly Holiday Events

Tis the season and it wouldn't be a great holiday event without shopping at Oriental Trading!!!! I have been a really busy elf planning and prepping for my Non-Profit Organization D3 Sports & Recreation Inc.'s 2nd Annual Holiday event!!!!!

Last year was a such a success, and we are sure that this year will be even better!!!!!!!

This year Monsignor Scanlan High School has graciously donated their Cafeteria to host our 2nd Annual Sensory Holiday Event! 



We will have some fun activities that we got from Oriental Trading. 

The children will be greeted at the door and given a number an activity sheet. 



Once they are all checked in everyone can then head on in to their first activity.  There will be four stations, there is no particular order but they will receive a sticker after each activity is completed. 
Sensory Station

At our sensory station, children will get to search for these adorable Christmas finger puppets assortment, through bins filled with rice. 
Holiday Tree Ornament Station

Everyone loves to decorate their tree, why not decorate it with a handmade ornament made by their loved one.  At the Holiday tree ornament station.  Children will get to create some cute little Elf Christmas ornaments.




There will be some games along the way as well!  Kids and their families will have a chance to feed Santa some cookies with the Santa’s Cookies Bean Bag Toss.  They can toss some rings on the Inflatable Elf Hat Ring Toss, and they can try their luck with the Inflatable Reindeer Antler Ring Toss Game   





After they have completed the activities and played some games.  One of Santa's helpers will call their number and they get a chance to meet the Big Guy in the Red Suit Santa!!!!! Here they will get to tell Santa just what they want for Christmas and take a picture to take home. 



Before they head on out of Santa's special space they will let one of the helpers know that they are all done!  The helper will then hand them an awesome Christmas book The Magical Tale of Santa Dust, A Christmas Tradition donated and written by Patricia Cardello and Illustrated by Manuela Sorlani,  so that they can read at home with their family. 


“This review is based strictly on my opinion. Others may have a different opinion or experience with the product listed above. I was provided the sample free of charge by the company or PR agency and I provided my honest opinion. No other type of compensation was received for this review.”


Monday, August 15, 2016

Help me to Help Them!!!!

Calling on all family and friends!!!!! D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. means the world to me. It is my dream to create a place where individuals with Autism and their families feel at home! We have had three successful seasons of Challenger baseball and want to expand programming!

If I was asked 11 years ago where I thought I would be in 10 years, I would never have imagined I would be a mother of three children and the founder of D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. a non profit organization that provides sensory friendly sports and recreation programming for individuals with Autism. 

When Donovan was diagnosed, even though I suspected and I asked for him to be assessed for Autism, I still wasn't ready to hear that he indeed had Autism.  I educated myself and I asked a million question to anyone I met that had any knowledge of Autism. 

In the beginning when Donovan was much younger it was bit easier to go out.  He had very few stims or behaviors that would make him standout, but as he got older and his stims increased or his behaviors became a bit more noticeable for his age, trips to the local park became difficult for me.  For fear of how others would perceive him and my reaction to them, I went out less.  I began to try to protect Donovan, and keep him in a bubble so to speak.  It wasn't until my husband said "stop holding on to him and hovering over him.  Let him go play" Soon after my daughter Devynn pointed out the discrepancies on how I parented her and Donovan.  "Mom, why doesn't Donovan have to clean the room?" And just like that my propellers came to a halt and I realized, that Donovan was a child before he was Autistic.  I had to allow him to be a child and not a diagnosis!  He was capable of anything, he just needed the opportunity to try. 

A little more than three years ago, we went to watch my nephew play baseball.  At the end of the game, Dono came to us and said "I want to play baseball."  My not so verbal autistic son spoke in a full sentence and he wanted to play baseball!  I searched for a league that was tailored to his needs.  We ended up joining a league up in Westchester.  The league was set up so that children who weren't ambulatory could play as well.  So there wasn't any dirt or grass on the field.  It was a beautiful field, and all the kids got to play, but living in the Bronx and juggling the schedules of all 3 children was very difficult.  We asked Donovan if he liked it and in his sweet monotone voice he said "Yep" Then we asked "Do you want to come back?" and he answered "Nope".  My husband and I looked at each other with surprise.  We asked him, "Why don't you want to come back?" His response was "I want to play real baseball". 

We went back a few times, but I couldn't help but notice the stress on the other parents faces. Most of all I couldn't help how I felt.  I was hoping to meet other families and feel like we were accepted.  The staff weren't very engaging with the parents, and I didn't feel comfortable. 

I decided to approach a childhood friend who was coaching at the league that sparked Donovan's interest in baseball.  I asked if they would let us use one of their fields.  I just knew that if my Donovan wanted to play, there had to be more children who wanted to play too.  They were open to the request and gave me a field to use.  It was so important to me that the challenger program be tailored to our children's needs, but feel like typical baseball.  I wanted the children to be comfortable, but I also wanted parents to feel comfortable.  I needed them to know that their child was an individual and not just a number.  In May of 2013 we opened our first season of challenger baseball at Bronxchester Little League and this past June 2016, we ended our 3rd season. 

When the season ended I always felt sad.  I wanted to offer more than just baseball.  I wanted to create more programs that our children and families could benefit from.  I incorporated D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. with the hope of building a village.  I pride myself on that I facilitate programs and events where our children can be themselves, and parents do not have to explain their child's behavior to anyone! Where judgement is unacceptable and understanding is in abundance. 

At D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. I look to spread Autism Awareness, but I hope for acceptance of Autism.  I want to provide much needed programs and events to my community of the Bronx.  Please help me to continue to provide challenger baseball and expand our events and programs.  Donate  to D3 sports & Recreation Inc. Donate Here!

In the New York area on September 30th, 2016,  consider coming to our Flash Back Friday for Autism!!!!



By Purchasing a ticket or two you will be helping fund our program and receiving entrance to an amazing night out, delicious food/drinks, amazing hits from the 80s/90s, and a chance to win an iPad!!!!! Click on the link to purchase your ticket online or contact me directly to purchase in advance!
I thank you all in advance for your continued support!!!!!


Don't hesitate to post and share!!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I AM

Lots has happened and some things have changed since my last post.  I recently changed the name of my blog to A Boogie Down Chick's World.  I felt the change was needed and that the name fit better than the Diary of a Loving Mom.  I am a Loving Mom, but it really wasn't a diary, and I am so much more than just a mom.  Although being a mom is something I take the most pride in.  But I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom, advocate and the list goes on.  I am born and raised in the Bronx, and I am a true Chick from the Boogie Down Bronx!  Hence the name A Boogie Down Chick's World.

So much has been going on in my life, and it has made me take a step back and examine my life so far.  For example, my mom got really sick this past summer and I almost lost her, had we not gotten her to the hospital in time.  Being a daughter was one of my first roles in life, and one that I cherish.  My mom is amazing and she is a major reason I am the woman I am today.  She will be 80 years old next April and she is has been one of my biggest supporters/caretaker for my son Donovan who has Autism. 

I am the youngest sibling of a very blended family.  I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters.  We may not have the same mother and father, but we are brothers and sisters!  This is another part of my life that I share with the world, or the rather the few that follow.  LOL

I am a wife.  I met my husband back to before I can remember, we were probably in pampers and in carriages side by side one another as our moms were waiting for the elevator to go home.  We grew up in the same building and attended kindergarten together.  It hasn't always been easy and we have had our share of break ups, but our paths always lead us back to one another. 

I am mother.  There was a time when I thought that I would never have this title.  While dating my husband, we were careful, but we were also young and a bit na├»ve.  We never worried about not getting pregnant, because we didn't want to get pregnant so young.  When we finally married, I was ready to start a family.  After trying we decided to see a specialist.  After a many tries of IUI (Intrauterine Insemination), a couple of miscarriages, it was our last try before we would have to move onto IVF.  I got pregnant with my daughter Devynn.  Devynn was 4 months old when I found out I was pregnant with my second child.  I had Donovan.  Three years after him I was pregnant with my youngest Dustin.  I love being a mother, and it is what I am most proud of. 

I am an advocate.  Most times when one advocates for a cause it is usually because they have been touched or affected in some way.  The first cause to awaken my fire for advocacy and support was HIV/AIDS.  I had and have many family/friends that have passed away and are still living with HIV/AIDS.  I became a peer educator for the Department of Health (which is now the Dept. of Mental Health and Hygiene).  I went into Schools and educated youth on facts of HIV/AIDS and how to practice safer sex.  My second cause and the one that pushes me the most, is Autism.  My son Donovan was diagnosed when he was just about 16 months old, and since then I have educated myself as much as possible and tried to spread so much awareness that we have ACCEPTANCE! Another cause I support whole heartedly is Dyslexia.  My Oldest child begged for us to put her in school and we did.  We enrolled her in Pre-K a year earlier, and she soon began to HATE school.  She struggled and when I pushed to find out why, we learned that she had Dyslexia. 

I am a Social Entrepreneur.  Social entrepreneurship is the attempt to draw upon business techniques and private sector approaches to find solutions to social, cultural or environmental problems. As per Unite for Site, a Social Entrepreneur the Social Entrepreneur aims for value in the form of large-scale, transformational benefit that accrues either to a significant segment of society or to society at large.” is Moreover, the social entrepreneur targets its programs at the “underserved, neglected, or highly disadvantaged population that lacks the financial means or political clout to achieve the transformative benefit on its own.” Social entrepreneurs are builders of a better world.  I have started a nonprofit organization D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. , a program that provides sensory friendly programming and events for children with Autism. 

Though many of my roles are linked and overlap, it was important that I choose a title for my blog that was better suited and would allow my to share all aspects of my life and journey!  So I leave you with this bit, which summarizes my blog. 

A Boogie Down Chick's World
A little insight into the world of a biracial woman, wife, and mom that was born and raised in the good old Boogie Down Bronx!!!! Share in my journey as a special needs mom to an Ausome Autistic Boy and to Sassy Princess with Dyslexia. I can't forget about my youngest who is a handful! Follow as I build a "Village" where our loved ones can come together and be themselves. And where families can allow them to shine without Judgement!






Monday, March 14, 2016

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is almost here and I am so excited.  I have already started planning my annual Easter Egg Hunt!  Every year, I get buckets and tons of bright candy and toy filled eggs for my kids to hunt around our court yard. 






It started out with just my children and each year we have a few more children join in on the fun.  They love to run around and search for all the brightly colored eggs and collect them.  They have such a great time. 



 


To plan and prep for your Easter Holiday Needs check out Oriental Trading!!!!



This review is based strictly on my opinion.  Others may have a different opinion and/or experience with product I discussed.  I was provided a free sample by the company and I provided my honest opinion. No other compensation was received for this review.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Learing to Pause, Reflect and Repair Myself


Jada Pinkett Smith's response to How hard it is being a wife and mother


I am thankful that I came across this post, because I have been a mix of emotions and exhaustion.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that was bothering me.  I was slipping and feeling like what I was feeling didn’t matter. That I needed to suck it up and get over it. I have been feeling angry and I have been feeling alone.  

This is something that all women, not just wives and mothers should hear! Everyone should learn how to balance our duties and taking time out for ourselves.  You have to learn how to take care of yourself and how to truly make yourself happy.  You have to love you first.  I have lost my balance and I thought that I was taking care of me, but I was too wrapped up in making sure everyone else was okay.  I love to help others and make them happy.  But I haven’t truly taking care of me.  I have been feeling overwhelmed and unappreciated by those close to me, because they aren’t seeing that I am not myself.  The truth is that I myself didn’t know that I haven’t truly been myself.  I have been blaming others for my unhappiness and unbalance.  

I am not making excuses. I have taken on a lot. And that is no one else’s fault but my own.  I am taking accountability.  I have a vision and a dream that I want to fulfill and now I have to work on balancing it all.  But first I have to take some time to find me.  I need to pause and reflect.  Then I have to put things into perspective.  I have to begin to organize myself better, and set prioritize.  Work on what’s most important first and work my way down, versus trying to get it all done immediately. 
I am only one person.  Though I may have a thousand roles and wear a million hats, I cannot do it all.  I need to remind myself of that when I am asked to take on more.  

I believe in treating people the way that you would like to be treated.  So when I wasn’t getting the same treatment I became resentful and bitter.  It would make me feel like I had to work harder, or find more ways to make them happy and satisfy their needs.   I was letting others ideas and expectations dictate my actions.  Trying to meet their needs, and not have mines met really took a toll on me.  I thought that if I did what they wanted, that they too would want to do the same for me.  I was looking at those around me wondering why they weren’t noticing.  I have been looking to other methods of finding happiness and filling voids.  I have been looking for instant gratification, such as food, which has always been my go to filler for happiness.  But it is only temporary and it only contributes to my unhappiness once I am done eating.  I know this, yet I continue to do it, because it is easier to sit and eat bag of chocolate than to tell someone how you are feeling and they just don’t get it.  

I am motivated by positivity and encouragement.  It is difficult when so many around me only know how to point out the negative.  It can be very overwhelming to juggle so many things and only have what you’ve done wrong or what you haven’t done be acknowledged.  Even if it is done in a “Joking” manner.  

So with the new year approaching, I am not saying a New Year, New Me.  What I am going to say is a New Year to Live, Love and Laugh, and I will do that by taking time to pause, reflect and repair. 





Sunday, December 27, 2015

Catching the Sun....

Happy Holidays!!!! 

So I am super excited! This past weekend myself and the board members of my newly incorporated 501(c) (3) hosted our first ever Sensory Friendly Holiday Event for Children with Autism!  

D3 Sports & Recreation is dedicated to providing a safe and encouraging environment for individuals on the Autism spectrum with opportunities to participate in sports and recreational activities regardless of their gender, cognitive, physical and/or emotional abilities.  To promote Sensory Integration and Social Engagement through team play and recreation.  To promote and encourage community involvement and sponsorships, in order to provide services for free or low costs.
My reason for starting the organization was to be able to provide more activities for individuals with Autism and their families where they feel comfortable and enjoy themselves.  

The holiday season can be very overwhelming for people in general so can imagine how difficult it may be for an individual with special needs, such as Autism?  The big crowds, bright lights, and noise can cause someone with Autism to meltdown.  Let's not forget the long lines to wait and see Santa!!! So when Mott Haven Bar & Grill agreed to let us host our event there, we were SUPER excited!!!! 


1 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454 

It was important to me that we choose activities that were appropriate for the guests.  I knew just the place to find some cool crafts.  Oriental Trading!!!! awesome

Oriental Trading had so many awesome things to choose from.  I saw these awesome Snow Globe Sun Catchers, and thought they were really cute and unique.  I was sure the guest would have a lot of fun designing their sun catchers.

I have been reading lots of articles and one of my favorite writers/blogger moms Lisa Quinones-Fontanez even posted about coloring relieving stress so I thought this would help keep the mood calm and less overwhelming.

We set up the event in four different sessions to keep things moving smoothly. We found a bunch of crafts at Oriental Trading . The idea was to have guests come in and receive and activity sheet and number to take a picture with Santa Claus.  We had four separate work stations, with a different activity at each station. 


Our first station was the snow globe sun catchers, we set up the table with the sun catchers and the accessories that we purchased, such as markers and string, in order to complete the project and take home a finished product.

Some of our helpers setting up before the event





 As I walked around the room to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves, I noticed that the sun catcher station was the most calm and relaxed.  I even caught a few of the adults joining in and designing their own.

work in progress 





The snow globe sun catchers were a definite hit! It turned out to be just what I wanted, a fun yet calming activity.  

Our first Sensory Friendly Holiday Event was a success.  If you are looking for great crafts and fun activities to do, be sure to check out Oriental Trading.com


 This review is based strictly on my opinion.  Others may have a different opinion and/or experience with product I discussed.  I was provided a free sample by the company and I provided my honest opinion. No other compensation was received for this review.