Sunday, November 26, 2017

Make Sh!t Happen



Maybe it is the fact that I am getting older. Maybe it is because life happens whether I am living or not! Maybe it  is just the fact that I have 3 children that look to me as a role model.  Maybe it is because  my mind is  focused on achieving certain goals. Or maybe I really want my dreams of  building a successful non-profit organization to come true.  But I have no time for excuses.

My mom used to tell me when I would tell her I wanted something "Want in one hand and shit in the other. Which one you think will fill up faster."  I would get so annoyed.  And NOW I tell my kids the same thing.  LOL! Really think about it.  It makes perfect sense.  You have to make shit happen!  Just wanting isn't enough.  You either have to earn it or you have to get it.  

I have spent way too much of my life believing people's word and justifying my disappointment in their lack of action, because I really wanted it to happen.  I even made myself believe my own excuses, because it was easier to deal with not getting things done. Listen don't get me wrong things come up, we get side tracked.  But instead of making up an excuse as to why it didn't happen and just giving up, we have to take accountability and make it happen no matter what!  

So take a moment to reflect on something or things that you want.  It could be losing a few pounds, or taking a vacation you have been dreaming about.  Stop making excuses, don't wait for that friend who says they will go to the gym with you.  Go get yourself a piggy bank and start dropping your change in it and go on that vacation.  Whatever it is!  MAKE SHIT HAPPEN!!!!!! 



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Boogie Down Chick's World : Help Make Difference

A Boogie Down Chick's World : Help Make Difference: This post is for parents or loved ones who have had a child diagnosed with a disability.  In my case the disability happens to be Autism.  ...

Help Make A Difference

Do you remember that moment when you were told that your child had Autism?  I do! And even though I was the one that asked that they screen him for Autism during his assessments because I felt something was off; I still couldn't believe my ears. I felt like someone hit the pause button. Everything just stopped, I only heard the beat of my heart in my ears, and I felt so lost! I knew almost nothing about Autism. As a parent it is our job to take care of them, and make sure they were okay.  But yet here we were, sitting in a doctor's office being told that our baby boy had Autism, and I had no idea how to make him better.  

I did the only thing I knew how to do, look up Autism and try to learn as much as I could.  The thing I remember feeling the most was alone.  I had my husband and both our families who were there and very supportive, but I  still felt alone. I didn't know anyone else who was going through or even someone who went through what I was going through.  It bothered me that when I went out to events or public places, I had to constantly explain my son's behavior.  And even after explaining I still felt as if we didn't fit in.  It wasn't until I attended an event walk where I was surrounded by other families and individuals that were actually going through what I was going through.  A place where all the children with Autism could truly be themselves, because people were aware and they were accepting.  The only problem here was that it was once a year! The other 364 days of the year were back to just us.  I longed for that feeling of acceptance and non-judgment.  

A little over 5 years ago my son asked to play baseball.  This was huge for me.  I searched for a place where he could play.  We eventually found a place.  It was outside of where we lived but we were willing to make the trip so that he could play.  Once we got there I remember feeling lost and a bit out of place.  I eventually met another family who were super nice, but I struggled with the fact that I didn't feel completely comfortable.  So I went ahead and I reached out to a local little league to see if they would give us a field for a little while to let the kids play.  They did and we started the Bronxchester Challenger League!  And from the Challenger League we really saw a need for more recreational services for our children.  Which is why I founded D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. I wanted to created an organization that could provide a space where they can truly be themselves, and where parents could feel comfortable as well.  A place where our children were given the same opportunities and activities as typical children have, but not have to rob a bank to afford them. 

I am proud to say that we are now going into our 5th year of Challenger baseball, and we have just completed our second session of Art. Our Art program success was due to grants we received from Autism Speaks and Bronx Council on the Arts.  We have also incorporated special events such as Halloween and the Holiday season into our services.  We are still very brand new and we are working hard to continue to provide these services to the community, but it is becoming more and more difficult to secure funds to facilitate the program.  Because we rely mainly on donations and volunteers, it is difficult to provide the quality of service we would like to offer. I would like to take this time to thank Monsignor Scanlan High School for giving us their space to run our Art Program and Special Events. I am basically working my 40 hour week to pay bills and working on D3 programming every chance I get with the help of board members who are very hands on and dedicated to the organization.  Unfortunately this may not be enough to continue.  

D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. is looking for generous individuals who want to help us make a difference in the Autism community.  If you would like to donate to D3 Sports & Recreation Inc. please feel free to click on the link provided below. Own a business and want to help and also promote your company?  Sponsor a team! 

D3 Sports is also in need of members for their board that have knowledge and skills to guide us to a level where we can truly provide the quality of programming our families truly deserve.  If you would like to sit on the board, please contact the Governance Chairperson Chaquon Polanco at CPolanco@d3sportsandrec.org.  


Click Here to Donate Today


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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!