Monday, December 29, 2014

#Deed A Day : 100 Good Deeds

Why should we only give for Christmas? With the season of giving coming to an end and the New Year is quickly approaching, I am proud to say that I have Joined the Deed a Day organization in setting a resolution to do a good deed a day! The 100 Good Deeds bracelet is not only a cause to encourage everyone to do a good deed, but it also a fashion statement.  In a world full of chaos and a bit of crazy, I think that the Deed a Day movement is an amazing thing.  There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone smile because of something you were able to help them with, all while looking good doing it.  Whether it's picking up someone's keys after they have fallen, or helping an overwhelmed parent in a supermarket.  Paying it forward is something that more people should do.  The rewards is the greatest feeling, and the bracelet is motivation and reminder of the good you have done and will continue to do.
The 100 Good Deeds project is made possible by the Abataka Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As a mother of a 10 year old daughter, I stand behind and appreciate what they are about. Their mission is to transform communities by empowering vulnerable women and spread kindness.  The Abataka Foundation provides economic and educational opportunities to women and girls across Africa and elsewhere. Proceeds from the sale of 1GD bracelets are reinvested in the program, supporting more women and girls with more training in even more countries.
These beautiful bracelets are made by vulnerable women who have been trained for this work in Uganda, India, Indonesia, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda, and Inilnand Haiti. This project gives these women a way to support their families through earnings, while empowering them to also contribute to good deeds around the world.  Curious about these women? If you would like to Join the movement or know someone who would, and you'd like to gift them with one these amazing bracelets Check out their website out for more information. 
Help me make this a better world, a more giving world, a world we want to live in!!!! A world where our woman feel empowered and encouraged to do good and become great! Join the #DEEDaDay Movement share one of the following images on Facebook, Instagram, twitter or Pinterest using hashtag #DEEDADAY and/or #1GD. Be sure to tag the 100 Good Deeds Bracelet:

Together we can change the world, one deed, one bead, and one act of kindness at a time! The 1GD bracelet gives you 100 changes to be grateful.
 If you would like a chance to win a bracelet and learn more about Mary Fisher and her amazing work, be sure to  mark your calendar to join us tomorrow from 9-10 pm ET for the #DeedADay #GNO hosted by the Mom it Forward team. 100 Good Deed Bracelet founder, Mary Fisher, will be joining us for what is sure to be an inspiring conversation! For more information or to RSVP, click here.

I was gifted this 100 Good Deeds bracelet to review and share with my readers. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays!!!!!

I have very fond memories of the holiday season as a kid.  I always looked forward to the holidays, because it meant that the family would get together.  We would listen to great music and the house would be full of amazing aromas, from all the delicious dishes. 
When I was pregnant I wondered how Christmas would be for my children.  I try to continue the same traditions that my mother practiced with me, with my kids.  We are sure to take the kids to see Santa. 
Having a child with Autism, a simple trip to see Santa can be difficult.  We have been truly blessed with all of our experiences with Santa. 

This year Donovan insisted that we see Santa!  I felt horrible, because we missed the Quiet Santa offered by Macy's and Autism Speaks.  But, we set out to find a way to meet Santa and Take our family picture! 

We gather together on Christmas eve, we have dinner as a family.  We eat and drink, and reminisce about Christmases past.  The kids get excited about Christmas day and prepare for Santa's delivery.  

They leave out cookies and milk and fight to stay up and catch a glimpse of the Happy Fat Guy in Red.  Christmas morning, me and the hubby are usually exhausted from waiting for the kids to fall asleep to put out their presents. But the smile on their faces is so worth it!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I'm Still a Winner!!!

I entered a coquito contest called the Coquito Masters on the suggestion of a friend. 

I had been making and selling coquito for Thanksgiving and Christmas season for my family for years.  I decided that I would start selling it to make some extra cash for Christmas presents.  

 I was hesitant to enter, and I never expected to win.  It isn't that I don't believe in my product, but that I put so much pride and love into it, I was afraid to hear that it wasn't any good.  I entered anyway, with no expectations,  and I was one of two who won for my borough of the Bronx!  

I was moving onto the Coquito Masters Finals!!!! Myself along with other winners from other boroughs came out and competed on Saturday December 13, 2014.


I was both excited and nervous.  The event was held in the Gym of the Taino Towers. 

I got there early to turn in my bottle of coquito.  It is a blind test.  Your mixture is taken and given a letter.  It is brought out in a pitcher so no one knows which is which.  The gym was huge and there were vendors selling their products.  Most were products that were very rich in the Puerto Rican culture.  The music playing was Latin Christmas tunes.  The salsa rhythms made me want to jump up and dance bomba! So imagine my excitement when they had a troupe come out and perform! 

They were great! And it made reminisce back to Christmas as a little girl.  I remembered a night while I was settled for bed, and was awoken by loud music and singing.  It was a good ole fashion Paranda. My family and friends had come to our apartment and everyone squeezed into our tiny living room.  They played traditional songs, and my parents hurried to get them food and drinks.  It was customary to feed them and give drinks!  Since it was the holidays and Christmas was approaching Coquito was in order.  

My dad loved cooking and he didn't know how to cook small portions.  Everything was done in excess.  So the bottles began to pour, and the night continued.  I loved hearing the music and watching how happy everyone was.  My nerves began to ease, at the memory.  

During the event there were people interviewing the contestants.  They asked why I entered, what Coquito meant to me, and how did I feel being the youngest contestant?  I laughed and asked if I really was! 

While being interviewed, it dawned on me, that our culture is slowly fading away. I realized that just by making Coquito, I was keeping up tradition and teaching my kids about their culture.  I want my children to embrace their culture and keep up traditions.  

Back to the contest, tasting began and all the tasters went out with their pencils and voting sheets.  

I waited nervously as everyone tasted and casted their votes.  

I didn't win the contest, but I am no loser!  I left there with an experience and memories that I will look back at and chuckle about.  I had an amazing bunch in my corner!!!! 

 I was blessed to be honored by some amazing people in my corner!  Time is a very expensive gift, that I treasure more than anything!  Thank you!!!! 


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Enter To Win: Confessions of a Serial Masturbator

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She is a major supporter of Autism Awareness and has signed the book!!!!!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Job Well Done!!!

So I was hosting my own pity party yesterday.  Yep! On top of the usual Monday crazies, the bus never showed up to pick up Dono, so I had to drive him to school.  Which I wouldn't mind if I had some notice and I wasn't late for work.  

After dropping Dono off I got stuck in traffic.  While waiting in traffic I get a call. ( I have Bluetooth, no talking and driving) from Dono's school.  It's was his speech therapist, informing me that due to an increase in bilingual  students, they cannot meet his full mandate for speech.  So now the school doesn't have an OT and can't meet his speech mandate!!!! 

Devynn is in 4th grade. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in second grade and homework at night requires a lot if my attention.  Dustin is in Kindergarten and he is showing a lot of symptoms Devynn did at this age.  His homework requires a lot of my attention.  Dono, also gets homework everyday and although my mom does it with him, I have to go over it and make sure it's done correctly.  

I also have to feed them and fix up around the house.  Apparently clothes have to get washed and the kids have to take baths.  So when I was told I'd have to find outside services, I had a meltdown.  

The hubby took a day off and he was home to help a bit.  I took advantage of him being home early and got the kids ready for bed and hit the sack myself.  

I woke up still feeling overwhelmed, but life continues and I must continue living.  As I was getting Dono's lunchbox to get his snack ready, I noticed it was a bit heavy.  

I opened it and found that Devynn had prepared his snack already!  This immediately brought tears to my eyes!  Happy tears!  She even left a loving note for him!  "Have a good lunch, Devynn" 

She gave him all his favorites! Clementines, apple and she snuck in some Oreos.  I left them in, normally I wouldn't send him with sweets.  But I was so in awe that I let it slide! 

Just when I think I am going to breakdown, something like this happens.  It shows me that all I do, and all the hardwork is not in vain.  I'm doing okay!  And what matters most is that I raise great human beings!  

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Twilight Zone: The Hernandez Clan

Enjoying the Quiet after the storm!!!! Whew! Thought I was in an episode of the twilight zone! Between Homework, dinner, and getting them to bed.... I thought I was gonna go 730 in here!  Let's say Dusty screamed at the top of his lungs until he fell out!  Donovan the Great Debator tried to convince me to let him stay home from school tomorrow from the time I picked him at 4:30 pm until about 10 minutes ago! And Devynn crying while I'm trying to explain her homework which she started doing at like 5 ish and just finished about 25 minutes ago.  

It's these moments that make me want to head for the hills, but instead I will settle for a cold beer; while I soak in my  tub! (Best home improvement idea ever) 

And tomorrow God Willing, I will open my eyes and start all over again.  WAIT?!!! What's the definition of insanity again?! 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Maybe I've already lost my marbles!!!!!  Oh but once I hear them say, I love you mommy it's all so worth the crazy! 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Your Cause... My Cause... We All Have A Cause...

Most times the causes we support aren't the ones that we chose ourselves.  In fact it is the cause that chose us!   Sad but true, it isn't until we are actually faced with an issue, or live with it that we take action.  For me it's Autism, and Dyslexia. Having children with specials needs has made me a more understanding and sympathetic human being!  

When the people you love most are struggling you will do just about anything to make it Better.  I know I have!  Believe it or not I am shy in public, but because my children cannot speak for themselves I speak for them.  I have made it my mission to spread awareness.  Even when faced with the most ignorant and disrespectful individuals.  I use these moments as a way to teach.  They may not get it at that exact moment, but they may take that moment to learn more.  They may even think twice, the next time they open their mouth to judge.  

They Are My Motivation!!!

I guess my point is that we should educate ourselves before you decide to pass judgement. And always remember to agree to disagree.  If all else fails,  Remember these wise words, "Opinions are like @xxholes, we all have one".  

Respect, compassion, and educate! 

Peter Frates, the man behind the Ice Bucket Challenge. Watch this piece on why and how the challenge started.  My heart goes out to him and his family, may they find a cure for ALS!!!! I will keep you in my prayers. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Season One: Trophy Day

“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.”
Trophy Day 2014
Wow! What an amazing season! when I set out to start this challenger league, I didn't know what to expect.  I had a vision of how I wanted things, but because it was all so new to me, I just worked from my heart and hoped for the best.

Vincent Firsching, the President of the Bronxchester Little League kicked off our trophy day ceremony with a sweet speech about our first season. 

How grateful I am to him and the other amazing Board members that allowed me to come in and make my dream of a baseball program for children with Autism come true.  Especially my good friend Carlos Polanco who believed in me and my dream.  He was detrimental to the process. He introduced the idea to the board and pitched my idea to them. 

The players were so excited and proud of their trophies.  The smile on their faces was the biggest trophy for me!  Some may not agree with the concept of a trophy for just showing up and trying.  But for me Trying was the biggest accomplishment.  Especially when it is trying from little people who are set in their ways and have a hard time adjusting to change.  There was so much progress made by both the children and their parents. 

Because of the amazing job that everyone did this season.  We thought it would be a great idea to celebrate!  Thank you to Fairway Markets for catering our event! They supplied us with water and yummy sandwiches garnished with deliciously sweet gummy bears and worms. Their chicken nuggets and mac and cheese was pretty awesome too!

I searched for some cool activities for the kids to engage in while they hung out! And what a better place to find them then Oriental Trading.  They had so many cute baseball themed activities.  The kids loved trying their hand with this Baseball Bean Bag Toss Game.  Set up was VERY easy.  This seven piece set comes with the play board, stick and six vinyl balls.  It was fun for all age groups, both big and small!
Click Here to Find Them!
 Check out these awesome Baseball Personalized Pencils!  Every player was able to receive one! It went great with the other cool goodies we got for them.
“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.”

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Enter to Win!!!!!

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Roses are Red...

Sometimes life gets pretty hectic and I feel like I'm a passenger on an amusement park ride for the first time.  You see in front of you, but you don't really know what's going to happen, until it's about to happen. And it goes very fast!  

I am a working mom of three children.  I work a 40 hour week and then go home to take care of my family and my home.  Although I must admit the home gets a bit neglected.  Just like your battles, you have to pick and choose your chores.  

I question myself a lot.  I'm a doing a good job? Should I be doing more?  Is this enough?  I tend to wonder, are my parenting methods right?  Should I yell less? Should I discipline more.  It sucks cause with all the how to books and Dr Spock books on parenting, they can never truly prepare you.  

 But then you find cool stuff like this in your bag, when you're on your way to work. 

And somehow the ride comes to a stop! You feel a burst of emotions!  

This is the best poem I have ever read and have been given!  It was written by my daughter Devynn.  She was diagnosed with Dyslexia. She isn't writter and writing is something she doesn't like to do. So it makes this that much more special! 

I may not know exactly what I'm doing and my methods may not be what the how to books say to do.  But you go by what your heart says!  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Now Talk Fast....

So my daughter is spending time at her aunts house, and the boys are here with us.  She just called to check in with us.  

Her and Donovan have always had a very strong bond.  She is very protective of him and he always looks for her.  

After speaking to me and her dad, she asked to talk to Dono... We couldn't hear devynn but hearing Dono brought tears to my eyes.  It was one of the most spontaneous and appropriate conversations we've ever heard.  

Dono: Hi Devynn

Dev: unknown

Dono: Are you okay?  

Dev: unknown 

Dono: Great! 

Dono: Now Devynn, talk fast... (He speeds up) Everything is okay and talk to you later! Okay now Bye!!!!  

I laughed a happy laugh. That laugh that makes you all warm and brings happy tears to your eyes!  

Monday, July 14, 2014


I remember when the doctor told me what I had already suspected.  Donovan has Autism.  I felt the world coming down on me and right away began to think of all the things in life he wouldn't be able to do!  I was very protective of him and hovered over him all the time.  

When he started Early Intervention, the therapist told me that I had to be stern and that I had to make Donovan work for what he wanted.  If I continued to just give in, he would never progress.  And so I took their advice and we made him request for things.  I was amazed at the first time he pointed at his sippy cup, after asking him what did he want.  I started placing it in random places and repeating "what do you want?", just so he would point.  It excited me. It gave me hope, but I was still very protective, and kept thinking that I had to be particular about activities, because my Dono, wouldn't be able to do it.  

My hubby would constantly tell me, "leave him, you can't keep babying him!" I just thought he was in denial, and couldn't accept that our son was Autistic.  

Dono constantly surprised me!  When he began center based EI, he learned sign, and then slowly began to say words! I started realizing that my autistic child was capable of so much! But my biggest eye opener was watching my Donomite learn how to swim with Typical children.  

Here he  is at his last lesson at Roberto Clemente State Pool, they jumped into 11ft of water.  And held my breath and was ready to jump in and save him! 

But he jumped in like a champ! 

And then he came back up and the smile on his face said it all! "I can do this!" He waved at me and swan his heart out!  

He was so at ease and was so proud of himself!  And I knew at that moment that I was limiting my Donomite!  And I would never do that again!  He is limitless!  

Here he is again, starting the summer off with a dip in the deep end!  Fearless! 

And here he is riding his bike, with no training wheels!  He insisted we take them off.  

He wanted to play baseball, and so he does!

He refuses to use a Tee! He wants the ball to be pitched to him!  So he can "hit the ball".  

I know how scary it can be, and how much you want to protect your child.  But, as scary and hard as it can be, you have to allow them to try!  How else will you know what they are capable of?  Will it be easy? No!  Will they have meltdowns? More than likely yes!  But just like any typical child you teach them, and guide them.  You even reprimand them if it's required.  I promise you won't be disappointed!  

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Am I My Brother's Keeper

I remember wanting to have a child.  I was willing to do whatever it took to become a mother.  It was a process and a roller coaster of emotions.  I miscarried, and I had a blighted Ovum.  It took a lot of prayer, injections, pills, and doctor visits! 

And just when I thought I would have to try another method, BAM! I got pregnant!  I was blessed with a beautiful little girl!  My Devynn.

Imagine my surprise when she was 4 months old and I learned I was pregnant AGAIN!  I said to myself I prayed so hard God felt I needed another blessing! He gave me my Donomite!  

Devynn and Dono, immediately connected.  She was nurturing and very protective of him.  He looked up to her.  In fact, she was a huge part of his progress.  He would imitate her, and responded to her!  She didn't fully understand, but she would and still to this day tries to help others understand him.  

Every so often, she will ask me "mommy when you die, do I have to take care of Donovan?" And my reply is "you don't have to, but I would hope that you will always look out for each other" Dev and Dono have a younger brother.  My littlest one Dustin.  I am doing all I can to raise them, to love one another and to support each other.  

See, my Devynn has Dyslexia.  She struggles in school, and doesn't like to read or write.  So I worry about her too!  I push her to try her best and to have confidence in herself.  

This is one of Devynn's creations! It says, this is my other brother. He is Autistic, and I really do love in my heart!  I saw this on her bedroom door.  I was filled with so much emotion.  Even with all the errors, I still feel the love that she has for him.  

It shows me that I'm doing something right, and it gives me hope!  It eases my fear of the future.  I can see that she is her brothers keeper!  And her brothers will be their sisters keeper!