Thursday, August 27, 2015

This Dad Recorded His Reaction to His Son Buying a Princess Doll....

...and it has totally melted my heart.

Little Azai Willis had just had his 4th birthday party and had received 2 of the exact same toy. So his Poppa Mikki took his son to the toy store to exchange the gift. He allowed Azai to pick whatever he wanted. Azai picked a Disney Princess doll complete with purple crown. Ariel to be exact. As they got back to the car Mikki made this short and very cute video.

How sweet is this? 

Of course there was some backlash. People upset that he would allow his son to play with dolls. That playing with dolls would make his sons homosexual. That is just ignorant and silly. I grew up with a box filled with Hot Wheels. Playing with cars did not make me gay. Some even jumped to the conclusion that by telling his sons that he would accept them no matter what lifestyle they choose will automatically make his children gay. As Latinos we have this idea that little boys should be 'macho' and stay away from dolls. That is just ridiculous. 

The idea that toys are gender specific is soon to be a thing of the past thanks to stores like Target. After removing gender on their website for toys, they have made the move to do the same in stores. No more signs that say "Girls Building Blocks" or "Boy Building Blocks". Personally I love this and have raised my girls to know that they can play with any toys they choose. They have their very own drawer filled with Hot Wheels. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gina Rodriguez Opens Up About Interracial Latino Racism After Being Told She is Not Latina Enough

It's a topic that no one wants to talk about, except Gina Rodriguez. Gina is the star of the hit show "Jane the Virgin" and was recently on the cover of People in Español. She was excited to share the news and images with her Instagram followers only to be flooded with negative comments. She was criticized for how she looked, how she was posed, and for her grammar in her caption that she wrote in English and Spanish. She was told that she was not Latina enough.

Oh I know that feeling.

Because I married a white guy.
Because I don't speak enough Spanish.
Because my kids aren't bilingual.
Because I "talk white".

Gina had a wonderful response...

You know what saddens my heart, is when you try and celebrate an accomplishment with those that have helped you achieve it and no matter what, someone, anyone, has something negative to say. Whether it was from the way my toes curled under to the way I typed my spanish. We desire to project our own insecurities and hatred on another. When did we decide social media was for hating, for putting others down rather than lifting them up. I refuse to participate in that kind of world. Before you write a comment today on anyone's picture or anyone's page ask yourself would you want others to say that about yourself? What am I getting out of being mean to another person I have never met? Yesterday I shared my joy for the cover of @peopleenespanol and I was blown away at the immediate hate projected on my page. My question to you today is this, do you know the power you have in this world and do you desire to use it for good? I do.#NoToKeyboardCourage

The idea that a human being is not "enough" of anything is awful. As a group we should not be trying to "one-up" each other, but embrace each other. A united front is much stronger than a divided one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back-to-School Funnies

So many children have gone back to school, and for them, summer came crashing down... hopefully, in a blaze of glory! My children start school tomorrow, and after one unusually CHAOTIC orientation today, I thought about the flip side of back-to-school emotions. I cannot wait to be that annoying parent that floods my social media accounts with back-to-school pics and funny tales of elementary antics. All stories will likely start with a classic "kids say the darnedest things..." So to get moms, dads and all relatives in just that mood, check out these back-to-school funnies...

Ha! This time of year is pretty fun, occasionally stressful, and if you're looking for perspective, totally wacky. Overall, it's a true blessing, so ENJOY!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lalo Alcarez: Sell-out or Success?

Earlier this month Disney held its annual D23 Expo. There were a lot of announcements were made and Disney fanatics went crazy for all of them. One big announcement that was made was that Disney/Pixar has begun development on a Dia de los Muertos themed movie. Last year Reel Fx and 20th Century Fox has some success with their Dia de los Muertos film, "Book of Life". Disney and Pixar are jumping onto the bandwagon. 

So far all we know is that the story centers around a young boy named Miguel who finds himself in the world of the dead. 

When I heard the news I had some mixed emotions. There is always some concern when a big corporation takes on a culturally sensitive issue. There was also the concern about people who did not grow up with the tradition and instead just "study" and "research" a topic that they will then distribute to the world. And let's face it, a Disney/Pixar movie will reach almost every corner of the world. 

Later it was announced that political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz, famous for his cartoon "La Cucaracha", has been hired as a cartoonist for the film. 

3....2.....1.... And here comes the backlash. 

Some people were pissed and called Lalo a sellout. See a few years ago Disney attempted to trademark the Day of the Dead holiday. Of course people were upset and Lalo was one of the most vocal. 

 This was not the first time, or the last time that Alcaraz would take a stand against the Disney Corporation. And now he is picking up his employee badge. So there are some people who feel that he has sold out for a paycheck.

I have a different opinion. I feel that with Lalo on the project we have someone on the inside. Alcaraz has very strong opinions and I firmly believe that if this project becomes offensive or stereotypical Lalo would not only walk away but be the first to boycott the project. As a community we should be proud of Alcaraz and have some faith that by hiring him to work on this film it's a step in the right direction and helps ensure that we get a beautiful film about our beautiful culture.

Friday, August 21, 2015

85 Extra Minutes Everyday

Kids are headed back to school next week and there's one special thing out of many that make back to school season ideal...  we get up even earlier during the school year! 

Being an earlier riser is full of benefits. The more I try to escape that by pressing snooze, the reality is a morning routine sets my family up for a productive day overall. Plus, most folks get their usual 9-5pm day going and then claim there's no time left in their day. False! There's always time --- but that time is spent sleeping in.

Be an early riser and benefit from factors that help build a fulfilling day and life:

1. Plan your day: the best day is an intentional one! Take 5 minutes every morning to journal about the day ahead or simply jot down a list of to-dos. This habit almost predetermines our actions and unconsciously gets us moving towards whatever it'll take to accomplish our morning plan. Bonus: write down what you're thankful for every single morning!

2. Quiet reflection: whether it's time for meditation, prayer or simply enjoying a calm moment with a cup of tea, alone time every morning for reflection centers you for the day ahead. All it takes is 10 quiet minutes.

3. Get moving: can be an actual neighborhood run or walk or something simpler such as an at-home routine with jumping jacks and squats. Decide on at least 15 minutes of activity to get your heart pumping and naturally energize your body. 

4. Breakfast NOT on-the-go: early risers have time to complete a meal they actually sit to enjoy alone or with friends/family. Too many families sacrifice this morning ritual. Give it the extra 20 mins and have breakfast every morning - together and not on-the-go. 

5. Groom with care: follow me here, late risers don't always have the luxury of time to calmly get ready without the hustle and bustle of rushing. This leads to less than ideal outfit choices and such. Now, this isn't about vanity. This is a matter of setting yourself up for a confident day. How many times have we felt extra great just because we gave ourselves the 25-30 minutes to pick an outfit, iron, shower, change, accessorize and groom (hair and makeup for women, shaving for men). Taking care of yourself every morning is a great habit to ensure you leave your home feeling great!

Total time for bullet pts. 1-5 only adds up to 85 extra minutes added to your day. That's not even an hour and a hour. Give yourself that early start to implement these habits into a daily and productive routine!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Period Talk

As the summer ended and the first day of school was just weeks away I took my kids to their annual wellness check-ups. Both girls were healthy and growing and given clean bills of health. Then I asked when I should start considering having the menstruation talk with my 10 year old. Our doctor told me that it would depend on when I started mine. I told her that I was 11 years old so she gave me a nod and said "its time".

Oh man I am so not prepared for this! So after a little mini-panic attack I hit the library to find some good resources to figure out the best way to even approach the subject. I found a few books to help refresh my memory on all the ins and outs of mechanics of it all.

I picked up this one from my local library.....

I also looked online and found these that I think might help explain things.

I needed to find the right balance of information to tell my 10 year old. I knew she needed to know the why and how of it all, but I was also careful to steer away from the s-e-x talk. Even though menstruation and pregnancy go hand in hand I really don't think my 10 year old needs that information yet. 

I remember how confusing periods were to me as a kid. I remember getting my first period in 6th grade. I remember my best friend so anxious about starting hers and wondering if she would be the last one to get it. And then I remembered the book that helped me through all the questions and helped me feel like I was not the only one. This classic........

Sitting down and opening the lines of communication with my 10 year old and how her body works is the first step in letting her know that she can always come to me. I am here to listen and answer any questions she may have, or to help her anyway I can. Periods are messy (pun intended) business but after reviewing the way the female body works it's really amazing. It was a great reminder of how powerful our bodies are and a reminder to take care of it.

Who told you all about menstruation? What was that experience like? Good, bad, motifying?? 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Make One Less Decision: What worked for Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg

As readers know, I began a slow carb diet regimen on Monday. One of the tips of this diet recommend picking a few meals you like and keep them in rotation daily. Now, I've heard this concept before. If you already know a "go to plan" then it's easier to stick to it and almost get into an automatic groove. 

For dieting this is key as it surely leads to less daily questions that could sabotage progress. What should I eat today? Where should I eat? Make your decisions early on and stick to those choices to become consistent.

I recently thought about this idea as it relates to clothes. You know people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. If that's the case why do we have so much clothes? Success keeps things simple.

With that, I was reminded that Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg kept/keep their wardrobe basic and pretty much predictable. Steve Jobs intentionally wore jeans and a black shirt day in and day out. This was no fluke or coincidence. 

Zuckerberg practically does the same thing -- always wearing jeans and a t-shirt, usually blue. Why? Successful people choose to make one less mindless decision everyday saving time for the larger decisions. Now that's thoughtful time management at its best.

They don't waste time or energy on what to wear or eat everyday. If the options are similar and the same you're likely getting things done quickly and get to make far fewer minor decisions everyday.  This makes sense for students who wear uniforms or similar prearranged and uniformed decisions. How easily to always know what you'll wear in the morning?

I love this whole idea of one less thing to think about, so I'm beginning to find areas in my life where I can build a "one less decision" routine. It makes sense to simplify and not have to think about the little things. 

Even better, if we focus less on the little things there's time to get the BIG THINGS done!