Momma of Dos: May 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#ad #SummerSauce ::Quick & Easy Summer Meals::

::Momma Disclosure:: I am a member of the Colectiva Latina®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Colectiva Latina and its advertiser.



Summer is here and my children and familia are always hungry! We try to combine healthy with a little bit of our own sabor Latino. Not only are all the Summer vacation and end of school year celebrations about to begin but as a working Momma having quick and easy after school snack solutions is very important!  Which is why I loved the Panko Tyson chicken nuggets; I can combine them with my own sauce recipe to create a great dish that is kid friendly and that my entire family can enjoy! They are a good option and quick to prepare. I personally love them in toasted in the oven. 




This past weekend was Memorial weekend and it was a perfect opportunity to head on over to our local Sam’s Club on West Rd in Houston in collaboration with Social Fabric’s #mycolectiva to purchase our Panko Tyson Chicken Nuggets. The Sam’s Club close to me had a large supply of the Panko Tyson Chicken Nuggets. It was a great opportunity to create my own #SummerSauce . 





One of my favorite Summer ingredients is avocado. So, I decided to create a smooth and creamy avocado dip, a green salsa if you will. We usually eat this with chips or on our tacos so why not try it as a dipping sauce for the tasty white meat chicken nuggets. It’s easy and healthy and if you don’t like spicy food or your children don’t eat spicy food you can leave the jalapenos out. Or you can also chop the jalapenos up and add them afterward. 



For your {Spicy} Summer Avocado dip you will need the following ingredients;

1 Avocado (Save a slice for garnish)
1 slice of onion
1 garlic clove
½ a teaspoon of salt or seasoning of choice (we use chicken bouillon)
1/3 cup of water
1 Jalapeno (Optional)
& a handful of Cilantro (Chop and save some for garnish)
  
It’s so easy!! You add all your ingredients to a blender or food processor and BLEND away until the avocado is smooth. You then  pour your sauce into a serving bowl and add your garnish on top and finished. 



           A delicious and healthy dip for those toasty chicken nuggets for everyone to munch on! 




Thursday, May 15, 2014

Tools & Benefits of Pull-Ups® Training Pants #SayAdiostoDiapers #ad

::Momma Disclosure:: {This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Pull-Ups® Training Pants and Latina Bloggers Connect. The statements below are both my true and honest opinion.}



As I expressed last week, Potty Training has been a challenge in our home but thankfully we have had great support from our daycare. One of the greatest transitions was going from diapers to training pants. I think that one of the benefits is that the whole potty training situation becomes less rushed and less intimidating when a child is taken through it with small changes like going from diapers to Pull-Up training pants

It was easier for my Cami to understand that she was starting to become a big girl by making her transition from diapers to Pull-Ups; rather than taking her from diapers to underwear. She slowly came to terms with the news and then ultimately made the switch from Pull-Up training pants which we still use interchangeably to avoid accidents and ease the pressure of potty training, to underwear. My daughter loves that they are easy to take off when in a rush and that much like her big girl underwear they have her favorite characters on the outside! It's the little things that make a difference and you never know what will motive your little one.



Pull-Ups not only has great training pants for toddlers but also different tools and resources that can assist parents and their little ones with this milestone. Tools such as the website Big Kid Academy  filled with different celebration activities such as the Celebrating Every Flushritual. I am sure all of the tech savvy Momma's and their kids will love the different online activities and can even download fun apps to your  fancy gadgets! 



Some of my favorites are the Night Time Check List & the do the Potty Dance videos!!  

One of our favorite tricks that has proven effective when trying to get our children to use the bathroom is the old “let the faucet water run” trick. My daughter is a stubborn little lady and this trick has helped us get her in the habit of actually going to the bathroom every time we are in there. Some days it works others it doesn't. This whole transition comes down to a little trial and error. And, it's more than okay to start over. This process takes times and requires patience.   

Thanks to Latina Bloggers Connect and Pull-ups for allowing me to share this experience with everyone. It's great to see all the helpful support and community being built around a simple task that can become quite daunting at times. 


For more on this conversation head on over to Twitter & follow our hash-tag #SayAdiostoDiapers .

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nourish ::Your Soul::

The prompts for this months NaBloPoMo are about nourishing your body... a lot of great posts and great prompts.. and I decided to take it into a different direction because the word has new meaning to me.



When it comes to being Nourished. How do you seek to find a balance? As a Momma my daily feelings are often challenged.  I can be ecstatic and energetic one minute and wore down and drained the next, as a Woman, I struggle some days to keep that balance. Not because I am some of kind crazy ::or maybe:: but because we have so many situations, issues and tantrums coming our way that it tends to happen. 

"You are not alone. You are not crazy." It's what I wish I could hear more often but some days... I just know that most won't understand. I crave 5 minutes alone. In silence. Does it happen? Rarely. And, at times forced. I have to make this time for myself or else my daily feelings explode. On my children, on my Husband and sometimes on my friends or people close to me.



This past weekend I attended an event that has become a tradition with one of my close Yvonne from Running in Faith. Yvonne and I have a history together. A lifetime if you will. We rarely get to see one another even though we live in the same city. Very common, Houston is ginormous! She lives though on the opposite end of Houston. I live in Cypress/Katy and she lives in Pearland. When she invited me 3 years ago to go to the Women's Event at her church I didn't know that we would go every year since. But, we have. It's been great and we have invited friends along the way.



These events have taught me 3 things:

1) I crave being nourished; by the word of God and my faith. No matter what your faith or religion is, believing helps me be renewed and refreshed.

2) I get a BREAK! Attending an all Women's event once a year is GREAT! No children or Husbands; as much as we LOVE and adore and would do anything and everything for our families...a little break is much needed.

3) Seeking a connection. Finally. I am constantly seeking that connection. With the only other human beings that will understand me and have some real and honest advice. Women. It's amazing how great that connection can become.



Friday, May 9, 2014

Potty training with Pull Ups #SayAdiosToDiapers #Ad

::Momma Disclosure:: {This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Pull-Ups® Training Pants and Latina Bloggers Connect. The statements below are both my true and honest opinion.}




As Momma's we deal with everyday challenges; being a Momma, a Wife, an Employee, etc... Situations and life are rarely easy or quick. Much like this, potty training can be a Momma's worse nightmare. But, thankfully we can rest assured that we are not alone and that with the right mindset we can create an effective plan that can help us have success while potty training. 


                               {Photo Credit: Trey Bell of TDK Photography }


Thanks to #pullupsbigkids and their #SayAdiostoDiapers campaign, I was invited to attend an event that would help me realize that I have been right on track when it came to potty training my children. Realizing that every child is different and that in their own time they will surely develop the confidence that they need to be fully potty trained is very important, I think. As a Momma, I know my children and when they are ready to move on to a new milestone. I have never been one to rush them or to set a specific time frame, todo a su tiempo. My kids have surely met some pretty amazing milestone on their own with our support and guidance and potty training has been no different. 

A big determining factor for us has been daycare. Our daycare has not only been patient but a good indication of when our kids have been ready to start their transitions into their big kid stages. But, not all of us have that kind of assistance and support. Which is why it was important for me to attend this event and help other Momma's reach their potty training goals! 

Our host was in the incredibly sweet and genuine Jeannette Kapul a lifestyle and parenting expert from Hispana Global. She is no doubt a great Momma and recognized Author who gave us some key factors in having success while potty training. Her advice and tips are definitely worth learning. 
    
                                 {Photo Credit: Trey Bell of TDK Photography }

                                  {Photo Credit: Trey Bell of TDK Photography }
Not sure I am that interesting..lol! 


Here is a little of what was discussed during our luncheon; our conversation was open and honest not only with Jeannette who is an excellent mediator but with some fellow Houston Bloggers:

::Establish a routine:: The best way to get your child to use the bathroom is by setting up a consistent schedule or routine, one that everyone can follow. For us our normal routine is wake up and first thing my Hubby and I say is; let's go potty. Sure there is hesitation and denial involved but after a couple of weeks of the same routine my kids are kinda sorta used to it now and it prevents early morning delays due to accidents as we walk into the daycare in the morning. 

::Be on the same page as your support group:: It is very important that what is followed at home is followed everywhere else the child goes. If the child is with Daddy, then Daddy and Momma should be on the same page about how many times the child should be asked to go to the bathroom or what the normal routine will be for family outings and so on. For us it's the same at daycare as it is at home as it is at GranMomma's casa. It works! 

::Lead by example:: My kids were shy to the potty and so I would take them every time I went to the bathroom and encouraged them to go as well. Sometimes they just need someone to be there with them and show them that the toilet will not swallow them or cause harm. It can be an intimidating place for kids. 

::Reinforce the positive:: One of our tactics for potty training was being EXTRA excited every time my children used the bathroom on their own; we clap, sing and even dance! Anything that will make them feel special and a positive sense of true accomplishment! We announce it to our home... "Santiago is a big boy he went in the potty!" and then we all clap. For my Cami as well, and the kids LOVE it! 

::Let your child lead :: As an adult I very much dislike being pushed to do something I don't want to do. So, I can only imagine that as a small child being pressured into using this giant white hole as a bathroom can be very intimidating. The last thing I want is for my child to feel upset or pressured, being a kid is a lot of work. So, when Jeannette stated that we should allow our child to take the lead on when they are ready for this big commitment, I totally agreed. 

::Allow choices and control:: In order for our children to develop a sense of self and independence a little control and some choices are necessary when trying to succeed in potty training. Giving your child some control over the situation may help it become a little less overwhelming. And, providing options may make it all seem a little more appealing. 

::Be patient:: I have little patience but with children patience truly is key. If they get frustrated you get frustrated and in the same sense if you get frustrated well you will just have one very frustrating situation. Be patient. You and your little one will learn what is best for you and fits your current situation. Patience. 

::Be consistent:: Establishing your routine, having everyone on the same page and sticking to your plan is very important when it comes to trying to get your child to use the bathroom. Being consistent will result in success and becomes a little  less frustrating. 

::Don’t allow others to hinder your progress by taking  bad advice, remember Momma knows best!:: I think we can all relate. Everyone has their own opinions and myths about when and how YOUR child should reach milestones. But, in all honesty, only we know our children and our children know themselves. Just like any normal process we will know when our children are ready and our children will let us know when they are ready to reach this milestone. 

::Every child is different::  This can not be more true. Especially in our home. My Son is one world and my daughter is a very hot pink and busy plant on the edge of the universe waiting to kick some butt. And, it's no different for potty training. My Son took some time but got it as soon as it was introduced at daycare. I think he fell under the pressure of his peers. But, Camila. That little lady is stubborn and being the baby is her favorite spot right now. She is taking a lot longer to potty train than I imagined. She will get there. In her own time. 

::Don’t compare your child to others:: Finally, the more we talked on Sunday the more I came to realize that we just can't compare our situations to anyone else's. I work outside the home and only see my children night's and weekends. I have to trust our daycare and that they are doing their job just as well as I am doing mine. So, my children may not be where the neighbors kids are but eventually they will catch up and that's not a big deal at all. 






We had so much fun spending Momma time with a great group of #latinamovers we even tried our attempt at an #epciselfie #butfirstletmetakeaselfie! 
                                     {Selfie taken by Telma from  At the Fire Hydrant}
Best of all I got to meet all of these amazing ladies, their words and advice not only about potty training but about family and blogging will resonate with me throughout! More on this conversation over at Twitter follow our hash-tag #SayAdiostoDiapers .

                                      {Photo Credit: Trey Bell of TDK Photography }

Thursday, May 8, 2014

::Lauren:: {Being a Momma} #mommaseries2014


{Laren} is a new friend that through the awesomeness of social media became an instant connection here in Houston she is going to be a first time Momma and here is her response to our Momma's Day prompt:




Hello! My name is Lauren, my husband and I will have our first child a boy due at the end of August of this year. We will be naming him Jonathan Alexander (daddy's middle name).

What do you feel makes you the mother you are today? 


This past Saturday we felt him move for the first time together, and it's an amazing feeling to know soon we will become parents to our very own child. We suffered a miscarriage three years ago, and didn't know if I was able to have a child and behold we start the new year with this amazing gift after celebrating five years of marriage.


I am beyond happy to become a mother and being taught by my grandma and mom, I'm ready to take this on and of course learn as I go and have our child teach me and my husband!

What were those defining moments that made you realize Motherhood had just gotten REAL!? 


When I first heard his heartbeat didn't really believe after the home test, but once I heard the heartbeat it got real and now really real after I feel his movement in my stomach.


Finally; what is it that you hope/pray/wish that your children will learn from you that will shape their adulthood?

I hope I can be the best mother to our child, and hope that my husband and I can teach him things that has made us stronger and who we are today! We are very proud and can't wait to welcome him into this world in August, and have him teach us and we will teach him!

Thank you,

Lauren

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

::Melo:: {Being a Momma} #mommaseries2014

{Melo} is a sweet friend that I met as an employee at Workforce Solutions. We have stayed friends and I feel that Motherhood has been one of our biggest connections...as it is with most of my fellow Momma's. 

Here is her funny and ever so sincere response to our prompt:

Greetings Connie!

Thank you so much for asking us, as Mom's to be a part of this special series.  

Being a Mom is something that I have wanted and treasured.  I am a Mother of 3; Zach age 16, Lilly age 7 and Cody age 5. 




When Zach was less than a year old, I went through an awful divorce.  My Husband is such a Blessing and we were thrilled when we found out that we were going to have a baby together.  Unfortunately, something was not right and we suffered a miscarriage.  Thankfully, we did not give up and two beautiful Blessings followed.

Before Lilly & Cody were born, I took Zach to his first Texans Football game, he was around 7 or 8 years old.  We opted to use the family restroom, rather then to be separated.  He went first and washed his hands while I was squatting.  He finished and just opened the door and held it open.  Well, right outside was the main hallway and so many people were walking by and I just wanted to die.  When I screamed his name, it drew so much attention!  We just laughed and laughed, that is something that I will never forget!



Happy Mothers Day 2014!


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

::Being a Momma:: #mommaofdos

Thank you for joining me on this Momma's Day Series!

I did one a couple of years ago and had not had a chance to do another, so I am really excited to share these Momma's thoughts on Motherhood....

Many of us have children; many women have children daily but what was that one defining moment that you feel made you the Mother/Person you are today?

We are going to kick off the series with yours truly! 

Hello My name is Connie of Momma of Dos! I have DOS  children they are Santiago who is a little man at 4 years old and Camila my rebellious 3 year old Diva! They are my world. 





What do you feel makes you the momma you are today? I believe that my Momma and how she raised me has made me the Momma I am today! She was understanding and open about our relationship. She always gave me great advice and was there for me in so many ways. She was respected and determined to make young respectful and respected ladies out of my sister and myself. 

What were those defining moments that made you realize Momma-hood had just gotten REAL!? From the moment that I brought Santiago home I realized that my selfish ways had come to an end and my life was no longer about me. Now I had this tiny human being depending on me, needing me, and wanting to be with me 24/7. The reality that we were not 2 anymore set in and the mentality of 3 or more began to grow and nurture life! It has been amazing ever since, everyday is a new day, new tantrums, new milestones reached. 

Finally; what is it that you hope/pray/wish that your children will learn from you that will shape their adulthood? 
I would hope that they could learn that nothing in this life will ever be handed to you, that they will have to be committed and work hard to achieve their true dreams. And, I pray that they never,ever give up and always strive for their best to be respectful and true people of integrity. 



Monday, May 5, 2014

#RealCincodeMayo Blog Hop

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO! 

We had a successful #RealCincodeMayo Blog Hop with an amazing group of Texas Latino Bloggers! Lots of fun and informative posts about how to celebrate and why we celebrate our heritage and culture on this day in the U.S. As well as fun and easy recipes and how to's for celebrations!! Did you miss it? Well here you are; all of our posts; enjoy! And remember, stay happy my friends!! 
 
04/28 Tejana Made
05/02 ME

Friday, May 2, 2014

::Children's Books:: #RealCincodeMayo Blog Hop Edition


In an effort to constantly educate my children about our culture, where we come from and the history of Texas and yes, Mexico; I wanted to create a short book list that could help my toddlers learn a little more about Cinco de Mayo. 


I am pretty sure I have written about Cinco de Mayo once before, because just like my children I also love learning about Mexico and it's history. I grew up in Texas and spent most of my grade school summer vacations and winter breaks in Mexico; mostly the border town of Reynosa and a few summers in Cuernavaca. I have since vacationed with my Husband to several places in Mexico such as San Luis Potosi, Guanajuato and Michoacan. 

Due to the current problems in Mexico my children have only visited Mexico once {Reynosa} and it was for about 2 days. But, they love books and they love what they already know about Mexico. My son calls it the "republic of Mexica". Slowly but surely they have come to realize that we live in a home with diverse cultures. We embrace our home, the U.S. but we also love to learn about where our parents, Grand-Parents and Great-Grand Parents came from, Mexico.

This list was created with my 3 and 4 year old in mind; there are plenty of other age appropriate books that will assist older children learn more about Cinco de Mayo, why it's celebrated and it's traditions. 



When I am trying to teach my children more about the Mexican culture, I seek books with the following characteristics; 

1.I look for at least one of the authors to be Hispanic to teach my children about Hispanic/Latino authors.

2.I look for colorful pictures because my children are toddlers they love pictures.

3.And, finally I love Bilingual or books written in Spanish because it helps my children learn our second language, Español.  

The following books were my Top 3 online choices to help us learn about Cinco de Mayo in a toddler friendly manner: 

Two of the books are bilingual and they have great illustrations!




{Book Pictures from: AMAZON.COM}

I have teamed up with a great group of Ladies from Texas Latino Bloggers to create this Blog Hop ::PLEASE VISIT THEIR SITES FOR MORE #REALCINCODEMAYO POST::

04/28 Tejana Made
05/02 ME

Thursday, May 1, 2014

::MAY:: Nourish

NaBloPoMo May 2014

Definition by: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nourish

nour·ish  (nûr′ĭsh, nŭr′-)
tr.v. nour·ishednour·ish·ingnour·ish·es
1. To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth; feed.
2. To foster the development of; promote: "Athens was an imperial city, nourished by the tribute of subjects"(V. Gordon Childe).
3. To keep alive; maintain: nourish a hope.

I like marking off calenders and starting a new month, seems like a new beginning. New possibilities and new opportunities. Like a complete life cycle. The old is gone, the new is yet to be written. It's refreshing.

The theme for this months NaBloPoMo is Nourish. What a great word. It means to provide substances necessary for life and growth. To foster or promote development. To keep alive. 

In life we need moments of nourishment that will provide true growth for life. ~Momma of Dos 

As a Momma of Dos toddlers this is so necessary. A refresher. Everyday. Sometimes, twice a day. Just a moment to breath, to remember the why of our life and grow continuously as a Momma, Wife, Employee, Friend, Sister, Daughter,Writer, etc. It is in those moments of silence and peace that we are able to regroup and learn from our life experiences. 

This month I want to nourish my body not just with the most effective exercises and healthiest foods possible but my mind and soul as well with the most positive and change driven words and thoughts. Because, in my mind we must nourish our bodies in better ways as well as strive to nourish our hearts with those words and true substance that will allow us to grow, develop and motivate us to move forward, to seek more and go beyond our biggest dreams. 

No matter how you do this, because we are unique and our minds and bodies respond differently to different ideas and movements, we should do this with our whole hearts and open minds. 

I usually fast in the mornings and then take in small meals during the day, this month I will combine this with taking more breaks at work and seeking words in places like my Bible that will allow me to find new ways to nourish my life for the better. 

What about you? How do you Nourish your body, mind and soul? How will you provide the substance that you need to grow and live a full life?