Join Us For The #SMBloggers July Instagram Challenge!

    Taking photos is one of my favorite things to do because they document all of the wonderful experiences that I have with my family and friends.  Many social media platforms have made sharing photos so much easier and it has allowed us to connect with one another and to get special insight into each other's lives.  In my case, being able to share photos online has allowed me to stay connected to my family overseas in Spain and, although we still miss each other very much, we manage to stay involved with one another through our wonderful photos.     Many of the online friends that I have met have ended up becoming great friends in real life and I really enjoy exchanging photos with them on social media and being able to share in their joys and celebrations despite not always living close by to one another.  As a Stiletto Media Blogger, I want to get to know you through your photographs and I want to introduce you to some of my wonderful blogging friends through their photographs … [Read more...]

When Teachers And Parents Behave Badly…

    This week, I sent a lengthy email to my son's teacher about how displeased I am at how she's dealt with a bully in the class who has targeted my son all year.  It seems the teacher has turned a blind eye to a lot of the bully's behavior, in my opinion.  I'm completely fed up with the situation and I CC'd a copy of the email to the school's Principal, who has yet to even acknowledge the email.  Below is a copy of the email that I sent: Dear Ms. ______,This morning, as we were getting ready for school my son shared with me that he was again excluded from playing ball with the boys by ______.  He stated that ______ went up to you and told you that his parents said he couldn't play with my son. It seems this boy is also rallying the other children to not play with my son maliciously. Let me begin by saying that I find many of the comments that you have made this year to my son to be deplorable.  This includes saying that you were surprised the two boys were playing one day … [Read more...]

Your Cheek Is Hairy, Mom…

    My nine year old son kissed me on the cheek this evening and told me that my cheek was hairy.  Now, don't go getting the wrong idea, he was referring to that peach fuzz that we all have on our faces.  We do all have it, right?  Well, I'm Spanish and it's no secret that we Latinas are blessed with tons of hair.  Yes, even hair on places it's not supposed to be is a blessing.     Anyhow, I commented about what he said on Facebook and an old school friend of mine answered that he will learn soon enough about women.  She is absolutely right, before you know it, he will be noticing everything about the opposite sex and he won't need me to state the obvious about them.  It's funny how children rely on us during these elementary school years to answer their questions and to address their curiosity.     Once they get to be the age of my students in middle school, they couldn't care less what us parents have to say about anything.  At that point, the authorities on everything are their … [Read more...]

Judge My Character, Not My Tattoos!

    Today I had an interesting conversation on social media about the correlation between tattoos and piercings and a lack of professionalism in the workplace, specifically in the education field.  Let me begin by saying that I have both tattoos and piercings and have been an educator for the past thirteen years.  Of those years, I have always been regarded as an exemplary teacher by my supervisors as well as my colleagues.  The way that I choose to express myself has never been an issue nor has it impeded me from being a true professional.     Frankly, I take offense to statements that suggest that people with tattoos or piercings are inappropriate or unprofessional.  My excellence as a teacher should not depend on how I look or what I'm wearing.  As a matter of fact, some of the least qualified or unprepared educators that I have encountered throughout my career had neither tattoos or piercings so what does that say?  The way that I choose to express myself or my individuality does … [Read more...]

Plan A Romantic Date In! #HormelFamily

    Whenever I want to spend some romantic time alone with my husband, we make plans to go out somewhere and always include going to eat at a restaurant as part of the date.  Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between because of the busy lives that we lead as parents.  Since it's always so difficult to get some of that one-on-one time together, it's important to make the best of the time that we do get to spend as a couple.  One way to spend some very romantic time together is to prepare a meal at home and stay in.     By staying in, you eliminate some of the frustrating factors that keep married couples with kids from being able to have dates that often.  You won't have to worry about fitting going to a pricey restaurant into your meal budget because you can plan a delicious and creative meal with even limited finances.  Also, there isn't the added concern of finding a restaurant that is kid-friendly and can accommodate your children.  Let's face it, some of us just don't … [Read more...]

Happy Birthday Pumpkin!

    February 22nd is my son's seventh birthday and I am at a complete loss as to where the last seven years have gone.  I can still remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.  Every single day since his birth has been filled with joy and the warmth of his love.     We never really knew whether we wanted to have a second child or not.  Our older son's birth had already made us feel complete and we weren't really in a rush to have another baby.  It was already a lot of work managing two full-time careers between the two of us, parenting, and running a home.  I guess we just figured that, if it was meant to be, it would happen.     On my older son's second birthday, we had a birthday party at our house and hosted a barbecue  for all our close friends and family.  During the party, my husband's grandfather suffered a massive heart attack and died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.     We were all devastated and, that night, in our grief we decided that we had to … [Read more...]

So You Want To Blog…

      I can't begin to tell you how many times friends, family, and acquaintances contact me to find out how to start a blog.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for supporting others in their endeavors, however, many times these requests carry with them an air of "If she can do it, I can do it."     Just to be clear, I am not the guru of blogging nor do I presume to know everything that there is to know about it.  Although I have learned a lot in the almost three years that I have been blogging, I am constantly learning new things and trying to implement them.  What I can tell you is that blogging is not easy and it requires a lot of work if you are serious about it.     Let me begin by saying that I have been very fortunate to know many great bloggers who have shared best practices with me and have made themselves available to answer my questions throughout the years.  Bloggers, overall, are still a fairly secretive bunch in many respects.  There are many reasons for that … [Read more...]

Why Didn’t You Listen?

    Over the years, those of you who have been following this blog know, that I have discussed my displeasure at the way that some family members were raising their children with regards to monitoring their online and social media activity.  More than once, I observed teenage family members discussing and posting provocative or inappropriate topics on social media that prompted me to discuss the issue with their parent.     Unfortunately, all of my concerns and warnings always fell on deaf ears.  As a matter of fact, it almost seemed like there was resentment over the fact that I had the nerve to get involved in something that they deemed to be none of my business.  I'm not even sure how that works because I have always believed in the "it takes a village to raise a child" mentality.     There is no way that I could turn a blind eye to dangerous behavior that young people are engaging in, especially if those young people are related to me.  Sadly, nobody ever heeded my warnings and … [Read more...]

Are You That Father?

    As a Literacy teacher, I am always prepared for literature that we read in class to elicit feelings in my students due to connections that they make to what the characters in the book are going through.  We are currently reading a book about four children who were abandoned by their parents and the events caused one of my students to have a very emotional reaction.     We were having a class discussion about the chapter we had just read and I asked if it was realistic to say that losing a parent early on has a profound impact on a person's life long-term.  One of my male students raised his hand and stated that if his father died it would not affect him at all because his father was never there for him and walked out when he was little.  He then proceeded to sob uncontrollably to the point that I had to stop the lesson to comfort him.     As I reflect on this experience, I can't help but think how familiar this story is in most of my students' cases.  Many of them come from … [Read more...]

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

      I have always felt that family was the most important thing in my life.  Like most of you, I come from a pretty close-knit family with our share of problems but that always looked out for each other when the going got tough.  That's just the way it has always been, my crazy family, but my family nonetheless.     Now that I am an adult, it has become more complicated to keep those close family ties with all of the things that get in the way.  Things are not as simple as they used to be where I could just bicker with my siblings and we would make up before any one of us had time to dwell on why we had argued in the first place.  There are other people involved in these discussions now that we are all married with kids.     As a result, it seems like everyone is just out for themselves now.  Family is not defined the same way it was when we were growing up.  I'm not really sure what the exact moment was when things changed.  Perhaps every family is destined to become distant … [Read more...]