Taking Care of Twins: Sick Just Got Real™

As many of you know (and some of you might not), I recently had TWINS, which is so awesome. They are everything I have never known that I always wanted. Pure perfection. They are boy/girl fraternal twins that are literally different in every way. Different, but still perfect.

What is not so perfect, is the crying. One crying is fine, but when they both get going – find the ear plugs because it gets LOUD. That’s one thing I’m still learning how to navigate with these twins, caring for them at the same time when they’re distressed. I can only be one one physical space at a time so, more often than not, the one crying the loudest will likely be taken care of first. It’s tough being the quiet one.

That being said, I can’t even imagine what life is going to look like when they both get sick at the same time. Crying that can’t be controlled by soothing, feeding, or changing is rough with just one baby – I can’t even imagine with two! Do they have nannies that just come in when a kid is sick? If so, I totally want to hire one of those! HA!

As unrealistic as a “Sick Nanny” may be, do you ever find yourself wishing for the impossible when handling sick kids? I saw this video and thought it was dead on! #AMomCanDream, right?

Obviously, we just want our kids to be healthy, but it would be nice to have that wine on tap, wouldn’t it?

So far, I just have one sick kid in the house so I can confidently say that Sick Just Got Real™! I had to visit the ER with my son today, only to find out that he has croup and there is nothing that doctors can do about it. It IS contagious though, so I might find out just how real sick can get with TWO sick babies real soon!

To help you out when you can say Sick Just Got Real™, I’m giving away a $25 Visa gift card, provided by the good folks over at Pfizer.

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Good luck!!!

Disclosure: The video and gift card have been provided by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. All thoughts and reviews are my own.

Time to Apply for The Hispanic Scholarship Fund #HSFstories #cbias

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HSFstories #cbias #CollectiveBias

Anytime someone asks me how (and why) I ended up in my current position at work, I love to tell the story of why I went to college.  I attended college to study business, and my job wouldn’t have ever been made possible for me had I not graduated from college. Was it an easy road to get here? Of course not. In fact, I am the FIRST person on my father’s side of the family to get a college degree – and it’s a big ol’ family so it’s quite an accomplishment.

In my family, graduating from college was a BIG DEAL…I mean, HUGE!  My father, one of eleven kids from Puerto Rico, came to Chicago when he was 17, with hardly any education at all.  He finished the 6th grade in Puerto Rico before he had to quit school to get a job to help his large family.  When he moved to Chicago (with little more than the shirt on his back) he soon enrolled in GED classes to obtain his high school equivalence certificate.  That classroom is where he met my mom (a student teacher at the time), married, and then had four kids.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

My dad always stressed how he wanted his kids to have every opportunity that he didn’t have, and preached every chance he got how he wanted us all to attend college.  Well, my youngest sibling is now 24, and I am happy to report that each and every one of my dad’s kids are the proud recipients of Bachelor degrees in a wide range of disciplines: Business Management, Computer Science, Art History and Anthropology.

Not only have we made my dad extremely proud, but we are the ONLY children on my his side of the family than can say that we attended, and completed, our college courses.  I can’t even tell you how many cousins I have out there, but you can imagine that from my dad’s 10 other siblings, it’s a lot!

There’s so much I have to be thankful for, due to my dad’s urging that we all go to college.  My job, career, home, cars…everything has been made possible all because of an 8 x 10 piece of paper that proudly hangs on my wall.  Having an education is so important in this country and I’ll never regret the decisions I made to make it happen.

Just as my dad had the dream that all of his children obtain a college degree (which we all now have), I have the same dream for my daughter, who is now a high school junior. I hope that she also sees the value of a higher education and will apply for a scholarship herself. College is so expensive, and every little bit of help counts.

Jazz Collage

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund empowers Latino families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible.  The Hispanic Scholarship Fund strives to make college education a top priority for every Latino family across the nation, mobilizing our community to proactively advance that goal – each individual, over a lifetime, in every way he/she can. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund seeks to give its Scholars all the tools they need to do well in their course work, graduate, enter a profession, excel, help lead our nation going forward, and mentor the generations to come.  As the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded over $470 million in scholarships and provides a range of ancillary programs for students, Scholars, Alumni, and parents.

For those of you with college-aged kids (students 16 years old and up) thinking about going to college (but worried about the financial strain it may have on your family), I encourage you to apply for a scholarship via The Hispanic Scholarship Fund.  From now through March 30th, students can apply for a scholarship.  The Hispanic Scholarship Fund General College Scholarships are designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Scholarships are available, on a competitive basis, to:

      • Graduating High School Seniors
      • Community College Transfer Students
      • Undergraduate Students
      • Graduate Students

Please share this story with those you know in order to help The Hispanic Scholarship Fund make sure there’s a degree in every Hispanic household.  Just as my father’s encouragement made it possible for us, The Hispanic Scholarship Fund would like to make it a possibility for you.

Celebrating Baby’s “Firsts” with Pampers + a GIVEAWAY #PampersPrimerasVeces

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pampers.  All opinions are 100% mine.

I think every mother remembers when their children were born. The first time you saw their face, held them close, and kissed their chubby cheeks. I don’t think any parent would deny the love at first sight feeling. You are, quite literally, enamored the second your eyes meet. There’s no other feeling like it. I’ve had two kids now – with an 11-year age gap – and each time was just as special. Granted, they were special for very different reasons, but each in their own way.


My daughter provided me with the greatest gift ever – my first time becoming a mom. I was young, and so in love with her. I got to experience all the motherhood firsts like her first tooth, first time crawling, first time walking – and now that she’s a teenager, her first time driving a car. *YIKES!*

Teen Driver

She’s taught me so much about life (mostly patience), and every day seems to be an adventure. We’ve been through ups and downs…many of them…but I know that everyday with her is a gift. I’m still experiencing “firsts” with her – 16 years later!


With my son, I had already experienced baby firsts, but he gave me so much more. As my first (and only) boy, there was a lot for me to get used to, but my one regret with him was his first haircut. And not getting it sooner. A LOT sooner! This unruly, curly, fuzz ball of a head of hair was with us until right after his first birthday. #momfail


As the #1 choice of hospitals in North America* and the first diaper worn by millions of babies, Pampers Swaddlers comforts and protects babies through their entire journey of firsts, helping to ensure their happy, healthy development. And Pampers Swaddlers now comes up to a size 6!
*Based on sales data


Pampers understands there is nothing more joyful or rewarding than the precious first-time moments shared by little ones and their families. In honor of this special journey, Pampers has released a compilation video entitled “Firsts” that highlight those wondrous “first” experiences together. From the first time parents see their little one on a sonogram to the first evening home from the hospital, the Pampers “Firsts” video showcases precious, heart-felt moments babies and parents share together.

Join @PampersLatinoUS and Latina Mom Bloggers on Thursday, February 12th at 6 pm PST/9pm EST for a Twitter party to celebrate Valentine’s Day and baby’s firsts! Prizes include a Canon DSLR Camera, an ERGOBaby Carrier, gift cards and more! To be eligible to win prizes, you must RSVP at LatinaMomBloggers.com.
Pampers recognizes that all first moments, no matter how big or small, are moments to be cherished and celebrated. Pampers is honored to be a part of the journey of firsts for millions of families around the world every day. That’s why they want to offer one of my readers a Pampers Prize Pack!


One lucky Thoughts from Her reader will receive a Pampers Prize Pack celebrating #PampersPrimerasVeces that includes:

  • My First Valentine’s Day Bib
  • Pottery Barn Stroller Blanket
  • Alex and Ani “Mom” Bracelet
  • Tiny Love Follow Me Fred Toy
  • I Love You Through & Through Board Book
  • Pack of Pampers Swaddlers
  • Pack of Pampers Wipes


Follow the easy Rafflecopter form below to enter.

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Connect with Pampers

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Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Kids

This post is part of 14 Days of Valentines on The Princess & Her Cowboys.  Check out the rest of the posts!


It’s not just for lovers anymore!  These days Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating with those you love – and that often includes the kids.  Don’t believe me?  Just check out the holiday aisle at your local Target.  It’s full of cheesy stuffed bears, kiddie cards, and all kinds of chocolate.  Things all kids love.


Are you celebrating with the kids this year?  Here are a few ways you can make it special for them.

Order in.  Usually my family orders pizza on Valentine’s Day.  Many local pizza joints even shape your pizza to look like a heart – at no extra charge!  But no matter what you decide to eat, just make sure it something the kids will love.  If McDonald’s is a special treat for your family, go for it!  It’s only one day, and the kids will be forever grateful.

Make each other Valentine’s Day cards…together.  How fun would it be if you gathered up all your craft supplies on the dining room table and had family craft time while making each other special cards?  You could even draw names out of a hat so that everyone only had to make one card.   And you could make it a contest too to see who make the coolest card.  Hours of fun to be had here.


Find a teaching moment.  You can find a teachable moment in just about any activity.  For Valentine’s Day recently, my son and I made this awesome Valentine’s Day craft that helps develop fine motor skills and cognitive abilities.  Fin, crafty, and educational…a win-win all around.

Love, love, love.  While you don’t need a reason to shower your kids with love, on this day – especially this day – make sure you let them know just how much they mean to you.  Make them heart-shaped pancakes or heart-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and just give them a huge squeeze multiple times – especially on Valentine’s Day.


Check Out the New Mobile Mom Magazine and Enter to Win a $100 Visa Gift Card #Giveaway

Have you ever wished for a quick and easy way to get the latest parenting news?  A mobile magazine that was ready at your fingertips on-the-go on a smartphone or tablet? If so, then Mobile Mom is for you.

The team at MobileMom.com has been hard at work and are proud to introduce to you the premiere edition of Mobile Mom digital magazine!

Mobile Mom magazine is a new digital publication for women at every stage of motherhood. Whether you’re pregnant, trying to conceive or raising little ones, you’ll find practical information and helpful mom-to-mom advice in every issue.

  • Personal stories and shared experiences from other moms and moms-to-be
  • Product reviews to help you make the best choices on baby and family products
  • Interesting studies and medical research to keep you informed
  • Safety tips during pregnancy and those precious first months
  • Ideas for fun kid activities
  • And much, much more

Grab your copy of Mobile Mom magazine in the iTunes Newsstand today. Download the free app, then either buy individual issues or subscribe and save up to 66% off the single copy price!

• 1-year subscription (12 issues) – $19.99, automatically renewed until cancelled

• Monthly subscription (1 issue / month) – $1.99, automatically renewed every month until cancelled

• Single issue – $2.99-4.99

To celebrate the release of the magazine, Mobile Mom and a fabulous group of bloggers is giving away a $100 Visa gift card and a free download of the premiere edition!  This giveaway is open worldwide.  Enter to win by filling out the Rafflecopter below.

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Survey Reveals Teen Driver Safety Gap between Parents and their Teenagers

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and State Farm. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

When I saw my daughter’s schedule for her first year of high school I almost fell out of my chair.  Some of the classes she was taking were standard: English, Physical Science, and Algebra, but one completely caught me off guard…DRIVER’S ED!!!  For a Freshman!!  I know I didn’t take Driver’s Ed until sophomore year, and still, most of her friends aren’t taking Driver’s Ed this year either.  But for some reason (the day her birthday falls, I’m assuming) her school has her all signed up for Driver’s Ed her very first year of high school.  And that, quite frankly, scares the crap out of me.

For one, I know that parents’ views on teen driver safety greatly differ from those of their teenagers.  Key findings from a recent survey conducted by State Farm revealed that 69 percent of parents believe their teen driver almost always follows restrictions while less than half (48 percent) of teens admit to almost always following this law.  Scary stuff!  The infographic below gives more staggering statistics demonstrating this parent/teen divide.

GDL_Hispanic_English Infographic

Luckily, my state, Illinois, has adopted the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program which mandates a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving for Beginning Drivers, starting at the age of 15, before moving on to the next phase, Intermediate Driver, where the teen can drive unsupervised, starting at age 16.  I think laws like these are critical in maximizing safety efforts to ensure that teens have the proper training before getting behind the wheel themselves, although I wish the minimum age was increased to 16.  When I was a teen, no such rules existed and as long as you passed the tests and completed hours on the road with an instructor (I think I went out 3 times), you were able to obtain a license.

So while my daughter is a little young to begin her driver training, I’m at least comforted by the fact that she will have to complete many hours behind the wheel before the state deems her “ready” for her license.  It’s never too early, though, to talk to your teens about safe driving – I, for one, hope to bridge the gap between these statistics and hope my daughter shows more responsibility behind the wheel.


State Farm further demonstrates their commitment to helping teens stay safe while driving with their Celebrate My Drive initiative.  It’s a community celebration of safe driving habits emphasizing the benefits of safe choices as teens celebrate the freedom that comes with getting a drivers’ license. From now through October 15th, you can sign up your local high school as part of the Celebrate My Drive program.  Then, from October 18th through 26th, you can join the online community and support your high school by making a safe driving commitment.  State farm will then award grants to 100 schools with the highest amount of commitments.  Such an easy way to support your local high school!

For more information please visit the Teen Driver Safety Website or to learn more about the Celebrate My Drive initiative, you can find more information on Facebook.  Let’s band together to help keep our teens safe!

My Vero Moment: An Afternoon Date with my Hubby

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.  All opinions are 100% my own.

While the temperature here in Chicago is still hovering at around 90 degrees, school has officially been back in session for a few weeks now.  Thank goodness the back-to-school shopping and paying all the school fees are over!  (Side Note: School fees are astronomical where I live.  Way too much for a public school…but I digress.)  Open houses and orientations are over and life around here is finally starting to get back to normal, and I’m so glad because I have been burnt out!  My oldest has started high school (YIKES!) and I have been in desperate need of a break.  Enter: Mariano’s!

Marianos Gelato Signage

The other day, my husband and I were able to sneak away for an afternoon break at my all-time favorite store, Mariano’s.  Hey – who says running errands isn’t a romantic date?!?! Smile  (If you want to see more photos from my Mariano’s visit, you can view my full album on Google+.)

I absolutely love the quality of food at #MyMarianos.  Everything is really fresh and delicious (and they also serve the best mac ‘n cheese).

Marianos Hot Bar

One of the things I love about shopping and eating at Mariano’s is their dining area.  It’s so nice to take some time away while you’re shopping to sit and enjoy a meal too.  Say hi to the hubby…

Marianos Dessert with Hubby2

For me, the very best part of visiting Mariano’s is the Vero Coffee & Gelato shop.

Marianos Vero Logo

It’s located right and the front of the store (yeah, you know how to get us, Mariano’s) and I can never leave the store without some of their yummy coconut gelato.

Marianos Vero Gelato

And this time, I also decided to try their Café Mocha too.  I’ve never ordered coffee here before – and, boy was that a mistake!  It was seriously the best café mocha I have ever had.  Don’t believe me, my husband stopped back at the Vero counter before we left to pick up another cup!

Marianos Dessert

If you’re planning to visit a Mariano’s store, don’t forget to sign up for their Mariano’s Rewards Card!  (The kiosks to sign up are located near the registers.)  In addition to exclusive savings and personalized offers, the Mariano’s Rewards Card also offers you rewards at Vero’s too!  When you buy 10 gelatos you get one FREE!

Marianos Card

Overall, I had a great afternoon date with my husband, and it was nice to catch-up on things while our teenager is back in school.  Definitely a My Vero Moment to remember!

And, speaking of memorable moments, have you checked out this cool video of a flash mob opera at a Chicagoland Mariano’s.  It’s so cool and I wish I was there!

To learn more about Mariano’s, you can find them on Facebook and Twitter, and you can also check out the Mariano’s Community where you’ll find more ways to save at Mariano’s!

Overcoming the Diaper Dilemma #HuggiesLatino

Disclosure: This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Huggies. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

KKHUG11090_Hug_RedLogo_Lay_HR (1)

My son, who will be three soon, is having some issues with changing his diaper.  He still refuses to potty train, and now also refuses to have his diaper changed.  More often than not, you’ll smell him before he tells you he’s got “business” in his diaper.  Asking him if he has caca, or poop, in his diaper goes something like this:

Me: Hey, is it time to change your diaper?

Toddler (as loud and defiant as he can be): NO! It’s fine.  I don’t smell anything!

Me: I think I smell something.  C’mon, let’s go get changed.

Toddler: Mami, I don’t know what you’re talking about, I’m fine.

See how mad he is?!?!

Of course I have to grab him and take him to be changed, and he’s crying all the way.  Who knew getting clean would be so traumatic?!?!

Lately I got to thinking…maybe he just loved his diaper!  Ever since we started using Huggies I’ve had a harder time getting my boy changed.  I mean, I know Huggies is the best in terms of leak prevention and absorbency, perhaps he’s just that comfortable in them.  So I asked him.  What he told me made me giggle…

Toddler:  Mom, I don’t want you to take my Mickey away.

Just can’t let go of Mickey!

See?  Told ya.  The boy just really loves his Huggies!

Fellow mom, and former Miss Universe, Zuleyka Rivera, shares the same sentiment – that her son Sebastian doesn’t like his play time to be interrupted for a diaper change.  She talks about it in her new webisode for Huggies.

Tune in monthly as Zuleyka shares more about her life with Sebastian.

Give Huggies a try and pick up a pack of Huggies Snug & Dry Diapers with New SureFit Design and Huggies Natural Care Wipes with New Triple Clean Layers.  To learn more about  the Huggies brand and their products, their website it a great source of information.  You can also find Huggies on Facebook (Spanish page).

Want to join in on the diaper chatter?  Follow @Huggies on Twitter and use the hashtag #HuggiesLatino.

Potty Training Tips from the Experts #EveryFlush

As many of you all know, I recently started to potty train my 2.5-year-old son.  It has not been easy, and I have struggled with many set-backs and uncertainties.  Luckily, last week I had the opportunity to attend a teleconference with Dr. Alberto Andres Cotton, a well-respected Miami based pediatrician with 17 years of pediatric experience and Jeannette Kaplun, an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized parenting expert with over 17 years of experience on TV, radio, online media and as a published author and conference speaker.  Talk about a superb panel of experts!

Pull-Ups Every Flush SMT (1)

Here are a few of the potty training tips I learned on the conference:

Don’t stress about numbers!  According to Dr. Cotton, there is no age to worry about in particular.  As long as your child is able to control his/her urine by the age of 5, you have nothing to worry about.

Boys might take longer to potty train.  Jeannette Kaplun, a mom of two, suggests that boys may take longer, especially at night.  Each child is different, though, and a parent shouldn’t stress about what one child is doing over another.

Regression is normal.  You shouldn’t get mad at your child when they are showing signs of frustration.  It can happen that your child reverts at a moment of stress. If at that time he cannot control his urine, he will most likely revert so he/she can advance later on.

Make potty training a family affair.  Potty training is a form of stress for a child. The family has to take it as a game so that the child becomes calm.  Getting the entire family involved by sharing potty training tips with other family members (dad, abuela, aunt, tio, los primos) engaging and educating them about training pants, the process and the fun rituals that make sticking with the process easier.

Consider using a timer.  Jeannette Kaplun suggests using a timer with children that crave structure. Every time the timer goes off, lets say every 30 minutes, the child can go. This will help them learn and after a while they wont need the timer to go. It becomes a habit because it is more fun to turn it into a game.


To learn more about the potty training process, the Huggies Pull-Ups website is a great information source to get you started.  You can also visit Pull-Ups on Facebook for more information.

Disclosure: This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pull Ups. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Get 2X Stronger with Angel Soft! {GIVEAWAY}

We’ve all got things in life that have knocked us down, drained us emotionally, and, ultimately, made us stronger.  Women, I think, bear the brunt of any setback (large or small) twice as much as men.  We constantly struggle to keep it all together for ourselves and our families.  This recent economic downturn affected my family, as it has with countless others.  I count my blessings every single day and give thanks for the roof over my head, the job I was fortunate to keep, and the cars in the driveway but it hasn’t been easy keeping it all together.  The activities we’ve missed, the groceries we’ve had to skimp on, and the clothes and shoes we’ve had to stretch was a hard pill for me to swallow but I had to for two very simple reasons:

Angel Soft Kids

Those kids make every decision I make and every morning I get up to go to work worthwhile and have made me 2X’s stronger!  Never underestimate the power of a mom – we always do what we have to to take care of our little people.  Knowing they’re healthy and well make everything else secondary.  They make me strive to be a better person and someone they can look up to everyday.

Angel Soft is 2X Stronger!

Angel Soft Profile Picture

Angel Soft also realizes the importance of being stronger and has unveiled a new bath tissue that’s 2X’s stronger!  Angel Soft is an ideal balance of softness and strength at a value we can all love.

Don’t believe me?  Grab this coupon and try it for yourself!

To learn more about Angel Soft, visit them at www.angelsoft.com.


How would you like to win an Angel Soft Gift Pack?

One lucky reader will win an Angel Soft 2X Stronger 4-Roll Pack and a $25 Target Gift Card!  Use the easy Rafflecopter form below to enter.

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Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Angel Soft. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Strengthening the Mother/Daughter Bond

As you all know, for the last 6 months I have been talking to my daughter about her monthly cycle thanks to an Ambassadorship Program with U by Kotex.  Sadly, that campaign is coming to a close, but, thinking back on everything my daughter and I have discussed since then, I should be the one thanking U by Kotex.

The relationship between my teenage daughter and I at times can be strained at best, and impossible at its worst.  Starting around the time she turned 10 or 11, things started to shift.  The transition from her being my sweet little girl, to a moody, growing young lady was expected, of course, but at the same time difficult to deal with.  It was almost as if she “shut off” overnight.  Long gone were the late-night talks she and I shared where she’d rehash each and every miniscule detail about why “She’s not my friend,” when inevitably there was a disagreement between her and her 8-year-old friends.  It took a very long time for me to accept that I was not longer welcome in her pre-teen and teenage world.

When I first started working on this campaign, I was cautiosly optimistic that my daughter would talk to me.  For once, this was a subject I definitely knew a lot about and probably wouldn’t be considered a “dumb mom”.  Little did I know, I would be opening the doors to a realationship with my daughter that started with something as simple and ordinary as her period.

The conversations we’ve had over the last few months about tracking her period, learning the signs, being prepared, and all-in-all just not being scared about having her period have been exactly what we needed to get the dialogue going on what’s been going on in her life.  Our conversations that started off with what to do when you got your period and which U by Kotex products to use on which days (heavy to light flow) have really been a catalyst to a deeper relationship and understanding between us.

So, after all these months and all the conversations we’ve had, I really have U by Kotex to thank.  The slow repair of our mother/daughter bond has been a blessing to us both.  Thank you.

For more information on the products offered by U by Kotex, the Kotex website is a great reference.  And you may want to pass on the U by Kotex website to your teen or tween – the site may help answer some of their questions.

Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a Brand Ambassador Campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of U by Kotex Tween and received products to facilitate my post and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.
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