Friday, September 30, 2011

Little Bit of Updates

This month has been a little bit different, I don't know if it has been all the changes like, school starting for the kids, new schedules, etc. For me September has been a month of changes, one after the other and I must say that I have been able to handle them pretty good. In the past I have been known not to handle changes with grace, but I believe I have learned to accept changes or maybe it is just that I have been working on changing my attitude towards life and realize that I am fully capable to control my emotions, who in turn affect the way my day turns out. If I see the good things in all that happens or am able to accept things as they happen I tend to have a good day. So I have had most my days, if not all, be good days. Things don't upset me anymore like they used to, I don't get scared as much, and don't get sad, at all. I know that I control my thoughts and my thoughts influence my feelings and my feelings determine the outcome of my day so by choosing carefully my thoughts I have been able to have mostly nice days.

I am planning many good things in the coming months. Several projects I can't wait to tell you all about. There's also an amazing Ipad2 Giveaway that's coming up in October 3rd and it's going to be amazing so don't forget to come by and check it out then.

I am also going to go on two journeys with you, one is going to be a 30lbs in 90 days Challenge and The Total Transformation Program that I am going to be doing with my kids to help them be at their best behavior, and even though they behave pretty good, I want to be able to have them help me more around the house and do their homework more effectively and keep their rooms clean and argue less.

These next 3 months will be filled with challenges, and I want you to be there along with me. So stay tuned.

I also wanted to share that I just started taking a Social Media Marketing Class and I am very excited for the opportunities this is going to bring me.

I don't know if you noticed but I now have bought my own domain, so you can now access my Blog at :)

In the next 3 months I will also Start a new page for Teens, so anyone who is interested in being contributing writers please email me for more details. I am going to need experts in any topic related to teens.

Well, this is for now, and stay tuned for all that these 3 months have to offer.

Monday, September 26, 2011

F.L.A.G. A shoebox for Christmas - Please help out!

After finding and saw that they were collecting shoe boxes with gifts for the girls at F.L.A.G I felt compelled to help. I currently sponsor a little girl from the Philippines through Children's International, her name is Maeca and she will be turning 9 now in October. She is so cute, and seeing her pictures makes me feel so much love toward her as if she was my own.

She has inspired me to help other children like her and I believe F.L.A.G is doing a wonderful job at helping little girls in the Philippines to get an education and be able to experience things like birthday parties and toys for Christmas. Thing that they never had before.

So in honor of Maeca, I went today and bought some Princess Dolls, and some little girl Princess Jewelry Boxes with Princess Themed Play Jewelry and even a little Tiara and will be mailing them out for the F.L.A.G girls Christmas Gift. Me and my two daughters chose the items and got all excited and happy preparing these packages for the girls. I love being able to do nice things for others as well as teaching my daughters the value of helping others.

If you would like to contribute, and help out and send a Shoebox with Christmas Gifts for the girls, please do so soon as they have a deadline of October 10 and they have to arrive in Canada. For more info please email flagphil (@) gmail(dot)com

You can also sponsor a child like Maeca through Children's International.

I really love helping out whenever I can. What charities do you help out with? What other ways do you like to help out? Please share.

Picture of the Week - Clouds

The other day I was amazed to see these in the sky.  It has been so long since I saw the clouds like this.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do Teachers influence your future profession?

Today my daughter Gaby who just started middle school told me that they changed one of her favorite teachers. He was her Social Studies Teacher and she told me that this year for the first time she was liking the class.  However this teacher, was actually a Math Teacher who had been assigned as a temporary teacher to give the Social Studies Class until they were able to hire a permanent teacher.

I do understand how a Math teacher should really be teaching math and fortunately he was able to get a job teaching Math at another school. I mean, if he was a good teacher teaching Social Studies, I bet he will be an amazing teacher teaching Math.

What got me sad though was my own memories of Middle School. How my 6th grade teacher was a History/Social Sciences Teacher and how she was so mean. How I hated her, and how much I hated Social Studies since then.  This got me thinking. If I hate Social Studies because I had an awful teacher, would I love the class had I gotten an awesome teacher?

On all my years of Study, including College, I only recall 2 good Social Studies/History Teachers. My eighth grade Social Studies teacher who was fairly nice and my College History Professor who I had for only one semester. I remember going to that History class in College and thinking that I wished I had that teacher since I was young. He was amazing and gave the class as if it was all some gossip, so it was really fun. But had it been too late for me? I have all these years of history lessons with horrible, mean or deathly boring teachers and it left me ignorant on the subject. I did not learn Geography, or History, or Social Studies all through my teenage years so now when I read the news paper or try to help my daughter with homework I feel dumb. I don't know almost anything. So how am I supposed to learn years of History Lessons now? When I really don't care enough to learn it. I just give up on it and maybe grasp a thing or two from my daughter's homework throughout the years.

Then I questioned myself, are teachers really that much of an influence in a child's life? I always thought that the course of study one chooses was mainly based on a basic inclination that we are born with, some kind of innate skill. But this made me doubt my theory. What if a child with a natural ability in a particular subject, say math for example, what if all his life his Math teachers were mean and even abusive to him. What if never in his life he had a nice inspiring teacher on that subject? Would this child avoid math in his career even if mathematical skill was natural in him?

I always found that my favorite teachers growing up where English teachers, I absolutely LOVED all my English teachers and what I Love the most is to write so it makes sense. However when I was in college, I had a horrible English Teacher who discouraged me from writing, not because she said I was a bad writer but because she thought I had a "disturbed mind" when I wrote. This teacher discouraged me to the point that I stopped writing for over 10 years. It was only after I got inspired by other mentors, friends which in a way are teachers as well even if not in a classroom, that I was able to start writing again.

Did I see my English Teachers as Amazing Teachers because they were teaching me my favorite subject? Or did English become my favorite subject because I had amazing Teachers?

What do you think molds us more? What experiences did you have growing up? What do you think influences more our decisions? Our innate passions? Or Inspiring teachers?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Join us at the Social Media Boost Ipad2 giveaway!

I am promoting today an event from VoiceBoks that promises to increase your Social Media exposure and increase followers to your Blog.

Please join me on this event. The giveaway will run for 3 weeks. It will be submitted to over 100+ giveaway sites and we are anticipating plenty of entries.
You can get all the details by going to 7 on a Sting or clicking on the image below. Please make sure you say Cocoons 2 Butterflies Referred you! Hope you can join us in this wonderful event! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The World vs Sponge Bob

I'm sure most of you have heard by now the new study made with 60 children that claims that watching just one episode of Sponge Bob causes problems of attention in a 4 year old child, they compared the results of this with children who watched Calliou. They claim that the fast paced nature of Sponge Bob does something to kids brains that makes them distractable.They also say that it is not only Sponge Bob but all these technological things that children these days are exposed to.

What is your take on it?

For example, I would like to know if there is a study where it shows whether these effects are long lasting or is it momentary just after watching the show.  I must admit that my 10 year old watched Sponge Bob when she was 4. She loved it, but she also loved Calliou. I do believe that my daughter has a tendency to get distracted. But I am not jumping to conclusions that the reason why she is like that is because she watched Sponge Bob.
I too am easily distracted, and I have struggled with organizing my time efficiently. Is it because I watched Sponge Bob with her? I don't think so. I really believe that I am easily distracted since I was small. Did the TV I watch impact my ability to be focused? I don't know. But I can be focused in one thing for long periods of time as long as I am in a room without any distractions, my daughter too.

On the other hand I have Elsie, my 5 year old. Also exposed to Sponge Bob at the age of 4 and I don't think she is easily distracted. She tends to engage in activities for long periods of time, and she actually learned a broader vocabulary from watching Sponge Bob. She is very bright and has an AMAZING memory! For example, in June 10th we went to this Japanese Restaurant called Shiro Japan. Elsie ordered chocolate cake, and on September 9th we went again to the same restaurant, she remembered the chef that cooked for us and she told me without looking at the menu, Mommy, I want to have a Midnight Delight, just like last time. A few minutes later I get the dessert menu and I look at the picture of the chocolate cake and under it read Midnight Delight. I was impressed on how she remembered the name of the cake she tried months ago, and not only that, she remembered what every single person in our table ordered for dessert the previous time.

So is it Sponge Bob? Or is it natural traits of our brain that are predisposed to certain things. Is it this world that has so many different things, so much technology, so much information.

What do you think about this study? I want to read your thoughts.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

It is September 11, 2011. Ten years since the event called 9/11.

I hear on the radio a lot of mentions about the people who died, about the children of those who died, the mentions of the people who gave their lives trying to help. Firemen, police men, etc.

Everyone who was born before 9/11 can probably remember what they where doing that day. It is not every day that people can be part of history and especially when it is such a horrifying event.

When 9/11 happened I was in NYC. My daughter Gaby was 8 months old. I had her in my arms when a neighbor called to tell me to look out the window and put on the news. I saw the twin towers and smoke coming out of them. At that moment I did not know the significance of this. This was my second year in NYC. I did not know what the twin towers was besides two identical looking buildings. It had no meaning to me. Terrorists where something you saw in Movies, for some reason I thought terrorism was a fictional occurrence. My first thought was "What idiot pilot crashes into a building?" I really thought it had been an accident, until the second plane crashed.

Now, ten years later my daughter asks me how was life like before 9/11 as the life she has lived has always been post 9/11. Where there are amber alerts, and ads that advice "If you see something, say something" and cops are everywhere, police check points in subways and we are constantly at war.

My child has no memory of life in USA without WAR!

I think that is sad. I remember when war was something that happened in other countries, never here.
I guess we are the same like other countries. We are not any more special that anyone else even though I grew up hearing that we were.

I don't think I know what that means anymore.

Yesterday I heard on the radio the following: The 10th anniversary of 9/11 is coming, what are you going to do to remember?
Truthfully? I wish I didn't remember.

As I kept on listening on the radio station they were playing messages of children of the people that died on 9/11 saying messages to their deseased parents. Our eyes watered and we had to change the channel. We chose not to think about it as we did when we chose to turn off the TV back in 9/11/2001. The TV was filled with news casts of what was happening and after 2 days of it we couldn't take it anymore so we chose not to watch. It was the most depressing thing ever and we didn't even know anyone who died on 9/11. We do not know anyone personally who suffered a loss that day, but we were here, and we saw the towers up in smoke out our own window.

We saw the news we saw the people.
It is something we will never forget. But it is not something we wish to make and effort to remember.
We do feel that all those people who gave their lives in 9/11/2001 deserve to be remembered and they will be, every day of the lives of those who knew them and symbolically by everyone else who heard about this event.

Do you have a 9/11 story? Feel free to share.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to School in NYC

We are back to school in NYC. Today marks officially the first day of the new school year. I know that in other states the school starts in August but here in the North East we started today.

This year is very special as my little one starts Kindergarten and the Big one started Middle School.  The day before school started I began a new routine.

All electronics off by 7:30pm. No computer, no TV, No Nintendo DS. So computer assignments must be done by that time.

After 7:30pm we have dinner and take baths and get all the things ready for school the next day. Uniforms, backpacks, assignments etc.

8:30pm Elsie has to be in bed, she gets a bed time story and a lullaby, at this time Gaby takes a shower and gets all her rest of homework done.

9:30pm Gaby has to be in Bed, and we talk a little bit and it's good night.

The next morning I wake up around 6:30am and I wake them up around 6:45am and get everything ready, and have some breakfast and out the door by 7:30am

Today the routine worked quite well, and I'm really happy how the day went.

Elsie did very good in her first day of Kindergarten, she didn't cry, she went to the lunchroom with Mrs. Patrick the security guard, she got her breakfast, she sit down, she followed instructions, I got a lot of compliments about her behavior. She has many friends in her class from last year, and a few new faces and the best Kindergarten Teacher of the school.

Gaby, went to a brand new school, she has a few friends from her old school, and even she is in the classroom with 2 of her best friends, Lia and Orlandriana, and she is in class 6-1 with a very strict but nice teacher. Gaby says that she loved Middle School. She made a new friend and she got to be with her best friends in class, and her teachers are nice, there are assigned tables in the lunchroom so there's no issue with "where am I going to sit?" and she loved that the kids walk to the lunchroom by themselves, they change classes by themselves and no need for teachers escorting them like in elementary school. There is a sense of freedom that she did not have before and she likes it.

I must say I am very proud how things turned out today. It started off good, and even though I got a bit emotional seeing them go I know they did great.

I asked Elsie today: Are you nervous about school still?
She said: No. I was nervous this morning but after today, I know how good I did, so I'm not nervous anymore.

I'm so proud of them both! :)

So how did the first day of school turn out for your kids and for you?

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