#NoBabyUnhugged 49ers Open Practice Event

I‘m very grateful for the experience I had with Huggies and the National Diaper Network during the 49er Open Practice Event. I realized how many people in our need organizations like this one to help provide something so essential like diapers to low-income families. 

It’s very easy to live in the Bay Area and not realize that there are still many families that need our help. This diaper drive was a realization for me. There are things we can do to help one another and therefore, grow together. 

If you didn’t attend the event and are interested in donating some diapers, click on the Huggies website.  Once there, you can also donate some of your Huggies Rewards Points, if you choose to do so. Help a mother in need. 


4 Strategies for Empowering Hispanic Students

I live in California, a state that has a large number of Hispanic students. As a teacher, I see many of these students enter the school system, some succeed, while others fail. 


Here are some strategies to help empower Latino/Hispanic Students:

1. The cup is half full, not half empty
Being able to speak a language other than English is a very handy thing. Give the student encouragement on what they already know and help them feel that the glass is half full, not half empty.
  2. Provide opportunities for self-empowerment and leadership
English Second Language (ESL) Students might not be strong in English, but they have other skills. Use those skills to empower the student. For example, if there’s a Spanish class, have the ESL student be available as a mentor to students learning Spanish as a second language. 

3. Provide examples of role models the students can relate to

Jose M. Hernadez, first immigrant farm worker to become an astronaut for NASA. Read to the students or have them read, Reaching for the Stars, an inspiring autobiography of Jose’s journey from becoming a typical Latino boy to becoming an astronaut. 

4. Understand how the bilingual mind works
Unless you are bilingual yourself, it is hard to explain what is like to be bilingual. As a bilingual person, I think in two languages. I dream in two languages and sometimes these languages simultaneously cross over. Learning to speak a new language means retraining the student’s brain to think in another language. This takes time and practice. Very often the student will think in their strongest language and then translate in their head before being able to speak. That means that they need more time to process the questions being asked in the target language.

Sometimes I amaze my monolingual husband without intending to. I hear something in Spanish, my brain doesn’t even register it as a different language, I internalize the information given and then move on. In the meantime, my husband is standing there confused, wondering what just happened. 

How the ELL Brain Learns by David A. Sousa, is a good read, if you are not bilingual yourself and you want to better understand how second language learners think. 

5. Mentor outside of class
Realize the value of showing students you care. A teacher’s job doesn’t end at 3 pm with the bell, it continues far beyond that. Are your students into sports? Go see one of their games and then tell them how proud you were to see them. Show interest in what interests them, and you will definitely reap the rewards. 

6. Bring outside speakers into the classroom
Find people in your area that have moved beyond their circumstances to accomplish great things. This can be someone who was the first person in their family to go to college or someone who moved up in a company because of their ambition and hard work. 

7. Teach with a “Si se puede” attitude
This phrase roughly translates to yes, we can. A phrase coined by Cesar Chavez, a farm worker who fought against the injustices faced by immigrant farm workers of the time. Don’t allow students to say they can’t do something. Make “si se puede” a daily reminder that they can do whatever they set their mind to. 

Natural Way to Get Rid of Annoying Mosquitoes

Having grown-up on a tropical island, I’m surprised I had never seen this plant before. During a recent trip to Home Depot to buy some flowers for my garden, I stumbled across this Citronella plant. I smelled it and the smell was very familiar. Mosquito repellents must have a chemical version of this plant. It’s a strong scent, but I would rather have a few plants than constantly spraying myself with mosquito repellent. It’s definitely worth a try. 

The Easiest Free Baby or Wedding Registry

Amazon makes it really easy to set-up a baby or wedding registry and receive your gifts. 


Benefits on using Amazon for your registry:

  • Biggest online retailer
  • 90 day money back on most items
  • Manage your registry from any device
  • Free shipping on most items
  • If your registry reaches $1,000 and you are a Prime member, you are eligible for a $100 credit for diapers & wipes. (Baby Registry)
  • Free Bonus Gifts when your friends and family buy from select brands (Wedding Registry)
  • Keeps a detailed list of who bought you what item, so you can thank them later
  • Don’t know what to pick? No problem! Amazon has many handy guides created for you.

Click here to sign-up for a baby registry. 

Click here to sign-up for a wedding registry. 

Target Exclusive Cars 3 Twin Sheets Set

Super cute Twin Bed Sheet Set. Available only at Target. Includes the characters of Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez, and Jackson Storm. Click here for details. 

Save an additional 5% with your Target Red Card. 

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Why I had BRCA Genetic Testing Done

BRCA testing became popular when celebrity Angelina Jolie had it done. Genetic testing was very expensive and not covered by insurance companies. It is now covered by insurances if it is deemed as medically necessary.  

Image credit: Aviano Air Base

BRCA is a blood test that searches for specific gene markers. These markers are known to be related to specific types of cancer. 

In my case, my mom passed away this year from ovarian cancer and my maternal grandmother passed away from some type of gynecological cancer. Back in the time of my grandmother, science wasn’t as detailed as it is now. I have no way of knowing whether her cancer was cervical or ovarian. 

Ovarian is seen as a rare type of cancer, but is very deadly because the symptoms are not obvious indicators of something as serious as cancer, so by the time someone realizes something is wrong, they are often in stage 3 or 4. 

Needless to say, my BRCA test was approved as medically necessary. I then suffered through 3 weeks of waiting for the results. My medical office did a phone appointment to go over the results before I was given them. They wanted to make sure I understood the results and didn’t overly panic if there was something wrong.

Finally, the results were in. I don’t have the gene for ovarian cancer. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t get it. There’s always a 5% chance, but at least I know I don’t need to take drastic measures right now, just continue to monitor it, and live as healthy of a lifestyle as I can.

Knowing whether or not I had the gene was important to me so I could take the measures I needed to and move forward. Not all cancers are something you can do something about. So, knowing can become a hard thing to bare.