Friday, July 17, 2015

10-minute Fish Tacos

10-minute Fish Tacos


Today was supposed to be a laid-back, blog-all-day kind of day.  Instead it turn out to be the kind of day that makes you leave the comfort of your home early in the day, forget to stop at the ATM, have-no-cash-in-your-wallet-day and you are trying to live frugally anyway kind of day.  Thankfully I had made breakfast at home and I was blessed by having lunch at abuela’s house.  She is so amazing, always leaving me a plate in case I stop by.  Anyway, I got home at 8 o’clock at night, just as Daddy was coming home for his break.  Nothing had been scheduled for today nor did I prepare a meal plan, but somehow a bunch of errands filled my morning and most of the afternoon.  So nothing was prepared for me to cook, nor did I want to be in the kitchen for longer than 20 minutes.  I needed something quick and healthy.
Daddy and Gabo decided they were having canned spaghetti and ravioli (you know the chef one) and they were going to watch cartoons together.  I was not having canned anything; I wanted something fresher, and tastier.  While I was preparing their “dinner”, I remembered I have fish sticks in the freezer so I thought:  ‘UMMM, fish tacos, YUMM!’  I put the spaghettis in the microwave to heat up and got tortillas, spinach, cucumber and tartar sauce out of the fridge, and fetched the fish sticks bag in the freezer.  I warmed up the oil, yes I fried them; I thought about baking them but that would have taken too long. 
Fish stick frying?  Check.  Tortillas warming up in the skillet? Check.  I prefer fish tacos with cole slaw, but I did not have any.  I have some beautiful spinach and crunchy cucumbers; I decided to pickle them super-quick.  I julienned the spinach, I cut the cucumber with a mandolin, if you do not have a mandolin just make sure to slice the cucumber very thinly, and julienned the slices.  I sliced some onion and a little cilantro.  I added ACV and coconut oil, a touch of agave and a pinch of salt and pepper, and let it sit until I was ready to plate.
To assemble the taco, I squirt a line of tartar sauce across the tortilla, I place 1 ½ fish sticks on top of the sauce and top it all off with the pickled salad.  I accompanied it with some Blueberry Lemonade I made last night.

All I can say is YUM. 

10-minute Fish Tacos 
5 frozen fish sticks
3 corn tortillas
Handful of spinach, julienned
10 slices of cucumber, julienned
2 slices of onion cut in half
Cilantro leaves, to taste
1 ½ tsp ACV
2 tsps Coconut oil
Agave Nectar, to taste
Pinch of salt and pepper

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Puertorrican Cornbread

Puertorrican Cornbread

Monday was a wonderful day.  We went to visit with my grandmother who I adore to say the least.  We last saw her on Saturday, very briefly as we went just to check in and see how my grandfather is doing; he has Alzheimer’s.  It has been a very long time since he last knew who we were; we are all strangers to him by now.  So Saturday my abuela said she needed to get some medications for abuelo and she also wanted to go to Costco.  Now, this is our thing, we hang out cooking and shopping together; grocery shopping that is.  Ever since I started driving it has been my pleasure to take her grocery shopping, among other things; but mainly grocery shopping.  It has given me a connection to her, I learned to cook with her and I know most of her recipes by heart; I inherited her passion to cook from the heart for the people I love, mi familia.

While we were there I found her old cookbook Cocina Criolla by Julia Abboy de Valdejulí, she was the Julia Child of Puerto Rico back in the day. Her recipes were even used in Home-Economics class. Abuela had marked a bread pudding that she wants to try; I even suggested buying croissants since we were going to Costco.  She said she wants to do it the traditional way, with old bread; besides who am I to fight with her.  I decided I will do the same recipe using croissants and I will have her try it.

Anyhow, we are here because of cornbread.  I have for the past couple of weeks been craving cornbread; but not just any cornbread, but the sweet, almost desert like cornbread.  I browsed the book myself and there it was Valdejulí’s cornbread recipe.  With all honesty I do not remember if I have ever tried this recipe.  I decided to go with it because it is extremely easy.  It makes enough for mi familia and most importantly, I had all the ingredients on hand.  I used Amapola for the cornmeal because it is our local brand but you can use one that you prefer, same for AP Flour.  I used whole milk because I ran out of almond milk.  The original recipe calls for butter and I am guessing it should be unsalted, I substituted coconut oil.  Now, this is not a part of the ingredients but I added cinnamon, just a little amount because I love the smell and flavor and I believe it complements corn products very well.  But you can leave it out.

Cornbread- Puerto Rican Style
*This is a very small recipe, you might want to double it.*

½ cup cornmeal, I used Amapola all-purpose cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour, I used Washington
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. Baking Powder
½ cup milk, I used whole milk
2 oz. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp. cinnamon (optional), recipe does not call for cinnamon.  I just love it and add it on most of the things I bake.

The process is so simple.  I liked that everything is mixed with a fork in a bowl.  No big machines required.

1.  Combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, white sugar, salt and baking powder in one bowl.  In this step I also added the cinnamon.  I just mixed them with a fork until well mixed.


2.  Add the vanilla extract to the milk.  Add milk and vanilla to flour mixture, little by little.

 3. Add the butter.  For this recipe I used coconut oil.
4. Add the beaten egg.  Mix it until incorporated
5. Pour the corn bread batter in a lightly greased and floured pan.  I floured it with cornmeal.
Now, the cornbread baked and sat on the kitchen counter, awaiting Daddy’s return.  I was not able to try it because I needed the picture of how it looked when it came out of the oven, and the picture of it sliced.  So I waited… to try it.
So, Daddy finally came home and took the picture of the finished bread.  I sliced it and it smelled so good.  It is delicious, a little dry for my taste so I will probably add a little more coconut oil next time and it is very dense, I like it more airy but in all fairness I might have overbeat it with all the excitement.  I will try it again today and update the results.


Since I am going to abuela’s house I will bake it there so she can help and give me pointers as to how to make this better.  Afterwards we will sit down to a cup of good Puertorrican coffee and talk about the bread.  Life can’t get better than this.


Hoping you enjoy this recipe with someone you love, and may help create connections between generations.

Until next time,


Vanilla Orange Pancakes


This morning I got up early to my dogs barking like crazy at 6 in the morning.  I went to check and it turns out my puppy, Pepper, had gotten out of the backyard and was running up and down the street.  Afterwards, I could not go back to sleep; I got dressed and went to abuela’s house for coffee and breakfast.  I took her to the supermarket.  Did her hair and came home.

Daddy and Gabo had woken up already and were watching TEC the Tractor when I walked into the room and asked what they wanted for breakfast.  Gabo’s eyes lit up and he said “Pancakes”.  It has been a while since I have made pancakes, although recently I took to making Belgian Waffles, pancakes I seldom make.  Only for special Sundays, mostly because I am trying to limit the amount of gluten my son consumes.

I went to the kitchen to make pancakes for my Gabo and Daddy.  I opened the cupboard and took out the pancake mix, and I saw a bag of ground flax seeds, I grabbed the vanilla extract and behind was the orange extract and I remember I had lemons in the fridge.  I also grabbed the cinnamon, just because I add it to everything.

Orange Vanilla Pancakes

1½ cup Krusteaz Pancake Mix

1 cup whole milk

2 tsps. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. ground flax seeds

1 tsp orange extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. coconut oil


The recipe in the bag calls for just pancake mix and water.  I believe that if cannot make it from scratch, make store-bought mixes and make them better.  I substituted milk for the water and added all the other ingredients in a bowl and mixed with a fork until they came together.

I had a pre-heated pan and sprayed it with non-stick spray and pour 1/3 cup of the batter per pancake, we like them medium sized. I cooked them until they are a deep golden color and flipped them.

This recipe yielded 6 pancakes.  Daddy had 4, Gabo had 2 and I had 1. It was delicious, even they noticed something was different and they gobbled them down.  Gabo asked if we were having pancakes again for breakfast tomorrow.

Until next time,


Saturday, July 4, 2015

My oil pulling journey

Back in March I went through a terrible cold that ended with a really bad ear infection.  I was officially sick for about a month.  Chicken soup and vitamin C helped for the cold, but I was stuck with the earache.  I went to see my primary care physician a couple times for the pain, and every time he prescribed a different drop.  I do not have health insurance so I got slammed with the full price of the drops which range from $30-$60 every single time, plus the additional medication that he prescribed at each visit.

About two weeks with the pain I went to my local health food supermarket to get ear candles, because I read how amazing they were to clean the ear canal but also to relieve pressure and ease the pain during an ear infection.  I did the ear candling thing every other day for a week and it helped relief the pain, but it always came back.  I tried every over the counter ear drop I could get and the helped temporarily, none actually cured the infection.  I was desperate, specially at night when the pain was excruciating and did not allow me to sleep.

By April I was on Pinterest looking for home remedies for earaches and I came across oil pulling.  I read up on the therapy and decided to try it.  I had just extracted some coconut oil that week and I went for it.  Now, you need to be prepared to understand that you are putting oil inside your mouth and you will keep it there for 20 minutes.  CRAZY!!!  I almost passed out, I used raw coconut oil and it is like putting a tablespoonful of solid shortening in your mouth and chewing on it.  Once I got over the gag reflex and entertained myself playing with my phone's games twenty minutes of chewing and swishing had gone by.  I ran into the bathroom to spit it out and I brushed my teeth.  Went to bed and slept through the night.  Next morning I was not awakened by the throbbing pain.  It was very mild and it did not stop me from going about my day.

After that experience including my gag reflex trying to betray me a couple of times.  I decided to keep looking for information on oil pulling and it has become an integral part of my dental care.  My teeth are looking whiter and my gums no longer bleed and that is saying a lot. 

So, what exactly is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient remedy native to India.  I is the action of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes.  There is not a lot of scientific information on it but some studies suggest that when accompanied by daily brushing and flossing it can help improve your oral health as well as you overall health.  It is based on the Ayurveda method of oil gushing and it dates back thousands of years.

I read a couple of websites before starting it and tweaked the steps a little to fit myself. 

6 easy steps for oil pulling

Do it on an empty stomach.  It is recommended that you do your oil pulling in the morning, first thing, before you brush your teeth or consume anything.  Not even water.  Now I read of a couple of people that do it twice a day; so do it at the time of day that better suits your schedule ( I am doing it as I write this post), preferably on an empty stomach.
Swish the oil for 15-20 minutes.  Do it while you are doing something else, I usually do it while I am answering emails or taking a shower, your imagination is the limit on this one.  There are lots of ways for twenty minutes to go by really fast.  Do not swish for longer than that, bacteria in the oil might be reabsorbed by the body after twenty minutes.
Spit it in the trash.  Remember that the coconut oil tends to re-harden when it gets to room temperature.  Let us avoid plumber drama with clogged pipes and just spit it out in the trash bin.  Besides I do not think you want your bathroom sink or you toilet covered in all the bacteria that was just pulled from your mouth.  YUCK!!!
Brush, floss and rinse.   I believe this step is pretty clear.  Just as you normally do.  Brush with your favorite toothpaste, I use one with TF and Co-Q10, use your favorite floss and rinse with water or mouthwash is up to you.
Sanitize the toothbrush.  Now I have to be honest.  I am the brush in a hurry and put the toothbrush back in its cup because we are running very late kind of mom; but after I read about all the bacteria that stays in the brush and that will be the same brush I use twice a day every day… I almost died.  So unless you have an unlimited budget to have a disposable toothbrush or you have the machine, boil some water and white vinegar (I use the teapot) and pour it over your toothbrush head and let it dry.
Remember to do it daily.

Oil Pulling's claim to health is that it can help treat and possibly cure conditions and diseases such as, diabetes mellitus, acne, Chron's Disease, cavities, gum disease, skin issues, metabolic issues, hormonal issues and the list goes on and on.  oil pulling can be done with a variety of oils and essential oils.  Oils like olive oil, sesame, coconut oil, MCT oil, safflower oil, among many others.  Each with amazing qualities for this technique, from anti-cavity- to anti-inflammatory to antipyretic.  Oils can also be boosted with the essential oil of your choosing, as per your condition or disease; in the ratio of 3:1 drops of essential oils to coconut oil.

Next post I will tell you about oil pulling with essential oils and then oil pulling with other oils.

Until next time,



1. Fife, Bruce. "Oil Pulling for a Brighter Smile and Better Health." N.p., n.d. Web.
    15 June 2015.

2. "Coconut Oil Pulling." Wellness Mama. Web. 13 June 2015.

Important disclaimer:  The recommendations in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are my sole opinion and are based on my experience with the oil pulling therapy.  It is meant to be informative; it is not intended, however, in any way to diagnose, treat, cure and you should talk to your dentist or primary care physician before undergoing this an other alternative therapies.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sorry for the absence


I have been missing for a while there.  Some of you already know about my abuelo and our battle with Alzheimer's Disease.  Between lending a hand to my abuela, helping her with him and around the house, and taking my son to his speech and occupational therapies, taking care of the house and trying to make some extra money I am, in a word, EXHAUSTED!!!  So you can imagine that when I finally make it to the house, the last ting on my mind is having to sit in the computer. 

Nonetheless, I miss writing.  And I am constantly writing post ideas in my notebook and I have written a couple of drafts that will be coming your way pretty soon.  Things have been very chaotic around here lately; but I finally have an office space.  Well, not quite.  I have a desk and the computer in on it, and I have a chair so I can sit down to write, and it is located in the dungeon of the house.  That is the one room where everything is stashed away and when we close the door we tend to forget it exists...hence the dungeon.  That is where my office is.  Still trying to really turn the space into a home office.

Another reason to celebrate is that I have been freelancing.  Writing has always been a therapy for me and now it is also helping me pay the bills, which is awesome.  How often do you get to do something you like and make money while doing it.   I am very thrilled because I can add freelance writer next to stay-at-home-mom in the occupation line of any application.  So, if you need some documents translation, or transcribing, rewriting papers for school, work or anything in between I am your girl.

During this absence I have also been struggling with going back to school, which I will be doing, God willing,  this fall to finish my bachelor's in Education and hopefully next school year I will be opening my own daycare center.  This last one is near and dear to my heart because I always wanted to homeschool and I could not, and one day I realized that I could put all this passion I have for teaching and turn it into a business that will give children the tools to thrive during their fist years and help them transition into primary school.

Now I am working on obtaining my CDA Credential.  I am so excited, I ordered the book this morning, and I will be blogging on that as well as uploading the other posts I have already started.

Also I am thinking of changing the name of this blog, looking for a more catchy name.  Still not sure.

Until next time,


Monday, February 23, 2015

Amando a alguien que no me conoce



Si me hubiesen dicho que yo iba a terminar bañando viejitos pellejús, JAMAS lo hubiese creído…

Hace algunos años atrás cuando abuelo comenzó a olvidar pequeños detalles, cositas triviales que a cualquiera se le escapan, jamás se nos ocurrió que era el principio de un largo y doloroso camino por recorrer.  Este tema es uno bien doloroso y a veces hasta difícil de hablar sin que el llanto me ahogue.  En mi opinión se debe hablar más, mucho más sobre el Alzheimer.

Anoche estaba viendo los Oscars.  No sé cuantos se identificaron con la canción de Glenn Campbell interpretada por Tim McGraw.  Confesión: Hasta anoche no tenía idea de quién es Tim McGraw ni quien era Glenn Campbell.  Ambos son cantantes de música country.  El cantante Glenn Campbell fue diagnosticado hace cuatro años con esta odiosa enfermedad.  Después de muchísimos años de una carrera exitosa decidió hacer un documental de su proceso y escribió una última canción para su esposa y sus hijos , con el propósito de decirles cuanto los amaba antes de olvidarlos.

La canción I’m Not Gonna Miss You, cuya primera estrofa es “I’m still here, but yet I’m gone”  (aún estoy aquí, pero ya me fui)…  perdóname.  Puse el video de la canción, es bien emotivo (busquen Kleenex).  Espero que lo disfruten.

 Que un pensamiento o una memoria se te escape es la cosa más frustrante, sobre todo cuando no logras acordarte más.  El papá Gabo me llama Dory muy frecuentemente porque se me olvidan algunas cosas de manera casi instantánea y no me vuelvo a acordar. Punto.

En el transcurso de los años he visto como abuelo se ha ido consumiendo.  Hace cinco años, todavía tenía su memoria y aunque los nombres se le escapaban en ocasiones, estaba todo bien.  Recuerdo que a abuelo siempre le ha encantado pellizcar a las personas, particularmente con los dedos de los pies.  Pobre de ti si bajabas la guardia, se te pegaba como quien no quiere la cosa y fuípiti, te llevaba el canto.  Yo fui su víctima muchas veces, una de muchas; somos 11 nietos sin contar los 7 hijos.  Imagino a mami y a mis tíos con pellizcos por todos lados.  Piensen en Daniel el Travieso pero viejo, era como un chamaquito maleto.  Siempre joven de corazón.

Cuando Gabo nació, abuela lo cuido un tiempo, abuelo se sentaba en la sala todas las tardes a velarlo.  Le decía “Mi Chulito”, aunque dudo mucho que supiera quién era.  Imagino que veía a un niño, igual que él, se emocionaba cuando llegábamos a la casa “llegó mi chulito” decía.  En una ocasión hasta lo sacó del corral porque Gabo estaba llorando y se lo sentó al lado.

Cuando mi hijo tenía dos años era cuando mejor se llevaban, fue una de las mejores etapas de mi hijo.  Se entendían muy bien.  Es como si fueran pares.  Caminaban de la mano, Gabo llevando a su bisabuelo, se compartían las galletas y en las tardes que no los podíamos ver Gabo me decía que abuelito necesitaba su besito. 

Abuelo todavía hablaba y se acordaba de varias cosas, pero con el pasar de las semanas empezó a sustituir la verbalización con erutos o tarareos.  Si le hacías una pregunta sencilla, recibías un si o un no por contestación.  Si le preguntabas su nombre te lo decía, pero ya no se acordaba de los nombres de nadie, excepto por abuela y mi tía.

Se ha ido gastando, como le digo a abuela.  Es como una velita que se va consumiendo poco a poco hasta que se apaga.  No estamos listos para que se apague todavía.

Es difícil entender  y aceptar que abuelo ya no está…  está su cuerpo, que veo a diario y que mi hijo ve a diario y le pide la bendición aunque abuelo no la conteste.  Ya no habla, solo llora o se ríe o se mantiene en silencio.  Es triste verlo así.  Come bien, pero esta flaquito y abuelo siempre fue un hombre grande y gordo y fuerte.  De la cepa de Corozal, bien fajón y nunca conformista.  Ya casi no camina, su balance no es el que era.  Hace un año, el Dia de Reyes, le dio un derrame y perdió la vista, solo ve sombras por un ojito y tambien lo cuidé lo escribi en mi post It's my turn... because I want to . 

No todos los nietos estamos presentes, pero los que estamos hacemos nuestra parte.  Hay que ayudar a abuelo a levantarlo para prepararlo, darle desayuno, cambiarle el pañal, bañarlo, en fin todas las cosas que hacemos con un bebé.  ¿Sabes lo difícil que puede ser darle un baño a alguien que no te conoce? ¿Dejarías que un extraño te bañe? Pobre abuelo, a él lo bañamos diferentes extraños, abuela, mami, titi, yo y a veces se enoja.

Lo único que no se le olvida es el café.  Dentro de su llanto o ataque de risa hay que hablarle fuerte para llamar su atención.  ¿Quieres café?  Su contestación siempre afirmativa.  Siempre le gustó su tacita de café de las tres de la tarde.  Cuando era pequeña (o sea ayer), me decía Lucy tráeme dos deitos de café.  Esa era su medida, dos deitos, dejándome saber que quería un poquito.  Yo tenía como ocho o nueve años y buscaba el vaso para café (en casa se usaban vasos sanitarios) y marcaba con mis dos dedos (índice y corazón) la medida para servirle.

Son tantos los recuerdos que me invaden, los viajes a la playa en  el Jeep Willie, ir a la tiendita de los dulces, el pesito de los viernes, darnos cada gusto posible.  Así era abuelo, alguien que quería siempre complacer a sus nietos, vernos felices.  Tuvo sus fallas, claro que si, muchísimas, ¿quién no?  Yo escojo siempre recordar lo bueno; una lección que aprendí del papá de Gabo: “lo bueno siempre sobre pesa lo malo”.  No hay un libro de cómo ser padre, ni como ser abuelo y abuelo a mi entender hizo un excelente trabajo como abuelo.

Ese es mi viejito, al que nunca pude darle la dicha de verme casada como él hubiese querido pero al que le di más que un biznieto.  Le di un amiguito de travesuras cuando más lo necesitaba.  Ahora mi Gabo está creciendo y abuelo se ha ido quedando en su mundo, y aquí seguiré con él aun cuando él ya no está. 


Te amo abuelo.



Oscars 2015

As I am starting this post thinking about my first five hundred words of the week, I decided that I will dedicate it to what else… The Oscars.  Not the whole show, but on some specific moments that I just loved and that really touched me to the point of tears. 

Now I will surely watch The Gran Budapest Hotel, one because I love Ralph Fiennes ever since The English Patient, two because it seem to be favored last night.  I feel so stupid because a couple weeks back Daddy was watching the fil The Imitation Game and I found I wasn’t really into it.  Now I will probably sit down through the whole thing.  Loved JK Simmons’ acceptance speech for Whiplash.  I am so very lucky o have my parents and grandparents with me.  I talk to them on a daily basis a few times a day.  Patricia Arquette acceptance speech I loved as well.  Now Best Actress Julianne Moore, Still Alice, loved her acceptance speech and her interview on the Red Carpet, bringing awareness over Alzheimer’s. 

Tim McGraw performing Glenn Campbell’s I’m Not Gonna Miss You… WOW!!!  WOW!!! Now, there is one specific moment that really touched me and made me cry like a baby.  Now this post I will be writing in Spanish as soon as I finish this one and this is why.   I love someone who has this terrible, terrible disease.  It is a very hard process, especially when they don’t know you anymore.  You see I am the first grandchild of eleven.  So I have spent more time with my abuelos than any of my cousins.  And now he doesn’t know who I am, who any of us are.  This song is a truly beautiful gift.

Last but not least…  Lady Gaga.  Are you kidding me???  Why is this girl with such a beautiful voice not on Broadway or the Opera?  And then performing the songs of Froilan Maria in The Sound of Music, my favorite movie ever (my mom’s fault because she made me watch it all the time) with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummet.  Hey, I am only thirty.  And then Julie Andrews comes out from back stage.  I almost died.  THAT was an amazing moment. 

It had been years since I had watched The Oscars.  But it was totally worth to go to bed at 1am and get up at 5:45am.  Thank you to The Academy for entertaining us with such a spectacular show.  Neil Patrick Harris, my Doogie Howser, spot on.  Every actor who won deserved it, I had other favorites and they are winners in my heart.   Looking forward to next year’s show, The Academy has the job cut out for them.

 Only one thing to say…

Thank you actors for making us look forward to movie night.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Help!!!, I am stuck

 So, 500 words per day.
Isn’t this way to many words to write in one sitting?  I mean if you type as slow as I do, it might take you all day just to accomplish this.  Should have paid more attention to computer class in high school.  It is officially midnight as I am trying to do this.  No particular subject, just trying to accomplish 500 words in this Sunday morning.  Early Sunday morning, Way too early Sunday morning I should say.  I should probably be in bed, yet here I am browsing for writing ideas for the blog in Pinterest and this is what I came across.  Write 500 words per day.  So am I suppose to put everything else on hold while I tackle this seemingly long assignment.  Because I need to write, I am always writing things in that little notebook I carry with me everywhere, yet I haven’t had a good post idea in a while.  Still 5 hundred words seems like a lot and  I chose to write this rambling in Word to sell if it can be done and it looks like seven minutes in I have typed 195 words of nonsense.  
Sorry, went to look for the calculator and did the math.  That’s 27.85 words per minute. I have no idea if this is good speed or flat out super slow speed, but according to my math (and I really suck at it) it will take me approximately 17.93 minutes to accomplish this task.  Again I don’t know if the math is correct but I think I can spare seventeen minutes of my very early Sunday morning.  I wondered if this counts as an excuse to sleep in later.
288 words eleven minutes in.  Okay I have written posts before.  They usually take some very long time to put together but I have never indeed tried to time How long they actually take or how many words I actually write.  But judging by the 333 in the bottom of the screen, I believe it’s more than that.  346 in 14 minutes.  I think this is doable.  Because I keep putting writing off for lack of time.  Dealing with a 4 year old trying to get my shit together and go back to school, maybe get a job.  I am fighting very hard to be independent person.  So, blogging keeps getting postponed, although I write every day, in the journal or the notebook or whenever an idea hits me.
So how do I go about this?
How do I gather the strength to rise up early in the morning and be the person I know I can be and also sit down to write?
Should I trade morning YOGA for blogging? 
So, 500 words per day.  At 20 minutes I am at 470.  So, thirty more words and I can go to bed.  I think this is an attainable goal.  I can restart small and maybe later on break writing into small  20 minutes shifts,  I guess.
Tomorrow (actually later on today), seems like a good day to start.  Just have to find my muse. 
I am closing with 527 words at 12:25 a.m. Sunday morning.  Eight minutes longer that expected but good enough to me. 

Good night!!!


Friday, February 6, 2015

Gabo y su desorden de procesamiento sensorial

Gabo y su desorden de procesamiento sensorial
En estos días estuve repasando el camino que nos trajo hasta aquí.  Gabo no estaba desarrollándose al nivel que se esperaba.  Tenía dos añitos acabados de cumplir y no había alcanzado ninguna de las metas de  desarrollo.  Se encontraba en un cuido privado donde la situación se volvió un poco difícil.  Mi hijo era el bully del salón.  Mordía, halaba pelo, pellizcaba, interrumpía la rutina diaria, empujaba, gritaba sin razón aparente, se agredía cuando algo no le salía… ¿acaso no hacen esto todos los niños?

Entonces comenzamos a notar que se nos retraía.  Prefería el juego solitario al juego con sus pares, no respondía apropiadamente a estímulos auditivos ni táctiles.  Evitaba el contacto visual con las personas y no lograba comenzar a comunicarse.  Todo lo que quería lo señalaba y solo decía pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa.  ¿Mamá, no has considerado la posibilidad de que puede ser autista?- me dijeron.  La verdad es que no.  Su papá me decía que nuestro bebé era perfecto (lo cual no ha cambiado en nada), que yo estaba alterándome son razón.  Que él tuvo un desarrollo lento también.  Mi mamá me decía “me preocupa que no hace contacto visual, eso es una característica de niño autista”.  En fin fue un proceso bien largo y fuerte. 
A través del cuido se nos hizo un referido al Programa de Intervención Temprana del Dpto. de Salud, aquí en Puerto Rico se conoce como Avanzando Juntos.  Rápidamente nos citaron para el cernimiento correspondiente y nos dieron una cita con la audióloga del programa.  Como yo le hablaba al bebé y no reaccionaba a los sonidos, llegué a pensar que se nos había quedado sordo.  Y ahí, mamá volviéndose loca porque no sabe hablar lenguaje de señas y con un bebé sordo.  Fue un tiempo bien oscuro para mí.  La evaluación audiológica mostraba que todo estaba funcionando correctamente.  Lo admitieron al programa por su retraso de habla.  Para mi conveniencia la terapista visitaba el centro, le daba la terapia y me dejaba anotado lo que trabajaron; para yo darle seguimiento en la casa.  Aún así no estábamos logrando el avance esperado y no me lo diagnosticaron por ser muy pequeño.  No se estaba comunicando efectivamente y las reacciones agresivas hacia otros y hacia sí mismo continuaban. 

Nos refirieron al psicólogo por conductas mal adaptativas.  A duras penas iba a cumplir 3 años y ya veía a un psicólogo… pobre nene.  Que hice mal en el embarazo, que estoy haciendo mal como madre eran las preguntas más frecuentes en mi cabeza.  El psicólogo que es en Caguas, nosotros vivíamos en Toa Baja en ese entonces lo vio varias veces.  Trabajamos time-out, remoción de privilegios y otros sin fin de estrategias, era mi psicólogo cuando mi mamá y mi hermana me atacaban (haciéndome sentir como mierda y mala madre) por no entender lo que estábamos tratando de lograr.  Éramos mi bebé y yo solos…disculpen en lo que busco un Kleenex… buscando y estudiando todas las alternativas que explicaran lo que estaba pasando en el cerebro de mi chiquito. 
En una de las visitas en el 2013 el psicólogo menciono algo que tenía que ver con estimulación proprioceptiva.  PropioWhat???  Se que lo explicó, pero en el momento no lo entendí ni me entró.  Lo único que entendí de seguro es que había un nombre que yo tenía que investigar.  Recuerdo que ese dia él sugirió que Gabo podía estar experimentando un déficit proprioceptivo y vestibular y nos refirió a una Terapista Ocupacional.

Esa misma semana la  llamé.  Le deje como doce mensajes de voz.  Parecía un stalker.  Cuando por fin la conseguí, ella estaba de vacaciones en Estados Unidos y no me podía dar cita hasta dentro de 3 semanas.  Pude haber buscado otra terapista por la urgencia que yo tenía.  ¿Por qué no lo hice?  Porque por primera vez en poco más de un año teníamos el nombre de un posible responsable.  Y yo nunca había escuchado ese nombre.  La gran mayoría de las personas con las que hablaba nunca lo habían escuchado y me daban una mirada como diciendo ¿esta se lo estará inventando?  Y esta terapista vino recomendada así es que esperamos.  En el mientras tanto se le contrató al nene los servicios de una patóloga de habla espectacular, con un temple especial, ella sabe quién es y siempre me acuerdo dee lla con mucho cariño.  Ella certificó que Gabo tenía un retraso de un poco más de un año en su desarrollo de lenguaje.  Con ella empezamos, junto con la terapista de Avanzando Juntos a ver mejoría en la comunicación verbal, lo cual se tradujo en una leve mejoría en su conducta.
Cuando por fin la Terapista Ocupacional lo pudo evaluar y por fin nos emiten el diagnóstico de Desorden Sensorial…respiré.  Ya teníamos el culpable, pero ¿ahora qué hago?  Que era esto y porque le tocó a mi bebé.  Y más importante como lo trabajo para que Gabo pueda integrarse bien y tener una vida normal.  Pensé que habíamos llegado al fin y resultó ser que ese era solo el comienzo.

¿Qué es el Desorden de Procesamiento Sensorial?
Es un problema a nivel neurológico que les impide interpretar y ordenar apropiadamente las informaciones que reciben a través de las terminaciones nerviosas del cuerpo, el cerebro y los nervios sensoriales están desconectados.  Las reacciones pueden ser exageradas en muchos casos.  Para un niño con DPS las transiciones en su rutina diaria no son bien toleradas, se asustan y se distraen fácilmente, tiene mucha dificultas para dormir.  Pueden no tener suficiente tonicidad muscular (parecen saquitos de papa), comen mal, rechazan hábitos de higiene como cortar el pelo y cepillarse los dientes.  Pueden tener problemas para realizar actividades cotidianas como vestirse o hacer tareas, pueden parecer torpes, no le gusta jugar brusco ni que lo toquen o lo abracen, pero lo tocan todo.

Los niños se diagnostican como hipo-sensoriales o híper-sensoriales.  Pero en casos particulares se pueden presentar rasgos de ambos.  Las características, sintomatología o rasgos ( como le quieras llamar) son bien similares a las de un niño dentro del espectro de autismo. Este desorden no es muy conocido, para mi sigue siendo novedad y todos los días aprendo algo nuevo.  Cuando registre a mi niño en el Dpto. de Educación Especial, nadie nunca había escuchado sobre el desorden y curiosamente por no ser un desorden médico no lo consideran elegible para terapias ni ayudas.  Gabo fue determinado elegible por el retraso de habla, que estaba directamente ligado a su desorden (por el déficit vestibular)  y le dan ambas terapias.
Han sido casi tres años bien fuertes, emocional y económicamente hablando.  Se determinó que Gabo es un niño hipo-sensorial (sensory seekers), con un déficit severo proprioceptivo y vestibular.  Gracias a la intervención temprana y a sus terapias diarias hemos logrado grandes avances, pero aún hay mucho camino por recorrer.  Prontamente termina Head Start y comienza Kindergarten.  Se cree grande y ahora lucha por su independencia cuando está sensorialmente organizado.  No me arrepiento de haberlo hecho cuando lo hice.  He escuchado a muchos padres que esperaron por las razones privadas que ellos solo conocen y cuando hablamos la conclusión es la misma “Debí haberlo hecho antes”.

Hasta la próxima


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