Taking the Girls to Ballet Class

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Some footage of the girls at ballet class.  I just want to share some of the things we do to show a positive way to stay active and raise our families.

 It's really important to have your children involved in extra curricular activities.  It helps them find positive outlets to express themselves, get exercise, and also socialize with kids their age that are active as well.  The last part is really important because kids that don't have anything to do will find bulls#@! to get into like sex, drugs, and all other forms of delinquent activity.


We have 5 children (3 girls, 2 boys).  One of our rules is to make sure everyone stays active.  Everyone plays soccer, except for our baby.  The boys play basketball and the girls take dance class and will probably start cheerleading this year.

They usually have something else going on in addition to that stuff as well.

We live right next to the girl's dance school.

They go twice a week.

All of the girls head to dance class together.  Our baby just sits and watches.

She can't wait to get started though.  I can tell.

Nani's class is longer than her younger sister so she patiently waits for her turn.

The Face You Make When Your Kids Don't Listen In Public

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You know the face.  LOL

Captain Puerto Rico | He's Reppin the Flag

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Captain Puerto Rico. Did anyone else catch that?

Flying With Kids Pt 2 | International Flight With Children

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flying with kids

We flew over 7 hours straight with four children and everything went smoothly.  Here are some tips on how you can replicate complete with some pictures and video from our trip.

This is basically an update to a post I made years ago about an international flight with my children.

It doesn't have to be torturous or horrible if you plan ahead.

Have plenty of activities, snacks, and it doesn't hurt for them to take a little sedative (like Benadryl) beforehand.  I'm definitely not ashamed about that part because I've witnessed how horrible it can be if you go without.

Pre-Flight Check

Make sure you have games, toys (preferably new), medicine, movies if possible, and a parachute just in case they kick you guys off the plane.  We stopped at the Subway in the airport and fed everyone right before we checked in at the gate.  After that everyone except for me and daddy had a dose of the pink stuff.  That is so crazy that there are Subway restaurants all over Brazil.

Games, Games, Games


You definitely want to give your children plenty to do.  We had a laptop and an iPad on our long flight.  We've since upgraded.  All the children now have child-safe tablets called Funtabs.  These

LaLaVazquez | You Can Be Puerto Rican And Black Too!

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Interesting article, I can relate, being Puerto Rican and Haitian.  My skin is light complexioned but not all the Puerto Ricans in my family look the same.  Some look mixed and some do not look mixed at all.  That's just in my family so you can image what the entire island would be like.

Psst... this post is for everyone, including Latinas.  For some reason a lot of us don't seem to realize that Latino is not a race, it is more like a cultural category.  I remember when I was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC and I overheard this misguided Latina telling another dark skinned Latina that she had no business being at the parade because she was black and not Puerto Rican.  That was a sad day for Puerto Ricans everywhere.  I was disgusted. Doesn't she know her own history?

Ever heard of Roberto Clemente?  My daughter did a report on him in school, yay.  How about Feliz Trinidad?  There are many more examples.  And just because someone isn't dark skinned doesn't mean they aren't an Afro-Latino.  Seriously, looks wise African Americans and Latinos have a lot in common.  Look at LaLa and me for example.  Who's to say that we aren't African Americans?


It's funny because here in America lots of people do not realize that there are black Latinos.  With all the Afro-Latino baseball players you would think people would have some kind of clue.  So people shouldn't act like it's weird to meet an Afro-Latino.  I just got through living in a country (Brazil) where the majority of the people were black.  Matter of fact, if you are black they are more likely to assume that you are a native of the country.  Puerto Rican, Cuba, and the Domincan Republic/Haiti have lots of people who look just like African Americans here in the USA.

I think this is important.  Especially for Afro-Latino families.  Don't dance around the race issue.  School your children and raise them to be proud of who they are.  Let them know there are millions of people who look like them all the way from the Caribbean to the tip of Argentina.  The secret is out.


LaLa Vazquez wrote a personal note addressing all the drama that tends to ensue when people discuss her (and other Boricuas' for that matter) racial background.  She says that while both of her parents are Puerto Rican, that makes her Puerto Rican.  But she also says that doesn't mean she's not "black" as well.  LaLa explains that black and Puerto Rican are not always mutually exclusive...and she schools people on her Latina heritage and what she teaches her son Kiyan.

Carmelo Anthony is half Puerto Rican as well.
 
Her words when you read the rest...

    A lot of people don't realize that I'm Latina, which is fine. One thing about being Latina is that there isn't one look that comes with the territory. I don't expect people to know my cultural background just by glancing at me. I do, however, expect that when I tell people my family is from Puerto Rico, that I will be believed and not accused of trying to be something that I'm not.

It usually goes something like this: a person having a conversation with me discovers one way or another that I'm Puerto Rican and fluent in Spanish. That person then expresses their shock over these realizations for any number of reasons--common responses are, "You don't look Latina" and "I thought you were black!"

I never said I wasn't black. And since when does being black and being Latina have to be mutually exclusive? In my experience, people tend to have an uninformed and rather narrow view of what it means to be Puerto Rican. For me, not looking like some people's idea of a typical Latina has been challenging and often painful.

I constantly find myself trying to justify who I am, and why should I? I'm proud of my heritage and my family. Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico. They raised two kids in Brooklyn and later in New Jersey, where we ate arroz con gandules and pasteles and listened to salsa music. I feel just as at home in Puerto Rico, where I still have tons of family, including aunts, uncles and cousins.

Puerto Rico is in my blood. And that has nothing to do with the color of my skin. I'm not angry with anyone who doesn't understand the complexities of race and culture. And I'm also not interested in having long, drawn out conversations about how it's possible for me to look like this and speak Spanish. In fact, sometimes I make it a point not to mention my parents' birthplace because I don't always feel like having the inevitable discussion that follows. Instead, I let people look at me and come to their own conclusions.

As I start to get my feet wet in Hollywood, I already know that there are certain parts I won't even be considered for. The character can be Puerto Rican and speak Spanish just like me, but Hollywood defines Latina as Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. As beautiful as they are, we're not all one race in Latin America. But I don't go to auditions so that I can give history lessons to film executives. I'd rather skip the entire process.
I'm raising my son to understand who he is, and it's my hope that he'll never let others define him. It reflects poorly on us when we don't educate ourselves about the rest of the world and what it looks like. I encourage people who are interested to learn more, do research and ask informed questions. If you're lucky enough to visit various countries in Latin America, you'll be baffled to see the blackest of the black and the lightest of the light living together. And I dare you to ask one of them to prove their latinidad.

Very interesting.  Your thoughts?

Joell Ortiz Connects Healthy Living, Overweight Emcees & Hip Hop's Marketing

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Exclusive: Joell Ortiz details his lifestyle changes, how it affects his music and why you should opt for fruits and veggies instead of Newports during your next bodega visit.

 During a casual listen, it sounds like Joell Ortiz is having a great time on his 2007 single, “Brooklyn Bullshit.” “So what I ask for an ace on your cigarette / On the first and third I’m happy ‘cause all the fiends get a check,” he rhymed. But by his own admission, Joell says that behind the jovial talk of chipping in for a bag of weed and buying beers on credit was an excellently crafted rhyme about essentially poisoning himself with an unhealthy lifestyle.

“I was living what you call the rock star life—nightlife heavy, and diners at 5:00 or 6:00 am,” Joell explained. “I was eating cheeseburger deluxes and things of that nature and just not taking care of myself.”

Despite the preventable deaths of emcees such as DJ Screw and Big Pun, living a healthy lifestyle has long been one of Hip Hop’s taboo topics for some. Conventional thinking holds that we would rather have our favorite emcees healthy so they are around longer. Granted this isn’t new territory, as artists such as 50 Cent, dead prez and others have released products to help incorporate their own healthy lifestyles with their musical careers and business interests. But in the wake of New Year’s resolutions of shedding weight and living better—resolutions that often don’t make it to March—Joell Ortiz lays out a non-preachy blueprint for a balanced way of living. The Brooklyn emcee is considered dope by many regardless of his weight. But here, he explains how he woke up one fall morning in 2012 and decided to change his way of living.
Joell Ortiz Speaks On Changing His Lifestyle & How It Affects His Music







HipHopDX: What does September 3, 2012 mean to you?

Joell Ortiz: Oh, I woke up that day, and a long time before that day I tried doing the same

CHANGE OF LIFE

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@ the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Change of life.

 Since arriving back in the U.S.A after living in Bahia Brazil for almost 4 years my family and I have done 3 life times worth of living.  We found a nice place in the suburbs of Columbus, OH. We got our children in top schools that are helping them with the dramatic change from growing up and studying  in a foreign country,


We welcomed our newest addition to the family on February 27,2013.  "Our Buckeye baby"


We bought one of the best cars in the world for a family of 7. Ford Freestyle 3 row 7 passenger suv. And yes we did have to go through the whole process with getting our drivers license all over again and everything. I really felt like a teenager having to take the drivers as well as the written part of the test to receive our Ohio State drivers license.



 We also placed all four of our other children in all kinds of extra curricular activities,camps as well as participated in many local events.

The girls are in ballet class, right here in Canal Winchester.  They are loving it so far.  Their dance school is so close to our house that we can walk to class.

It's called Studio C, check it out www.dancestudioc.org.



Our four oldest are playing soccer for Upward.  They are having a great time!  It's a pretty cool faith-based organization.  They have multiple sports leagues.  Check them out upward.org.



 W have had a wonderful 9 months back in the States. We are truly blessed to have had all of these amazing adventures and I am looking so forward in our new journeys to come.

With our children growing and learning so many new things as they find their way and passions in life. I cant help but to share my joys and gratitude with the universe.

Thank you for allowing me to share this awesome information with you!

My Experience Living Overseas

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mami



Living overseas in Salvador, Bahia-Brazil has really opened my eyes to new and amazing ideas.  My whole outlook on life has broadened beyond measures.  I totally appreciate everything in my life more and have learned to exercise more patience from living here.   I have learned so much from some really great people and I am glad that they were placed in my life when they were.  

My children have been raised here in Brazil for over 4 years now and they are no longer strictly “American”.   What I mean is we have been here for so long and they were so young when we got here that they don't really have any solid memories of the Unites States.

We moved here for a more natural relaxed life and tropical weather.  Well we got all of that plus some.  We learned a new language, culture, history, and way of life.  We have been on an adventure from the time we stepped on to the air plane.  We have lived in many neighborhoods all over the city and have experienced the different classes and quality of living.  This really made an impression on us.

To witness rich and poor people living together side by side was mind boggling.  In the U.S. people that are doing well financially live as far away as they can from the lower class communities.  In Brazil, even though a lot of the upper class live in closed condominiums with doormen/guards, there is usually a favela or hood just down the street.


How To Cook Plantanos | Puerto Rican Style

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Fried Green Plantains (Puerto Rican Style)


It's funny because living in Brazil I noticed that nobody here eats fried green plantains.  I guess it's a Caribbean thing.

Whats New | Baby No. 5

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Now that I'm pregnant with baby #5 I have been inspired to start writing a new book.  This book will be all about my experience being pregnant all 5 times.  My aim is to help soon to be mom's and new mom's by sharing my story.  Some times I look around at all these beautiful little people in m house and feel like "WOW" I cant believe they all came out of me.   The whole process of pregnancy, labor and delivery is amazing and I believe every women should share that story with other women.  Every pregnancy is different and each one has some unique and powerful information that can help a new or soon to be mom. I am happy to be living in the Information age where I am able to give and receive information.

This was the test that confirmed the arrival of the new baby!  I was in denial  for about 1 month before I took a test. 

Having another baby changes everything......I have a lot to think about like do I want to have another baby in Brazil or should we go home to have baby # 5? It's been almost 5 years since we have been back to the states.  My four children aren't all babies anymore and they are growing up with a new and wonderful experience but they do not know our family back home.   We are definitely thinking hard about this next step in life.  


I HAVE A NEW FACE BOOK "LIKE" PAGE

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I have been having lots of fun with my new Face Book "Like Page"

 click here to "LIKE" and get all the new updates pictures and more!

  http://www.facebook.com/mamiknowsbest 


DREAM BIG AND CREATE

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2012 has been wonderful for us here in Brazil and I expect it to get even better.

The family is doing marvelous the children are growing up so fast and are brilliantly advancing spiritually as well as academically.  My husband and I are so proud of them they really make us stay in this game called life.   To WIN of course!

With the children getting older we can now have more fun and start planning big trips around Brazil, Hawaii, and other Islands along the way.  My dreams are BIG and pursuing them makes life amazing.  Just being able to say I been there and done that makes me smile and it gives me joy to look back on my accomplishments.

That is the power to my purpose whether I accomplish all my goals or not I still make new ones quite often and believe that one way or another all my desires will be met.  That is pretty important in following the universal life laws to a full and happy life.  Looking back at the past 28 years of my life no one would have ever guessed that I would have chosen this path for myself.


I use to say that I was never going to have children after being stuck tacking care of my younger siblings when I wanted to hang out with my friends as a teenager... lol.  And it will be 10 years in August of being happily married.  I give thanks for that. :)  I am happy to be an example of young love and family.

I also like to encourage everyone reading this to dream Big and Create their worlds and Build their own realities because thats what living life is all about.  Peace and Blessings!