Paw Patrol and Diversity in Families

I should blog more about cartoons and how they are shaping our young children.

It’s being done in a subtle way if you ask me.  I’ve moved on since Ian’s fascination over Peppa Pig has faded and now a days Paw Patrol and Sponge Bob have taken stage center.

One of the things that kind of pinpointed the impact these programs were having on Ian was when we brought home Albizu (our puppy) and he asked me,

“Why doesn’t Albizu talk?”


Is this kid going nuts or what?  And then, BOOOOOM it hit me!  The pups in Paw Patrol spoke, so he kind of figured our puppy could do it as well.

I then explained, that the pups in Paw Patrol were not real pups and that real pups didn’t speak.

As his obsession with Paw Patrol went further I began noticing some things about the program.  For instance, Mr. Porter (a character on the show) has a grandson who’s name is Alex (which always gets in trouble).  Alex’s parents don’t figure on the show and basically his grandfather takes care of him.

They are both a family unit, which brings family diversity into perspective.  Today in our society we can find many grandparents taking care of their grandchildren.  When Ian goes to preschool he is going to be okay if some of his friends are taken care of by their grandparents.

He’s going to be able to see this as normal.

Mr. Porter (which seems to be in his middle years) is doing perfectly well, taking Alex to his dental appointments, first day at school, getting his patches in something that seems like the equivalent of our Boy Scouts and so on. Alex hasn’t mentioned his parents once on the show so it seems their non-existent.

Thinking across these lines,,,,

maybe their at work,

or on a business trip,

or just darn busy to be attending to all the nuisance small children bring with them.

For whatever reason  Mr. Porter is stuck with Alex and he seems to love it and his grandchild. He fits him in his busy schedule in the store.

So you see my dear friends, today’s cartoons are a bit more than you would think. We have to take time to watch television with them, that way we’re sure to know when to explain why things are happening and get hold of what they are learning as things that seem normal.

Next time, we can try to figure out where are Ryder’s parents and why Kally is grooming the pets and not saving the world.

Don’t forget, “If your ever in trouble, just yelp for help”.

“Hasta la próxima.”


A Dog, Some Cats and Christmas

Some time ago a stray cat made its way to my house.  As a matter of fact, I refuse to feed strays because that would make them linger, but my dear husband usually deaf to my instructions went on to feed her in our garage.

Which makes me a horrible person.

Not to my surprise the stray stayed on and to make matters even worse got herself pregnant.

By that same time, my sister-in-law asked me if I wanted a puppy she was giving away. Her puppy was a mixed breed of Pitbull and a big fat question mark (unknown daddy).

I was hesitant to adopt the puppy because of its genes, or so I told myself.  Pitbulls have a bad rap to them, so my thoughts went back and forth trying to figure out what to say, yet remaining nice enough to communicate my negative with a smile on my face.  I didn’t want to rearrange my routine because of a puppy.

The thing is my dear friends, that my youngest son was admitted for the master’s program he wanted and my sister-in-law was lucky enough to talk to me straight away we heard the great news, which lead to me saying YES to my new adopted puppy and naming him after the school where he was to begin studying in January.  My euphoria lead me to welcome Albizu as  the newest member of our home.

In the meantime my stray cat had her kittens and by that time her complete family of six were getting on my nerves.  They took over my garage and littered it in the process.  It was so bad that I refused to even go get my car and someone (namely my husband) would have to valet it for me on a daily basis.

So, he began his campaign to give away the kittens and made me a happy camper, but one was left and as my cousin came over to visit with her kids, an idea came creeping in my head as to having them take the unwanted kitten to a nearby sports facility where kids usually play basketball and people gather once in a while.  Her timing was perfect because my husband and my boys were away enjoying a movie at an afternoon matinee.

What could be wrong with that?

I followed through and the plan that was already drawn in my head was executed.

The last kitten was shipped to what would become her new home (which by the way was a total fantasy).  She was motherless and her siblings were far gone from where she would have to learn to survive.

As I fetched her, Albizu watched with lazy eyes from the comfort of his house without a care in the world.  From the day he came, he has been loved regardless of his genes because I let him into my heart.  Whereas those dreadful cats weren’t even given a chance because I basically refused to let them in.

Have you ever heard that,  no crime is perfect?  I’m not even kidding about the crime part, I did actually break the law about leaving animals to their own devices.  I’m not sure the statue of it because literally the cat wasn’t mine.

Well to my surprise, my plan backfired when one of my sons decided to go and play some ball with my cousin’s son (the same ones who helped me carry out my crime).  When he saw the kitten he flipped.

He came home mad as hell, and gave me a piece of his mind.  I felt the most horrible person on this planet and to make things worse I began thinking about the dreaded kitten to the point that I couldn’t sleep much last night and probably will try to fetch it back and try to find it a home.

The worst part is that I like to see myself as a compassionate person, and I’m not sure about that anymore.  I disappointed and caused him unnecessary grief, he’ll probably hold it against me until hell freezes over.

My compulsion to keep my things and life ordered, took me to the point where my compassion and tolerance to a kitten lead me to cut it out of my life without a second thought. It was something that was bothering me so I dealt with it.  However, I did it in a very wrong way.

As the Sun rises today and we celebrate Christmas Eve a time of giving and helping not only others, but nature’s creatures all around us the words he once told me resound bluntly in my head,

“Mom, men are dual beings, one same person can do great good and at the same time also be capable of great evil.”

So you see “mis queridos amigos”  he was describing me, myself and I.  What I did was horrible, but is already done. Like most things I’ll just have to deal with the remorse and learn a lesson along the way.  My own words haunt me today as I have to make myself believe in the good I have in myself and of what I can make of it in my world.

But hey, who said life or ourselves were perfect.  At the end, it’s all about our choices.

“Hasta la próxima.” and Merry Christmas.






Pretty powerful word, if you’d ask me any given day at my whopping 48.

I’ve been up and down and all away around in my life. That’s why I named my blog,  Believing, the Ups and Downs of Life.

All of us strive or want to strive on becoming better people.  More accomplished, successful, some might want to be rich, others may want recognition, or just want to do something different with their lives.

via morgueFile


All I want to do is basically find purpose.

It’s not that I don’t have purpose in life because I certainly do.  My family life has always been straight and center for me.  When I married twenty-eight years ago, and then became a first time mommy almost twenty-five years ago everything changed for me.  Running my home like a fine Swiss watch has always been my pride and joy.  But, I want a bit more for myself now.

The thing is that when you are almost fifty,  the vibes you get from the people who sometimes surround us is that basically life is over.


I don’t like when people say,

“You know, what can I do really?”  –  “I’m almost fifty.”

Well let me hand down the memo and tell you that there is so much you can do, about basically everything.

We have the power to change whatever we don’t want in our lives.  The only thing we really need to do is believe we can, and go ahead and  do it.  Most of the things we need to make those changes are just right inside us.

Not everything has to do with how other see or think about you,  it’s more about how you see, think and feel about yourself.

Some people complain about their weight, others about their job, others about church, others about their families, others about their finances, but really guys, at the end it’s all about just that complaining.

Most of us don’t do hoot about resolving the issues we complain about.

Today is a new day, full of opportunities to make all those little changes that can lead up to huge ones that will impact all aspects of our lives.  The first thing I need to do and probably you can also give it a try is to change the way we think.

Let’s free old grudges, restore relationships (that are worth it) or move on to new ones, embrace life with all its mishaps (we can’t control), and basically try to find happiness and above all hope.

This doesn’t mean everything will be fine and dandy because they are times when we are just pissed off, but we have to learn to handle that last part.  Being angry isn’t even such a bad thing because positive things can come out of it if we learn to use its energy.  Just don’t hurt anyone in the process.

So, you see “mis queridos amigos” hope and believe are two simple commands that can make a world of a difference.  Today is a great day to reinvent yourself even if it’s in a small way.

Never stop believing. 




Have I been worthy?

I’ve always kept journals.

When technology wasn’t what it is today, I wrote in small notebooks.

Once in a while I like to read what I’ve written so many years behind and bring the people or the things that were happening to me during that moment up to date.

One of those special events in my life, are by the far most “birthdays”.


I love birthdays, it’s like celebrating New Year’s Day all over again.

It’s not about if you’re fat, skinny, bald, or what ever pains you, related with how you look (don’t get me wrong everyone wants to feel and look great), however I like to think it’s a bit more than that.

Today not only my family, but those who know us celebrate my husband’s birthday with great joy.  More so because he almost didn’t make it past his late twenties.

He had a failing liver and was diagnosed with cirrhosis when he was twenty-five. However, that’s another story to tell.

The point is with each birthday we not only celebrate his new year, but the blessing of life.

Health, love, friendship and life, “mis amigos” are things many of us take for granted.

He has worried over the years  and an ever present question has nagged him  with each coming birthday,

“Have I been worthy?”

Most of the time, I don’t even answer right away because I know part of his question is rhetorical and my opinion would be that,  “Absolutely, he has been more than worthy.”

However, I’ve always thought,

“Worthy of what?”

Well, it seems he’s been asking me all these years, if he has been worthy of living.

Going back to my life records (Journals),

I’ve lived times where I would have wanted to kill him,

others where I have loved him all over again,

others where I was more than grateful to have him in my life as he cared for me when I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis,

others where I have seen him as a loving parent, treasuring each moment along the way,

others becoming a caring son for an ailing father taking it to another level as he  ironed the clothes in which his Dad would be put down to rest, and

now caring for his Mom with everything he’s got in him, what can I say?

All of this couldn’t have happened because he wasn’t suppose to make it to his 28th birthday, and

Today twenty years later, in the warm circle of family and friends he can surely feel that he has been more than worthy to have gotten a second chance at what we call life.

So, you see my dear friends once in a while life throws us a curve ball and we get lucky enough to catch it.


Gratitud: A Healing Power

Every now and then at noon I would enter his office with a,

“I didn’t bring lunch money today.”

Usually he was on the phone or doing something and his secretary was off during noon, so basically I would just stroll in to his office.


As he handed me a five dollar bill  (five bucks was the allotted amount each time), but I took them and let myself out and tried to grab a sandwich and go back to my job as a legal secretary in a nearby office.

Never ever did he question or ask me why. He just provided and kept on doing whatever it was he was doing.

I’m talking about my father in law, who was much more a father figure than in- law.

Not only did he provide my lunch money every once in a while, but also he bought our house, and many other things along my life. In other words, he went from small to big and everything in between.

He improved my life in every imaginable way.  He was our handy-man, he took my oldest child to school for her first three school years, our wing man in every financial decision we made, he was a major contributor in each project (he would always offer to split the bill on every major repair our home went through), he pulled us through as my husband waited for a liver transplant eighteen years ago, and in so many many many other things I fail to list here.

A time ago, a cousin told me that people who were gifted things didn’t appreciate them.  That they needed to work hard for them in order to really appreciate them.

I differ because I was given many things by this great guy and I appreciate them every day of my life.

Many years have passed since he became an important part of my life and today I lost him to cancer.  Facing this terrible disease hasn’t been easy for him or us as a family.  During these times I tried to give something back to him, but still I feel that I could have done much more.  Nothing I did seemed enough.  I wanted to shout “thank you” with every thing I did for him or my mother in law.

I’m happy in a sense because he didn’t enter that scary last stage of the disease where the only thing people talk about is the staggering pain their family members experience.

As the hospice nurse told me with a sympathetic voice,

“Nothing really alleviates the pain, it’s too much.”

He left before any of that happened.

Today as I said my goodbyes I felt overwhelmed with memories and with a bit of regret.  Wanting to do more…wanting to take back some things I said or did since that Christmas Eve in 1983 when my today husband took me to his home and I experienced for the first time how a family should celebrate Christmas.

When everything was said and done,  I only could quietly whisper,

“Thank you for everything Dad. I couldn’t have wished for a better father.”