Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Learn The ABCs Of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus )

This post is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with MedImmune and Latina Bloggers Connect.
* As always, opinions are my own. *

One upon a time I had a baby and like every other mom who loves her children, I worried. A lot. Although much has changed in twelve years, two things have remained constant: my worries and the fact that the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is as dangerous today as it was when my son was born. Especially scary is that there's no cure for it, so the best medicine is prevention.

"Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers (and two-thirds of Hispanic mothers) have never heard of the virus" 

I was one of those women who'd never heard of the respiratory syncytial virus. So imagine my reaction when the pediatrician told us that our baby was at higher risk because of his having been born prematurely.

If you're expecting, have a baby under the age of five, or know someone who does, you should familiarize yourself with following facts of figures.

ABCs of RSV: Facts and Figures

A is for Awareness:

"RSV is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year
  • RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
  • RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five
  • Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers (and two-thirds of Hispanic mothers) have never heard of the virus

B is for Babies:
  • Premature babies—defined as those born before 37 weeks gestation—are most at risk for developing severe
  • RSV disease because they have underdeveloped lungs and fewer antibodies to fight the virus than babies born full term.
  • Amongst Hispanics, the preterm birth rate has grown six percent over the last decade. Currently one in eight 
  • Hispanic babies is born premature and it is likely that high prematurity rates are a reason for increased risk of RSV within Hispanic communities.

C is for Contagious:

RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. Learn the symptoms of severe RSV disease and contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]" 


RSV Infographic

Remember, prevention is the best medicine. For more information go to www.rsvprotection.com

Have you had any experience with RSV, or did you know about it when you had your children?

Friday, February 21, 2014

SPANISH FRIDAY: ¿Un Perrito, Dos Perritos, Cuál Es La Diferencia?

Amigos Inseparables -- mijo estaba enfermo cuándo tomé esta foto.

Learn more about Spanish Friday!

¡Tengo muy buenas noticias que compartirles! 
Hemos decidido conseguirle un compañero a nuestro mascota, Albert. 

I have great news to share with you! We've decided to get our dog, Albert, a companion.

Albert buscando su compañero en linea.

Lo que pasa es que nos da mucha lastima dejarlo al pobre solo tantas horas durante el día.

The thing is that it bums us out to leave the poor guy alone for so many hours during the day.

Soy gato.

Cuándo no estamos en casa, se la pasa durmiendo arriba del sofá, como un gato.
¿Se ve triste, no?

When we're not home, he spends his day sleeping on top of the couch, like a cat.
Doesn't he look sad?

¡Que flojera!

Este perro excéntrico nos ha traído tanta felicidad. Sí, al principio nos volvia locos (y todavia), pero como cualquier otro miembro de la familia, lo aceptamos con todos sus defectos y malas costumbres. Nuestro perro nuevo llega entre junio o julio. Lo llamaremos -- Einstein.

A ver cuales aventuras nos esperan.

This eccentric dog has brought us so much happiness. Yes, at first he drove us crazy (and still does), but like any other member of the family, we accept him with all his defects and bad habits. Our new dog arrives sometime between June and July. His name will be "Einstein."

We'll see what adventures await us.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Have Spiders For Friends?

I'm all for personal development. Getting over fears. Stepping into rather than away from challenges. Yet, there are two fears I can say with confidence that you will NEVER see me attempt to conquer: heights and spiders. Sure I've heard of people jumping out of planes and getting cozy with spiders to make them friends, but me thinks no thanks. Never. Nunca. Jamais!  It's against the natural order of things.

How about micro exposures? Isn't that how most phobias are challenged. Fear of crowds? Hang out in a lobby. Fear of snakes? Hang out at the zoo. Fear of spiders?

Spiders of Massachusetts

Maybe exposing myself by viewing spiders in a safe environment like on a computer screen could help me along? Nothing crazy there. Why not try it?

So I googled "spiders in Massachusetts," and low and behold there's a beautiful page with photos dedicated to the 39 species of spiders living in my state, about 38-37 more than the couple types I've seen since moving here (and a Facebook and Google+ link in the event you want spiders in your social network and circles). I thought that maybe scrolling through the photos and reading about them might help me be less fearful … here are some noteworthy key words:

"Mature females are enormous …"
"This robust spider …"
"Spin dense, non-sticky, sheet-like webs, with a funnel-like retreat where the spider hides [italics mine]."
"The circular webs are built close to the ground …"
"This striking patterned species is a wandering hunter …"


That's about as far as I could scroll -- the Six-Spotted Fishing Spider -- before my scalp tingled and I started to get that barfy feeling in my mouth. Is anybody else surprised to learn that spiders go fishing?

How to Overcome the Fear of Spiders

Thought I'd share this uber visual article on How to Overcome the Fear of Spiders for any of you who would like to attempt facing your spidery phobia. I could barely get through the illustrations. It's not a rational reaction, I know, but turns out seeing them on the screen is as real to me as seeing them in person.

Do you have a fear of spiders? Or have you gotten over a fear of them? How did you do it? If you're not afraid of them (lucky you), why not?

Please share your logic!

Thursday, February 13, 2014



by Ezzy Languzzi 

Veranos at home
We were never alone

We played
Each other’s company
Through the heat of the day

Paletas de jugo
Chilled us to the bone

Side by side on the curb
Our futures unknown
We longed to be grown

The butcher
The workers
The gang members, too
Watched as we skated
The afternoon

¡No Más!

I think that pretty much sums it up. Even the dog is sad.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who Gets To Say Who's 'Proud To Be'?

Teaching Tolerance is an educational organization founded by the Southern Poverty Law Center that raises social awareness in classrooms through its free resources. They shared this two-minute video on their Facebook page this past Sunday. The clip was posted by Films For Action. It's short and powerful. If you are someone who "doesn't get why some people are so angry" over the use of the name (racial slur) "Redskins" for a football team's mascot, please watch it a couple times and sleep on it.  Then watch it again.

Unfortunately the National Congress of American Indians did not have the funds to pay to air this spot. I wonder what the reaction might've been had it aired given the vitriol to hit social media over the Coca-Cola spot.

Take the time to read the comments. Then sleep on those, too. And read them again. I've included one below.

How does one reason with someone who's incapable of empathizing or acknowledging that by virtue of their unearned privilege they get to call the shots, so to speak? It's the very thought process (or silence) that has led to our country's history of racial injustice, not to mention the extermination of this land's indigenous people.