NPR and CBSLos Angeles

This week has been very exciting. I was interviewed for a piece on NPR called In Many Families, Exercise is by Appointment Only. NPR Reporter Patti Neighmond and photographer David Gilkey spent the day with me, my boys and a couple of their friends as we drove from basketball practice to baseball practice. The piece was very well done. I felt it was an accurate depiction of our lives because I spent most of the time in the car telling the boys to stop it.

Also exciting, CBS Los Angeles interviewed my partner, Sarah Auerswald, and I for a piece about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting for employees at the company. We both thought that was a bad idea. Here’s the interview.


The Milk Truck

The picture above is from the video “El Camion de la Leche.”  It was shot in the Blogger Nicole Presley’s East Los Angeles neighborhood and you can see her and her son in part of the video. It’s really sweet and I love that it recalls the days when milk trucks would deliver bottles to your door. More than 50 of Nicole’s friends and neighbors came out for the video to enjoy a glass of milk before bed.

One of the things I’ve loved about working with the California Milk Advisory Board and the Latina Mom Bloggers is that the other bloggers and I have been able to talk about our children’s bedtime routines. It’s been so bittersweet for me because I wrote a post about the difficulty getting my boys to go to bed now that they’re 7 and 8. We’ve tried milk before bedtime in the hopes it would help them sleep and we’ve really enjoyed reading the bilingual bedtime stories like Las Olas de La Luna, which you can find and download here. 

Then the other night my boys put on their pajamas, brushed their teeth, turned off the light, and went to bed. I did nothing. I didn’t have to tell them that it was time to go to bed. I didn’t have to tell them 10 times to put on their pajamas. And I didn’t get a chance to read them a story. It made me happy and sad at the same time. I love reading to them and playing songs like this one from the adorable Milk  bedtime commercial. And I love to give them a hug before bed. But on the other hand it made me happy that they were able to get themselves to sleep on their own and get a good night’s sleep, which is the goal, right?

If you’re looking for a little Positivismo, stay connected with El Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno on Facebookand Twitter.

This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.



Memories of a Bedtime Song

When I was a little girl I never wanted to go to bed. Ever. I would sneak out of my room, tiptoe down the hallway and sit in the corner not making a sound. My parents would watch Johnny Carson or reruns of the Dick Van Dyke show (I was obsessed with Rob and Laura Petri and their perfect house in New Rochelle and Rob’s comedy writing job in Manhattan so far away from Tucson).

Sometimes my parents would find me asleep in the hall and carry me to bed. Other times they would see me and drag me back to bed. My mom would tell me it was time for “Mimi’s” and she would sing the “Mimi Lu Lu” song and I would drift off to sleep.

I thought that everyone had this experience and everyone knew this song. I would mention it to other kids and they thought I was crazy. From then on I thought my mom had made it up. Then in my 20s I met a woman who knew the song. She even had lyrics.

My version has no lyrics and when I sing it to my boys. They know it as “Mimi mimi mimi lu lu, mimi mimi mimi lu lu.” I’m not terribly creative so it just goes like that until they fall asleep. They seem to love it.

I’ve been thinking a lot about our bedtime routine and how it can create special memories for kids. Latina Mom Bloggers and the California Milk Processor Board sent me the adorable bedtime story “Las Olas de La Luna” that I’ve been reading to my boys in both English and Spanish. There is an entire collection of bedtime stories here that you can read to your kids while they sip on a glass of milk before bed.

I hope that when my boys get older, they think of the crazy song their mom sang to them and ask their friends if they’ve heard about the Mimis and the Lu Lus.

This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

If you’re looking for a little Positivismo, stay connected with El Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno on Facebook and Twitter.


Las Olas de La Luna (The Waves on the Moon) and Milk Giveaway

Bedtime at my house usually involves my two boys running around the dining room table yelling that they’re not tired. Like I mentioned before, we have a pretty solid bedtime routine even if it sometimes doesn’t work.

After they’ve run themselves out, my boys put on their pajamas and then we read a story. Well, now that they’re 7 and 8-years-old the stories are very different than the sweet and calming “Goodnight Moon” or my favorite, “Snuggle Puppy.” Now it’s “Superhero Squad” or any book with man in the title; “Batman, “ “Spiderman,” “Ironman.”

We are always on the lookout for new books and I was thrilled when Latina Mom Bloggers and the California Milk Processor Board sent me the adorable bedtime story “Las Olas de La Luna.” It’s about a girl who thinks the moon is made of milk. I love it not only because it’s sweet, but it’s in Spanish and English.


I recently enrolled my boys in Spanish classes so I’ve been on the lookout for Spanish/English books. (Any recommendations appreciated!) We read this book together and it was great to see how my older son could make out some of the Spanish words before I read them in English. My younger son is a reluctant Spanish learner so he complained a little and then fell right to sleep.

You can now download Las Olas de La Luna and many other adorable stories at Then grab a glass of milk and sit down with your babies and read. Milk at bedtime can be a comforting ritual that may help your child sleep better.

If you’d like the books plus milk sent to your home, just enter this contest for a chance to win. I’m giving away one (1) Two month supply of milk via a $40 Walmart Gift Card, and a hard copy of the Bedtime Stories Book Collection. (Please note that the book will be sent within 4-6 weeks from the conclusion of the giveaway.)

To enter, please visit and leave a comment below telling me the name of your favorite bedtime story before midnight Oct. 8.  To enter, you must live in the United States and be 18 years of age and up. Good luck!

If you’re looking for a little Positivismo, stay connected with El Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno on Facebookand Twitter.

This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


It's Time To Go To Sleep

mom blogger los angeles yvonne condes

mom blogger los angeles yvonne condes

One of my claims to fame with my circle of friends was that I could get my kids to go to bed every night at 7. I’m not much of a routine person; they never had a nap schedule that I kept to, but bedtime was a different story. Every night, my husband or I would read a story to our boys and they would climb into bed and go to sleep.

Well, I knew that it couldn’t last forever and over the last year, bedtime has gotten harder and harder. My boys are 7 and 8 now and they go to bed between 8 or 8:30. And sometimes they go to sleep and sometimes they get up 10 times because they’re hungry, want a glass of water, or want to see what we’re doing. Even the nights they’ve gone to bed late, one of them will stay up and call “Mama…mama….mama..mamamamamamamamammama…MAMA!” I’m at my wits end and I’m about to turn to an old fashioned remedy to see if it works.

The California Milk Processor’s board has an adorable new commercial about getting kids to sleep. Having a glass of milk before bed may help kids to sleep better and be more alert the next day. In researching this, it appears that there it could be a psychological reason that it helps. It’s comforting like a warm blanket. And milk is a protein rich food that will satiate their hunger.

We’ll see what happens, but in the meantime check out the “Ya es hora de ir a la cama” (it’s time to go to bed) television spot that is airing on Univsion and Telemundo between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the west coast. It’s so cute.

If you’re looking for a little Positivismo, stay connected with El Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno on Facebook and Twitter.

This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood on PBS KIDS Premieres Sept. 3, 2012

mom blogger los angeles daniel tiger yvonne condes

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” premieres Monday on PBS KIDS. Daniel Tiger was inspired by “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” as you may have guessed by Daniel’s sweater and sneakers. The show is about Daniel and his family and friends living on Jungle Beach. (Daniel is the son of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood’s”,  Daniel the Striped Tiger.) The show is geared toward preschoolers and aims to give kids valuable life skills like dealing with their emotions.

It’s filled with cute songs and lessons about how to share, how to manage anger, and how to use manners. Here is the shows creator, Angela Santomero, talking more about the show and the importance of teaching these life skills to young kids.

She created the show with the help of the Fred Rogers Company. Here is Joanne Rogers, Fred’s wife talking about the show.

To learn more about Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood watch this preview or  check out this infographic.

mom blogger los angeles yvonne condes daniel tiger pbs

Or if you want a more interactive experience, try the Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. It’s really cute and has 4 games for kids to play including bedtime, doctor, “in the bathroom,” and also a page where your child can decorate a room with stickers. My boys had a great time decorating Daniel’s bathroom with toilets.

mom blogger los angeles daniel tiger app yvonne condes

 Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood premiere’s on Labor Day on PBS KIDS, in Los Angeles it’s on PBS Socal.

(I was not compensated for this post, but I am a member of PBS KIDS VIP.)

'Raising Kids to Love Science' Twitter Chat

sequoia stem yvonne condes mom blogger

sequoia stem yvonne condes mom blogger

My boys love science and nature. I love the outdoors so while it may be easy for me to get them excited about nature, I’m at a loss when it comes to science and math.

That’s why I’m so happy about Tuesday night’s Twitter chat hosted by The Maker Mom, aka Kim Moldofsky. She is starting a monthly #STEMchat and this Tuesday’s is about “How to Raise Kids Who Love Science.”

I’ll be on the chat’s panel along with Liz Heinecke of The Kitchen Pantry Scientist and Joanne Manaster of Joanne Loves Science. I’m already intimidated. Liz is a microbiologist and Kid Science App developer. Joanne is part of the Scientific American Blog Network.

I hope that what I lack in scientific knowledge I can make up for with enthusiasm for STEM education.

The chat will happen on Twitter with the hashtag #STEMchat this Tuesday evening, August 21, from 8-9 PM Central (6 Pacific, 9 Eastern). What’s a Twitter Party? Click here to find out. 

Dear Husband, Happy Father's Day (A Little Late)

Two Saturdays ago, I was working diligently to finish a Father’s Day video for MomPulse. I had just pressed saved and was sitting back and wondering if my husband would think the video was too sarcastic when the computer went “Poof” and shut off. It actually made that noise.

My computer was dead. So instead of me showing my husband his video on Father’s Day, he spent the morning trying to save the computer’s hard drive. Well, I have to say that my husband is not only a great dad, but a great IT guy and he managed to save everything. At first I couldn’t find the video, but I recovered it yesterday and wanted to share.

Breast Feeding; It's Not As Easy As It Looks

baby bottle mom blogger los angeles

“You’re starving him,” the pediatrician told me.

I looked down at my baby and started to weep. It had been a difficult pregnancy and it wasn’t any easier after my son was born. The doctor told us that nursing was simple. In fact he said, “I’ve only seen it not work once and the woman was doing it wrong.”

So basically, any idiot can nurse a baby. Just not this idiot.

When my son was born he came out blue. He was whisked away and within minutes (it felt like hours) he was back to me, pink and beautiful. When I tried nursing him, he couldn’t latch on. Years earlier, I had been there when my sister had her daughter and I remember what an overwhelming moment it was when my niece immediately started nursing. But for my boy and me it didn’t happen like that.

Not for lack of trying, though. The first night in the hospital a nurse grabbed my nipple, squeezed hard, and shoved it in my baby’s mouth. She then grabbed the back of his head and pushed. This wasn’t an effective breast feeding tutorial for us. Nurse after nurse came in and tried using a similar method. On the last day my son seemed to be getting enough milk.

But when it came time for our visit to the doctor days later it was clear that wasn’t the case. He was not gaining weight and had lost more than was normal. The doctor said to give it a few more days and supplement with pumping and he would be fine. The doctor suggested pumping every 2 hours and feeding every other hour until my milk came in properly. So that’s milk production every hour for 24 hours. The options were to do that or start giving him formula.

Formula was not an option. Everything I had read (and I read everything) said that if I didn’t nurse exclusively then I would give my son Type 1 Diabetes. My husband has Type 1 and another autoimmune disorder, celiac disease. Having those diseases aren’t the worst thing in the world, but I was going to do everything I could to make sure they didn’t happen because I couldn’t handle a breast pump or because I needed a few hours of sleep. So I became a nursing machine. I slept a half hour here, a half hour there. I was depressed and crazy. And when anyone told me I was depressed and crazy (they used nice words like postpartum depression) I didn’t listen. I had a job to do.

We went back to the doctor. He weighed my son and shook his head. “You’re starving him.” I burst into tears. I was failing at the one thing that was supposed to be the easiest thing; taking care of my baby. “You have to give him formula.” So even though it wasn’t what I had planned or wanted, my husband mixed a bottle of formula and fed my baby while I went to sleep.

When I woke up it was quiet. My baby wasn’t crying or fussy because he had eaten well, probably for the first time. And I wasn’t as crazy because I wasn’t as sleep deprived. There was no book that had prepared me for that (or what was to come), but I know that a couple of bottles of formula didn’t do irreparable harm. All the information I had on how it was supposed to work and what I was supposed to do made me feel like I was doing everything wrong. After a few weeks of supplementing with formula, I was back to nursing full time.

That was 8 years ago. I wish I had known about mom blogs then, but it was just me and the books.