Category Archives: Parenting

Family Update 2016-2017

Welcome back to Piece of Cake Life! While many people have dubbed 2016 “The Worst Year Ever”; I don’t. We dealt with many trials and loss last year, however; because we are rooted in our faith and sound in our home, we are not shaken. We might have walked through fire, but guess what?! We don’t smell like smoke!

Patrick is still loving his military career! His dedication and favor has allowed him to promote quickly up the step-ladder and will be earning  sergeant rank by year’s end! He spent nearly 20 extra hours each week studying to pass his computer certification and after 14 months, he did! This was such a victory because this test was rated at the highest difficulty and was a huge obstacle-it really was miraculous that he passed! He had the good fortune to do a temporary deployment on the Azores Islands off the coast of Portugal last summer for 2 weeks. He brought me back wine, cheese and pastries- I think I’ll keep him!

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Sadly, my grandma (mom’s mom) went to Heaven last summer. She raised my cousin who is now 22. My cousin became a single parent a few weeks after. Patrick was able to devote extra time to study because I was busy on the weekends care-taking for my cousin’s baby while she worked. Just this month my Uncle Junior (Basil, my mom’s brother) also went to be with Jesus. Although the last six months have been intense. I am able to look beyond the situations and garner lessons along the way. I’m intent on focusing on my business this year-I’m creating garments for kids with sensory aversions. You can keep up with me throughout the year on youtube at Piece of Cake Life.

Tatianna started middle school last fall! It’s shocking how fast she is growing. She sometimes catches me staring at her changing face. Tia is a brilliant artist, she delights in making comics. She is constantly making new story lines. Her goal this year she says is to “actually finish one!” Most of her friends are boys which is so nice because she doesn’t bring home a lot of “friendship drama”! She is our Rainbow Baby and spreads cheer wherever she goes!

Ethan is so cheeky! He is very funny and loves to joke with us. Apparently, at school he is a saint! I’m just grateful he knows where to act crazy and where not to! His main joy in life is Pokemon, Pokemon, Pokemon! Soccer is right up there too, we allow him to play in the house as long as our nerves can stand the sound!

This spring marks our 20th year together. We are so proud! We have had great joy and sorrow but have remained steadfast! We are so grateful for God’s grace and those that counseled and encouraged us along our path! Cheers to a purposeful 2017!


Concon Family Update 2016 and a Special Message

Happy Easter Everyone!!!

fam 2

This was taken outside of a new restaurant in our little town.

God is SO Awesome!! This Easter is a most special one! Tatianna is celebrating her 11th birthday! She came 7 weeks early on March 27, 2005 on Easter Sunday, this week is the only time her birthday will fall on Easter day for at least 30 years, maybe ever in our lifetime!

Tia’s was chosen to be born on that special day. Her birth allowed me to experience for the first time a glimpse of the overwhelming magnitude of love God has for His only Son and all of humanity. Some of you may remember that I had serious medical problems 3 days after her birth, my sudden condition baffled all the “expert” doctors at Cedar-Sinai and rendered me with slurred speech.

The night before I was to be discharged (Tia was still in intensive care) I was terrified because I was not well and was petrified I wouldn’t be able to care for my baby! I cried out to God in prayer to speak to me and He did. He said, “This is a spiritual battle, not a medical one, you will be healed in the morning and all your tests will come back negative.”

Around 7 am the next morning my mom’s cell phone rang waking us all (Patrick too). It was my mom’s friend Silvia calling from the east coast. (She didn’t know I was even in the hospital). She said God gave her a message, “Tell Corrita: ‘To rise up and be healed!” I exclaimed from my bed, “THANK YOU SILVIA!” She had confirmed what God spoke to me the night before. My voice was clear and I resurrected out of that bed full of life and joy!

The Holy Spirit spoke to me the following day.  He said, “The physical and emotional pain you suffered – the hurt of not being believed, the humiliation of being mocked, crying out in desperation- that is just a glimpse of the pain I felt on the cross on Calvary. And the love you have for your daughter is just a glimpse of the love I have for you!” I was so immensely humbled my this message that I got face down on the floor in awe and gratitude and cried.

Tia was born on Easter so that I would never forget the immeasurable love our God has for me and all of us! He loves each of us as if we are His only son or daughter! Hallelujah!

Now for a family update!

Patrick absolutely loves his job as a commuter technician aka “computer doctor”. He was recently promoted to Senior Airman in the Air force. God has favor on his life, he works with super people and has job flexibility! He commutes 120 miles a day and fills that time with podcasts of Joel Osteen. We have been together 19 year and I have never heard him say he “loves” his job until now. Thank you Jesus!


I call myself the “family manager” I take this title seriously. Patrick, the kids and our home are my first priority after God. I am thoroughly engaged in their school, hosting people and serving at our church Wave LA. Family dinners are paramount. God has given me a vision for a specific business and I am pursuing that-pray for me please! If Patrick and I look so happy, it is because we are, we are so in love, we make our marriage priority. We have been on two Air force sponsored marriage retreats in the last 6 months (free fun!) and go on regular dates!

Somebunny's birthday is this Sunday!

The script says:Somebunny’s birthday is this Sunday!

Tatianna is a gift from God! Her name means “cheerful”. People constantly comment how sweet and mature she is. I try not to tell people she is “perfect” so she doesn’t feel she can’t fail, but, man, she is close to it! She loves Jesus! Tia is a great and dedicated student. She has a passion and gift for animation, she draws every night at her drafting table! Her sport is basketball like her daddy! She starts middle school this fall!


Ethan means “steadfast heart”,read: persistent. Let’s just say he is causing Patrick and I to stay connected to God in regular prayer!  He is super cheeky! E.J. is an excellent student but doesn’t want to do more than he “has” to. I guess he likes efficiency :)! His sport is soccer all the way, he plays almost everyday. Pokemon is his love language! He is part of a tight trio of boys that we host weekly.

Every day that we are on this earth is a day granted for us to fulfill our special purpose, I pray you are busy and fruitful in that!

easter card

Photo credit:  my sister Kiara Caesar

Kiara is a G.I.A certified jeweler, her site is


It’s the Little Things…

I bought this dress for $16!

I bought this dress  for $16!

I recently began a new job! I’m working 22 hours a week in my neighborhood. As parents we are already busy, so anytime you add in something, you have to take something off your proverbial plate or make adjustments to keep your family centered. I refuse to have one of those chaotic families who don’t know which way is up (that could have spiritual parallels)!

Here is an overview of some of the tweaks and tricks our family has implemented:

1. Although soccer practice is twice a week, we only go to one practice-that way we have a weeknight with no after school commitments.

2. I sneak in a twenty-minute nap almost daily, that way when my kids and hubby come home I’m not too tired to be nice.

3. I hired a middle-schooler to fold ,hang and put away our children’s laundry-this is the best practical decision I have EVER made! My Bella is a punctual, local and polite magical fairy who I NEED in my life (kids have other chores)!

4. On the same topic, I make Bella and our family’s life easier by buying one style, size and color of socks for the kids This may seem insignificant; but these little things streamline our lives! No wasted time matching pairs!

5. We have at least four family dinners a week, this way we have time to reconnect and laugh and learn about each other, we usually top it off with a family board or card game.

6. We have no pets. My theory is that I have enough breathing beings to look after. My son hates dogs so there is no issue there, for my daughter, we foster dogs sporadically during the summer to scratch the itch to own and help save a life (all while accruing volunteer hours for the young-ins)! Boom!

This $5 box from Container Store is a way to quickly assemble snacks and salads

This $5 box from Container Store is a way to quickly assemble snacks and salads

7. My husband and I have committed to one night away at a hotel each month. This helps me have something to look forward to and keeps our marriage at the cornerstone of la familia!

8. I wear dresses almost everyday-“One and Done!” Dresses are the easiest piece of clothing to wear; there isn’t a more simple way to get dressed. I feel polished everyday and I spend no time deciding on what to wear. I add leggings, boots and a cute jacket in colder weather. If you are not a “dress person” (try to be ;), decide on a daily “uniform” that flatters you and makes you feel and look good!

9. We alternate between Blue Apron and Hello Fresh for meal delivery. This forces us to have family dinners and gourmet meals on the regular. This is a great investment in your life management!

10. Last but not least!- I start my morning by meditating on the verse of the day on my You Version Bible App; by adjoining a quick prayer, it allows me start from a centered place and conquer the day. Before I go to sleep I read a daily passage from “My Utmost for His Highest”. This is a devotional classic! I go to bed with a right mind and some Bible teaching.

Bonus: I swear by adding Benefiber (generic version, which is only corn fiber) to almost everything I eat and drink! I have it labeled “Magic Fairy Dust!” and keep it in a sugar jar from Home Goods to pour easily. I sprinkle it on food and stir it into drinks. I keep a vial in my purse to use at every meal.This makes me feel satiated for many hours and reduces my net carbs. It balances my blood sugar so I don’t get hangry and keeps my weight in check so I don’t have to “work out” (I walk daily).

fairy dust

Do you have some tricks up your sleeves that keep you grounded?


image This post is months in the writing. I have been pondering how and when I should compile it. Here is a warning: do not read any further unless you are willing to expand your ideology and attempt to receive a different perspective on a highly controversial topic.

At the end of last school year I had a “chance” meeting with a mom I had never met. She came up to me and said “I’ve seen you around at school and events and wanted to introduce myself”. I was thrilled with her kind (and sadly rare) initiation and proceeded to exchange the regular questions; i.e “what grade are your kids in, who are their teachers, names, etc. When she told me her child’s name I asked if it was short for something. Mom replied ” Oh, you don’t know?!

“Know what?! , I asked. She began to explain to me that her daughter is transgender. Being new in town; I had been tipped off to this during a brief conversation about a transgender child being disallowed to participate in a gender-divided group discussion at school-but I had never actually seen or met the child. This encounter was about a week after Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair cover; we laughed that she was “on-trend”.

I was curious to learn more about their journey and she graciously obliged. Mom shared that from the time her child was a toddler she exhibited female personality, behavior and characteristics. As a small child she was perpetually sad and always felt she was in the wrong body. Like any parents, mom and dad were confused and wanted to help their child. They joined a support group to access more information regarding the situation.

The moment of finality came after their child blew out his birthday candle, when asked “what he wished for”, his somber answer was “to be a girl for just one day”. That’s the moment he became she. I asked Mom what it’s like being in such a small town like ours and going through this transition. She insinuated that it had been a disappointing experience.

We walked side-by-side down the park hill to join the school group. My heart connected with hers and I shared that I am a devout Christian. I empathized that people can be really unkind and it’s mostly because they are uninformed. We gave each other a big hug as if we had known each other for years.  I insisted that as Christians we are “to love first“! “Love”! The Bible asserts that “this is how people will know us”! “It’s by the way we love”. (1Peter 4:8) It is that simple. You don’t HAVE to understand being transgender to show love.

As we approached the large group of parents and students I discreetly asked if Mom could point out who her daughter was; as if on cue, her child, adorned in a flower crown came skipping up and wrapped her arms around her mother.

I was dumbfounded!

This child looked JUST like a little girl! Had I not known I would have never guessed she was transgender.

I felt so privileged to have run into Mom that day. Of course in life there are no coincidences. I was meant to just “grab something out my car” at the same moment she approached me.

While watching a recent episode of I am Cate -Jenner’s docuseries; Caitlyn’s friend, when referring to dating said, “we live in a world where we don’t belong”. My heart sank. The suicide rate is astronomical in the transgender community. Some argue that it’s because they’re struggling within themselves. This is partially accurate. Based on primary accounts, the direct correlation is linked to how others perceive their gender status.

Jesus was notorious for communing with those society deemed “the untouchables”-like lepers. In 2015,  transgender people would fit this description. Jesus said “whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 24:40) I’m exploring how God can use me to show love to these sons and daughters and help them feel like they do belong.

Crying over Candy

Yesterday, I was at The IKEA “Mecca”. It is located in Orange County, and  is huge! Instead of a food counter they have a full-on restaurant. We all ate for less than $20 and that included a full rack of yummy ribs. The only weird thing is that the cinnamon rolls my son loves are on a different level.

After lunch, while Hubby and the kids were in line for rolls, I wandered off to the side to check out the Swedish marketplace. I found myself in front of a “wall of glory”-at least it is for a kid. It was a floor to ceiling display of all this candy that I remember from my youth. I spent six years of my childhood in Germany. Europe holds for me idealic memories. The wall was called Lordagsgodis, this is Swedish for “Saturday Candy”. The idea is that Swedes would visit an old-fashioned candy store for a weekly treat.

I was entranced by the polychromatic bins eagerly seeking to find the favorites from my youth; gummy cherries and blue sharks were two of my faves that I did see. I didn’t see the little gummy bottles of Coke I remember-probably because these were technically Swedish picks;not German.

Suddenly, my eyes got misty. I started to think about how simple and sweet my life was as a kid holding a baggie of delight. At age six or seven I wasn’t worried about how the treats would affect my blood sugar or how many I could have in relation to the amount of sit-ups I was willing to do. My life was pretty divine then. On the whole, my current life is glorious in many ways, but there is something about that innocent time where you have so little to plan for, worry about, budget for, even pray for.

A worker asked me if I needed help with the rainbow-ed confections I told him “No, I ‘m just standing here crying over candy!” He laughed, and listened to my explanation, also sharing his beloved memories from a trip to Germany. He said “You should really get some!”

I told him “I would, but I have a temporary crown in my mouth and I can’t have sticky foods!”

Grown-up problems.

They Grow Up So Fast!

Father's Day on the trolley

Father’s Day 2015 on the trolley

Last night, hubby and I were chatting about how much our children have changed and grown. He was telling me how he doesn’t notice major changes until they have arrived because he sees them everyday. I explained to him that every mother has been advised by the little old lady at the mall or grocery store that “they grown up so fast”. I shared that it is such a conflicting concept because the younger years can be difficult and tiring which makes you want them to grow up faster, then when they do; you want to put the pause button on.

We recently visited some relatives that were eager to give us unsolicited advice. I was not prepared for this block of questioning and was later annoyed when I realized it was a planned discussion. The topic was me getting a full-time government job -thus securing my personal financial future and allowing us to own a home; that would in some way set up our children to own a home too.

My hubby was trying to reassure me later that I have to push the thoughts I had about being railroaded out of my mind because these family members aren’t going to budge from their ideals. I felt insulted by the discussion because I feel that by insisting that we do something other than what we are doing is saying that what we are doing is wrong. I tend to analyze conversations.

Here is what I know. My kids are halfway to adulthood now. They will only be kids for a short while. We will all be adults for scores-God willing. No government job or retirement planning is going to have me miss their youth. I am privileged that I can work part-time while my kids are in school and be there everyday to greet them and hug them at pick-up.

One day this past spring at pick-up, my daughter crumbled in my arms because she was upset about a lunchtime citation she received.She never gets in trouble and was embarrassed and confused. I can’t imagine if I wasn’t  there to scoop her up and console her. And would a caregiver know to skip the usual after school plan to go to a math center and take her home to where she felt emotionally safe?

I will never regret the years I spent caring for my kiddos. I will never regret whooping it up at the glow-in-the-dark Dance-a-thon or panning gold for Gold-Rush week; or springing my daughter and her friend from school for lunch on her 10th birthday and zipping around town for ice cream and shopping. I’m never going to regret watching my son’s power-point presentation about soccer in class or helping his classmates come up with blessings to write on their paper turkeys last November.

I always knew this was the life I wanted to have and the mother I wanted to be.

Hormones, explained…

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As promised, I mentioned that I would give a more in-depth explanation of what hormones I use in my post Hormones and Heebie-Jeebies. It all started back in 2004. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage at age 21. I was devastated! My mother intuitively told me (she has the Heebie-Jeebies gift) that she believed I had low progesterone. I did some research and learned it is one of the most common reasons women miscarry. Essentially progesterone is like the glue that keeps the embryo attached to the uterine lining. If you are deficient you will likely miscarry before 14 weeks.

I went to see Dr. Uzzi Reiss in Beverly Hills. He began as an Obstetrician-gynecologist, but now does only anti-aging and hormone therapy. Dr.Reiss utilizes a compounding pharmacy that creates hormone creams, suspensions, etc., like estrogen and progesterone made of plant-based ingredients like yams. These are not synthetic hormones like Premarin.

I use both progesterone and estrogen. When I had my blood test it showed my hormones were super low. It is just that way from genetics. So like a vitamin, I’m putting back in what my body needs. I started taking progesterone by mouth in an olive oil emulsion after my pregnancy loss and used estrogen cream on my forearms. I conceived healthfully two months later. Like a yin and yang, you usually need both to balance your body. I later started taking a progesterone cream that I also rubbed on my inner forearm. This is totally safe when pregnant, in fact the only known side effect is higher I.Q. in children!

After Ethan’s birth when I was certain I wasn’t having anymore births. I began taking progesterone internally. This administration has a neat bonus in that it provides a contraceptive.This is not an “approved” method, meaning the FDA won’t let him call it a contraceptive. The suppositories I insert every night  make it so those little swimmers have no vehicle to travel in by removing the mucosa typically found near the cervix. Like most hormonal birth controls you can eventually stop having a period and ovulating. With natural hormones this is totally fine. Remember, the purpose of a period is to prepare your body for conception. If you are not conceiving this is totally safe! I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW AMAZING THIS IS! Someone asked me for a tampon last year at my yoga retreat, I seriously had a moment where I thought “what are those and why would she ask me that!”

Most PPO’s will reimburse these prescriptions. Also, it can be a medical tax deduction. Most doctors like Dr. Reiss don’t take insurance up front. Every year I have to see him in person for a 15 min consultation to renew my prescriptions. There is no other expense besides food that is more important to me. When I’m feeling hormonally balanced, I feel happy, and when I’m happy, my family is happy, and when they are happy, I’m happy, and so it goes.

Any questions?

I’m happy to answer….

Birds, Bees and Baby Jesus

Tia at the mall after the ladies with curling irons recruited her.

One early December evening not so long ago, talk of Baby Jesus led to talk of sex. It started with something like; ” how did Baby Jesus get in to Mary’s stomach”?. Having spoken to hundreds of people over the last decade about sexual health through Reality Check; I knew when the day came for me to explain more in depth about reproductive workings I wouldn’t skip a beat.  However, in this moment all I could do was clamor for words.

I continued that “Baby Jesus was put in Mary’s tummy supernaturally- sort of like magic”.
“Was I put in your tummy like that”?, my daughter asked.
“Not exactly”, I slowly uttered.
“So, Mommy and Daddy both have parts that fit together and can make a baby”.
“Oh, sort of like animals”, she replied.
And that was the end of that conversation that night.

Just last week week we continued with this conservation. My daughter will be eight years-old next month and we are noticing signs of early puberty emerging. This is on the heels of a devastating loss for her. Her carnival fish of 40 months just died! It was heartbreaking for me as well because I was its main caretaker and fed it every morning and night. My sometimes-wise 15 year-old brother recommended we wait until Friday after school to tell her about “Guppy’s” death (to avoid interfering with school). We checked into a hotel so she would have a nice experience to take her mind off of it- it really helped!

My daughter’s first and only pet-Guppy (very missed)

That night; while relaxing in the jacuzzi, I continued with our aforementioned puberty discussion. I told her that she is starting to become a woman and when she is about twelve she will start to menstruate.
“What’s that”? she asked expectedly.
“Every month your body, called your uterus will make a lining of blood to prepare for a baby, and if no baby grows the blood will come out your vagina (we always use proper anatomical terms with our kids). “It’s not a bad thing when this happens.”

The birds and bees (and Baby Jesus) are best if incorporated in a string of continual conversations. There is no need for a “sit-down” discussion-that can be really unnerving for both the listener and speaker. I will say- the car is a fantastic place to converse because you don’t have that awkward eye contact.

Ongoing talks will definitely alleviate anxiety in your changing child , my daughter was so  excited to know that she is “becoming a woman” she spread the news to grandma at her next visit.