About La Mother Tongue

La Mother Tongue is my medium to share the joys and challenges of being a new parent as well as to share how we make a conscious effort in our daily life to bring baby up bilingual.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Noche Vieja

¡Feliz Año!
Noche Vieja, el 31 de diciembre, has always been a family affair for me. What we used to do and what we now do with Sofía and what we will do in the coming years will be different. So my husband and I spent a while thinking about how we could start our traditions that would make sense keeping in mind our old traditions and what would be our new traditions.

We, particularly me, do not like to be out on the roads AT ALL on Noche Vieja. My husband’s aunt always has the familia to her house for a huge reunión, but when she moved over an hour away, we decided that we weren’t into making the drive or spending the night. So we decided that we needed to establish something of our own for us, Sofía, her future friends, and anyone else who may want to participate.
We decided on a fiesta. A Noche Vieja Fiesta where we make a bunch of different pizzas and crostadas for desserts. It’s fun, everyone can participate at any age and it’s yummy!! (not to mention easy clean-up).

We can still do our regular Noche Vieja jazz as always, which is uniquely Latino and entertaining. One is to burn an Año Viejo, the second is to walk around the block with a suitcase and the third is to eat grapes at the toll of Midnight. The Año Viejo is a paper doll of some sort that is burnt to symbolize the eviction of all the bad from the previous year. The jaunt around the block is to bring good luck in the form of trips somewhere. I must confess that this year we did NOT do these two things for Noche Vieja. We got rid of our old grill and need to buy a new one, thus, there is no place to actually burn the Año Viejo and I don’t think that my neighbors would understand us burning it in the street like they do in Colombia. The suitcase thing…..I JUST PLAIN FORGOT!!! I was running around doing the other party things that it escaped me to take Sofía for a stroll before bed. She would have LOVED it. We also decided that between pizza eating and crostada crunching, we would play board games while waiting for the ole ball to drop. We don’t usually play games but thought it might be a fun thing to start…and it really was!! My husband and I played an electronic version of the game LIFE (Sofía was faaaaasssst asleep!)

Now that we have actually established what we want to happen in our family Noche Vieja Fiesta, I think it will be easier come next year…..not so much brain power getting used up so less chance of forgetting everything!! We had a blast at our Noche Vieja Fiesta…so if you are in town next year, you are welcome to join us!! Just don’t forget your suitcase!

¡Feliz Año!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

¡Feliz Navidad!

Every year at Navidad or Weihnachten, my grandmother used to ask about our Árbol de Navidad, want to come and see ours as well as invite us to see hers. It wasn’t like we weren’t going to see each other during the month of December, but it was always something that she wanted to make sure she got to do. When I started to live out of town and she couldn’t come and see the Árbol de Navidad, I started taking fotos of the Árbol de Navidad for her. I may not have pictures of everyone at Navidad, but I always, always, always have a picture of my Árbol de Navidad!

So here is our Navdad en fotos y videos!

El arbol gigante y adornado.

Mami y Sofia abren regalos!

La Abuela Maria, Sofia y Mami.

Papi y Sofia hacen los wafles del desayuno!

Nacho snoops around the regalos!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Noche Buena

Our Holiday traditions are a blend of old and new, some from this country some from other countries, some from my familia some from my husband's. When my husband and I first started dating, we found it important to establish our own traditions, not so that we could do our own thing, but so that we could have traditions that we could carry out wherever we lived and with whomever.
We, like much of the world outside of la USA, celebrate Noche Buena, or Chrismtas Eve. We always hold Noche Buena at our house. We bought a dining room set that seats 20 people comfortably with the intentions that we would ALWAYS hold Noche Buena at our casa. The night functions something like this: We eat dinner around 8:30 or 9:00PM. Sofía is asleep. If she wakes up that is fine, but like last year, she slept through the festivities (which we can’t believe). Dinner is long, leisurely, and filled with lots of food and desserts. This year we served prime rib, lamb, esparragos, tomato and fresh mozzarella salad, roasted papasmelón and pan. Dessert was a scrumptious red velvet cake cheesecake with white chocolate frosting from the Cheesecake Factory via Costco. I wish I had fotos of these things! About 11PM, the guests saunter into the family room and hang out on the sofá (digesting).
We served kettle corn that is To Die For, so that they could munch on something while we prepared the hot chocolate, Pannetoni, and cream puffs. (I did say this was a mixture of cultural and familia traditions!) Right before midnight, we served our Sparkling Sofia Wine (fom Francis Coppola Winery) in our fabulous Champaign flutes so that we could all do our Feliz Navidad Brindis. Then we open regalos and then everyone goes home. It is about 1:30AM and we really are exhausted every year. We are full of food and festive jolly from our friends and familia, but we just want to go to la CAMA! We know we will have a full día ahead of us with Sofía and more gatherings of the familia and will need to recharge for more Festividades. We can’t wait until Sofía is just a little bit older so that she can partake in Noche Buena also!  For now, she will be refreshed and opening all her regalos in the morning on Navidad while her parents have a sleep hangover!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa Christmas Party

Last year, my friend Amy told me about a Christmas Party she had attended where Santa Claus made an appearance and gave all the little ones presents.  I was hooked and had been planning this Santa Christmas Party for a YEAR!  One of my husband’s uncles played the role of Papa Noel just as his father had in years past, so it was a nice tribute to his recently deceased father.  Each family snuck gifts to me as they entered the casa and since we have a fireplace upstairs, it was simple for Papa Noel to get into our house unnoticed.  The kids LOVED it and Santa was awesome!  Sofía even squealed (a high-pitch room-stopping squeal) with delight, I kid you not!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Primer Nieve del Año

Sofía and I went outside to play in the nieve which was the first real nieve of the year.
I bundled her up in her “buutas”, snowsuit, and gorra. (The mittons are a ridiculously unsuccessful story.)

She insisted that her beloved Perro also dress for the cold weather.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Galletas de Navidad

Every year we make tons of galletas de Navidad to share, to give away and to eat of course.  This year, Sofía was able to take a more active role in the process.  She really enjoys helping us bake and cook.  In the video she signs “sucio/dirty” a lot.  The sign is made by putting the back of your hand up to your chin and wiggling your fingers.  She also eats a lot of cookie dough!
Disclaimer:  I think I was not able to talk and roll cookie dough at the same time.  When I went back to edit the video, I heard myself say things that just didn’t make sense.  I know that the word to need dough is amasar although it is evident that it didn’t slide off my tongue!  If my husband can make up words, then I can too! (At least mine isn’t on purpose!)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Pa – Pa - Pátos

In an earlier post, I mentioned that Sofía LOVES her zapatos.  Her favorite ones are the faux black patent Mary Janes and she knows that when she puts on a dress, that these “pa –pa-pátos” as she says, will be sliding on her little pequeños pies.  She also has a favorite pair of slippers, pantuflas.  She doesn’t differentiate between pantuflas and regular zapatos.  When she wants either one of them, she will ask for her “pa –pa-pátos”.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

¡¡¡Feliz Cumpleaños a Mí!!!

In spite of my cumpleaños being in Diciembre, I LOVE it.  Yesterday my very wonderful husband took the day off to spend it with me.  We celebrated by going to the Willard Hotel in Washington DC.  Every year they offer TEA during the holiday season and this year that is how we celebrated my cumpleaños.  Sofía loved to climb the stairs and walk down the stairs and really TEA time is speckled with so many different kinds of customers (very snazzy to tourists) that no one was bothered by a 22-month-old.  The idea was to go and visit the National Christmas Tree and the display of all the states and territory trees, but with a wind chill of 2 degrees we just couldn’t take her out to brave the short walk.  We’ll go next week maybe if it is not sooo cold!  Afterward at home, we had torta and regalos!!!!  Evidently, Sofía has been to enough cumpleaños to have learned something new.  She saw the torta and said, in ENGLISH, “appy bitday”.  We were speechless!!  

Monday, December 13, 2010


As a language teacher, you are very in tune with what words you use to express yourself and how you express yourself.  When you teach young language learners, I think this becomes amplified.  You don’t change your natural speech or language use, you are just more aware.  I guess this is important to point out because I strongly believe that language (both foreign and native) need to be taught using a natural, language-rich environment of normal speech instead of focusing on teaching vocabulary and changing how one speaks--- I guess it is part of me being a Language Nerdo.  My point is that I’m aware of what I say in either language.  So imagine our surprise when Sofía pokes her head out of the playset and says en Inglés, “Peek-a-Boo, I see you!”.  My husband and I looked at each other very confused.  In case you may have forgotten, we only speak en Español (except for a few choice words) to Sofía.  We asked each other if she said what we thought she said.  We both know that that expression, “Peek-a-Boo, I see you” is not one we use.  Just not part of what we say.  Sofía continued to say her Peek-a – Boo phrase more frequently and more clearly, in various correct contexts.  The next day, she wanted me to follow her into the next room and she motioned to me with her hands and said, “Come, ven.”  I immediately got on my cell phone to relate this new thing to my husband.  We couldn’t figure out where in the world she learned the phrase or the use of the word, Come.  So I started thinking of all her language input environments.  I went through my mental checklist of Baby Signing Times DVDs, her canciones and then I stopped.  Although I THINK I figured out from where the Peek-a-Boo phrase MIGHT have come, the reality is that Sofía’s environment of language input is vast and freckled with both Español and Inglés.  While her vocabulary is small and limited I might be able to track the input, but, as it has begun to boom in the past three weeks, there really is no telling exactly from where she learned what.  We think that she learned the Peek-a-Boo phrase from the older neighbor girls who come to play with her once a week.  All we know for sure is that we don’t didn’t say it---until now that is!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

¿Dónde Está Sofía?

Like many toddlers, Sofía likes to play the game where she covers her eyes and you are supposed to ask out loud “Where is Sofía?” or “ ¿Dónde Está Sofía?” I will often ask the people around us if they have seen her and eventually she will “appear”.  Now she has made up new rules to the game.  She tells us whom to ask, “¿Dónde Está Sofía?”  before she covers herself and we HAVE to ask that person or thing.  It ranges from us asking the gatos, her peluches, or lately the cocina and the mesa.  She becomes soooo very excited about this new game that she can barely stay hidden because she is anxious to tell us the next person!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Adornando el Árbol de Navidad

Papi helps Sofía hang the first adorno on our Árbol de Navidad.  We give her adornos every year so that she will have her own when she moves into her own house (when she is like 51 of course).  Some of the adornos are simple, some are from the Hallmark series.  This year we gave her a girafa since she was a girafa for Halloween and the Number 1 from a Hallmark series since she is one year old this Navidad.  She also hung the little bota where she will later be storing her letter to Papa NoelThat evening she learned to say “árbol” and “ángel”…both of which she says “nite-nite” to every night before going to sleep!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Los Alumbrados

One of my favorite things about Diciembre are the alumbrados that are pop of everywhere. Since I’m sure that it is in Sofía’s genes also, we decided to take her to a park that boasts to have elaborate moving alumbrados. It was a hike and of course entrance doesn’t begin until when the sun sets around 5:30pm. We trapsed out to Bull Run Park to see this awesome Navidad light display. I’d been saving the discount coupon for over a month! We packed Sofía a lonchera so that she wouldn’t be famished when we arrived late for dinner.

What a disappointment. It would have been a disappointment had it been free and next door to my house. Disappointment isn’t the proper word…farse is way better. But no more negativity, we made the best of it. After the alumbrados they had a little carnaval. It was a pleasant surprise and even in the 25 degree weather, we had fun. Sofía and Papi played a “pato” game where she could pick up the patos as they floated by and win a prize. And alas, the evening was vindicated when we saw a much loved and coveted, CARRUSEL!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

An Árbol-Trimming Party

La Abuela invited all of her nietos over to her house for An Árbol-Trimming Party.  The nietos decorated cookies and took turns hanging ornaments on La Abuela’s árbol de Navidad.  It was nice to do things for Navidad early in the month too!  After eating dinner and placing more ornaments on the árbol, there was a ceremonious lighting of the árbol.  It was a lot of fun and the long afternoon wore poor Sofía OUT!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Fotos con Papa Noel

Sofía went early this year to take fotos con Papa Noel!  We learned a lot of really interesting things about Papa Noel on our visit which we will try to share later.  Sofía likes Papa Noel.  He is the only other adult that she went to last year without crying.  This year he gave her a coloring book!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Árbol de Navidad

Our family always buys a real árbol for Navidad. We have a spot in our house with cathedral ceilings and that is where we place our usually 14 foot árbol. This year we decided to find a Granja de Árboles Navideños to cut our own árbol. We found one a bit far away, but had a great time in the process. The process took the entire day by the way. La abuela came with us and ended up purchasing her own árbol also, so we tied dos freshly cut árboles to our nuevo carro and traipsed back to civilization. Result: a beautiful big fat árbol to call our own, topped with our sore muscles and back aches from dragging los dos over the hills and through the woods to our carro. Guess who ended up doing most of the dragging!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Signing Times Vocabulario Navideño

¡Feliz Diciembre!  Here is the Signing Times video clip with vocabulario for the Holiday Season!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Signing Times Versión En Español

Since we are strong believers and promoters of the Baby Signing Times DVD series, I feel compeled to write a small review about our recent purchase of the Signing Times VOL 2 DVD.  In a recent post, I commented on how we purchased the new edition of the Signing Times DVD because they have included an audio track en Español and so we needed to check it out.  I’ll keep it short and sweet.  It is HORRIBLE!!! Horrible, horrible, horrible.   I had issues with it even before making the purchase.  I think that if they are going to include an Español language track that everything should be en Español including the songs.  I’m sure that it would be incredibly difficult to write songs en  Español to the same caliber as the English versions, but not everything in life is easy.  I can live with this though.  Where I have the main complaint is in the production.  It is HORRIBLEMENTE produced.  ¡Horrible!  The parts where Rachel Coleman is giving the vocabulary and explaining how to make the signs is dubbed en Español.  They are such short and infrequent segments that I can live with the dubbing, which I usually hate.  But the sound track en Español is placed OVER the sound in English and YOU CAN STILL HEAR THE ENGLISH SIMULATANEOUSLY DURING THE ESPAÑOL!!!  In some parts, the English will start first and then the overlay of the Español will begin.  What a real disappointment from Two Hands Production.  It is embarrassing.  The majority of the other parts are fine.  They have native speakers and there really is an adequate amount of Español that I would be ok with it if the dubbing was not so incredibly horrible.  With that said, here is the KICKER:  sofía loves the darn DVD!  She asks for it by name and sign.  I think that Baby Signing Times is much more entertaining and appropriate for youngsters, but for some reason (I would like to think for the language, but that is Language Nerdo fantasizing.) she loves it.  She loves it so much that I unfortunately had to purchase the only other two DVDs with Español also.   Ugh….

Friday, November 26, 2010

Viaje a Thanksgiving

Every year at Thanksgiving, we make the 5 hour viaje to Ohio to visit my family. Last year we learned that a 5 hour viaje with an infant equals 10. Sofía hates the car, so frequent stops are necessary. Now that we have the carro nuevo, the great MiniVan, it does make travel un poquito más cómodo. It only took us between 7 and 8 hours this time. What really helped was the fact that when Sofía cold no longer entertain herself, we could as a last resort, play her favorite DVD of her canciones en Español. This is particularly helpful when it starts to get dark outside or you keep passing the same terrain over and over and over again. How many times can you make seeing a cow or a horse sound interesting to a 22-month-old? The other issue about Sofía during viajes is that she doesn’t sleep. So this foto that I snuck in of her during her only 40 minute snooze is, as MasterCard would say, “Priceless”!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Before Thanksgiving every year, we try to make a large donación of food and since Sofía was born, we have included her in the ritual because we think it is important that she learn about giving to others in need. My husband used to make his donaciones to general organizations like Toys for Tots before he met me. Then it became personal. Sure, I think that everyone feels a twinge in their hearts when they make a donación to their churches or food banks because they wish that they could help more people out. That’s just it, they are people. People who need your help, who, in the majority of the cases, you don’t know, but who you know need your help. I think it is another story when you are a teacher. You see these children every day, in every situation. You notice that when it starts to get cold outside, that the students who don’t come dressed in coats, don’t because they don’t have one. Or maybe they come to school with the same clothes on every day. In my case, our school had some 320 students and out of them, 55 families were given food baskets for Thanksgiving last year. That’s just the number of families, I can’t give you the number of kids because some have multiple children, but there are at least 55 kids affected. Donaciones to the “needy” becomes a whole different ball game when you know these kids and their families personally. One doesn’t worry so much about the students who live in homeless shelters because, there, the students and their families receive clothing, food and school supplies all year long. (We worry about them for other reasons, but not for these basic human needs.) The majority of the families in need, have jobs but aren’t able to make ends meet. They work and they work long hours, so not only can they not always provide for some of the basic needs for their children, they also don’t get to spend time with them which only adds salt to the wound. Many of these families live with extended family members who help out with child care, or often an older sibling will take care of the younger ones. In our case, the majority of these families are Hispanic, but not all of them. Many are from other countries too, (we live in a very diverse region) but again, not all of them. So while the students are in school, we at least know that they are eating breakfast and lunch. We don’t really know about dinner, but at least that will free up some of the burden and mean that the families only need to buy for one meal. If you saw the way some of the students ate breakfast at 6AM….you would understand that they had not eaten since lunchtime. So, when we really worry about the familias and the students is when they are on vacation. If there is no school, there are no free breakfasts and lunches.
So during Thanksgiving and Winter breaks (at least 3 weeks for our area) the school rallies its community together and gives food baskets. The number of familias went down by 10 this year. So 45 people were going to be given food baskets. Last year we made a donación of about 20 pavos. This year we tried to challenge ourselves to buy all the pavos for the families. We did….Gracias a Dios for the minivan!! We unfortunately have no pics of Sofía that day. She had a lot of fun being the center of attention of course. I was prepared to blog about how disgusted I was with humanity and the supermarkets because no one wanted to give us a LITTLE discount for buying so many turkeys. I wanted to write the headquarters of Giant and Safeway because they were ridiculously stingy when so many people really need so much help. No one wanted to help us out or give us any kind of discount. When I spoke with people in person or on the phone (yes, I dragged Sofía with me to the meat counters for some extra empathy) the answer I got was pretty much the same. “We have a lot of people and organizations coming in here buying way more turkeys than you and we just can’t give that amount of people a discount for turkeys or we will lose money.” I told them that if that many people are buying that many turkeys for donaciónes, that means that there are that many people out there without FOOD!!! Everywhere I went, it was the same and it was futile. I came to the realization that none of these butchers and none of these wholesale poultry vendors have ever known someone who was in true need. If they had, they would have at least SHOWN some ounce of empathy. I should correct myself, everywhere was the same except one small supermarket that had a young Latino butcher as a manager. He tried to help us. He made several phone calls, he contacted me daily and when we met, you knew that he also had met many familias who needed a pavo, a box of cereal, soup or a coat. It ended up that he couldn’t even convince his meat managers to meet the competitor’s regular price and he unfortunately could only offer us the regular price…which was in fact DOUBLE the competitor’s regular price. So we were forced to actually buy all 45 pavos elsewhere because of money. That’s fine. We made our donación and we helped some of my former students survive a little less stressed during their vacation from school.
Out of this we decided that between Thanksgiving and Navidad, that we would do some kind of “good deed” with Sofía every week. It is kind of like my own LIVING ADVENT CALENDAR. So next week, we will buy a load of canned goods at Costco to donate to the school again. (What happens is that the food pantry becomes depleted during Thanksgiving food basket time and when the students return to school again, there will be families who will need food again.) The weeks after that, I don’t know what we will do, but I will try to post what happens!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


My husband likes to make wafles or panqueques every Sunday morning. It’s great for traditions but not so hot on the waste line. We recently purchased a stepstool for Sofía to use to wash her hands and we also can use it to help her reach the countertop of the island a little better. This makes for easier helping on her part also. She LOVES to mix things and will tell you about how she did it whenever she sees the item she helped make. This video clip is really from the beginning of Octubre and I’m just now getting around to editing it down, but I figured it would be ok since this is pretty much an every-Sunday-experience.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hand and Foot Pavo

Sofía and I try to do arts and crafts every week.  Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but hey we try!  For Thanksgiving, we made a pavo, a turkey, Enchanted Learning.   I laminated some cartunlina, construction paper, and then I traced Sofía’s hands and feet.  After labored hours of cutting out those tiny little fingers, we put it all together to make a pavo. We made two.  We kept one and brought the other one to Tío Felipe’s house to hang on the door.  I had no idea how much Sofía liked the activity until afterwards.   She tells the story to people often about how I put her manos down on paper and traced them.  What she does is re-enacts the process.  She evidently really LOVED tracing her hands and feet because she asks to do it often, or I will find her putting her feet on the etch-a-sketch and tracing them herself! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Lately Sofía has become very attached to her peluches.  The Perro (that’s his name) she either calls by saying “wow, wow, wow” or signing ‘dog’.  There is the little bear, Pinky, who usually rides in her favorite toy, the stroller.  She says, “Pinky”.  Then there is the mico, monkey, Mateo, who sleeps with her in the cuna.  He is made without anything small that can fall out or off to cause some kind of hazard.  Last but not least, there is the Mickey Mouse peluche that we bought in Disneylandia in Junio.  She either signs “Mickey Mouse” (made by simulating his round ears on your head) or calls him, “Pa – Tí – Ta”.  I don’t know why she doesn’t call him Mickey Mouse because she can say “Mickey” – I’ve heard her actually say it about three times.  For whatever reason, her preference is to say,  “Pa – Tí – Ta”.  So be it then.  She has been asking for her amigos to accompany her in various places now….at the table to eat,  in her cuna during naps, or on her rocker to read to them.  It is all very interesting to watch her mimic things that we do every day.  Here in the foto, her amigos HAD to sit with her during desayuno and I had to feed them the same oatmeal and waffles that she ate! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dresses Para Navidad

Not that I’m TRYING deliberately to create a “Minnie Mi”, but how am I supposed to find Sofía a dress for Navidad without having her try on a few?  Well, we tried this one on from Costco.  I liked the dress, and it fit Sofía really well, but look at her!  She looks like she is 23 years old!  Way too much for this Mamá to handle, so we didn’t keep it.  Sofía didn’t really like it anyway….she IS on the floor having a fake berrinche, tantrum, so I took her foto.  I’ll let you see the one we decided on later!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clifford Libro

Unfortunately I have no fotos of Sofía for this post.  For the first time ever, she decided this afternoon before nap, to sit on her rocking chair and read ME a Clifford libro, page by page, pointing out the pictures and telling me about what was happening in each scene.  I WISH, WISH, WISH, I could have recorded it.  Soooo very sweet. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

All Done

Sofía looked at me and said, "All Done".  I said, Oh terminaste, and she repeated, “all done”.  There were no signs, just frases en Inglés.  Yes, I’m glad that my Signing Times en español is flying though the skies and on its way to my house!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Sequel Part III of Mi Madre is un Language Nerdo: Repeating Frase en Inglés from DVDs

I’ve discussed before in an earlier post how Sofía repeats the vocabulary in English when she is watching Baby Signing Times. I couldn’t be sure that she actually knew the vocab or was just repeating what she heard. Now I know. She has continues to repeat, on a regular basis, what she hears on the DVDs. Lately, much to my chagrin, she will say them with her signs IN CONTEXT! So while she is eating lunch, she will sign “eat” and say, “eat”. I praise her and say, something like, “That’s right, it’s comer.” All this is said en Español of course. (I suppose it never hurts to remind everyone that we only communicate en Español en our casa.)
It was then that I decided to check out the Signing Times DVDs that have been dubbed en Español. Signing Times is the series that follows Baby Signing Times. I’m not sure what to expect. I contacted them and they investigated a little bit for me to find out some questions I had. The intro to the vocab etc…is all done en español, but the songs are NOT translated, they remain en Inglés. We are going to give it a try and see how it works.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nuevos Zapatos

Sofía has a plethora of new zapatos.  She has grown like a weed and not only do we need new pants, we need new zapatos and a variety of them.  You can’t wear the same zapatos every day!  We decided that this year for her Navidad foto, that she had to have black dressy zapatos, so we luckily found a decent pair for a decent price.  I figured these didn’t have to be top of the line because one or two days weren’t going to interfere with her foot development.  So today we sported a new jumper and new zapatos and Sofía couldn’t be happier.  She ran like a maniac all over the house so that she could hear the sounds of her zapatos.  After her nap, she ran out of her room to where we left her zapatos and insisted on putting them on immediately.  She tapped her zapatos nuevos when she talked to her Papi on the phone to tell him about her nuevos zapatos and when we went to the mall; she showed them to every clerk of every store.  Move over Imelda Marcos, Sofía is growing up! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

signing Times Thanksgiving Signs

Signing Times has a YouTube video of our much needed Thanksgiving Vocabulary.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


¿Pañal? What pañal, you ask?  Well if you look closely on the floor, you can see what greeted my husband on Sunday morning when he went to retrieve Sofía from her crib.  She has learned (and really likes to) unzip things.  This morning she decided to unzip her pijamas and throw her pañal on the floor.  Stop laughing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Nuevo Carro

Last night, on Halloween, we bought a nuevo carro.  Bye Bye Jetta, hello MiniVan!  I never thought I would say this….but I FREAKING LOVE the MiniVan!  I feel like that woman on the Toyota Sienna commercials…I could spend hours in the thing.  It has a rear view camara for when I back up, a rear windshield wiper, automatic opening doors and most of all….SPACE!!!  Sofía can say, “automaticas” when talking about the puertas.  I think she is equally as happy as I am!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Disfraz

At Sofía’s 18 month well baby doctor check-up, she measured in the 100 percentile for height.  That means that she is taller than everyone else her age.  It’s true, she really is taller than most two year olds we know.  We thought it only appropriate that her Halloween disfraz be a girafa.  She wasn’t so keen on the get-up until other people around her started telling her how cute she looked and it was “Showetime” from then on.  She walked around to everyone so that they could see her and dote on her.  Nice, eh?  Sofía didn’t do a whole lot of trick-or-treating during the evening, but enough to satisfy her.  She did enjoy learning to sign Halloween and sign and SAY “Trick or Treat”!  It seems to be one of her favorite things to say!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Halloween Playdate

Sofía hosted a Halloween playdate with her friends from the barrio. One of her friends came as a girafa just like Sofía! There was a also a bumblebee, an octopus, a football player, and a cheerleader. Her friend Marnix and his baby sister Lilian couldn’t make it, but they were a lion and Mickey Mouse. BUT, by far, the BEST disfraz of the entire playdate was that of Papi!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bye Bye

One day we were checking out at the caja in wholefoods.  The woman in front of Sofía was interested in her and waving and playing with her.  When the woman went to leave, she nonchalantly turned to Sofía and said, “Bye Bye!”.  And that was it.  Sofía looked at her and said, “Bye Bye” as if she had been saying it for YEARS!  Now, I don’t usually say “bye” or “bye bye” to anyone.  We use “Ciao”.  Ciao is nice because it is universal, authentic and easy.  Mostly though, it comes naturally to me.  I thought the “Bye Bye” was a one-time thing.  OH NOOO!!  ¡Qué va!  They are the only words she will use upon leaving to despedir someone.  I’m annoyed.  I want to hunt that woman down and stuff an orange in her mouth.  Sometimes I hear Sofía in the car saying “Bye Bye” to perros o carros when we pass them.  I tell her to despedirse (to say good-bye) to someone and she will say “Bye Bye”.  I tell her to say “Ciao” to someone as we are leaving and she looks at them and says, “Bye Bye”.  Did you get that?  I’m speaking to her en Esapañol and litterally tell her to say “Ciao”, and she doesn’t say “ciao”, she says “Bye Bye”.  So she understands the language, the contexts, etc….but she chooses to say a frase that we don’t even use…..all because some BIG MOUTH at the grocery store wanted to be polite to my child!!! ¡¡¡Uuuuffffffff!!!!

Friday, October 22, 2010


For the past 20 some months, when I open the door to Sofía’s bedroom and see her, I stop, become beamingly happy and give her a very long and dragged out, “ Hoooooooollllllaaaaaa” or “HHHHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii”.  Evidently I do “hi” more than the “hola”.  It is her favorite thing to say.  She mimics my intonation and smilely face PERFECTLY.  She will not greet others with the “Hiiiiiiii”, she will only greet her Papi and I or her gatos.  When she wants to greet others, she waves;  she never verbalizes it.  Sometimes she will be strutting (because that is what happens when you find your independence) past her peluches, stuffed animals, or her gatos and she will raise a quick hand and say, “hi” and keep on going.  Recently, after she has been reprimanded for throwing her food on the floor or “petting” her gatos with her feet, she will look at us and say, “hi”.  What amazes me the most, however, is when Cesar and I are having a verbal disagreement.  When we stop talking, she will look at us and say, “Hiii”.  She changes how long she drags out the long I according to mood and context.  ¡Muuuuuuyyyy interesante!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Rain Botas

We bought Sofía a pair of rain botas.  She loves them and clearly they are worth every penny that we spent.  She asks for her “botas” instead of shoes ALL the time.  I wish I could record her saying “botas”.  The T and the S are not so strong and the entire pronunciation that she has right now is all very guttural and slurred together.  She runs through agua and mud and crunches on leaves with the botas.  I am rather jealous and would like a pair for myself!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pintando Calabazas

The calabazas proved to be a great entertainment for Sofía.  We decided to pain them, thanks to Michelle.  Now Sofía is really into painting and actually touched the paint (she HATED it before) to finger-paint afterwards!   We also learned from Michelle, that the paint can be washed off the calabaza only to be painted for numerous times afterwards!  Yea!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

El Deslizador!

Here it is!  Sofía’s favorite activity at the Calabaza Patch---going down the deslizador!  She was so excited about “doing it again”, that she wouldn’t even answer my questions about it---she just took off to go down again!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

La Calabaza Patch

We took Sofía to a Calabaza patch.  Well actually it was a farm that sells calabazas and árboles para Navidad.  It was really neat and it was a beautiful día to be outside—crisp, sunny and crunchy bright colored leaves.  We took a tractor ride around the grounds, ate homemade Kettle Corn, pet the goats and chickens, and last but not least---went down a few Giant Slides!!!  (By far Sofía’s favorite activity of the entire day!)  Video to be posted tomorrow!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Signing Times Halloween Signs

As Sofía and I began to decorate for Halloween and started to see all the calabazas etc…lining the supermercados and terrazas of our neighbors’ homes, I realized that I didn’t know how to sign these things. I was going to just let it slip by and then I came across a YouTube video of the vocabulary.

It’s pretty cool!

Friday, October 15, 2010

El Matrimonio

Sofía had a blast at the wedding reception.  She had a huge empty dancefloor , music, and about 60 people in her audience.  She was a maniac running up and down and dancing on the floor BY HERSELF.  Later when the other guests joined her in the dancing, she ditched her parents and danced, weaving in and out of people imitating their dance moves.  She went non-stop the entire night.  I have a small video clip of her dancing and weaving in and out of people, if you look closely, you can see her moving and grooving with her arms too!  Unfortunately, I didn’t get more footage!