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.

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!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


We just came back from a week in Miami. My husband’s brother got married, so the three of us made the trip down to enjoy the beach and attend the matrimonio. Sofía was much better on the plane this time; it is amazing what four months and three hours less can do for your plane ride. I still remain adamant that using the FAA approved child restraint seat belt is the way to go instead of the carseat on the plane. Maybe for our NEXT trip, we will have one.
Sofía LOVES exploring hotels. She runs around like a crazy woman, trotting from room to room and squeals with delight. If only the playpen or portable crib were comfortable. We discovered that she still does NOT like the beach (check out that face in the foto below!), but does enjoy the breeze on the beach or on the terrace for that matter.

We also took her to a place called Jungle Island (I DO NOT recommend it to anyone unless you get free tickets and have nothing better to do.) to see some live exotic animals. She liked seeing the animals, all of them except for the parrots that is. She was a bit freaked out by them which may be my fault. As you enter the facilities, they grab you and put you into a foto-shoot pose with parrots and a crocodile. I didn’t know what was going on and before I could protest, there was a huge parrot clawing into my shoulder and I know I made a fuss which upset Sofía and from there on out, the big colored birds were on her creepy list. I hope she isn’t scarred.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

¡Sofía y iphone Mania!

Sofía loves the iphone and has mastered figuring out where her favorite videos, pictures and Youtube are.  I have tried to videotape her using it, but very unsuccessfully because whenever she sees the cámara, she wants that too.  But I can show you how she is obsessed with the iphone , how she can ask for it using her signs and how she relentless about getting it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

La Bicicleta

Technically, it is a triciclo, but we usually say bicicleta. Tío Phil came for a brief visita and brought Sofía a surprise! When she woke from her nap, not only was her Tío here, he had put together the bicicleta and it was waiting for Sofía to ride! She LOVES her new bicicleta! Her feet barely touched the pedales, but since her massive growth spurt, that won’t be a problem anymore. Every morning for 4 consecutive days, the first thing she said/signed when she woke up was “bicicleta”! ¡Gracias Tío!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Babbling Con Mami en Agosto

Here is one of the videos I took of Sofía in Agosto, but never got around to posting. She was babbling to me and I thought it would be cute to document for prosperity’s sake—ja ja ja jee jee jeee. She also uses her signs for “mami” y “papi”. I love the “mmmmuuuaaa” sound she makes when she gives me a beso or a kiss.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Un Día

I lied. There was ONE good day en Septiembre and that was my husband’s birthday. Here are some fotos of Sofía celebrando el cumpleaños de su Papi.

Sofía looks at the cámara before Papi blows out the candles.

More than cake, Sofía loves water bottles!

Sofía regaló a Papi a pizza pan for his cumpleaños!

Sofía loved Mami’s chocoflan!

Friday, October 1, 2010


Finally, Octubre is here! We have been preparing for this day for a while. Sofía and I decorated just a little bit for Halloween. Nothing scary or creepy, but bright cheery cartoonlike happy decorations. We even created a VERY entertaining activity for Sofía in the process. We bought some cutesy Halloween foam stickers that I thought were just going to be stuck on the window for decoration purposes. But Sofía REALLY liked sticking them on the window and taking them off and sticking them on the table. She had a method to what she was doing and she seemed to enjoy running back and forth from window to table. I tried to video tape her new activity, but she LOVES the camera and always wants to touch it. Then I tried doing a “hidden camera” recording which also didn’t work very well. It is very funny though and if I can edit it before she wakes from her nap, then I will post it.

In the meantime, here are some fotos of our happy Octubre make-over.

Calabaza centerpiece with Halloween tablecloth.

Calabaza wall hanging.

The Halloween foam stickers and if you look carefully, you can see Sofía’s hand prints all over the windows!

A Halloween flap book for Sofía.

¡Ah....por fin Octubre!