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.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sonidos de Animales

In an earlier post, I wrote about how Sofía signed and spoke the word she signed at the same time, for the first time. She doesn’t do this often; she usually just chooses one form to communicate her word. The only other time she will sign and SPEAK simultaneously is when we ask her about sounds that animals make. What she does is funny. When we ask her what sound said animal makes, she will orally make the sound and sometimes sign the animal simultaneously, but this isn’t what she does ALL the time. Usually she will only make the oral sound of the animal even if she knows the sign. There are a few exceptions however. If she doesn’t know the sound for the animal, she will only sign the animal, as she does with elefante. (Really, who can make an elefante sound?) With leon, she ALWAYS makes the sound and signs leon. She knows the sign and sounds for caballo y pájaro (horse and bird), but she usually only makes their sounds and will not sign them. Go figure. Then SOMETIMES, not all the time, sometimes when I point to a picture of a caballo o pájaro and ask her what it is, she will sign the animal name and other times she will make their sound! There is no rhyme or reason---she is a TODDLER!!!  I've been trying FOREVER to videotape her doing these things, but she has not been very cooperative or I have not been very sucessful at it.  I'll try to post it when I figure it out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Uugghh Sleepless Night

For some reason, Sofía woke up about every two hours on Thursday night. At 4:30 AM, my husband threw in the towel and told her that if she wanted to play then she could play. Hmmm. When he later tried to put her back to sleep in her cuna, she threw a fit (big surprise) and became hysterical. So I brought her into the bed with me and we watched Baby Signing Times to calm her down and munched on waffles. (No, I didn’t even care about the crumbs that were piling up in my bed!) We ate breakfast and by 8:30 AM she was back in her cuna sleeping. She was exhausted as well as I was….but I usually don’t get hit with tiredness until the afternoon. Sofía slept for three hours in the morning and then another two in the afternoon. The reason? I think her other molars are coming in and are interrupting her sleep. When she wakes up, I think she is finding it hard to go back to sleep and wants some LOVE in the process. She likes to sleep, so I’m sure she doesn’t like being awake any more than we do! Ah, parenthood!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Julio 28 – El Día de Independencia de Perú

I couldn’t let today go by without paying some kind of homage to my husband’s motherland on its Independence Day. In addition that he is the Amor de mi Vida, my daughter is also of Peruvian heritage, so I felt something was really necessary! So we made a quick run to a close Peruvian restaurant, La Granja de Oro, for some carryout. We celebrated my husband’s prima’s cumpleaños there and we were all impressed with the authenticity of the food. I ordered one of my favorite dishes, Lomo Saltado. (I really love ceviche, but breastfeeding and raw fish are a no-no!) Sofía ate more rice than meat, but was really into the rice that sucked up all the juices from the dish. She’s no fool! Peruvian cuisine really merits an entire blog or at LEAST an entry all to itself, so I will have to save that for later. For now, ¡Feliz Día de Independencia!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Galletas de Chocolate Chip

Do you sometimes just get antojos (cravings) for chocolate chip cookies? The cookies or galletas originated in the USA which would explain why in my travels throughout Latin America that they were nowhere to be found. Anyway, we decided to make chocolate chip galletas and Sofía of course helped me. Now that she is almost a year and a half old (gasp!!) she can really actively participate in the baking process. Before, I used to put her bouncy seat on the island or hold her so that she could see what was going on. Now, I put all the ingredients in separate bowls and she poured them into the mixing bowl and then even got to operate the buttons on the mixer! She even used her hand to spread the dough into the pan! I think I created a Mini-Me Monster!

Monday, July 26, 2010

La Lora: The Sequel Part II of Mi Madre is un Language Nerdo!

The other day while watching Baby Signing Times, Sofía became a Little Lora, a parrot. She decided that it was the day to REPEAT the vocabulary words out loud in English; something that she has never done before. She said “cracker” and “grass”, words from her favorite sound group C and G. Now I don’t know if she KNOWS the meaning of the words in English because I didn’t test her. All I know is that she was repeating the words, making the sounds. I know she knows the meaning of the words en Español and in ASL (American Sign Language). She can say “cracker” en Español and ‘grass” is a little weak still. All this leads me to believe that she must know the meaning in English as well, but without having given her some kind of evaluation, I can’t be sure. But it was sure interesting to hear her repeat what she heard in English just like a little Lora!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sembrando Pasto

Our gatos, like many others, like to eat grass or pasto. We don’t let our indoor gatos go outside on the lawn, so throughout the year we supply them wheat pasto to munch on inside. Sofía helped me plant this batch of pasto. I admit, I normally am not the one who plants the pasto, so I am not all that good at it. I let Sofía dump the dirt in the pot and then with her clammy little hands she grabbed as many seeds as she could and put them in the pot…several times. (I didn’t think it was a big deal if there was an abundance of seeds.) We then covered the seeds with more dirt. I let her fill up cups of water and then walk them over to the pot to water the new seeds. She had a lot of fun and really enjoyed the mess she made. If I wasn’t so dirty myself, I would have taken a picture of her, but all I could do was take an “after” picture. The “after” picture was worth it though. Evidently you are not supposed to put so many seeds in the pot. Wheat pasto grows quickly and throughout the day, I saw clumps of dirt beginning to rise forming little mountains with sporadic blades of pasto popping through. It has, to say the least, made an interesting mess in the kitchen. We now must take it out daily and remove some of the dirt before it topples over onto the floor with the grass growth. Oh well, it was fun and worth it!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Hey You’re Not Me!! Stolen Identity

I have been in a rut. The day after my last post, I learned that someone stole my Identity and made purchases with my bank card. It has been a dolor de cabeza to put it lightly. I have almost taken care of everything, but I’ve become exhausted in the process and it has put me behind on blogging. I’m really annoyed by the entire thing. The charges are petty and my bank refunded my losses which were only about $100. My husband thinks that neither the bank nor the Apple itunes (where the purchases and ID were used) will do anything about it. Supposedly it has to be a LOT of money for them to pursue this kind of theft. Someone even mentioned that sometimes banks consider $10,000 to be petty theft! I was assured that the Fraud Department of both entities would investigate and uncover what they could. My husband, a holder of a Masters in Business Administration and a Masters in Finance, basically told me to give it up. But I want JUSTICE!!! (I’m a Sagittarius!) Maybe mine was petty and a few others are petty, but all those petty add up to Grand Larceny! Uuuggghh I hate Bureaucratic paperwork!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Banano, Banana, Guineo, Plátano

One of the things I love about languages is that different regions within a same-language-speaking area often use different words for the same object. It fascinates me and in my humble two languages, I try to learn the variety as much as I can. In addition to the fascination aspect, I think that it is culturally important to be linguistically savvy. I think it is crucial to KNOW and UNDERSTAND that other people may do things differently from you and that doesn’t make them wrong, just DIFFERENT, and this includes the use of words. Tolerance will get you far in life. So I try to incorporate this as much as possible with Sofía. We have a choice in our household. We could easily unify our Peruvian and Colombian vocabulary so that Sofía is hearing the SAME words used for objects, but I think it would be a disservice to her to do so. I think she should have the opportunity to build her vocabulary and her cultural skills a la vez. I heard someone say once that this would confuse her and of course I snottily blew it off. The brain is an amazing tool and she will never be confused because I use the word “mico” and my husband uses the word “mono” for monkey. What I didn’t anticipate was that she would pick up on the differences and learn them so quickly. My husband uses two different words interchangeably for pig (chancho and cerdo). I’m not even sure if he realizes that he switches back and forth between the two. I only use the word "cerdo" which means that her exposure to “chancho” is very small. So imagine my surprise when he and Sofía were reading a book and he asked her to point out the “chancho” and she without hesitation located the “chancho”. This was an activity that I had also done with her earlier that day using “cerdo”. Once again, real life experience reinforces that we teach by example!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Niño Perdido en el Centrocomercial

There are few things that make me angrier than when parents neglect their parental responsibility.¡Me saca la piedra! The three of us went to the mall and while my husband was grabbing a bite to eat in the food court, I was entertaining Sofía with the chaos of everything. We noticed a boy a little older than Sofía wandering alone and then wandering in front of the tren causing the tren to stop. I knew his parents weren’t around and I knew no one was going to step up because they thought his parents were around. So I went over and moved him out of the way. I then spent the next 15, yes count them FIFTEEN, quince, minutos, with Sofía in one arm, chasing, dragging, trying to calm and talk to this child. He was like a feral animal. He wasn’t crying for Mommy (like Sofia would be doing if I was out of eyesight), he was RUNNING everywhere just making his own kind of din. I figured that the parents must be in children’s play area, so I corralled him over there. Finally a young mother comes out of the play area towards him. She looks at me and says, “Oh did he run out of the play area?” I was livid! She hasn’t been looking for him. She wasn’t embracing him because she was concerned for his whereabouts. She didn’t thank me for finding her baby. I replied, “NO!!! I’ve been chasing him around the entire floor for 15 minutes looking for you.” She shrugged me off. I’m not so sure she could hear the disgust in my voice because of all the noise, but I’m sure she saw my FACE. How can you not see your child playing for 15 minutes? I would be panic stricken. 15 minutes of pure terror it would be for me trying to locate her. But it doesn’t end there. Within that same 1.5 hours at the mall, we saw THREE other people leave their child in the stroller unattended and go out of SIGHT!!! We think one woman left him there while she went to the restroom. Each time of course, we stopped and stood by the stroller until the parent returned. I know I may be a bit anal, but if I HAVE to turn my back on Sofía, it is only for a second and I don’t let go of the stroller. We were utterly amazed and disappointed, but most of all felt sorry for these poor niños that are being brought up by parents who don’t take their responsibilities seriously.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Seguridad en un Avión

So here is my low-down on seguridad (safety) en los aviones for toddlers. We sucked it up and bought Sofía a seat on the plane. There is barely enough room for me in the seat let alone room with Sofía on top. And then I, without fail, get someone in front of me who insists on pushing his or her seat back and so, boom, there is even less room. My 6 foot husband doesn’t even put his seat back on the avión because it would be horrible for the person behind. Oh well. Sofía either needs to be in a car seat or a FAA approved seat harness. I did the research. If you want to know the dirty details about all of it, let me know and I can tell you. We decided to take our aircraft approved car seat on the avión for Sofía. We would use it anyway in the rental car, so why not? Then my husband says that we are going to need to buy the mini-roller thing to transport it around in the airport, because really, how else are you going to do that through huge airports likes DC and Los Angeles? We are really glad that we bought the roller because there was NO way we could have lugged all our junk and child without it. The avión was a different story. My pobre, pobre husband! He had to attach the seat and un-attach the seat in all these confined areas with all the pressure of everyone wanting him to move faster. Although the seat was a great idea and segura, it left Sofía with absolutely no room. None. Add in that the person in front of her (a very short parent with children I might add) pushed his seat all the way back. So when Sofía was getting tired and cranky and wanting to go to sleep and she started kicking the seat in front of her, there really wasn’t much I could do to stop it. After the flight, when we analyzed the use of the car seat, I decided that using the FAA harness would be much better. It has a weight restriction of 22 pounds which Sofía doesn’t quite make yet though, which is why I shunned it off at the beginning. But had I known about the room factor, I may have reconsidered. They are expensive--as much as that roller thing for the carseat. But they are small, lightweight, easy to put on, FAA approved, and above all—seguro. They are available at Bed Bath and Beyond which always gives away those 20% off coupons that the store always accepts even if the expiration date has passed. Well…maybe for our next trip???

Monday, July 12, 2010

Primer Viaje en Avión Como Padres

My husband and I travelled together a lot BS—before Sofía. Our first viaje en avión as Padres, parents, was something out of a ridiculous comedy. We normally get to the airport with plenty of time to spare, so we decided to give ourselves 30 minutes more to account for Sofía. We really needed like 2 hours more. Don’t ask me how, but we ended up getting to our gate AFTER they started boarding people. We had rushed through check in, security and basically ran to the gate. We ended up being one of the last three families to board---because we kind of were being ignored for a while. We weren’t able to let Sofía run around a bit before being confined for five hours. We couldn’t stop to get her breakfast or even change her diaper before boarding the avión. We had to ask some kind man to switch seats so that the three of us could sit together…..we were in the last two rows of the plane. All the overhead compartments were full and my poor husband had to connect the darn car seat with everyone else around—more pressure and less room. I think that they were waiting for us to settle in before they closed the cabin doors, but I’m not positive. I felt like one of those stupid reality show races against the clock to complete a task. Hopefully we have learned our lesson! ¡Ave María!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

¡Qué Viva España!

For those of you who don't know....España won the Copa Mundial de Fútbol.  Sorry Marnix....You can't be Latina and not be an Hincha of España.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sofía Juega El Mercado

A while back, Sofía showed interest in unpacking and packing grocery bags, so I started saving all the containers from the foods that we eat so she could play with them. Yesterday, we played that we were Haciendo el Mercado, or as much of an idea of grocery shopping as a 17-month-old could do. As you can see from the video, she really enjoyed finding the food I told her to look for and put it in the grocery bag…until she got side-tracked by a ball of course! I asked her to find and or put the following items in the shopping bag: leche (milk), yogur, huevos (eggs), leche, paletas (popsicles).

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mica Ve Mica Hace

Sofía is 17 months old and very into mimicking the same things that we do around the house. (In addition to picking up ALL our vocabulary like a sponge!!! So we need to be careful what we say!!) She loves to clean things with anything that is white; a rag, napkin, or paper towel. (I don’t think that this is a bad thing!) She insisted so much on pushing her own stroller at Disneylandia, that we bought her a toy stroller that she CONSTANTLY pushes Mickey Mouse around in. We moved her play cocina up into our real cocina so that she can cook while we are cooking. The other morning, she insisted that Mickey Mouse sit at the table to eat breakfast with us. Oh, but it didn’t stop there, I had to feed Mickey Mouse his oatmeal just as I had to feed Sofía her oatmeal. (My camara was not around and I’m bummed I missed that foto.) Today, we sat with her peluches (stuffed animals) and we all ate off pink cups and plates—ah pretend food….those are the calories I like! She is also intermittendly insisting on sitting on the same kind of chair as we do to eat her meals. Her little head rests just above the table and she can’t get up and down off the chair by herself, so I don’t like to foster that yet, but sometimes it is a battle I don’t want to fight. I’m trying to think of other activities that she can do in a pretend setting that won’t require me to purchase anything else. I’m all ears if anyone has any other ideas!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fotos Profesionales

Since my brother is a professional fotógrafo, we don’t really believe much in going to studios for fotos. I’ve also been cursed with the gifted eye and snobby ability to pay attention to photographic detail. But when I came across a free portrait from The Picture People, well, I couldn’t resist free. I pulled it off the internet, so you could also it you want to. I believe the offer expires in December of 2010. I went in to the store with the idea that I was NOT going to spend any money and I didn’t, but let me tell you I wanted to. While I looked at the proofs on the big, flat screen monitor, I immediately wanted them ALL. Then they brought out a frame with 4 fotos of Sofía and it looked sooo nice! I was never much into that kind of thing before….but let me tell you, as a friend put it to me, It was MY baby in that frame! I of course wanted that too. I didn’t even ask the price since to purchase the CD with the proofs was some mere $150 WITH the 25% off coupon. So I decided to demonstrate patience and wait for my brother and look around for a frame so that I can do it myself. I also have a coupon for a free portrait from Sears, also available on the internet, so I think on the next rainy day; we will go there too, just for more ideas! Here is the free gift that the Picture People gave to us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wash Your Hands! The Sequel Part I of Mi Madre is un Language Nerdo!

In a previous post, I mentioned how I had evaluated Sofía’s language comprehension en Español, but that it would take me awhile to do the same in English considering that the majority of her Enlgish language input is environmental and not controlled, meaning I wouldn’t know what to test her on because I don’t know what she has been learning. Well, here is Part I of the Sequel of the Mi Madre is un Language Nerdo Cliffhanger. I was left Amazed! 

Sofía and I were visiting friends. We were sitting in the dining room. From the stairs, in English, my friend called to her daughter in the kitchen to “wash your hands”. Sofía immediately stopped what she was doing and trotted into the kitchen signing “to wash hands”. This is one of the signs that she learned from the Baby Signing Times DVD-which is in English of course. I was shocked! I couldn’t have devised a better more accurate test! Sniff, sniff….I’m proud to be a Language Nerdo Mamá!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

¡El Cuatro de Julio!

                     ¡Feliz Día de Independencia!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

California Chicas

Our California vacation was great! My husband had business, so Sofía and I tagged along and he took a few days off. How many people do you know get sent out of town on business to the BEACH???!!!
Here are a few fotos of Sofía's aventuras.  One of the nicest things about it?  Everywhere we went, people spoke Español!

Here is the vista from our great hotel!

Sofía went every morning to look for her new friend la coneja and su bebe (the bunny and her baby).

Then she strutted over to the pond to see the exotic pez.

But her favorite thing to do, as you can imagine, was to run around the plaza of the hotel smelling all the flores!

On El Dia del Padre, we took a walk/hike to the playa.

What Sofía didn’t like at ALL about California, was the playa…as you can see from her PLEASANT facial expression. She begged us to hold her the entire time we were walking on the playa!

At Disneylandia, Sofía met Mickey Mouse and shook his hand!
(The event isn't pictured here of course!)

Sofía enjoyed her snack and sang along with the music of the Disney Desfile (parade). 

El fin de las aventuras de Sofía en California.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Besos Para Papi

During the día, we call Papi on the celular or send fotos o videos so that Sofía can talk with him and so that he can feel like he’s not missing small sweet incidents with our Gatita. Here is one of our latest!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism

Sarah at Bringing Up Baby Bilingual is hosting July’s Blogging Carnival on Bilingualism. Head over and read the great array of articles written by other people who are living multilingual lives!
(Graphic is courtesy of Sarah....I wanted it to be linked with your page.  Ihope that's ok with you!)