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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

¡Feliz Año!

This Año Viejo was definitely more low-key than in years past!  We are tired from so much Holiday Fun!  We didn’t really even do our traditional “Make your own Pizza and Crostadas”. It's kind of embarrassing!  In fact, we didn’t do much of anything except try some fondue and play our family game….This year it was Hungry Hungry Hippos.  I’m sure next year we will be renewed and back to our tradicciones!
¡Feliz Año!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Birthday Descanso

In the midst of planning and preparing for Sofía’s Segundo cumpleaños fiesta next Saturday (enero 29), I find it almost impossible to find the time to post. I have a list of things to share, but won’t be able to get to actually posting for a few days. Once you see what I’m planning….you understand why I haven’t had time. My husband keeps mumbling something about being an over-achiever, which makes him one by default and I think he isn’t too thrilled by that idea.
Be back soon!

Monday, January 17, 2011


I was reading this post from Not So Spanish which basically addresses some cultural differences in regards to health.  Sometimes it is hard to erase cultural beliefs even with scientific research.  I have a zillion stories that I could elaborate on, some of which left me dizzy with disbelief and feeling like I was in a Twilight Zone episode, but I learned something new a few days ago.  I was talking with my suegra, Sofía’s abuela, about ear-piercing in Perú.  She said that when a baby was born, (at least some 30 years ago) the nurses would perform various tasks and asked you what you wanted done to the baby.  Ear-piercing, circumcision, or to make hoyos, dimples.  (I think in España they are called Hoyuelos) I was stuck on the hoyos.  I wanted so badly to tell her about hoyos, but I bit my tongue and remembered how hard it is to convince someone that an old wives tale is NOT true.  Hoyos are a genetic trait that are caused by a birth defect. I think that my husband has only one hoyo.  Maybe the nurse got side tracked by some other screaming baby having her ears pierced and didn’t finish the job.  The verdict is still out on whether or not Sofía will have or has hoyos. But I can ASSURE you that no one was playing around with her cheeks after she was born!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Papi Has a Potty Mouth

And it seems to be worse right when he gets home from work.  The transition from Office to Home with Toddler must be rough.  I keep gently reminding him when things slip from his mouth….I wince and wait and sure enough, Sofía repeats them.  He brushes them off like it is really no big deal.  Usually they are in Inglés too.  But not always.  One of his favorite things to say is (jump over this if you will be offended…..) “¡A la Puta!”.  Evidently he says it QUITE frequently.  During New Years Day dinner at his parents’ house, my DARLING husband emphatically says, “A la …..” and intended to trail off.  His sentence was finished by Sofía.  And then she repeated the entire thing matching his enthusiasm.  There was complete silence, my eyeballs jumped out of my head.  A quick glance around and jaws are open in astonishment followed by a HUGE roar of laughter.  Sofía thought it was funny too.  Now I have witnesses. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sofía y Maiz Pira de Tiffany’s

Ok, well, the Maiz Pira, popcorn, is not really from Tiffany’s, but we used the bag for transportation. The birds appreciate the effort. When it snows outside, we usually make sure to share some treats with our neighborhood feather friends.

Sofía always insists on taking the carrito out too. I think it needs better snow tires.

Monday, January 10, 2011


It’s hard to incorporate prayer time with an infant or toddler. We used to read Sofía some of the stories out of La Biblia (en Español of course) until it became a little disturbing (people started killing each other off and were a bit violent.) Recently I found this little beauty at Barnes and Nobles.

It is a board book with prayers for different occasions (morning, naptime, Christmas, birthdays, Thanksgiving), all written specifically for little tykes. I really, really like it a lot and we read an oración to Sofía at least once a day. The language is simple, authentic AND it rhymes (an important phonemic awareness pre-reading tidbit)—very well translated. It is published by Scholastic and I’m sure the original was written in English. (I would check right now except that Sofía is sleeping and the book is in her room!) She really likes the book a lot and can point to the picture and identify and say “Jesús”!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Sofía Eats Phở for the First Time

The county where we live outside of Washington DC is famed to having one of the most diversified school district in the country (It is also the eleventh largest in la USA.).  So it is no wonder that there is a very large Vietnamese community here.  And you know, where there are ethnic communities, there is FOOD!  I must say, I had never even heard of Ph (pronounced almost like FA  in Do Re Mi Fa So la Ti Do) before meeting my husband.  Ph is aVietnamese rice noodle soup usually served with beef and one can add basil, lime bean sprouts, and hot peppers to taste.  As it turned out, while I was pregnant with Sofía, I went through about three weeks in the first trimester where I ate NOTHING but Ph.  So I suppose it is no wonder that Sofía liked her first taste test of Ph.  (Or maybe it was the chopsticks, who knows?)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Uno Dos

Sofía’s friend gave her a libro for Navidad.  The libro is her friend’s favorite. 

Now it is Sofía’s favorite libro too.  She wants to read it several times in one sitting.  One night she wouldn’t read any other book except for her libro which she calls, Uno Dos.  Sofía can say and sometimes count, (but not always count) uno y dos.  If you count to cuatro, she will say “cinco” after it.  What she CAN do is identify the number 1.  She can differentiate between letters and numbers also.  When she sees numbers written down, she begins to count.  Today when she was reading Uno Dos to me, she flipped the page to this one. 

She pointed to the number 1 and said, "Uno", and then touched the mariquita and counted, “Uno”.  She was very proud of herself!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Los Reyes Magos

In la USA, It’s so hard to celebrate los Reyes Magos who come to visit your house on the Epifanía, el 6 de enero, and bring you regalos.  (That is what they did for El Niño Jesús when he was born.) Everyone is back to work and school and it makes celebrating kind of lose the feeling…for me anyway.  But we managed something.  The gifts that the Reyes Magos brought us were much more interesting than gold, frankincense and myrrh; I think El Niño Jesús got the shaft, but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him! 
Los Reyes Magos brought Sofia Donald Duck, Pluto, and Dasiy to play with! Foto was taken by Mami AND Sofia at her request!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

El Pesebre

Traditionally, in Spanish-Speaking countries (and many others as well), a Pesebre, a Manger Scene, is put up durning Navidad and not an árbol de Navidad. These Pesebres are often elaborate cities as well. (I should have taken a picture of Sofía’s abuela’s pesebre because it is enormous!) Anyway, since Bebé Jesús wasn’t “born” until el 25 de diciembre, then he can’t really appear in the pesebre until then. The tradition in my husband’s family is to hide the Bebé Jesús and then the person who finds him gets to put him in the pesebre AND receives a special gift.
Our pesebre was very special this year.  Doesn't everyone's look like this?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

4 Razones Why Every Child Should Speak Español

The website Spanglishbaby published a great article about why every child should speak  Español in la USA.  The title of the article is 4 Reasons Why Every Child in the United States Should Speak Spanish.  It is actually a summary of an opinion article by New York Times columnist, Nicholas D Kristof titled, Primero Hay Que Aprender Español. Ranhou Zai Xue Zhongwen (First learn Spanish. Then study Chinese.) Have a peek at them both.  Los dos artículos hit straight-on on a topic that means so much to me and has a huge impact on our present and future global society.

Monday, January 3, 2011

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Doménico!

Today is Doménico’s cumpleaños!  He turned Two Years Old!  Sofía sent him a tarjeta and colored it and decorated it with pegatines!   Doménico’s mami is my best friend and it just so happened that the two babes are one month apart!  Too bad they live so far away!  Doménico had a fiesta for his cumpleaños and his mami bought cool fondant truck toppers for the cupcakes from this Etsy store.  Hope they were yummy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Favorito Things

Ding! Can you hear Julie Andrew’s voice singing, “Raindrops on roses, and wishers on kittens; Brown copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;” Well, I Thought I would start off the Año Nuevo sharing some of MY favorito things…some random blogs and podcasts.
I’ve started to listen to podcasts while doing my daily walk/jog in the morning. I thought it wasn’t going to help, but it really is easy to fly. Sometimes I don’t want to stop! Anyway, I like to use that time to breathe, reflect, and recharge. Sometimes what I listen to is helpful and sometimes I listen to things that are National Enquirey Trashy! But here are the podcasts:

Happiness Matters. These two women talk in brief 15 minute podcasts about raising happiness in one’s life, frequently referred to as the science of joyful kids and happier parents. This is definitely my favorito.

Childhood Matters. This podcast features one of the same hosts from Happiness Matters and addresses all sorts of parenting issues, topics, joys and concerns. They also have a sister show en Español called, Nuestros Niños, but I really, really don’t like it.

Living the Dream Mom. The host Nina Fry boasts that she is a real mom in a real world and hits on all sorts of topics. It reminds me of a magazine….sometimes it has podcasts that are really deep and moving and others are pop culture trashy. You have to pick and choose.

I also read a few blogs here and there, but there are a few that I try not to miss. One is the called 365 days in Our Shoes. It is written by my husband’s cousins who have triplets. They talk about the everyday life of raising children times three! I love reading it because the trillizas are almost exactly one year older than Sofía and so it has been very helpful to me to read about what things Sofía may do BEFORE she does it and it gives me a sense of “I’m not alone.”.
The other blog that I read is called Not So Spanish. I read it because it makes me laugh to the point of crying and reminds me of all the funky cultural things I’ve seen having lived in la USA, Colombia and España.

So here you have just a few of my favorite things….blogs and podcasts. Hope you will find them in your favoritos also. I would love to check out anyone else’s favoritos if you would like to share!
¡Feliz Año!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

¡Feliz Año!

El primero de Enero, 2011.  Enero 1, 2011……we posed a foto of Sofía and Mickey Mouse to use for her Evite Cumpleaños Invitation and as it turns out, Evite changed their format and YOU CAN NO LONGER UPLOAD YOUR OWN FOTO!!!  Her Cumpelaños theme will be Mickey Mouse and I thought it would be perfecto…so if I can’t use it on Evite, I can at least share it on my blog!  So much for being prepared in 2011!!!