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, February 28, 2011

Booooo Mario Brothers!

Our familia went to a fiesta de cumpleaños where the theme was the Mario Brothers. Now I don’t know anything about Mario Brothers, but I knew I would be able to find a little figurine of Mario or someone to put on top of our tiny, personalized, 5 inch, double layer, chocolate cake that we made the birthday boy. When I got to the party and sat down at the table to eat, I studied the decorations. This is what I saw.

I began to ask, “Why is there a bullet on the birthday party decorations?” I was told that it is Bullet Bill and he is a character in the Mario Brothers games etc… “A bullet?, like a REAL bullet?” Yes a bullet. "I'm confused, like a bullet that you know, causes harm, destroys, and kills? On children's PARTY decorations?" Yes a bullet.  (I probably wasn't the most popular person at the party. Oh well.)  I turned the decoration around so that Sofía didn't have to see it. 
I’m disturbed and disappointed. Shouldn’t Four year olds be playing with sand and blocks and maybe watching a little Mickey Mouse here and there?  Shame on whomever it is that makes all that Mario Brothers jazz.
I wish I had put Bambi on top of the cake!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Primas!

Today is the Trillizas Third Cumpleaños! ¡Felicidades!

You can read all about how Hannah, Hailey, and Emily spent their Third Cumpleaños HERE! At Navidad, they sent us a tarjeta with their foto on it. Sofía has not stopped saying their names since. (She really, really likes to say the name, Hannah!) So we keep the Navidad tarjeta in a drawer with her books so that she can pull it out whenever she wants to (usually in the morning.) Sofía will be the only one of us who can tell who is who!
¡Feliz Cumpleaños Hannah, Hailey, and Emily!
We made them a Feliz Cumpleanos Sign too!

Monday, February 21, 2011

International Mother Language Day!

Language Is Culture.  When I used to work as a consultant training foreign language and ESL teachers, one thing I used to repeat over and over is that Language is Culture.  You can’t separate them because they are so intertwined and they really must be taught intertangledly  (my own new word!) The United Nations obviously thought it was important enough to declare today as International Mother Language Day.  You can read more about International Mother Language Day HERE, but in short, The United Nations summarizes it as the following:  “International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.” Teaching cultural understanding and tolerance will pave the way to peace. It’s a huge task that can only be accomplished one tiny little pebble at a time. Of course we hope that OUR Little Pebble will pave an even greater peace-path than what we could ever fathom!)

Friday, February 18, 2011


Sofía hasn’t been feeling well lately---I think it is a side effect of her vacunas from last week. When she woke up REALLY early from her siesta, I curled her up on our bed to watch the movie Ratatouille (en Español of course).  Sofía now associates watching Ratatouille with being enferma and uses it as a free ticket to watch TV. She will also narrate what she did when she was enferma. She will say something like this. “Cough cough, Ratatouille, arriba” and signs ‘ blanket’.

Her movie/siesta did her some good because she was an energetic little pistol while making a torta for Papi in the afternoon. 
My grandmother never let us stick our fingers in the cake batter and now I know WHY!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

¡X 2!

¡Qué Día Más Bonito  x 2!! What strange clima for us in the mid-Atlantic region!  But today it was another nice día and we took advantage of it as much as posible.  It is not that often that we can have un picnic smack dab in the middle of Febrero!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

¡Qué Día Más Bonito!

We spent the morning playing outside in the sol on the patio.  It was truly a día precioso.  It was about 50 grados out but with the sol shining so strongly, it felt like 60!  Sofía spent her time picking up sand and transporting it to the other side of the patio and dumping it. I guess she REALLY misses playing with her sand because she is already talking about playing with it again mañana!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Tres días before Sofía’s second cumpleaños, she learned to say “¡NO!”. She's now mastered it.  Need I say more?

Monday, February 14, 2011

¡Feliz Día de San Valentín!

Normally, in Latin America, el Día de San Valentín isn’t celebrated. México might have some spots where possibly they acknowledge Febrero 14, but I’m not sure. What I am sure about is that in Septiembre….somewhere around septiembre 16, many of Latin America celebrate El Día de Amor y Amistad. Something like El Día de San Valentín, but much, much, much more low-key. Más tranquilo. Today we had big planes for our Día de San Valentín, but Sofía woke with a fever, so we stayed home. We decorated tarjetas de San Valentín for her neighborhood amigas and delivered them. She also opened up several very chévere regalos. One of them, the stuffed erizo, is pictured with Sofía below!  ¡Gracias Abuela!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Señas for El Día de San Valentín

Signing Times señas for El Día de San Valentín!

Friday, February 11, 2011

La Fiesta

Día Siete of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: La Fiesta!So all of our intricate work and obsessive planning paid off and looked like this:

The Goodie Bag Table for our invitados.

The gift table.

Dining room decorations view 1.

Dining room decorations view 2.

Home-made Red Velvet Torta!  Yum! Yum! Deli!

Feliz Cumpleanos sign for the bathroom door...I'm very proud of all the signs being in Espanol!

Buffet station view 1.

Buffet station view 2.  (My husband doesn't allow me to decorate the food station! :(
There was SOMEONE else who enjoyed the decorations as much as I did!

Singing Happy Birthday to Sofia!
Sofía had a LOT of fun with her friends and family. She really understood that it was her birthday and what that meant. She learned how to sing “Happy Birthday” and simulate the blowing out of the candles. (She doesn’t like the lit candles so much.) She also learned to answer questions about her age. Before her birthday, we asked her “¿Cuántos vas a cumplir?” (How old will be you be?) and now we ask, “Cuántos años tienes?” (How old are you?) and she knows how to answer: DOS! Looking back on all the neurosis that went into planning the party….I’m segurisima that we will do it all again next year! If you missed the fiesta...at least you can relive the Singing of "Happy Bitday", as Sofía likes to call it!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Día Sies of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: Los Juegos. I tried to find old-fashioned party juegos that our guests could play together, adults and niños, and have fun. So we set up a few things around the house for entertainment. Some of it worked well, some of it not so much. Trial and error I suppose. The things that worked well were:

The Bean Bag Toss

The Fishing Game in a tub of water.  By FAR everyone's favorito!
And the train table of course.  No foto here sorry!
Things that didn’t work as well as I would have liked them to:

The Bowling Game made of cool foam pins and balls with a set up grid.  This was MY favorito!

The Ring Toss.  The little tykes liked to play with the rings!
It might be that these last two didn’t go over as well because they were not located on the same floor as the rest of the fiesta. We set them up in the basement where the kids usually play by themselves. Maybe we’ll have to come up with replacements for next year or just scrap them all together. Vamos a ver.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Barras de Chocolate

Día Cinco of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: Chocolate. We like to give party favors to our adult guests as well as our little guests. This year I became obsessed with creating a personalized wrapper for a barra de chocolate. I was having a hard time finding the small size of Hershey’s bars with foil wrappers that I had originally wanted. One day my husband came home with the large Godiva Bars with foil wrapping and we were sold. They were really fun to make. 
 I am particularly proud of the código de barras with the numbers of Sofias birth date. Now, I'm thinking how I can make them for a next event. (Don’t tell my husband….he is the one who had to cut and fold all the wrappers!)

So the Niños Grandes at our fiesta got to take home Sofía Vino in little cans and a Sofía barra de chocolate. We liked the combination and hope they did too!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Día Cuatro of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: Decoraciones. As I mentioned previously, our tema for the Segundo Cumpleaños fiesta was Mickey Mouse. Really there were just a few Mickey Mouse accents around the place with basic party decoraciones everywhere. There were a few key items that I thought were pretty chevere and wanted to share. In order to set the mood BEFORE even stepping foot in the casa, we made a sign for the puerta principal. It was simple (basically because I didn’t have a whole lot of time to add embellishments, but can later.) If you look closely at the F of “Feliz” you may be able to note where the gato, Fulanito, added his own special touch—with his teeth of course.

The other thing we did was make Groundhog cupcakes (Sofía’s cumpleaños is Febrero 2, el Día de la Marmota) for the little guests to take home with them. This year we got smart and ordered cupcake holders (never knew they existed before!) so that transporting and displaying them were much easier. The cupcake holders were Mickey Mouse of course. This year, my husband made the groundhogs all by himself and they look ¡espectacular!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Día Tres of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: Hornear. Sofía and I baked lots of galletas for the fiesta. We made heart-shaped sugar galletas, pizzelles, and Rice Crispy Treats. For Her torta de cumpleaños, we baked a delicioso Red Velvet torta with Cream Cheese cubierta! ¡Deli! I have let Sofía help make galletas before, but this time was different. Sofía’s cousin Trillizas’ mami gives them each a baking sheet and dough and lets them bake and roll their OWN galletas. I thought it was a marvelous idea. If you have never done this before…..you need to try it!
Sofía was MORE than entertained with the process for a VERY long time! She even cut out her own heart-shaped galleta and placed it on the pan to hornear without my help. (For a two year old, that hand-eye coordination and dexterity is quite an accomplishment.)


New Age Mama is sponsoring a Give Away via an automated rifa. One lucky person (hopefully me!) will win a Melissa and Doug shopping cart. Sofía LOVES push toys and she LOVES her Little Tykes shopping cart like it is an extension of me. She would be besides herself to have a shopping cart for INSIDE the house as well. Let me set the record straight….she doesn’t NEED one, but she would LOVE one. And if I can win one FREE for her…well just more cool thing to donate to a good charity when she outgrows them!

So in order to enter, I had to do a couple things. One was to write about the giveaway on my blog and the other was to post on New Age Mama’s site what other Melissa and Doug product I would like. We have other Melissa and Doug products and I really like them.  They have really well-made and well-thought out products.  I wrote about the Tiered Special Occasion Cake. Since Sofía and I make cakes all the time, I thought she would like to have one of her own. After thinking it over really hard (I debated about buying her one for her birthday) I came to the conclusion that I would maybe, just MAYBE, like to have it more than her. It looks awesome, doesn’t it?

Foto is courtesy of Melissa and Doug...I hope they don't mind me using it!

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Día Dos of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación:  Coser.  The theme for party decorations was Mickey Mouse.  We didn’t go ALL out on decorating everything Mickey, but we added a few accents here and there.  For the younings’ party favors, Sofía and I made little gorritas. 

The girls gorritas were rosadas and the boys were azul.  Both were embellished with a simple Mickey Mouse ear design.  (We made them with the guidance and direction of my friend Amy and you can find other things SHE does on her etsy site. )  In the bag, we put Thank You cards with a foto of Sofía cosiendo¡Qué divertido!

Friday, February 4, 2011


Día Uno of our Segundo Cumpleaños Preparación: Limpiar. Sofía loves to limpiar. That is a good thing since I could use the extra help. She is not headed to a career with The Maids, but since she wants to be a Veterinaria, I think these are skills that will be useful for future surgeries, sutures and cage cleanings! For right now, she was very helpful in prepping the casa for her fiesta!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Sofía!

¡Today Sofía turned DOS años!  We celebrated in a much more tranquilo fashion than planned since the Cumpleañera got sick the night before.  So today we kept things low-key, cancelled the little neighborhood shindig that we had planned and rested and watched movies all morning long.  In the afternoon, she was feeling much better….better enough to eat a cumpleaños cupcake!  We have been celebrating all week long.  She even woke up yesterday singing “Happy Bitday – Yo!”  in her crib.   Stay tuned for all the gooey details of the awesome Segundo Cumpleaños!

Sofia feeling much better after a long nap on her Cumpleanos!

Sofia feeling MUCH better now that she sees a cumpleanos cupcake!