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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bedtime Stories of a Language Nerdo’s Child

After Tío and Tía Cathy left to return to their own casa, Sofía started to insist that I put her to bed instead of Papi. We sat in the rocker and she snuggled back in my brazos, kicked up her little patitas and instead of calming down and beginning a rich drifting into sleep, she put herself into fifth gear. It started with, “Mami, ¿Cómo se llama…..” (Mami, what is the name of…). I would respond to her, “¿Quieres decir, ‘¿Cómo se dice …. en inglés?” And that started her quest to find out how to say anything and everything en inglés. After I would tell her how to say a certain word en inglés, she would repeat it, nod her head and say, “Okay” and then move on to the next word. There are three favorite stories about her questioning that stick out in my head.
“Mami, ¿Cómo se llama…um, um…árbol?”
“¿Cómo se dice ‘árbol’ en inglés? En inglés se dice, ‘tree’.
“¡Oh, Mami, dos palabras, árbol o tree! (Oh Mami, two words, árbol or tree!)

My other favorite is soup.
Mami, ¿Cómo se llama…um, um…sopa?”
“¿Cómo se dice ‘sopa en inglés? En inglés se dice, ‘soup’.
“Soupppppppppp” (She drags out the p and sprays us laughing.)
When I corrected her, she laughed. Now whenever she hears the word “sopa” she likes to say it her special way en “inglés”.

The last anécdota is about Papi.
We were trying to get back into the routine of Papi putting Sofía to sleep at night. I told her that she could still ask how to say things en inglés and that Papi could answer her. Her response, “No. ¡ Papi no sabe inglés!” (No. Papi doesn’t know English!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sofia Lee Libros a Mami

Sofía began to read out loud to us!  She imitates us well….the sounds of the words, the cadence, the tone….we love it!  Here is a short, simple ejemplo.  Her favorite tono to imitate is none other than Dr. Seuss.  What is sooo funny about it is that she is imitating Fox in Sox en inglés!  My husband hasn’t read that to her for over a year! 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Not sure if I ever mentioned how much Sofía looooovvvvveeeesss brócoli. She also loves remembering how Tío makes a fool out of himself grandiosing the word and sign for brócoli.  Every time she thinks about it, she rolls in carcajadas.  When Tío came to visit, he brought her a planta de brócoli!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Un Verano de Columpios

This year, Sofía’s love for columpios has really taken off, as you can see in her face in this foto.  My brother came to visit and while I took Sofía to the park, he took his superduper zoom lens.  Ah, it is so nice to have a professional fotógrafo in the familia because, really, where else are you going to get fotos like this?  I think her cara tells it all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Una Fiesta de Perros

Sofía celebrated her friend Victoria’s cumpleaños. The tema of the fiesta was Perros. Victoria’s mami did a really great job of intertwining the tema everywhere. First of all, the main dish was….hot dogs! So they served all different flavors of hot dogs. The decorations also had perros everywhere, but the best were the party favors where I think that Victoria’s mami went all out! She pays a lot attention to details. The cupcakes had little perro finger puppets on the top, a book about perros (ours was in Español – how sweet!), a Clifford the Big Red Dog CD with songs and coloring pages, varios perro candy, a perro hat, and a bookmark about perros. What we really like about our friends is that although they don’t really speak Español, they are so into helping us keep up our tradition with Sofía. They always make the effort to give her things in Español instead of Inglés and they try here and there to incorporate what Español they do know. So while man’s best friend is a perro, friends like Victoria’s familia are priceless!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Señor Papa

¡Mira! Look what Sofía did! Her very first Señor Papa!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

El Día del Padre

Just like El Día de la Madre, El Día del Padre isn’t celebrated on the same day all over the world. In Spanish-speaking countries, it is even celebrated on diferente días. Some celebrate el 19 de marzo which is actually the día to honor José or the earthly padre of Jesús. Others celebrate the third domingo en junio like in la USA.

In honor of el padre de Sofía, we gave him cards, had an asado (cookout) and ate icecream cake. Sofía loved showing her lengua azul to people more than actually eating the cake!

This was the first time that she was actually able to say, “¡Feliz Día Papi!”

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Disney World: Un Parque Chévere-Epcot Día II

Epcot has an atracción where you can go and meet all the personajes at once and take pictures of with each of them separately.  It is kind of nice.  You wait in line and pass from one to the other and you can take fotos and they also have one of their fotógrafos taking fotos also.  I was really impressed with how much time each personaje spent with Sofía and really made her feel like she was the only child they had seen in years!  I was also impressed with how they all (at every park) seemed to understand some Español.  This experience was BY FAR the most enjoyable for Sofía as you can see from her cara.  As we waited in line at 8:30 PM, she was tired and really didn’t grasp the concept of what we were going to do.  We told her that she was going to get to meet Mickey and Pato Donald, etc…but it just really didn’t click….unitl….she rounded the corner.  When she saw Mickey Mouse, she squeeled and RAN to him.  She sat in his lap, she hugged him and couldn’t stop smiling.  This definitely was what Disney World meant for Sofía and by far her favorite, “Parque Chévere!”

Pluto is a big fluffy fur ball!

Minnie gave Sofia lots of hugs and love!

Tribilin is really, really, tall!

Sofia gives Pato Donald un beso!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Disney World: Un Parque Chévere-Epcot Día I

In Marzo, I commented about Sofía’s obsession with Ratatouille and wanting to go to París for dinner.  Well at Epcot we were able to do both those things!  We ate dinner at a French Restaurante in “Francia”.  This particular restaurant was home to ……. (hear the drum roll?) ¡Ratatouille, El Chefcito!  Needless to say, Sofía was ¡dichosa!.....¡estática!

Siguente Post: 
Disney World:  Un Parque Chévere-Epcot Día II

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Disney World: Un Parque Chévere-Magic Kingdom

For those of you who have just tuned in, I’d like to reiterate that Disney World is the most efficient, organized, and clean place I have ever been to! You can even go online and map out what atracción you would like to experience. Best of all, you can indicate that you would like to see what is available for certain age groups. ¡This was fantástico! So we knew ahead of time what atracción we could take Sofía on and were able to eliminate things that we didn’t think she would like. ¡Claro que her atracción favorita was el carrusel!
The other cool thing we/Sofía enjoyed were the short “sporadic” parades and dance shows. I call them “sporadic” because you don’t need a ticket and you don’t need to stand around for hours in a line and actually enter any building. You can be walking along somewhere and a show or parade will pop up. If you are skilled like my esposo, you know WHERE these “sporadics” are going to happen (and what times) and can at least plan to be in the general area.
Sofia has a great view of the Dance Party at the Castillo.

Next Post:  Disney World:  Un Parque Chévere-Epcot

Monday, June 13, 2011

Disney World: Desayuno con los Personajes

Another thing about Disney World that really amazed me was how much attention to detail they took in creating EVERYTHING about the environment.

On our first day we went to Animal Kingdom and thought we would TRY to get in to have desayuno with los Personajes. Another perk about staying at a Disney resort? You get to enter earlier and stay later at the parks than other people. Pretty slick deal when you are trying to get in to the more popular atracciones.

I took these fotos of the restaurante where we had desayuno. They incorporated cracks in the building, exposed wires, and random clothing hanging from makeshift clotheslines. I have been to Maruecos, only one country in Africa, and I felt like I had returned. (Of course it could have also been a plethora of places in Latinoámerica also!)  There is more below the fotos.

Since this was Sofía’s first experience with the personajes, she took a while to warm up to them. You will see in a later post how she loses her shyness. The desayuno was a gigante buffet loaded with anything you can imagine including the most popular dish, Mickey Mouse shaped wafles! During desayuno, each personaje (Mickey Mouse, Tribilín, Daisy, and Pato Donald) will come to greet you at your table. You will also get to participate in a jamming parade lead by one of the personajes. We actually got to participate in two dancing ditties – we truly are Latino eaters taking our good ole time!

As you can see by the look on Sofía’s cara…..she thought the desayuno was ¡¡CHEVERE!!

Next Post:  Un Parque Chévere-Magic Kingdom.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Disney World: Awesome Safari Hotel Kidani

Disneyworld has resort hotels. There are many perks of staying in these hotels. They are closer to the parks. The shuttle buses take you directly to the front door of the parks and they offer a meal plan that saves you big bucks if you are planning to stay a while at the parks and eat there or in the hotels for that matter.
We stayed at a resort in Animal Kingdom. The theme was Africa. This means that all the decorations and food themes are African. The food themes do not change from night to night. That is the only bummer. I guess they think people will eat at different places during their stay. The thing we loved about the hotel? The view from our rooms. Whenever we looked over the balcony we could see jirafas, cebras, and much more. Sofía LOVED it. I really liked this resort for Sofía’s age because it was quiet and calm. Sofía could take her nap during the day without obnoxious music or party-goers and easily sleep early at night also. In fact, nowhere in any of our experience did we find obnoxious, boisterous people out of control. We really liked that!

We think that during out next trip we will stay somewhere along the boardwalk just to have a different kind of experience. The other thing I really liked about Disneyworld? Everyone knew just a little bit of Español and that really added to the language rich environment in which we try to engulf her.

Below are fotos I took with my iphone.  They are not the best quality...but you get the idea.  How maravillosa is it to wake up and see THIS in the morning?

¡Stay tuned for our Desayuno con los Personajes!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Disney World: En General

My husband presented at a conference in Orlando, so Sofía and I tagged along to for a little vacación de familia. I had never been to Disney World, or La Casa de Mickey as Sofía calls it. (Last year we went to Disneylandia but really there was no comparison.) I’m a convert now. I LOVE Disney. I could spend hours of time explaining how amazingly organized, efficient, clean and family-friendly the joint is, but I won’t unless you ask me to. We will definitely be returning many times in the future. I always thought it was just an amusement park and IT IS NOT. Sofía really learned who Mickey Mouse was last year at Disneylandia and has been in love with him since. But it really didn’t all come together for her until this trip. So the next couple of posts, I will share some of our vacaciones.

The first and most important point of our viaje was that we didn’t need to bring a carseat. We stayed at a resort hotel that offered incredibly efficient bus transportation to anywhere we needed to go. So we took a much happier Sofía on the avión with a harness instead of a car seat. She may not look very happy in the foto, but don’t confuse tiredness with the placer of being able to stretch one’s legs and have moving room.

Up next….our AWESOME Safari Hotel!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Un Pez Hecho en Tiza

Sofía and I were playing with chalk on the back patio.  She pulled on my arm and told me that she drew a pez (fish).  I went to look and sure enough…she drew a pez!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fotos de 2 Años

Por fin we went to take our fotos de 2 años.  We actually went in Marzo, so we were still in the acceptable time frame to call it a 2 Años foto.  This time we went to Sears Portrait Studio and I am much happier with them than the Picture People.  There was no wait, no line, a big spacious area to hang out for the proofs and most importantly, a fotógrafo that knew how to deal with toddlers!  Sears always has good bargains on their website for free fotos and the overall cost isn’t outrageous either.  They continue to send me additional coupons so I feel confident that we will be visiting them again for Navidad!


Much of Abril was spent doing the same things over and over again.  Sofía is a two-year-old after all.  She discovered that she now DOES like the swings, los columpios, and so wants to go and play on them EVERY DAY, ALL DAY LONG.  She is also very, very, very into the movie, Ratatouille, and it’s DVD case which she carries with her everywhere.  We put the case in the stroller for a spin, in the cuna to sleep, and below you can see that Ratatouille also has a love for the columpios.

Where has the time gone?

Wow!  Have I ever been MIA!  I feel like I have been busier than ever…which is no excuse to rob my Gatita of her hopefully-to-be-cherished memories.  Slowly, I will catch up and get up to date!