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.

Friday, March 30, 2012

іLeános en SpanglishBaby!

We are new contributing writers to SpanglishBaby!  Check us out and maybe inscríbate to be a Spanglish Mami and receive the free newsletter!

іGracias to Ana and Roxana for inviting me to join la Familia!  іEs un honor!
You can read my first artículo: Slimy and Sensacional EspaguetisSensory Tub Activity.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Language Profiling

Yesterday , we were driving down the road and bright yellow SUV was not driving appropriately.  I made  some kind of comentario under my breath.  Sofía asked me what the car was doing and I explained it to her. 
We drove by them; I glanced over and saw that there were two Latinas in the car and the driver was TALKING ON HER CELULAR!  Gggrrrr.  Two seconds after passing the car, Sofía said, “Esas señoras hablan Español, cierto, Mami?” I was SHOCKED of course.  I answered her that they indeed spoke Español and asked her how she KNEW that they spoke Español.  Her response?  No sé.”
Image Detail I suppose I have handed down the Language-Profiling gene to Sofía. (I really like to call it Racial Profiling, but that has a WHOLE different meaning.) Maybe it is a good skill that she will need if she becomes a CIA agent instead of the Veterinaria that I’m sure is her destino.   I suppose I Language Profile because I'm a Language Nerdo. But it is also easy to do in our area. The majority of non-gringos are either off the boat or first generation immigrants, so it is easy and rather accurate. Here, at least, if someone looks like a foreigner, they generally are a foreigner, but I realize this isn’t the case in other regions of the country.  But I love to check out people's factions, shoes and socks, gait, skin and hair color, and  language rhythm to determine what language they speak and if they are immigrants or children of immigrants. If I sense a hint of being a Spanish-Speaker, I immediately transition into Español.  I’m more comfortable with it and I want Sofía to be exposed as much as possible.  But who am I kidding?  I switch to Español even when Sofía ISN’T around!  іJa ja jee jee! I just find it fascinante to look at a person’s appearance and culturally dissect him or her to discover from where he or she is or what language he or she speaks.  Do YOU Language Profile?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Reason #11 to Amar a Chick-Fil-A

Today's Post is a follow-up to my post, Hola Chick-Fil-A.
The next day, at 9:14AM, I got a response from Chick-Fil-A thanking me for their feedback!  How awesome is that!!  (Sometimes I can't even get my esposo to respond to my emails that quickly! ;) )
Add punctuality and feedback to the list of why Chick-Fil-A is my new Restaurante Favorito!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hola Chick-Fil-A

Although I don’t frequent Fair Oaks Mall, when I do go, I always notice that there is a HUGE line outside of the restaurante Chick-Fil-A.  It is reminiscent of the (as my amiga calls it) Chicken-Shacks that invade every corner of my barrio in Bogotá.  So we decided to check out what the deal was.  Luckily, we arrived for Sofía’s almuerzo time and the big lunch hype hadn’t started. 
Chick-Fil-A is my new favorite restaurante!  I wish I had known about it right after Sofía was born AND I wish there was one closer to my casa! 
Here are ALL my reasons for my newfound AMOR!

1. When I placed my order, I was told to sit down and someone would bring me my food!  Wow!!  I always struggle to find a place where I can still see Sofía AND pick up the food at the same time.

2.  There are greeters and helpers who monitor and make sure that you get to your table easily and that everything is clean.  (I invited the woman to come to my casa I was so ecstatic with the help!)  FINALLY someone who understands how difficult it is to carry a tray (even if it only has drinks) AND push a stroller! 

3.  Did I mention that there was someone in the dining area to just help if you needed something?  She asked me if she could get napkins or straws or sauces for me!

4.  Under the cap, the leche has a foil covering that I could just poke a hole in and the straw would not stray.  The straws were the bendy straws so that my daughter doesn’t JAB herself in the mouth every time she takes a sip!!

5.  The salsa de tomate is a clean squeeze packet!  Muy, muy, muy inteligente!

6.  The restaurante was FILLED and I mean FILLED with mamás.  New mamás, mamás with toddlers, mamás with other mamás with niños.  All of them with happy faces as someone helped them to their table as they pushed their strollers!

7.  Chick-Fil-A have their own hand wipes!  You can pick them up as you pick up your utensils and napkins etc…ahhhhh….Heaven!
8.  The menu offers a grilled variety of the nuggets and sánduches and then there are the papas.  The papas are wafles, thick, meaty, skin-on papas. ¡Yumi, Yumi, Yumi!

9.  As people left, I watched how tables were cleaned immediately!  I was super impressed!  The only thing that I was bummed about in observing my new favorite restaurante was that the highchairs didn’t get cleaned.  This is a pet peeve of mine.  High chairs are sooo nasty and there was a recent report that they carried more bacteria than a toilet.  I’m going to drop them a line and let them know. 

10.  The last thing that I have to toot the horn about Chick-Fil-A is that my receipt asked me to take a survey and as a result of taking the survey….I get a free sánduche on my next visita!

¡Gracias Chick-Fil-A!

Monday, March 19, 2012

NY Times: Why Bilinguals Are Smarter

There is an article in the NY Times published on March 17, 2012 about the Benefits of being Bilingual. I have seen many, many, many articles lately published by The NY Times about this subject.  I’m glad that they are speaking out about what WE have known for a LLLLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGGG time!  Here is an excerpt from the article written by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee.
                                        Why Bilinguals Are Smarter
SPEAKING two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age.
Read the entire artículo, Why Bilinguals Are Smarter by Bhattacharjee.
Gracias NY Times!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

іFeliz Aniversario!

Would you say “I do” all over again? 

I would in a heartbeat!  Well, in my case, I said, “Sí” because we got married in Lima, Perú and I would DEFINITELY do that again!  For the last two years on our aniversario, I posted about how much fun our Culinary Wedding Weekend was for us and our familia and amigos. (At least that is what they tell us anyway!)  You can read all about the Boda and Video Synopsis, Hacienda, Culinary Extravaganza, and the Pachamanca by clicking on each respective link.
This year, mi esposo took the day off again so that we could celebrate our aniversario as a familia. We went out to breakfast together, played in the pool (yes because it was almost as hot in D.C. as it was in Lima four years ago!), ate lunch at Sofía’s favorite hang out and then the Novios dined together at the exquisito Blue Duck Tavern.

This past year, we went to Lima and Sofía was able to actually see the iglesia where we were married as well as the restaurante where we held our reception.  So with another year under her belt, the pictures, videos, and visits helped her understand our Special Day (as we explained it to her) un poco más.  Her comment?  Today I’m going to get married to Mami and Papi too!
Every día I think about how I would say all over again – afterall, I married the Best Man In the World!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


A perfect día de la Primavera for Estaciones outside!
Bubble estacion, water table, chalk and paint estacion.
Craft table: Colored Sand Arte
Sofia spent a lot of time with the chalk estacion.
We ended with a fiesta de Te with a few amigos!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Desayuno con los Abuelos

Before Sofía was born, mi esposo and I talked about how we both felt that it was important for Sofía to spend time with her grandparents.  We both have special memories of much time that each of us spent with our respective abuelos.  Although both sets of Sofía’s abuelos don’t live in the area, we do have the support of at least one side, Sofía’s paternal grandparents.  So we asked mi esposo’s mother to come twice a week to spend some time with her.  It gives me a break to run errands etc…but more importantly, it gives Sofía and her abuela time to bond.  La abuela continues to come once or twice a week to play with her nieta.  Once we realized that Sofía wasn’t getting enough time with her abuelo (her ONLY abuelo since mi padre passed away six years ago) we started inviting them over for breakfast on Sunday mornings.  It has been a great tradition for all of us. 

Sometimes we make it fancy, sometimes we make panqueques or breakfast pasteles, and sometimes we just eat cereal!  It really isn’t the food that matters too much (ok, el café does matter!)  but the fact that we spend it together.  We really have enjoyed our nueva tradición and although sometimes I would like to just hang out in my pijamas en silencio…..I know how much Sofía loves her Desayunos los Domingos con los abuelos---she asks for it every Saturday night! 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Un Dia en el Parque

We're lucky--our parques are spacious...oh and famosos!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Sleepover

Here’s one thing that I don’t know about in Latin America o sea not in the Spanish-Speaking world because it wasn’t really a part of mi mundo.  The Sleepover. My esposo thinks it is strange and actually at one point said that he didn’t want Sofía to participate in them.  I know that int the Spanish-speaking world, cousins often will sleep over each other’s houses, but I don’t really know about amigas which is really totally diferente.  But I don’t think that you can be a girl growing up in la USA and NOT participate in the sleepover.  Sofía has never had una amiga sleep over before but has had many tías, tíos, and abuelas.  But last week mi mejor amiga and her hijo came to visit for a few days.  Doménico is just one month older than Sofía so it works out perfecto!  They have visited with each other before, but neither one of us has spent the night since the bebes were about 4 months old.  Now that mi amiga and Doménico are gone, I think Sofía is going through withdrawals.  From the momento that she woke up to the momento that she went a dormir….Sofía and Doménico played.  They played and played and played.  She told me that she wants Doménico to stay at her house “todos los días”.  Yes, I think that the Sleepover has gone over well in our casa and I can’t imagine that as an only child and a girl in la USA that it won’t continue! (Bueno…only with other girls of course!)  There is nothing like a good Sleepover with a good amiga!