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.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Arte de la Primavera

We enjoy creating seasonal arte.  As I was taking down our Arte de Primavera to make way for our Arte de Verano, I realized that I still needed to share this Spring Masterpiece.

Sofía and I talked a lot about colors of the Primavera and which colors one can find where. 

She used various techniques in her work.  The sky is a blend of sunset colors sponge-painted on.   The grass/earth part is also blended with a variety of brush strokes.  Sofía cut the butterflies out herself and then chose the 3-D sprigs—gluing everything “YO SOLA!”

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Search for a GOOD Odontólogo

Recently, I reconnected with one of my favorite students in Colombia!  Too many years have passed without any communication with him and well…..bebés, don’t stay bebés forever and now he is an Odontólogo!  So I wanted to share some of my insight into Pediatric Dentistry, not just for las mamás, but for odontólogos as well! :)

We FINALLY found a good odontólogo!

Three times really is a charm.
We went to our first odontólogo visit in December of 2011.  I liked Mr. Dentista #1, but wasn’t convinced to return to him because of several things.  Mainly, because I felt super rushed in his office and I spent more time with his hygienists than with him and unfortunately the hygienists were NOT as tuned into toddler behavior as Mr. Dentista#1 was. (Had they been, I may not have changed odontólogos.)  

But I was super impressed with Mr. Dentista#1 as a whole.  He shared keen insight into the science of teeth and really understood my cranky and scared two-and-a-half-year-old.  He met with us first in an office and talked to us about procedures first, without dentist jazz around.  I really liked that. He stressed that with children three and under, there is no pressure.  He doesn’t want young children to come away with a bad experience about the odontólogo.  There would be no pressure, no forcing, nada because eventually young kids come around and will get their teeth cleaned. 

So at the time for our next visit, we tried out Ms. NastyDentista.  I will put this in a nutshell.  She was unprofessional and ridiculous.  She has no business claiming to be a pediatric odontólogo and I made sure to write a thorough online review to let others know. 

Ms. NastyDentista didn’t understand three-old-behavior or fears.  She didn’t share the same view as Mr. Dentista#1 about not pressuring or forcing a youngster.  Sofía cried and screamed in the office.  She didn’t want Ms.NastyDentista to touch her.  I thought she was just being difficult.  As hindsight, I see that she had a very keen sense of the Ms. NastyDentista’s personality!  When Sofía wouldn’t stop crying or open her mouth for her to see, Ms. NastyDentista held Sofía’s arms down and tried to pry her mouth open.  She was instructing me to hold Sofía’s legs down also.  Sofía was SCREAMING and CRYING and FLAILING to get this woman off her.  I shut it down and picked up Sofía.  Clearly, this woman had NO IDEA how to deal with pediatric patients.  We left and didn’t return.  I hope no one under the age of 25 returns there.

And then, FINALLY, we found Ms. DentistaBuena!  Basically a year passed before I tried to take Sofía back to an odontólogo. 

Ms. DentistaBuena shared the same filosofía as Mr. Dentista#1, but her hygienists were super with Sofía!  Both Ms. DentistaBuena and her hygienist spent plenty of time with us to make us both feel comfortable.  They were both patient, gentle and playful, not overbearing or forceful.  Sofía did not want to let anyone touch her teeth that day either, but they both easily and calmly convinced her that there would be no pain and that the experience would be FUN!  And it was FUN!  Sofía put on cool magical protective eye glasses and watched a video while her teeth were examined.  She had fun touching the instruments and trying them out to see how they worked before Ms.DentistaBuena actually used them in Sofía’s mouth.   Ms. DentistaBuena had big props for Sofía to practice brushing and play with!  Sofía enjoyed her odontólogo experience and she now has clean teeth!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Practicando Sonidos y Números

As I am lying on the sofá, letting my poor foot heal, I had to “invent” things to do with Sofía to keep her entertained-and off my leg!
Really, this is easy as she loves to help out.  In addition, give her a task and she will bounce all around the house to accomplish it!
We played for just a little bit, but it was divertido and educational of course!

First, I printed out a few letters and números in a light color so that Sofía could trace them.
I let her choose a letter or número.  After she traced it, we talked about it.  The números were easy.  Sofía gathered objects to represent each número. 
When we did a letter, we discussed objects that began with each letter. She then went around the house gathering objects that began with each letter and sound in Español.  She got creative with the S.  She cut out a foto of herself to represent the S of Sofía!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Cocinando con la Abuela

When la Abuela came over to play with Sofía, they decided to cocinar.  Sofía was sooo feliz that she shouted:  ¡Qué emocion!  Voy a cocinar con mi Abuela!  And cocinar they did!  My suegra is an excellent cook and Peruvian food is what she does best.  How I would love to learn to cook some of her traditional Peruvian dishes, but not even mi esposo can replicate them like she does, so I figure that there is not even the slightest ounce of hope on my side!

Maybe the talent is really a recessive gene and skips a generation?  I kept my fingers crossed as Abuela announced that she was going to show Sofía how to make Lomo Saltado!  She also made us una sopa de carne with zanahorias, apio, y papa!

Sofía took her piece of carne and rolled it, kneaded it and finally “cut” it into small pieces using her toddler knife!  It turned into a very educational sensory culinary project!

¡Deli, deli, deli!

Friday, June 21, 2013

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Gatitos!

Los gatitos turned 1 year old!
They’ve grown sooo fast! 
So we HAD to celebrate with torta!  This is a one bowl cake that we have been waiting for the puuurfect occasion to make!

When I was pregnant with Sofía, the first thing I ever craved was torta.  It didn’t take long for me to start with a harried-eyed craving either….I think this one started at about 5½ weeks.  Sofía is four and half and I still crave torta!

We enjoyed the dense cake with fresh fresas and homemade crema.  The gatitos indulged in atún!

¡Feliz Cumpleaños  Gatitos!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

¡Querida Mami!

Sofía wrote me a letter yesterday.  Since I can’t read very well sometimes, I asked her to read it to me. ;)  (I then transcribed it because I loved it so much!)
This is what it says verbatim:

¡Querida Mami!
Gracias, gracias, gracias que Natalia (the babysitter) venga a jugar conmigo.
Gracias por ayudarme y por dejarme ayudarte.
Te amo mucho.com


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

¡Ride Sally Ride!

Sally Ride (NASA Photo S84-37256)
Foto credit:  NASA
Thirty years ago today, Sally Ride, astronaut and Physicist, became the first woman in space, flying in the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger! Sally was a pioneer and dedicated her life to Science education – particularly focusing on girls.

We are particularly grateful to all of Sally’s efforts and accomplishments as we have a budding astronauta of our own!
Unfortunately, Sally passed away last July, but her legacy will live on forever.

Gracias Sally!  And keep on riding!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Día del Padre

We had an unexpected desayuno for El Día del Padre.
It was unplanned and low key.

We sat outside on the patio.  There was a warm breeze and it was extraordinario! (Ok…well, I had been cooped up in the casa all week, so I was more than thrilled to be outside!)  I felt like we were on vacaciones! The restaurente made canoa waffles that were a big hit with Sofía and the Guest of Honor-Papi!

The best part of El Día del Padre?  Snapping this foto of Papi and Sofía. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mainstay Veterinary Practice

Dr. Kris Hitt
Foto Credit: Mainstay Veterinary Practice
 I love my Vet. 
I can’t say enough awesome things about Dr. Hitt and what she does for the animal kind.

She takes care of my gatitos like they are her own, so that always puts me at ease when I bring them to her, sick and needing to be healed.  And heal she does!

When Dr. Hitt opened her own practice, Mainstay Veterinary Practice, in Abril, I was first in line to tour the facilities and spread the news! 

Not only is she extraordinary with animales, she is super with Sofía.  In fact, when Fulanito passed away, it was Dr. Hitt that explained to Sofía where Fulanito is now….I couldn’t find the words and she so eloquently (and with the experience of raising 4 children) did so.  I didn’t even ask her to, she just knew. Sofía just so happens to want to be a Vet also!  Dr. Hitt lets Sofía help her ALL OVER THE FACILITY. We really are lucky, because I’m sure that not many people are allowed back in the pharmacy and treatment areas, let alone allowed to have a hands-on approach!

Dr. Hitt took care of Paco and Paquita the day before my foot surgery.  She offered to keep them for a few days to make our family’s load a little lighter.  I know she makes house calls when needed. The latest super thing she did.....stayed all night at the "office" in a makeshift bed to be side by side with a sick animal to ensure that he made it through the night! (Which he did!)

A few days after my surgery, THIS arrived!

How thoughtful and considerate!  It certainly was an amazing surprise!  I wish I could clone Dr. Hitt to be our pediatrician too!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pintando con Canícas

Pintando con canícas has always been of interest to me.  Pintrest is loaded with lots of pins of very chévere ideas.  In fact, I can’t even remember what blog I read that finally inspired me to go for it.  But we did and the results were fantáticos!

We really used 3 different sized balls and not all canícas so that we could guess what size line each would make in the paint, and then compare to see if we were correct etc…

 Sofía was really so-so with the actividád, so I had to really, really, really hype it up. 

What she LOVED was using the canícas to paint.  Instead of letting the balls roll, she dipped them in paint and like one would a paint brush and painted her canvas that way.

She also used her fingers and hands and the caníca.

 It ended up being a sensory, science, painting actividad!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Target Merrifield y los Pavos para Thanksgiving 2012

Target Managers Bob and Joseph, and Team Member Ahmad help make donating pavos easy!
Every year we donate pavos to the school where I used to work.  They always have families who need a little extra help around the holidays, so the school organizes Thanksgiving baskets filled with pavos and other foods.  Unfortunately every year, the number of families increases. 

We choose to donate to my school (as opposed to other places) because we are helping people we know – it hits home a little harder and makes you open your pockets a little more! (If you are a teacher, you know what I’m saying.  It’s heart-wrenching to see your students come to school day after day knowing that they only eat when school is open.)

In years past, we have had problems getting supermarkets to make a large quantity of pavos available to us and give it to us at the sale price.  Last year, the main offices in Giant wouldn’t help us out AT ALL in making 55 turkeys available to us to buy (at any price!).  On that occasion, our neighborhood Giant Meat Manager personally rounded us up whatever turkeys he could.  For the price we paid, we could have bought 20 turkeys more! 

 This year was different. 

 Target opened up a Super Store in Merrifield. 

 I was nervous when I approached the manager and said that we needed something like 70 turkeys and could we please have your sale price too? I spoke with Joseph P. 

Joseph didn’t blink, didn’t hesitate, and didn’t skip a beat when he answered me. 

“Sure…when do you need them by?”

I’m the one who blinked!  

Joseph worked with another Target Manager, Bob C.   These Target Managers were extremely accommodating.  They were so genuinely pleased to help out the community.  They understood the plight of hungry children and parents struggling to provide.  And they really, really, got that we aren’t a company or an organization buying turkeys to donate….we are just a family who wants to donate 70 turkeys to other families.

As if this wasn’t enough!  When I went to pick up the turkeys, (I had no idea what 70 turkeys would look like), I ended up going alone with Sofía because my husband had just had surgery on his knee.  Joseph and Bob, after much work,  taking each turkey out of its box to weigh and price and pack back up again, hauled them to my car and packed all 70 turkeys in the car!  I kept thanking them profusely and it didn’t even match how much THEY, the Managers at TARGET, were thanking me for helping out the community! 

 Joseph and Bob are personas fantásticas and obviously exemplar employees of the truly super organization, Target!  We will be counting on them for Thanksgiving 2013!

¡Muchas, muchas, muchas y miles de Gracias!


Monday, June 10, 2013

¡Lázaro es Revivido!

¡Feliz 2013!

Just like Lázaro……I’m back! 

It has been way too long since La Mothertongue and I have connected and now I’m back again!  I suppose I have a lot of catching up to do! 

But the first thing I MUST write about is our annual Thanksgiving turkey donation and how the super fantásticas personas from TARGET helped out our community!