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, July 12, 2013

¡Leaving Children in Alone in Cars is a big NO NO!

Here is my editorial about it!

I’m not sure what is more disturbing….the mother who left her child in the car knowing that it is wrong, or the blogger and author Skenazy who claims that it is OK to leave a child unattended.  Her quotes, “I feel as if we’ve criminalized something that we all know in our heart of hearts is generally safe.” and  “I also think that a parent is capable of deciding if it makes sense to leave her kids in the car for the duration of an errand” are ludicrous.  The STAGGERING number of child abuse cases reported (not to mention those that unfortunately not unreported)  indicates HANDS DOWN that not all parents are capable of making wise decisions when it comes to the well-being of their children.  Skenazy should be ashamed of herself for fostering anything but the well-being of children in our world.  The mother made a mistake, the child is ok (luckily) and hopefully the mother will never do such a thing again.  It is a VERY difficult and unfortunate lesson to have learned, but Skenazy’s attitude and comments are detrimental to the advancement of increasing child safety. 

I’ve been there before….I’ve wanted to leave the niños in the car a BILLION times because of …..name the scenario.  You are too tired to lug the children form the car;  I can see them from the window;  it is just easier to leave the child in the car; or LITTERALLY it will only take 3 seconds.  It doesn’t matter.  Our job is to protect our children and nurture them.  Is doing X errand so important that you are willing to compromise the well-being of your child?  If your answer is YES, I mean if you THINK about and it and decided that the answer is still yes—then you do deserve the hassle of having the authorities called on you. 

I have called 911 4 times and counting when I have found children in cars alone.  The most disgusting of them all was the woman who was shopping in DSW.  I saw her and she ended up behind me in line.  I didn’t know she was the owner of the sedan parked in the Fire Lane with hazards on.  When I peered into the car, her two daughters were there.  She was in the store for more than 20 minutes, taking her time, browsing at all the shoes.  Unfortunately she returned to her car before the police could even be dispatched.

I will continue to call 911. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

¡Feliz Día de Independencia!

It was a very low-key celebración for us. 

There wasn’t anything traditional about the way we celebrated this year….no back yard BBQ, or swimming in the pool.  We didn’t even eat “American” cuisine!  But we did watch “Fireworks” and the senario was right out of my own childhood.  Someone brought some simple fireworks so that the niños could see some spark and colors before needing to turn in for the night.  We didn’t even start at dusk, but the shade from our trees provided a good backdrop for bright colors.  The most important thing? 

The niños loved the simple DIY show and we didn’t have to leave our backyard!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Experimento de Flores for Julio 4!

We hadn’t planned on much for celebrating El Día de Independencia.  But we did try to do a few red, white and blue actividades to engage in the festive spirit.

The first is an experiemnto de flores for Julio 4.
The experiment, as I’m sure you know, is about how flowers will change color if the color or paint is added to their water.  It is how they “drink” water and live.

These are our supplies:  flowers (fresh flowers work the best, ours were on their way out the door), markers, water colors, vases, white paper and a timer.

We labeled our vases,

Added the color and

 started the timer.

 This was our result!  Next time...FRESH FLOWERS!  (They absorb the color much better!)
Sofía really enjoyed the experimento and really enjoyed telling all our holiday guests about the experiemento and what the projected results would be!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Recital de Ballet

 Sofía had her first Recital de Ballet.  She was very excited!
The emotions build-up in the car!

Sofía was the first person on stage!  We were in the front row (special cast and crutches parking!) so she saw us right away!

And she couldn’t stop smiling!

Her favorite profe Mariana went to the recital also and gave her flowers--from one ballerina to another!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Caña de Azucar

My esposo fondly speaks of his time spent with his abuelo on the finca.  (Mi esposo uses the word Chacra which originates from the Quechua language.)  On the finca, el abuelo grew lots of different things, especially citrus.  But I remember hearing that he also grew caña de azúcar.  So when I saw cañas in Wholefoods, I knew I had to buy one so that Sofía could see what one looked like.  If Sofía lived in Perú or Colombia, surly she would already have sipped some guarapo (juice from sugar cane) and witnessed the machine extracting the juice at one of the various roadside stands.

Luckily we have YouTube to help keep in touch with our heritage!

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!