Is this a life on hold or am I holding on to life?

June 28, 2009 § 1 Comment

Everything needed to stop.

“Stop talking!”, my toddler vented, “stop talking!”

“Don’t do that.”

“That’s not for you. That for papi!” (in reference to the computer)

“Come here. You need come here!”

Everything needed to stop. Laundry would sit. Food would get stuck. The mess would get messier. It all had to stop. I had to stop moving.

A cry for help? Is she insecure in my love for her?

I needed to stop. No sewing. No talking on the phone.

No judgment. No expectations. No useless praise. No corrections.

Play her games. Her way. Don’t make suggestions on how to make the game “better”. Just follow her lead.

Stop doing that. To myself.

How could I be so deaf? I have needs, too. Why can’t she see them? “She’ll never learn to _______ if I do things this way”, I hear some voice saying to me. “Tell her to be gentle.” “You need to punish her so she doesn’t think she can get away with that.” “She’s never gonna learn.” “She’s manipulating you.”

Believing those voices made me angry.

Believing those voices, I felt stupid and unable to be the mother I want to grow to be.

Believing those voices I can’t connect.

Believing those voices I feel estranged from her.

Now I’m the one telling those voices: Stop talking!

It’ll still take some time but I’m getting the hang of it.


Translation, please…

June 19, 2009 § Leave a comment

I have a theory that one of the reasons I am so tired by the end of the day is that I’m trying to understand my 2.5 year old’s language. Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it’s trickier. If you heard:

eye wan wif mabolsop

would you know exactly what bilingual baby was talking about? Yay for you if you figured it out. I’ve seen quite a number of people learning another language through immersion (both here in the United States and in Colombia) and I have to say that I always see the same thing. By the end of the day, you’re exhausted. Your entire day was spent trying to assemble sense into what others were saying. Sometimes all you get is ONE word. The rest you put together through context. With a kid learning to speak, you don’t necessarily get the help you may need to decifer what they mean. In this context, you are all on your own. Plus, most of the time, when you’re in a country that does not follow the same linguistic rules you’re used to, you can still usually find a couple of people who can help you piece things together.

No conclusions here.

Teeccino & an updated page

June 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

I just tried Teeccino’s Maya Mocha and, although I’ve been sipping it colder than I would hope, I really did like it. I even used he french press to make it. I’m going to have to get some more because it. It’s caffeine-free, too- not that coffee hasn’t played a part in my life lately.

Also, I updated my books page and have added some more parenting books- parenting stuff is toward the bottom so you’ll have to scroll down. Suggest a book for me to read!

Pio Pio etsy

June 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

Ever since embroidering this little chick onto a onesie for baby brother and his cousin, I’ve been meaning to get more embroidered and up on my etsy shop. Before I had a good excuse… I didn’t have an etsy shop. Now, I don’t have an excuse. Therefore, I’ve made it a goal to embroider some more onesies with the chickie.

chick onesie

While gathering some more onesies, I started sewing up a chick out of an unused sweater. I’ll fill it with some wool and embroider some eyes. (I don’t mean to make this a theme…)


I love canela.

June 10, 2009 § 5 Comments

Our bilingual baby is showing her bilingual chops. She’s two and a half today and it’s really cool to see what words she uses in Spanish and what words she uses in English. I checked out a book from our library on raising a bilingual child (by Barbara Zurer Pearson) and I thought I’d be fighting their theories but the book actually is giving me words to use when explaining our bilingual household. Well… mostly.

There are different ways you can approach a bilingual lifestyle, all pretty self-explanatory.

One Person, One Language (OPOL)

Minority Language at Home (ML@H)

Time and Place

Mixed Language Policy

When I talk to my dad, I always use Spanish and my mom always gets English from me- no matter what language they start in. Funny, since both my parents are completely bilingual (read, write, speak perfectly). When we lived in Colombia, I feel like we heard more English being spoken at home and when we lived in the States, more Spanish seemed to be around. In our school in Colombia, they used the Time and Place approach. For example, my geometry teacher was American so he taught his class in English. The physics teacher was Colombian so you’d get physics in Spanish. Algebra was taught by a British teacher so we had it in English. So, depending on the time of day and/or the class you were in, the language was changed.

I don’t like the fact that I switch languages so often- tho most people think it’s cool when they hear it. I wish I knew more ways to say things in both languages. I get tripped up in each language and frequent dictionaries and thesauri all the time. At the same time, I get a little freaked out when I hear that some of my bilingual friends had parents who would refuse to talk to them or pretend they couldn’t understand if they didn’t use the correct language. Phif! That’s too much for me… but will I end up with kids who sprinkle in Spanish and figure that’s all they need to do to be bilingual? Bilingual, to me, doesn’t mean you sprinkle. It means you can communicate in a single language without switching. Writing this all down is helping me see why I’m getting ansy about bilingual baby’s lack of Spanish. I mean, she sprinkles. She’ll say things like: I love canela (cinammon). This is what is called: Spanglish. Spanglish is what I use with my sisters when we’re talking really fast and I can’t find a word in Spanish, so I use the word in English. Not for words like pan (bread) or libro (book) but for things like snowshoes- words I don’t know (or am too lazy to know) in Spanish.

Navigating in two cultures is also a part of my life being bilingual. Though being bilingual and bicultural has made me feel, on many accounts, like I don’t belong in either culture. I’m too American to be Colombian and in the U.S. I’m seen as an anomaly. No accent in either language and looks that make me blend into a Caucasian crowd.

One of the things that I fear from living in an English dominant community is that my kids aren’t exposed to Spanish. We sing songs, prayers and read some books in Spanish but they hear me speak it to them only- unless we have friends over who I think would be weird about it. I have a couple of friends who also speak Spanish but there is little in the way of a culture here that speaks Spanish. “Why then did you move here?”, a little voice asks. That’s economic in nature and social in context and I may delve into it some other day. For now, let me get back to the task at hand: trying to come up with some viable solution to our limited Spanish.

At home, I speak to my kids in Spanish. Sometimes, in order to figure out what bilingual baby is saying, I repeat back to her (in English) what she has said and then work from there in Spanish. I’ve also noticed when I’m getting impatient with a situation, I use English. In thinking about it, I find that English is much more controlled for me than Spanish. I was just browsing a blog whose author and husband use Spanish-only on 3 days of the week.

This is getting long-winded and mind-boggling so I’ll stop even though I’ve got some more thoughts brewing. I can see my interests shifting into this whole bilingual/bicultural world and there isn’t that much out there, so I can see that my blogging will get heavy into that topic. Wish me luck.

my etsy store is up!

June 8, 2009 § 2 Comments

After a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally posted my first item for sale on my etsy store. I’ve posted one of the pods I made. Check it out:

In other news, I do have sewing shoulder! Aagh! I went to the chiropractor on Saturday and that helped a lot. She’s awesome! She does Network Spinal Analysis which is a more holistic approach to chiropractic care. There’s no cracking but rather gentle precise touch, as this site explains.

I won’t be sewing for a while, just so I can recuperate. However, having browsed etsy a while (and with a friend asking me if I make purses) I don’t think I’ll be away long. I do have a pattern for one of Amy Butler’s bags- the weekender. I got the pattern back in August, before I had two kids. In the last 4 months, I’ve looked online and just haven’t found the right fabric for this bag. Maybe I need to think outside the box and really create my own thing here.

I bought a cute quilting book called Quilts, Baby! by Linda Kopp. Her designs will get you back to your machine in no time! They are so cute and modern and get me thinking that I should do more embroidery. Not all by hand, though. This other book that I checked out from the library, the Amy Karol one, is really not going to help my sewing hiatus. So inspiring.

I’ve got a list of things I want to do. Not like laundry or clean up my mess. No! It’s got things like get etsy store up… well, let me just show you my list:

1. tiny mouse designs podeagis

2. babywearing class (I scheduled it but haven’t received any interest)

3. babywearing group (This week we’re finishing up the back health series so I’m working on getting the next serise booked)

4. translating (there’s a chance I could do some translating of children’s books)

5. Spanish group for toddlers (still in the brainstorming and could-I-do-it-and-not-go-nuts stage)

6. Blog for mamasays (a local thing- just posted my first entry)

7. Modern dance class

The Full Moon Tea Party

June 7, 2009 § Leave a comment

I had such a good time. We saw a bunch of friends there and most of them were involved in making this shin dig happen. So much fun. It was such the perfect event after a winter full of illness and snow bound life.

I didn’t sell anything but that’s okay. I’m going to keep this short because, well, the weekend and all. It’s not over.

I’ve put the sewing machine away (which really just means I’ve taken it off the dining room table and put it back upstairs) and I’m in the process of clearing the table of all the fabric, notions and scraps of paper that held all my notes from the last month or so. While trying to organize my fabric, I found some pieces that I want to use soon.

For now, I need to take care of my sewing shoulder. It actually is muscular… from all the sewing (sitting in a slouched position- not recommended) that I did. I guess I was sewing a lot. There are a couple of my podeagis at Bebop Baby Shop in Essex Jct but the others I’m going to put up on etsy. The brown pod got a lot of attention; as did the big pink flowery one.

I’m reading a couple of books:

Raising a bilingual child

Amy Karol’s (The Angry Chicken) sewing book which I may have to buy for a couple of friends

A book of essays by Mario Vargas Llosa (one of my favorite authors)

another book by Jose Saramago- I just couldn’t finish Ensayo sobre la lucidez.. maybe someday.

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