Is he a good baby?…& other questions about life with two children

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¡Feliz sábado, amig@s! And, happy September! (How is it already September?)

This summer has flown by as D. and I have been adjusting to being a family of four, finding our new normal. Baby J. is already nine weeks. Two months?!

These past two months have also afforded me time to reflect on my life as mamá to a toddler and infant with all of the well wishes, congratulations, and…questions I’ve gotten from friends and family. What’s it like with two?, I’m asked often.

I’m actually thankful for all of the questions because they’ve got me thinking deep and hard about my parenting. Today I’d like to share a few of the most common questions I’ve gotten over the past few weeks and then offer alternative ones that I think are more respectful and productive in how we view babies.

Since so many other parents and child experts have written more eloquently than I ever could on these topics, I’ve included links to articles and blog posts in case you’re interested in learning more.

I look forward to keeping the conversation going, friends.

Happy weekend!

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A Day in the Life: a snapshot of our daily routine

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{Photo courtesy Fernando Tomás, Flickr CC}

Lately I’m asked how the transition has been from one to two children. Besides the lack of sleep and constant nursing, our home life and daily routines have pretty much remained the same: slow, simple, and rhythmic. I’m so thankful for the wisdom of RIE founder Magda Gerber when it comes to how to structure your day with infants and young children.

While our family is still slowly easing into a daily rhythm as a unit of four, and while newborns require you to be flexible, here is a look into a day in the life of the Kratovils:

You’ll notice two characteristics to our daily life, both inspired by the writings of RIE founder, Magda Gerber (pardon the long quotations, but they’re so good!): Continue reading

Reflections from postpartum, round 2

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Friends! In case you haven’t been following me on social media you may have missed the great news: we welcomed baby boy J. to our family on June 28! (That explains my long absence around the blog. I think it’s a pretty good excuse, if you ask me.)

Already a month old, he’s packing on weight like a campeón, grunting like a little old man, and enjoying the moving shadows on the blank wall next to the changing table.

That last one: watching the light on the wall from the changing table. A fine, but important, detail about my son that I completely missed postpartum with E.

I attribute my noticing J.’s intense fascination with a blank wall – and my not shoving baby rattles and mirrors in his face – to the fact that going from one to two kids is so much easier than becoming a mom for the first time. Not easy, just easier than. Continue reading

On my bedside table {current reads}

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(Photo courtesy of Moyan Brenn, Flickr CC)

Oh, wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged. Sorry for the radio silence, amigos. It’s been a rough two months with this pregnancy, but I’m feeling much, much better now, and I’m glad to be back again around the blog. The upside to spending a few weeks on quasi-bedrest is that I got to READ!

If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you might remember that one of the running series here is “on my bedside table:” books, articles, and other blog posts I’m reading and recommend. Continue reading

My journey through pregnancy: preparing for bebé 2

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(Photo via Frank de Kleine, Flickr CC)

I’m officially 23 weeks and five days pregnant today. That’s over half way to the end!

When it hit me the other day that I’m almost to the third trimester (week 28), I began to think about the difference between this pregnancy and my first. It’s true what they say that no two pregnancies are identical, even for the same mamá. And, this mom has matured and changed a lot since her first pregnancy.

Here’s how I am preparing for bebé número dos (which, by the way, is a boy!): Continue reading

¡Hola! {Book Review + Author Interview}

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Happy Friday, amig@s! The weekend is here, and for me that means more time to READ! If you’re like me, always looking for a good book to read (both for yourself and for your children), then you’ll love today’s post.

Author and former language teacher, Judy Martialay, sent me a copy of her children’s book ¡Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish a few weeks ago, and the minute I got my hands on it, I knew I wanted to share it with you all.

Designed to introduce children between the ages of six and 11 to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture, this book would make a great addition to your home library. Here’s what I love about it:

  1. Child-focused and friendly – Although it’s meant to teach children basic Spanish words, phrases, and cultural knowledge, it’s written in a way that you, the parent, could simply give it to your child to read on her own. There are colorful illustrations, craft ideas, and a fun story of cultural exploration and adventure (meet Pete the Pilot and Panchito!).
  2. Designed for the non-native speaker of Spanish – I can already think of several non-native Spanish-speaking family friends of mine who I’d love to pass this book on to, families that are eager to expose their children to introductory Spanish. I would feel totally comfortable giving this book to these parents (who don’t speak the language themselves) because it presents the language in a natural and non-threatening way. For example, the story about Pete the Pilot and Panchito is written in 90% English with one or two Spanish words sprinkled throughout each paragraph.
  3. Culturally sensitive – It’s clear that Judy took her time to research México, the culture highlighted in the book. There is a section entitled Rincón Cultural, in which she explains in clear, child-friendly language the type of Spanish used, typical food, customs, and celebrations.

And, of course, behind every book is an author. Judy graciously agreed to tell us a bit about her professional background, experience raising bilingual children, and why she believes every child should learn a second language.

Read on, amig@s, and be encouraged!

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Raising trilingual children {Family Fridays – an update}

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(Photo via Carissa Rogers, Flickr CC)

¡Feliz viernes, amig@s! We’re back with another edition of Family Fridays here on the blog, a series in which I highlight a different multilingual family from around the globe.

I’m so happy to have back again my dear friend J.K., whose family was the first to be interviewed for this series over a year ago. Originally from Korea, she and her American husband are raising their two (soon to be three!) children in three languages while living as expats in China. You can catch her first interview here.

Today, she gives us an update on her family’s language policy, shares challenges she and her husband have experienced in their six years raising trilingual children, and provides encouragement for families in a similar situation.

Be encouraged, friends!

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