“I thought he was making a side dish” – Food as pleasure, as identity

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WARNING: Many photos of delicious Spanish food accompany this post. Do NOT read hungry. (You have been warned.)

“I thought he was just going to make a veggie side dish,” my mom reacts as the food continues to stream in from the grill outside.

“Well, you know D.,” I respond. “He loves food, and he loves to cook.”

“I know, but he didn’t need to. We have plenty of food.”

“Yes, but, he wanted to,” I reassure her. Continue reading

Sobremesa, Traditions, and a Merry Christmas

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Put a “get things done” American and a laid-back “ya veremos” Spaniard next to each other at the dinner table and you’re sure to get two different answers to just about any question.

(We always have the most interesting sobremesas* in our casa!)

So, I thought I’d let you eavesdrop on one of our recent dinner debates. This time the topic was Christmas and our family traditions. Continue reading

On my bedside table (and, in my Feedly) – part 2

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Lately, my bedside has accumulated a bit of dust as the books I vowed I’d start reading pile higher…and higher.

Has anyone read Permission to Parent by Robin Berman? It’s in the pile.

And, if you caught part one of “On my bedside table,” you’ll be happy to know that I’m still on the same página of El Tiempo entre Costuras. Continue reading

“Educate yourself about Bilingualism” (Family Fridays)

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Photo via goodncrazy.com

¡Feliz viernes, amig@s! We’re back again with another installment of “Family Fridays” here on the blog.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Jane and her French-English bi-national family.

Her story raises a thought-provoking question: would you ever change your family’s language policy, and if so, what would be the result? Jane is a native French speaker and her husband a native English speaker. Living in the United States until recently, French was their home language. Now, they’ve relocated to France and have decided to speak English with their two boys. Read on to find out why and the challenges (and joys!) that come with this change.

Jane has some great advice to share. Be encouraged, amig@s! Continue reading

Traveling with Bebé

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Last week E. and I got to tag along with D. as he attended a work conference in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. We decided to combine his work trip with a four-hour drive out to California to visit family.

I realize that there are endless blog posts on the InterWebs about traveling with an infant, many of which I found immensely helpful in planning my own trip: nurse during take-off and landing, pack light, bring lots of snacks, wear comfortable clothes, and other tips.

Well, four flights, two airport connections, one car ride, and 16 hours of travel time proved all of the above true.

They also taught me five other things I’d like to share with you about traveling with bebé. These are suggestions that I hope will make your next trip con bebé a bit easier and, of course, more fun! Continue reading

The Many Faces of Bilingual, part 4

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Happy Monday, amig@s!

We made it safely back home last night from a week on the west coast. What a beautiful area of the country! I think I left a piece of my heart back in California. Stay tuned later this week for my thoughts on traveling with an infant. We survived!

Anyway, we’re back with part four of this series “The Many Faces of Bilingual.” You can check out the first three parts here, here, and here if you missed them.

Today, you’ll meet a bi-national husband and wife couple, Crissa (from the USA) and Oscar (from Chile). Crissa was a class mate of mine in graduate school at Georgetown and she’s now working on her Ph.D. in linguistics. Both she and Oscar have some thought-provoking insights on what it means to be bilingual.

Pay particular attention to how Oscar code-switches back and forth between English and Spanish. Fascinating stuff! If you’re interested in the notion of code-switching, or you aren’t sure what it is, you can read about it in a previous post I wrote here. My translations in English follow his remarks in parentheses. Continue reading