Naming the struggles: transition to life with a new baby

draw_close_suffering_blog_post

(“Maternity” (1935) by José de Almada Negreiros via P. Ribeiro Simões, Flickr CC)

“You name our suffering, and that makes us want to come close to You.”

(Rev. Glenn Hoburg, Grace Presbyterian Church)

The second I heard those words, I put down my pen and slammed my journal shut.

Did I hear that right? I thought. How did he know? How was it possible that those words, preached in a church about the New Testament book of Romans, could have anything to do with my parenting a three-year old and a 10-month old baby?

Although uttered in the form of a prayer, referring to God’s relationship with His children, that sentence immediately reminded me of my three-year old daughter, E., life with a new baby (yes, still, 10 months later), and my ability to accept – and confront – all of E.’s feelings.

Let me explain. Continue reading

Why I’m teaching my daughter sign language

baby sign language hands communication espanolita

(Photo courtesy of Weird Beard, Flickr CC)

No, it’s not because I’m an overachiever, although my mom jokes that I am. Or, because I’ve suddenly found myself with hours of free time, which I haven’t.

But, because it’s working! It’s working for all of the reasons that all of those fancy toddler experts said it would work. Continue reading

A conversation with bilingual children’s author Delia Berlin (Family Fridays)

bilingual bilingualism espanolita multilingual french

(Photo via Carissa Rogers, Flickr CC)

¡Feliz viernes, amig@s!

Welcome back for another edition of our Family Fridays series here on the blog. This series features multilingual families from all over the globe, as well as other important friends (authors, singers, just to name a few) in the greater community who help and encourage us parents along the way. You can check out past installments in this series by clicking on the category FAMILIES on the right.

Today, I’m honored to introduce you to bilingual mother, grandmother, and author, Delia Berlin. Originally from Argentina, Delia has made the United States her home for the past forty years. My conversation with her today includes her personal journey with bilingualism, the role language plays in her family’s life, and her work as author of several bilingual books for children.

Be encouraged, friends. ¡Buen fin de semana! Continue reading

Meet “Pablo Español” (Family Fridays)

bilingual bilingualism espanolita multilingual french

 (Photo via Carissa Rogers, Flickr CC)

Happy Friday, friends! Today marks the first chapter of a new and expanded version of Family Fridays.

I’ve been thinking lately about the importance of our communities, both near and far, in our raising our children in more than one language. You know, the whole “it-takes-a-village” notion. We can’t do this thing called bilingual parenting without the support of our neighbors, schools, places of worship, and other members of our world. So, starting this Friday, I’d like to expand the Family Fridays series to include other members of our bilingual family, other than our immediate spouses/partners and children.

Today, specifically, I’d like to introduce you to Greg Sanchez, also known as “Pablo Español,” bilingual singer-songwriter of children’s music. Not only does he share with us today the vision behind his company, but he also speaks about the challenges and joys of raising his two sons in two languages.

Be encouraged, friends. Continue reading

Un Descanso (Taking a Break)

bilingual parenting bilingualism espanolita

Today I have decided to do something that has always been hard for me: I’m going to take a break. From blogging, for ten days.

Normally, Fridays here on the blog are devoted to a running series entitled Family Fridays. I love this series. It features a different multilingual family, their struggles, their joys, and their growth, in this adventure of raising children in more than one language. If you’re new to the blog, I encourage you to click on the link FAMILIES on the right of your screen to meet some pretty amazing people. (You can also catch a round-up of families from the first five and a half months here.) Continue reading

Inviting Montessori to nuestra casa

montessori prepared environment learning bilingual parenting bilingualism espanolita

Beauty. Order. Concentration. Harmony. Nature. Child-centered learning. At home.

Beginning with Cristina’s wonderful blog on the integration of Montessori philosophy in the home, followed by our family’s recent visit to a local bilingual Montessori school, and ending with my reading the highly-recommended Simplicity Parenting (book review forthcoming), I decided to rethink and redecorate nuestra casa to better accommodate E. and to her facilitate her play and learning. I found that both personally and professionally (from the perspective of a former teacher), I resonate with the  Montessori philosophy. Continue reading