Frida!

“A charismatic and unforgettable figure to the very end, Kahlo will forever be remembered for her grace and artistic gifts.” My Modern Met Check out the beautiful pictures of Frida by Gisèle Freund HERE

Frida

 

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Showing Love And Affection Around The World!

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Hello World! Hope you are having a LOVELY day!  This month, I am the host of the blogging carnival for Multicultural Kid Blogs and I couldn’t be happier. Although I am not one to celebrate Valentine’s day, as it turns out I AM a bit of a sucker for love. That means this month’s theme is quite fitting.

In this post I will share with you how my fellow multicultural bloggers and I do just that as well as where you can find them. You will read posts about how people greet each other where they are, how parents show love to their kids, how extended multicultural families show their love, how families kiss, greet each other and much more. So let’s get started.

First, let’s learn how to say I Love You around the world!  Check out it out HERE!

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Kissing is a common way of showing love all over the world.  But how many kisses are expected depends on where you live. The Piri Piri Lexicon wrote this funny post about kisses in France. Bisous? 1, 2, 3, 4? French greetings: how many kisses? 

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Here is a hillarious one also about kissing from Sarah at A Life with Subtitles An American Girl’s Guide To Kissing How many awkward kisses have you experienced?

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Showing love to kids will help them grow up unafraid to show others love as well. Not only that, but it will help them be comfortable enough to show their other emotions as well.  Leanna at All Done Monkey has a very cute post on showing kids love that I will definitely try: Monkey Kisses and Dinosaur Hugs: Creative Ways to Show Kids Love 

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Here is a beautiful take on love wherever you are from thanks to Olga at European Mama: Rethinking Intercultural Relationships

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If you speak Spanish or have heard it being spoken, you know that we love our nicknames. They are more than just nicknames to us, though, they are truly affectionate terms.  Elisabeth at Spanish Mama wrote this great post on just that: Terms Of Endearment In Spanish-Speaking Countries 

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Here are some more, this time from Puerto Rico thanks to Frances at Discovering the World Through My Sons Eyes. Puerto Rican Terms of Endearment and Expressions of Love 

Puerto Rican Terms of Endearment

Can’t forget Valentine’s Day!  Here is a post from Lisa at Cooking With Languages just in time. Valentine’s Day: Showing Love and Affection in Spain 

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I also wrote this one for MKB last year on Valentine’s Day Around The World with some great ideas (also thanks to many of my MKB friends): Please do check it out.  

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Here is an educational one on co-sleeping with your baby from Lisa at Lisa Lewis MD: Sharing Love: Co-Sleep Safely and Affectionately! As Lisa says “HAPPY SNUGGLES”

I hope you have enjoyed our February Blogging Carnival for Multicultural Kid Blogs! Please follow the group on the MKB site and Facebook page as well as all of our fabulous contributors!  We Love to Share the Love All Around Our Beautiful World! 

How Do You Show Love?

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You Mean We Have to Change Our Whole Schedule?

You Mean We Have to Change Our Whole Schedule?

I have been thinking a lot about how our schedules will change when M starts kindergarten. I can’t believe this is actually happening so soon!  Sure, it’s only January and it will happen in September, but I am sure this year will fly by just like the last one did. Right now, our schedule is pretty great. We worked very hard to have a set schedule and daily routines to help our kids feel secure and focused on the day to day activities.  Here is what our weeks are like:

Monday & Wednesday:  Spanish

Tuesday & Thursday: Preschool (or what they like to call English school.)

Friday: Piano

Saturday: Gymnastic

Sunday: Rest

All of these activities happen before nap time.  We carefully planned them that way. Other than preschool, the classes are an hour or less that way they do not get overworked. They still get plenty of time to play AND take a nice 2 hour nap. What in the world am I going to do when M HAS to be in school from 7:45am – 2:45pm Monday through Friday?   I know it will be a very hard adjustment for him as well as for T. T still very much needs his naps.  I mean we turn into Grumpy McGrumperson if we don’t.  It’s not a pretty sight.  Even if he is not the one that will be  in school, we will have to push his nap quite a bit.  M, I think will adjust a bit easier because he will be with friends and will probably not notice what time it is.

This will work itself out, but what about my perfectly crafted schedule?  When will they go to their Spanish class?  I wrote before about how it is a lifesaver for me because it is a structured class with a real teacher (not just mama trying to trying to get them to love my language). They respect the teacher and are excited every week to go to class.  They sing songs and tell me all about their class, plus they can’t wait to teach papa what they learn as well. And what about piano?  Oh my goodness! What’s a mama to do!

I may be worrying for nothing, but this will be a new journey for me and I don’t think I am prepared. Should I get rid of naps for both? Should I schedule classes right after school? Should I bring them home, have them nap for an hour or so and then schedule a class before dinner?  All advice would be appreciated.

If you have older children, will you be willing to share what your days look like?  How old were your kids when they stopped napping? Did they still nap when they started kinder?  I’d love to know your thoughts.

Thank you and have a great weekend.

 

 

 

 

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, I would like to send heartfelt thanks for all of the support you have given Bilinguazo in 2015. I have learned so much from my readers and from my fellow bloggers on Multicultural Kid Blogs and Austin Moms Blog.  I am grateful for my family and friends. You have always lifted me a little higher than I thought I could go. I am, of course, so very thankful for my two little monkeys that have inspired everything that I have written for the last 5 years and for the love of my life for seeing more in me than I ever have. I hope 2016 brings a lot of inspiration to our lives and to helping each other achieve our dreams. I wish you love, good health, happiness and success! I would not be the person I am without each of you! Hugs, dear friends and see you in 2016!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours! ❤️

Breathe

Breathe

Our father came before us to make sure it was safe. Our mother took care of us on her own for a while to make sure we were healthy, happy and ready for our journey. We traveled by car through the night. We slept in a motel until we could go to our new home. We knew no one, barely spoke the language and were behind in school.

Then the wind shifted. Our home was big, new and amazing. There were classes in our schools specifically for us to help us learn the language and catch up academically. Our family was back together and we could breathe as a whole again. The whole world was new to us, we were scared but excited. We knew we would be ok. People welcomed us with opened arms. There was a sense of community and belonging in a way.

This was decades ago. What if we had attempted this journey today? What would it be like? It would be harder to cross the border by car. We would probably have to take a bus. There would be no new house as it is almost impossible to qualify for one these days. We would have to rent and probably not in the neighborhood of my parents choosing. The schools would not have the funds to have special classes for us to learn the language, at least not all of them would. We may be forced to remain behind in our learning. It would be very hard to excel the way we did. People may not be so welcoming because of the darkness in the world. Would we ever feel like we belong?

We came from Mexico, so not that far away. We didn’t have to escape any evils or leave everything we loved to save our lives. Yet, it wasn’t too long ago that people were trying to keep families just like mine out of this country.  Why? The reasons varied depending on who you asked but drugs, crime and the taking of jobs (no one else wants) seemed to top the list. Because six little girls looking for a home would fit into all of those categories, I’m sure. Now the wind has shifted again in a direction that is only proven to be worse. The same people that feared my people (and probably still do, but have a new focus for now) are casting their negativity on another group of people looking for a home: refugees.

Families just like mine but that have gone through unimaginable and life altering losses and devastation are not being welcomed with open arms. The fear of what is happening over there somehow sneaking in over here in disguise is a real fear, of course. Yet, do the people trying to stop the refugees realize that THAT is a fear created by the enemy and not the victims? These families are looking for safety, that’s all. Safety until the wars end, safety until their families are back together. Safety until they can breathe as a whole again. Look at any (reliable) media coverage and see the fear and sadness in so many little children and tell me they don’t deserve to know they too will be ok. That they are welcome. That they will breathe again. We can do better.

Want to see the sadness in their eyes? Click Here 

As I watch these events unfold, I realize how lucky we really are. For all of the wonderful things that I have been able to see, do and witness I give thanks. To having loving families (the one I was born into, the one I married into and the one my love and I created) I give thanks. To my little loves for making me a better me and happier than I thought possible, I give thanks.To all of the people that have helped my family succeed throughout the years even at our lowest points, I give thanks. To all those that fight to protect us, I give thanks. To having the opportunity to share my life in my own words, I give thanks. To all of you, I give thanks.

Be truly thankful for all you have!

 

Donating Halloween Candy for Veteran’s Day!

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I may a little late to do things, but this year I was not going to let the chance to donate the kids halloween candy pass us up yet again. They got a ton a candy, way too much for two little boys. Really, way to tempting to stay in the house with that chocolate junky that takes over my body every time she smells that delicious scent.  MMMMMM….wait, were was I?
I researched different ways to contribute and found this great list that I will keep for future reference. Check it out: Sweet Ways to Donate Your Halloween Haul to Those in Need
The one we chose is Operation Gratitude. The only way my boys were going to let go of so much deliciousness was knowing that it was going to some of the people they admire: Soldiers! Once I told them that we would be sending the rest of the candy to soldiers that don’t have access to any where the are at, they were all for it.  They were able to keep 5 pieces each and we packed up the rest. We had 4 pounds of candy!  Crazy! But I could see why they were such a hit…

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Then it was time to get crafty, of course.  We each made a little thank you card for the troops to add a little extra cheer.  T’s is quite artsy, I say.  He chose the colors himself it turned out really beautiful. I wish I had a better picture of it. M’s melts my heart.  He drew a soldier with a feather on his cap.  The little guy in there is himself.  He said he was there to cheer him up and that is why they are smiling. The whole picture tells a story. I love it.  I’m very proud of my little guys.

boys cards

While reading about Operation Gratitude, we found that you can send all sorts of things year round!  Save the information somewhere where you can easily access it and send a little love to those so many take for granted anytime you feel like giving. Click Here to save it.
With that, I end this post and say, Happy Veteran’s Day and Thank You to all of the men and women who have served, are serving and will serve for keeping us safe year round! 

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Goodnight Around the World!

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One of the most beautiful moments of being a parent is being able to tuck your little ones in for the night.  Most parents I know have a set night time routine that helps get their babies to relax and to understand that the time for games is over for the day. Night time is also the best time for some one on one cuddles.  I don’t know what I will do when they outgrow them.

Our night time routine is pretty much set in stone.  My husband and I run around with them after bath time to let them get that last bit of energy out. Then when it is time to start winding down, we sing a song and say a poem.  The song I chose was one of my favorite songs from when I was growing up. It is a song by Topoyiyo called “A La Camita”.  This song has been part of my life for as long as I can remember.  We watched the show of this little silly mouse when I was little. When I was in high school it was the last song the played at night clubs across the border as a way to let people know it was closing time.  I thought it was such a cute idea that we even chose it as the last song of our wedding reception. And now I am passing it on to my little ones.

After that, each child goes into his own room and my husband and I tag team. He goes into my oldest’s room first and I go in with my little one. We each read them stories and sing songs. I sing to them in Spanish while my husband sings in English. The songs I sing are a montage of songs from a cd that that mom gave us from a group called Grupo Tihui from the album Arrullos Tradicionales De México. It was a gift and I could not find a link to it, sorry.  I highly recommend it, however, if you can find it. It has magical powers.  I would play it for both boys when they were infants and it would instantly calm them down.

After we are done, we trade and do it all over again with the other child.  Well, my oldest and I do shadow puppets for a bit then have a question and answer session where he asks me anything he can think of and I try to answer it to the best of my ability.  (Thank goodness for google!) Last come our goodnight kisses for both and everyone goes to bed happy.

I thought it would be fun to see how the parents around the world on  say goodnight, so I reached out to my friends at Multicultural Kid Blogs.  Here is what they shared.  One thing is universal, songs and lullabies are one of the most beautiful way to cuddle with your little one and teach them a little music while you are at it. Hope you enjoy!

Galina Nikitina (Trilingual Children) shared her routine with us:

We read books and then kids go tho their beds, I tell them a story. They tell me who will be the story characters and I have to come up with the rest. If the kids are still up after the story, I sing to them.

Our family says “Good night!” in three languages: “Buona Notte!” in Italian, “Spokojnoj Nochi!” ( Спокойной Ночи!) in Russian and “Good Night! in English.

She also has a post about Russian lullabies (written in Russian) that you can find HERE.

Lana Jelenjev (Smart Tinker) from the Philippines shared a lullaby called Sa Ugoy ng Duyan

Audrey Kratovil (Españolita…¡Sobre La Marcha!even included a video from YouTube for us to take part in the lovely song Cinco Lobitos

From Morocco, Amanda Ponzio Mouttaki (Marrakech Food Tours) wrote:

We always read a book and say a prayer of protection, tuck them in and then recite a duaa from the Quran to protect the kids and keep bad dreams away. They actually recite it we just help them. (wink)

Rita Rosenback (Multilingual Parenting) added:

The last thing I have said every night to my girls is “Good night, sleep well, sweet dreams” (in Swedish: God natt, sov gott, fina drömmar). My girls are now 22 and 29 and we still do it.”

She even mentioned it on her post HERE. 

A lovely night time routine was shared by Marianna Hennig Du Bosq (Bilingual Avenue):

Both my husband and I put our little one to bed every night (she’s two). We take turns wishing her good night and sweet dreams in English and Spanish and she responds “I love you” to Daddy and “Te quiero mucho” to me. She puts her hands together (like in a prayer) … that’s our sign for “Bendicion” or bless me in Spanish and then I respond by saying “Dios te bendiga.” The last thing I say is what my mother always said to me “Que sueñes con los angelitos,” meaning “May you dream with the little angels.” I am from Venezuela and my husband is American, we live in Germany.

Maria Babin (Trilingual Mama) shared this sweet routine:

Sometimes a bath, then jammies on, brush teeth, a few books and sometimes family prayer. Into the turbulette (a kind of sleeping bag for babies), doudou (stuffed animal), two cars (for my 2 year old Rémy) and a kiss! Good night or buenas noches!

Olga Sokolik (Milk, Crafts and Honesty) shared this Polish night time saying “Dobranoc, pchly na noc, karaluchy do poduchy a szczypawki do zabawki” (Goodnight, fleas for the night, cockcroaches to the pillow and earwigs to the toys)

Haboona Abdullah Hussein (The Ramblings of a Saudi Wife) included that in Arabic people say in the evening “mesa el khair” (evening of good) and the reply is “mesa el noor” (evening of light).

Anna Watt (Russian Step by Step) shared this fun nighttime routine:

(In Russia, you say) Спокойной ночи (spokOJnoj nochi) which literally translates as have a calm night. Some kids love watching a kid tv show that runs right before the bedtime and has the same name. We live in the US now and will do shower/books/lie down in bed together/kisses and hugs and then goodnight in both English and Russian.

Charu Chhitwal (Ketchup Moms) let us into this traditional routine:

In India of most us say Good night to kids after maybe reading their favorite book to them. But when my twins were 8 months old, I had started singing the Gayatri mantra for them. It is a chant that is considered very powerful, protecting and Peaceful. (Find link HERE) Although I had stopped, will start now.  Good night in literal Hindi translation means- Shub Ratri.

Eolia Scarlett Disler (La Cité des Vents) shared this sweet good night:

Personaly, I do this routine: we read them a book/story, pray together, kiss them good night and some evenings I sing a song or two. In French: “Bonne nuit! A demain matin. Dormez-bien mes chéris.” (Good night, see you tomorrow. Sleep well my darlings.)

Tamania Jaffri Naqi (UrduMom.com) added:

In urdu we say ‘shab-be-khair’ that means good/peaceful night. The lullabies sung at night are called ‘looris’.

These are some great examples of how similar we all are no matter where we are from. Our babies are our lives, our hearts and souls. We will sing, read, and be silly for them for as long as they let us. Be free, and be happy and be as childlike as you can be. Enjoy every moment you can with those sweet little ones. My hope is that they will remember the silly times. Hopefully we will have the ability to carry it on for generations to come. I would love to hear your routines.

How do you say goodnight?

Check out these goodnights from around the world (as shared by our Multicultural Kids Blog Family)

Thank you Multicultural Kids Blog families for letting me see into your traditions. I love learning from you all.