Friday, March 27, 2009

Raising a Bilingual Child

With an ever growing number of interracial marriages, speaking another language in the home has become a very interesting and important topic of discussion. The question often comes up "What language should we use with our children?".

I immigrated to the States from Uruguay, South American when I was 7 years old, with my parents and 2 younger siblings. My mother was the daughter of a diplomat, so she was exposed to many languages growing up - and today speaks fluent English, Italian, French and Spanish. Impressive!! My father on the other hand grew up on a farm during most of his life, and didn't speak English at all when we moved to New York in 1986. We were really young, so learning the English language and gradually losing the accent was much easier for us than it was for my father. However, I have always appreciated the fact that while my mother spoke flawless English, both of my parents refused to speak English at home. Fortunately, over the last 23 years, I have managed to maintain my Uruguayan accent.

When I first entered the work force in the late 90s, it became even more apparent the importance of being able to speak another language - especially Spanish. I never once doubted that I would speak to my children in Spanish at home, no matter what my future husband's mother tongue was, because I was able to really understand the importance and value in speaking a second language.

I met my husband on one of my vacation trips back to Uruguay –so fortunately, there is no question that Spanish will be spoken at home when the little man arrives. However, it's easier said than done. My younger brother was born in the States 13 years ago, and while he understands Spanish perfectly, it was much more of a struggle to get him to speak Spanish at home growing up American. Fortunately, my parents continued to instill the importance of speaking the language at home, and for this, he will always have an advantage over many.

Granted it's tougher when the person you live with doesn't speak the language you use with your children at home, but I strongly believe that it's more important for your child to learn another language. Wouldn't you want to share your culture and experiences with your baby that is part of what made them who they are? It might even be an incentive for your spouse to want to learn another language as well. It's never too late - but depriving your child of that amazing advantage when they're young and developing, would be a great asset lost. Would you agree?

A si que, hablaremos EspaƱol con nustro hijo - sin duda.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Thanks Oh Amanda for the little inspiration I needed in the middle of the week to get a quick and fun post up. I can dig the Top Ten Tuesday meme!

Here are the Top Ten Things I Love About Tuesdays:

1. It’s not Monday!
2. Eating hubby’s home cooked dinner
3. Watching American Idol (how the heck I got hooked this season, I don’t know)
4. Filling out the American Idol office pool (makes it much more fun to watch!)
5. Looking forward to Wednesday (2 work days down/3 to go)
6. Bonding with Lucas at 12:00AM – loves to move at exactly the point when I’m about to fall soundly asleep
7. It’s not Monday!
8. Reading my book – Just finished reading Jenny McCarthy's "Belly Laughs"... Hilarious & I highly recommend it if you're expecting and haven't read it!
9. Adding to my baby registry…fun to shop without spending
10.Catching up with little bro whose home for the week - a break from the NY Military Academy

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Together, we can help save a life!

I couldn’t believe my ears the day I learned that maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT), a preventable disease, is claiming the lives of approximately 128,000 infants and 30,000 mothers in less industrialized nations each year. After having lived in Sweden for over a year, I’m the first to admit that the health care system in the U.S. is well behind other industrialized countries, and in many cases third world countries like Uruguay. However, it’s very easy to take for granted what things we do have in this country, like our access to adequate health care and the fact that we don’t have to walk 5.6 miles to reach the closest clinic.

What I do love about this country is that we are the world's most charitable nation, giving the most money to help the needy, either through public donations, private donations, or both. In 2007, Americans gave a record $295 billion to charity. So when I heard that within the capacity of my job I would have the opportunity to work on the “One Pack = One Vaccine” campaign, I was honored and felt privileged to be part of such an important initiative that helps to save lives.

MNT causes approximately one death every 4 minutes, and all it takes to save the lives of thousands of newborns and moms is a vaccination which costs 7 cents...7 cents!! That would mean that a Starbucks latte is equal to approximately 46 vaccinations – just thinking about it in those terms makes me sick to my stomach.

So hear me out moms, dads, family & friends…I know how expensive diapers can be, and I’m not looking forward to spending over $60 a month on poopie diapers when the little man arrives – but knowing that I’m doing something to help a good cause simply by purchasing something I have to buy anyway, there is no question that I’ll be buying that brand of diapers.

From February 5 through May 1, 2009, parents in the U.S. and Canada have the opportunity to help UNICEF protect moms and babies around the world against tetanus by simply purchasing specially-marked packages of Pampers diapers and wipes. Each product you buy triggers one life-saving vaccine. These specially marked packages of diapers and wipes cost the same as traditional products and are available wherever Pampers products are sold.

For more information about the campaign visit: