Babies

spanish baby talk - palabras y frases

I feel like when you have a newborn, you kind of sleep in and you kind of don't. I mean, waking up every two or three hours during the night to feed your baby doesn't really have you sleep very well, but then no one can judge you for not leaving bed before 12. 

Babe and I are currently hanging out in our kitchen. He doesn't want to leave mommy's arms so he's helping me out making brunch while Pepa la Cerdita is running in the background.

My struggle with my multilingual baby quest has turned out a little different than I thought it would. I thought my struggle would lie in consistency or having lack of words to teach, instead I found my struggle to be performance anxiety. It's getting the best of me! So that is what I'm currently trying to overcome.

One of the things that can be a bit tricky when raising a multilingual babe can be feeling clueless in what to say, especially if it's not your first language. When I was pregnant I found it really hard to find lingual resources, so I decided to put together a list of useful Spanish words and phrases you can use when talking to your baby to make it a bit easier.

 If you have something you'd like to add, write me in the comment section and I'll add it to the list!

lista de palabras y frases

Mira - Look (Sabes que eres Boricua si usas "mira" todo el tiempo)

Dame - Give me

Más - More

Qué asco! - Gross!

Guácala! - Yuck! (Pronounced Wah-ka-la)

Bien hecho! – Well done!

Lo hiciste bien – You did it really well

'tate kieto - behave, keep still or calm down

Cálmate - Calm down

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Toma mi mano – Take my hand

Dame la mano – Give me your hand

Ven acá – Come here

No toques – Don’t touch

Beso a mamá/papá - A kiss for mommy/daddy

-

Te ayudo? – Can I help you?

Por favor – Please

Gracias – Thank you

De nada – You’re welcome

Cómo te sientes? - How are you feeling?

Sana sana colita de rana = Okay, this literally translates to heal heal little frog butt. You say it when trying to soothe your baby when he/she is physically hurt.

Que descanses – Sleep well

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La comida es ready (redi) - The food is ready. I had to add this one because I happen to think Puerto Rican Spanglish is hilarious.

Tienes hambre? - Are you hungry?

Quieres más? – Do you want more?

Qué rico - How delicious/rich/nice

Acabaste? – Are you done?

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Has hecho pipí/caca? - Have you peed/pooped?

Tienes que hacer pipí/caca? - Do you need to pee/poo?

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Qué mono! - How cute!

Que tersura - What a treasure

Nena/Nene - Small baby, child, or "darling" 

Negrito/Negrita - Term of endearment, just like darling

Precioso - Precious

Amorcito - Little love

Chiquito lindo - Cute little one

Cosito lindo - Cute little thing

Gordito - Means little fatty and is actually a non-offensive term of endearment

Papito/mamita - I don't know the literal translation of this one...but cutie is pretty close

Pobrecito - Poor thing

Bendito - Blessed. Can be used instead of pobrecito. If your babe is hurt and crying you'll say it like: Awww...bendiiiito:( 

 

Are you raising a multilingual kid? Or are you planning to? What has your struggles been or think will be?

 

welcome to our new little family, baby josef león

The more than one month long unplanned social media break that has been is now being put to an end with a little (big) baby arrival announcement! 

In September I was hospitalized only 27 weeks pregnant because my labor contractions began way too early. Long story short, for two and a half weeks I was prescribed full bed rest while being monitored at the hospital, given preterm labor medication & also had a minor surgery. After those weeks of what felt like pure torture, my body gave up the fight of keeping him inside the belly and I gave birth to a perfectly healthy, super tiny & incredibly vulnerable little boy. Our Josef León. 

Current days are now consisting in pumping, nursing, changing diapers, cuddling, leaking milk, learning how to take care of a preemie, getting to know each other as parents as well as taking care of ourselves as a couple and, for me, trying my best to navigate through the chaos and undefinable amount of love that comes with having a premature baby, a child of your own and a body that functions a whole lot differently.

Sami and my mother has been my heroes throughout the last (hard) part of pregnancy, labor and postpartum. I could write a whole book about how much they both mean to me and how their support & teamwork has made all the difference. Also...it's worth mentioning that my sisters and two of my best friends have been the best. Especially when lighting up my life when I was not doing very well while being hospitalized. Gosh I love them all. Our little león is so lucky to have them in his life.

We seriously couldn't wish for a more perfect little baby. I'm so thankful for our new family of three. It's scary and it's amazing and it's magical and it's miraculous.
And to think that I now have two favorite guys in my life - one by my side, and one in my arms. Wow.

I love them more than all the stars!

7 things i'd like my future babies to know

Hey! How you holding up? I hope this long weekend has treated you awesomly so far and if not - I hope next week will treat you way better! Mine has been a good one. Post midsummer's lack-of-energy state had me slow-mode:ing and introverting all Saturday and I'm not complaining. However, the sleep I intended to get went right out the window thanks to Copa América so I'm seriously considering continuing this slow-mode:ing thing I have going on this whole day too.. 

I've been trying to write a letter to my future self quite some time now but  everything about it has felt so yucky and blaah so I decided to ditch that idea and write something for my future kids instead. Way more fun. 
 

So. This one for my future babies. These are the seven things i'd like for my curly haired monos to know...
 

On guilt: You are never responsible for someone else's actions. You are only responsible for yours. If you hurt someone else, that is on you. But if you are the one being hurt, manipulated or harassed, that guilt is never yours to carry. You are NEVER responsible for someone else's actions, whether they are triggered by your actions or not. 
 

Forgive yourself: Imma J. Cole you right here. "Born sinner, was never born to be perfect." Your future mama believes in a God who loves you despite you making the wrong choices, screwing up and getting completely off track. Whether or not you'll end up sharing my belief, I want you to at least believe in grace. Because grace tells us that though we are flawed, we are cherished. That instead of letting our mistakes serve shame, we will let them serve a greater purpose. Grace says that we’re not only beautifully imperfect, we are also amazingly exceptional, even when we do wrong  Being filled with guilt, shame and whatever usually increases the risk of unawaringly being an ass too so It's really a win-win for everyone.

 "When I say I am a sinner it is not an excuse; it is a measure of humility facing betterment." - Pharrell Williams

Forgive others: I wholeheartedly hope your childhood won't be anything like your mama's, but whatever your upbringing and life will look like, there will always be people who will hurt you whether they intend to or not. The best thing you can do for yourself is at least try to forgive them. Not for their sake, but for yours. It seriously sucks going through life holding onto all the anger that comes with never forgiving. And you know what? Trusting and giving people second chances, that is all your choice amor. Forgiving is not the same thing as accepting. It's okay to actually close doors and lock that shit, it's okay to not want someone in your life and it's also totally okay to love people from a distance.


On being sensitive: Being sensitive is being vulnerable, Being sensitive meaning; allowing yourself to feel stuff; not allowing every kind of behaviour; stepping away from situations and saying no more often than your friends. Saying that it's hard is putting it lightly. However, young padawan, it's all worth it. This world needs more sensitive people. They are game changers.


On crying: You know what? My father always got angry with me when I cried. It was awful and confusing, and I know you'd feel the same if I told you to stop crying, too. So, cry all you want! Seriously. I might think you're a bit ridiculous & dramatic at times but by all means cry. You'll probably see me cry a couple of times too, it's not that big of a deal. And if people tell you to stop crying, you totally have my permission to throw a scientific report on how crying is good for you up their face and then get the hell outta there.


On choosing your friends: Okay, I know this is a hard one. New people will enter your life all the time, you change, they change and sometimes it takes time until you realize whether or not someone is bad for you. It's an ongoing process. Just know this. When you go through low parts of life, your friends are either the ones giving you the hope, love and support you need to get through, or keep you in the state of thinking life is awful, hopeless and that you should just accept life being shitty. Just as these friends either encourage your growth, cheer you on as you succeed and win, or try to keep you as the version only they happen to be comfortable with.

So, just as important it is for you to be a good friend, it is for you to have people in your life that add greatness to it instead of being stones in your shoes.  


On protecting your heart: Well...mama is still trying to figure this one out. We live in a world where people make things that could be really simple incredibly complicated, and it's impossible to have a "one size fits all" template to life because all people you meet are different. You learn though. You're smart and you'll do good. Whatever you do: playing games, becoming what you yourself have been hurt by and shutting people out just to "protect your heart" ain't the way to go. Be brave. Try again. Do your best. Keep up that good work with seeing goodness in people. 
 

PS. I don't know but ending up in really weird situations and making things awkward doesn't seem to disappear with age so sorry in advance. 

 

x

 

Yaasss it's that time of the month so you can't judge! Also I've got questions. Have you ever thought about what you want your future kiddos to know? Hit me in the comment section! 

 

raising multilingual bebé

To have another language is to possess a second soul.
- Charlemagne

I’m a Boricua de Suecia. I talk Swedish, write + partially think in English and wish I was better at Spanish. My native language is Swedish in which I am fluent, but my mother tongue are English and Boricua Spanish and as a kid I was (actively) taught neither of the latter.

I think, the gift of language is one of the greatest and most precious gifts we can give our children. I have to admit not being passed on my mother tongue makes me frustrated to this day, however, since ethnicity & culture are such important parts of my life and identity (in the making) I have taken it upon myself to become fluent in both so I one day can pass on these languages to my own babies.

I want my kids to be brought up in a multicultural home where they will be part of both their parents' cultural identities. I want them to be able to understand me when I read them bedtime stories in all three languages; to ask for abuela or titi; to sing Barney’s “I love you” as good as “Det lilla ljus jag har”; to see their tiny little bodies joyfully move to the rhythms and beats of latino music, to say “Mira, mama!” when they proudly come to show me the fish they've caught and most importantly: I want them to grow up with enough multicultural goodness for them to apply & develop a cultural identity of their own.

I've shamelessly discussed this matter with a lot of wise human beings and been reading articles upon articles to see what thoughts and different perspectives there are on raising multilingual kids. What I've realized is that it's pretty much like raising kids in general - everybody have different opinions on what to do and you have to find, follow & create your own methods & ways that are good fit for your situation, family & little ones. Also, we all know there are situations that potentially could make it extra hard passing on language and culture to our kids, like being ill or not being the primary custodial parent making it hard or sometimes even imporrible to raise multilingual bebés full time. There's really no "one size fits all" and we can only do what we can do! 

The following is a little collection of a few of my favorite #multilingualbebe links; stuff that make me ponder + I find useful already and things I want to try out when the time comes. I hope you find them interesting and helpful!

How about this for a calm, loving and precious preparation for the soon arriving little one: exposing the baby with the language while it’s still unborn. (Spanglish Baby) LOVE THIS!

"In other words, as a direct result of my bilingual quest, I think I've ended up giving more of myself to them during their childhood. And this has no doubt deepened our bond." 
The very best thing about raising bilingual kids (Bilingual Monkeys)

The best (and longest!) list I've found so far with tips on raising multilingual children (Bilingual Monkeys)

Okay, this list might be my favorite too (Lazy Mom's Blog)

"How raising multilingual children made me a better person" (European Mama)

Making it a team effort if you have a partner (go team mom and dad!), playing and singing songs and setting up play dates are a few goodies from this article. (wikiHow)

An interesting article about how babies sort our language. (New York Times)

Bilingual mom Jeannette Kaplun shares her thoughts on raising bilingual kids (YouTube)


So, what does it really take to raise multilingual children? I guess that will remain an exciting mystery of theories & thoughts until I experience it myself.  However, what I think I can say now already without sounding completely ignorant is that I believe the most important thing you need to have when it comes to all this is the will (and ability!) to share your language with your bebecitos. Raising multilingual kids can be out of this world amazing and rewarding, but requires a lot of hard work and it would be a lie to say it doesn't come with lots of trials and tribulations too. The will to share the language and culture with your kids definitely has to be matter of the heart (or plain stubbornness, haha). 

I might not have been actively taught my mother tongue as a kid, but I most certainly inherited the love for these languages. Enough to have become fluent in English (at least when it comes to writing, my accent is a whole other story...), enough to have gone from only knowing how to say "caca", "mira, mira" "vamos" and "caramba" to know how to say "pass me the donuts" and "I'm on my period, can you please buy me some chocolate?" in Spanish (among other incredibly important phrases and words), and enough to have the determination to learn more so I one day can gift my own babies these idiomas de mi corazón. So...pase lo que pase, come what may! Whatever, I'm all in for this whole raising multilingual bebé thing! 

Are you raising, or planning to raise multilingual bebés? Are you a multilingual kid yourself? What problems are you facing and what advantages & victories have you experienced? 
I'd love to hear your thoughts!