8.27.2014

spanish songs for toddlers

About a year ago, around when Pippa was nearing 3 months of age, I made the decision to start taking her bilingual education seriously. I always knew I wanted to speak Spanish to her, but I don't think I truly realized what a commitment it would be for me.

I assumed the Spanish I speak with other adults would work just fine for speaking to a baby. Rookie mistake. Apparently I had a huge blind spot in my Spanish knowledge for words like burp cloth, high chair, and car seat. I found the easiest way for me to put those words into practice so that I would remember them was to tell Pippa whatever I was doing for her. "Let's put you in your car seat so we can go visit Daddy at school!"

But the very BEST way for me to learn new words to speak on her level was through books and songs. Children's songs are actually pretty catchy and easy to pick up, as they tend to repeat a lot. Of course, I also love to dissect the grammar, just for my own edification.

I found Spanglish Baby to be a wonderful resource for finding songs in the first place, but I also browse Spotify, YouTube, and the iTunes store to find even more!

So far our favorites are:

Pin Pon

Hola Don Pepito

Disney Presenta Cantar y Jugar

Huitzi Huitzi Araña - Latin Kids Hits

Soy Una Taza

I am currently on the hunt for a good version of the alphabet en español. Any other suggestions for authentic children's songs?

8.18.2014

mr and mrs goods

 Wedding planning was not my thing. Too many decisions, too many details, too many dollars. I was 22 when I got married, and didn't have a very strong sense of personal style when it came to decor. Still don't. I always seem to have a better idea of what I don't like than what I do.

My sister Molly, though, has a great eye for design and style - which is why her personal style blog is so successful! She handpicked every detail and vendor for her wedding with discretion and care. The result was so unique and beautiful -and after planning a wedding myself, I have learned to appreciate these little elements that take months to curate.

All of the physical details aside, nothing is more beautiful than two people entering into the institution of marriage based first on their love for God, and second on their love for one another. It has been an incredible year, welcoming 2 of my sisters into the married club.

Enjoy these snapshots of Molly and Tim's gorgeous wedding day.





Everything was simple, yet elegant - a balance I strive for, but can't seem to master. To fit that theme, Molly and Tim served breakfast for dinner, with donuts for dessert. I want to go back in time to eat that meal again and again.


the bride enjoying a moment of peace before the whirlwind of crazy

makeup and hair products were everywhere - and I was in heaven! I think my parents' kitchen is still coated in a layer of hairspray and loose powder.

the finished product - vintage glam

the bridesmaids enjoying our gifts from Molly - these adorable robes! Plus, also, MIMOSA - TREAT YOSELF
trying to keep a certain flower girl occupied before her shining moment down the red carpet

our little family
As a side note, I would just like to point out that I did my own hair and makeup for the wedding. After getting my hair done for 2 other weddings, and just not being satisfied with the results, I decided that all those years reading hair care manuals from the 90s when I was a tween qualified me to do a fancy updo for a formal event. Obviously it's nothing fancy...just a lot of teasing and a lot of bobby pins.


most fun bridal party ever. I mean, 5/8ths of us are sisters, but still. The other three girls kind of made any wedding events hilarious and unforgettable. And they brought up the class average in looks.

Molly's adorable and talented photographer capturing the bride and maids-of-honor - check out some of her gorgeous photographs on Molly's blog today!

You can't tell, but Pippa had just awoken from a nap, and wasn't thrilled about this situation


fun on the party trolley!

what happens when you try to get your 1 year old to party all night long

8.15.2014

pippa at 14 months


I'm not one for monthly updates. I enjoy reading them when others do them, but can't seem to get organized enough to do them for Pippa. I don't really have her on a schedule, I have long since lost track of what foods she's tried, and I feel like her likes and dislikes change by the day.

However, I do find there are times in her development that I want to just pause and stuff it all into a time capsule so I can remember every single thing about what she was like.

We are currently in one of those phases.

Everything she does is surprising and usually delightful. I genuinely enjoy hanging out with her, as there's a bit of a give and take at this age that you don't get with an infant. (That's not to say I didn't enjoy her first year of life - it's just a different dynamic now!)


Here are some of the things I want to remember:

- the way she says "Hi. Hi. Hi. HI. HI!" until someone acknowledges her. In London, we would go on museum or church tours, and she would walk up to complete strangers, tap them on the leg, and aggressively greet them until they responded.

- for the very first time this past Monday, she saw I was getting ready to leave the house, toddled up to me, and said, "Bye!" then made kissy sounds.

- her favorite stuffed animal, Pete. She can't quite say her p's yet, so she calls him "Deet."

- the way she urgently does the baby sign for "más" (more) when she wants food. She gets a look of panic on her face, and pounds her hands together until I ask her if she's hungry. The relief in her eyes that I've understood her request is adorable.

- how she chased Pablo around the house for 10 minutes after not seeing him for 2 weeks. "Doggy! Doggy! Doggy!" she said over and over, as he tried to escape the aggressive petting. Mind you, this was at 2:30 a.m.

- that she can now say:
hi and hola
bye and adios
night-night (lays her head down and goes "shhhh.")
doggy and daddy (often we can't tell the difference in these two)
mama (finally!)
bonjour
bang-bang
agua
baby (sounds like day-dee)
hot! (whenever it's something she knows she's not supposed to have)
all done!
apple (sounds like ah-poh)
arbol (Spanish for tree...same pronunciation as apple. We have to use context clues)
auntie (this is a word used for the collective aunties, Abby or Annie, 2 specific aunties. Often shouted when the aunties were walking ahead of her stroller in London. "Auntie! Auntie! Hi. Hi! HI!")
amen (said with MUCH flourish and with folded hands "aaaaaaaaa - men")
nariz
ojo
gentle (sounds like on-toe...said while stroking my face after hitting me and laughing)
Pete (Deet)
nana
granddad/grandma/grandpa (pronunciation is SUPER sketchy on these 3)
Pablo (sounds like Ba-boh...really close to apple and arbol)

- the way she tries to sing itzy-bitzy spider- only intelligible by doing the actions that go along with it

- that she LOVES learning letters and the alphabet. Whenever someone wears a shirt with words on it she goes "a, o, i, e" - apparently she prefers vowels. I think (overeager mom alert) that she recognizes the letter o. 

- that when we were getting our manicures at Gloss in Milwaukee for Molly's wedding, she saw the letters for "Gloss" on the window and ran around the entire salon shouting at the top of her voice, "O! O! O! O!"

- how hard she tries to entertain anyone and everyone. She MUST be the center of attention, and she goes through her highlight reel of tricks to make people laugh.

- how she fake laughs when she hears other people laughing

- her toothy grin, her square fat feet, her wild curly hair

- and finally, just her general joy for life. I've never met a happier kid, and I love rediscovering life's simple pleasures through her eyes.

I've heard all the complaints, struggles, and exhaustion of motherhood. I was prepared for the tough stuff, the cost, and the sleepless nights. And those things are very real. Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. (#thestruggleisreal)

But I'm not sure I was prepared for how fun this was going to be. No one prepared me for that.

What a pleasant surprise that has turned out to be!

Now excuse me while I go read Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb 24 more times.