Monthly Archives: May 2007

Reading and Writing- Bilingual

As I mentioned in a previous post, it is possible and even recommended to simultaneously teach a child more than one language.  However, my research has shown me that a child should ‘master’ reading and writing in one language before learning another.  I am going to continue to research this to determine if this is true.

As of now, I plan on formally introducing reading/writing in Spanish in 1st or 2nd grade. Becca will need to attend ‘spanish’ class in the same way she might attend gymnastics class or CCD.
M. Kate


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Tough Night!

I find it ironic that right after I wrote this post, I had a really tough night with Becca.  It was as if she had read the post and thought, “OK, she is getting way to sappy.  I need to shake things up a little!” and boy did she!!! That night she was up and down all night long!!!

Sleep– glorious sleep– it is the ultimate struggle of all new parents!

M. Kate

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Raising A Bilingual Child

So one of my goals is to raise a bilingual child. I would like Becca to fluently read and write English and Spanish.

My primary language is English and I now speak rudimentary Spanish. My husband’s primary language is Spanish and then English. My Mother-in-law lives with us and primarily speaks Spanish.

The plan is for my mother-in-law to speak to her primarily in Spanish and I will speak to her primarily in English.  Mr. O will speak with her in English and Spanish.

From what I have read, Becca will associate the different languages with the different people.  If someone speaks to her in Spanish, (¿cómo es usted?) she will think, “oh, they use my grandmother’s words.”  If they should speak to her in English (how are you?), she will think, “oh, they use my mother’s words.”

So far, Becca is only vocalizing (‘ba, ba, da, da’) so we have no idea if this is working or not but I will definitely keep you updated.  I am also interested in hearing others experiences with raising bilingual children.

M. Kate

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Tender Moments

This morning was a great morning with Becca. She was fussing a little in the morning so Mr. O went in and laid down on her twin bed with her. I went in a little later to check on the two of them and as soon as I peeked my head in, Becca’s head popped up and she flashed me the biggest smile! There is something about the way she lights up when she sees me that makes my heart melt!

Later that day, I had just finished nursing her and was cradling her in my arms. Her eyes were closed and her whole body was slack in the way that only babies can blissfully let go. As I was sitting there watching her, she began to ‘sing’ to herself. It was so precious!

The joys of spending time with an infant.

M. Kate

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My Brest Friend

I would like to recommend the “My Brest Friend” nursing pillow. I know; the name of the product leaves something to be desired. However, I definitely attribute some of my success with breast feeding to this pillow.

My Brest Friend in Use


  • It easily raised my daughter into the correct nursing position.
    • With other nursing pillows, I found that I still need to place my arms between my baby and the pillow. Or else, I would use other pillows to prop underneath the other pillow.
    • As she grew, it was easy for me to adjust the nursing pillow to the height I needed it at.
  • It provides a nice flat surface for my baby to lie flat on.
    • With other nursing pillows, I found that half her body was hanging off the pillow.
  • If necessary, I can lean forward or backward without disturbing the nursing session.
    • I am able to nurse my daughter and lean forward to grab the telephone or remote without disturbing the nursing session.

M. Kate



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“The Lanyard”- A mother’s response

Below is a poem that was posted on a message board I frequently read. The poster mentioned that she had heard it on National Public Radio as a mother’s day tribute.

“The Lanyard” by Jackie Lyden

The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the pale blue walls of this room,
bouncing from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.

No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past —
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.

I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.

She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sickroom,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light

and taught me to walk and swim,
and I, in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.

Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift–not the archaic truth

that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.

Lanyard Picture

“A Mother’s Response” by M. Kate
When I finished reading the poem, I found myself thinking about the mom’s response to receiving the lanyard. I think it would go something like this:

My son came home from camp today and presented me with a lanyard.

He used the arms and hands, fingers and eyes and brain and heart that I gave him to make me a lanyard.

I hold the lanyard in my hands and see the colors that he chose: blue for my eyes, brown for my hair and purple because it’s my favorite color of all.

I feel the plastic in my hands and remember how I held him in my arms.

Tears come to my eyes as I tie the lanyard to my keys

I gave him life and he gave me a lanyard

We are definitely even.


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