>mom-mode post #124 – on running errands with a baby

February 10, 2011 § 2 Comments

>No, this post won’t be about tips on how to easily get your errands done with babe in tow. Honestly I don’t know how people do it with more than one kiddo. I basically just make sure O has had a fabulous nap, carry with me plenty of cheerios and pray for the best.

This post is about running errands with a baby in these parts of the world. One of the most interesting (in my opinion) aspects of Turkish culture is how turks love children. Young or old, male or female, poor or rich, they all love to stop and get a child to smile at them, they love to protect them from any evil they see, they love to give them anything sweet. Case in point:

On my way to the post office the other morning, Oliver and I were stopped at least 5 or 6 times:

– a young teenage boy stopped to make him smile and snapped a picture with his cell phone.

– a lady in her forties stopped us to pinch his chubby cheeks and threw about a thousand ‘ma┼čallah’s’ (a word they use constantly here to ward off evil) at us.

-at about the same time an old, well-intentioned man, stops to tell me I need to put some gloves on my son, because his hands are cold. Mind you, although it has been frigid cold around here, this was the warmest day we’ve had. Plus, O isn’t as coordinated to put cheerios in his mouth when he is wearing gloves.

– two teenage girls pass us and I overhear them say (in a high-pitched-baby-talk): ‘ai, what a cute baby!!!’

– a little girl, not much older than 8 years old, follows us around the store, and every time she gets a chance she waves at O. O, busy with his cheerios, lifts his head up on occasion and gives her a big grin. That makes her day.

Some days, the incessant requests to put more clothes on my baby, or to not carry him on the Ergo carrier, or to not get him out because is too cold, they can really wear on you. So much so that it makes me think twice before I leave the house with O. But most days, when I see how sociable my child has become, how he smiles at everyone, goes to everyone and just seeks to make eye contact with anyone he sees, I am thankful   that I am raising my baby in a culture that embraces children so lovingly.

And just for kicks, check out the loving chubbiness of our little valentine:

I know this is kinda cheesy, but I just couldn’t resist!!!

>mom-mode #123 – on first utterances

February 4, 2011 § 4 Comments

>Three little words. My 11-month-old can speak three little words.

Of course ‘da-da’ came a long time ago. But only recently has he put meaning into it. Every time we go buy daddy’s office, I hear ‘dada’. We hear the lock on our door, ‘dada’. He just loves his ‘dada’.

‘Mama’ came a couple of months ago as a sort of hybrid between mommy and mamae (in portuguese). He cries out ‘mama’ when he wants to be held, ‘mama’ when he wants something from me and sometimes I think he says ‘mama’ when he wants food.:)

The third isn’t really a word, but an interjection. But since he uses it at specific times, in the right context, I can’t help but count this as his third word:’ Uh-oh’, there goes the sippy cup on the floor. ‘Uh-oh’, there goes all the blocks mommy had put into a tower. ‘Uh-oh’, there goes my paci… And so on and so forth.

I have to say that I write these words in relief and in anxious anticipation. I have met many a bilingual who learned two languages as natural as it gets. So I wasn’t at all concerned until recently, when I met a bilingual family whose 2 year-old only had about ten words in his vocabulary. I began to fervently study about multilingualism. Because in our case, we are dealing with three languages instead of the usual two. That’s when I realized that even though multilingualism will come naturally, we must be intentional with how we go about it.

Currently we are following the ‘OPOL’ method (One Person, One Language). I speak Portuguese to O and the husband speaks English. He hears English from his American family and Portuguese from his Brazilian family. But there’s also an element of Ml@h (Minority language @ home), given that once we cross the threshold of our home, he only hears Turkish. Needless to say this all could be very tricky if we are not carefully intentional about it all.

From all the testimonies I’ve read, if we work hard at it, we will reap many, many benefits. The onset of language might come later than a monolingual child, but when it comes, it will come twice as more.:)

I can’t wait to hear all the new little words he is going to learn! It is such a relief to be able to actually understand what my child is babbling about!

>mom-mode post #122 – on the introduction of the pizza

February 3, 2011 § 3 Comments


I normally try my very best to only feed O with the healthiest choices I can find on this side of the world. If I can buy organic, I do. If I can’t, I try to buy the freshest veggies at the market, always looking for the best and healthiest way to prepare O’s meals. But nowadays O has grown increasingly interested in what we’re eating. And let’s face it, I’m not necessarily known for my nutritious eating habits. So behold, the introduction of the pizza (after this, I don’t think we are ever going back to our all-natural eating days — ugh):
‘Um, I think I like this’, he says to himself.

‘yeah, mommy! Keep the goodness coming!’

This has got to be my favorite face ever.

‘this pizza business made me thirsty!’

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