Paula, Professor Pocket and Raising a bilingual baby

Is anyone out there?

A good laugh at new parents… December 11, 2008

Filed under: Personal — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 5:14 pm
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So, we’ve had our little Leo for almost two weeks and Joe and I are in love. He is such a sweet, easygoing baby. Completely kissable and funny too. Joe thinks the little squeaks and noises Leo makes are magic, and he’s nicknamed him Monsieur Squeaky. Funny.

We are getting the hang of this parenting world. Everyone warns you, or tries to tell you what a whirlwind it all is, but until you live it you can’t understand it. The first couple of days home from the hospital were the toughest. Introducing this new person into your everyday life was a challenge, but now I feel like we are settling into a little rhythm. We are starting to understand his cries and noises, gas vs. hunger etc. He is a pretty good sleeper, sometimes giving us 3 ½ hours straight! Not bad for a newborn, I think that is one of the benefits of having a bigger baby.

We have made typical new parent mistakes however. Yesterday we decided to run out together to grab a quick sandwich. I guess I’m still not used to carrying a diaper bag with me at all times, because I forgot it. The plan was grab the sandwich and head home to eat. Joe waited outside with Leo and as I approached him with our lunch, I noticed Joe had taken him out of his car seat. To Joe’s surprise, Leo had pooped and let’s just say the diaper didn’t do its job. There was poop everywhere, on daddy, on Leo, on his car seat, EVERYWHERE. It was at this moment that I realized I had not brought the diaper bag. Lesson learned. Poor Leo had to ride (it was a short one) home covered in poop, and so did poor Joe.

Lesson #1 for new parents: Always bring your diaper bag.

leo-sleeping

 

Praise for the juggling act and the supermom… September 9, 2008

Filed under: Personal — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 8:58 pm
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My super entrepreneur, super mom business partner Nathalie often refers to herself as Juggling Act when posting on blogs or websites. It’s an appropriate name for someone who handles two kids, a new business, a husband and a household!

 

For the past almost four years I’ve had my own juggling act with a full time job, Professor Pocket, a husband and a household. I am starting to get a bit nervous about adding newborn baby to my existing juggling act.

 

I plan on taking four months off of work to spend with Baby G so we can get to know each other and all our little habits. I honestly can’t wait to meet the little girl/guy and it’s pretty much all I think about these days. But given all the wonderful things that come with a new baby, I’m also thinking about how I am going to do it all. The first four months I can handle, it’s just Joe, Baby G, Professor Pocket, me and the house. But what happens when you throw in full time job in there? A full time job, by the way, that requires an hour commute to downtown LA each day.

 

In a perfect world I would be able to stay home and just focus on Baby G and Professor Pocket. But of course the reality of a mortgage, and funding a small business makes it nearly impossible. Plus in this economy, I have to say I am lucky to have my full time job and to be able to pay the mortgage and fund a business.

 

I have two things going for me though. My employer is great, they are very open and flexible with moms and I am working with them to try to work from home a few days a week. Just taking out the commute a couple days will help. I am also extremely lucky to have lots of family just minutes away already offering to help. My mom, who by the way is the official SUPER MOM of all time, has already offered to take care of my little one. My sister, who has three kids of her own and a part-time job, has offered to take Baby G on the days she doesn’t work. I have to thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to take on the cost of full time daycare.

 

So this post is for all you super moms and super entrepreneurs and super working moms who do it all and somehow survive it! I hope I can live up to the challenge!

 

Becoming a new mommy and bilingual babies… August 14, 2008

Filed under: Bilingual — Paula G, Professor Pocket and My Pregnancy @ 1:07 am
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I wrote this blog for the Mommy 4-1-1 site and thought I’d share it here as well….

I am 23 weeks pregnant with my first little one. I have to say it was a bit of a surprise to find out we were pregnant. My husband and I were in the stage of starting to talk about it when VOILA on a vacation to South Beach I realized it had already happened. We felt lucky to have been able to get pregnant so easily and I have had a wonderful pregnancy thus far. I love watching my belly grow, and the baby is getting big enough where now I can actually see my stomach bounce up when he/she (we aren’t finding out!) kicks!

As the months pass and the time approaches when this little baby will enter our world, my husband and I are trying to get everything prepared. By that I am not referring to what color I want to paint the baby’s room, it’s more about what kind of parents do we want to be? How will we make sure to raise a bright, curious, cultured, socially responsible child? Top on our list is to make sure the baby is bilingual.

I was born in the Dominican Republic and spent my childhood between Los Angeles and my hometown of Santiago. During the school year I was the Americanized version of myself, and then summer would come and my entire family would pack up and get ready for Dominican. Those summers are the greatest memories I have of my childhood and I remember almost feeling like I had two lives. I rejoined my Dominican friends and Spanish once again came naturally, so much so that by the end of the summer I was thinking and dreaming in Spanish. I loved having that special experience that none of my US friends had. I loved being able to meld completely into two entirely different worlds. I want my baby to have the same multi-cultural experience, especially in this increasingly global world in which we live. The benefits of being able to speak Spanish and English are still paying off. I have been able to travel and live in multiple countries. It has made me so curious and open to the rest of the world.

I am so passionate and so determined to raise my baby bilingually that my sister-in-law Nathalie and I started a company to help other parents do the same. Nathalie and my brother Carlos are already raising their two children bilingually. We launched Professor Pocket, http://www.professorpocket.com , in 2005 and it’s been a wonderful journey. We produce Spanish/English CDs that use a combination of very funny storytelling and catchy songs to get both parents and their children excited about learning a second language. The key is to introduce the language early on. Children are little sponges, it is amazing how quickly they absorb what they hear. As a Spanish speaker my goal is to speak to the baby only in Spanish while my husband will speak in English. It may be intimidating for parents who don’t speak another language to introduce a second language to their child, but it is possible and I wanted to share my top tips for raising bilingual children….

1. Don’t be afraid!

Even if you don’t speak the second language, look for products, like Professor Pocket, that make language learning a fun and interactive process for both parents and children. As a parent you can learn along with the child.

2. Be consistent!

Make sure your child hears the new language every day, it’s the only way they will learn. Books and audio CDs are a must as well as everyday conversation.

3. Make it fun!

If it isn’t fun for you and the child, you are less likely to be consistent in your introduction. Music and stories are a great way to keep the child engaged while they learn.

4. Have no fear, your child will still learn English!

There are so many incorrect fears that introducing multiple languages will only confuse the child and delay their development of their English language skills. This is not true! Beyond becoming bilingual your child will show superior problem solving and math skills, increased overall school performance, and better cross-cultural understanding.

If you are interested in this topic here are some other sites to check out…

Bilingual/Bicultural Family Network
http://www.biculturalfamily.org

Teaching and Learning Spanish
http://www.teachinglearningspanish.blogspot.com

http://www.scrambledbacon.blogspot.com

http://www.professorpocket.com

Enjoy!