I have always thought it would be awesome to raise bilingual kids. Since I’m not bilingual myself, this has always seemed like a pretty unattainable goal. While English is likely the third or fourth language Baby Boy heard in his life, our oldest has pretty much only been exposed to English, with the exception of a French Music Lingua class a couple of years ago. She gets a little bit of Spanish at her kindergarten, but it’s been an area where I feel as though I am ill-qualified to educate my kids. So when an opportunity came about to review The Complete Spanish Collection by Whistlefritz, I was more than excited to get my hands on a resource that would give me some direction and assistance in this area!Read More»
Adoption asks a lot of our kids. We are bringing kids into a second (or third or fourth…) family, home, sometimes a new country with new languages and smells and people. Whether a newborn or a ten-year-old, there are huge adjustments for adopted kids that we as adoptive parents must recognize and treat with compassion and grace.
Adoption also asks a lot of our biological children. In a recent post I read by an adoptive sister, she poignantly acknowledged how hard (but worthwhile!) it was to be the sibling of children who had been traumatized, and to lose a bit of yourself and your once-carefree life when you take on that role.
Each adoptee and adoptive sibling’s story is unique, and not all circumstances will be the same, but we as adoptive parents have a responsibility to help our biological children adjust and feel valued as well. This is something I personally didn’t do well when we first welcomed Baby Boy into our family, and it wasn’t until a grocery store meltdown when my daughter made me aware that she was so tired of everyone stopping us and asking questions about our adoption that I had a come-to–Jesus moment. I had been so busy trying to help our newcomer adjust and get healthy without paying attention to the needs of my oldest, who was missing the undivided attention of her mom — and the ability to shop at the grocery store without being stopped a dozen times. I hadn’t recognized her new role not just as a big sister, but also as an adoptive sibling — a role which thrust her into the spotlight of the public a bit more than she was used to.Read More»
We’ve spent the past few weeks learning about Russia at our house, and have a collection of Russian folk tales and books about Russia that are beautiful, informative and inspiring to share with you today. (This post contains affiliate links.)Read More»
As we work to build a library of multicultural books that represent diverse characters and countries from around the world, I couldn’t be more pleased to have this one in our collection! My 5-year-old and I have read many informative books about other countries, but this one — by far — presented the most all-encompassing view of a country.
The book itself is fifteen chapters long, with each chapter presenting a different aspect of China and containing beautiful illustrations by Lin Wang along with an occasional photograph. The scope of the book is truly comprehensive — covering geography, government, daily life, food (with recipes!), endangered species and special holidays — among other things!
As a lover of theatre and music, I was thrilled to see that the arts were covered so well in this book. My very favorite class during my college years was a study of Chinese theatre and art, and I have always been disappointed that more children’s books don’t explore this incredibly colorful part of Chinese culture. I l oved that it had illustrations of Chinese opera masks, and a section about the fascinating instruments used in Chinese music.
This book was so complete and detailed — with such fascinating information that both my 5-year-old and I enjoyed soaking in — that I was curious to read about the author’s background. I was delighted to learn that she was an adoptive mom of two Chinese children, who took a special interest in learning about their birth country in order to teach them about their heritage. I can so relate to her passion and desire to learn more about her children’s heritage, and appreciate her sharing this information in such an accessible and beautiful way.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
There’s a national conversation going on right now. In the wake of the recent deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner — all unarmed black males ranging from the ages of 12 to 43 — the subject of race is all over the news, radio, Facebook, Twitter….pretty much everywhere.
While the reasons behind this conversation are gut-wrenching, I’ve been grateful to hear and read the words of so many African Americans and their white allies regarding race in our country. As parents, it’s so important that we have this conversation in age-appropriate ways with our own children.
“But my child doesn’t notice race,” you say.
Not true. Studies show that children as young as 30-months notice racial differences AND THIS IS OKAY. It doesn’t mean your child is rude or impolite if he asks why my son’s skin is a different color than his, and it doesn’t mean you need to hush your little one in embarrassment.Read More»
Last year, we started a tradition of counting down the days until Christmas by reading a different Christmas-themed book each day. My daughter loved unwrapping a book every day, and I suspect that Baby Boy will enjoy getting in on the action this year, too! It was so nice to take a few minutes to cuddle and read a fun Christmas book from our collection.
As I’m busy pulling out and wrapping books again for this year, I thought I would share with you my ten favorite Christmas books from our collection. (This post contains affiliate links.)Read More»
I’m writing this five hours after the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. Was I shocked? No. I think I knew, deep down, this is what would happen all along. Was I saddened? Incredibly. I’ve been crying on and off all night and have been following #nojustice to see what the rhetoric is in our country right now. Which is also deeply disturbing.
As I’ve said before, these things are personal to me now. Racial injustice has always ignited outrage in me, but now it ignites deep fear. My son is but two, and it is rare for us to go somewhere without someone commenting on his height, his ripped muscles, his strength. To top it off, he has Sensory Processing Disorder and doesn’t recognize his own strength and craves sensory input — not because he is a bully — but because he had a traumatic first year of life. So he will sometimes spontaneously bite, push or claw at a child with tremendous force.
When people remark at how he is almost the same height as his 5-year-old sister or marvel at the pronounced muscles in his arms, I smile proudly. But inwardly, there is always a fear and a prayer, “Lord keep him safe.” Because he is black and tall and strong, research shows that he will be viewed as a threat. That even though he is possibly the most loving, cuddly and joyful kiddo on the planet — the behaviors that come with his SPD may be perceived as violent and aggressive and won’t always be viewed with understanding and compassion.Read More»
I have the pleasure of reviewing for you today an absolutely beautiful and sweet book!
Summary: Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles by Shan-Shan Chen tells the story of Mei-Mei, a Chinese American adoptee whose parents want her to value her Chinese roots. Each year on her birthday, her family has a tradition of preparing “lucky birthday noodles”, a traditional Chinese dish. The story details the preparation of the food and the celebration to follow, in which Mei-Mei is given a red envelope — a symbol of good luck given for special occasions in Chinese culture. At the end of the story, you will even find a simple recipe for the birthday noodles that Mei-Mei and her parents prepare in the book!Read More»