Friday, April 29, 2011

La Patita | The Little [Mama] Duck

The English translation follows, below. : D

Duck statues to commemorate the book Make Way for Ducklings by a Boston author Pictures, Images and Photos

¿Han oído del compositor y cantante mexicano de canciones de niños Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor? Esta semana comparto con ustedes una de sus canciónes mas famosas de cuna que nuestra mamá nos cantaba antes de la hora de dormir.

En caso qué no estén familiarizados con el talentoso Cri-Cri, era conocido, no solo por su voz y imaginación vibrante, si no también por qué podia imitar la canción de los grillitos.

¿Otra cosa, cuándo fue la ultima vez, qué usted cantaba una canción sin ponerle atención a lo qué cantaba? Les digo qué estoy un poco sorprendida con "La Patita."

Solo me tomo cuarenta años entenderle las letras. o_O

¿Que piensan? 

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La patita de canasta y con rebozo de bolita
va al mercado
a comprar todas las cosas del mandado
(Se va meneando al caminar, como los barcos en altamar).

La patita va corriendo
y buscando en su bolsita
para darles de comer a sus patitos
porque ella sabe
que al retornar
toditos ellos preguntaran
(qué me trajiste, mamá cuac cuac, qué me trajiste cuaracuacuac)

La patita (como tú)
de canasta y con reboso de bolita (como tú)
se ha enojado (¡como tú!)
por lo caro que está todo en el mercado
(como no tiene para comprar, se pasa el día en regatear)

Sus patitos
van creciendo y no tienen zapatitos
y su esposo
es un pato sinvergüenza y perezoso
que no da nada para comer
y la patita pues qué va a hacer
cuando le pidan
(coman mosquitos, cuaracuacuac)

Have you heard of the Mexican composer and singer of children's songs Cri-Cri: The Little Singing Cricket? I share with you one of his most famous lullabies that our mother used to sing to us before bedtime, "The Little [Mama] Duck."

In case you're not familiar with the talented Cri-Cri, he was not only known for his voice and colorful imagination, but also because he could mimic the sound of crickets.

When was the last time you sang a song without really paying attention to the words? I have to tell you, I'm a little surprised with "The Little Duck."

It only took me forty-years to understand the lyrics of this song. o_O

What do you think?

The Little [Mama] Duck

Mama duck, in a head-shawl, and carrying a basket
goes to the store
to do her shopping
(she hobbles as she walks, like the ships at high sea)

Mama duck is running
and searching in her purse
for pennies
to feed her baby ducks
because she knows
as soon as she returns home
they'll ask her
(what did you bring, mom quack-quak, what did you bring me quackity-quck-quack)

Mama duck (like you)
with basket and head-shawl (like you)
has gotten angry (like you)
because of how expensive everything is at the store
(because she has no money to buy, she spends her day haggling)

Her baby ducks
are growing and have no shoes
and her husband
is a rascal duck, a sloth
who doesn't give then anything to eat
so what's the mama duck to do
when they ask him
he'll answer
(eat mosquitos, quackity-quack-quack)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Versatile Blogger Award

Thank you to Chantilly Patiño, author of Bicultural Mom and host of the Multicultural Awareness Blog Carnival, for awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award. *waves* Un beso! <3

So here we go, otra vez -- again. Sharing some more dirt ; D ...
  1. I trained and worked as a volunteer probation officer.
  2. French was my favorite and best subject in high school.
  3. My favorite summer snack is watermelon doused in lemon juice and sprinkled with chili powder.
  4. I met my husband in Las Vegas.
  5. I've always envied women with beautiful straight hair (my sisters!).
  6. I fell out-of-love with PRINCE when he became a symbol.
  7. Listening to funk from the late 70's, and early 80's, always gets me in a writing mood.
Now to list some blogs I've recently discovered:

Bicultural Mom
Chantilly's blog is filled with passionate posts discussing such topics as parenting, marriage, learning disabilities, diversity, racial injustice and immigration. Her position on these issues is clear. She encourages intelligent and respectful dialogue and is a great conversationalist.

Cheryl Rainfield
Cheryl is a survivor of sexual abuse and the author of the award-winning young-adult book SCARS. She's outspoken about victim's and children's rights and has been able to help countless other's by speaking openly about her trauma. She just recently sold her second young-adult book.

Florecita Growing Up
Flor is a mother, activist and survivor of domestic-abuse. She's a strong women who's passionate about culture, heritage and immigration. I find inspiration and strength in her beautiful photography, poetry and writing.

Julio Varela
A thought-provoking blogger and social media expert, Julio is a political commentator, creator of the #bcivil and #latinolit hashtags, and author of novel-in-progress Franky Benítez.

La Dulce Vida
Adriana's uplifting photo-blog is filled poetry and images of family, culture and food -- balm for the soul.

Tracy López is a "Latina muy gringa" and proof-positive that Latinidad is a state-of-mind. She's the creator and host of #SpanishFriday and an avid reader.

Me and The Mexican
Tara's blog is a funny, clever and inviting perspective on the life of a "gringa casada con un Mexicano - white girl married to a Mexican." Her blog always makes me smile, teaching me a little something about lo Mexicano in her posts.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Donde Dejé Mis Conchitas? | Where Did I Leave My Shells?

 The English translation follows, below. : )

Cómo me dan ganas de comer me un Pan Dulce. Y no hablo de cualquiera. Si no de mis favoritas, deliciosas "conchitas." Las estraño tanto. No he tenido la suerte de encontrar una panadería mexicana que me satiface, cerca de mi casa.

Algo mas of menos chistoso ... hace varios años, allé una conchita en una tienda Latina.

Solo habia un problema chiquito. El pan -- tenia la forma y color de una conchita -- hasta holia como una -- pero en realidad parecía una piedra pintada de color de rosa. No le hace que tan fuerte le mordia al pan, mis dientes no le entraban.

*un suspiro*

Si quiera me ahore las calorias.

Tiene usted un Pan Dulce favorito?

pan dulce Pictures, Images and PhotosBoy, do I have a craving for Mexican sweet bread. I'm not talking about just any kind, either. Rather my favorite and delicious "conchitas-shells." I miss them so much. I haven't been lucky enough to find a Mexican bakery I'm happy with, near my home.

A kinda, sorta funny story. Several years ago, I found a "conchita-shell" at a small Latino market. There was only one small problem. The "conchita-shell" -- although it had the shape and color of one -- and even smelled like one -- it might as well have been a rock painted pink.

It didn't matter how hard I bit into it, my teeth wouldn't break the surface of the bread.


At least I saved myself the calories.

Do you have a favorite sweet bread?

What Is It About Jane Eyre?

Mr. Rochester:
"Do you think me handsome?"


In a little more than a month's time, I've read Brontë's classic, and seen three film adaptations of the novel: the recently released BBC film adaptation, a nineties version so awful, I'm still trying to strike it from my memory, and another starring William Hurt and Anna Paquin, as a young Jane Eyre (my second favorite).

Guess you could say I've had a little Jane-on-the-brain.

I'm not complaining because I've enjoyed her visit. Just wondering why a literary character from 1847 England (an oppressive time for women, by the way) has stayed with me for so long.

For anybody who hasn't read JANE EYRE, it's about a young orphan girl who's sent to live with her aunt and uncle. On his deathbed, her uncle makes his wife promise to care for little Jane, as her "own." The opposite happens: instead, her aunt severely mistreats her, then banishes her to live at a special school for girls, where she's abused some more.

At eighteen, Jane leaves the school to accept a position working as a governess, at a large estate. For all of two seconds, I thought, "Finally, the girl can breath." Not quite.

Life changes for her at Thornfield, when she meets Mr. Rochester, a manipulative brute, several years her senior, who keeps a little secret in the attic, and uses every deception at his disposal to win her over.

Maybe it's the contradictions in Jane's character that make her so irresistible. She's sensible and intelligent, yet so starved for love and affection (a kind word!), that she nearly falls for Mr. Rochester's machinations, too easily. Yes, she should know better.

In the end, I respect her, but continue to wonder, why I can't get Jane out of my brain.

Any characters you've been trying to rid yourself of, lately?

Mr. Rochester
"Jane, be still; don't struggle so, like a wild frantic bird that is rending its own plumage in its desperation."

Jane Eyre
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will,
which I now exert to leave you."
(LOL -- love this! "Shove it, pal.")

Friday, April 15, 2011

Telenovela Amigas y Rivales

Mis padres nunca nos permitieron ver programas en español. Menos las telenovelas. Quizás fue por que querian que aprendiéramos el inglés lo más pronto posible. De todos modos, así nos acostumbramos.

Se pasaron los años, y quando mi mama se mudo de California, a vivir con nosotros en Massachusetts, se trajo con ella una maña pequeña y contagiosa. Como ya se habia retirado, ella tenia bastante tiempo en sus manos. Adivine como se pasaba el tiempo ... Si! Viendo telenovelas!

Ella fue la que me presento a la famosa AMIGAS Y RIVALES (2001). Solo me tomo ver un capitulo para hacerme adicta a esta historia de amor y vengaza. Todas las tardes, llegaba del trabajo preparada a descubrir que iba ocurrir en las vidas de estas cinco muchachas (Nayeli, Jimena, Ofelia, Tamara y Laura), cada una con sus propias tragedias. No me pude despegar de la pantalla hasta que se termino la serie televisiva.

Ahora, quando entro a la habitación de mi mama, tengo mucho cuidado. No me siento por mas de unos cuantos minutos. Tengo mi niño, mi marido, y mi torre de libros, todos buscando me. Quisiera tener el tiempo, por que las telenovelas son perfectas para practicar el español.

Pero es imposible ver solamente un capitulo!

Las que las ven, saben de lo que hablo. No se hagan que no. : )

¿Te vuelves loca por las telenovelas?
¿Qual es tu favorita? 


My parents never allowed us to watch Spanish programs. Least of all Spanish soap operas. Maybe it was because they wanted us to learn English, as quickly as possible. Regardless, that's what we got used to.

Years went by and when my mother moved from California to live with us in Massachusetts, she brought with her a contagious little habit. Since she'd retired, she had a lot of time on her hands. Guess how she spent it? Yup! Watching Mexican soap operas!

She's the one who introduced me to the famous FRIENDS AND RIVALS (2001). It only took one episode for me to become addicted to its story of love and revenge. Every afternoon, I'd come home from work ready to discover what was going to happen in the the lives of these five young women (Nayeli, Jimena, Ofelia, Tamara y Laura), each with her own tragedies. I wasn't able to come unglued from the TV until the series ended.

Now, whenever I go into my mom's apartment, I'm very careful. I don't sit for more than a few minutes. I have a son, husband, and tower of books, all calling out to me. I wish I had the time, since Mexican soap operas are perfect for practicing Spanish.

But it's impossible to watch just one episode!

Those of you who watch them know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't pretend you don't. : )

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"What Do You Mean, Our Son Can't Read?"

Had somebody told me that my little boy would "flunk" the first grade, I would've told them they were smoking something. I mean, they couldn't possibly be talking about "my" child? My perfect child. The one whose entire education I had planned in utero. 

In school, I'd held to the belief that if I could start kindergarten, not speaking one word of English, learn to read, and go on to do well in high school and college, that anybody else could do the same (if they really wanted to).

Sure. I'd known that there were "special" classes, for "special" kids, but did I ever spend a nano-watt of brain power considering why some kids needed to go there?


A Little Backstory

Fast-forward, now, twenty years. The husband and I are sitting in those tiny plastic classroom chairs, in front of our son's first-grade teacher, wringing our hands over a less than stellar report card, and she starts with,
"Your son, he's such a pleasure to have in class ... so well-behaved ... well-liked by his peers, but -- " she hesitates, and looks uncomfortable "-- he just seems to be having trouble keeping up with the class. And he's so quiet."
Neither my husband, nor I, knew how to respond. Our son had behaved similarly in pre-school and kindergarten: always on the fringe of the action, never raising his hand. We'd already considered that maybe he was just an introvert, or a little developmentally delayed? So after a long discussion with her, we decided to take a "wait-and-see" attitude; maybe things would improve after the winter break?

Progressively Worse


Things got worse after winter break.

In fact, by this time, last year, our son's teacher described her one-on-one reading time with him as "painful." He could barely sound-out simple sentences and he lagged behind his classmates in phonics, spelling, and math. Not only that, but he wouldn't participate in classroom discussions, did not understand directions, required "teacher assistance" for everything, and excused himself to the bathroom A LOT (enough for the teacher to suggest we get him checked-out for a urinary tract infection).

Homework ... no please ... no ....

I can't imagine how frustrated our son must've been, trying to make sense of school last year, only to come home to more pressure from me, when I'd open his homework binder and find a pile of incomplete classwork assignments, on top of homework. Helping him with it became a chore (talk about guilt), because no matter which approach I took, one, or both of us, would end up in tears.

Turning Point

Hearing him say that he hated school did it for me. I had to uncover why it seemed as if he had gaping holes in his memory, through which everything he'd learned at school, and reviewed at home, disappeared.

I hope that hearing our story will give others going through the same, some strength in knowing they're not alone.

Thank You Bicultural Mom For Sharing This Powerful Video Clip:

Did You Know:
  • Dyslexia afflicts 17% of the population
  • People with dyslexia don't see letters backwards, rather they reverse sounds, e.g. "d" and "b" sounds
  • Dyslexia is a permanent condition, people with it adapt, they don't grow out of it
  • Roughly 50/50 split between boys (who act out) and girls (who become quiet)
Suggested Reading:

PBS: The Facts About Dyslexia
Warning Signs of Dyslexia
Special Needs and Spectrum Awareness

Children's Hospital, Boston
Children's author and illustrator Jef Czekaj's
Junior takes a few minutes to read the poster. ; D

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mi Primer - My First Spanish Friday


Antes de que yo naciera,
Desde las nubes te vi.
Te quiero, Mami.

Pase años esperando te
Sabiendo que algun dia
Vendrías por mi.
Te quiero, Mami.

En el corazon de mi alma
Supe que siempre serias
Una muy buena Mami.


No me gusta la traducion de este poema en Ingles. Se oye horrible!
I don't like the English translation of this poem. It sounds awful! o_O



Before I was born
I watched you from the clouds
Mom, I love you.

I spent years waiting for you,
Knowing that one day
You'd come for me.
Mom, I love you.

In the heart of my soul
I knew you'd always be
A very good mommy.

Spanish Friday was developed by Tracy López, the author of Latinaish, to help encourage Spanish and non-Spanish speakers, alike, to practice their Spanish. Gracias, Tracy! Big-huge-hugs to you. And to my new friend Chantilly at Bicultural Mom for gently prodding me. *una abrazo*

Okay. Full-disclosure, here. My Spanish is remedial, at best. I see this weekly event as a wonderful opportunity to learn from other people's writing and to regain some of the confidence I lost speaking this beautiful language as a child (more on that later).

I've been taking a few risks of late, this was one of them. ; )

Hey, maybe some of you guys would like to try?