Tag Archives: bicultural

That’s so Gringa

28 Apr

The other day I was preparing pasta for little z-baby. One of my favorite kitchen shortcuts is to use my kitchen shears to cut his spaghetti. Just snip, snip, snip and you’re done! I was happily snipping away when sig-o walked by and chuckled, “Ok. That is so Gringa!”

I was stopped cold in my snipping tracks… So Gringa? Me? Well, yeah. I had to laugh… sig-o and I have been together for so long that we sometimes forget that he’s Mexican and I’m American, that we’re different both as individuals and because of our cultural backgrounds.

Like once when I asked him what he wanted to get to eat and he replied, “How about Mexican?” for like the millionth time. With exasperation in my voice I asked, “Don’t you EVER get tired of Mexican food?” To which he replied, “Uh, noooo. It’s just food to me.” Oh.

So here are a few other things (not sure that I agree) that sig-o says also make me “so Gringa.” 

  1. Mis calzones (underwear) — They’re cheap. And I know it. But I can’t help it ya’ll. It’s a habit I picked up in college. When you don’t do laundry as frequently as you should… you solve the problem by just going and buying some cheap Hanes Her Way. While I do do laundry regularly now, I still have over 20 pairs of the cheapies. Though not the same ones from college… geesh!
  2. My obsessive planning — I plan everything. I even plan when I’m going to plan. Visitors coming? Trip to take? Picnic in the park? Lists make me happy. And there’s no way I would be able to not plan at least meals when I know my suegra is on her way for a visit. Of course, she always brings enough food for an army and takes over my kitchen anyways… but it’s the thought of not being prepared that would drive me to insanity. Sig-o tells me not to worry about it. I tell him I’ll add that to my list.
  3. The way I worry about everything — A close relative of #2. I worry too much about things. Like seat belts and firecrackers and not waking the neighbors. I’m not as bad as I used to be (except for when the postpartum depression was in full-swing… then it was BAD). And it all seems to be relative to place. In Mexico, I’m still a worrier, but I let a lot more slide.
  4. My immersion blender — Since sig-o and I have been together, we have been through countless blenders (lots of salsas, lots of aguas frescas…). And I got tired of them always breaking down. Or just breaking. We had a collection of mismatched bases and jars that did us no good. So one day I tossed them all and got a sleek little hand blender for a change. So what? It’s worked well so far, and I’m sure we’ll go back to the other kind as soon as it gives out, too.
  5. The way I watch TV — When I sit down to watch TV, I could also be reading blogs, playing Words with Friends, perusing recipes, making lists. And I may or may not have the volume on. But when sig-o (and everyone in his family) sits down to watch TV it’s like zombies sucked his brains out… he sits and stares open-mouthed at the blaring screen and can hear no other sound around him. Commercials are even worse. They’re not something to be muted, but rather something to lean into, the main attraction. I could strip off my cheap calzones and he’d never even flinch.
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No cable? ¡No importa!

27 Apr

I recently read a post over at Bicultural Mom that has a nice list of bilingual/Spanish-language TV shows for kids. This got me to thinking… As far as tools and resources go to help z-baby learn Spanish, this is an area where we haven’t explored much.

Z-baby only recently started watching some videos. And as I mentioned in a recent post, we don’t watch much TV and don’t have cable. But when he does watch TV, I’d like to limit his screen time to as much Spanish-language programming as possible. So while Disney, Nick Jr., and PBS Kids do offer clips and some full episodes of their shows online (when they’re not crashing my mac), where else can you turn if you don’t have cable? Below is a brief list of sites we have found so far.

Netflix — Ok, so you do have to pay for this, but I thought I would include it, too. Some of the items below are available on DVD only, but a few are available instantly (always nice with an impatient toddler!).

  • Cantarima DVDs — I can’t say enough about these DVDs. Cantos y Rimas and Canciones de Cuna are in Spanish and English, whereas Números y Figuras is in Spanish only. These are the first videos z-baby would watch and he L-O-V-E-S them. And while it’s hard to get the songs out of your head, they also help mom and dad learn some songs in Spanish, too.
  • Various videos of Handy Manny, Dora the Explorer, Go Diego Go, Maya and Miguel, Sesame Street, and Plaza Sésamo (2 are forthcoming).
  • Famosos Dibujos Animados En Español (others forthcoming) — These are basically old school cartoons (Woody Woodpecker, Porky the Pig, etc…) in Spanish. We haven’t watched these yet, but I’m keeping them on my radar for the future.
  • Cri Cri: Las Número 1 — So the songs are not actually performed by Francisco Gabilondo Soler… but they are a favorite of sig-o and he wanted z-baby to grow up with them, too.

¡Sorpresa! — Promoted as a Spanish-language cable channel for Hispanic youth and families, their website also offers shows for free. For preschoolers, there are four shows with anywhere from 4 to 28 full episodes each: Bali, Wumblers, Cubeez, and Tiny Planets.

Mis Cositas — A great resource in general, but they also have a You Tube channel with videos. I don’t know about yours, but my kid loves just watching other kids do mundane things, and he likes watching the videos starring Niko — ¡tan chulo!

You Tube —  I have a love-hate relationship with You Tube when it comes to z-baby watching anything on it. Love it because you can find virtually anything on it. Hate it because you have to be vigilant about what you click and what might pop up next on the screen if you’re not paying attention. But always good in a pinch and when looking for hard to find things (like when sig-o remembers shows and songs from his childhood that we can’t find anywhere else online. Topo Gigio anyone? Ah… nostalgia 🙂 ).

Your local public library — Yep. Even where we live, which is a far cry from a multicultural mecca, the library carries many books, a few DVD’s, and some audio recordings in Spanish. And you can always request something you’d like them to acquire. Never hurts to ask!

Where else do you turn for on-screen resources? I’d love to hear what you’ve found!