On the state of my marriage

  
*to not get into any copyright problems: photo from Pinterest (and that’s it… I managed to only save the picture without the link…)

Anyways, this is exactly how I feel right now. The storm is close by and we can see it, we can feel it, sometimes (more often than not lately) we can even feel the gusty wind and splash of rain but so far, with extreme effort, we have managed to keep it at arm’s length.

It’s tiresome. It’s grueling. My husband likes to say that we are in “the survival years”. I absolutely hate that phrase. I know what he means but I also now that how we choose to describe things is going to shape our experience of it, and I refuse to think back later on and remember these years, our kids’ early years, as “we survived them.”

No! I want to cherish their laughs and their cries and their milestones. And I’d like for both of us to be able to laugh the hard times off and be able to hold hands afterwards. To be loving towards each other, constantly, not just on occasions.

But we run out of patience, I snap way too often, he gets defensive as soon as he hears my tone of voice.

It’s f*ing hard. I think I need a Wellness Wochenende! Maybe a few days off from breastfeeding, feeding the oldest, picking up after everyone, etc etc etc will let me come back with charged batteries and will erase the permanent tired look I have on lately.

I want to hold his hand and feel his warm embrace, and enjoy it. I miss us, just us, without the constant stream of honey do-lists and responsibilities. We’ve been together for a decade now, and I’d like to stay with him for more decades to come. 

Now, I wish the storm would pass on its way, so we can feel at peace that we came out stronger than we were before.

A Fish in Foreign Waters \ book review

This post has been long overdue!

I’ve been in a state of wonderful bliss for the past [almost] two months. Spending time in Mexico, with my family, having lazy days and sometimes running around, hearing my oldest laugh, hearing him speak more and more my mother tongue, and watching my youngest learn how to roll from back to front and blow raspberry bubbles.

I have been worried (constantly worried to be truthful) that my sons will not embrace my language and cultural heritage. Sometimes I have a hard time letting go of that worry and focusing on the gains that [at least, so far] my oldest is doing.


It had been barely a few days after I was back home in Mexico that I read a message about a children’s bilingual book, and coincidentally the author was looking for reviewers. I absolutely jumped at the opportunity to do that!

Here I was, with a chronic worry about my children’s language acquisition, the least I should do was to look for opportunities to continue learning about bilingualism and reading stories that [I hoped] would resonate with what my experience is at the moment.

I sent the author a message and got a copy of the book.

So here it goes.
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“A Fish in Foreign Waters” talks about Rosie Ray and her family that move to another part of the ocean because Rosie’s dad got a new job.

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Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 6.58.40 PM            I loved this.

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Rosie talks about her struggles to learn the new language (how the bubbles are differently shaped from what she is used to) to how her school lunch looks different from her new friends’ lunch. She mentions how her dad talks with an accent and how this makes her embarrassed! I could totally relate. I remember back when I was learning English at school that I would tell my dad he talked English funny (“ingles ranchero“). And now I can related as a mom of two kids whose dominant language will most likely be German. I imagine them correcting my Ümlauts and German-style Rs.

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I really enjoyed this heartwarming book; it gave me a sense of comfort in reading about this endearing little stingray and how she coped with the changes that came with moving to a new part of the sea. I can imagine getting a hard copy and stacking it next to my children’s book collection.

I would like to take it out for our nightly bedtime story routine and read it out loud to them; have them follow along to this little family’s transoceanic adventure.

More than anything, I think that it would be most comforting to me, the one that crossed the ocean to a new country, where everything was so foreign and most everything sounded so strange. As time passes, however, I’ve learned to embrace the differences and appreciate my new home – just as Rosie Ray did.

It turns out that square bubbles are nicht so schlecht.

Microblog Mondays: Mis Mex-alitos

Mex-alitos: Mexican-German kids.

I love the word, I love the meaning, I love how it embraces my culture, his culture, the uniqueness of our kids’ future.

HOWEVER, I was not prepared to feel the grief that I’ve been feeling. The sadness that washes over me when he answers, “Ja,” every time I ask something expecting to hear a “Si” instead.

I knew, I knew, that my kids’ dominant language was going to be German, is going to be German. But emotionally I am not prepared for this.

Why are all the soft sounding Spanish words being led dormant by the hard, short German ones? The ja for the si; the Wasser instead of agua ; auto instead of carro? Ok, carro is harder (and in central-south Mexico they say auto so I guess…)

And not all German words are harsh sounding (actually none of his first German words sound harsh, they actually sound cute and beautiful and it makes my heart swell with pride to hear him pronounce them so effortlessly, not unlike me sweating about a damn Ümlaut).

But I was not ready to experience the struggle that I feel daily trying to make Spanish as important for him. It doesn’t come easy to me to be a chatterbox all day, to talk left and right about anything and everything, and now I have to. I really really have to. I get tired of narrating everything that we do, that we see, to ask the same questions I’ve been asking him all his life, “¿Quieres comer pan?” and having him look at me intently, like he is having trouble processing things because Spanish sounds weird after being in daycare six hours where German is all he heard.

I am probably reading too much into things. I am projecting my deepest fear: that my children will not speak my language, that they will not feel related to my culture, that they won’t hear mariachi o una ranchera and want to start singing along as well.

It’s not just the language loss that makes me sad… it’s that I want them to be proud Mexicans as well. Our music, our songs, our food, our tricolor flag, our family. Our Family.

I’ve met so many Mex-Alitos here in Germany. I know my fears are unfounded as long as I continue working hard. And I will but today, right now, I’m grieving.IMG_7112

It’s the little things

  

I’m slightly exhausted (can’t imagine that will get better any time soon!) but I’m happy. 

I’m grateful. 

For my husband (who took six months of paternity leave to help out), 

for my eldest who every morning calls my name out with such force of life that I cannot help but smile from deep within,

for my little one who is very relaxed and has made our parenthood journey with two so far quite enjoyable.

I am grateful for this family that I have been blessed to call my own.

Life with 2

is not easy but not as hard as I had thought it would be;

it’s not as chaotic but definitely louder;

it’s not a walk on the park but it’s sweet and enjoyable and smells like baby powder and rings of toddler laughs.

Life with two is unbelievably true. I never thought life will be this rich with love, with sleepless nights, with recurring fights because we are both tired and cranky. But at the end of most every day since two weeks ago when L was born, we have been continuously amazed at how lucky we are to have these two blessings in our lives.

There was one day when we thought  we would never be able to have babies. 

And now we have two boys, they are beautiful and they are ours.

#MicroblogMondays : 40 weeks [almost]

I’m two days shy of being full-term, 40 weeks pregnant! I am blown away by this because I have been dealing with intense and worrisome Braxton Hicks contractions plus severe ligament pain, nerve/Sciatic pain, and pelvic pain since 24 weeks. I thought that I wouldn’t make it to the end of the pregnancy and turns out that I did. My boy is healthy and measuring right on track and I’m so very excited to finally meet him.

This time around pregnancy has been so different. My view and experience of it, the way I felt about the changes in my body, the way I acted through it, the way I talked to him, and dreamt about him, and felt him.

He is our second miracle. K was our first, after years of struggling with IF, after countless heartaches and tears, he came and I exploded with this love that swept me of my feet and made me want to hold on to him forever and never let go. To always be checking on his breathing, his heartbeat, his little fingers and toes. To savor every moment of his growing up and never forget.

Now we are going to meet our second son – the light of our hearts, (that is what both of his names mean) – and the love that I already feel for him is so profound, and deep, more so because his brother has showed me how to be a mother, how to love without boundaries, how to be able to deal with the anxiety and worries that are an intrinsic part of parenthood and make it through the night.

We were blessed with this unexpected miracle when we were already at peace with the idea of possibly never having any more children, and if I ever doubted the grandiosity of God, feeling our second son in my belly and soon seeing him will never let me forget that when we least expect it, we get the most amazing gifts.

And now, I will patiently wait for him to decide to come.

#Microblog Mondays: Mi gente

Mi gente.

That’s what my husband calls us, his family, his people, his loves.

Not in German, his native language, and not in English our common language but in Spanish, my mother tongue.

He prefers my language to express some of the things he finds special: mi gente, mi amor, quesadilla, la nena (our dog).

The joys of multicultural relationships🙂

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