Monday, October 10, 2011

More naughty than his big brother

Just figured out how to get to the top rack of the dishwasher.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day Care Art

A small part of Martin's art during the 2 summer months they went to a full-time home-based day care (now all glued on the wall of his room):
Posted by Picasa

And some of Vale's art:

The top right drawing is a portrait of Vale by his brother. The explanation reads:
'Esto es Vale. Se esta comiendo las cartas. Tiene 2 cartas en cada mano. Esta jugando con papi i Martin.'
And yes - Vale's teethmarks are on most of the memory game cards... :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Yesterday Tense

"Mamo, do you remember yesterday when we were in Punta Cana and we danced with the other kids and there was the sea and we slept there...? I want to go again to Punta Cana..."
"Mamo, do you remember when we went to the pool... in YMCA... yesterday... and Vale was there..."
"Mamo, do you remember when your car broke? Yesterday... And baba and diado were there... Why did it break?"
"Mamo, do you remember when we went to see the animals? And gave them food... Yesterday, mamo. Why don't we see them again?"

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Three Times the Love

This is how Martin parts with me for the night:
"I love you too! Y te quiero mucho! y... y...
и те обичам много!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Music and Languages

As soon as I start the car and Vale hears NPR on, he starts 'Mama, mama, mama, mmmm...' which means he wants to listen to music.
As soon as I switch to music Martin starts:
'This song is in Bulgarian... This song is in Spanish... This song is in English...'
So, here comes Pitbull with 'I know you want me (Calle ocho)'...
Martin: 'Esa es de Simon.' - meaning Simon likes it. 'Habla como en Miami - como Simon.'
I: 'Como se habla en Miami?'
Martin: 'En Espanol y en Ingles.'

Soon comes some Tarkan music.
I: 'So, what language is this one in?'
Martin: 'Mmmm... Mmmmm... Ne znam (I don't know).'
I: 'Of course you don't! This is Turkish.'

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Pool Time

This was what made my day today:
- my nephew Simon's first jump in the pool for the day - he ran to get speed and splashed like a ball in the water. He is such a daredevil!
- Martin's increasingly brave jumps too (trying to follow everything his cousin does).
- Valentin's running like a borracho. For the casual viewer (and for me especially) it is a mirracle he is not falling on every step. And he is having the time of his life every time he runs.
- The almost 4 hour nap the kids took after the pool. At the same time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wet Kisses

I kissed Martin good night and headed for the door.

Martin: Mama, you give wet kisses.

I used to call his 'wet kisses' back in the time he was teething and giving me slobbery kisses. Then Vale started doing the same (and still does) and that is how Martin knows the term.

Martin: Mama, you love giving wet kisses?
Me: Yes, very much!
Martin: I only love a little giving wet kisses.
Me: Do you want to give me one?
Martin: Yes.

It felt pretty dry to me, but still made my day (and night)!

[The conversation is translated from Bulgarian]

Friday, July 29, 2011

Baby Model

Valentin IN and ON the new box of Sam's Club diapers :).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Speech Samples

Martin is about 2 and a half years old at that time.

Overheard from my home office while working:

Martin: Баба, ти оздравя, защото ти пи milk chocolate? И аз пия milk chocolate - да оздравеем! (meant to say 'chocolate milk')
М: Вале, Вале, не тука! Баба, махни го! Карай количката - този мотор на мене! Не Вале!
баба: Той няма да ти го вземе - той само го пипа!
М: Не искам той да пипа. Не искам! .... И после ще го остави! :)
баба: Ти наяаде ли се?
М: Още не!
баба: Хайде, закъсняхме за playground.
М: Пьрво да го изпиям milk chocolate... Виж! (finishing his drink)
баба: Браво на тебе!
М: Като дойдем и после ще изядем това.

М: Баба, земи една очила да четеме книжки!

М: И аз обичам много моркови. И аз обичам зеленчуци. И обичам alma (=almond) butter. Това е една семка - не се еде! И ти няма да го еде?

М: Me siento mal! Me siento gordo!

М: Пак ще играяме!
баба: Седни да си починеш.
М: Не искам да седя - искам да работя!

М: Валето лапа всичко!
баба: Какво прави Валето?
М: Валето прави беля - всичко лапа!

М: Бабо, искам тахьн. Аз сьм гладен за тахьн. Искам тахьнче! Не пьрво супа - искам пьрво тахьн! Бабо, тахьнче с мееед! Сльнчоглед тахьн! Ама баба не знае кьде тати купил сльнчоглед тахьн. Ама той купил на магазина бе! Пьк баба не знае че тати купил слънчоглед тахьн на магазина. Не искам фелийка. Не го печей! Това е сандвич. Бабо, помогни ми да ми намажем фелийката... Ние окапахме малко и ние ще го облизаме! И става сандвич! Става хубав садвич кото фелийката като сложим тахьн. Който яаде тахьн трябва да пие вода!

М: (after spending the day at his grandparents' and his grandpa not hoeing in his garden this time): Следващия пьт ще копаеме!

М: Мамо, четей тази книжка!

М: Esta pelota esta rompida!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Correcting Our English

Martin is already correcting our English pronunciation!

The other day at a birthday party I had to translate some instructions to him while he was participating in a circle time led by an instructor. So, I felt a bit guilty for not exposing him to English more and not teaching him English at all.

However, every time his Dad says Woody (the character from Toy Story), Martin is passionately correcting him by saying it with the American D-rolling-to-R sound. And when he gets this rolling D sound, then Martin is not happy with his long WU sound, but corrects it to a shorter WU sound. But what amazes me here is that Martin notices we speak with an accent!!!

I just hope he grows up like the rest of the Americans that think foreign accents are cool... And not be ashamed of us one day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

14 of February - Valentin's Day

This is the last time I use those angel wings on Vale. The whole time of the 'photo session' he had a face of ‘oh, this is so ridiculous!!!’ Not to mention that I had to chase his naked butt all over the second floor – from his room to the bathroom to the office room… and I had to clean the carpet after a peeing accident he so enjoyed watching… How do the pros do it?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentin is One Year Old

I just now realize how little I write about Valentin here. No, I am no longer mad at him for not being born a girl. And yes, of course I was in the beginning - but only the first few seconds after he was born while I was still expecting him to be one of those cases when doctors made mistakes on the ultrasound. But that changed the moment they lay his little body on my chest. I remember the warmth he emanated - it went straight to my heart... Now I don't want to change anything about him!

I realize that during Martin's first year, I blogged about every single milestone - how he slept, how he ate, every tooth that came through, about his growth charts, his burps and hiccups... It is not that those are not important now with the second child - no, we are equally excited to see Valentin grow. Hearing him say 'mama' (at 9 months) felt as good and exciting as the first time Martin said it. And we suffered every tooth that came through. And he is still waking me up every single night to nurse, and then I am dead tired for the rest of the day at work! And seeing him roll over, then crawl, then pull up, then taking a few feeble steps by himself (still not walking, though) has been equally exciting as with the first one. The difference this time, however, was that we never doubted these milestones will happen - we were much more relaxed and did not need this feedback to assure ourselves we must be doing something right.

Vale has an incredible personality! He is always smiling, always content. He's been taking stoically Martin's constant pulling his toys out of his hands. He would occasionally do the same to Martin without being afraid of the subsequent pushing and pulling and occasional fall to the ground. Vale would put anything in his mouth. And if he knows it might be dangerous, he would look at me with an evil grin and put it in his mouth faster. He would then laugh out loud at my reaction and clench his teeth tight so that I have a hard time pulling the object out. He would challenge me to play with him by looking teasingly at me, then laughing out load and crawling rapidly away and would scream with pleasure when I start chasing him. He would belly laugh when I catch him and start to tickle him.

On his birthday, however, Vale woke up very cranky and fussy and would cry at the slightest sign I might put him down. Having had runny nose and cough for the past week or so, I doubted ear infection and took him to his doctor. She confirmed my fears and put him on antibiotics. First ear infection on his first birthday - not fun! Still, we gathered la familia to celebrate the occasion and to drink for his health of course. He had a cake with one candle, which he did not have the desire to blow (although he knows how to blow candles and does it every time he sees a lit one), but Martin and Simon were more than happy to help!

Martin seems to have outgrown his jealousy stage. He is very attached to Vale. And continues to act as his advocate - for example, whenever Vale does something that Martin knows is wrong, before I even say something, he would say 'Valeto ne iska time-out' ('Vale does not want a time-out') (of course I still don't put Vale in time-outs and I do it very rarely with Martin, but he has learnt to associate bad behaviour with the prospect of a time-out). And yesterday, I heard Martin talking on his toy phone to the 'firemen that come to take bad boys away' (we had to come up with something to scare him when he absolutely refuses to behave):
"Ne idvaite da vzemete Martin i Valeto - nie dobro momche. I Valeto dobro momche. Toi ne plache", (said at a time when Vale was in the other room crying his lungs off), " i niama da vzemete mama, i tati, i baba, i diado... ".
("Don't come to take Martin & Vale away - we good boy. Vale also good boy. He doesn't cry. And don't take away mama, daddy, grandma, grandpa...")

Must be love!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


At 2.5 years of age, Martin already recognizes the numbers (0-9) and the letters of the English alphabet (I give the full credit to his baba). In random order, when we show him a letter or number or when we write one, he would say which letter/number it is ([ei] for A, [es] for S, etc). And unlike me, he would not hesitate between the names of G and J (sometimes I still do).
Also, today before bedtime he wanted us to draw on his dry-erase white board. After I drew a few things, I asked him to draw. I asked for a leaf and I got a pretty good shape, I asked for a circle and got not a bad one, which later he said is not a circle but an apple. I asked if he can draw a krokodil(crocodile) and he said "Yes! Kro-ko-dil." at which he drew a "/" for each syllable as he was pronouncing it. And then he said "tuka pishe krokodil" ("here it says crocodile") - that is, he knew he did not draw it, but wrote it.
I tried a few more concrete and then abstract nouns and correctly got the verbal separation of syllables and relevant number of slashes on the white board. Even for snejen chovek (snowman), I heard the separated syllables "sne-jen-cho-vek" and saw him simultaneously write 4 slashes on the board. He correctly separated in syllables and slashes on the white board Ve-ne-zue-la, E-ze-quiel (the name of his uncle), te-rri-fic (even though it was a new (English) word for him), the names of everyone in the family, a few more Bulgarian and Spanish words. The only one he had trouble with was boligrafo (I don't think he had heard this one before) - he could not even repeat it correctly - came up as loligano or something of that sort.
And, on a side note, he wrote the slashes in right-to-left order as in Arabic :) (even though he was writing with the right hand).
He is extremely interested in decoding written text. When the credits of a movie start rolling on the screen he would pay close attention and occasionally say “Here is diado’s letter (for S), here is mommy’s letter (for D), here is U, here is A, here is daddy’s letter (for I)”… Today he correctly spelled Old Navy even reading it upside down on the T-shirt he was wearing.
My mom just asked me what language she should start teaching him to read in. I am currently (not) reading (i.e. trying hard to find the time to read) 'The Multilingual Mind’ by Tracey Tokuhama-Espinoza and I find the answer there to be the minority language. And since my mom cannot teach him Spanish, he is left with Bulgarian. So, Cyrillic is next on the schedule!