Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pronouncing Rs: 31 Days of ABCs

This post is part of a series, 31 Days of ABCs.  Scroll to the bottom for the full schedule of posts.
Until I was 4 or 5 I had trouble with my Rs.  My grandpa gave me a doll and named her Mary Rasmussen to give me an excuse to work on my Rs.  Now I see Chiquita is having trouble with her Rs (both in English and the rolling R in Spanish).  I know she and I aren't alone.  What can parents do to help kids that struggle pronouncing this tricky letter?

I read this article on Mommy Speech Therapy that was helpful.  I feel much better know that R really is a tricky letter, in English there are "at least 32 different R sounds".  The author suggests identifying which specific R sounds your kids struggles with so you can work on that specific sound.

North Shore Pediatric Therapy posted this article with very specific suggestions.  My favorite was making animal sounds like roosters, cats and tigers.  She also put my mind at ease by stating that the age for master of the letter r could be anywhere from 5 1/2 to 7 years old.  Chiquita and I are totally normal and on track!!  Yeah!

While I was looking for suggestions in English I wanted to check on info for pronouncing rollings rs in Spanish.  Basically in Spanish if there are two rrs together (used to be it's own letter erre) then it's prounounced with a trill.  A single r is barely pronounced (so Chiquita has no issues) unless it's at the beginning of the word, in which case there's a very slight trill.

I found this hilarious video on facebook.  I'm not sure it will help Chiquita, but it certainly made her laugh.  She will watch it over and over again.

at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:
at least 32 different R sounds to consider as separate distinct sounds! - See more at:

Anyone have any suggestion?

31 Days of ABC - October 2014
Check out the rest of the series:
31 Days of ABCs

Anything ABCs – October 1

A – October 2

B – October 3

C – October 4

D – October 5

E – October 6

F – October 7

G – October 8

H – October 9

I – October 10

J – October 11

K – October 12

L – October 13

M – October 14

N – October 15

O – October 16

P – October 17

Q – October 18

R – October 19

S – October 20

T – October 21

U – October 22

V – October 23

W – October 24

X – October 25

Y – October 26

Z – October 27

123’s – October 28

Prewriting – October 29

Books, Songs, & Apps – October 30

ABC Pinterest Boards – October 31

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I'm on a Blogging Break!

Maybe you've notice things have been quiet here...  I've had to take a little break from blogging while my family moves house!  I hope to be back soon with new adventures and ideas.  In the meantime please enter my giveaway that ends on October 15th!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Upcycled Sleep Mask

I feel like there is so much STUFF in this world that the more I can reuse and repurpose the better.  I sell, giveaway or use for fabric all my clothes that don't work for me - or almost all.

There are some things that shouldn't be second hand and bras are one of them.  I had some that were really never used because they didn't fit right, but I still felt weird about donating them.  I had been thinking about making myself a sleep mask (as a mom that cosleeps I often need to sleep with the lights on).  The ruffles, stretchy bra straps and pad were perfect to make a very easy and cute sleep mask.

I just cut two strips and sewed the top and bottoms, right sides facing out.  I trimmed any extra fabric and slipped in a square of padding and sewed the sides with the strap in.  I adjusted it to fit my head and sewed the straps together.

So cute!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Giveaway -Dia de los Muertos Nail Wraps

When Jamberry's new fall catalog came out I was SO excited for the Dia de Los Muertos nail wraps.  Featuring bright colors and traditional sugar skulls, they just made me so happy!  I ordered them right away, but I couldn't wait until November 1st (Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead) to wear them.  I paired them with purple herringbone.  This month is Hispanic Heritage Month and I decided that was all the excuse I needed!

I am sharing the love - one reader will win a complete manicure of Dia de Los Muertos nail wraps!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month, check out
For fun activities and info around Dia de Los Muertos, check out Multicultural Kids Blog Day of the Dead pinterest board.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Diez Esqueletos

We are participating in Multicultural Kids Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month.  Please scroll ALL THE WAY down for the blog hop!

Dia de los Muertos is one of my favorite Mexican holidays.  Last year we learned this fun Skelton song at the Provo library's Spanish storytime.  Diez Esqueletos has really fun rhythm and rhyme.  It's a great song to go with our Skeleton craft.

There's bunches of variations on the lyrics, here's the version we learned:
Cuando el reloj marca la una
Los esqueletos salen de su tumba,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las dos
Los esqueletos miren su reloj,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las tres
Los esqueletos vuelvan al revés,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las cuatro
Los esqueletos miren su retrato,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las cinco
Los esqueletos pegan un brinco,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las seis
Los esqueletos juegan ajedrez,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las siete
Los esqueletos se montan en cohete,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las ocho
Los esqueletos comen bizcocho,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las nueve
Los esqueletos todos se mueven,
Tumba, laca tumba, laca tumba, tumba, tumba

Cuando el reloj marca las diez
Los esqueletos duerman otra vez.

It's a great song to do with rhythm sticks.  Also easy to put actions to.  We also found another version on youtube that was fun.

heritagemonthWelcome to the Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 22 of our member blogs! Don’t miss our amazing giveaway, and share your own posts at our linky!
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, “celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America” (from

Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

MKB HHM Twitter PartyDon’t miss our Twitter party “Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Kids,” Tuesday, September 23, from 9 – 10 pm ET! Follow #mkbhhm to participate!

MKB Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop: Participating Blogs

Hispanic Heritage Month GIVEAWAY!

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!
Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Smart Play Pad
Smart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Traditional Mexican toys and games.
A basket of fun from Escuela Falcón in Guanajuato, Gto., Mexico. This prize includes educational games, ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, a hand-painted ceramic box, wooden toys, and a certificate for 5 hours of Skype Spanish lessons with Escuela Falcón.
A basket from Lanugo that includes Lanugo’s new book, “Lula la Consentida,” a limited edition “Latino de Corazón” infant apparel, and Seventh Generation’s earth conscious baby product essentials. US shipping only.
Spanish games for kids.
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
DVD of Spanish music videos from Rockalingua.
Bilingual poetry book from Lee and Low.
Spanish poetry book for kids from Lee and Low.
A Movie in my Pillow and Poems to Dream Together – Books of poetry in English and Spanish from Lee and Low.

First Prize Package

Peru prize basket - Kid World Citizen 
A child’s sweater and bag from Peru courtesy of Kid World Citizen. The handmade, wool sweater is typical from the Andes and might fit a child ages 2-4. The little backpack is also handmade with gorgeous details typical of the region.
Spanish games for kids.  
A Spanish edition of the award-winning game Bananagrams.
Spanish songs for kids.
Chocolalala – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi. 
Hola Hello – A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Spanish poems for kids.
Mis primeros poemas – A book of poems and audio CD for Spanish learners from All Bilingual Press.
Spanish color activities from Mundo de Pepita.
Digital download of Spanish Colors Activities Pack with printable minibooks, games and activity pages from Mundo de Pepita.
Lingua Toys 
Spanish activity book with an audio CD with listening exercises for kids between 3-10 years old (value: 12€) from Lingua Toys.
Bolivian Guiro 
Hand-crafted guiro (traditional instrument), hand-carved from a gourd in Bolivia with a sun and moon pattern. Great instrument as well as a piece of folk art. From DARIAMUSIC. US shipping only.

Second Prize Package

Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua.
Handwoven scarf from Nicaragua courtesy of Spanish Playground.

Spanish book for kids from Libros Arellano.
¡Las letras! and Señorita Bienvenida en el aeropuerto – Two children’s books in Spanish from Libros Arellano.
Spanish songs for kids from Mariana Iranzi.
A CD of children’s songs in English and Spanish from Mariana Iranzi.
Children's songs in Spanish from Mister G.
ABC Fiesta – CD of songs in English and Spanish from Mister G.
High frequency words books in Spanish.
Digital download of 6 printable Spanish high frequency words books from Custom Literacy.

Bonus Prize: France Shipping Only!

Las piñatas de Laly 
Beautiful piñata created especially for this contest by Piñatas de Laly.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hello Bali Review

Chiquita and I love doing yoga together! When Giselle Shardlow was looking for bloggers to review her new book "Hello, Bali" we jumped at the chance!  We received an electronic copy of the Spanish version "Hola, Bali".

First off, this book is ideal for language learners because of the repetition.  Each page introduces a word/pose and then says "Hola, ______".  It was natural to have Chiquita says this phrase along with me as we did each pose.  So apart from the yoga aspect, for language learning it was great to have an action with each word to help her learn the vocabulary. 

At the end they even had a section to learn Indonesian!  It would be a fun extension activity to do the suggested actions with a partner repeating the phrases in both languages!!

The flow of the poses was great.  It was very natural to move from one to the next.  After the story the author has a couple pages reviewing each poses and it makes it very natural to learn the poses with the story and finish by repeating the poses in a flow sequence.
Ironically, the first time I got Chiquita to read this book with me she didn't want to.  She kept asking if we could do "the other yoga book", Giselle Shardlow's "ABCs of Australian Animals".  Ha!  Once we started she was VERY enthusiastic about being the baby monkey for me to groom.

I haven't made a secret of the fact that I'm a big fan of Giselle's yoga books.  I think these would be ideal for any kids yoga class or personal practice.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Living Without a Budget

When I say we live without a budget I don't mean we don't watch what we spend.  Both hubby and I are self employed so our income varies.  Some months we make lots and other months we make nothing!  It was really difficult for me to get used to at first so I'd love to share some of our tips to survive "without" a budget.  It basically comes down to two options:

Make More    OR    Spend Less

1. Make more
  • Hustle:  We often do reverse budgeting.  When we want to spend extra money, like when we went to Europe, we decided how much we wanted to spend and then figured out how much extra we had to work to make that money.  For the months before (and after) the trip we busted it, working all hours to finish projects.  This is my husband's favorite approach to "budgeting" - just work more!  I have convinced him that we need some time to enjoy life so we've developed more strategies (thank goodness).
  •  Use rewards programs:  Who says you can't get something for nothing?  I love Swagbucks, it's a program that gives me gift cards for things I do all the time anyway, like search the internet, play games or shop on line.  Some people spend extra time on it, doing surveys, etc., but I don't feel like that's worth my time.  You can check it out here.  This is a referral link, I can earn a percentage if you sign up using it (you can refer friends and earn more too!) I usually earn $5 or $10 a month in Amazon gift card that let me buy a few extras worry free, just doing what I normally do.
  • Turn a hobby into an extra source of cash:  I'm not talking about turning a hobby into a business, you can do that too if you want to, but if you already have a main business it's still possible to bring in a little extra cash and keep your hobbies a source of relaxation.  I have practiced yoga since I was 15.  I love it!  Becoming an instructor was a no-brainer for me.  It means that no matter how busy I get I still make time to practice yoga and I'm not paying for classes.  I was recently introduced to Jamberry nail wraps.  I really like the wraps and when I did the math on how much I wanted to spend on them, being a consultant was a great choice for me.  I get my own wraps at a discount and make a little money sharing them with friends.  Like I said, I'm not currently interested in making either of these pursuits my main source of income, so it's important for me to keep the right frame of mind.  I have fun and money is a bonus!  Whatever your hobby is you could probably find a market to take a class or buy a little product.  Just make sure you only spend the amount of time and effort that is worth it for you.
2. Spend less
  • Cut "luxury" reoccurring expenses:  You've heard this one before, but it's particularly important when you don't have a steady monthly income.  Check in regularly on the bills you have to keep to see if you can lower them.  For example, we need smart phones with unlimited talk, text and data for work, but I've lowered our bill just by checking up on new plans and calling a few times a year to make sure we're getting the best deal.  Same goes for internet and cable.
  • Use coupons: I love SavingStar - it loads coupons straight onto my store's reward card, saving me time and money.  An extra perk is that my husband refuses to use coupons but he will enter our phone number or slide a rewards card, so this way we save even when he shops!  SavingStar has some cash back offers too, so redeeming coupons can be double rewarding.
  • Buy Less:  Duh right?  Just because something is cheap or a "good deal" doesn't mean you need it. My husband used to buy new clothes every week.  Every week!  If you've got a shop-a-holic it doesn't matter how cheap it is you'll still spend money you don't have to.  Hubby is learning to buy less often (for himself and Chiquita too).