Featuring new fireworks tradition on July 3 – A Review, in Gratitude

I´m happy as a dog with two tails. (Get ready, this post has lots of Spanish idioms)

My baby blog AMARARAMA is turning 1 year old this week!

It has been an incredible time. I met awesome people, I made friends, I exchanged life stories, thoughts and valuable experiencies. I found a safe place where to express my deep, true self.

The first time I got a comment I laughed and cried at the same time. (You know I´m an exagerated girl).

The first time someone suscribed to this blog I “jumped on one leg” (meaning: “salté en una pata”. That´s something we do when we´re really happy).

The first time a reader shared one of my posts in Facebook and Twitter I was exultant.

Every single time, I experienced a beautiful sense of happiness. That´s why I want to thank you all dear readers. For your presence, generosity and forbearance wanting to read me despite my clumsy English. I want to express my gratitude to all of you. For knowing you´re on the other side of my keyboard makes my life brighter.

As a little present, I share here my very first post, which most of you probably never saw. At that point we hadn´t met each other yet.

This is how AMARARAMA was born on July 3, 2010:

Hi there, you charming, worldwide English speaking folks.

I started blogging in Spanish on 2nd. January for the first time ever in my life and today I´m rejoicing to see the birth of AMARARAMA, my 9th. blog only available in English (please forgive me Sra. Lopez, I didn´t mean to make you sad).

You probably know how it gets: one blog for my interests, my first baby-blog only 6 months old. One for my husband´s interests (I figured out how to manage WordPress general dashboard and he takes loving advantage of that wonderful knowledge), one for my mother´s interests (no comments, please), one for my son´s interests… Oh dear! Is everyone in this family wanting to have a blog and honour me as main administrator?. Yes! The list goes on till today, when the family circle of life was completed and it came back… to me!

So this is AMARARAMA, where the end meets a new beggining. And I´m willing to celebrate it in English, for this is precisely what my recently discovered blogging mind has been interested on for a few weeks. I started reading some Freshly Pressed posts, then I dared to comment some that I found particularly moving. Then I posted an answer on Plinky and I won 1 follower! This really helped.

Let me be totally honest. Many posts in Spanish are really great (sorry I didn´t promise to be humble) but they will never ever, ever become freshly pressed. I think some of them deserve the chance to be considered as the best of 278,907 bloggers,249,836 new posts, 328,251comments, & 60,110,761 words of today, though.  And not only mine, or my family´s. I mean, all other beautifully written and photographed non-english-speaking-wordpress-blogs. So here I am, longing to become featured by you dear WordPress, writing in English as good as it gets:  I´d rather ask you to excuse my English than to excuse my French!

This idea of Exclusive-English-Freshly-Pressed-is-the-best-of-wordpress has been long enough in my mind, chasing for a chance to have something good to say and start writting in English. That´s precisely what happened today.

May I request you to wish me a happy independence day. Not that I´m hastingly running into anticipation for July the 4th. Nor am I thinking of revolutionary issues of any kind. It´s just my little toddler is becoming a boy, ready for KG.  He´s got a mind on his own and today he declared total independence from toddlerhood. First of all, he decided to wear his older brother´s School T-shirt. That was cute but he went for more.

Rick the Stick, I also believe that children are our future. And they are constantly moving forward towards it!

I agree with you, Rick the Stick, he´s always going for more so it´s a real challenge to catch his angel face in focus… specially because when I shoot he already turned round and left! I don´t deserve to be called your apprentice! I´ll keep practising your tips, though.

Next thing in the morning was putting his own shoe on.

Only All Knowing Deities and him knew the missing sock was there!

How on earth am I going to put my foot in there?

Boy, this is tougher than I thought…

Giant baby steps…

almost there…

I proudly did it!

You see what I mean? He´s getting good practical education thanks to good heuristic methods.  I´m sure Leeaving Trails would agree with me.

My little boy is growing so fast! He is building his confidence, he´s fnding his own way through, he´s ready for infinity and beyond. He just needs next challenge to meet him… what could it be?

Maybe a Chess Championship…

Maybe he´s ready for College!

Dear! I don´t want to see Toy Story 3 either!! My baby is ready for College! He´ll be leaving home so soon!

Mhh hmm… maybe he´s not leaving for College yet!

Now, what is he doing? Piling up towers, black queen and pawn?!

Firewoks here please! Celebrate good times, come on!

My baby will be with us for…

let´s say… minimum 18 years more…

Phew! That was close!

Advertisements

Dear WordPress Santa

Hi you charming blogging software! We need to talk.  It´s not you, it´s me.

But I need you to change.

I met you one year ago, when I almost did not know what a blog was. Rearing three little boys, working as a teacher and as household did not leave time left for such luxury.

Quitting my job on March 2010 has been one of the most difficult (and yet great) decisions in my life. I became a stay at home mom and I was really happy about it. But I also needed to keep in touch with my interests, with my profession and my passions.

I found you, dear WordPress, to be a great tool to find that balance.

Starting my own blogs was just the beginning (about children birthdays celebrations, about education in human values, about children litterature, about solidarity, about family life and creativity). One day I discovered Freshly Pressed posts and I found enough motivation to start my own blog in English: amararama.

And I was loving it all. Really. Writing and reading is one of my life passions. And doing it beyond any boundary was amazing.

Then school was over (we have summer holidays right now) and I realized my balance was getting lost. Quite often my body was at home, but my mind was far away, writing, editing, uploading images, answering comments while my kids where complaining they wanted to be with me. So I decided to stop blogging as much and as often as I did before.

Now I write a post here and then in some of my blogs, when free time and inspiration meet in a magical conjunction of events. Which is not that often, though. So I started feeling a bit frustrated and I found my self blaming you, dear WordPress. I know finding external reasons for personal frustration is a favorite technique to avoid facing your own need for change. I know I could change, yes. I could close most of my blogs, for example. But since you are a software and I´m a creative mom, writer and educator desperately wanting to blog I´d deeply appreciate your good will and your cooperation so I don´t have to do that.

I know I come a bit late for a Xmas letter, but let´s just pretend you become some sort of Santa and surprise me placing the following presents under the holy tree of my creativity. I´ve been a good blogging girl for a full year and I think I deserve this:

Please enable direct access to all my multimedia files from any of my blogs, not only from the blog I used to upload the files initially. I like using my own photos and many a time they are useful to illustrate completely different articles in my various blogs. Since my user name and my account are the same, why not allowing me to grab images and files from an “account media library” instead of uploading the whole thing again from my PC? This would definitely save a lot of space to you too. Just think about it.

Please enable faster linking options for comments: some of my blogs, particularly Pedí3Deseos and La Casa Naranja have a good deal of discussion. Mothers and families ask lots of questions and I really like giving them good answers, helping them rediscovering the deep meaning of celebrations and a simpler and truer way to rear children beyond consumerism and social imposed stereotypes. I do have a FAQ section but they are lazy, you see? They simply ask the same question again. And being a polite person I tend to answer when people ask me a question. So please  allow direct access to links, direct linking to older posts and direct access to the multimedia files folder in comments feature, instead of asking me to find the URL of the image, the previous post or link.

Please help me finding great blogs in my own language creating a Freshly Pressed Home Page section for other languages, particularly for those languages you already have as an option to use in our dashboards and as an option for WordPress home page. And even if you want to see it that way, for languages which are massively spoken in the States. Bingo! Spanish is Nr. 1 on that list! I spend a lot of time surfing the Spanish tags cloud and no way! I cannot find as easily as in the English version those great posts I know are hidden somewhere in the WordPressish-Spanish-Blogosphere. So I end up subscribing to English blogs (wow! really amazing blogs I must say) because you make them available for me. Give all world citizens who use and love WordPress the chance to enrich their blogging experience reading great posts in their own language! And I wouldn´t mind if you start by Spanish (I think I mentioned this already?).

Please, please, please, dear WordPress Santa, make me not fall asleep at 8 pm when my kids go to bed so I can blog a bit more every day. Ok, I know this might be too much even for you, oh! Almighty Software Wish Granter. But may be not. Who knows. If you can fulfill my other wishes, maybe you can do something for this one too. There´s nothing to loose. Just in case, I dare to ask.

Thanking your for considering my requests I must say farewell. Muppets from Space is over and I´ll leave you now to go and play with my boys some “animal basketball” (I´ll let you know about this new game soon).

For a blogging community that celebrates diversity, warmly yours,

Fernanda

Dare to Care. Challenging behavior and the mirror game

This is part of Steady Mom’s 30-minute blog challenge. Join in!

A few weeks ago I was enjoying Not Just Cute´s new article When It Comes to Challenging Child Behaviors, Do You Take the Time to CARE? when I suddenly found my name in it! I´m flattered and I wanted to thank the author, Amanda Morgan, for truly taking our comments into consideration for her research on Positive Guidance and Social Skills.

Her article links to the CARE form, an interesting tool for teachers and mothers as well. Briefly, it invites us to understand challenging child behavior and to learn to recognize how to best help children overcame it. This includes stating the Cause, the Action, the Reaction and the Expectations involved in the situation. I found this simple, easy to answer form very useful and I´m willing to proof it with my children.
After reading the whole article, I started imagining this CARE form as some sort of magnifying glass, the perfect tool for the Sherlock Holmes within every teacher and parent. When we are discussing difficult situations with colleagues or calm at home, this analysis will help a lot to guide our little ones in their way to conquer new social skills.
Now, in real life in the classroom or with my kids at home I rarely find myself with enough time to deeply analyse a challenging child behavior when it´s going on. The real situation is right in front of my eyes and it´s all about the decision I take. So I think I need to add some other tools to my social skills positive guidance toolbox.  I mentioned this to Amanda and she kindly answered:

“The CARE form is certainly not something you would fill out for every behavior, like you said, sometimes the answer is right in front of you. But the mental process may be helpful in uncovering some underlying causes that may have been overlooked before. I think many people instinctively go throught the four levels of the form in their heads when trying to understand behaviors – or even jump right to the area that will give them the answers they need.”

After this exchange of ideas, I came to create the DARE form: Demonstrate, Accept, Retreat and Embrace. These are more oriented towards the adult who is identifying a child behavior as “challenging”.
.
Demonstrate
Demonstrate what you and others feel as a result of a specific behavior so the child can learn there are consequences of his acts.
.
Accept
Accept the fact you might have to come back to this issue many times until a child can gain self control or gain new social skills (neuroscientists affirm even teenagers have not fully developed their frontal lobes which are in charge of controlling impulses and social behavior amongst other important functions). I hate hearing myself saying to a child “How many times do you need me to repeat it?”.  And accept you are learning too. Rudolf Steiner said self education was one of the most important skills of a teacher.
.
Retreat
Retreat when you feel the one out of control might be your own true self and know your limitations. When you feel a certain situation is going beyond your ability (or you´re just about to explode!) ask for someone else´s help. It makes you humble too. I´ve learned humility is a great gift, and I did it the hard way!
.
Embrace
Embrace that child AND the rest of your children who also need your attention. For me love has been the most effective and magical tool in my life. Are teachers expected to love their students? Oh! What a challenging statement, isn´t it? And here comes a last question to share: what about the “invisible” shy child in equal need to receive a positive guidance to develop his/her social skills?

If I DARE to look at myself and accept the fact I´m learning too, I might be able to CARE better for children too. Very often, I find my little ones to be “perfect mirrors” of my own self. Their behavior offers a precise image and points out what´s the next step in the learning curriculum of my own life.

Meet me, the first person singular blogging black sheep

traditional “mate” drink

I´ve been blogging for 9 months, reading Freshly Pressed for 4 months and wanting to become Freshly Pressed for 3 months, 29 days.

Finding out this feature is only for English bloggers and starting my own English blog took me 2 more months.

Forgetting about Freshly Pressed and subscribing to wonderful blogs in English about education, homeschooling and parenting started only 30 days ago. Naturally, I got curious about the authors and then I made a great discovering.

All bloggers I follow introduce themselves without using the “I” pronoun even once. They write about themselves as “she is”… mother of three, a loving wife, a teacher.

Then I had the joy to read Jenn in Japan´s post True Life: The Downfall of a Former Grammar Nazi. “I never wrote in the first person for an expository essay” she claims.

It didn´t take much thinking to realize how inadequate it is to use the first person singular to describe yourself  (and your thoughts) when writing in English. I wondered why.

Are they all practicing Advaita knowledge, persuing the True Self, dettaching from the identification with the body and mind by using the third person singular when talking about themselves? Mhmmm… I doubt so.

Most probably they are following obvious grammar rules for proper use of the language. Obvious for them, I mean. For me, those rules remain in the misty and foggy fields of the unknown. And I´m loving it!

I´ve been an obsessive conformist all of my life. Not knowing certain rules gives me a good deal of freedom and I feel myself like a little girl again, just jumping puddles of words, getting dirty, wet and scold (ed?).  Ha! I´m really loving it. Thank you English language for giving me a second opportunity to become the black sheep of the blogging familiy! I strive to be identified with my True Self and I do my best to master English language, but the enthusiasm I find in not being perfect is giving me a unique sense of authenticity.

Want to meet me? Here I am!

Holding argentinean password, I love my motherplace, my mothertongue and my social crisis addicted land. I mean. It´s part of myself. And I´m consistently dedicated to love myself, lights and shades included.

Having traveled around the globe and lived in Germany, India and Tahiland I consider myself a citizen of the world. Addicted to mate (don´t scandalize here please, that´s just a traditional drink… sex is not bad either, but I would deffinitely not call it “mate”). A lover of beauty. A vicious multilingual writer. A mother,  an educationist, an appassionate for equity.

My thirst for happy children, happy parents and happy families makes me jump into the waters of world peace. Not that I want to change society! Not that I want to carpet the world to protect my barefoot feelings.

I´m just in the search of authenticity finding the U turn that guides me back to my essence. I´m just after the calm joy of expressing what´s born in my heart and piles up in the print queue of my mind: True Word Seeds.

I never know what they´ll become, but I can´t refrain from bringing them into life. Sometimes they grow into huge trees called books. Sometimes they humbly shine and disappear on a paper napkin lost in chaotic-kitchen-all-purpuse-drawer where spiderman toys happily coexist with lost keys and forgotten to pay bills.

Amararama is the intimate cave where my profound or hilarious expressionism takes place. Start reading it from the end, start reading it from the beginning, you´ll get the same: my true self.

You´re invited to walk by my side sharing your expressive seeds too, no transgenic included please. Be welcome and enjoy!

Featuring new fireworks tradition on July 3

Hi there, you charming, worldwide English speaking folks.

I started blogging in Spanish on 2nd. January for the first time ever in my life and today I´m rejoicing to see the birth of AMARARAMA, my 9th. blog only available in English (please forgive me Sra. Lopez, I didn´t mean to make you sad).

You probably know how it gets: one blog for my interests, my first baby-blog only 6 months old. One for my husband´s interests (I figured out how to manage WordPress general dashboard and he takes loving advantage of that wonderful knowledge), one for my mother´s interests (no comments, please), one for my son´s interests… Oh dear! Is everyone in this family wanting to have a blog and honour me as main administrator?. Yes! The list goes on till today, when the family circle of life was completed and it came back… to me!

So this is AMARARAMA, where the end meets a new beggining. And I´m willing to celebrate it in English, for this is precisely what my recently discovered blogging mind has been interested on for a few weeks. I started reading some Freshly Pressed posts, then I dared to comment some that I found particularly moving. Then I posted an answer on Plinky and I won 1 follower! This really helped.

Let me be totally honest. Many posts in Spanish are really great (sorry I didn´t promise to be humble) but they will never ever, ever become freshly pressed. I think some of them deserve the chance to be considered as the best of 278,907 bloggers,249,836 new posts, 328,251comments, & 60,110,761 words of today, though.  And not only mine, or my family´s. I mean, all other beautifully written and photographed non-english-speaking-wordpress-blogs. So here I am, longing to become featured by you dear WordPress, writing in English as good as it gets:  I´d rather ask you to excuse my English than to excuse my French!

This idea of Exclusive-English-Freshly-Pressed-is-the-best-of-wordpress has been long enough in my mind, chasing for a chance to have something good to say and start writting in English. That´s precisely what happened today.

May I request you to wish me a happy independence day. Not that I´m hastingly running into anticipation for July the 4th. Nor am I thinking of revolutionary issues of any kind. It´s just my little toddler is becoming a boy, ready for KG.  He´s got a mind on his own and today he declared total independence from toddlerhood. First of all, he decided to wear his older brother´s School T-shirt. That was cute but he went for more.

Rick the Stick, I also believe that children are our future. And they are constantly moving forward towards it!

I agree with you, Rick the Stick, he´s always going for more so it´s a real challenge to catch his angel face in focus… specially because when I shoot he already turned round and left! I don´t deserve to be called your apprentice! I´ll keep practising your tips, though.

Next thing in the morning was putting his own shoe on.

Only All Knowing Deities and him knew the missing sock was there!

How on earth am I going to put my foot in there?

Boy, this is tougher than I thought...

Giant baby steps...

almost there...

I proudly did it!

You see what I mean? He´s getting good practical education thanks to good heuristic methods.  I´m sure Leeaving Trails would agree with me.

My little boy is growing so fast! He is building his confidence, he´s fnding his own way through, he´s ready for infinity and beyond. He just needs next challenge to meet him… what could it be?

Maybe a Chess Championship…

Maybe he´s ready for College!

Dear! I don´t want to see Toy Story 3 either!! My baby is ready for College! He´ll be leaving home so soon!

Mhh hmm... maybe he´s not leaving for College yet!

Now, what is he doing? Piling up towers, black queen and pawn?!

Firewoks here please! Celebrate good times, come on!

My baby will be with us for…

let´s say… minimum 18 years more…

Phew! That was close!