If you are looking for the new and improved community for The Cultured Seed please visit www.theculturedseed.com.
Rebecca & Co.
If you are looking for the new and improved community for The Cultured Seed please visit www.theculturedseed.com.
Rebecca & Co.
Happy new year my friends! Woooh, what a holiday season. I was looking forward to it and we had fun, but now I am soooo glad that it is over. Now we can get back to business as usual – well as usual as usual gets. For the start of 2011 I’ve got a new baby to contend with, grad school starts today and I am back to work next week, the fun never ends!
We are almost half way through January and most of us are still trying to swing the pendulum back into balance; adjusting diets, making resolutions around fitness, and redefining life and career goals. Our kids are also adjusting to our adjustments, which make for even more adjusting on our parts! Reading today’s Daily Om reminded me of this. The holidays often compel us to do extra’s, thereby setting an example of overindulgence for our children. Here is a little food for thought as you shed light on your personal motivations and work to find a place of balance for you and your little ones.
Too Many Things
Spoiling Our Children
When you spoil your children with material goods, where is that motivation coming from, your own inner child?
One of the greatest things about children is that they have the ability to entertain themselves for long periods of time with something as simple as a cardboard box, a container, or a set of measuring spoons. It makes you wonder why we feel the need to buy them so many toys that they won’t even have time to play with them all before they grow out of them. Often, if we take the time to question our compulsion to constantly give our children new toys and clothes, and to spoil them with food that is not even good for them, we will find that we are trying to fill up the space to avoid our own difficult feelings and pain. If you feel yourself wanting to spoil your child with material possessions, take a moment and see if you can feel where your motivation is coming from.
We may be inundating our children with things they don’t need out of our own desire to create a feeling of abundance that was lacking in our own childhood, or out of a need to feel liked by our children. Both of these motives tend to be unconscious, stemming from unresolved issues from our own upbringing or even our adult life. These unresolved feelings naturally come up when we find ourselves in the role of a parent, often as our child reaches the age we were when these traumas were most pronounced. Spoiling your children will not save you or make your pain disappear, only acknowledging and working on your emotional issues can do that. What our children really need us to provide for them is both a sense of safety and a sense of freedom and love of which there can never be too much. If we are able to do this well, material possessions need not take center stage.
We all want to provide our children with a good and happy life, but most of us know deep down that material possessions play a very small role. We confuse our children when we seek to make them happy through buying them things. When we do this, they take our cue that happiness comes in the form of toys and treats, rather than in the joy of being alive, surrounded by love, and free to explore the world.
A Facebook Post By: Aunty Tanya Bernard
November 18th, 2010
New nephew came into the world yesterday, November 17th at 4:02am.
Exhibit A: Edan Nathaniel Aguiar. 8 lbs, 13 oz by all natural birth (my sister is a rider for taking no drugs).
In order to help my sis and brother-in-law, Grandma and Abue (Great Grandma) and I have been holdin’ it down on the big sister Arya front.
Exhibit B: Arya Elena Aguiar, born November 7th, 2008, posing with her bumble bee lunch box on her first day of school.
For the last two nights while her mommy was in the hospital with baby Edan, Arya slept with me…which leads me to the fever that has so rudely planted itself in my tired and weary body. Not only has Aunty Tee Tee had to endure coughs in her face throughout the last couple of nights, but she has also been subjected to feet in the side of her legs, stomach, chest, neck and face; all causing her to get little sleep, which compromised her system such that those germs from the coughs from that tiny mouth were able to penetrate her system and ultimately have a sick party. This morning at 7:34am when Arya awoke from her very comfortable perpendicular sleeping position in my bed, I realized that it was official, I was sick. The first thing that went through my mind was “oh dammit, lets get this kid outta here as fast as possible so that I don’t re-contaminate her,” causing her to be quarantined in her own home in the hopes of keeping the newborn from illness. But before Aunty Tee Tee could fully get out of bed and feed and clothe the tiny germ monster, Arya looked over the bed and saw the group of pillows that Max and she laid on the ground so that if, by chance, Arya rolled off of the low bed (which she didn’t, since her tiny feet found the most comfortable warming spot in the crevice between my neck and my chin), she wouldn’t hurt herself.
Exhibit C: Bunch of pillows taken from around the house and placed on the floor to save Arya should she fall off the bed during her crazy night of kicks and punches.
Upon seeing the pillows Arya exclaims, ‘pillows, there are pillows!’ And Aunty Tee Tee says, ‘yeah, there are a lot of pillows huh?’ After which Arya states, with the most sincere and serene tone ever, ‘they’re beautiful.’
Aunty Tee Tee’s heart melts, she smiles, and thinks its all worth it to help out the fam, and spend a little time with her niece.
We are on the brink of D day! Edan Nathanial Aguiar will be with us any day now (come on out buddy – mommy is waaaaay over being pregnant, ya?!) Please cross your fingers for a speedy delivery. They say #2 is easier, no? I sure do hope.
As I prepare for bringing Baby Deuce into the world I contemplate what mommy x 2 will look, taste and feel like. I keep having these dreams that I drive myself to the hospital, give birth and shortly thereafter, bundle up the kid to head out to some very important event. Delusions? I am sure. But interesting to see where my head is at!
I suppose that with a toddler, a career, and a household to run you kind of loose the “whimsy” feeling you had with the first kid where it was all about bonding and breastfeeding and diaper changes. Now it’s like “come on kid, we got stuff to do, your sister has a play date, you are out of diapers and if we don’t pick up some chicken from the store no one is eating tonight!” Man, I feel bad for the little guy already. He’s already getting shafted in my dreams!
So, with that in mind, I feel it is only fair to give my little dude his fair share of mommy time… Ok, well not the 14 months that Arya got but he will get his 8 weeks worth – let’s be real people we’ve got to eat!
So please enjoy the silence and we give Baby Deuce (and mommy) a few weeks to acclimate to the world post partum. I will be sure to post pix when he arrives. We will also have some very exciting things in store for The Cultured Seed in the new year. Stay tuned!
Over the last month Arya has really excelled in her ability to express herself. She is “fake reading” books using her own made-up storyline, she can clearly articulate concerns and preferences using full sentences, and embarrassingly enough she remembers the lyrics to almost any song she hears on the radio – even if it is only her first time hearing it. (Darn that Drake!) Clearly her brilliant little brain is clicking away faster everyday, especially when it comes to language development.
Based on my own language background, exposing my children to multiple languages from an early age would be a given. Yet, despite my attempts speak with Arya in Spanish, Italian and French at home I find that as she progresses with her own English language development I simply forget to do it! Even though her first few words included “leche” and “agua” she now looks at me with that quizzical little look when I throw in a sentence or two in another language – like “Oh, funny Mommy with those funny words.” I know I have to find a better way to integrate this into her daily life if I really want her to be proficient in another language.
I come from a bilingual household and have experienced dual language learning in various stages of my education. Thus, I have always been an advocate for this type of exposure and can personally attest to the benefits. As I look at the issue with my new-parent goggles on, it is disconcerting for me to see the lack of regard shown for bilingual education across the nation; not to mention the shambles that have been left of it in our local school district here in Los Angeles. When I think about the educational systems in Europe, Asia and even Latin America, which have mandatory requirements for proficiency in multiple languages, I cringe to think that our children in the US are not being equipped to face the world with the same tools.
While I won’t allow this to be the reality for my kids, not everyone knows a second language or can afford private language education for their children. Thus, they must rely on the public school system or community programs to provide some options. However, there are still too many parents that are uninformed about the benefits, making bilingualism a non-priority and furthering ethnocentric perspectives that create inter-cultural discord. This limits the opportunities to enrich our own lives and our communities. Ultimately, the monolingual culture that is prevalent across the US will put our children at a global disadvantage unless we raise awareness and demand better options for multilingual and multicultural exploration.
Years of research have shown the cognitive and overall life benefits of bilingualism. These include an increased ability to problem solve, to think creatively and be cognitively flexible, higher self-esteem, and enhanced socio-cultural sensitivity. In addition it opens many doors in terms of the variety of employment options available.
I was excited to read a recently published article in Education Week regarding the advancements being made around neurological research tied to bilingual education. Using new techniques and technologies in neuroscience, researchers are finding that some of the long-held beliefs about learning another language are proving to be untrue. For instance, it was believed that the window for learning a new language shrinks rapidly after age 7, and closes almost entirely after puberty. Interdisciplinary research now suggests that the time frame may be more flexible than first thought and students who learn additional languages become more adaptable in other types of learning as well.
Further, in brain mapping studies conducted with infants born to native-English-speaking parents, researchers found that those who were presented with live interactive exposure to another language via a language tutor, progressed more rapidly in recognizing dual language sounds. This live interaction was notably more effective than simply exposing the babies to video or audio recordings. Patricia K. Kuhl, a co-director of the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, has been intimately involved in this research and states that “Babies start out as citizens of the world; they can discriminate the sounds of any language.” If you look at language acquisition at the basic level it makes total sense. I would add that as parents, we just have to expose them. So why wouldn’t we give them this gift of multilingualism as early as possible then and sustain it for a lifetime? Just think about how much richer our worlds would be.
For the full article on multilingualism visit Edweek.org:
Science Grows on Acquiring New Language
October 22, 2010 by Sarah D. Sparks
An emerging body of research dispels old myths about language learning and makes a case for multilingualism.
What does any good athlete do if they want to win – they get a coach and they train, right?! So that is what I have been doing. In embarking on this new mission with The Cultured Seed I have made a point to find a couple of organizations to help build my knowledge base and expand my sphere of influence. Let me say that I have some very cool people in my world already, but I have felt pretty darn impressed by some of the women that I have met in the last few months.
This week I want to tell you all about a few women that I absolutely love. Part of what The Cultured Seed is about is sharing great information, but it is also about community and supporting each other. For obvious reasons I have a soft spot for lady entrepreneurs, especially mom-preneurs so I want to do my part to return the love and support I have gotten over the past few months. Here are five ladies that all of you should know about:
Jan McCarthy – Ladies Who Launch
All of you lady entrepreneurs-in-the-making are going to want or need a Jan. I sure am glad to have one! I have never met someone who is more invested in helping women find support, inspiration, resources and knowledge as they embark on the launch of their dream or the growth of their business. Jan is the Market Director/Franchise Owner for Ladies Who Launch in Los Angeles & Orange County, CA. She comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators, including a great, great grandmother that was the first woman doctor in Georgia. In addition to LWL, Jan has partnered with her sister to create a company of her own, Back 2 Our Roots, a consulting firm that incorporates business fundamentals with ongoing innovations in Marketing, Sales and Business practices. They offer coaching, webinars, e-books and workshops. Between you and me, I hope that I can grow up to be a Jan some day. I am especially looking forward to living a dual lifestyle – Jan commutes between her urban loft in downtown LA and her ranch in Boulder, CO. So here is my future invitation, when I am not in LA y’all can come visit me at my Rancho in Costa Rica. You might even recognize the featured lady of the month on www.ladieswholaunch.com (yours truly!) http://www.ladieswholaunch.com/losangeles/featured_lady/521526067.
Alli Seigel – Project Goodness
This gal is definitely on her way to being a non-profit mover and shaker. Alli was first inspired to give back by dedicating 2009 to 365 Days of Goodness. Since then, she has developed a program to bring goodness projects into elementary schools, teaching children, our leaders of tomorrow, how to activate their innate goodness. Through Alli’s programs, children learn the value of selflessness, the power of acts of kindness, and the fact that they truly can make a difference, because “every little bit counts.” Project Goodness is also the recent recipient of a $25,000 grant in the Pepsi Refresh campaign. Goodness, so simple and so needed. They are currently taking request from schools interested in starting a Goodness program in the Winter and Spring semesters. For more information check out the new Project Goodness website at www.startgoodness.com or be their friends on Facebook (you can link up through The Cultured Seed Page).
Melissa Lanz – The Fresh 20
Melissa is making my life easier already. No more drawing a blank about what to cook for dinner and defaulting to the frozen chicken nuggets bag. The Fresh 20 is a meal planning service that is dedicated to bringing fresh food back to the family dinner table. Their meal plans help you to create simple, healthy and well balanced homemade dinners using just 20 fresh, seasonal ingredients per week. They are also carefully designed to utilize everything on the list so you can stop throwing money down the drain. Thank goodness someone else has thought this through; my pocketbook is thanking Melissa already! To sign up visit www.thefresh20.com.
Catherine Fages – Cat Walks Dog
Eric and I are going to pick out an English Bull dog just so that we can have Cat train it and love it and scrub it down with her yummy smelling Woof! Woof! doggy shampoo. This woman is like a dog whisperer. I instantly fell in love with her, so it is no wonder the effect she has on even the most rambunctious pup. Cat Walks Dogs offers dog walking, training and socialization as well as a line of doggie care products. Her shampoos and conditioners contain organic products and are 100% biodegradable and cruelty free. She is also an advocate for animal rights and works closely with organizations that support animal rescue, such as Pilots & Paws, an organization of Pilots dedicated to flying abandoned dogs to safe shelters across the country. Website coming soon, in the mean time you can connect with Cat on Facebook www.facebook.com/catwalksdog.
Nicole Carson – Snap-n-Step
Nicole Carson is the Chief Snapologist of Snap-n-Step, a new product that will forever do away with global childhood tripping-ness. Thanks to this nifty little snap your kids’ laces will stay tied all day long! (This woman is going to save me from some meltdowns in the future, I am sure of it.) As a mother of three very active and fashion conscious kids, she is just doing her part to help other mothers to keep from falling over the edge – especially when it comes to tying those shoelaces for the ten-thousandth time. Not to mention that a percentate of all Snap-n-Step sales go to support soccer organizations and promote healthy habits for kids. We really like that. www.snapnstep.com
If you know of a woman owned business that deserves a notable mention we would like to hear about it and share with the rest of the community. Email me at Rebecca@theculturedseed.com.
Growing older is a funny thing. I vividly remember waiting for 16; ohhhh the freedom that comes with a drivers license! Then 18, because I would be “legal”. 21 meant that I could drink (well officially in public) and 25 was the best – lower car insurance! But the joke was that from there it was all down hill. There wouldn’t be any more socially-imposed milestones to make any of the future numbers as attractive! Peccato (pitty). I hit my 30th year in the next week and it makes me chuckle to think that I once believed that there would be nothing to look forward to. For all I have experienced in the last 10 years, my 20s can’t end quick enough! But they don’t actually prepare you for the real, do they?
I recall an article my BF Taneya wrote back in our mid twenties on the “quarter life crisis”. It really was a “crisis” too! There we were coming off of those carefree and raucous college days, only to be thrust into life; the responsibility of career, bills, children, marriage and a myriad of other life changing experiences. Things were so clear before – you go to school, you get good grades, you twitter off to your part time job, then you party like a rock star (well at least we did here in LA!) Then someone pulled the plug and all of that went spinning down the drain leaving us scrambling for what to do next; grad school, have a baby, get married, hit that 9-5? All of those logistics are just the tip of the iceberg, because the real clincher is figuring out who the hell you really are so you can find your place in this world. Phew. Friggin’ hard work.
I can’t say it was all bad. Arya, my best creation yet, was a product of my 20s and had I not met Eric she would not exist, so I guess I will keep him too (teehee babe). I started my career in the globalization services space and earned a few corporate stripes. I also got to flit around the globe as a travel writer (and mostly not on my own dime – well, ok, mostly because I didn’t have any dimes to begin with ha!). I have also embarked on the next level of Mommy-hood as a soon to be mother of two. Most importantly, the struggle and strife of my 20s has challenged my adolescent “identity” in ways that I never thought were possible. I am more clear about who I am and the direction in which I am going, and this is no longer imposed by outside forces or others expectations. I can represent myself authentically as, or without the title of, mother, wife, friend, corporate girl, writer, art and culture enthusiast, foodie, dancer or simply put – a kick-ass panther of a woman. So as I bid them adieu, I thank the 20s for that and welcome my 30s with open arms and a sigh of relief.
Here is to 30! And many more.