Tuesday, July 28, 2020

4 WAYS TO HELP TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE BILINGUAL



DRESS: Ivy City Co (10% off: ANNIE10) // SHOES: Sam Edelman // CHLOE'S DRESS: Ivy City Co // CHLOE'S SHOES: Freshly Picked 

As many of you know, Chloe's first language is Vietnamese. Her vocabulary at this moment is about 90% Vietnamese and 10% English. With Liam, unfortunately, it's the opposite. Liam speaks and understands about 90% English and 10% Vietnamese. Some people joke around and say that the first child is kind of like a test run and in this case, I've learn a lot from my mistakes with trying to teach Liam to learn Vietnamese. I want to share how we've been able to be successful at teaching Chloe to speak Vietnamese and the steps were taking for her to continue to be bilingual in the future. I want to clarify that these are tips that I recommend using early on. This post is specially for teaching babies and toddlers. Not 5+ year olds. I'm still learning that part. 

TIP 1: This is the most important tip I can share would be to be consistent with speaking the language that ISN'T English first. Our children will have the rest of their lives to learn English. In almost 95%+ of the settings that they'll be in outside of the house, English is spoken. With Liam, I got into a habit of speaking English to him more often than I wanted to because it was the language I used to speak to Tommy. From early on, speak to your baby/child in your native language and make it a habit. Habits start early on and keeping it consistent is key. 

TIP 2: Explain to your partner why it's important to teach your children that language. If your partner takes initiative, it makes it a lot easier. I'm not going to lie, Tommy hated the idea of not being able to understand his child but knew that she would eventually pick up English as she got older. 

 Take this as an opportunity for your partner to also pick up a couple of words/phrases in your native language. Have your spouse continue to use common words in the foreign language. Some words that Tommy says to Chloe in Vietnamese versus English are, "eat", "pick you up", "take a bath", and "let's go play". 

TIP 3: "Correcting the English word". When Chloe learns a new word, for example "car" (because she probably heard it from her brothers or myself), I'll immediately correct her and say "xe" (Vietnamese way to saying car). Almost every word that she picks up in English, I'll teach it to her in Vietnamese. In my experience, when I don't do that, that English word sticks and sticks and she won't say it in Vietnamese. Again, this is when your child is a baby, not over the age of 3/4. 

TIP 4: As your child gets older and starts watching tv, put on shows in your native language. Vietnamese nurseries are SLIM pickings on YouTube but I've managed to find a couple. 
When I say to surround your child in that native language, I mean in every possible way. If you have a family member that speaks that native language, make sure they're speaking to your child in the same language.

For Liam and Easton, I don't feel that it's ever too late for them to pick up the language. They've already gotten so much better since being around my family. We have a Vietnamese school here in Houston that we plan on utilizing once things are back to normal. Look up if there are schools that teach child your native language around you. As they get older and learn a lot of English in school and social surroundings, it's nice to continue to enforce learning your native tongue. 

I hope these tips have helped! Please let me know if yall have any questions. 

Thank you so much for reading. 

xo, 

*Photos by Banavenue 




Monday, July 20, 2020

LIAM'S 5TH OUT OF THE WORLD SPACE BIRTHDAY...










I officially have a five year old! Liam turns 5 years old today and it's such a big milestone. 1st, 5th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 18th, and 21st birthday are so significant. Personally, I feel that those are the birthdays that we remember and cherish the most. Even though Liam is getting older every single day, I'm always still in shock when he says things that older children would typically say. Like, asking for a drone! How does he even know what that is?! When I was five, I'm pretty sure I was asking for a Polly Pocket, lol. 

Even though we've been in quarantine for the last 4 months and weren't able to invite our friends over, we wanted to celebrate big. We miss all of our friends so much but are extremely thankful to have a such a huge close family. 

Liam was bouncing all over the house. After making our rounds with taking tons of pictures for memories, he was painting his rockets, eating all the food, running around with his cousins and brother, going down the water slide (which my close friend, Dawn, who is so so sweet brought over), and enjoying his special day. He had such a happy day. He couldn't stop smiling and that's all that I can hope for on this birthday.  

Liam requested for a space theme birthday and all of these vendors below really made his imagination come to life. Our space balloon garland was breathtaking. As soon as Liam walked into the house, his face lit up. Every single detail was put in and we couldn't have been happier. 

Of course, there isn't a birthday party without a birthday cake and sweets. Savannah's Treats did an amazing job on our space theme cake and cookies and it was delicious. We got chocolate with Nutella and buttercream and Liam is still asking to eat the rest of it for breakfast. 

I started seeing huge Marquee lights about a year ago and love how bold of a statement it is. We loved having it in the front yard. Liam is already telling everyone that it's his birthday so the lights helped shared the big day! 

My grandma cooked pho for Liam's party since our family loves traditional Vietnamese food but because Tommy's family and my siblings enjoy other dishes, Le Modern Box made this yummy charcuterie board for us! As soon as I told my family they could eat it, they went to town. It's a great way to eat and interact! 

Candles are something that I usually run to the grocery store at the very last minute so I wanted to get these huge Celebrite candles for Liam for it to be a fun and big statement. Since we have tons of children in my family, the other children tend to get sad when they aren't able to blow out candles so I think it's a great way for the children to enjoy it together PLUS the cake avoids children's spit LOL. 

Yash has always taken our photos! He does such an amazing job capturing all the moments and my family were so happy with the photos. It was funny because as a big family, we don't get the chance to all come together to get professional photos so my grandparents were pulling him left and right to get him to take pictures. It was so funny and he was amazing about it! 

LOCAL HOUSTON VENDORS

CAKE AND SWEETS: Savannah's Treats
CANDLES: Celebrite
MARQUEE LIGHTS: Alpha-Lit Houston
CHARCUTERIE BOARD: Le Modern Box
PHOTOGRAPHER: Banavenue


SHOP PARTY ITEMS

CAKE STAND: Mackenzie Childs
CHEESE BOARD: Mackenzie Childs
PICNIC TABLE: IZEA
SPACE PAINTING SHIP AND PAINT: Amazon 
CUSTOM NASA SHIRT: Kayla T Krafts


Saturday, July 18, 2020

OUR EASY AND FUN FAMILY FRIENDLY ROAD TRIP TO BEAUMONT, TEXAS...










Traveling. Something that I find pure joy in but wasn't able to do for a few months due to all the changes going on in the world. As our state slowly opens up and we're learning how we can take precautions to stay safe. Our family is slowly but surely going to be traveling soon. Right now, our family is only going to travel by car. We feel that it's safe for us and we're able to go to so many places here in Texas. Our new traveling protocols call for mask everywhere we go, staying over 6 feet away from others, washing and sanitizing our hands constantly, and ordering food to our room. When there's a restaurant we want to go to, we order the food togo if I have the kids with me. 

I've been saving this post about our trip to Beaumont, Texas that we took in February and am so excited to be able to share it with y'all today. Beaumont, Texas is about one and a half hours from Houston so it's a super easy drive. I grew up playing tennis against their high school but never had the  chance to explore the town. We were there for two nights and had something to do constantly. It was super family friendly and I love trips that take me away from the busy city. Here are the details of our trip!


WHERE TO STAY

We stayed the Hilton Garden Inn and I remember being in awe at the huge lobby. It was super clean and had a bar and restaurant as well. Our room was spacious and had everything we would need. The location was about 5-15 minutes away from everything we wanted to do. 


WHERE TO EAT

Beaumont offers a great variety of food. From yummy souther food to authentic Mexican food, they have it all.

Flyods: If you're looking for a place to eat that has great steaks and cajun seafoods, I highly recommend Flyods. Their menu has a vast amount of options and it was delicious! The crawfish étouffée and Red Snapper Ponchatrain were my favorite.

RAO'S BAKERY: Rao's is very popular in Beaumont. There are a few locations and they serve great coffee, pastries, and breakfast in the morning.

TACOS LA BAMBA: When it comes to eating Mexican food, getting authentic Mexican food is the only way to go. Liam and Chloe devoured their food. I had a bit of everything; chicken, beef, and shrimp and the shrimp tacos were my favorite.

CROWN PIZZA: I love going to fun and crazy Pizza places. Crown Pizza had a fun big menu of pizzas and even let you customize your own. Their Pizza was yummy too!

AMELIA FARM AND MARKET: The food and environment here was my favorite! The market has outdoor and indoor seating, stinging lights, and a huge menu. The food is southern and the brunch was delicious. It was super children friendly and I know it would be a great date night spot too!


THINGS TO DO

BEAUMONTS FAMER'S MARKET: We went early Saturday morning and you really get the chance to appreciate local foods. We ate pecan brittle for the first time and I'd 100% drive back just to get more. Vendors set up their produce and homemade items and you get to shop it all there. (ADDRESS: 6525 College St. Beaumont, Texas 77706

BEAUMONTS CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: I have to say that I love this museum over Houston's museum. Both museums are really fun and educational but I really appreciated how interactive everything was. The staff was super friendly and interactive. We spent a long time here and I'm pretty sure we would have stayed a lot longer if we didn't have to get dinner.

DALMATION HYDRANT: One of their popular spots to visit is the Beaumont fire hydrant. It's painted in a Dalmatian print and is the largest WORKING fire hydrant. It located downtown and you can either do a slow drive by view it up close. 

GATOR COUNTRY ADVENTURE PARK: Y'all, I've never seen so many alligators. The park was HUGE and there were tons of alligators, lizards, and other reptiles. We were able to buy food to feed the alligators and Liam loved it. It's a great way for children to learn while being interactive and safe. Liam even had the chance to swim with little baby alligators! 

SPINDLETOP: Gladys City Boomtown educates how Beaumont became such a big oil town. They've recreated what the area and town looked like in 1901. Everything single detail was put into this museum and I think it's a great way to show children how different times were back in the day. There are stores, houses, and restaurants that were located there back in the 1900s. 

TYRELL PARK & BEAUMONT BOTANICAL GARDEN: We went around the park before we headed out of town and it's beautiful. I enjoy visiting Botanical Gardens! It was a great place for the kids to run around as well.

Thank you so much for reading!

xo,
Annie


Thursday, July 16, 2020

GETTING MESSY WITH OUR SUMMER ACTIVITIES + TIPS AND TRICKS ON HOW TO GET OUT TOUGH STAINS...





We decided to try out a new summer activity; painting rocks to brighten up the front yard. If you were to ask me a couple of weeks ago if I would have a huge messy painting session with my children, I would have immediately found it a bit stressful. When I have to buy clothes for all 3 of my children, I try my best to keep them in great condition. That means no stains, no rips, no fading, etc.

 I saw how well all®​ stainlifter® mighty pacs washed out the stains and paint on the boys clothes and I was amazed. Whether they're playing outside or eating and spilling on themselves, with all®​ stainlifter® mighty pacs the clothes come out clean, fresh, and looking brighter. Before I throw the clothes in the washer, I’ll rub a small amount right into the areas that have the messy spills or dirt and wash it in cold water. When it comes to drying children’s clothes, I typically air dry to prevent any shrinking. 

For our messy and fun activity, we grabbed rocks and stones that were already out in the front yard and grabbed our paint and brushes. With my children, they know that mom is usually very strict about staying clean but when I told them that they were able to go all out, be messy and careful, their eyes really lit up. Liam was having the absolute best time; he saw it as an invitation to get Mommy messy too! The boys painted so many rocks within the hour and I loved watching them create their little masterpieces. Now that I’m okay with the idea of getting messy, it opens up so many more activities that the boys have been wanting to do with me! 

Thank you so much for reading! 
xo,
Annie 

*Thank you all®​ stainlifter® mighty pacs for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2020

BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING TO PREP FOR HOMESCHOOL

*Thank you Walmart for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own







 Easton: OUTFIT // SHOES // BACKPACK // Liam: OUTFIT // SHOES // BACKPACK // Chloe: OUTFIT // SHOES (similar here) // BACKPACK 


School season is right around the corner and it sure did hit me by surprise. Even though this summer didn’t go as planned, we had so much fun being outside and creating tons and tons of memories with our family.

The boys are ready to start learning again and that means that we have some back to school shopping. Walmart carries tons of adorable and affordable back to school clothes, shoes, and supplies. Shopping for three can be hard so I’m happy that I’m able to find everything in one place. 

I found these outfit sets for Easton and Liam for under $15 and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. The boys were able to choose their own backpack and it comes as a 5-piece set! I didn’t have to search high and low for all the little important things because it all came with the backpack; pencil bag, water bottle, lunch kit, and name tag. When they hear that they’re able to start school again, they find a lot of joy in getting ready in their new gear. 

I decided last week that my children will be homeschooled for at least the first two months of the fall. With uncertainty of what’s to come next month in the area we live in, our family has decided that it was best for us to start prepping for homeschool. Easton will be in first grade and Liam will be in Kindergarten so I have my work cut out for me. It’ll be challenging but I also know that it’ll be so much fun! 

Whether you’re getting your children ready to attend school at school or at home, starting the day with a fresh uniform makes the day more active and exciting. Walmart is definitely helping me with all of their outfits and supplies to start the homeschool season strong! 

Thank you so much for reading! 

Xo, 
Annie 

*Photos by Banavenue

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