What is Thanksgiving?


After some research on the true meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday, I found this website which I think describes the celebration holisticly, from a Native People of North American perspective, the Pilgrims and even from a religious point of view. Below is an excerpt for you, however you can read the full story here.

Giving thanks for the Creator’s gifts had always been a part of Wampanoag daily life. From ancient times, Native People of North America have held ceremonies to give thanks for successful harvests, for the hope of a good growing season in the early spring, and for other good fortune such as the birth of a child. Giving thanks was, and still is, the primary reason for ceremonies or celebrations.

The arrival of the Pilgrims and Puritans brought new Thanksgiving traditions to the American scene. Today’s national Thanksgiving celebration is a blend of two traditions: the New England custom of rejoicing after a successful harvest, based on ancient English harvest festivals; and the Puritan Thanksgiving, a solemn religious observance combining prayer and feasting.” 

For me Thanksgiving means expressing gratitude and sharing. Gratitud for my friends in this journey, friends I consider my extended family and have shown their care for my two girls. Sharing everything, our home, time, food, laughter, more food and even prayers. 

This year we continued the “tradition”, Thursday at 8am everyone ready for the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k. Probably the little one doesn’t have a clue why we are doing this, however I am sure than one day she will appreciate the fact that she has participated in it since she was born. Yes, we were sleepy, hungry, it was cold, windy, but it was also the continuation of something we started a year ago – and our friends were there too. 10k is a small sacrifice for all the eating that was ahead of us, a mix of traditional Thanksgiving turkey with a Mexican spin, including guacamole, mole, wild rice, salad, spaghetti, cranberries sauce and some desserts.   As the host, I was honored to cut the turkey, a task that might seem easy but in reality turkeys have some body parts very oddly placed. Obviously I had the help of two of the best chefs I have met, that made the task very easy to tackle. But the most important part of the day was sharing the table with those I love the most, our friends, our extended family which is always there while we are far away from those that gave us birth.

The feast started with a very gentle “Gracias” from the youngest in the room, my dear daughter who played with the other kids until she heard “Can’t feel my face by The Weeknd” opening the dance floor. We shared stories of years past, we created new stories for years to come like the stolen pecan pie and we sang along with a Kareoke night.

This is what Thanksgiving means to me, expressing gratitude for what we have “harvested”, friendship, love and sharing it with those I care and care for me.

Oh, and if you wondered, the little one can rock till late hours, she went to bed at the same time as the last one at home. I hope that at 16 she goes to bed before me, ha.

Music lessons for your infant


All starts every Saturday at 7:30am, everybody up and getting ready for music lessons.

Some say music is good at all ages, even when your heir is still inside the womb. I have read a lot of articles about it, some say it is good for their brain development, others say that its real benefits haven’t been confirmed, there are even articles about how infants respond to music  and Youtube videos like the Emotional Baby.

While the direct benefits of music are yet to be confirmed, we decided that music lessons in her early life were a good idea. My problem was not paying attention during the music class selection process – you snooze, you lose they say or for my Spanish speaking readers “camarón que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente”.

I’m going to leave aside the singing skills of our music teacher, she plays the guitar, she has fun with the kids, she is patient with them and the parents,  she dances with the class and she prepares her lessons in advance, we were even given a CD with all the songs and a book with the lyrics to sing along.

I thought these lessons were meant for our kid, to develop her brain, her senses, her fine motor skills, but no, these lessons give me the impression that are for parents with no musical or fine motor skills whatsoever.

Kids don’t pay attention to anything for 45 straight minutes, don’t dance, don’t sing along,  they don’t even speak yet, they just run and jump around the room. Meanwhile, moms and dads make music with their hands following the teacher playing guitar, some of us have learned the lyrics already, we dance to the music and fly like butterflies – imagine a group of adults flying around a classroom like butterflies extending their wings – while small bugs run behind you thinking: what’s wrong with my dad?

Doesn’t matter how early we need to wake up, or how ridiculous I feel singing and dancing to this music, I will keep coming. This is one of those things I do because I believe in the positive impact it will have on her and on me, I see it in her smile, her eyes, her moves and the five bees in the beehive she likes mom to sing.

If you have the opportunity to join a music class with your kid go for it, it might develope her or his brain, it might help with fine motor skills or improve their memory, but for sure it will be an opportunity for you to connect with them and fly like a butterfly –  here it is socially accepted.

A new definition for the word “museum”


A couple of weeks ago we joined the San Jose Children’s Discovery Zoo Museum. Amazing exhibitions, interactive activities, a lot of fun for kids and even for adults playing music tones as we climb the stairs up and down. The membership has its privileges, three adults plus all your kids for a full year, we can bring two guests every day, 50% off general admission on participating museums and more.

It seemed to be a great idea, what is better than spending every weekend with your kid playing around in a Musuem? The first day was a huge celebration of Día de Muertos, we enjoyed great story telling, traditional dances and music, including live mariachis. We were all excited about our new membership, let’s come back every weekend we thought.

Today, as we were showing off our membership card at the main entrance, like we were VIP members of a Yatch club, BAM! What is this? Is this BuyBuyBaby? Is there a stroller sale here or what?

My senses went to DEFCON 1 immediately, nuclear war is imminent. This place was packed like a parking lot in a playoffs’ football game, strollers all over the place, small, big, for twins, all possible brands and colors. How bad  can this be… I thought. Let’s go upstairs to the infants’ section, that’s going to be better.

 What? I felt trapped, without oxygen, like in a coffin.
Who cares? I thought again, this is not for me, this is for kids and she will enjoy it. And she did, she played with everything, the dinner set, the carrousel, the tunnel, stairs up and down, huge plastic cubes, she had a blast. What about me? Avoiding crowds, staring at mean kids pushing my baby, with my face of “get out” to those taking things away from my daughter’s hands, having a blast too.

It was not as bad as it seems, mom, curly hair and I spent an awesome day together. I would do it any day, this is priceless and I’m sure this is creating those experiences that make our live together the best.

If you ever have the opportunity to join a children’s museum, go for it, these are the things worth living for.