[Weekly Writing Challenge] The power of its name…

Image Credit: http://blog.hubspot.com
Image Credit: http://blog.hubspot.com

It came to life on March 2011, almost exactly three years ago…

And it’s got a life of its own.

Some suspect it may have a mind of its own, as well… Its words are provoking, but never arrogant.

Its shared thoughts often tend to bring out stimulating conversations. But what is ‘it’?

What’s its name? Does it have any?

It’s got an individual identity, and yet, it’s got a social side. Quite a social face, some would state. It’s public and yet, it’s got its private features.

It’s an experiment, a challenge, a tale. It’s fed by others and it feeds itself. It’s lifeless and it’s dynamic.

Image Credit: http://www.seomoves.org
Image Credit: http://www.seomoves.org

What’s its name? It’s got one single title, which refers to the result of the modern transcontinental growth our society is witnessing; something spectacular, something that can never be taught or learned or fully understood by anyone who hasn’t actually experienced it…

Its name is powerful and profound.

The name was given before its birth, while the female mastermind behind its creation craved for a way to express the desire to share with the world her incomprehensible experiences living life as a nomad.

And while always a migrant, she raises worldly citizens under her wings… Citizens that will display hybrid cultures, being the product of mixed backgrounds, histories, cultures and languages.

This self-maintained creature, repeatedly mentioned here, is an escape mechanism, a tool, a voice to a parent’s cries for advice.

The voice given to this ‘quasi-mythical’ creation has a name, Third Culture Children, and through the lines of this blogging journey, the creature may have become as powerful as its creator; in an ironic and totally expected outcome.

Its name brings many meanings, and the notion of children as artefact of hybrid cultures goes beyond the physical explanations words may provide.

It’s the name given to this blog, representing the interface between the creator and the creation. It’s a living strategy to share thoughts, feelings and questions.

The name, although powerful as it should be, may never surpass the strength of the concept embedded on it – the definition of a child as a positive product of multiple influences, a TCK, a citizen of the world, ready for facing and overcoming life challenges… ❤

The little voices in my head and I, discussing an article on ‘Working Mothers’…

As I usually do, I try to [jump]start my [work] day catching up with the news. My routine begins with a brief read through the Washington Post and a couple of coffee. Since it was Monday, I was a bit delayed with my start. After going over the unsettling headlines on the very sad events in DC [a metro stop from our house, now rented] and, as a parent, could not stop thinking about the 12 year old Florida girl, victim of cyber-bullying…

Two stories that hit really close to home, and make us reconsider the world we’re raising our children into…

I decided to move on, and hopped over to the paper’s Parenting section, another favorite of mine.

dialogo
Source: http://www.ilbacodaseta.org

As I usually do, I try to [jump]start my [work] day catching up with the news. My routine begins with a brief read through the Washington Post and a couple of coffee. Since it was Monday, I was a bit delayed with my start. After going over the unsettling headlines on the very sad events in DC [a metro stop from our house, now rented] and, as a parent, could not stop thinking about the 12 year old Florida girl, victim of cyber-bullying

Two stories that hit really close to home, and make us reconsider the world we’re raising our children into…

I decided to move on, and hopped over to the paper’s Parenting section, another favorite of mine. That’s when my ‘internal conversation‘ decided to take place. An article from Mary-Jane Williams had me nodding my head in agreement, asking the author/interviewee questions and answering them before any of them [the article’s author and the interviewee] had an opportunity to do so.

Katrina Alcorn, a writer-editor and mom of three in Oakland recently had a book published about ‘struggles, juggling work and home responsibilities’ and yes, it’s about many of us, working moms out there, trying our best to survive as professional, spouses and state-of-the-art moms.

Here’s how the ‘little voices in my head‘ began reading through the article:

source: http://formerfatdudes.com
source: http://formerfatdudes.com

[voices in my head speaking up] “I bet you she [book author, previously ‘maxed-out’ mom] will tell us it’s virtually impossible to juggle, perform and excel at all tasks we [working moms] are expected to display”…

[article] “The expectation is that there’s an adult at home, but that’s not how we live anymore. We’re trying to make something work that doesn’t work…”

[voices in my head to the conscious me] “I could have told you that. Don’t you know that already? Do I have to remind you how hard some mornings can be when, while fighting a splitting headache and trying to get a couple of coffee out of the microwave, you find yourself mopping the floor because one of the kids has already spilled orange juice from his/her breakfast? And remember, it has to be done carefully, so you don’t get your work clothes dirty before you’ve got a chance to leave the house!?”

[the conscious me]  “I guess you’re right. Maybe I don’t need a book to tell me that, it’s fairly common sense. We all know how hard it is nowadays to be a working mother…” And then, I resume back to reading the article: “but… let’s keep on reading it… she [book author, previously exhausted mom] seems to be pretty grounded. Maybe she’ll bring something up that I don’t know yet… let me keep reading…”

[article] “We need to change the conversation. We need to get out of this obsession with individual choices… We need to change the conversation so it’s not about what women are doing, but what society is doing. Do you want a bunch of bulletproof women to have this, what we think of as a normal life?”

[the conscious me to the little voices in my head] “WOW, she just nailed it on the head! See how simple the problem is: we [women, mothers] are not the problem; the society is, and the way the society ‘perceive’ the participation of working mothers is the big issue – and I loved her metaphorical comparison using the ‘bulletproof’ women! I totally feel like, every morning, before we all go out [of our bedroom] and face the real world [aka, our demanding kids, our needy spouses, our challenging jobs], we need to put on some sort of invisible, but yet, effective shield, and carry on with our daily chores. And don’t even consider the possibility of failing! Failure for a working mother, whose goal is nothing less than perfect, is completely out of question!”

[little voices in my head] “You’re overreacting. Do you believe you’re the only mother that works outside the house? You actually got it pretty easy… and don’t get me started on the whole ‘you’ve got household help’ speech… Remember: it was one of the reasons you guys decided to keep going with this foreign service gig… be honest, what would life be like if you were back in DC? Would you be working?”

[the conscious me to the little voices in my head]  “But that’s the whole point! You’re right, very likely, I wouldn’t be working. How could I? And a nanny? There’ll be no way on earth we’d be able to afford one! And if I’d decided to work, even part-time, I had to find a reliable day-care for the baby girl, juggle with a flexible work schedule, and be prepared for the ‘not-so-friendly looks’ my co-workers would give me every time I had to leave early, due to some unforeseen cause! But this lady here [the book author] is so right, let me read out loud her statement:

[the article] “The women in my life are really capable, smart, hardworking and dedicated to their families. They don’t really need advice.Their employers need advice, their co-workers need advice, the policymakers need advice.”

[the conscious me to the little voices in my head] “See? Do you get the main issue? It’s all about this endless conflict women have to deal with; the conflict between working [outside the house] and raising kids. Here’s another excerpt:”

[the article] “For better or worse, women are raised to be nurturers and to say yes. But I think there’s more to it. Research shows that when employers know a woman has children or is going to have children, her performance is scrutinized more. . . . If a woman is worried that she’s being scrutinized at work because she’s a mother, she’s going to be really circumspect about setting boundaries at work because she doesn’t want to be seen as someone who is not pulling her weight… Those things came at a price. They were not free. We may put in extra time at night after the kids go to bed, early in the morning or on weekends, but that time isn’t seen the same way as the time in the office. . . . I think we need to challenge the idea that to be effective at work or be a leader you need to work long hours.”

[little voices in my head to the now, caffeine-deprived me] “Did you notice that when you began ‘psycho-analyzing the article, your completely forgot about your coffee? It’s probably ice-cold by now! We need to fix this, asap!”

[the not-so-sure about being conscious me, to the little voices in my head] “I guess you’re right. Totally forgot about it. And now, I have to go find a microwave at somebody else’s office and warm it up… it won’t be the same, but hey, the article really got me engaged, which is a good sign…. I hope more working moms out there come out with similar ‘poking discussions’… some good food for thought… And talking about food, let me get that coffee warmed up!”

[little voices, now fading] “Good chatting with you. Hope you have a nice day at work… Talk to you soon!” 😮

Source: http://bartsblackboard.com
Source: http://bartsblackboard.com

Written in response to this week’s writing inspiration, “Dialogue”

‘Backward’ Tale – The Boy and The Girl.

It’s been a roller coaster…living and moving… and adjusting… and moving again

It’s been a full house, with three queens and two kings

They travel because of work

They move because it’s their passion.

It’s been eleven years and eleven months

The boy and the girl have wed.

 WeddingIt’s been a nice hand, more precisely, a full house,

with three Queens and two Kings

It’s been a roller coaster… living and moving…

And adjusting… and moving again.

They traveled because of work,

They moved because it’s their passion.

It’s been nine years and eleven months
Since the boy and the girl have wed.

One decade awaits to celebrate their togetherness

But it was not always like that


The boy had dreams

The girl had fears

And yet, they were so alike…

The girl had left her home country,
Her job would take her to a far away land

The boy would wait for her.

He had found a job, he had finished school.

His job would yet take him to far away lands

But the boy liked to travel

And so did the girl.

boy and girlThere have been financial difficulties.

There have been physical distances

There have been emotional challenges

But the boy and the girl have never given up.

That boy and that girl had met some twelve years back

And could not wait to meet up again… and again…

They traveled to see each other

They traveled because of work.

They traveled to unknown places, for the ordinary pleasures of moving, seeing and learning…

Even if there had been no money to travel, they would still do it

And simply pay for it later.

Some twelve years ago,

The boy had gone to the girl’s home country

To learn a new language,

To learn a new culture,

To find himself into a whole new adventure.

Without even looking for it,
He discovered love

And so did the girl.

Neither one of them had ever believed in love at first sight.

The boy and the girl were probably the most skeptical people on the face of the Earth,

But those two were so wrong!

And they found what they were missing, on each other

Some twelve years back…

Now, the boy and the girl have aged

And they are proud to show their hand: they’ve got the most perfect full house

With three Queens and two Kings….♥

king-and-queen-of-hearts-playing-cards-courting-each-other

This post is written in response to WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. The details of the challenge can be found here.

{Weekly Writing Challenge} Their future, through the door…

It’s about 2:30 in the morning, and I see her waking in. The little body walked through our bedroom door, and I hear the sound of the so-familiar tip-toeing business… Her half-asleep self, messy hair, teary eyes, tell me she’s lost her sleep, and has come seeking comfort and protection in her parents room… not an uncommon event, and like any other night, I guide her towards the bed. We hug, we cuddle, and while asking her the reason for her sadness, I’m told she’s afraid. My five year old tells me she had a dream, and in the dream she felt lost, lonely, and didn’t know where to go for help, who to talk to.

IMG_4656It’s about 2:30 in the morning, and I see her coming in. The little body walked through our bedroom door, and I hear the sound of the so-familiar tip-toeing business… 

Her half-asleep self, messy hair, teary eyes, tell me she’s lost her sleep, and has come seeking comfort and protection in her parents room… not an uncommon event, and like any other night, I guide her towards the bed. She lies down next to me…

We hug, cuddle, and while asking her the reason for her sadness, I’m told she’s afraid.

My five-year-old tells me she’s had a dream, and in the dream she felt lost, lonely, and didn’t know where to go for help, nor who to talk to… She tells me she’s afraid of growing up, and in becoming an adult, leaving us [her parents] behind, like what I did, in her words, ‘when I left my  mother, and became her mommy’…

I let her know it had just been a dream, and that she was safe with me – her father and I would always protect her. I then, confessed I also used to fear the unknown, and often times, was too scared to think about it…

I told her that when I was her age, I used to fear growing up, and being left by the ones I loved. At her age I also began understanding the meanings of life and death, and all the events in between…

IMG_4645She’ll never have to feel lost or alone. We’d always be there, for her, for her big brother and her baby sister…

I told her the Future is something amazing, it’s like a dream you have no idea it’s coming, until you close your eyes at night, and let your mind take over your body…

By then, the teary eyes were gone, and through the fade light in our bedroom, the little girl hesitated in opening up a smile, which she finally did… I felt her comfort, her confidence, her trust. I knew she understood she didn’t have to fear for the unknown.

The future is just part of a sweet dream all of us experience… when we close our eyes, and let our minds take us through the bedroom door… into the unknown… 😮

kids

Thanks for the inspiration! 😮 

{Backstory} This week, the inspiration comes from walking through a door… imaginary, or a physical portal… 

 

What’s up with 1,337?

 

ImageSo, just got a note today that this blog had achieved [the mark of] 1,337 followers… Strange number, right? Not round, not exact… far from cabalistic… But, hey, I’ll take it… For whatever reason it is, WordPress people decided it was worth to send out the note… 😮 Oh, well, I do appreciate the ‘achievement’, and welcome any positive thoughts towards this blog’s way!!! 

Thank you for reading [and following!] ❤

2012 in review, according to the WordPress stats helper monkeys…

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 68,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Early Christmas gift: …and the winner of the 2012 Expats Blog Awards Bolivia is…

Expat Blogs

… this blog! 😮 Gold it is!

blog award goldI’d like to thank you all for reading, suggesting, commenting, checking the blogposts out… Thanks for the positive feedback!

Thank you for showing support through the great comments you’ve written.

One fan says: 3rd Culture Children has a wonderfully diverse mix of cultural posts, photography, food, local and daily life, and just general musings on life. It is a blog that gives you a glimpse of life as an expat, not life as a tourist living temporarily somewhere other than “home.”

If there are any suggestions or questions, please feel free to give me a shout… or Tweet along, or check the Facebook page [see right sidebar]… but I do believe the easiest way will continue to be this one over here: leaving your usual thoughtful comments at this blog… 😮 Thanks!

Now, as the tired involved mom I’m, back from the last day at the kids school, enjoying their end-of-the-year stage performance, the best way to celebrate this achievement is hiding from the kids and taking a nap, enjoying a glass of wine, bragging about it sharing the good news with my fellow bloggers!

Thank you very much for the ‘serial expats’ and friends in the Expat & Foreign Service community for taking the time to read the blog and leave comments… Much appreciated! ♥

Related articles

Why are you looking for “41”?

Ok, let me explain this question. I’m a curious cat, by nature. That said, recently, I discovered that since I began blogging, people come searching for ’41’… Is that just a number? An age? [it’s coincidently my current age, but I really don’t think people would be interested in that! Also, be kind: one should never ask/try to guess a lady’s age… especially when it’s past 35! :o] Is there any cabalistic meaning for the number? Since I had no idea, I went out on searching about the intriguing number, in order to find some sort of explanation why, almost 200 people/visitors would be looking for that!

Credit: http://www.britishracecar.com

Ok, let me explain this question. I’m a curious cat, by nature. That said, recently, I discovered that since I began blogging, people come searching for ’41’… Is that just a number? An age? [coincidently it’s my current age, but I really don’t think people would be interested in that! Also, be kind: one should never ask/try to guess a lady’s age… especially when it’s past 35! :o] Is there any cabalistic meaning for the number? Since I had no idea, I went out on searching about the intriguing number, in order to find some sort of explanation why, almost 200 people/visitors would be looking for that!

Credit: http://drewbabb.com

What did I found? Nothing conclusive… it’s an odd, prime number, with no real numerological, biblical or historical meaning… What a disappointment!

So, again, I come back to the question: “why would people be interested in this number?” After exhausting the ‘fancy searching tools/engines’, I resumed to the old-fashioned Wikipedia, the ‘mother of all lost cyber-information‘, for some non-scientific, unlikely reliable shed of light on this problem.

[By now many are probably thinking that I’ve got a lot of free time in my life, pretty much doing nothing, and with tons of ‘unassigned’ minutes to spare… definitely, not the case. I’m also a serious procrastinator, and, sometimes I allow my endless curiosity prevent me from carrying on with real choresgood explanation for escaping from my real duties, right? o]

Anyway, getting back to Wikipedia’s cyber explanation, get this:

“41 (forty-one) is the natural number following 40 and preceding 42, as well as two numbers preceding 43.”

Credit: http://www.interballoon.com

Pretty fantastic, right? Maybe that’s why people have been searching throughout this blog: seeking the number that sits between 40 & 42, which, by the way, are much fancier, even numbers, with several numerological attributions! Got my answer at last, I suppose! 😮 Of course, if one [with time to spare] is heading to check the number on that site, will find references ranging from religion to TV, from big screen movies to politics, and obviously, some math & science references – but again, nothing that could make almost 200 people come blog-hopping over here… 😮

But now, that I’ve got some attention to this ‘matter’, I had to, obviously, tag this post with “41” – at the end, it was the original reason people begin coming over… Oh, the intricate ways the human mind works… one can only wonder! Well… Got you reading, right? 

Thanks for reading! 😮

Twenty months of blogging, and the 100,000 hits milestone is reached. Thank you!

What is you NEXT BLOG MILESTONE? SHARE HERE, IF YOU CARE… March 2011 marked my very first blogpost: shared impressions from the world’s largest street carnival. It was obviously in Brazil, the country that lives and breathes popular festivities, and our assignment with the foreign service from 2010 to 2012.

From that point on, blogposts began to come out quite often, increasing the number of subscribers, comments and blog followers. Today, a great milestone was reached, making me surprised and pleased to find out that our ‘family travel & photoblog’ displayed over 100,000 visits.

Credit: Google Images

http://sassandbalderdash.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/one-lovely-blog1.jpg?w=227&h=270&h=270 March 2011 marked my very first blogpost: shared impressions from the world’s largest street carnival. It was obviously in Brazil, the country that lives and breathes popular festivities, and our assignment with the foreign service from 2010 to 2012. From that point on, blogposts began to come out quite often, increasing the number of subscribers, comments and blog followers. 

Today, a great milestone was reached, having me surprised and pleased, finding out that our ‘family travel & photoblog‘ displayed over 100,000 visits.

Being passionate about your life experiences, sharing images and impressions, reporting what one sees happening around, somehow, pays back. At least, in the blogsphere… I’m inspired by the several bloggers who take part at the WordPress writing prompts, Weekly Photo Challenges, FrizzText and Jake Austria, probably being my very first inspiration (thank you both!); as well as, all the beautiful ideas shared by Ailsa, from ‘Where’s my Backpack?‘, with her travel theme challenges, and The Island Traveler, a parent, like many of us, who decided to share some beauty from their regular lives with the world… It’s great to have wonderful people out there, to look up to! I’m very grateful for all the support, and couldn’t have found a better time to show my gratitude [Thanksgiving just around the corner!]

Thank you all out there, parents, expats, bloggers, friends, for reading, commenting, following, and for offering a great deal of inspiration… Now, moving on to the next 100K visits… blogging is fun! 😮

Now, now is it, for you all? What is your NEXT MILESTONE? Your Blog Milestone? Share here, if you care! Thanks!♥

{Weekly Writing Challenge} I wish I were…

I wish I were

nowhere else, but here. My home is where my traveling heart is.

I’m a woman, a wife, a mother, with a restless spirit and an endless thirst for life, for knowledge, for passion. I need passion in my days, and passion has always been given to me. Gradually, and consistently…

I wish I were no wiser than I’m now, nor I wish I were more innocent than my current acts may appear.
In honor of Daryl’s post, we ask you to finish the following sentence for this week’s writing challenge: “I wish I were.”

I wish I were

nowhere else, but here. My home is where my traveling heart is.

I’m a woman, a wife, a mother, with a restless spirit and an endless thirst for life, for knowledge, for passion. I need passion in my days, and passion has always been given to me.

Gradually, and consistently…

I wish I were no wiser than I’m now, nor I wish I were more innocent than my current acts may appear.

Wisdom and innocence are two parallel states of mind. I’m grateful for the ongoing ability to recognize the difference.

I wish I were no younger than I’m today,                                                                                                     it wouldn’t be fair with my younger self – she ought to have experienced and learned from her own mistakes. Why try to be older, when your mind and soul seek learning through life?

I wish I were no older than my true wrinkles tell the world. Aging is a critical part of this wonderful process called ‘life’. And life is good.

Right now, I wish I were no more than what I represent to my family, to my loved ones, to the world. I’m comfortable in my own skin and not scared by my own thoughts. The ‘little voices in my head’ keep me going…

I wish I were

nothing else, but what I’m right now.

I’m grateful for my present, and I look forward to living the future. Savoring a day at a time. No more, no less…

**************

♥ Thanks for the inspiration! 😮 

{Backstory} Last week, WordPress grammar guru, Daryl, talked about the oft-mysterious subjunctive mood in If Hairs Be Wires, Black Wires Grow on Her Head. Use of the subjunctive mood isn’t as common in English as it is in other languages. As Daryl mentioned in his post, the most common uses of the subjunctive mood in English are conditions, suppositions, wishes, demands, suggestions, and statements of necessity. At least once in our lives, we’ve all muttered, “I just wish I were…” or “If I were more like…”, knowingly or unknowingly invoking the subjunctive mood. In honor of Daryl’s post, we were asked to finish the following sentence for this week’s writing challenge: I wish I were.”

Let’s see how I did it! If you liked it (or not!), share your opinion here… Is writing something for everyone, and the one thing we need is inspiration? Thanks for reading!

Other “wishes”:

Children in adult-oriented places: a collection of [random] thoughts!

I found this theme really interesting, and intriguing… almost poking on us, parents of our loving well-behaved little ones:

“Everyone loves kids, right? Right! Except when they don’t. This week, we’re particularly interested in what you think about kids in adult-oriented places. I think most of us can agree that it’s not a good idea to drag little Sally to a bar at 1AM, but what about a museum? A fancy restaurant?” [Michele M. from King of States].

at the museum
Well, as a parent of 3 little kids (oldest one just turned 7), moving every two years, due to family work requirements, having to adjust not only to a new country, as well as to new cultures, new languages, there’s yet the expectation that [shockingly!] my kids should also re-invent themselves and adjust/adapt to new social demands/requirements,

I found this theme really interesting, and intriguing… almost poking on us, parents of our loving well-behaved little ones:

“Everyone loves kids, right? Right! Except when they don’t. This week, we’re particularly interested in what you think about kids in adult-oriented places. I think most of us can agree that it’s not a good idea to drag little Sally to a bar at 1AM, but what about a museum? A fancy restaurant?” [Michele M. from King of States].

at the museum

Well, as a parent of 3 little kids (oldest one just turned 7), moving every two years, due to family work requirements, having to adjust not only to a new country, as well as to new cultures, new languages, there’s yet the expectation that [shockingly!] my kids should also re-invent themselves and adjust/adapt to new social demands/requirements, showcasing the pristine behavior only found in movies about expat children attending boarding schools, spending their spear time learning an instrument and being part of book clubs!

Clearly, that doesn’t happen. It never did, and very likely, it’ll not happen in any future

This theme, discussing the pros and cons of having children in adult-oriented/adult-only social places got me thinking. And I began reading through what others had to say about it [I’m such a curious cat!].

I’m always searching for resources related to raising children in multi-cultural settings, I take part at parenting forums, I respond/comment on discussion lists, I blog about raising TCKs, and seek help for that…

I’m also the ‘household fairy’, you know, that one silent worker, that makes the breakfast show up in the morning, the lunch packs being ready before the school bus turns the corner… the ‘laundry fairy’, the intense PTA volunteer. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been enough time to ‘school’ my children on the ‘perfect social behavior‘ [whatever it is or means] – I’m still trying. And my children are also trying to learn, the best they can. They’ve been to restaurants, airports, family gatherings, embassy functions, social events, you name it!

So, answering the original question, should kids be allowed at adult-oriented places? PROBABLY NOT. And I’m stating that as a MOM, speaking my heart out from my life experience, as a mother, and a former teacher. NOTHING AGAINST children. Love them. Deeply. But in my very humble opinion, there are some adult-oriented places that little ones should no be taken to – and that includes some of our beloved evening pubs, bars and dining places – unless the latter is kid-friendly, otherwise, one should only take a [especially the very young ones] to a bar or pub, if looking for some unforeseen sickness, and a parental headache for the following days! 😮

making pizza, at a ‘kid-friendly’ restaurant!

But, should we, as parents, carry out our frustrations to a public setting? Would it be enjoyable to ourselves, and to others?

Kids deserve people to respect them. And, do you believe they [the children] would be receiving their deserved share of social respect, if others [adults] would feel uncomfortable with their presence? Tough call.

My parents always had to travel for work. We moved a lot. We were also three children, the only difference was that, being the oldest one (9 years older than the youngest), I was responsible for their social behavior.

A ‘quasi-responsiblity‘, if I could put it like that. And I remember getting the ‘rolled eyes’ from others, the ‘evil looks’ at restaurants. There was no nanny at that time. Two working parents. Going out to restaurants was a rare treat – we definitely had to ‘earn our way’. Today, I’m the parent. I’m the one flying with screaming  kicking bored wonderful children. 😮 The ‘looks’ towards me are still there. I can feel them. And I’m sure my children also sense them coming…

For all that, even if it’s hard, logistically challenging, last-minute need, try to find yourself a baby sitter. That’s my little 2 cents of advice, and one may do whatever it wants with it, even completely discard it. Just my humble suggestion…. Adult-oriented places are for adults only [clever conclusion, right?!].

Unfortunately, for the ones who would like to spend quality time with their children, tagging them along wherever they go, I’m sure there’ll be other alternatives… they’re called ‘kid-friendly places’. Trust me, kids don’t enjoy adult-only scenarios. I’ve been there. I’ve tried both ways, and I’d stick to the second one. It’s safer for the adult parent, the adult company, and for the children.

Good luck to all of us raising kids – what a tough job, man! 😮

How sweet! The Super Sweet Blogging Award!

I simply love cupcakes – even shared before a personal recipe for “Margarita Cupcakes”, with and without alcohol, for little ones… 😮
Although I love baking them, especially for my kids birthday parties, this year, I’ll take a break – beginining this October, I’ll be BUYING ALL SWEET TREATS for my little ones special day… And why? Just because I’m realizing that, between the sweetness of all the planning, and the crude execution, assembling, decoration, there’s pretty STRESSED PERSON – somebody who ends up changing from a sweet mom into a CRANKY, TIRED bossy baker… And from this point on, I’ve decided: I want the ‘sweet, kind mommy’ back into my kitchen!

I simply love cupcakes – even shared before a personal recipe for “Margarita Cupcakes“, with and without alcohol, for little ones… 😮
Although I love baking them, especially for my kids’ birthday parties, this year, I’ll take a break – beginning this October, I’ll be BUYING ALL SWEET TREATS for my ones special’ special day… And why? Just because I’m realizing that, between the sweetness of all the planning, and the crude execution, assembling, decorating, there’s  pretty STRESSED PERSON – somebody who ends up changing from a sweet mom into a CRANKY, TIRED, bossy, baker…
And from this point on, I’ve decided: I want the ‘sweet, kind mommy’ back into my kitchen! My kids deserve better than a stormy mother running around the kitchen, before breakfast time! And their dad deserves a caring partner, instead of a screaming wife, telling him to get the decorations ready, while she’s finishing up with the toppings! 😮
That said, I’m retiring from my “home-baking goods mommy business” – at least, until one of my girls, now aged 4 and almost 2, are able to jump in and help mom in the kitchen. Until then, dear ‘commercial bakers out there’, I’m all yours! 😮
Coincidently, right after I had this ‘realization’, I found out my blog had been nominated for a SUPER SWEET BLOG AWARD! 
Maybe, it’s the sign I was looking for: I can still write, share experiences and images, discuss with other parents about the challenges of raising TCKs all over the map, and enjoy celebrating my kids special days… with ZERO STRESS! Loved it!
So, here is the award, its rules and next steps: Enjoy! ♥

Thanks to Catherine, from Mezzaphonically Speaking for being super sweet and nominating me for the Super Sweet Blogging Award!  I appreciate this special honor and opportunity!

Rules for this award include:
– Thank the super sweet blogger who made the nomination.
– Nominate a baker’s dozen of other bloggers:

They are bloggers talking about life, food, kids, adventures… All in all, a ‘treat’ to read! Go check them out – they’re some of the examples of readings that keep me going!

And answer five questions:

  • Cookie or cake? Cookie
  • Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla
  • What is your favorite sweet treat? Brazilian Dark Chocolate (the tiny ones with caramel!)
  • When do you crave sweet things the most? Night
  • If you had a sweet nickname, what would it be? Cupcake! 

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Highlights of 2011: Blogging one day at a time… Thank you for reading!

Still need to thank all the fantastic readers & bloggers for all this year’s nominations!I promise it’ll get done – first thing in 2012! 😮 Now, leaving 2011 with a smile… If I had to define my favorite part of blogging I’d say it’s the ability to convert ideas, impressions and images into stories, shared advice, resources to other parents/families/travelers. The excitement of spotting a routine event and transforming it into a surprisingly positive post. I’m a traveler, a researcher, an author, a mom. With an endless desire to learn, discover and share… Happy New Year to all of us, and a very successful 2012 – “keeping ourselves posted”! 😮

A big THANK YOU to all the visitors & readers! 2012 will be here before we know it! That’s also my perception regarding this family/travel photoblog – before I could really understand the true nature behind blogging, I was completely immersed into it – and totally in love with this incredible journey! I’m passionate about sharing our travel pictures, telling stories, discussing our challenges and the discoveries we’re making along the way – people and places.

The New Year is coming!
Nominated by a couple of bloggers.Thank you(s) to come! 😮

I initially began this blog to share my impressions, observations and along-the-road experiences with our families and friends, and later, with other expats experiencing similar challenges/adventures. So, the blog morphed into more than just a quasi-travel and photo journal. I liked the idea of organizing not only our travel notes, but also providing resources for other parents, and encouraging an exchange of ideas through comments, questions and suggestions from viewers. The name for the blog came from the term itself: “3rd Culture Children” (TCKs, more information here) are children whose parents come from distinct cultures, and grow up under a hybrid environment, experiencing diverse cultural growth.

“The result of this transcontinental growth can never be taught or learned or fully understood by anyone who hasn’t actually experienced it. The developing child takes the culture of their parent’s passport country, or their first culture, to a foreign land. The child (and later on, the adult) adopts the qualities of the Second Culture into their preexisting First Culture, creating a unique cultural perspective known as the Third Culture”.

Blog of the Week, Dec 2011.

As an expat who is now raising 3 children, all aged 6 and under, the titled fit naturally!  I’m so pleased to share with other expatriates, parents, and traveling families, the beauty and excitement of traveling, exploring nature (I’m a biologist!), languages (we’ve got Spanish, Portuguese and English in our household!), social/cultural adjustments, and our not-so-professional advice as “parents-on-the-go“ – imagine hauling this family of 5 around, raising multi-language TCKs, and keeping the passion for photography and story-telling?!

This is our intense life, and we’re lucky to have a very supportive environment, with good friends, family and exciting new places to visit and discover!

Thank you, ClaudiaJohnson, for the nomination!
Thank you for the double nomination!

Getting positive feedback from other families in the Foreign Service. was definitely a breakthrough. After blogging for a little less than four months, saw one of my posts, about Brazilian Folklore and the integration of expatriate children, featured by WordPress. Features also included picks made by EcopressedPopPressed and The Social Moms network. For a working mom, juggling with the work-life balance, in charge of anything from grocery shopping to planning trips, I’m honored.

the greatest partner...

I’m ending this first ‘blogging year’ bordering 250 posts, with almost 130 followers and over 180 curious tweeters – and yet, blogging remains very fun, intriguing, exciting and challenging – thanks to the ongoing inspiration from PostaDay2011 & PostaWeek2011. Proof to that, is the passion brought by the Weekly Photo Challenges – what a ride!

    

Still need to thank all the fantastic readers & bloggers for all this year’s nominations! I promise it’ll get done – first thing in 2012!

Now, leaving 2011 with a smile… If I had to define my favorite part of blogging I’d say it’s the ability to convert ideas, impressions and images into stories, shared advice, resources to other parents/families/travelers. The excitement of spotting a routine event and transforming it into a surprisingly positive post. I’m a traveler, a researcher, an author, a mom. With an endless desire to learn, discover and share… Happy New Year to all of us, and a very successful 2012 – “keeping us posted“! 😮

Related post: Daily Post WordPress

Another fellow blogger, coming to join our post in Brazil!

 

The Social Moms, the “influential moms network”, featured 3rdCultureChildren as blog of the week

“The SocialMoms Blog of the Week is 3rd Culture Children – where Raquel shares her love of travel and parenting.

Congratulations to 3rd Culture Children: the SocialMoms Blog of the Week! As someone who has done very little travel in my lifetime, I’m always fascinated by travel blogs, and this is no exception. I love that Raquel is able to talk about parenting while sharing the aspects of their travels to a variety of countries across the globe…” Click here for Nikki’s article/full interview:

BLOG OF THE WEEK: 3RD CULTURE CHILDREN

December 4, 2011 By 

3rdculturechildren

“The SocialMoms Blog of the Week is 3rd Culture Children – where Raquel shares her love of travel and parenting.

Congratulations to 3rd Culture Children: the SocialMoms Blog of the Week! As someone who has done very little travel in my lifetime, I’m always fascinated by travel blogs, and this is no exception. I love that Raquel is able to talk about parenting while sharing the aspects of their travels to a variety of countries across the globe…” See below Nikki’s article/full interview:

SM: What was your inspiration for starting 3rd Culture Children?

We are a traveling family, with the US Foreign Service.  I initially began the blog to share my impressions, observations and along-the-road experiences with our families and friends, and later other expats experiencing similar challenges/adventures.  So the blog morphed into more than just a quasi-travel and photo journal.  I liked the idea of organizing not only our travel notes, but also providing resources for other parents, and encouraging an exchange of ideas through comments, questions and suggestions from viewers.  The name for the blog came from the term itself: “Third Culture Children” (as you may find more information from one of its pages) are children whose parents come from distinct cultures, and grow up under a hybrid environment, experiencing diverse cultural growth. “The result of this transcontinental growth can never be taught or learned or fully understood by anyone who hasn’t actually experienced it. The developing child takes the culture of their parent’s passport country, or their first culture, to a foreign land. The result is that the child (and later on, the adult) adopts the qualities of the Second Culture into their preexisting First Culture, creating a unique cultural perspective known as the Third Culture”. As an expat who is now raising three children, all aged 6 and under, the titled seemed a natural fit!  I’m so pleased to share with other expatriates, parents, and traveling families, not only the beauty and excitement of traveling, but also resources regarding languages, social and cultural adjustments, and our not-so-professional advice as “parents-on-the-go“.

SM: What has most surprised you about running the site?

The first thing that surprised me was the positive feedback I began receiving from other families in the Foreign Service. After being blogging for a little less than four months, I saw one of my posts, about Brazilian Folklore and the integration of expatriate children, featured by WordPress. Features also included picks made by Ecopressed and PopPressed. As a working mom of 3, in charge of anything from grocery shopping to planning trips, I was very honored with the outcome.

SM: What are you most passionate about?

Sharing our travel pictures, telling stories, discussing our challenges and the discoveries we’re making along the way – people and places.

SM: What is the most popular section of your site?

The bilingual posts have become quite popular: posts with impressions of our visits to Brazilian historical and tourist sites – in English and Portuguese; and the Weekly Photo Challenge posts, which is an exciting way to improve my skills as an “amateur” photographer.  My husband has contributed photos as well  – another passionate non-professional photographer.

SM: What is your favorite part of blogging?

The ability to convert ideas, impressions and images into stories, shared advice, resources to other parents/families/travelers. The excitement of spotting a routine event and transforming it into a surprisingly positive post. I’m a traveler, a researcher, an author, a mom. With an endless desire to learn, discover and share…