About: Vanessa Bell

Vanessa is a Cuban American, bicultural Latina, building a legacy for her biracial children through memoir writing, explorations of identity and documentation of their food culture, travel and positive parenting. She believes in creating a purposed legacy, and is driven to help other parents do the same. Find out more about her mission at www.DeSuMama.com


Twitter: DeSuMama

I Forgot I’m Bilingual

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Living in a monolingual household with no family near by, in an environment with less diversity than I care to admit, there are days where I utter not a syllable in Spanish. With my oldest child, now 3 years old, Spanish immersion was regimented with specific rules — I cooked in Spanish, I narrated the TV in Spanish. But now, with two kids under 3, there are no rules. There is only survival. And even in English, some days I hardlyRead More ...

My Baby’s First Bilingual Words

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My second child is approaching his first birthday, and with this milestone comes the excitement of new words spoken and understood. Also, as it relates to our bilingual ambitions, this age is my favorite because success is defined in a measure that is achievable for our monolingual household. It’s cheating, I know, but at almost one year old, my hijo is completely bilingual! Actually, just today, he said “más” and used the sign for more. I was ecstatic! I continuedRead More ...

Creating a Bilingual Community

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January is almost done, completely ushering in 2013. I love this time of year because it serves as a natural point of review and reflection. Sure, you can make goals and resolutions anytime of year. In fact, I encourage anyone to mediate on what is most important in their life, setting actionable steps to achieve those goals. But, January is just that time of year that gives everyone a chance. No excuses necessary. My identity continues to change and grow,Read More ...

Learning How to Be an American from an Immigrant

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The holidays are moments when memories are made. As it is with my family, made up of immigrants and multigenerational Americans alike, we gather around a table of feast to live and relive our heritage. Memories kept through the love of our elders and joys of our youth, legacies of culture and thanks are built. No matter where my celebrations take place, my heart beats the Cuban heritage that has been passed down to me from the roots of myRead More ...

Bebe Bilingual Flashcards {Giveaway}

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Being a monolingual household with bilingual aspiration requires a lot of tools. Any chance I have to expose the kids to my family’s language is imperative to our success. We love using Spanish language media; television and mobile apps have been invaluable in creating a bilingual environment while my husband is at work. But, for times when I don’t want my toddler consumed in technology, having access to educational tools that support bilingualism is another avenue of reinforcing our SpanishRead More ...

Why My Family is Celebrating Día de los Muertos

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Being a bicultural Latina raising biracial kids while living 300 miles from our nearest Spanish-speaking family means that any opportunity to celebrate our Latino roots is one I cannot pass up. My 3 year old daughter is becoming increasingly aware of holidays and traditions, so I felt it was imperative to celebrate Día de los Muertos. Before adorning her beautiful face with calaca face paint, Alina and I spent some time talking about the holiday and traditions associated with DayRead More ...

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