Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Went to Mexico, came back with chatty Spanish speakers

Well, I can't say they're both talking in Spanish all the time, but I can say that Carolina's resistance has lessened. Playing with her (mostly) bilingual cousins made her want to talk in Spanish more. 

The baby also picked up more. He now will greet people with an "hola", instead of "hello." He's also gotten a little better at walking by himself instead if needing to be carried everywhere. 

He's got three new teeth coming in. And has a cold. I think there's some infection since the mucus is thick and yellow. But no fever so nothing big. 

Carolina really enjoyed visiting the family. I have to say, for first time, since my very first visit to vallarta, I had a really good time as well. It made me think I could live there. It's still too violent and corrupt, on an individual's level, for me, and I don't believe the educational system, or a culture for pursuing learning, is in place but it was nice. 

What I like about it for the children is that there is trustworthy, loving family in many places. Extended family are friends and the culture tolerates whatever a kid is going to do. It's really much more relaxed, not lazy. 

I really liked the weather, too. Secretly, I'm getting sick of the cold. Although I find it reassuring that it gets cold and snowy. It's not Christmas without the cold and snow. For me, it's really not. It never feels like Christmas when we're there. Plus all their holiday songs aren't mine and tv shows aren't either. The little cultural cues that tell me it's Christmas are missing. 

But, for the kids, who don't have those in place, it's great. It's running outside without shoes and having a great time with fewer restrictions. Eating cookies and candies, and believing that Mexicans are friendly, fun, loving people. My kids have no idea that Mexicans are viewed in a negative way in the States. So, for me, it's really interesting, and a bit of a relief, to see Carolina embrace it all so freely. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reading, getting married, and toddler sleeping

So Carolina's reading continues! She just keeps spotting words she knows and words she sounds out herself. Reading the cereal box seems to be popular. 

She's also become concerned about going into the "number grades" and getting married. Lord knows why she's concerned about who she will marry, since I pointed out she can't marry her papa and her grandfathers are both not available. And cousins are out. This whole idea stresses her and I've no idea why. 

I probably shouldn't have told her she can't marry her papa but I wasn't certain if lying about this one wouldn't be worse. I don't know where the topic came from. And telling her that she doesn't have to worry about it until she's much older seems to make it worse. She wants to know now. So, yesterday, she decided on one of the boys in her class. I said that was fine. She has to wait until she is an adult, but he's a fine boy to pick. 

She's also very aware of graduating from kindergarten (in a year and a half), and the older children returning to help out. She knows she is not ready for "big kid work" but won't be put off my explanations of-- the teachers will tell you what you need to know when it's time. Today is just pre-k. You know how to do that. 

Still, she's anxious. I hope to help her figure it out so she's less worried. 

Lil' Mel now takes a nap without a bottle. He kept refusing it, so I just stopped offering it. He's nearly over his ear infection, and I know being very congested made him disinterested in drinking since he couldn't breathe. But he's taken interest, mostly, in the night bottle but not daytime. 

Fine by me! I was wondering how it would go since I got Carolina off the bottle by reading to her instead, before naps and nighttime. But I can't read to him since he doesn't sit still long enough for more than a sentence or two. Such a boy. He just wants to lay down with his chupon. Uh, ok. Easy peasy. 

And we still enjoy his way of saying "no". Kind of a cross between "no" and "now" with a bit of a cat's whine. It's very amusing. It also gets the job done. He is very clear about "no", and "yes", which is a slow up-and-down head move. Makes things easier.