Kids, Life

3 Random kid updates

I overslept today….darn it. I hate when that happens! I made the mistake of leaving my phone (alarm) on my nightstand and wound up hitting the snooze button several times. (I usually keep it on other side of the room, so I have to GET UP to turn my alarm off…).

Anyway, 3 brief, random kid-related updates:

1- Ethan picked up an old book we had lying around in Spanish the other night, and started reading it out loud to us!! Yay!! Despite us both being bilingual (and Ivan being a NATIVE Spanish speaker), apparently we still have not done everything correctly to create perfectly bilingual children…The boys “kind of” speak Spanish, but it’s a little hit or miss. They definitely are not fluent. It’s harder than you’d think to develop both languages simultaneously. English is just everywhere, so despite hearing Spanish at home from a young age, English has always dominated for them. They are both taking it at school now, though, so that’s great.

The good news is- Ethan was able to read this book quite fluently! His pronunciation and reading abilities in Spanish have skyrocketed lately. I like the idea of getting MORE books in Spanish and having them read out loud to us several times per week. We can cross-check comprehension as we go, too.

2- We had to take Ethan’s hamster, Flint, to the vet yesterday. 😦 We noticed one of his eyes was a little swollen and had some redness over the weekend. It took a few days to get an appointment with an “exotic pet” animal (hamsters are considered “exotic”, apparently). It was below zero temps outside yesterday, so I had to warm the car first and then Ethan raced out with him in a little box.

The veterinarian’s office said only one person could go in, due to covid rules… So I asked if Ethan could just go in by himself with Flint. They said that was fine, so as we drove there I helped prep him for what things they might ask, what he needed to say to the vet, etc.

He can be our more timid kid when talking with people if he feels uncomfortable (i.e. not always super great eye contact, little tendency to mumble….), so I thought this was actually a good opportunity for him to do a more “grown up” type task. Ethan was totally fine doing it- Flint is HIS hamster, after all, so he knows he needs to be responsible for him.

The vet did call me from inside to update me, and then Ethan came out and I got to go in to pay. yippee. Ha. Sounds like an eye infection but they also found a mass on his chest!! Could be a little fatty (benign) bump, or it could be an abscess (needing drainage/ antibiotics) OR it could be cancer!! Ugh. We have to treat the eye with drops for 2 weeks first and then go back.

He is already 2 years old, so definitely “over the hill” in hamster years, but we just love the little guy so much, I can’t imagine not doing anything….(trying not to think about the fact that the vet bill was already 4x what we paid for him…). I’ll have to see what they say at the next appointment. We’ll have to try to be reasonable with interventions, given he is a tiny hamster and all (with a naturally pretty short life span😥) . But, he’s still family, too… ❤

3- Asher is going to be in the school play! Their school is putting on Peter Pan coming up and Asher really wanted to be part of the Crew. So he signed up, but then yesterday the drama teacher emailed me to see if Asher would consider being one of the Lost Boys (one of Peter’s gang) instead.

Originally Asher had said just crew, that he didn’t want to try out for an acting part. But since she specifically asked him, he said, Well, okay! (He’ll get to use a wooden sword, so that’s cool.)

And now he actually seems really, really excited about it! So I’m happy about the turn of events- sometimes we need that little extra push to try new things. I’m assuming it’s a pretty small role, which is fine since he doesn’t really have much acting/ drama experience. But I’m glad he’ll be taking part in it. I bet it will be SUPER fun. Ethan is going to help on the Crew, too (though not quite as enthusiastically), but we want him to do other things besides just sports. He did Crew 2 years ago for the school play and he actually did really like it, so I think he’ll be fine. He’d be great on lights or sound production.

random pic of Asher…we played the game “exploding kittens” last night.

Daily Gratitude Challenge Day 27:

Name something you are grateful for at work:

Easy one! A very flexible, work-from-home schedule!

9 thoughts on “3 Random kid updates”

  1. That is awesome that Ethan handled the vet appointment. Paul is only almost-4, but when you describe Ethan, I have a feeling our Paul will be similar to him. Paul is definitely on the shyer side. Even around groups of people he knows it takes him time to warm up. And he also is very thin, and I think Will is going to be taller/bigger than him, at least if his growth keeps up at the pace it’s been!

    It would be hard to get your kids to be bilingual. You would have to be so intentional about it if you wanted to do that from birth, like only speak Spanish to them which probably isn’t practical! But I am sure their language will really take off with the exposure in school and the ability to practice at home. And then trips to Mexico will really help. Paul understands Spanish but he does not speak it, outside of a few words here and there. But his doctor is bilingual so she does his exams in Spanish sometimes and he clearly understands everything. We aren’t going to send our kids to a Spanish Immersion elementary school, so they will probably lose their comprehension but hopefully it will come back when they have more exposure to language classes. I think the afterschool program might have an option for Spanish instruction so we would look into that.

    I really wish I had learned a language. I took a semester of Spanish and Italian in college but that was the extent of it. Phil had a minor in Spanish and studied abroad in Spain so he was fluent. He’s lost that fluency, but he can understand Spanish. He’s just not great at speaking it and is very self conscious. I think it would come back if he spent some time in a Spanish-speaking country, though.


    1. I think it’s so cool your kids are getting Spanish at daycare though!!

      For us, it was a situation where I read about helping your kids to become bilingual (not actually a ton of data/ books out there when I looked in 2008), and ultimately it seemed the best approach was “one parent, one language”. So one parent would only speak English (me) and one would only speak Spanish. The “Best” way to ensure fluency in Spanish for them would have been full on Spanish, no English- but I couldn’t stomach the thought of them entering kindergarten with subpar English lanuage skills! Other people would tell me, ” Oh, don’t worry, they’ll learn it in school quickly” but it did NOT convince me. I was like, ummm I want them entering school hopefully READING and with a high level vocabulary, not in an ESL class or something!! So we definitely really focused on English development at home (similar to what I’m sure you are doing- lots of reading, language building, etc.). And both boys did enter school reading already and from that standpoint, it worked. Ivan did speak only Spanish to them for a long time, but they would then start answering in English. (So like Paul, they could understand, but wouldn’t speak it). And then I had a lot of days off/ was more the “primary” parent at that time, and I just talked to them a lot more in the “mom narrative” style type thing that we do… 🙂 They had an Argentinian daycare provider as babies who spoke Spanish but it was short lived and then by 2-3 were in an English speaking preschool/ daycare 2-3 days a week. Plus TV, my parents, etc all spoke to them in English…it was an uphill battle!

      I’m sure Phil would pick it back up if he could say, spend a summer abroad using it intensively, but as adults, when is THAT likely to happen, right?!?!


      1. I actually had some concerns that our kids would be a bit behind when they started K with a Spanish-based curriculum. But all the reading we’ve done at home has overcome that and I underestimated how much the kids at school would speak to each other in English! But I think our kids started to speak a bit later than average because they are absorbing 2 different languages. It’s all so tricky! I can see how you didn’t want to only speak Spanish at home and then send them to school not speaking English well! There is no one right way to do it but the early exposure will hopefully make a difference for my boys, especially if we keep exposing them to language programs as they get older.

        But yes, if only we could study abroad as adults! I dream of renting an apartment in Paris for like 3-4 months at a time when we are retired. That is the only way I could learn French! But I’d have to convince Phil to want to spend that much time in Paris. When I traveled there, I would often strike up conversations with other couples in restaurants/cafes and met several couples who rented an apartment for months at a time. That sounds delightful to me. Phil would probably be more inclined to spend 3-4 months in southern Spain or something like that. He studied in Sevilla and loved it there. I visited that area in Dec 2016 and noticed how cheap it was compared to other areas of Europe I’d visited! So it appeals to frugal Phil. 🙂


  2. Please e-mail me ALL your hamster tricks and tips. I am very resistant to having anything else to care for but Abby (almost 11) is desperate for one and we have promised her one in a few months if a few different life skills are mastered by that time.
    Anything I should know going in to this. It sounds ridiculous – hamsters are so small and about the easiest pets going – but I’m still VERY daunted by the prospect.


    1. I will!!! We love our little hammies!! They are the cutest! I’ll email you a mini course on Hamster Ownership 101 😉 Abby is totally up for the “challenge”. They are very easy- promise!


      1. I’ll take your word for it and will follow your owners manual to the letter. I am decidedly NOT-pet savvy but she is SO, SO determined to get one.


  3. it’s great that he can read. bilingual family is not easy and at our house, we have 4 (Spanish, English, mandarin, Shanghai dialect). When having dinner together like a family, it’s a Un discussion, girls talk to me in Spanish, talk among themselves in English, Shanghai dialect with daddy and sometimes mixed up with mandarin when I talk to my husband. yet, the girls are fine as their mind is like a sponge. as long as we are consistent with who speak what language, creating the environment is not impossible (not easy though). I think language is one of those skills that will be even more in demand going forward as the world become more global.
    didn’t realize you had a hamster, how cute. I hate when pet gets sick… as it’s hard to communicate with them.


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