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Friday, March 22, 2013

Caleb's journey to learning Spanish, Chile edition

Today marks the start of week 11 here, and as I mentioned in a recent post, I have been keeping a log as best as I can of his language development while we are here.  For the first 8 weeks it was just individual occurrences of saying a new word or phrase, etc., then starting in March when he began school I've been trying to jot down daily all the Spanish words and phrases that come out of his mouth, to see how much it progresses in the three weeks he will be in school.

Playing with a friend's Roda balance bike

Playing out back this afternoon, Laura took a picture with Caleb's camera

Video of the extension to 'Vamos a Jardinnnnn' song from the other day, this is 'Vamos a vaño (baño).'  I think this is another one of the expressions that is used a lot at school, telling the kids to all go to the bathroom... Click below or here.

Video of "Este coche a la casa", click below or here.

Today was the end of week two at Pipo, followed by this afternoon having a solid two hours of playtime in the backyard with all Spanish-speakers (our English-speaking friends weren't outside today), followed by a 10-15 minute Skype call with a friend of mine in Spain.  Afterwards the boys were playing independently around the house while I was cooking dinner, and I was thrilled to hear Caleb spend a good thirty minutes talking to himself, thinking out loud, and repeating any old thing that he was thinking about, COMPLETELY in SPANISH!  I was listening in the kitchen, trying to type out as many things as I could hear, but I still missed a lot of them.  It was so awesome to hear him just playing by himself and totally thinking about everything in Spanish.  I think that all of the input he has had over the first two months here, now with three hours a day of Spanish immersion, it is really compounding and making for a visible increase in Spanish (and full sentences) coming out of his mouth.

Below is the log I have been keeping since we got here.  It is quite long, and not typed out very neatly. Perhaps more for me and my own reference than for others...but for those that are interested, here it is.

During the month of November 2012 Caleb was very interested in how to say things in Spanish, asking us all the time, and asking us to read the books that he has in Spanish.  I was so excited about this, and especially because I knew at that point that we were going to be in Chile and was hoping his enthusiasm would continue.  I think he started noticing when he would hear one of us speaking Spanish to someone, and we started pointing out the difference between Spanish and English to him, so then in December he would say "Can you say it in English?" when I would try to speak Spanish to him, and not wanting us to read the books in Spanish.  I was a little bummed, and hoping that wouldn't continue once we were in Chile.  

We have now been here about 10 days and Caleb is doing great with trying to say little words and phrases to people when we tell him what to say.... Gracias, Adios, Hasta luego, Hola, Por favor...
It seems that his interested has been renewed by seeing all the people around him speaking Spanish too, and makes him willing to try.

1/19/13:  In the elevator after a long day going to the MIM in Santiago (1 week in)... J: Estoy cansada Caleb.  C: I'm tired, too, mommy.  

1/21/13:  Today was the first day we went and did something with a friend!  We went to a park not far from our apartment and there were several other kids there, probably ages 5, 4 and 3 (boy, boy, girl).  They were all playing and running around together, and of course Caleb got right in on the action of playing chase with them.  The were saying 'corre! corre!', and Caleb would just repeat 'corra, corra!' without thinking twice about it.  Its easy to see how quickly he could pick up on the language simply by playing with other kids (like in a jardin infantil).  

2/4/13:  While playing down in the backyard, Caleb ran over to me and said "Cayó camion!" (Se cayó el camion) about the truck he was playing with.  I think this is his first 'sentence' in Spanish.  

2/8/13:  Today while eating hot dogs for lunch, Caleb looked at me and said "Mmmm, me gusta!, I like!"  It wasn't pronounced perfectly, but he definitely showed he knew what he was saying by saying it in both English and Spanish!

2/18/13:  I would say that Caleb had his first (mini) conversation in Spanish today.  We were walking down to the drug store and there were three groups of men breaking up sections of the sidewalk with mallets and shovels.  Caleb waved to each as we walked by, and said hola or buenos dias to some.  On the way back up the street, he was eating a lollipop, and wanted to show it to everyone.  One of the workers said "Buenos dias niño!  Cómo estás?" (Goodmorning little boy!  How are you?). Caleb answered "Bien" without hesitation or thought. Then he said "Estás comiendo un dulce.  Cómo está?" (You're eating some sweets. How is it?).  Again, without thought or hesitation Caleb answered "Bien.", though I think this response might have been because he heard the como está part and thought he was asking how he was, but I was still excited and proud of him for responding!  He said "adios" and waved to them as we walked away.  Way to go Caleb!

2/24/13: Week 7 in Chile.  As we were arriving back to the building from going to see the train museum, Caleb was running up to the main lobby door and yelled "No cierres!" (Don't close it!).  Then at bedtime he was trying to tell me he wanted a small spanking, and then he said 'Grande'.  "Grande?", I asked.  Then he corrected himself and said "Pequeño, pequeño."  I think he was thinking about his book Fred y Ted - a book with lots of opposites in it...

2/28/13:  As I'm realizing from one day to the next a noticeable difference in how many new words Caleb is eagerly repeating, I've decided to try and jot down the words and phrases he uses each day to watch its progress.  I think it will be very interesting to look back at in a few weeks, especially if Caleb goes to Pipo for preschool...
Today - At the grocery store he said "frio" as he shivered with a silly expression as we stood in the refrigerated section.  I taught him two days ago that hace frío and está frío mean its cold outside or something is cold.  Today was the second time he used it - last night when he drank water from his sippy cup he said "está frío" to the cold water.  
3/1/13: It was cool out this morning, and Caleb said "está frío" (complete with the verb and all).  As he was walking into the living room he said "Hola Landon, Cómo estás?  Bien?"  "Dos galletas", asking for more cookies.  Frio in the evening, chupete (pacifier) multiple times during dinner (not sure if he understands what it is or is just repeating words...).
3/4/13:  This morning Caleb and I were playing a spanish dominoes matching game, and when I asked him how to say the following words, he knew and said them right away:  hair (pelo), nose (nariz), mouth (boca), leg (pierna).  I don't usually ask him like this on the spot like a quiz, but I was impressed that he could just pull them out of his brain so quickly!   When playing with Guillermo's moto this morning, he said "pare" telling me to stop because there were a lot of cars.  At naptime in his bed, "Cold, está frío".   Counting his raisins in Spanish as he is eating them, he hands one to me and says "para ti".   Then he put a yogurt melt in his mouth and said "No mas."  I asked, "no mas para quien?", and he said "for you."  Caleb uses the word "este" many times through the day to refer to things.  "Dedos arriba" he repeated after I told him that's how you say 'thumbs up', which he learned how to do this week.  At bedtime tonight Caleb said "champiñones", completely out of the blue.  That's a big word, and one I haven't used in at least a week.  Didn't know he knew that one. 
3/5/13:  Esta frio when I was washing his feet.  Esta frio before nap when his shirt was off.  Repeating after me, he said "Abre the tunel por favor."  Listening to the guy at the fruteria talking to me, who said "Que ricos" (about the boys), then Caleb asked me if he said "bonito" (like conserje Marco says) - good listening Caleb!  Ricos sounds like bonito!  Playing with Frankie Fourwheeler, "Hola, que pasa?" What are those things called again? Me: arandanos. C: More arandanos please.  Me: Mas arandanos por favor. C: (repeats 2x).  Takes my cell phone and says I'm going to call Jessica.  "Hola Jessica, Hola jessica, Hola Jessica!..."  Then he says I'm going to call Mariel.... "Hola Mariel..." Standing by the open window, esta frio.  At bedtime, buenos dias!  Buenas noches!  Hola!  
3/6/13:  At the end of a skype conversation with Papa, Caleb says "Hasta luego! Chao!". 
3/7/13:  What are blueberries called in Spanish?  Me: Arandanos.  Caleb: I want arandanos please.
Caleb held a book up horizontal in front of his mouth and said "Una flauta." (a flute)
3/8/13: While watching Disney Junior Caleb repeated "Ya viena" (ya viene - coming up next).  After his nap while looking out the window he yelled and pointed "Un autolbus de la escuela!", then "Look, pool agua".  Repeating after me telling Landon "No lo comes."  "Ele" (L) for Landon.  "be"(B) as we are spelling his name in Spanish. I want a "galleta de coco" mommy. 
3/9/13:  Counting: 5, 2, 3, 5, 2, 3... 1, 2, 3...  As we were trying to put him down for a nap, and when he was already very tired and groggy, he said "Jugo, I want jugo."  In the bath tub, "tú te sientas", then esta frio while waiting for me to dry him off.  While watching Toy Story in Spanish on tv, Caleb was recognizing and repeating words he heard:  dinosaurio, juguetes, hay juguetes...
3/10/13: Caleb said Esta frio about 3 or 4 times today. We tried explaining the difference between 'tengo frio', and 'hace frio'...
3/11/13:  Repeating after me 'animales.'  Where is the car? (answering himself...) No sé.  (Playing with Bertie the bus), "Is this autobus?  Maybe they will have Laura's patineta outside!  Where is the "dinosaurio" mommy?  Trying to reach the conserje phone in the kitchen, Caleb said "Hola, como estas? Bien."  
3/12/13:  On the way home from school today, Caleb said they painted.  Con que colores pintaste?  C:  Amalillo.  M:  Bien, y que otros colores?  C:  No mas.  Ya Viene. Can you stick out your lengua mommy?  (Me: Saque la lengua.)  Caleb: Saque la lengua!.  Mochila! Mochila!  Dinosaurio.  At bedtime, as I'm telling him to go towards his room, he points in the opposite direction and says "mas allá." Frio, frio. I want more frambuesa juice mommy.  
3/13/13:  Ya viene (Clarilú). Frio, esta frio (on the way to school). Repeating after me, "Lo enconté.  Aqui esta." Playing with his cars, he signaled and said "este" for 'this one'.  Then he pointed to the Cheerio car and said "ambulancia", the blue race car "policia, and to the red car from Gigi, "bombero". When I asked him "Quien es este coche (la naranja)?" He says "coche."  Playing with shape sorters, Que forma es esta (I hold up a star)? C: estella. (I hold up a square): cuadado.  (I hold up a circle): circulo.  (I hold up a triangle): triangulo.  WHere does the casa go?  WHere's triangulo?  WHere's circulo?  Where's cuadrado?  Este lado (repeating).  Aqui (pointing where to put a certain shape). Showing landon how to do the shape sorter, C said "esperame, espera."  Then he said este jugo when I gave him his juice.  Leaving the fruteria, hasta luego! chao!  Pointing out an airplane, avion. Repeating after me, buenas noches hipopotamo.  Dinosaurio (he seems to really like saying this one).  While playing with stickers, este por aqui; este, este.  Asking for certain crayons, "este aqui."  Permiso.
3/14/13: Repeating 'oh cielos' on Chuggington.  I want to pintar.  Repeating after me, quiero pintar.
A Tobias, ese jugar? (asking for a toy). A micaela: hola! hola!  To sit down and get sand out, sientate aqui.  Este camion.  Volquete.  "This is what we did in school today:  Manitos da vueltas, manitos da vueltas" (as he moved his hands in circles).  Este es the jardin de Clarilú (singing).  Counting, lots of counting... 1,2,3,5,2,3...
3/15/13:  Playing the boxcar like a guitar, singing "Quien será...Quien será..." from a cartoon favorite, Clarilu.
3/18/13:  Back to school today.... They did an "elefante song" Caleb told me, then later tonight he was singing something about "dormir a elefante, dormir a elefante..." as he was putting his hands up next to the sides of his head like someone lays on a pillow.  (I checked with the tias later about an elephant sleeping song, and they said they did sing one, it goes "Para dormir, Para dormir, para dormir un elefaaante..." He remembered what they had sang). Painting and coloring at bedtime he started using a lot of words and phrases on his own:  "un road" as he drew a line, coche, gallo, coche amarillo, "have you seen a coche azul?"
3/19/13:  As Caleb was sitting under the kitchen counter, he said "How do you say 'green' in Spanish?"  I said "verde", then he said, very clearly and in a complete sentence, "Este es verde", pointing to a broom handle, then "este es... (gray?) gris, este es azul" pointing to other brooms.  Then he pointed to the tile and said "Cual este?"  He continued to ask 'cual este?' for about a dozen other items around him.  
3/20/13:  Rosa, pajaro... random words while watching cartoons in the AM.  "I'm going to tell the tias 'vamos al baño' when I need to go to the bathroom."  After asking if they had painted today, Caleb said, "she said 'pintar'."  The tia said 'mucha caca' about someone who had had an accident at school.  There's one boy named Diego at Pipo.  There's one girl named Mica.  Dos galletas de coco. (Singing and drumming with pencils) "Vaaaamos a jardinnnnnnn, vaaaamos a jardinnnnnn, vaaaamos a jardinnnnnn..."  I think I could say that in the past two days Caleb has started two new things:  using 'sí' instead of 'yes' in the midst of being spoken to in Spanish, and speaking in simple, but sometimes complete sentences.  I am so excited to see him produce correct sentences on his own in Spanish!  This afternoon he said to Gloria, "Este es para la arena?"  Then he was speaking with P and Laura in Spanish, using individual words and communicating with them in Spanish, too.  I love it.
3/21/13:  "Sientese allá", he tells Landon repeatedly.  Sientate alli, as he told me he wanted to sit in a different place to put his shoes on.  Un niño, un papá, as he is holding a little boy figurine.  La casita de Caleb, la casita de Landon, la casita de the jungle gym houses in backyard.
3/22/13:  Tambores, tambores, tambores...  Esta chiquitita.  Esta chica, esta grande, as he shows me small and big between his fingers.  Este azul.  Este rojo.  Playing by himself in his room, saying all sorts of things ALL in Spanish for probably 30 minutes - counting, colors, Dormir un elefante (song), este juguete, aqui aqui aqui... Running to get a toy: un juguete... Bien, como estas, bien, como estas,,  este es pequenito.  Camioneta. Salta!, jumping over a circle of books.   Sientese alla, alla, alla.  Sentaditos, sientese alla (learned at Pipo, no doubt).   

There are so many more words and short sentences he has been using, but I can't keep up with jotting them all down!  He's doing an awesome job, and as he will excitedly say to almost anyone now, "Chao, hasta luego!!!"

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Small, but significant, accomplishments

In the past day I have noticed that Caleb is doing two new things:

- Responding with "sí" instead of "yes" when I or someone else asks him something in Spanish.
- Beginning to speak in complete sentences some of the time!

Last night he was sitting under the kitchen counter and asked me "How do I say 'green' in Spanish?", and after I told him, he pointed to each of the brooms in front of him and said, "Este es verde (this is green), este es gris (this is gray), este es azul,"  then continued pointing to everything around him saying "este ____" for each color.

Then this afternoon we were playing outside in the backyard, and Gloria and Laura were with us, too.  Caleb carried a toy of Laura's over to Gloria and asked, "Este es para la arena?" (Is this for the sand?)  I about fell over!  One of his first sentences in Spanish was five words, put correctly together!   Yay for Caleb's brain!!

A few others he has used this week:
- Vamos al jardin (see the post and video from today about this one)
- Vamos al baño
- Vamos a Pipo

With Gloria, heading down to play
Laura LOVES our stroller!  She sat in here without getting up for a solid 45 minutes!!
Borrowing P's Roda balance bike

Update on the casting

A friend email me today asking about the casting we went to a couple of weekends ago, and it reminded me that I should update everyone - we weren't chosen to participate, and actually just found out yesterday by email from the friend who had asked us to come in the first place, Zuzu.  We didn't have high hopes, so it wasn't a big surprise, though it sure would have been fun!  Maybe she will have a contact in California and we can go to another one there... :)  Better luck next time!

Keeping busy outside of the casting as we waited

Just a few of the people waiting to be seen, and Zuzu in the green shirt

Boys having fun at Whitney's house

I've written before about a mommy play group that I've become part of for ex-pat English Speakers in Chile.  Tuesdays are usually the day some of them get together, and every week its a different mix of moms and kids, a different location, and we always have a good time hanging out.  

This week it was at our friend Whitney's house, who lives two floors down from us.  Her son Patricio (P, they call him) just turned two, and also goes to Pipo, the preschool where Caleb is going.  The other little boy is Cole, and he will be two in July, so all four boys are within a year of each other more or less.   

They had a great time taking out ever toy that P owns, all in his small room, all at the same time!  Caleb had fun playing with the Lego Duplo blocks, the big plastic dinosaurs, and the big red tow truck that you can see in the foreground of the picture below.  Landon liked all the toys, but he was mostly interested in eating all of the oatmeal raisin cookies that Whitney had made. :)

Video of the boys playing, below or click here:

Vaaaamos a Jardinnnnnnnn!

Caleb sang this song for a good ten minutes straight after coming home from school today...  I loved hearing him sing in Spanish, though I wasn't so excited about the fact that it was at the top of his lungs while his brother was sleeping!  

After three or four minutes, he moved his 'instruments' onto the floor and started saying "vamos a Chile...", then back to jardin.  Vamos a jardin means "we're going to jardin" or "let's go to jardin."

He has been very into drumming these past week.  Yesterday we were playing with glowsticks in the closet and the first thing he did with them was drum, and now today drumming with pencils.

At the end of it, he said "I'm tired from doing this alot."

Video below or click here.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our Weekend

This weekend was a pretty low-key one just doing things as a family, nothing too big or exciting.  Saturday morning we took advantage of still having a rental car from the previous day and did some early morning (well, 9:30am, but by Chilean standards, that's early for shopping on the weekend) grocery shopping.  Caleb got to go with daddy to return the car and take the metro back, which for him is always a treat.

In the afternoon we went for a walk to Costanera Center, a new shopping mall at the base of the big tower that you can see in the panoramic pictures from our balcony.

I wanted to get a few kids books to take home with us, and there is also an ice cream shop that we had heard about that we came to try, Emporio La Rosa.  They have some interesting flavors, such as Rose, Chocolate Pepperoncini,  Lemon Mint Basil,  Strawberry Black Pepper, Orange ginger.

I ordered a scoop of Rose and a scoop of the Chocolate Pepperoncini.  Turns out the Pepperoncini flavor wasn't noticeable at all, but the Rose ice cream was very good - a nice, subtle rose flavor - not like when you think of overpowering rose scented perfumes and products.  It tasted to me just like a rose smells.    Jimmy had the same Chocolate Pepperoncini too, and the Lemon Mint Basil.  He and I both liked that one a lot - very refreshing.  Seemed like it would be good for a palate cleanser after a meal.  Yummy.  Caleb said he wanted the "orange one", which was Chirimoya, and he was quite happy.  Landon was sound asleep in the stroller after having been woken up early from his nap by a tantruming brother.  :(

Landon is starting to take interest in books and will sit for short amounts of time to look at them with us.

Caleb is very excited to be learning how to hold up "two" with his fingers.   He has been practicing it quite a bit lately.
The way he likes to ride the swings these days.

Since today was St. Patrick's Day we headed to an Irish Pub to enjoy a Guinness.  Turns out the self-promoted "Only real Irish Pub in Chile" doesn't even serve Guinness.  Oh well.  We had fun hanging out on the terrace and running around with the kids.  Caleb liked this guy in the costume.  Landon wasn't sure what to think of him...

He liked petting the long beard...

...and trying to move his feet around like the character did.

Pizza on the way home (our go-to take-out option here when we are too tired to cook), and THANK THE LORD we had a good bedtime with Caleb! 

Days 4 and 5 at Pipo

I thought I had posted this entry already, but somehow it didn't, and it also only saved half of what I had written.  Bummer.  Well, here is what I can remember of what I wanted to write.  Will have to add the rest later if I think of the rest...

Day 4:
According to tia Andrea, today was a much better day for Caleb.  He was a little upset when I dropped him off, but he wasn't crying.  They had a day full of story telling and singing, and Caleb told me that he learned some new songs.  He said there was a pato story (duck) that they read, and that the duck was looking for his mommy.  Then at dinner tonight he starting moving his hands around and saying manitos da vueltas (little hands turn round and round) as he was trying to move his hands in circles, and he said this is what we did at Pipo today.

Everything he tells me about I'm anxious to check it out with the teacher the next day to see how much he is comprehending!

Day 5:
Good!  He seems to be feeling more comfortable each day.  Though we're feeling ready to come home and back to things familiar, its too bad he won't be able to continue in the Spanish immersion nursery school environment.  Maybe some day Lodi will have more Spanish language schooling and extra-curriculur options...  Hmmm....

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Landon at 16 months

Its so crazy to think that this is the age Caleb was when Landon was born!  They're so little...  Here are a few of them both at 16 months, just to compare...



It is amazing how fast a 1-year-old can be once they learn to run.  Doesn't make a difference that they are a third of your height - they are fast!  Landon's favorite is to take off running down the hallways of our building the second anyone opens the front door.  He looks back to see who is coming after him, laughs and keeps running as fast as he can to the other end.  Big buildings = fun long hallways for running.  Click here for video.

He still only has 6 teeth...

LOVES LOVES LOVES bananas, just like Caleb did at this age!  Calling them na-na-nas, or dah-nahs



It is getting better every day watching he and Caleb really play together now, though I'm noticing Landon mimicing more (bad) things that Caleb does, too, such as throwing toys or swinging his arm and hitting when he is excited.  Oh, the fun...!

Landon instigating...

Landon loves playing with this camera and runs around saying "Sheeeeese!"


Video of Landon playing Playdoh for the first time.  He tried to put a few bits in his mouth, but I think he realized pretty quickly it doesn't taste so good.  Click here or see below.

Learning to throw a ball.  Sometimes it goes forwards, sometimes backwards...

Some of Landon's new or revised words:

"Me-me" has become 'mommy' very clearly now.  Daddy, too, instead of da-da.

3/7/13:  While saying bye to Jimmy on Skype today, Landon said "La U"! (love you), and waved goodbye.  That's his first two word combo!

3/8/13:  "dacker" for cracker.

3/9/13:  We saw a little puppy at the park and were petting it and I said "Landon its a puppy!", and he immediately said "pu-ppy!", clear as could be. 

3/13/13:  Bye-bye!!  He is loving saying this one!  He will go stand by the front door and wave and say it, or today he was playing on a toy phone and saying "bye-bye!"

3/14/13: "Dump" while playing with the dump truck

Coordination is advancing....Click here or below to see video of Landon's fast feet.  I think this will be one of my favorite things later looking back.  :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Days 2 and 3 at Pipo

Day 2: We had a really bad bedtime Monday night, which made for very poor sleep for all of us that night, so yesterday at school was harder for Caleb.  He was much more clingy when I dropped him off, which I expected, and I gave the teacher a heads up that he hadn't slept well, but he still managed to  make it the whole time and was in a good mood again when I picked him up.  The tia said that she could tell he hadn't been in a very good mood or enjoying himself much, which I also expected.

When I asked him what they did at school, he said they played inside and outside again, and that they painted again, too.  I asked him "Con que colores pintaste?", and he answered "AmaLillo (amaRillo - yellow.  he says it like a Chinese person, swaping some of his r's for l's :)).  I asked in Spanish what other colors he painted with and he answered me "No más (no more)."

At bedtime he mentioned something about a girl named Sofie.  I asked him who Sofie was, and he said a little girl at his school.  He told me they were playing together yesterday.  I was excited to know that he learned someone's name without my help and had enough fun with her to tell me about it.

Hopefully now tonight he (and we) sleep better and get a better start tomorrow...

Day 3:  Last night Caleb went to bed pretty well for us (thank the Lord!) and when I left his room I was less stressed out too, which was a great feeling.  He slept super well and didn't get up until 7:40, which is about a half hour later than he has been waking up here.  At drop-off he was clingy for a minute, but I was later told he was fine after a few minutes, as he often is when he gets upset when I leave him.   I also asked tia Andrea if there was a little girl named Sofie in the class, and she pointed out a little blonde girl to me (proof that Caleb knew what he was talking about and got her name right :)).

When I returned to pick him up today, tia Andrea told me he had been in a much better mood today, and that he was talking to her and telling her all sorts of things in English.  Its English not Spanish, but at least he was feeling noticeably more comfortable with his environment and his teacher, and maybe within a few days he will start using some of his Spanish words and expressions with her.  Instead of running right to me and wanting to be held and leave he wanted me to come in and play with him, but the teacher suggested we leave right away so he leaves wanting more and looking forward to it for tomorrow.  The tias at Pipo have been very helpful guiding me and other parents whose kids are trying to adjust to preschool, as many are in the same boat as us right now beginning the school year with tears, so we are grateful for them and their recommendations!

Today they got to paint again, but this time with blue.  I'm seeing a pattern that seems they will get to paint all week.  Not sure why its only one color each time, perhaps for a color theme each day related to other things they are doing - I will have to ask about that tomorrow.  I do know that they are doing 'testing' all week to see what the kids do and don't know in order to help structure the rest of their lessons this year - colors, numbers, shapes, parts of the body, up/down, inside/outside, stop/go, and many other things that she told me and I can't remember now.  I'm hoping they give us individual reports at some point.  It would be interesting to see, especially since Caleb's vocabulary in Spanish is much smaller than the other Chilean kids'.  Later today Caleb started moving his arms in circles (either like a swimming motion or like pedaling with his hands motion, not sure which he intended...) and said "we did this at school today."  I like hearing the little things that they did as they gradually come back to mind for him. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013


On Saturday we did something interesting, probably a once-in-our-life thing... we went to a casting for a T.V. commercial!

There is a girl named Zuzu, about our age, who lives in our building.  She is Chilean, but lived twelve years in London so she speaks great English, and she is trying to get her own casting company going.  She has a friend who is making an American TV commercial and they are looking for a lot of people to be in it, all different ages, sizes, and talents.  We were among some of the people she invited to come to the casting.

Saturday morning we spent about an hour and a half hanging out waiting for our turn.  We had to fill out a form about each of us, including such questions as "Do you have a fear of dogs?, Do you know how to ride horses bareback?, Do you have any special talents, and Do you know how to drive a motorhome?"  Not sure if some of these have to do with scenes they need in the ad maybe...

Lots of people waiting for their casting turn.  
(Zuzu is the one in the pink and green) 
An American family we met who teaches at the American/Canadian school here, NIDO 

Look how cute daddy dressed Caleb :)

This family brought sidewalk chalk to entertain their kids.  Landon has never played with chalk before, and of course, it went in the mouth first.  Great idea for entertaining them for a while, bad one for keeping them clean!
Caleb and Landon also kept busy "doing construction" with the "hammers", and Caleb told us.  Again, good entertainment, bad for keeping clean.  Oh well.

When we were up they had Jimmy, me, and the boys all sit together, introduce ourselves to the video camera, and just talk about who we are and what we like to do as a family.  Then they took video of each of us individually, front view, side view, turn in a circle, and show your hand... show my hands??  I guess maybe they need some hand shots, too...  She asked if I like to swim, I said yes, she asked if I can dive from, say, three meters... I said sure!  I think I could do it without freaking out... :)  Again, seemingly random question though.

Anyway, who knows whether we (or any one of us individually) will get chosen, but it would sure be cool if we do!  Either way it was a fun and different way to spend our Saturday morning.

Push-ups with daddy

Caleb doing push-ups with daddy... 
(click here or below for video)

Day 1 at Pipo - Success!

Today was Caleb's first real school day at Chilean preschool, Jardin Infantil Pipo.  You may remember back in January he went for a few days for some summer workshops, and we called it his first day of school, but now the schools are all in session in Chile and this is actually the start of their normal, more structured, school schedules.  Though he is now more adjusted to being here, and his nap time has been pushed back later compared to January, we were fairly nervous about how it would be for him starting out because he doesn't know anyone really (except the director and a few of the teachers) and everything is in Spanish.

This morning before school...  The boys had taken this suitcase out to play with yesterday and Landon thought it would be a good place to sit and drink his bottle!
We have been building today up all weekend, talking about it, about what they might do there, and we got Caleb a new little water bottle and lunch box to take his snacks in, too (they call the snack la colación)

Caleb knew that today we would be dropping him off there, and he seemed fine with it.  This morning he was a bit shy when we first arrived, wanted me to hold him, and didn't want to take off his sunglasses right away or pose for a picture, but as soon as we were inside tia Andrea (one of his two teachers) came over to him, gave him a kiss (the typical greeting here, one kiss on the right cheek - it would never fly at schools in the U.S., but I think it is really nice that the tias are so affectionate with the kids here, especially since many kids start jardin so young here), and immediately took him over to find something to play with.  It made for a quick exit for mommy, which was good for him, too.

All morning long I was staying close to my phone in case they called with him upset, but all the while hoping it wouldn't ring.  I was so excited as noon approached and we hadn't heard a thing.  Caleb made it the whole morning, and on top of it, was happy and chatty when we picked him up instead of tired and clingy.

On the walk home he told us that he had played "2 times" (trying to say 'both' inside and outside), and that they painted (which he has been into lately with his watercolors).  It was such a huge relief to see how excited he was about his morning!  Thanks for all your prayers, and we hope that with each day it only continues to be even more enjoyable for him!

Having fun with some home-made entertainment

In my preparations for the long flight down here, I was looking for all sorts of ideas online of activities for toddlers that might help entertain Caleb and Landon.  We didn't use as many on the flight as I thought we might, but they have ended up being fun to have to play with while we are here, too.
Here are a few we have been playing with recently...

Spanish body parts dominoes (matching)

Caleb made me smile when he was able to tell me the Spanish words for hair, nose, mouth and eyes without a second thought about the answers.  We hadn't used any of those words in a while. 

Practicing counting with stickers

Click here or below for video of Caleb playing with felt shapes:

Click here or below for video of Caleb with the magnets.  This one was planned to be used with a metal cookie sheet while traveling, but since we're here now the fridge gives them a lot more room to spread them out.

Exercise ABCs - motions and activities to go with each letter of the alphabet.  We have a lot of fun and many laughs playing with these! 

I have been saving t.p. and paper towel rolls lately trying to come up with a creative way to use them for the boys... Thought of making tunnels to drive some of their cars through.  I used Caleb's watercolors to paint them, but with little precision because I knew they will probably only last a few days, if that!

When I told Caleb I had painted these for them, he wanted to do some painting himself.

And the one that I was most excited about and quite proud of, partly because it took me a while, but also because I think they turned out cute, are the felt Nemo, Dory, Crush, and friends that I made for him.  I saw a lot of felt scene ideas online as a good quiet play activity for kids.  Around the beginning of the year Caleb was really into watching Finding Nemo so when I saw other normal felt fish ideas online, I thought maybe I could try making some of the characters from Nemo.  I found some pictures to copy in Google images, then went at it.  This video is 10 minutes long of him playing with them, so just skim through and watch as much or as little as you like!  :)

Click here or on the image below to see video of the felt Nemo & Dory fish: