Seen Today

On this mostly typical day in Michigan, what I have seen includes:

Sunshine. Rain.

Firefox freeze up twice. Part of dinner burn once.

Thirty-five Arabic women trying to read the question: What did May get for her birthday? Three of them succeeding.

Thirty-five Arabic women trying to answer the question: What did May get for her birthday? Eighteen of them succeeding.

Eila sucking on her toes. Josiah sucking on Eila’s shoes.

Josiah licking a gate. Eila licking Josiah.

Josiah asleep in a shopping cart, falling over. Eila asleep on Josiah in the stroller.

Eila eating yogurt that she previously ate and spit back into her bowl. Josiah spitting out all of his rice cereal and not eating anything.

Eila sucking on a sprinkler that has been in the garden since last spring. Josiah sucking on my chin.

Josiah sleeping peacefully in his crib. Eila saying “stuck!” & laying next to Josiah who was screaming in his crib.

A knife falling on my finger and leaving only a papercut.

Fifteen emails. One instant message. Over twenty websites.


Passive Bilingualism

When a person understand two language but speaks only one of them they are considered to be a passive bilingual.

I am very sad to say it, but I am contemplating giving up on Eila as she has entered that passively bilingual stage that can last a lifetime (literally) and it is harder and harder to continue speaking to her in a minority language that is not my first language especially when she responds in another language. I spend a lot of time mixing the languages already and it irritates and confuses me, so I can only imagine what her brain is doing to sort it all out.

Right now, Eila is learning gobs and gobs of new words and phrases each day. This is very excited and extremely helpful in understanding what she wants and needs. Yet, I’m finding myself a little more disappointed at the end of each day as I realize that her vocabulary in English is already almost as good as mine in French. It’s also discouraging because she almost always responds in English. When she learns a new word in French, she’ll use it until she learns that word in English and then she drops the French word for the English. For example, last week when it snowed, we talked all about “la neige” and Eila blabbed on and on about water and cold and snow in French and then she learned that “la neige” is snow in English and I haven’t heard a thing in French, but she is talking about snow in English at least once a day.

Intellectually, I realized that this was the way it would most likely be. This is the standard way that kids in a bilingual home with a minority language spoken at home function. This is why so many parents give up (especially when they also know the majority language well and don’t see a great need or use for the minority language in everyday life). It is hard to speak to your kids in one language when they respond in a different language. It sort of messes with the brain and strange combinations of both languages come out.

Emotionally, though, I’m feeling discouraged and even a little like I fighting a losing battle. I see the benefits and have already put in a lot of work, but wonder if it isn’t a waste of energy and brainpower. There are so many things that I want to teach my kids and among the most important are things like: loving God and others and being respectful and kind. Speaking another language is a nice thing, but not essential for the end result of a person who loves God with all heart, soul, body, and mind.

For now, I continue to speak in French and hope that it will do more good than harm for Eila’s development. She’s learning lots of sign language too and using that frequently, so we’ll see what God has in store for us.

To read more about passive bilingualism, see:



It’s almost time for Josiah to eat again, so this will be quick. But, changes are taking place now. My new baby is starting to sleep better (ie longer) at night and my big girl is starting to speak in sentences and make her desires clearly known. This means, that by the grace of God, just as I need more patience, I am getting more sleep, which invariably helps with the patience… Yeah!

Also, the house hasn’t changed nearly as much as I’d imagined for having a newborn. Going from 0-1 child rocks your world (or at least it did mine), but going from 1-2 kids was a walk in the park and things are basically the same as before, except that there is another baby to take care of. So, the really changes are in the level of noise in the house and the amount of time it takes to get things done – both growing with more children. Also, the amount of love has grown as well and the pleasure at watching them develop and do the things that kids do.

Change is not always bad. In fact, I think I like all of these changes, even the trying ones (like Eila drawing on the walls and floor and peeing on the chair rather than in the potty…)



My precious baby is now a toddler and some seem very surprised that she is still nursing (~5 times/day). I should probably clarify that most people are most shocked that I am still nursing her rather than that she is still nursing. The majority of negative comments or looks that I’ve received have been at least partially because I am also pregnant. Apparently, it is unacceptable (by some folks, not all) to even consider nursing while pregnant or especially tandem nursing.

Well, Eila is a big fan of “teter” (the french term that we use) and is showing no signs or disinterest or even of the possibility of distracting her from her desired form of nourishment. Now, I must admit that I am also in no hurry to end this part of our relationship. It is a great excuse to sit down together and rest for 5-10 minutes all at once (a rarity for toddlers). It is also a great excuse to eat tons of food (healthy, mind you, but still – I like to eat.) I also like to know that I am providing the very best for her with immunities and antibodies as well as the calories and vitamins and minerals that she needs. God made this food just for her and I want to make sure she gets it.

So, all of this to say that my milk supply is diminishing and the end is coming. I don’t know if it will continue until baby2 arrives and beyond or if Eila will want to stop sooner. I do know that it won’t last forever and that when weaning is over, I will probably be a little relieved (to be able to be away from her for days on end, if needed) and sad (that she could go days on end without needing me).

As for how the weaning process will happen, I have read a lot and gotten lots of advice on the best and worst ways for this. I imagine that it will be a gradual reduction of the number of feeding per day down to just one or two and then she’ll stop asking and I’ll stop offering and then one day I’ll realize that she hasn’t nursed for a couple of days…

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The Five Love Languages

The Five Love Languages
Quality Time: 10
Acts of Service: 8
Words of Affirmation: 6
Physical Touch: 3
Receiving Gifts: 3

Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

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