Two years have passed

L. turned 2 at the end of December. She has changed a lot and grown a lot. Here is an overview on her focusing mainly on her language development (Her words and sentences are in italics).

As for her personality, she’s quite different from her big sister. She is very sociable, both with kids and adults. She likes to hug and give kisses. She is sensitive and emotional. She easily bursts into tears, however, it is easy to calm her down with a bit of cuddling. She often asks me if I’m angry or happy: – Mommy, you happy?

Likes:

  • playing with cars, trains, diggers, and other vehicles
  • playdough
  • shapes20171024_171159
  • riding a bouncy horse
  • scribbling
  • putting on shoes and boots even at home
  • stealing my mobile phone and looking at the pictures or calling someone
  • pasta, raw broccoli, sausages (“kolbász”)
  • reading books20171224_173756
  • watching Blippi videos
  • carrying handbags around
  • turning on the computer

Her favourite songs in English are:

Her favourite songs in Hungarian are:

Her favourite books are (the list is not exhaustive) – English

  • Maisy books (like Maisy’s bathtime)
  • Touchy-feely books (like Halloween DK book)
  • Lift the flap books (Fox’s socks by Juia Donaldson)
  • Push the button books (like Incy-wincy spider or Busy vehicles)
  • Books about feelings and emotions (like Sometimes I feel sunny by Gillian Shield)
  • We’re going on a bear hunt

-Hungarian

  • Berry and Dolly books
  • Mit? Hogyan Miért? book series (like Mentőjárművek)
  • Barátnőm Bori books

Dislikes:

  • when I brush her teeth and she can’t do it alone (I do it)
  • putting a musline square around her neck while eating
  • walking up the stairs  (Pick up)
  • meat (except salami and sausage)
  • sleep alone

Her language abilities are amazing in both languages. As far as I can jugde objectively, her Hungarian and English are on the same level. There are words and expressions that she knows in both languages:

napkin – szalvéta

heart –  szivecske

Can I get it? – Kérem szépen.

Thank you. – Köszönöm

car – autó

potty – bili

There are some words she knows only in English:

bathroom

toilet, loo

hug

Or only in Hungarian:

baba (=doll)

Melyiket választod? (=Which one do you choose?)

Szerintem. (=I think)

She knows synonyms as well:

pants, knickers

toilet, loo

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(I can’t think of any Hungarian words at the moments)

Her 22nd month was the most outstanding concerning her language development. She started to create her very first and very own sentences. On the same day at the beginning of October she said her first sentences:

We are hungry.

We are eating.

Is it broken?

In December she was capable of saying these utterances:

I can eat the strawberry and the apple too.

What shall we do?

Where are you going? (Asking me when I’m leaving home)

Here is my boob and I can touch it (After bathtime, exploring her body)

Towards the end of last year (around November) she started to mix the 2 languages notably. Even within the same sentece. After 2-3 months she corrects herself when using a word in the wrong language. Still, she is mixing them, which is perfectly normal and quite amusing. (Here is an interesting article to read about code-switching.)

Poor grandparents, sometimes they have a really hard time to figure out what she wants to say.

When trying to crawl under our bed: – Look, Momm, I put my “fej” in (fej=head)

When Daddy was trying to hug her: Nem akarok “hug”-ni. (I don’t want to hug)

When we played hide and seek: – I will “elbúj”

She makes very interesting mistakes both grammar- and vocabulary-wise:

  • Double objects: -Can I get it, tractor?
  • Double possessive: – This is for mine. This is for Mommy’s.
  • Wrong use of past: – Can you seed it? (Could you see it?)
  • Mixing syllables: feke=kefe (brush in Hungarian)
    cesond course=second course

There are a lot of times when E. and L. play together in English.

During the night it’s not unusual to hear her talking in English in her dreams.

L. can easily make herself understood when our native nanny is around.

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I’m really proud of my darling. Keep up the good work and always stay a bundle of joy! Happy 2nd birthday, Sweetheart!

 

An exceptional day

2018 has just begun and I’m full of hope and I have confidence in our future bilingual journey. We have tough days but a day like today always fills me with optimism and confirms we are on the right track.

Today started as nothing special. What’s more, we woke up in Hungarian, which is always a kind of disappointment for me. Half way through the breakfast the girls asked for a book to read. I was hesitating as we were running late from the kindergarten, but I had decided to say more YESes this year so I gave in. We read 2 or 3 short stories in English and somehow we stayed in English.

E. helped L. get dressed into the thick winter clothes, directing and encouraging her to do it alone in English. We were chatting about the day all the way to the kindergarten in English. I promised E. to pick her up early, right after L.’s nap time. She was blue, she wanted to stay with us and go to the playground together.

Right after dropping E. off at the kindergarten we headed to the playground with L. who was singing : “Let’s go to the playground, playground, playground, come on and play”. (see video on this link)

She was sliding, running around, hiding in a little house with her little red nose and cold hands. The weather wasn’t too bad but a bit chilly. We played games in English like in the swing. She was holding on tight and I lifted her swing up higher and higher on the count of 5 and pretending to be aeroplanes flying high. Or she hid in the little house and I was the bear chanting Round and round the garden like a teddy bear. When I reached to the point – one step, two steps – I stepped into the house and once I tickled her at another times kissed her all around. Her laugh was the sweetest and I didn’t have enough of her “again”s.

We went to buy our lunch to the nearby take-away and slowly walked home, L. pushing her buggy or jumping in puddles and shouting out: Yipee!

After lunch L asked for Hush Little Baby and I rocked her to sleep while singing. Then I had a little me-time. I could go on with the unfinished Days of December blog post, as well as the album, plus I finally managed to sew a long forgotten button onto my husband’s coat while watching an episode of the series 24 (in English, of course).

I realised L. woke up when she was playing with a balloon in the dining room, tiptoeing in her sleeping bag and saying: funny balloon.

We quickly got ready – L. helped me choose what snacks to take – “Mommy pretzel yummie” and “fruit puree” and went to pick E. up. She was happy to see us and it was no question that she used English immediately when she heard we’d been in English with L.

The three of us visited the same playground as earlier and had the snacks on a bench before immersing ourself in playing, mainly swinging and trying a little boy’s backhoe in the sandpit. Little L. asked for the digger in English (Can I get it, excavator?) then E. instructed her to ask it in Hungarian instead (Kérem szépen) so they could try digging with the digger.

On the way home E. was holding L.’s little hand explaining her how some building had been “crashed down” (sic) by big machinery. She also pointed out a broken car to L.’ amazement. All in English.

As we were getting closer to our house they started to play a game. E. gave the instructions what to do and also demonstrated it to L. Touch this brick, step into this puddle, hug the water-spout, climb up on these steps, come down etc. L. asked E, for help who eagerly assisted her little sister: lifted her if she couldn’t reach something or held her hand to help.

At home I started to prepare for dinner while they were playing in the living-room. Together. In English. E. helped L. draw some atoms, then they had a look at the “match the lid” box. E. applied imaginary body lotion on L, which she fancied so much. Next I saw them on the floor looking at some books.

Later Daddy came home, we played a card game that E. made up (she made the cards herself in the kindergarten) then he took L. to take a bath. They kept on using English. I stayed with E. and played a few more rounds of her card game (Snap the pair) and we also looked up on the Internet some carnival costume ideas. (She wants to be an atom or some chemical element.)

When L. was ready I took E. to take a shower and her plush spider joined her too, which we scrubbed thoroughly as he was filthy.

We were still in English at the dinner table talking about our day and discussing tomorrow’s programmes.

The girls watched some videos (Blippi mainly) while I took a quick shower myself. Then in bed I read The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl, which seemed to capture E.’s imagination as this was the second time within 4 days she’d asked me to read it. (She’s asking a lot about words/expressions like baffled, famished, filthy, swoop and swear on your honour that we met while reading it.)

I could hear Daddy in our bedroom reading to Little L. in English too.

Days like today encourage me and lift me up high. I feel we are capable of anything, no obstacle can stop us on our bilingual odyssey. I needed to write down this ordinary and at the same time extraordinary day to take heart from it on the difficult days. I hope this little writing will give you hope and a little boost when you feel down and disheartened.

 

New Year’s Eve 2017

We do NOT really celebrate New Year’s Eve in our family. The reasons are numerous, but for the kids I wanted to make it a special day.

For Christmas both of them got a magnetic wand with some colourful discs. I printed a 2018 do-a-dot sheet, one for each girl. They helped me separate the discs according to colours.

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They started to put the disc on the numbers.

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Well, Little L. was not very interested in this activity… within 1 minute she started to throw the discs away. Therefore I decided to give her the dotmarkers and she painted for max. 2-3 minutes.

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As for E., she placed the discs very accurately on the circles. She chose to use different colours for each number.

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When she finished, she collected her discs with the magnetic wand and coloured her 2018 with dot markers.

During the evening we played a lot together with the toys they got for Christmas and for L.’s second birthday.

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Lucky, we have Baby Sis’ birthday at the end of December. We had plenty of balloons to play with. Even in the bath. (Not for long though as E. freaked out about the fact that the balloons might pop)

Instead of the balloons we had sparklers during their bath-time, which also made the day a little different from the others.
(No pictures, sorry)

We had a fun evening that finished at about half past 10.

Blippi, the new star

We always try to find motivating videos for the girls to watch on the bais of their always-changing interest in order to provide a native input in their language development.

Daddy found a new favourite youtube super star ie. Blippi. I have to admit the videos are quite informative, we learn a lot of specialised English from them. My only problem with it is these videos strengthen the flow of American English in our home.

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Daddy found Blippi’s videos as Little L. is extremely interested in big machines and vehicles, like tractors, fire engines, trains and garbage trucks.

The kids fell in love with Bippi’s goofy character at once. In fact he IS funny with his idiotic dance moves and overexaggerated squeaky voice. His videos are mainly educational, but what I don’t like about Blippi is the hidden ads and the “I’ll show you this cool toy, go and ask your parents for it” attitude.

In the last couple of months we’ve been watching Blippi videos on a daily basis, the girls got crazy about them. Blippi has got songs and also some eduacational videos as you’ll see below on the links.

L’s favourite ones:

Garbage truck song

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Tractor song

Wheels on the bus

Train song

Indoor play place (about movemnets)

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E.’s favourite ones (apart from the ones above):

Investigation

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How apples get to the grocery store

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Daddy’s favourite 😉 :

Zoo song

Give it a go and tell me what you and your kid(s) think in the comment section.

Advent crafts

… at our Helen Doron school. We were invited to creat some Christmas-related decorations. It came really handy as at home it is really difficult to do any arts or crafts lately, as Baby Sis has been doing  nothing else but destroying whatever she puts her hands on. Of course, for her it’s the exploration phase, for us, an “Oh, noooo!” phase.

It was lovely to get out of the house a little just E. and me. As we arrived at the school the Christmas decorations created the vibe just as the Christmas music and the  big screen showing a fireplace.

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E. was really happy to find some treats she could eat (dairy and milk free gingerbread, popcorn, apples, tangerines and peanuts). She decoratively packed a plate for herself with all the goodies and this was the closest she could get to being creative.

She was lying on the floor eating, and sometimes helping me out.

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We made a pine cone Christmas tree with tiny pom-poms and an elf.

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These were the prototypes

When E. finished eating (well, she was munching something all the time) she started to play with the glue coming out of the hot glue gun.

Our new angel socks were admired by everyone.

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All in all, it was fun to be together without high expectations and had a great time in our Helen Doron school, which is always welcoming and offers fantastic programmes.

First, E. didn’t like the elf so much (she called him poopy and blaaah) but on the way home we chatted with Mr Elf and it turned out he’s got magic power and can grant wishes.

We placed our (khm… MY) beautiful creations next to our advent candles, so our table decoration is full now.

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