German in the Afternoon

Speaking German with my little boys – bilinguialism one afternoon at a time

Our New Addition January 29, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kate R @ 3:25 pm
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Hello there! It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything new for this blog. I think you could say I’ve been a little busy :)

Almost two months ago we welcomed our new baby boy into the world! After almost nine months of deliberating over names, we finally settled on Kearnan Mathijs. We wanted a name that would work in all of our languages: English, German, and Dutch. So of course, we chose a Gaelic name! There’s no rhyme or reason behind it. It’s just a name that we liked :)  I was partial to the spelling “Kiernan” at first but conceded to PER’s preference when I saw the whole name spelled out. The name Mathijs is the Dutch version of Matthew, but it has no connection to PER’s family. Once again, it’s simply a name we both liked. And it is nice to have a link to PER’s Dutch heritage. Now the poor kid is just going to have to get used to having to spell and pronounce his name for the rest of his life! In case you’re wondering, the “h” and “j” are silent, so it’s pronounced something like Matt-ice, with the stress on the second syllable. But to be honest, my Dutch pronunciation is still a far cry from perfect, so I’m not sure I really say it correctly!

We’re adjusting well to life with Baby Kearnan. Aleksander is awfully sweet with him. However, he is definitely showing us how much he misses having Mama’s fully attention. We’re slowly getting back on track as he gets used to having a baby brother. I am trying to just “be” in these first months. You know, not worrying about the state of chaos that rules my house :)  It’s not really too bad, but my to-do list grows longer by the second. But I figure I’ll never get this precious time with my baby back, so I’d like to enjoy every moment!

As for German, well…. I got very lazy in the last month or so of my pregnancy. And since Kearnan, was born we had visitors for about 6 weeks. So there has been very little German spoken in the house. I can tell it’s affected Aleksander. He seems to have forgotten a lot of vocabulary. And where, you might ask, is our German babysitter? The one I was raving about last fall? Well, that’s a good question. She got a full-time job and had to cut back her hours. And then she got sick and cancelled a couple of times. And I haven’t heard a word from her since! It’s such a disappointment. I really liked her, and so did Aleksander. And I think she really liked us, too. I’ve left messages, but no reply. I just hope that she’s okay. As for our German adventure, it means that she was not able to fill in the gaps as I’d hoped.

So I am now trying to get back on track with German. We’re actually going back to German in the afternoons, as the title of this blog originally conveyed! We had been using the mornings as our German time, but now I’m having a sitter help out in the mornings when I can. So I can’t use the mornings consistently. For a while, Aleksander had been choosing English DVDs, but I’m happy to say that we’re back to all-German viewing again, too. After his nap, he chooses one or two shows in German. And I try to make sure we speak German at least until PER gets home from work. It’s not quite as much time, but at least it’s a start!

Aleksander got a game of Candy Land from my parents for Christmas. He absolutely loves it! And now we’re playing it in German, too! I do have some vocab to look up  –  I’ve never played board games in German before! At first he wasn’t using German, but he’s slowly starting to switch over :)

Anika’s parents have been visiting from Germany. And we got to spend the morning with them yesterday. What a difference! Aleksander started using a lot more German just from those couple of hours. If only they’d stay! (I’m sure Anika feels that even more :))

The best part is, Aleksander is starting to ask for German again. So even if he’s not producing it 100% of the time in the afternoons, at least he’s wanting to hear it.

And now, Kearnan is fussing, so I’d better see what’s up! Hopefully I’ll write more consistently now.

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7 Responses to “Our New Addition”

  1. Bonne Maman Says:

    Congratulations Kate :D

  2. Congratulations. I guessed right away that Kearnan was a Gaelic name. We had chosen Celtic names for both a boy and girl. Hope you are getting some sleep!

  3. Tracey Says:

    Congratulations Kate! Love the name, it´s very unusual….I´ve never heard of it before.Good luck with getting back on track with the German and everything.It´s a shame about your German babysitter!

  4. Sylvie Says:

    Hey there! Congratulations on the new baby! A very unusual name. Do you pronounce it like you wanted to spell it? KIER-NAN (German spelling ;))…. That way the other spelling really might work better in the States because people just can’t understand that IE is a long i and not EI…. :D…. I can actually say Mathijs better I think ;)… sounds more used to my German ears. Haha. We are expecting our second baby too in a few days. Things have been hard since the Au Pair left because I need to really discipline myself. I can feel you though, during these last weeks of pregnancy I am often struggling to get the daily chores done, let alone think about the other language. Oh well, some days are better than others.

    Good to hear from you! :)


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