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February 10, 2013

Well, it's 6 weeks later...

and I'm still exhausted from full-time school and single parenting.  In fact, I should be in bed right now, but then I would just feel guilty that I'm not up studying.

In fact, I haven't studied one iota all day long today, and that is something that should bother me...but it doesn't?  Why?  Well, perhaps because every day I go to school and think/speak in another language for 4+ hours.  I spend my lunch hours thinking in Spanish while I run errands or go home to deal with things I can't do at night.  When I do leave FSI, even if I have no errands, I am lucky to get home by 5:30 p.m. after picking up the boy.  Then there is dinner, getting the kids to bed and if I am lucky, I start on my 2-3 hours of tarea by 10, no more like 11 p.m.  On the weekends, I feel desperate to make up time (except last weekend), so when I am not dying of infections and colds (two weekends ago...we were all so sick), we do as much as we can...even if it's nothing more than hanging out at the nature center or dinner together at our favorite Chinese Restaurant (in order to celebrate Chinese New Year, as Nick is fascinated this year).

I've lost track of time and feel like I've dropped so many obligations (well, except for Kelsey's school dance last night, Thinking Day today and and and).  I know it's just for a short time, but some days it seems never-ending. I'd like to think that things would be different if Peter were home, but I can't dwell on that.  What if things were just as insane?


Photo 1
Is she adorable or what? Thanks so much to my friend Kelly over at http://wellthatwasdifferent.wordpress.com/ for sending us the dress!

Wait, is insane a strong enough word?  It doesn't cover the maybe 6 hours of sleep a night, while trying to parent, while trying to go to school, make a healthy dinner each night,  and not completely fail in a language in which I desperately need to be mostly, if not completely fluent.  I've had to give up on exercise, other than walking the dog, both due to the illness (oh, that nasty 3 inch wide infection in my hip, right in my old surgical scar) and the lack of time.  I finally had the energy and ability to jog for 10 minutes today and I thought I was going to be ill when it was over.  However, I did it and hope to *try* and fit in 15 minutes on Monday...or maybe Tuesday, we shall see.



Photo 2
Nick drew this tonight. I think the googly eyes are my favorite feature.  Of course, I'm just grateful I'm still in his drawing repertoire despite the insanity of the past few months.

Then there's my test.  It's been moved again, and is now even earlier.  I am already stressing it, even though I know I should just focus on getting through the next week and a half.  However, when it seems like so much is on the line...this is my ONE shot to get a good score.  If I screw this up after two months of sacrificing nearly everything, especially time with my kids, I'll never forgive myself.  I'm lucky to see Nick two hours a day during the week and so grateful he has a Montessori that he loves, but still.  I. NEED. To. Do. Well!

Given that, I should probably get some sleep.  I'm not even sure if the above makes sense.  I feel like for every item I learn in Spanish, I somehow screw something up in English. And then, when I least expect it, I start thinking in French (which I haven't taken since college).  Fabulous, right?  I suppose the only good thing is that all three kids are enjoying learning along with me.  Nick is picking up vocabulary right and left and we are working on genders (listo vs. lista, etc.).  Cait and I text and can speak paragraphs in Spanish.  Kelsey has the smallest base of knowledge, but is rapidly picking it up. Just tonight at dinner, she completely understood what I was saying without knowing any of the words (and not a short sentence either).  Then, of course, it helps that Peter and I communicate by phone, text, and email in Spanish.  Not 100% of the time, but enough that I feel like we are really discussing things, it's not me just making a conversation around what few words I know.

I suppose that is what I really want.  Not just having some rudimentary aspect of the language, or being able to ask for where I might find the leche.  No, I want to have real conversations with people who don't speak any English. I want to be able to communicate in any situation, not just when ordering para llevar for dinner (again).  I want my job options to be numerous, and not just limited to those that will not require me to think in more than one language.  I think I might be getting there...but only time will tell.






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If it's any consolation, you sound a lot like I did before I took my language exam (as an EFM studying on my own, but it was the phone test not the full-on 2 hour in-person FSI one, oh and my husband did share space with me during that time). I passed! And yes, you should get some sleep. Did you read the recent NYT article? Good luck!!

Sending good vibes your way as you conquer the next hurdles and the language test and wishes for the deepest, most refreshing 6 hour sleep sessions ever! In everything else... simplify. Buena suerte en el examen! Lo vas a sobrevivir y salir un ganador!

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