Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fun and games

We've had a busy weekend. Here's the rundown of what we've been up to...

Thursday: As part of Health and Safety Week at school, two members of the Saprissa basketball team shot hoops with the third and fourth grade students. One player, Khalid Reeves, is the first former NBA player to sign with a Costa Rican team. Erin said both players were very tall and had to bend down to get through the doorways (“like Shaq, Mom!”).

Lauren met an American football player, but she can’t remember his name—only that he is huge and she thinks he played for (oh dear!) Minnesota. She said they played catch with the football on the field at recess and had fun. I’ll avoid saying anything further about him possibly being a former Vikings player, but you Packers fans may feel free to insert your own snarky comments here.

Friday: After school our family went to a birthday party at Brinkas (una brinka is a jump), another venue with giant inflatable play structures. The fiesta was for Emilio, the son of Isa and Gabriel, two of Dan’s coworkers—a really friendly couple from Mexico. The kids expended loads of energy and then refueled with pizza, cake, popcorn, and piñata goodies (what a food fest!), and I thoroughly enjoyed talking with Isa and Gabriel. As a note—my Spanish is very Mexican-influenced, and it was comforting to learn from Isa and Gabriel that even native Spanish speakers are making adjustments to the different vernacular here in Costa Rica.

A highlight of the party for me was during the time Emilio blew out his birthday candles. Everyone sang Feliz Cumpleaños (to the same Happy Birthday tune we sing in the United States), but then, as a wonderful, touching moment, a few people sang Las Mañanitas—a very traditional Mexican birthday song which I vaguely remembered the words to and haven’t heard since I spent a summer in Mexico (circa 1990). I adore Las Mañanitas and only wish we’d had a mariachi band there to play it as well. It was special to see both traditions celebrated.

Saturday: The morning weather was gorgeous—sunny, dry, and breezy—perfect for the school picnic. There were animals to pet, pony and oxcart rides for the little kids, face painting, water balloons, games, music, and lots of food!

Erin and I had a lot of laughs at the water balloon toss (especially because after six balloons I had managed to stay dry).

Lauren loved riding the pony and was especially tickled to hold a small chick—looks like a little duck, right? And the kids held soft rabbits and petted a cow, sheep, and goat, too.

Later the girls ate a quick snack and didn’t want to hang around with the adults, so Dan and I had lunch (scrumptious arroz con pollo) while the kids had their faces painted. We saw several people we know and enjoyed the day—and got out just as the rain started, too.

Sunday: In a break from Costa Rica news, I just wouldn’t be a true Cheesehead without mentioning the following… the Wisconsin Badgers squeaked out a win yesterday, and my all-time favorite pro football player ever Brett Favre broke Dan Marino’s record for career touchdown passes today in a game against the Vikings. I sure would have enjoyed seeing that pass in person—and the game, too, which put the Packers' record at 4 and 0. Awesome for Favre, awesome for Da Pack, awesome for Wisconsinites everywhere. Great end to a great weekend! Go Pack Go!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Curtains and sheers and blinds…oh my!

Words aren't nearly sufficient to express my excitement—today we are getting our much-needed window treatments! After six weeks of living with no curtains (read: not much privacy and plenty of solar heat) in most of the house and heavy paper securely taped to our bedroom windows, we are finally getting shade where we want it and letting the sun shine into our bedrooms when it pleases us.

Why the fuss about the windows? We moved into a new house, and the landlady (who lives in the US) had not yet decided what types of window treatments she wanted. Several times we met with her representative here—a really nice guy who has been patient to deal with all of this—and after a lot of thought (and several changes of mind) our landlady decided what would suit her fancy, and we placed the order with the blind-installing, curtain-making people.

Admittedly we were all getting impatient with the paper in the bedrooms covering our views to the outside, and all four of us had torn slits in the paper to see what we were missing.

Peepholes, no more! We have curtains, sheers, and blinds now—we can open our upstairs windows, we can wander through the house in pajamas whenever we want, and we can watch the sheers in the morning as they flutter gently in the soft, Santa Ana breeze. We can even admire Wendy the Spider from Erin’s window as she deftly repairs her golden web.

Aren’t you glad you navigated here to read about my adventures in window dressings? Stay tuned for what’s sure to be a captivating entry about our mission to have a functioning dishwasher.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

39 days later (but who's counting?)

Not much time to blog today—and excuse what is likely to be a scatterbrained entry due to exhaustion—but we’ve been swamped with a deluge of household goods. Woooohooooo! Our stuff is here! Lauren’s little buddy, Duck, made it safely and brought all of our things with him.

We didn’t tell the girls our sea shipment was coming yesterday, so when they got home and saw the huge truck in front of our house and about 10 guys unpacking stuff with us, they were elated—what an awesome surprise! It was a wonderful moment when Lauren was reunited with her favorite friend Duck, and we were all thrilled to sleep in our own beds.

Dan just got my washer and dryer running, and I’ve got laundry already going. (Lauren’s PE uniform looked as though she did an army crawl under barbed wire through the mud—I swear that girl is like Pigpen from Peanuts).

I spent several hours today organizing my kitchen. I’m not done yet, but I made a lot of progress considering all the other things I got done—haircut for Lauren (picture day is almost here), a trip to El Lagar for a dryer plug, a shopping spree at Auto Mercado (since I can now fit more than a few apples, eggs and a gallon of milk in my fabulously large-seeming refrigerator!), chauffeuring duties, and making two homemade pizzas for dinner (yum!).

Erin’s downstairs helping Dan hook up the TV and related media items. We’re going to ignore the clutter for the rest of the night and just relax together.

I recall a saying we had when Dan was in the Navy: "Home is where your stuff is." Hey—it's good to be home!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The check’s not in the mail

Recently we paid our first phone bill and electricity bill here in Costa Rica. I mention this because the system for receiving and paying bills here is very different from that in the United States.

For starters, these bills don’t come in the mail—mainly because there really isn’t a regular local mail service to peoples’ homes. Our electric bill was handed to me one afternoon by the guard at the gate to my community when I was returning to my house. It had an itty-bitty piece of paper with “24” (our house number) stapled to the corner. And that’s how we got our electric bill.

The cell phone bill is another story. Here a person dials 187 to find out what the charges are. The phone company will also send a text message to remind you to pay the bill.

There’s no dropping a check in the mail to pay the bills here. In addition to the aforementioned lack of local mail pickup and delivery, Costa Ricans rarely pay anything by check. (Dan and I have yet to see anyone write a check anywhere but at the girls’ school.)

Instead bills are paid at the bank, a pharmacy, or a grocery store. The other day we bought our groceries at a nearby Auto Mercado and paid our bills—cash only, por favor—while we were there.

We received our receipts marked Cancelado and promptly filed them away (OK, stashed them in a kitchen drawer until we get our sea shipment with our desks and filing system).

I’ve heard that some bills can be paid online—which we would like to establish at some point soon if possible—or that major bills such as a mortgage can be deducted automatically each month. Until then, I kind of like being able to just pay the bills when I’m buying my milk, bread, eggs, and pineapples.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Hop on the bus, Gus

Gone (for now!) are the days of the big yellow school bus. The girls ride a much smaller bus to and from school each day.

Gustavo, their friendly bus driver, picks the girls up and drops them right at our house. This is especially nice during rainy afternoons because the girls stay drier, and, just as beneficial for me, I don’t have to drive down narrow mountain roads in downpours. Let's hear it for Bus #5!

There is a young woman who rides the bus with the kids as well, I suppose to help out and keep everybody under control (and keep her eye on the little ones, since students of all ages ride this bus). Though the kids can’t stray far from their seats—they wear seatbelts.

Erin says she usually looks out the window until they pick up her friend Trish. Sometimes she practices her Spanish with the other kids on the bus. Recently she learned how to say Me gusta nadar (I like to swim).

If you look closely you can see Lauren peeking through the doorway in the picture at the top, and Erin is just visible waving goodbye in the picture below (over the T in Transporte).

Monday, September 17, 2007

The mysterious Garbage Fairy

One of my first questions when we moved into our house concerned garbage pickup. Who collects the garbage and when?

I asked two neighbors of mine this question, and neither was entirely sure. One suggested Tuesday and Friday, another Wednesday and Friday. Maybe, they said.

Twice in one week? I'll figure out the days, I thought. Hey, this is great! And better yet, I don’t have to pay for garbage collection as I did in Ohio.

Since we didn’t have any wastebaskets here before our air shipment arrived, we were putting our trash into plastic grocery bags. These don’t hold much, of course, so we had a few each week. I didn’t want to keep the garbage in the house, so I set the full bags outside the door in the carport, almost daily.

I was a little concerned—wouldn’t they get nasty, sitting out there? Wouldn’t they attract unwanted creatures to my house?

Not to worry, we soon learned! Regardless of what weekday morning I set out my garbage, amazingly enough, the bags disappear by midday. Like magic! So cool! We’ve taken to calling the elusive sanitation fellow the Garbage Fairy.

We now have larger kitchen bags since we packed a 13-gallon wastebasket in the air shipment. And the Garbage Fairy is still showing up each weekday. He was just here this morning, maybe when I was in the shower, I’m not sure. I have yet to see him, but I’d like to thank him for picking up my trash whenever I put it out there.

Garbage Fairy, you rock!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's Independence Day

In 1821, Costa Rica, along with a handful of other Central American countries, declared its independence from Spain—and September 15 became Costa Rica's Independence Day. Throughout the last week we've noticed businesses, restaurants, and vehicles throughout our community decked out in red, white, and blue bunting and Costa Rican flags to mark the national holiday.

A brief lesson in Costa Rican history teaches us that Costa Rica's declaration of independence occurred in Guatemala. The Costa Rican people learned of their newfound independence weeks later when torch bearers who had traveled through countries to the north delivered the message in Cartago, the old capital of Costa Rica.

On Friday, September 14, schools across the country celebrate the holiday. Younger kids dress up in traditional Costa Rican dress and carry faroles (lanterns) in parades. The faroles are representative of the torches carried to the country in 1821.

Our girls had a chance to dress in their beautiful new Costa Rican outfits and loved it. They were particularly excited about the skirts that flared when they twirled. The boys wear white shirts and red bandanas. Everyone looks very festive!

Last night we were at a local hardware shop when at 6pm, everyone stood to sing the national anthem playing over the loudspeaker. Erin was singing along, since she'd learned the words at school and sung them earlier in the day. It was a nice moment.

At the same time, in Cartago, President Oscar Arias and his cabinet assembled to receive the torch of independence which had been carried by school children from the nation's northern border throughout parts of the nation and to Cartago. Interestingly enough, our family saw what we think was the carrying of this torch one evening as we were driving through the mountainside to the girls' school. There were emergency vehicles driving down the mountain with teenagers running behind them, carrying the torch and bearing the Costa Rican flag. I feel very fortunate that we got to see this traditional event.

Today we drove to Ciudad Colon, a small town west of Santa Ana, and saw a bit of their town's parade. The parades are not big, according to a Tico friend; they generally consist of a few boys playing the drums, the children marching and dancing in traditional dress, maybe a small float and a few payasos (they are clowns, but different than the clowns in the US). Anyway, we would have loved to have seen the whole thing, but we were busy paying phone bills and getting money to buy our new appliances (another blog on those to come!).

Happy Independence Day, Costa Rica!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Our new house guest

We've got a golden silk orb weaver (commonly known as a banana spider) who's made her home on our house. Dan and I had one of these living outside our bedroom window when we lived in Florida, so we weren't freaked out when we spotted this lady spinning her complex yellow web along the rooftop. We know she's a female because the males are only about 1/5 the size of the females—and this spider is pretty big.

We've read that our spider, officially known as a Nephila clavipes, is a very skilled weaver and frequently renovates her circular web. The golden web is one of the strongest spider webs in the world. Thankfully the web here is up high and not where somebody will be ensnared by the silk (though if it were closer the kids could get a better view of her—I guess we'll have to wait for our binoculars to arrive). I'm trying to figure out how big her web is, because I've read they can be a few meters across. In the morning the sun shines from behind her so it's hard to see the web, which is why I took this picture in the cloudy afternoon. If you click on the photo you can see the web better, including some of its golden color.

Oh, and male orbs beware. For all his courting, the male orb stands a real chance of being eaten after mating. Apparently a male may actually leave a leg behind (no kidding!) to satisfy the female while he beats a hasty retreat.

Kinda makes you fellas appreciate being human, doesn't it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007


The other day You've Got Mail, a movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, was on TV here in Costa Rica. It was dubbed in Spanish. Dan and I watched it for a while.

While the film was well-dubbed, and there weren't any maddening lip sync issues, there was something unsettling about hearing foreign voices attributed to two actors whose own voices are very recognizable to me.

Can you imagine anyone else speaking as Sly Stallone's slow-but-sweet boxer in Rocky? Someone other than James Earl Jones as Darth Vader? How about replacing Katharine Hepburn's voice in, well, anything?

And just how many voiceover specialists are out there, anyway? Which leads me to the most pressing question of all: Does the man who does Tom Hanks' voice in You've Got Mail do Tom Hanks' voice in Big, or Forrest Gump, or Saving Private Ryan? And if not, isn't this distracting for the Spanish-speaking viewer who loves Tom Hanks' movies?

Inquiring minds want to know. Or maybe it's just me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We got a sunset!

We moved to Costa Rica just as the rainy season was really hitting its stride, and so it wasn't until the other day that we were treated to our first sunset here. And it was beautiful! Click the pictures to make them larger, if you'd like.

(Apparently we were very fortunate to see this, as someone Dan works with turned 23 on September 11 and said the sunset is the first he can ever remember seeing on his birthday.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chocolate reindeer, anyone?

I saw a giant display of Christmas decorations at a department store on Saturday. I'm talking huge. In early September. Maybe this is what happens when a nation doesn't have Halloween and Thanksgiving to think about.

Thank goodness they weren't playing Christmas music or I might lose my mind by the time December gets here.

As a side note...We've seen—in more than one store—Christmas candy for sale along with the other candy on the shelves. I keep wondering if the plethora of candy canes at PriceSmart is supposed to be for the upcoming holiday (for those who really like to plan ahead) or if it's left over from last Christmas (for people with very nondiscriminating palates).

Sunday, September 09, 2007

What a fiesta!

Yesterday the girls went to what has now been crowned as one of The Best Birthday Parties Ever.

Lauren was invited to attend a party of a friend from school. Since I wasn't sure what to expect from a Costa Rican birthday bash, I asked some expat women I recently had lunch with (at a nearby Thai restaurant—yum!—but I digress) for their thoughts.

The advice was threefold:

1. Do not show up at the time indicated on the invitation. I was warned that we'd be the first people at the party (even before the birthday girl herself) if we showed up on time. The shindig was set to begin at 1:30 and my new friends recommended I show up no earlier than 2:00. It's just a Latin thing, they said, so accept it and move on.

2. Expect that, unlike birthday parties in the US, the event may go on all day. I was told that for a 1:30 party I probably would not have to worry about making dinner that night and everyone could just have a little snack when we got home. Hey, any party that means I don't have to cook a full-blown dinner is OK by me.

3. Take Erin with me, because siblings are often planned for and included in the festivities. Oh, and parents stay to socialize, too. It is the rare Tica that drops off her child at a party and leaves.

I was so glad I had asked my question about cultural differences and similarities at birthday parties!

We arrived at 2:00 and were still early birds, but when the girls saw the venue, they were very excited. It was in a large, brightly-decorated, open-air facility (a roof to keep the rain out, but huge openings on one wall and large fans mounted on the other walls—very comfortable). Similar to Pump It Up in the US, the place had giant, inflatable play structures with one super-big slide in particular. There was also a rock-climbing wall, a Build-a-Pet (Costa Rica's version of Build-a-Bear), and some other play areas.

There were numerous tables where the parents could sit, socialize, and watch the kids. All the tables had mini empanadas and pretty, egg-brushed pastries decorated with cute little fruits, and a girl came by with a cart serving drinks to everyone (kind of like the service you get on a plane).

At one table was a rasta-looking artist-dude who did caricatures of the kids. Erin and Lauren both had their pictures done. They each received a red ribbon with the birthday girl's name and the date, which they used to tie up their caricatures (rolled into scrolls). We all agreed Erin looks a little manic in her drawing; perhaps the artist picked up on her enthusiasm at being included in the day.

Finally, on the other side of the tables was a nice-size platform/stage with a big TV displaying various scenes from High School Musical and Hannah Montana videos (I knew all the words to all the songs!). At different points throughout the day the kids got to go on stage and dance, play games, or just hang out. At one point they ran around and collected shoes from everyone; and five minutes later we all got our shoes back. I'm still not sure what this was about.

Next to the stage was a snack bar with drinks, popcorn, etc. And speaking of food, at around 4:30 (yes, three hours into the party) everyone was served pizza and a delicious cake with a light frosting and peaches in the middle. The kids (25 at least!) then had a shot at a huge High School Musical piñata. Of course there was a mad scramble for candy, and my two both got hefty amounts in their sacks. This was in addition to the stuffed goody bags they each got to bring home (more candy!) and the balloon hats that someone made for them.


I would be remiss not to mention that the highlight of my day was meeting a friendly mom (her son is in class with Lauren) who is from Newfoundland, Canada, home of my favorite band, Great Big Sea. Of course I pretty much wigged out when I learned she was a Newfie, but even she thought it was amusing that I am such a fan of GBS, a rather obscure band in the United States, and she was even more surprised when I told her I've seen them perform live three times.

We left shortly after 5:00, and as my friends predicted, we didn't eat a full dinner when we got home. The girls both needed showers after many hours of wild play, and even I fell asleep early. Of course the girls are already planning their own parties in their heads, even though their birthdays aren't until May and July. Maybe I should start saving my pennies now.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The air shipment (yeeeha!!)

Our air shipment has arrived! Wooohoooooooo! It's Christmas at our house! Twenty-four days ago the movers packed up 176 cubic feet of our things to fly to Costa Rica, and today we were all delighted as items were removed from boxes and the moving paper came off each thing.

"Hey, the popcorn machine!"
"Look Mom, it's my bathroom rug with the frog!"
"My keyboard, my monitor, my computer—finally!"

Yep, it's a banner day at our house. I can't imagine how wild we'll get when our actual furniture gets here—and Lauren's beloved yellow duck, which accidentally got put into the sea shipment and which she misses dearly.

The guy in charge of our move here in Costa Rica said the sea shipment may be ready in just a week and a half. I'll take that estimate with a zillion grains of salt, but he did confirm that our sea shipment is in Costa Rica, so at least we know it's not at the bottom of the ocean somewhere, and we hope it won't sit in customs forever and ever. Yippeee!

We celebrated by ordering pizza. My delivery guy was so friendly he introduced himself and shook my hand. Maybe we just look like we'll be regular customers. :)

It's been a good day.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The tooth, the sting, the comida

Lauren had a funny little tooth that had been sticking out for quite a while, and today it finally came loose while she was in school. She pulled it out, wrote a special note to the tooth fairy, and put her tooth under her pillow tonight. The big question is whether the tooth fairy will leave a dollar or colones. I'm not sure how the tooth fairy can carry those heavy Costa Rican coins.

Erin got a nasty wasp sting to the ankle this morning right outside our door. We're hoping the swelling and pain are gone in time for her first after-school basketball practice tomorrow.

I made my first-ever batch of gallo pinto today (the traditional Costa Rican rice and beans). The rice was stickier than I'd hoped for, but we had it at dinner and Dan and Erin declared it was great with their scrambled eggs and sausage. I'm happy enough with it and am going to work on my rice-cooking skills. (In my defense, I used a rice cooker for the first time with no instructions; I've been winging meals for the last couple of weeks using our inadequate on-loan pans and no recipes. Ha!)

Lastly, thanks to all who've asked about Hurricane Felix and our safety. Thankfully the hurricane has passed Costa Rica. We are already receiving record-breaking rains and after hearing what is happening to our neighbor to the north, Nicaragua, I cannot imagine what a mess Felix would have left here in CR.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Beach bound

Early on Saturday morning we met up with our friends Norbell and Amalia to travel to a couple of beaches on the Pacific. Our friends were very generous to offer to let us follow them on the way there so we'd learn the route. We now know we can make the trip without getting lost (there aren't exactly road maps in CR, but that's another blog entry in itself).

Shortly after we began driving we were traveling switchbacks through mountainous country. As we drove, the landscape became more tropical and lush, with amazing flowering trees, waterfalls, beautiful views, and quaint small towns. There's one short stretch of drive that had too many drop offs for my liking (and not a guardrail in sight), but to a non-height-phobic person, the roads were good and travel was fine. (Can't forget to note that at two points on our trip we drove around a pair of oxen pulling a cart. Maybe it was the same pair, actually; they're not exactly fast moving.)

In Orotina (in Alajuela province, about an hour west of San Jose), we stopped at a roadside restaurant for some breakfast. Lauren had toast, while the rest of us had eggs, bread, and some wonderful gallo pinto (spotted rooster), a very traditional Costa Rican dish of rice and beans that I'm going to try making myself this week.

While we waited for the food to come, Norbell and I made a quick stop at the pharmacy for some motion sickness medicine for Erin, who was green after our windy trip up and down the mountain roads. An interesting note about buying medicine in Costa Rica is that you can purchase it by the pill. I bought eight doses of medicine for Erin for about 50 cents. (Fortunately, Erin felt much better after a good meal.)

Shortly after leaving Orotina we pulled off and walked the bridge over the Río Tárcoles (on the edge of Carara National Park) where we saw massive crocodiles below, sunning themselves. We'd like to come back to this spot during the dry season when the water isn't so high, because we've heard you can sometimes see dozens of crocs at a time (we probably saw about eight).

As we were walking back to our car, we saw a flock of scarlet macaws flying in the park. This is something I have been looking forward to ever since I learned these lapas rojas live in Costa Rica. The birds fly in pairs (apparently they mate for life) and we could see the brilliant red in particular shining in the sun. Lauren noted that they have the primary colors. What amazing birds. I hope someday to get even closer to them and share my own photos on this blog.

After another 30 minutes or so we arrived at Punta Leona, a
resort built into the rainforest. We drove in on a brick road through gorgeous canopy, including a few areas where the dense growth of bamboo made a tunnel for us to drive through.

Our first stop was Playa Blanca (White Beach) which has tables under shade trees on a walkway and then the white beach below big, bending palms. Behind the palms the terrain goes up and you can see nearby residences on the cliffs which must offer an incredible view of the water and the Nicoya Pennisula which is across the Gulf of Nicoya.

We've heard that there is some fun snorkeling here during the dry season, though the water was murkier than usual because of the heavy seasonal rains. We were still able to see fish (though nothing too colorful) swimming around as we headed out into the water.
We saw a few hermit crabs and more macaws, too.

As we were leaving Playa Blanca we saw a white-nosed coatimundi at the table,
foraging a meal from someone's leftover table scraps. (I was actually shocked when I walked up to a table and saw this racoon/monkey-looking animal sitting on one bench eating and Lauren was on the bench next to him just watching. "Mom, look at this guy!" Thankfully she wasn't his idea of a good snack.)

After this we visited a beautiful swimming pool and then another beach where we had a pizza for late lunch (we were nearly joined by an iguana that we saw on our way to and from ordering the pizza). We left in late afternoon before the clouds really started rolling in. The girls and I think we saw a couple of monkeys in the trees on our way out of the resort, though Lauren started saying the monkeys were wearing shirts and boots and pants. (I think we all know who the real monkey was on our trip.)

Lastly, what trip during the wet season would be complete without a downpour?
We were in the rains (especially heavy as we entered the valley) from this side of Atenas to home. Still, the rains didn't dampen our day.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A legend visits school

On Thursday, Jane Goodall (yes, that Jane Goodall) spoke in an assembly at the girls' school in Escazú, which is involved in conservation efforts through the Jane Goodall Institute.

She came onto the stage with a wild animal roar that the kids loved and then told fascinating stories about living with the chimpanzees. She finished by emphasizing the importance of the environment and caring for animals. We tried to impress upon the girls that Goodall is one of the most famous scientists of our time, but I think it may be a few years until they realize just how renowned she truly is throughout the world.

I'm so jealous that I didn't get to hear her speak too.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

School days, school days

Here are the girls on their first day of second and fourth grades. We all like their new school very much; there are about 700 kids (little ones to high schoolers) from 40 different countries, and the girls have met plenty of new friends. Because it's an American prep school, English is spoken at all times but Spanish class and recess. That said, Erin has shown a keen interest in learning Spanish, while Lauren refuses to speak it so far and claims Spanish class is, well, boring.

Let's hope the little one changes her attitude!