Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Florida

Because flying from Brasil wasn't enough of an adventure, we decided to hop on another plane a few weeks after we came back, this time to Florida. It was our first official Family Vacation, and the first time the boys went to the beach. 

We were supposed to stay at a house of a friend of the family, but it wasn't quite what we were expecting. Basically when we went past the gate house, I looked at Heath and said something about seeing this place on an episode of COPS. We stayed one night, and quickly found the Marriott the next morning. It was fabulous. We spent most of our time by the pool, and really, it went better than I expected. I wasn't sure how to work in naps and all of us sleeping in the same room, but we managed, and I can see many more beach trips in our future. 




Thankfully we traveled with our family. If it weren't for those two boys, I just don't think we could have kept up with Cayden. He wanted to be in the pool ALL. Day. And they were more than willing to play with him. I love them!


 They played in the sand for a bit, but they weren't really too enthused.











Beckham and I had a glorious nap one day in the hammock, while the others were kayaking. He was so tired, that he easily went to sleep. 




Because we were all sleeping in the same room. Sleeping was difficult at times. One morning at like 430 Beckham woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep. To say I was mad, is an understatement. So I grabbed him, and my shoes, and off we went. We ended up in that same hammock, rocking and watching the sun rise - where he finally fell asleep. In the end, it was a beautiful morning. It's always hard to see that though, in the very wee hours. 

The trip was good, but tiring, as I suppose most family vacations are. I loved traveling with our family though. We will definitely do that again!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Radio Silence



I know. I know! Like two months of radio silence. Not a peep. Not a post. Not a sentence of explanation. I could come up with various excuses having to do with time, internet speed, travel, parties, blah blah. Plain and simple, we've been busy enjoying ourselves and I haven't felt the need to blog. Yet. 

So to keep you in less suspense, the following are blog posts that will need to be completed when we return to Brasil in a week. 

1. Florida
2. Beckham turns ONE, and his party
3. Family Photos
4. Cayden and Mills party extravaganza
5. Grand Cayman
6. Life on the Farm
7. Play dates
8. Going "home"

Quick story about this photo - I wanted to take pictures of the boys. Nothing fancy, just fast and easy. Unfortunately at the moment I decided this, Beckham was wearing his pj shirt with food all over it, and Cayden's shirt was MIA. And I couldn't find another. Seriously. I did it anyway! Maybe before we leave, I'll try again with appropriate clothing. Maybe not.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

We're Baaack!!!

We are home. Finally. I realize that we've been here for two weeks already, but I needed time to decompress before jumping back on the blog. 

The flight back to the US was long. It took two hours to get to the airport, which really isn't surprising, or unexpected. We did arrive with PLENTY of time to spare, so then it was a matter of entertaining two kids who were stimulated by their surroundings and battling sleep time routines. We did a lot of walking around, strolling, going to the bathroom, all in the name of keeping Cayden from running like a banshee through the terminals. 




Cayden, Beckham, and I were in a middle row, and Heath was in an aisle seat diagonal from us. Thankfully the gentleman behind him offered his seat to Heath, which also happened to have an empty next to it. We ended up putting Cayden across those two seats to sleep, and Heath came to the dark side with Beck and I. Beckham doesn't do the best on long haul flights. He tosses and turns when he sleeps, and that just isn't possible on a plane. So basically he would sleep in 45 minute increments.  On a 9.5 hour flight. Yeah, I was pooped.

The flight attendants were impressed with my McGyver-ing skills. I put the blanket across the tops of the chairs to block out the tiny, yet impressive light, that wouldn't turn off.


The sunrise was beautiful.

Because we were delayed out of Sao Paulo, and with a VERY tight connection time, and the fact that the airline couldn't get the locks off the cargo area on the plane.....we missed our connection at 8:10am. We were told that we were on the 1130 flight, but not really the case. Beckham and I ended up on that flight, while Cayden and Heath were on a 2:00 flight. Needless to say, it was a LONG day, but we were very excited to be home.


We stayed in a hotel for a few nights in order to see all of our friends and family which was fabulous. We are now staying with my mom, and the kids are having a great time. We are very glad to be home and are very much enjoying all the stores!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Cayden: The Big Brother

When we found out that we were going to have another baby (Beckham, just so there's no confusion), I wasn't really sure how Cayden would take it. I probably worried more about him than anything else. Would he feel jealous? Would he even like him? Exactly what was their relationship going to look like?? So many thoughts and questions and guilt. I didn't want him to feel any less important than he is. 

Flash Forward almost one year and we are just beginning to see what kind of brotherly bond they have. All along Beckham has been enamored with Cayden. LOVES him. Watches him, follows him, etc. Cayden has been more reserved. I don't know if he was just waiting for Beckham to be more interactive, or if he was just taking his time sizing him up, but the joy of having two boys is off and running. 


Cayden was very upset that Beckham had a sticker for his pictures. I went and got a Mickey sticker for him, but it wasn't good enough.


 Cayden has also become quite the daredevil. If we let him, he would jump off of everything, climb everywhere, and create quite the ruckus. Let The Wild Rumpus Start, right?


Cayden is very willing to have his picture taken with Beckham. He will always sit next to him, and he may even smile a little. I've let Cayden take a few pictures on my BIG camera. He looks through the viewfinder, and I say something like, "Do you see Beckham?" When he says, yes, I snap the shot. He LOVES it. In fact, he is starting to ask for a camera for his birthday so he can take pictures of Mama, Dada, Beckham, etc. Do we have a budding photog in the family??


 I'm serious when I say Rumpus. Although last night it was more like WWF. Beckham may be smaller, but he is starting to hold his own. Scary for the future. I just see a lot of wrestling in good fun, and then someone getting hurt. Cayden is playing so much more with him. I think because Beckham plays more. We can leave them in a room together and not have to watch their every move. Beckham likes to steal whatever Cayden is playing with and try to get away as fast as he can. I have NO idea where he gets that from, but it's pretty funny.


We went outside to take some pictures of Beckham for his birthday party invites. I thought I would try to get a couple of the two of them together, as well.  After we were finished we went to the park.


 Literally - every 5 feet we had to stop so I could take Cayden's picture. He would sit down, smile, say Cheese, jump up, and walk a few feet and then plop back down!



 This pretty much sums this kid up.


Cayden acting like a goober, and Beck wondering what is going on?



There aren't very many smaller kids in our complex. So the past few weeks, Cayden has been running with the big kids. Literally. They run, he runs. They are like 8 and up. They climb a tree, he follows. No fear this one. I drug him down after this photo, he managed another few feet up the tree. I love it though. I love that he is social and not worried about playing with kids he doesn't know. Or that he isn't afraid of stuff, you know? I mean, I want there to be some caution in his mind, but I like that he's our adventurer.

We talk to him a lot about being a good friend, and a good big brother, and I love that he loves to pray. Some nights we have to pray 2 or 3 times before he goes to sleep. He always mentions specific family members and friends, and I couldn't be happier. He has some of the best manners, and let's just say, the easiest way to get your Mama to give you treats is with a sweet smile and a "Please, Mama?" and a "Tank You, Mama" at the end. He steals my heart.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Embu - The Eureka Springs of the Southern Hemisphere

Since moving down here, we really haven't traveled too far outside of our complex. Heath worked a ton for the first three months, and we tried booking a trip to the beach on two different dates, and neither worked out. With all that said, a group of friends were going to Embu the other weekend and we decided to tag a long. 


Here's the crappy thing about Sao Paulo: Traffic. It can literally take you 30 minutes to travel one mile. Embu was 16km  (10miles) from our apartment. It took an hour and a half. You can tell Cayden was super jazzed about being in the car. Thankful for that bag of Fruit Loops. What you can't see in this picture is Beckham screaming bloody murder. He did that for an hour. Poor guy. He was hungry and wanted OUT of the carseat!


We made it to Embu and ate lunch. Believe it or not 17 of us got seated immediately. When does that happen? After lunch we went to roam around the shops and vendors. No joke. It's very much like Eureka Springs. About 90% of it is not worth a second glance, but there are some awesome art galleries, and some other really neat shops.


Beckham did pretty well. About two hours in he started to get fidgety. It was difficult to maneuver the stroller through all the people. We want to go back, but without the kids next time! Cayden even managed to score a couple of trinkets. Imagine that?



These last two pictures are of the favelas on the way back home. When people talk about the poor, or those that don't have much - this is where they live. There are great extremes in Sao Paulo. The poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. Case in point - We drove by the Rolls Royce dealership the other day. I'm thankful that I can count my blessings and hopefully not take for granted what we have.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Flora, Fauna, and FIFA Figurinhas.

I know I've shared pictures of the grounds around our condominio, but each time we are outside I am in awe of the flowers and the green-ness of everything. It's so nice to have this landscape to look at when the rest of the city leaves a lot to be desired. 






These leaves are HUGE.  The recycle bins in the bottom right might help with the scale. I love them.




Brazilians like to graft flowers to trees. Never heard of it before we came down here, but I quite like it. So along our road to the clube there are orchids growing in the crooks of trees.


Bird of Paradise anyone?  Right under our balcony.



The grass they have in certain areas is wonderful as well. It grows in little tufts and is super soft. 


In case you didn't know, or haven't heard, or maybe you just aren't into soccer...The World Cup is in June. They have collectors books where you fill it with stickers of all the teams. Each book has 650+ stickers in them. We bought two, one for each kid, and have been working on collecting all 1300 stickers. We really didn't think this through....


                                                

This is the recent trash pile. Each packet of stickers contains 5 - we buy them in lots of 50. When you have 1300 stickers to collect, you need quantity, so far we've been through 160 packets. It's become less of a cute hobby, and more of a mission to get them all!!


Heath and I are thinking about taking the boys to Machu Picchu this fall(spring). There is a really nice hotel nearby that also has sister locations in the Amazon and a few other locales. I'm pretty adamant about not going to the Amazon. There is nothing there I need or want to see, and yes, I understand that it's a once in a lifetime trip...just not my lifetime. This picture is the PERFECT example of why I will not be going there. The sister hotel in the Amazon posted this picture of an Anaconda. No joke. It measured 12 feet long and they were really excited to be able to see it. Apparently they are around, but not too common to see. Whatever. They are there, which means I will not be. Period.