Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Boys these Days

I haven't really done a post about the boys and what they are up to these days. We have a pretty normal routine: school, park, dinner, play time, and off to bed. But of course, our kids are anything but normal and routine. 

I love this picture of Beckham. He is such a charmer. Oh, you should see him with all the girls (no matter the age). Where the girls are, you will find Beckham. He gives hugs, let's them carry him around. He's quite the ladies man. A friend said that when Beckham walks into the room, it's like he's announcing that he's there and the party is ready to start. 

I like that about him. That he's comfortable in social settings, and that he likes people. He's a food scrounger. If there are french fries nearby, well - game on. Speaking of food, he could eat ALL. DAY.  Snacks consist of popcorn, pretzels, fruit pouches, and lately granola bars. He eats lunch at school - and LOVES it. They serve rice and beans several days a week, and he's hooked.

He runs everywhere. He fights like a cat with his brother. In the morning, he's jealous and territorial if Cayden wants to sit on my lap. He likes going places, which makes him easy to take - even if it's just to the store. He's very much into Minions and the first 15 minutes of Toy Story 3. And Frozen, always Frozen.

He sings. Cayden never really sang, but Beckham does. Old MacDonald is a favorite. And I'm teaching him how to Whip and Nae Nae. It's AWESOME.

Cayden. Gosh, he's growing up. It's in the things he says - "Well, actually..." " Sort of..." And really, just every day conversation. He's smart. He picks up on his school work easily, which leaves him a lot of play time. He has started playing with Legos and loves them. He hasn't quite reached the stage where he can follow the directions on his own, but I would rather him play with these than watch TV.

He has a notebook where he collects words. He will ask Heath or I, how to spell a word and either he writes it down, or he has us write it down and he copies it. I guess I need to start focusing on some sight words.

He has also started running with the big boys at the park. I have given him a little freedom and trust here. There is one boy in particular that he really likes. He's 10 going on 11. All the boys just let Cayden play with them, so it's really great.

Sleeping: For the last year, he has crept into our bed every night. We put him to bed at night, and at some point later in the night, he joins us. One evening, we had a babysitter who left his light on when she put him to bed. (Come to find out, this is not uncommon among Brazilian babysitters). Anyway  - since that night, he has slept in his bed. ALL NIGHT. So, now he sleeps with a light on. Sheesh.

They are a mess. but boy do I love them. they keep me running and always fetching things, or calling me to intervene some dispute, and in those moments, I know I get frustrated, but then they give you these looks and you just kind of melt and forgive and forget and try and find the joy and know that it's going by so. fast. In a short time, we will have a 3 year old and a 5 year old. What? We are on the cusp of kindergarten - shut the front door.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Happy Birthday

Cayden and Beckham turned 4 and 2, respectively, over the summer. After last year's Little Giggles party success, it seemed crazy to not do it again - only times four. That's right, we had a quadruple birthday party - and it was awesome. I'm certain that if it's up to Kristin and I, the kids will be having combined birthdays for a few more years, at least until Cayden and Millie have a Harry Potter birthday, which will be the birthday to end all birthdays. 

Here's the deal. Our kids love each other. We would be at the others' party anyway, so why not do it together. Someone else's location, someone else cleans it up - Bam! Done! 

Our theme was superheroes, and bless Millie and Sydney's hearts. They went a long with it - and Millie got a unicorn too. By the way, these cakes taste as awesome as they look!

Two peas in a pod. For the most part, they were always together.

I can't tell you how much I love these two.  They spent almost everyday of 5 weeks together over the summer, and I don't think they fought once. Just played and acted crazy silly together. Totally warmed my heart to watch them.

Beckham got to eat pizza, too! With no toppings, poor kid. He takes what he can get.

See. Goofy. Love it!

These last two pictures sum up these boys. They are "on" all the time. Full of energy. Run, rather than walk. Scream, rather than talk quietly. Eating all the time. Pestering each other, all the time. Beckham loves his big brother so much. He does what he does. Pete and Repeat.

While Cayden may not express is affection as well, every now and then, you can see he cares. For instance, in the elevator, if Beckham is slow off the elevator, or if there appears to be a chance that Beckham won't get off in time, Cayden freaks out!! I believe it's because he doesn't want harm to come to Beckham, and that's a sure sign of love, right?

Oh the adventures that await us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Our Summer

Hi. We've gone and come back. And I didn't blog anything while we were away. We spent roughly 5 weeks in Arkansas this summer, and it was Perfect. We didn't take any trips anywhere, we just spent time with family and friends. A lot of time. We were lucky enough to be able to rent a house for our stay, so that put us smack dab in the middle of everyone. It was easy to take the kids for activities, and meet up with family for dinner and hanging out. I'm really not sure anything could have made it better!

The kids and I spent everyday doing something. Whether is was at the trampoline park, the pool, Little Giggles, the park, etc. We were busy doing things, and most of the time we were with Mills and Syd. I think this summer was the first time that it became a little easier to just. do. You know? Beckham still takes a nap, but he was pretty easy going, and as long as we were busy, the kids were pretty great. 

I've included a bunch of random pictures, and I will definitely do a blog just about their birthday party, but here is a little bit of our summer. 

Don't let sleeping pictures fool you. Flights with these two, especially the little one, are hard.

Hair cuts.

Best Friends, reunited. This was the most amazing thing to watch. Cayden and Mills just picked up right where they left off, and seriously NEVER fought. They jabbered and talked, and played, and did silly things, and I'm certain that they love each other.

The Fab Four - back again!

 Playing in the creek. It was coooold. But they loved it!
 Millie taught Cayden how to Cannon Ball - But he yells out something about Monsters.

Lots of time in the pool. I'm so thankful that we get to come back for visits. We miss our family and friends terribly when we are gone, and just love. love. love spending time with everyone when we visit.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Necessary Items to Bring Back from the States

Sleeping kids are cute, right? So peaceful. And quiet. This post has nothing to do with sleeping kids, but a post with no pictures would be kind of boring. 

This post is really about stuff I want to bring back to Brasil when we visit the US for the summer. We can get stuff  here, don't get me wrong, but items are limited, some are nonexistent, and others are just a poor substitute. Our lists are usually long, and full of random, but "necessary" items.

For example:

Deodorant (they have roll on kind her - ew.)
Dish Soap
Coffee (Cappuccino K-cups)
Fruit Snacks
Instant Oatmeal
Chocolate Chips
Pancake Mix (I saw a box for 12 dollars at the store!)
Mac N Cheese
Brownie Mix
Enchalada Sauce
Tortillas (I'm not below bringing these in my suitcase)
Clothes for the kids (We are kidding when say it's expensive. The GAP here is about 25% above US prices)
Medicine like Tylenol, Advil, Allergy meds, etc.
Lucky Charms (for the kids...) 

Things I WISH I could bring, but would probably be arrested for lying on those four questions they ask you at immigration. 

* Sausage (It's definitely not the same here)
* Cheese
* Sour Cream
* Five Guys Hamburgers,...Just kidding. (not really). This is seriously the ONE thing I crave, a lot. A nice, juicy American hamburger. 

Could we live without some of these? Sure. Would I probably lose weight if I didn't bring this stuff back? Maybe. But there is nothing like warm chocolate chip cookies out of the oven to make it seem a little more like home, you know?

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Last weekend we took off on another adventure here in Brasil. This time it was a five hour drive to Paraty. Paraty is an old beach town that features color: colorful boats and colorful doors. The drive to Paraty was a little long, especially with the little ones, but they did really, really well. Driving to places is more fun for me because we get to see the country side, and it's beautiful. In many ways it reminds me of home, in other ways of Napa. Most of the farms we saw were pristine. 

At one point you have to get out of the mountains, and it was hilarious. Like straight down, hair pin curves, uneven road. The picture below doesn't even do it justice. We are incredibly lucky that we don't have kids who get car sick. It definitely gave the hills of Roaring River and the drive to Branson a run for it's money. 

We stayed in the historic district of Paraty. Basically, right in the middle. It's a walk to the water, but it's very quiet, and we LOVED this pousada (inn).

My favorite door. I really loved the color and all the plants outside.

You can walk around and shop, but the main attraction is to take a boat and island hop. You can take a fast boat, a slow boat, large or small. We took a small, slow boat considering we have small kids.

And since I'm usually behind the camera, I had Heath take one of me so that the kids will actually know that I was with them when they look back at the photo album.

The boat came with fresh fruit, snacks, and drinks. And our kids literally just wanted to, and did, eat the WHOLE time. A banana here, a grape there. All. Day.

Our first pit stop was to feed some monkeys, bananas and bread. The boat captain said that these orange monkeys are native to Brasil, and are on the verge of extinction.

He was also very patient and willing to let the kids drive the boat... A lot.

We stopped here for a swim. The water was gorgeous, but as with most water, stepping off into something where I can't touch makes me nervous. I will always assume that something is going to get me. Anyway, I just jumped in, like ripping off a bandaid.

We swam to shore, gathered some shells, and then swam some more. Beckham was none too impressed with the salt water. After a bit, we swam back to the boat and let Cayden jump off the back.

We stopped here for lunch. You have to park your boat, and then another boat comes to take you to the dock, so you can climb the steps to the restaurant. The views were gorgeous, and the food was slow, but fresh and good.

The kids were tired, and getting really restless. I'm sure all the other patrons were wondering why our kids couldn't handle a small cup of water with out spitting it out on themselves, on each other, or stirring it with their hands. It was awesome.

I promise Beckham is not distressed. He was making silly noises and this is the shot I caught.

The next day we took the kids fishing. We will use the term loosely. Same captain, same boat, but fishing was definitely not his niche. One pole and some bait.

It worked out well, because we caught some small fish, and we really didn't intend on eating what we caught anyway, so catch and release was good!

Fresh coconut water, anyone?

He enjoyed laying on the table part of the boat.

All in all it was a really great trip. This room was much bigger and nicer than the room we had a Juquehy. In fact, we put the crib in the bathroom, and it worked like a charm. He slept really well all three nights.

We would definitely go back, but probably only if we had family to take and show. The drive was long, and we decided that the beach that is only 2.5 hours away meets all of our needs! It was a great adventure, another place on the map we can mark, and some great memories. Oh, and if you want to do a little research, and you are Twilight fans; Paraty is where Isle Esme is.