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.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Random Thoughts -

The weather is getting cooler here. Not like Snow-maggedon or Snow-pocolipse cold, but cooler than 75. Dare I say, it even gets into the 50's and 60's at night. Thankfully the air conditioners that we had installed have heaters in them. It's nice to knock the chill out of the air. With all of that said, I try to take the kids outside as much as possible. Cayden likes to pick up sticks and leaves. Such a boy. 

Yesterday Cayden insisted on wearing socks with his sandals and a jacket. Beck just goes with the flow. Also, yesterday Cayden went to school wearing track pants and a shirt. When I went to pick him up he was wearing shorts. I asked if he had a bathroom accident, and they said no. Apparently he just took his clothes off and decided to put the shorts on. I will also add that he changed his underwear too. Silly kid.

In case you have been on pins and needles wondering what happened to the quilt that I liked but didn't like - Cayden commandeered it. He decided it was his and he sleeps with it now. BUT - he doesn't sleep with the super soft minky side down, he sleeps with the patchwork side against him.
Where does he get this stuff?

Beckham is just cute. There is a debate between Heath and I about his eye color. I'm not quite ready to concede that they are brown. They are brown WITH blue around the outside. They are really really lovely. I hope they stay this way.

I've been making Beckham food. The baby food supply here is minimal and the baby food that we had sent here is gone. Thankfully I had bought a book months ago and have been able to make a few things like broccoli and cauliflower. Carrots with leeks and sweet potatoes. Fun Fact - Sweet potatoes here are white.

And for your enjoyment a little throw back to last October. I can't even believe how much Cayden and Mills have changed. The babies obviously are bigger, but the other two...It's crazy. We miss them like crazy too. Millie sent Cayden a video today and he watched it three times in a row with such a sad look on his face. It was like he just wanted to be there in Millie's house with her, playing. I promised we would see them soon!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

10 Months

There are times when I'm scrolling through the pictures on my phone and I think, Beckham really hasn't changed much. Then I look up at him it just kind of hits me. He's going to be ONE in two months. At this point with Cayden I had been planning his first birthday party for like three months. Ha. Maybe it's the fact that we are in Brasil, that I'm like 5000 miles away from the party location, or that I know that it will be great, no matter how much or little planning I put into it. Oh, I've thought about it. But that's really as far as it's gotten. Poor guy. 

He's getting quite good at pulling up and standing. Almost too good. Like we will probably have a walker on our hands in a few weeks.

Cayden is getting so good at playing with Beckham. Don't get me wrong - we still have the occasional aggressive outburst, but I figure that will last for 10 or 20 more years! He gets down and crawls around with him and wants so badly for Beckham to chase him. He likes to act like he's feeding him, and Beck makes this lip smacking noise. It's pretty comical. 

This photo is so funny. Replace that sticker with a glass, add 18 years or so, and he could be a model. 

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Ha! These little photo shoots last all of 5 minutes - maybe. You can just tell how it can go from laughing to crying in mere seconds. 

This last one, Beckham bit Cayden pretty good. Cayden was done after that!

Beckham's Stats:

 - Weighs around 22 pounds. This is totally a guess. He seems tall. The doctor said that he was about the size of a one year old. Seems right. 
- Size 4 diapers. Needs size 5 at night to withstand the 2-3 nursings he's getting. (yikes)
-Looks cute in t-shirts and pants. 
-Favorite book is Peek-A-Who? Like it's the only one he wants me to read. Over and over again. 
-Favorite person: Probably me. He loves it when Heath comes home though. 
-He likes his walker for about 10 minutes.
-Enjoys the prison for about the same time. 
-He would rather just crawl around and pull up on stuff everything.
- He likes to bite and pull hair. LOVES it, really.

Sleeping: UGH. This has been such a stressor for me. He gets up 2-3 times a night. Every 2-3 hours. I try to let him cry, especially if he just nursed a few hours before. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm trying to be more consistent for his naps and not walk him around so much, or at least until not walk him around until he falls asleep. I'm trying people. He does like it when I sing to him. I sing three songs and then put him down. He's usually pretty drowsy and almost asleep at this point. 
His afternoon naps are crappy. Like 30 minutes. 

Eating: Better. Still is not a fan or super textured foods, but Cayden was the same. I've gotten better about making him food. Today it was leeks, carrots, and sweet potatoes. He loved it! 


Here we are! Just moments away from your first birthday. You are so funny. You love to watch people, and shy away when they talk to you. You always have a smile, though. You are loving the pool and playing in the bathtub. When we sing the Wheels on the Bus and talk about the wipers, you think it's hysterical. Your eyes light up when Mickey Mouse is on, and you are jabbering all the time. I love you little boy. I love spending my days with you! I love watching you figure out things, and I know you will start saying words in no time. We love you so much, little man. 

Mom and Dad