Sunday, November 1, 2015

Happy Halloween

This is our second Halloween in Brasil. Halloween here is NOTHING like it is in the US. Each year there is a mad dash to have people smuggle Halloween candy in their suitcases from the States, costumes are ordered months in advance, in order to snag a ride back with someone. You can find costumes in a few places around the city, but again, it's nothing like it is at home. 

Our complex is becoming known for it's Halloween celebration. We have fairly large group of Americans, all of us have kids, and so there are a few that take the organizing by the horns, and try and make it the best each year. 

This year there were crafts for the kids, a costume parade walk, and a costume contest. The little kids got a head start on the trick or treating, and all went really smoothly. 

Last year, I felt like the kids didn't really know what was going on. We went and did the candy run, but this year the kids were totally into it. Cayden went as a Red MegaRanger, and Beckham was Captain America. 

Early on, Beckham took off his Captain America hood and lost it, and then tried a few alternatives.

They had the chance to decorate some cookies too. Beckham was all over it!

Beckham loves Georgia. Really, he loves all the ladies, but he really likes her. Although, after his first loop around the pool area, he decided he would try and push some kids in the pool. Good grief - that kid.

Cayden and Hunter walked all three loops together, hand in hand.

And Beckham jumped off the chairs.

Once the trick or treating started, the kids were in the zone.

Beckham was determined to carry his sack the whole way. It was literally on the verge of busting by the time we got done. Cayden was excited just to eat the candy.

It was a good evening. Lately, Heath and I have been missing home. The Apple Festival, Halloween with friends (we used to host some pretty good Halloween parties), Thanksgiving. I'm definitely ready to be home for a visit. Only 6 more weeks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


Because of Heath's recent promotion at work, we had the opportunity to go to Singapore. Thankfully, my mom was willing to fly down to watch the boys for a week. I love going to new places, and I can't wait until the boys are a little bigger, so that traveling is a little easier with them. Putting them on a plane for 24 hours was just not going to happen. ugh. 

We left early on a Friday morning.. like 2am. Our first flight left Sao Paulo, and crossed the Atlantic Ocean and Africa for our first connection in Doha. That flight was 14 hours. WOW. While in some ways it was like a vacation, I read a lot, and watched a lot of movies, it was a LONG time to be on a plane. We were happy to be on the ground, even for a short time. Doha, by the way, was the cleanest, nicest airport I've ever been in. The next flight to Singapore was only a short 8 hours. 

Once we arrived, one of the first things I noticed was that everyone spoke English. It is so nice to be able to communicate, seriously. Those who haven't traveled abroad - you just can't know the appreciation I have for the ability to communicate in foreign countries. 

Singapore is humid. HUMID. But I'll get to that later. 

It's a small city/country. It's easy to get around, and you can get to most places quickly. Our drive from the airport to the hotel was 20 minutes. 

We stayed at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. It was really nice. It was attached to a gigantic mall (I don't know that I've ever been so excited to see a Banana Republic), and across from the Gardens by the Bay.

Unfortunately, a few hundred miles away on the island of Sumatra, they were conducting their yearly vegetation burns. The winds carried the smoke and haze right to Singapore, so for most of our trip it was hazy and visibility was pretty low.

On top of the hotel is the worlds longest elevated swimming pool, which also features an infinity edge. The pool was always packed. And I've never seen so many selfie sticks in a pool. But, I guess I can't blame them. The views were pretty amazing.

The spouses/guests were really lucky. While Heath was in meetings and break out sessions, I got to explore the city a little. The first day we took a short river boat ride.

The Merlion is the symbol of Singapore. They are everywhere and are featured on most souvenirs.

This is our hotel from the river - can you see it through the haze?

The same day we took a trip to Little India and Chinatown. I loved Little India, and really could have bought a whole bunch of stuff. As it was I ended up with two pashminas, and a black elephant to put with our collection of animals from different countries.

There is always some type of holiday/festival happening. The amazing part is that each year, they come up with a new design for each one, and designs are never duplicated or repeated.

Chinatown was interesting. I really just found each stall to be the same stuff. A lot of touristy items.

The next day we took at trip to the Gardens by the Bay.

They featured two different green house type domes filled with lots of plants, flowers, and water features. And it was really cool in there - so a nice break from the humidity.

I know some of you Arkansans are thinking that you KNOW humidity. No, you don't. Seriously. I stepped outside and immediately broke out in a sweat - and not because it was hot.

Each night the firm had a cocktail hour, or dinner. The last night was the sit down dinner where we all got to dress up. They had a great band and we may or may not have done a bit of dancing. It probably would have been nice if I thought to take a picture of the two of us. But we looked spectacular (in our attire, not just on the dance floor), trust me.

I loved Singapore. We got to hear some really great speakers during some of Heath's meetings. We got to learn a lot about how Singapore got to where it is now, in such a short period of time - 50 years!

It's a clean city, where you feel safe walking around, and it's easy to go to where you are going. Everyone speaks English, so that makes it easier too. There are tons of things to do. Go to the beach,  Universal Studios, a zoo that is one of the top in the world - lots to do! And as I always consider - would my kids have fun? Is it a place I would want to take them? Yes and Yes - minus one small - but kind of big detail - FLIGHT TIMES. If you know my kids, or really any kids. 24 hours on a plane is a deal breaker, and frankly you would be crazy.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

All Good Things, All Good Things

Beckham still loves Olaf, not that it has anything to do with this post. 

Two really good things happening in our household:

1. Cayden has been going to speech therapy since March. He has made awesome progress, and his doctor decided this week that we can start decreasing the number of sessions. We are so proud of him, and all the hard work he has done the last few months!

2. Beckham and Potty Training. He has done an excellent job. Basically, he wears big boy underwear all day - even at school, and then I put him in a diaper at night. This is probably more selfish on my side. But it will happen soon. We've been really, really, lucky. Both boys were pretty easy to train - thank goodness.

We still have the same routine here, so not too much new to report. We are all looking forward to coming home for the Christmas holidays, and Cayden asks for just about everything to be added to his "list."

I'll leave you with some old pictures of the boys!

Monday, October 19, 2015

In the Meantime ...

I have a post, sort of ready to go about Singapore. I will post it, eventually. But here is a quick phone dump and particular conversation that has been happening  A LOT lately. 

Cayden: "Mom, Can we have a cat?"

Me: "No, not until we move back?"

Beckham: "I want a pink cat!"

Me: "I don't think they make pink cats."

Cayden: "I want a black and white one named Mittens. And Beckham's cat will be named Guido. Dada, what do you want your cat to be named? What's your cat's name, Mama?"

--- In case you are keeping count - we now have 4 prospective cats

Heath: "Whompas. That's my cat's name." And then he chuckles to himself.

Me: "Swatch."
Cayden: "Mom, that's not a good name."

Seriously. It's all about cats. Feeding cats, and walking cats, and giving them a "nice place to rest."

Mittens, Guido, Whompas, and Swatch -

Ugh. But we are NOT getting four.