Saturday, 21 May 2016

Here comes Summer

Dear Pia and Rafa,

I'm writing to you on a 12 hour plane ride from Europe back home. I'll share this lovely holiday your Papa and I had soon, but it's been ages since I've blogged and your world keeps spinning, so I thought this a good time to catch us all up. It's been 10 days without you, so forgive me if this next overdue update is a bit on the sappy side. 

The weather in Miami has officially turned to summer. The days are long and at times unbearably hot. The change of the seasons means different things to each of us: 

To Pia, it means the pool is finally back in session and afternoons are spent soaking wet.
To Papa, it means mosquitos are back and the doors remain closed
To Me, it gives a sense of excitement for lazy summer mornings and beach days
To Rafa, it doesn't bloody mean anything,  life resumes it's generally happy pace in the backyard... And my God we love him for that.
Pia, your school year is nearly through and we have loved receiving all the beautiful art you make with your teachers. We decided to make something of all the artwork and so framed them for our stairs. You are proud, but never as proud as us. 
Meanwhile, your drawings have carried on, and the weekend of Mothers Day, when asked to draw something for Sanny, you drew a garden, with corn and tomatoes. 
And for Opa's Birthday, a portrait of OpaGigi with their Mathias grand abides:
And for me, you blew kisses at school and framed it. I teared. Obviously.

Movie Bucket nights are on full force, and  even Rafa got a bit of Prince Charming training. 
Rafa, you have gone through a bit of a transition on your naps. They are not always very easy to come by -- especially because they usually fall right in the middle of the school run. We mostly manage to hold you off until after we get home, but it doesn't always work. Here's proof of a day we tried to bike home, but you were so overtired we walked most of the 1,5miles until I gave up and you napped on my chest in a park bench. The good news is that even your angry face is adorable, and what's more is that you always know how to make it right. A cuddle will always win me over and you make an amazing cuddle puddle....even when they're on a park bench.
We had play dates with some friends all over the place, but probably everyone's favourite is the Children's Museum. It's usually a bit manic when we add a friend in the mix, but more friends and we just embrace the chaos. Like how this veterinary clinic will never quite be the same...
And as the day drew nearer for Mama and Papa's holiday in Tuscany (and Rome, and London), we got to see Princess Bam Bam and Auntie Ali and Sanny for Mother's Day weekend, along with the Kuhn family for Auntie Tara's Graduation, and OpaGigi for Opa's birthday. It was a whole lotta love just before a lovely holiday. 
I love you guys. And you have no idea how excited I am to hold you in a few more hours.



A Day w Papa

Hi kids,

While mama worked today, the three of us made our way to the aquarium where you both stared at the eel for what seemed like ages. I guess all the octonauts shows have sparked an interest in underwater creatures.

Next stop was the flamingos, who can't stop staring at their regal poses

Last stop before nap time was the alligator pit. 


Looking toward to doing it again very soon.



(These are from a few weeks ago-and now that I finally get to it, I can't figure out the formatting. Figures!)

Dear Rafa

Hi Rafa,

I am astounded at how much you have grown, seems like every time I take you to the park you are showing me new tricks. This time around, you were climbing up and down the big kid jungle Jim all by yourself.

Keep going but don't grow up too fast as your mama and I want to enjoy these moments with you for as long as possible.



Sent from my iPhone

Dear Pia

To Pia,

I greatly enjoyed parents day in your ballet today. I am not sure who was more excited to be able to see you practice your ballet moves, you or me. Either way, thank you for allowing me to sit and watch. You were so graceful with all the moves.



Friday, 29 April 2016

Spring Sharing at School

Dear Pia,

Last week you had a school wide performance. Your class did a chicken dance along with some other songs the whole school sang together. But the very best part was watching you love up your best friend. You cuddled him while you waited to go on stage...
And squeezed him tight once you got up there. (Check you out on the left. You're the one wrapping your arms and legs around the kid trying to wave to mom and dad.)

I loved it.

And I love you,



Dear Rafa,

Last night you were so tired you fell asleep on my shoulder while I was still reading bed time stories to you and your sister in her bed. You guys helicoptered around each other all night long and woke up a bit grumpy. I knew you didn't have enough sleep when you screamed your face off when I tried to get you into the bike trailer after putting Pia in school. 

Here's how the 'ride' home went.
We made it to the state park, which is about halfway home and I write this from a bench in the bay hammock with you sleeping on my shoulder.

Note to self. When you're tired, you win.

I love you,


Monday, 18 April 2016

Lily and Zac and Pumpkin and Us

Dear Pia and Rafa,

We were so excited before cousins Lily and Zac came to visit, I had to find new ways to entertain you. So you'd stop asking me if they'd arrived yet. We visited our old favourite park and new favourite food truck to pass the very last afternoon of waiting away.
When they arrived, Zac got right to work rearranging our entire home. And you guys did, um... this:

We went to the beach as often as possible to make up for the last visit where I think we may have hit it one time. Zac and Lily apparently share your love of giant holes in the sand. 

And Pumpkin shares our love of good coffee, so that worked out all around. We spent a good amount of time at "Python" (otherwise known as Panther) and some at Starbucks and the Bookstore too.

And no visit would be complete without a stroll through Miami Beach. Ending, surprisingly, at the Sugar Factory. I was certain Pumpkin and Papa would never allow a revisit of this place after the bumping music and white pleather sofa, but then as we all tried to walk past, your uncle pumpkin steered the stroller in. Apparently the drinks spill smoke and are magnetic...
Pia, you still didn't want a taste, but I think you're coming around to the idea of swimming worms in smoking bowls of sugar rush. 

After that, the obvious next stop was the candy store. Your cousin lily is such a stinker.
Rafa, you were on protest after being told you could not open all the candy packets on the shelves.
Pia, you filled hour candy cupcake with m&ms (shocker) and followed the candy brick road...
To this:
Pia, you went to school to practice for your Spring performance. Even yhough you were sad to miss any moment with Zac and Lily, you were excited because you love school. Rafa protested.
We picked you up early and took you to a very healthy and well balanced lunch at an ice cream parlor. Which also just happened to be the last stop of the best of Miami ice cream hunt we started last year with Cousin Lilers. We decided this one and Whip n Dip tie for first place.

This one is on Calle Ocho in Little Havana. 
It's called Azucar and has a giant ice cream cone out front so you can't miss it.

We walked a bit through Little Havana, stopping in Domino Park and uncle Pumpkin treated you guys to a hand made palm flower and fish.
Then we hit the beach.
A new one with shady palms....and bumping rap music.
On our last day, we took cousin Zac to our church resale shop as promised. We didn't last long and headed out to get a "Python" cold brew.
Rafa under protest when you saw your favourite gelato shop. "Nooo! Chocolate!!"
We finally made it to a more civilized beach at Papa's hotel. There we had lunch from our sun bed watching the waves. I love these guys and so do you.
But all good things must come to and end and so did this visit. They left us that very night, back up to finish 6th and 10th grades...

Which left us feeling a bit, well, glum.

I love you,


Saturday, 9 April 2016

Role models

Dear Pia,

Last night you stayed up a few minutes past your brother so that you could finish playing with your little animal toys. I played with you a few moments and then sat back to watch. You were acting out the voices for papa elephant pushing baby bunny in the pram. "Oh that must not be very comfortable," you said "here, take my jacket to lie on." You proceeded to take the tiny Papa Elephant's jacket off and line the even smaller hard plastic bassinet with it. Then you tucked baby bunny back in snug and gave her a loving stroke.

I think that gesture sums up the loving gentleman your Papa is and how lucky we are to be learning from him every single day.

I love you,


Easter & Spring Break 2

Dear Pia and Rafa,

For Easter weekend, your Sanny and Pop Pop came to stay. I was meant to get my advanced SCUBA training so would spend the whole day away from you, but the morning of the training, Pia, you were pretty miserable and had an infection. I decided to do the responsible thing and SCUBA next month so I could take you in to the doc. A bit bummed, but not too much. You needed the love and this way we all got it. Like this:
On Easter morning, the bunny left some treats.
And Sanny made Rice Krispy eggs.
You went on egg hunts all over your church/school playground. Followed by more at home. It was quite the haul. Even Rafa picked a few.
Rafa understood fully when we food the golden egg and it said you must find your chocolate hiding on your bed. He raced upstairs and got it in his mouth before we had the camera ready.
You were able to climb right onto your bed Rafa, because we have taken the side off your cot, turning it into a real live big boy bed. It seems a bit early, but really this allows us to transfer you into your bed when you fall asleep on the school run... And it allows us to melt a little when we kiss you goodnight and realise how big you have become. 
On my first real full day in the office. Papa took you both to Pias allergist apt. Doc says those puffy eyes are a symptom of sinus allergies but was reportedly skeptical about your skin rash being eczema (thank God). This was also on report that day:
God I love you three and I am so thankful you get to spend my work day loving each other up like this. I know you are too.

Because I'm only working one day a week right now, I still get my own chance to carry on loving you guys up too. 

On our first free moment, we headed to Barnes and Nobles to spend a morning- an Easter treat courtesy of our favourite Alabama family.
That made us all feel like this: 

I was worried about what going back to work would mean for us and how you guys would feel about it, but this slow integration is the best thing I could have asked for. And the best news is, I'm not just still in the picture, I'm upgraded to holding hands with Pia this week. "Mama and Pia holding hands, then Rafa and Papa."

I love you guys,