Saturday, 9 May 2015

Monkey, Lamb and Little B

Dear Pia and Rafa,

We just had an amazing weekend with our loving friends from Chicago, Uncle Lamb, Aunt Monkey and Little Bee.

When they first arrived, we played and cuddled like crazy until bedtime. And they very first thing the next morning, we took them to Pia's spring musical. Pia, your class has been rehearsing your Congo dance for weeks and you had the moves, even if you were a bit shy to show them off. 
You definitely knew the starting position.
After all that dancing, it was time to cool off at the beach. We took your newest buddy to Papas hotel for some scrummy food with the ambiance of the ocean waves. Bennett couldn't stop cuddling you.
And sometimes, he liked cuddling so much, he'd cuddle you right down to the ground. Which you...put up with.
At the beach, you showed Bennett and Rafa all the toys they have there and then we all had a picnic right there in the kids pit. We spent so much time there we hardly made it down to the water at all. But eventually I convinced you both.
After a day of sun, we headed back home, but we made sure to get some good cuddles in before splitting up into our cars. And this time, papa joined the caravan home.
Where the adults BBQd with Coronas (for old times sake), and you kids did what you do.
Though some enjoyed it more than others...
In the morning, we showed our guests our neighbourhood. We are still trying to convince them to move in so we made sure to slip in just enough hints. Coco Walk is great for kids.
Our boys could bake together!
Bennett has a small (read: enormous) obsession with appliances. He likes the washing machine best, but when all else fails, he'll hit up the swifer or even the broom. 
Since his visit, the broom closet is a hot spot. You guys learn quickly.

Since you're all a bit young for swimming in the ocean on your own, we took you all to the baby beach as well. This beach is perfect to just let you run wild because the water is sheltered and shallow. Though really it was mama running wild when I forgot that I needed cash to get in and didn't have uncle lambs number. Thankfully monkey and lamb came to the rescue and we all got a bit of sun, sand and sea.
After naps at home, we played in the playground. Bennett discovered that he could reach Rafa from his seat, and Rafa, you discovered, sucking doesn't have to be restricted to thumbs.
And I think you got a few ideas from Bennett about how to hold your when Pia crawls up onto your seat.
Before their flight out, we got adventurous and had a meal out. The baby to adult ratio was just barely in our favour (for once this trip!), so we were brave. Worth it for the smiles.

We already miss our friends and aren't quite sure what to get into next without our busy Bennett confidently leading the way. He's going to be a good one to grow up with-you guys are pretty lucky...and not just because he's going to fix your broken refrigerator later in life... 
For so much more.

I love you, 


Friday, 8 May 2015

Hands Clap, Feet Walk, Shoes Tie

Dear Pia and Rafa,

The  past few weeks have gone so fast, it's hard to keep up with us...even for me and I'm a part of us. A few weeks ago, Rafa, you started waving. Actually, I can tell you the moment exactly and for once in my life, I got it on video: your second wave ever. See, we were visiting Sanny before Easter and she was smiling and waving at you all around the consignment shops the way only Grandmas do, and then there you were suddenly smiling and waving back... in a crazy kind of way only Rafu's do:

It's been a few weeks since then, but you've been progressing faster and faster every day. You can stand from sitting all on your own without holding on, but you're not too interested in taking steps from there. You think it's hilarious when I grab your hands and walk with you and once in awhile you even take the prompt of the stroller as your walker. 

Pia, you're starting to tie your shoes all on your own... 
I guess it's time I teach you about the bunny and the burrow.

 I love you guys,


Thursday, 23 April 2015

This week and that one

Dear Pia and Rafa,

We had so much fun visiting Sanny and Pop Pop over the Easter weekend that we extended our visit an extra day. That Monday, we planned to go to the Naples Zoo, but when we hoped in the car and saw it was 96 degrees out, Sanny called the zoo and they "said the animals were inside sleeping today because it's too hot." So we did what we do best and hit the outlet mall. Besides, it had been awhile since you guys have played on those crazy west Florida style playgrounds. Pia, you showed Rafa the ropes. And though he may not have liked the slide quite as much as you...
He was pretty into the car 
and the alligator (when you let him have his turn).
 All that walking through the mall was still hot, but lucky for you, Sanny got you a brand new swim costume to try out in her fancy new pool.
But the next day was school so we packed up and headed back to our lives in Miami. Which was pretty much the same. School, pool, sleep... be silly... flowers...
Call Brynner & Auntie Ali... Shove stuff in mouth...

Shove more in mouth
Rafa, we're starting to see a trend. Good thing I keep such a close eye (read: camera) on you. Pia, when you are not in competition with your brother for who can take the biggest bite of food (it's the only way we get food in you these days), you are showing off that you can dress yourself. It's great and I love to see what you come downstairs with each morning. 

Just a few short days after returning from Naples, we convinced Papa to drive all the way back there in a uhaul and collect the most beautiful craft armoir and mirror ever. He didn't take much convincing because he loves us, and he likes an adventure, and he knew it would involve a lunch date with Gram, which we all love. 

Especially you Rafa.

Gram is getting older and her memory isn't always what it used to be. She has always been a good game player, but Pia, when you tried to teach her to play tic-tac-toe with you, it was... eventful, repetitive, and a bit confusing all around.

Oh well, Rafa, you showed us it is really more fun to jam the coloured pencil in your mouth anyway (note brown marks all over face).

After a lot of heavy lifting and a dance with a thunderstorm, we decided to take you both to Chucky Cheeses before the long drive home. Pia, you watched in awe as your daddy racked up the tickets on the basketball game. It clearly made an impression on you becuase you mentioned it days later on a walk, "Papa, you did a really good job on that basketball game at Chucky Cheese the other day."

We love you more than words can say.  Who wouldn't?

Your age continues to show in more and more birthday parties for school friends. This one was at a wild and crazy kids gym. You mostly hid in the corner, but you did fly on the toddler-friendly-airplane-seat-zip-line into the ball pit...which was weird.

During the parties, Rafa, you usually stay home with Papa. Which makes for some fun one-on-one time for us both. And we usually make up all together in the park afterwards, which makes for some fun all together time for us all. And for you, Rafa, it's just one more oportunity to get something in your mouth... feed me!!

A few days later, Sanny came back to visit with Henry and Charlotte. She hadn't seen our house yet and we had been saying we'd help dog-sit, so she wanted to try it all out. Henry approved.
 Sanny hung out with our normal busy week. She did all the usual things like school drop offs, running to Gymboree on Tuesday, Gymnastics on Wednesday and even offered to let me work out in the mornings (though I was pretty lazy). Pia, you were the opposite of lazy. You worked very hard at school with your friend "Elmo". I spied on your room camera and saw you working on your 'teens' with her all morning long. See lower left girls in pink:
After the school week, Pop Pop decided he'd come over to Miami instead of Sanny driving home and they stayed to help us get some work done around the house. Papa had a long weekend and so we all worked very hard at home. You wore your working clothes to help me paint, and help papa outside, but i think your favourite was helping Sanny bake (though I'm pretty sure you ditched her for clean up... just like your Mama taught you). 

Sanny helped watch you guys while we did all the stuff around the house we've been dreaming of doing since moving in. Rafa, you loved the special attention. 

Things got a little silly, but then, thats just who we are. 

Day two, we took you guys to a storytelling event at a nearby library to reward you for being such good helpers. We had to fill in a map to get a reward at the end and the first stop was writing what you 'geek' on the kids mural. 

"I geek Rafu," you said. 

Personally, I think you both are pretty geeky.

We watched a storyteller from West Africa, who had you both entranced. I think I may have liked him a little more than you guys, but he had you up and dancing anyway.

After all that fun it was back to business at home. Rid of the dark in this house and into the light. This time, you helped tough up our paint job in your princess costume. Oh well.

Rafa, you showed off your new skills as a very clever stander and cruiser. You pull yourself up on everything, especially your sister's chair. And if you can get away with it, you'll push Gram's chair along in front of you while you walk behind it... but only for a few steps. Crawling is still faster, but you are certainly working it out.

By Monday Papa and Pop Pop had worked all day outside and Mama, Pia and Sanny had worked all day inside and we were pooped. Your amazing, giving, loving grandparents bid adieu and we ALL collapsed. 

Guess who had the last laugh?

And that was the end of this week... and that one too.

I love you,