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, 


Down pour

Dear Rafa,

You are sleeping in there and we are out here and the rain just started coming down in buckets. We miss you, but are pretty sure you're safer where you are for a few minutes anyway. 
I love you,


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Easter Egg Hunt part 3 of 3

Dear Pia and Rafa,

On Easter Sunday, we went to sunrise service on the beach. Gram and Pop Pop used to take us to sunrise service on the beach in North Carolina when I was a little girl, and I felt it was a tradition we couldn't miss. Sanny and Pop Pop thought we were crazy, but they must not have known that I haven't slept through a sunrise in 3.5 years. Regardless, it was worth it. I love these guys:

When we got home, the Easter Bunny had been there and hidden eggs outside! Pia, you knew just what to do:

And to further tradition, we made sure to dye some eggs. Pop Pop even made a special egg dipper out of a hanger to keep our fingers clean. Pretty cool.

And even though Gram was home with a cold, she was there in spirit with her bunny cake. 

Which made all of us feel a little like this:

I love you guys,


Easter Egg Hunt Part 2 of 3

Dear Pia and Rafa,

The second stage of the the Easter madness started on Friday. It was actually meant to start on the Atlantic, in a little park where we do Baby Boot Camp and there would be an Easter Bunny and Egg Hunt... but one thing after the next and you, Miss Pia, screaming from the back seat, "I have to go see Sanny! Sanny is waiting for me!" on the way to the park, meant we skipped BBC and went straight to Bonita. Rafa, you are clearly getting older because you didn't scream until the final few minutes, even though my wrong turn made the 2,5 hr journey 3 full hours. You must have known who would be waiting on the other end.

Pia, you definitely knew. And you are getting pretty good at this sleepover at Sanny & Pop Pop's stuff. You packed your bag yourself and got out of the car, collected it and ran up to the door all without prompting.

You're also getting pretty familiar with Bessie. I like that she's going to be a part of your childhood you remember. Mostly because I get to partake in the ice cream treats too. 

We went a day early to Naples so that we could look around at the many consignment shops they've got for some much needed furniture in our new home. Papa is holding his own, but I think he wants to explode everytime he still sees all the boxes in our house. You guys were brilliant helpers. And Pia, you approved of the armoir I loved and helped me convince Papa to rent a Uhaul and come collect it the following week. Oh how naiive we were then. But more on that later.

Rafa, you just cood and made the ladies smile so they worked extra hard on getting us the best deal possible. You did a good job. Babies are good for a lot of things. 

Back at home, Pop Pop showed off his new fish pond. He's gotten pretty friendly with the very well kept fish in there lately. We even saw him put on snorkle gear and get in there to de-tadpole the place. 

This guy used to be a big important business man. 

Pia, you followed around Sanny the way you do and made sure her new knee got lots of exercise. But you lounged too. You guys are good like that.

And then the big day arrived. The Easter Egg Hunt we'd been waiting for. Sanny had a special surprise for you: monogramed Easter Egg 'backpacks'.  (Or chair covers that we decided made better backpacks.)

This egg hunt was in Sanny & Pop Pop's gated community. There was a real live easter bunny for photos, several bunnies for holding, a balloon lady and face painting along with a huge breakfast treat buffet. YEY. The egg hunt was separated out by age, which meant you actually had a chance. You are one of the youngest in your montessori school (of egg snatchers), but here at the 3-4 year old egg hunt, you were the perfect age.

You collected, and collected, and cleaned a bit, and collected a bit more. You even collected up from under where others had thought they looked.

And this time, you filled your whole bag...and you were pretty proud.

Rafa, you and I played near the bubble machine while Pia got her balloon. It was pretty hot out there, but you managed to catch one on your slow-moving hand.

We waited in the face painting queue for about 7 minutes before we managed to convince Pia it would be more fun in the pool in this heat. Pia, you agreed, as long as you got to ride the golf cart back to the car. You ended up waiting so long for the golf cart that we went to get the car and met you right after you got on, but a three point turn in the cart counts I think. 

Besides, you had so much fun collecting eggs,  you could barely keep your eyes open. 

I love you,