Thursday, April 30, 2015

Rules and Regulations

Last night I skyped Corey as he was in Sao Paulo. I just messaged him to say goodnight before I headed to bed. It was 11:00. He was in Sao Pualo to attend a conference on Religious Freedom. So around 11:00 I thought the event would be done, but Corey told me he was still there and they were just sitting down for the dinner. Reminded me of this midnight dinner memory. I knew he had an early flight, like at 5 a.m., so told him to have fun staying up late and not getting sleep, glad it was him and not me. As for me, I wouldn't be taking my morning walk since he was gone, but I'll try my best to enjoy sleeping in.

Then Corey called 5 a.m and asked me if I could take a picture of his passport and visa and email it to him. He was at he airport and had a feeling he might need it. So I got up, took some pictures and sent it to him and then went back to bed. 9:00 we were all still enjoying our slumber and appreciating a cool morning (aah ~ 64 degrees!) When there was a ring at the front gate. I answered the gate phone, and it was Corey asking if I had $10 Reais. He needed a little more to pay his cab driver. Why, Corey, I didn't expect you home until late this evening! But alas, the passport photos were no good, neither was his driver's license. Not good enough of identification for him to fly domestically. Movie Mouth had been planning this trip for a few months and spent a lot on getting tickets and changing tickets and such, he thought it was stupid and kicked himself for not having his passport, and then asked if he could take a nap. And slept until 2, then took another nap from 4-8. He was feeling a little sick. But he's been working a ton, I think it was good for him to have a day to crash and catch his breath.

I think it was dumb they wouldn't let him on the plane. Just seems a bit unreasonable, he had ID. We've had another silly problem with Brazil rules and regulations this past month by way of mail - As you may recall, Hyrum broke his glasses and didn't pack his spare, so my mom has tried to send me his glasses twice now, and both times they would not let them through customs cause the mail package didn't have an ID number for Corey written on it. The first time she thought they didn't want to let the essential oils in, so she took those out and resent it, then the second time it still got returned, We were tracking it and called them when it was being held in customs (for 5 days) and asked what they needed, they needed his ID number, we gave it too him, but then they said since it wasn't written on the original package they had to send it back. So stupid. Corey asked "So, you're saying I'm not allowed to receive mail?" Not without his ID on it. They have to protect him from himself and kids glasses. I'm sure they knew it was just glasses, my mom said after the first attempt she could tell that everything had been opened and re-packaged. We were sure they opened the mail on the second attempt and knew it was just glasses. So dumb. Reminded us of when they wouldn't let me on the plane in Chile to come home to the US without Corey's written and notarized permission. By reason or by force.... and usually they don't choose by reason. And the US isn't without it's own little stupid obsessions... The TSA made poor Ethan break down in tears when they wouldn't let him bring his hair gel on the plane to Orlando, and he'd just gotten it for his birthday too! It was his favorite gift, just heartless of them, and all cause it was over 4 ounces and was a semi liquid. (dumb!) American's also love being offended. I read that article after hearing the glasses had gotten returned the 2nd time and it made me laugh out loud several times about the US's little quirky obsessions.

So, I had been planning on being on my own today anyway, so no problem for Corey to crash in bed. While he napped, we had our regular day of reading, then pool time, and then music practice before our Portuguese lesson. The kids played some games of pool tag, which they all seemed to enjoy. Natalie was easier to watch cause she had a new distraction - it's her new favorite activity that she calls "Wee-wee-wee!"
It's where you go "wee!" lots of times as you spin on the hammock. We don't have another hook to hang it up properly, but found one lone hook that seems to be doing a good enough job to keep these little ones entertained.
Good enough! They either spin themselves, or I'll go push them for the jungle swing...
Or we do the helicopter spin. 
It's every toddlers' favorite game! 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Hair Cut and Other Happenings

This past Sunday, we were all looking through old posts on the blog here and laughing at how adorably sweet little Natalie looked and just look at that little face! And Sophi, look at you! You're so little too! We happened upon this post, and we ooh and awed about how cute Sophi looked. We showed Sophi how she was wearing the dress that Natalie wears now (in picture 6) and... awe, look how cute you looked with short hair! Well, yesterday she started telling all of us how she doesn't want "big hair" anymore, "I never want big hair!" She wanted me to cut her hair. You really want me to cut your pretty hair?
But I like it long! True, I don't do anything with it, and you don't like me to brush it, you don't like the tangles... it would probably be easier... plus it's hot here. I guess having it long is not important enough to me to force it on you, but are you sure? You really want me to cut it? After telling us all day, before bed I got my scissors out and a chair. "You want Mommy cut your hair?" and she stood in front of me, ready as ever. Okay then... And now Sophi's got a new look. I admit, it's pretty cute on her.
Look in the mirror, Soph. What do you think? She said "I like a Joe?" I guess that means she has short hair like a boy? So I said "Uh huh!" Again she asked "I like a Joe?!" "Uh-huh!" Then she let me know it's okay for girls to have short hair with "I not like a Joe! I like a Fofi!"
Ya look good, Fofi. So that was that. Today we've all been ooh-ing and awe-ing over her new look, and Lily and Mel have been considering altering their hair length. We'll see.

A wonderful birthday surprise I got today - the Relief Society pres (need to remember her name) and Edna, who let me practice piano at her house last week, showed up unannounced with a piano keyboard for me! Total surprise, and made me so excited, so I get to practice all the time! Super excited. :) I ordered a Hymns made easy book and am sending it to Joseph and Ethan, with a challenge to see who can learn more of the simplified hymns by June.

Today Abi rescued a butterfly from the pool. She took care of it for a while, then we put it on a plant in the back yard where lots of butterflies like this flutter about.
Its wings looked pretty hammered, I don't think he's gonna make it long. We went to check on him after we put him on the plants but didn't see him there or on the ground anywhere. Poor butterfly.
Corey left today around 4 for Sao Paulo and will be home tomorrow night. He went for two reasons - one, for Movie Mouth - He and some of his team are flying out to Londrina tomorrow morning for a day of meetings and work stuff. And also, tonight they are attending a conference event on religious freedom that our neighbor is speaking at. Fun.

Last thing - before Corey left, he went to the church with the missionaries to set up the computer and projector for an activity tonight for new members and people investigating the church. We're watching 17 Miracles. I made a lot of microwave popcorn. The movie will be in English with Portuguese subtitles, so should be nice for us. I made little signs for the different flavors of popcorn.
Mel and Hyrum stayed home with Natalie and Lily and I took Wes, Abi, and Sophi to the movie.
We didn't have a huge turnout, but I think it was a pretty good activity. And I just love that movie, makes me cry to remember all they endured. I love Levi Savage, what a hero. We are so blessed to have temple blessings - the pioneers gave everything they had in an effort to receive them. I love Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer of my soul. I love the song played in that movie. I hope that I will be chastened and tried and proved til I shall be in perfect harmony with His will.  I love to share the stories of the pioneers with my children. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Attempting a New Talent

Today is my happy birthday and today also marks one full month here in Brazil. The kids and Corey sang happy birthday to me. Corey had gotten me my present before we left for Brazil (a new Cannon Eos camera). It was a good day. I ate cake and ice cream too, but I've been doing that about every day here, so that part felt like just another day. ;) The one thing that I wanted to do and that was to go play the piano. So why do I want to play piano? Cause I don't play piano. I am, sadly, the one member of our family without much musical talent. Although I'm probably the one that sings the hymns at church with the most gusto.

So last week at the holiday bbq, our bishop asked me if I played. I replied as I usually do when asked that question: "No.... I wish I did... My mom said I'd regret it and I do..." I took a few years of piano with my siblings, like from 4th to 6th grade, but then we all quit when my dad lost his job and my parents had to trim the budget. I was more than happy to be done with it. I was a soccer kid and did not like piano. Might be because I told myself that everyone else was already playing "Für Elise" and I was just starting, so it was just kinda embarrassing and pathetic to my little elementary school ego. I was too far behind, they were all too good, I'd rather have something else be my thing. So soccer was my thing, and now that I'm a mom, soccer is still fun and I enjoy breaking out my sweet skills to show up the boys now and then, but I'm not a die hard. But I do often regret not being able to play the piano.

So here in our ward, there is no one to play the piano in Relief Society. The bishop was asking me if I could do it for that... "I thought for sure you would know how to play..." I told him that I could probably do one hand, or maybe if I had a month and knew the hymns they were planning on doing, then maybe I could try and practice and be ready? "Okay! Let's go talk to the Relief Society Pres..." We went over and they talked some Portuguese, I was loud with music and I wasn't trying to hear what they said, I knew what they were basically talking about. Then he said "You tell them what hymns you know and they will sing those ones." Ok... Well, I don't know any as of right now... but I can try... Do they want me ready for this Sunday? Well, I knew they didn't have anyone at the moment, so my little something would be better than nothing, so I just decided to try and take on this new task and see what I could come up with. My homework was due on Sunday morning at 9:00.

Last Thursday I skyped the sister who plays the piano during sacrament meeting. I figured she might have a piano at home and I could practice at her place. Plus she lives pretty close by. She did have a piano, so I found the simplified hymns online and had that file downloaded and ready to view on my tablet, and went over to see what I could pluck out (we don't have a printer here at home).

It was a good one hour practice. I did start to choke/panic a little as I played with her watching over my shoulder for a little bit and offering tips (in Portuguese, which just caused a mental traffic jam...) My brain was already on full trying to do the music, I couldn't process much more. But she just helped for a minute and then left to do some indexing, and I was able to fumble through my piece in peace. I was able to do one hand after an hour, and did okay at attempting the second hand. One thing that didn't help was that some of her keys were bad - like I'd push them and they wouldn't play unless I hit them harder. I'm not good at this as it is - if I DO get a note right, I need it to be acknowledged by the piano. So it was good, but I needed a better piano to practice on.

Sunday morning I woke up and went to church early. It starts at 9 and we left at 7:30 so I could practice before my big debut. I took Hyrum, Wes, and Natalie, cause I either had to take them or come back home for them. And I didn't want to come back home (it's a major pain cause on Sunday's they close one of the roads and it takes about 30 minutes to drive the 3 miles home). We have two cars for our family, but can each only fit 4 kids in. Anyway, I woke up Wes and Hyrum and asked them to come early with me and they sweetly obliged. Corey had printed up a few of the hymns for me at his office, and I practiced before church. By the time Relief Society class started (they start with that class first at 9) I had hymns #3 and #13 down well enough that I was going to attempt them, and I was gonna try it with both hands, oh yeah. I was very pleased with myself. Then lady who was giving the lesson made a request of a song for me to do during part of her lesson, something "spiritual". Ummm, I only know these two. But I know this other song... and I played the one Enya song that I know (learned it at Snow college, cause I loved it) and I played that to see if she approved and she said that was good.

So, I thought I told them the hymns I knew, but must not have communicated it well enough, cause they announced two different hymns than the ones I told them I could play. So instead I just conducted the music. And I did play my Enya song during her lesson (messed it up) but overall, I think it was pretty good, and I gave them a list of a few more hymns that I could do next week (hope that got communicated correctly) and figured yay, now I have a week to try and learn them (and I felt I could since I got #3 and #13 down with only 2.5 hours of practice).

Corey told me there was a guy who worked at the church from 8 to 6 everyday. I went by at 11 today but the gate was locked. I saw a car in the lot, sat there for a minute, honked once, and then went back home. I went back at 3:00 and there were people outside the doors that I was able to signal too. They found the guy with the key to the gate and I got in, yay! It would have been ideal to do it without Natalie, but I'll take what I can get.
She fell asleep on the way over, and I was able to get her in and keep her asleep in her carseat, but after 15 minutes she woke up. So I got her out and held her. I held her over my left shoulder which helped me focus - I went through all the hymns I had printed and played them all with my right hand. Then I tried to put Natalie in my arms and play a little bit with the left hand. She slept through some of that, but it was giving me a muscle cramp. After an hour I thought I'd try to put her back in her carseat, but she woke up, so I called it good and we left for home. I totally wish I had a piano right now, cause I really enjoy it, and I'm also super grateful for this opportunity and time in Brazil, cause I know I would not be attempting to learn this right now if we were busy at home in the US and in our ward where there are more accomplished pianists. So far, I think it's really fun! And especially when I do it without mistakes! Tomorrow we are all going to the church to set up for a missionary activity - going at 2:30, the activity isn't until 7, and I'm going to practice again and will hopefully be able to pass of Natalie to the older kids. So, for my birthday this year, I'm gifting myself a new skill that I hope I'm able to develop well and keep for a long time. :)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ultimate Tag

Last evening the kids and Corey enjoyed a awesome game of Ultimate Tag. It was a serious game. And it's a lot of fun here with all these kids and with all the doors that this house has! 
Here is a little diagram I made of the house on top of the google earth picture of it to an attempt to show why this game was so epic.
There are like (one... two... three...) TEN entrances/exits between the house and the yard. And when you're running around inside the house ya got a ton of options as well. I watched from the back yard from the covered patio area just north of the pool. And they ran round and round, where they stopped, no body knows!
They'd go in the house on one side, and then there was no telling where they were going to come out from. And we had a little moving obstacle too - watch out for Natalie pushing the stroller.
You're automatically "it" if you knock over the Natalie obstacle or make her cry. She was just pushing the stroller round and round the tag routes.
When the kids would come by and not have anyone hot on their trail, they'd pause for a brief moment and try to pant out as they attempted to catch their breath: "THIS IS SO FUN!"
Wesley was all red faced. Melodie said her legs were so tired she thought she might be sore. When Corey was it, he would give a good intimidating yell or scream to scare his prey to let him know they were about to be caught...
 They loved that part. 
They were always on the move except for then they attempted to hide in a dead end bathroom or no-exit closet. That sometimes proved a good strategy, but it was also pretty risky to put yourself in a no departure zone (the dead end red dots on the map). And I learned it's hard to get a good photo of people playing tag.
I moved out from under the pool patio to see if I could get some good shots of the action from other places - here is looking at the patio from over by our bedroom door to the outside.
Here is looking south from close to the same place - Corey is in pursuit of Melodie...
He caught her and threw her over his shoulders like a caveman, I could see her legs flailing through the window. Looking north again toward our bedroom patio. I love all the green and plants here.
They had such a fun time playing with Corey, and I think it was an activity that he enjoyed too, cause they're not running toward him asking to sit on his lap or be held (no fun to hold hot little bodies when we're so hot!) ...instead they're running away from him! Good way to have a break and keep them happy at the same time.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Thoughts

I went to the temple this morning. It was great. I felt like I was home. This is not my real home, here on earth (Shannon's Life Lessons #2) but in the temple today... I really felt like I was home.
And what a miracle too. Since I kinda follow Mormon things in the news, I've heard and read about some people who have left the church or been excommunicated the past two years, and I have some friends who I've reconnected with since our high school reunion who I've learned have fallen away, and I don't know their reasons, but I also know that I have no doubt that this is God's work. Joseph Smith could not have made this up. Imagine trying to come up with a religious movement that would grow every year and 200 years in the future (today) have followers in all countries and of all cultures and so many diverse backgrounds. A temple in Campinas, Brazil! You try making up a story or religion that people from all over the world are passionate about. Not only passionate about, but that they TESTIFY is true, that it's real, it works miracles in their lives, it blesses their life and they testify of it's goodness and truth. I loved just watching all the people at the temple this morning. I believe that they know, just like I know. They're from Brazil, I'm from Utah, but we have this in common, and it's the most important thing in our lives. People will fall away if they have a "keyhole" vision of some aspect or person or teaching of the Church (as Elder Oaks explains in this talk - we reviewed that message this past Thursday for our scripture reading), but if they keep their eyes open on the whole panorama of it all - temples all over the world - branches and wards that are united and teach the same thing in Costa Rica, Chile, Brazil, every corner and nation of the world and you'll find the same hymns and scriptures and ordinances and testimonies about Christ and prophets that you'd find in Utah... When you take all that in and consider it, there's nothing else to do but wonder in awe. It's amazing. And I know it's all true and every good thing in my life has come because of trying to follow the teachings of Christ that I've learned through the scriptures and the prophets.

So, there's a quick attempt to try and capture those thoughts that have been on my mind the past week since we drove by the temple after church last Sunday.

What else did we do today? Corey took the kids across the street to the park - Parque Portugal - and they rode the swan paddle boats...
They checked out the little exercise park built for wheelchair bound people...
(I'm sure provided by some well intentioned politician)
(...wish they would have put more effort into making laws and regulations that would have let the package containing back up glasses for Hyrum that my mother tried to send twice get through customs ($90 each time) they sent it back both times, despite our calling them on the phone and giving them the information they needed... so stupid). And then they rode on the train and climbed on a freaky looking baby elephant (scary eyes!!)
And the part I'm sad I missed out on: they explored the pirate ship.
I wonder if this is a small boat or an accurate replica of typical boats explorers used... seems like it's kinda small - made me wonder how big the boat Nephi built was... think about it - they had atleast 7 couples, families with children, on that boat, plus food, maybe animals, and hopefully space for them to all sleep... Nephi, so impressed with him. What an adventure of a life he had. Anyway, so the kids had fun at the park with Corey.
And then one of the last events of the day - after they got home, the kids went swimming and I had my first time jumping in the pool to rescue Natalie. She fell in as she threw in a floatie. She was at the deep end close to where I was sitting and watching her. The kids were all at the more shallow end, I was watching her as she threw it in, as she'd done often with other floaties, and each time I thought "she's gonna lose her balance" and today she finally did, over she went, didn't hit the edge of the porch at all, it was a clean fall into the water. I jumped right in. We all stood in the pool, I just held her and waited for my heart to stop racing... the kids were all saying "Ohh!! Natalie!!! Poor Natalie!" and shared their thoughts with each other at how scared she looked through the water as they swam toward her (they always have their goggles on). She had a very sobered little look on her face.
I'm glad I didn't have my watch on, I would have ruined it. I always thought if I had my camera around my neck or my shoes on when a baby fell in the pool, I'd be able to whip them off and then jump in to rescue them, but I might not have thought of it. When she went over the edge, I just immediately jumped up and in to grab her and push her above water. Pretty scary. We'll see if we all have nightmares tonight of Natalie falling in the pool.

And last thing, tonight was my first time wanting to curse... after getting wet Natalie and I went to take a bath, and our hot water isn't working for some reason. We just ordered a new gas tank on Monday, so we know we have gas... pretty irritating. I waited for like 10 minutes letting it run, never got hot. So I went for a walk to try to calm down, got back, tried again 2 hours later hoping it would just magically work, and as I went to take a shower in the one bathroom I trust (shower in Lily's room)... and it didn't work. So I clenched my teeth and told myself I'd sleep well after cooling off so much. I have been hot all week, one night I could hardly stay asleep. A cold shower should sound good right? Maybe, but not when ya gotta do more than just a splash of water - I had to wash my hair cause I played lifeguard. It's okay, this too shall pass. :) Nephi probably didn't have a shower or warm water on the boat. I won't look through the keyhole of warm water when I look at our Brazil experience... Always keep a panorama perspective!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Pudim and 'Punzel

We had a fun Friday. During our 2nd week here, the wife of Rafael, Nathy, came and taught Melodie how to make "pudim" - aka pudding - with sugar, sweeten condensed milk, and eggs. Melodie made it today all by herself and it turned out great! Abi's smiling here, but she doesn't like the pudding. I think it's an acquired texture.
Natalie is addicted to the tablet. I can't let her see it. If I do, I either have to hand it over or I have to listen to her scream for a while. I usually opt for her screaming. I just don't think it's healthy for a toddler to know how to navigate YouTube. She can get there all by herself and is a little too touch screen happy. Like if she had a remote and a tv, she'd be switching the channel every 3 seconds. Could be ruining her attention span.
She'll try to touch and tap every and any screen - the tv, the computers, she's addicted. But she's cute. And what about her sidekick, Sophi? Sophi's doing well at playing healthy little girl games with her toys. She's glad that we brought all the Disney Princess magiclip dolls.
Lately she's been playing a Rapunzel and Eugene game that is super cute. Hyrum's been a good sport and he usually plays the part of Eugene. He said it's funny (and a little boring) cause it's the same 2 minute game over and over again in an endless cycle. This is how it goes, says Hyrum: Rapunzel and Eugene dance. A bad guy comes and takes Eugene. Then for some reason Rapunzel's crown breaks and she cries about her broken crown (who cares about the boyfriend, right?) Then somehow the crown gets fixed. Eugene escapes. They both fight the bad guy (usually the bad guy is Hyrum's or Sophi's hand in a scary spider monster shape). The bad guy loses, of course. Then they dance again, and the cycle starts over again. Pretty funny. Sophi calls Rapunzel 'Punzel, and she still calls herself Fofi. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

One Month Ago...

Well, we started out on this little adventure one month ago. The days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days. Actually, looking back, that wasn't so hard (usually easier to say in hind sight). We're already like a third of the way through! We talked with the kids last night about what they have to show for the past month of freedom. They all need to do more personal reading and music. Hyrum in particular got some scrutiny... you haven't been practicing your music everyday, have you? You had better get crackin' if you're gonna be ready for tour in July.

Did I mention that Corey bought our tickets home? We knew we had to be back by July 13th, cause that's when the band tour is for Joseph, Ethan, and Hyrum. Just last week Corey bought tickets to leave a littler earlier than we originally thought - we leave July 1st. I guess that's probably wise to get back with a few weeks of pregnancy to spare. We also thought it would be fun to be back before the 4th of July - our wonderful little neighborhood and community always have a fun celebration planned. Plus being back for the birthday of the USA, especially coming fresh from another country, will really be a "I love America" memory the kids will remember. 
Are you feeling homesick, Natalie? Do you miss your brothers or your crib? Miss your toys? 
No, she's just tired. That's her "I'm so tired I forgot how to fall asleep" face. Although that expression is similar to how the other kids look (Abi) when they get a little homesick for their former life.
Well, it will be over before you know it, it's going to all pass "away like as it were unto [you] a dream" (Jacob 7:26), so better enjoy it while you're here. And we are.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Another Sam's Success

Today I went to Sam's Club again. We didn't really need anything, but I wanted to try the experiment again and see if our date night was a fluke or not.  Abi came with me. The first item of business was the commute there ~ Google maps gave me 3 routes. One route took me through the city by going east - 11 minutes. Another one, the longest route distance wise, had me go up north then around via the freeway, about twice the distance but it said that way was also 11 minutes. Hmm, why is that? A third option was kinda up and at a diagonal and then down. Well, I thought I'd try my luck and go east. But when I got in the car, the gps lady told me the north and around way. I wanted to try east, so I went east anyway. Every "recalculation" told me to make a u-turn or turn north. But I kept going and we were driving around somewhere in the city kinda lost. Abi said I should probably listen to the lady. I told her I will next time. We eventually ended up getting to the freeway and then went down, so we might have kinda driven the 3rd option google gave us. It's okay, I was just experimenting anyway. On the way home, it took me the way I wanted to go there by, but it's a little tricky cause there are a few one way roads, but I think next time I got it... I just need to get over one of the bridge passes before the little river cuts off my access south.

So, anyway, we made it there and got into the store again with no problem. It wasn't busy which surprised me a little. Like really quiet. It will be interesting to go again and see if it's the same amount of not-busy. Sometime I'll go during an evening and we'll see what that is like. I don't want to go on a Saturday though. One trip to the mall on a Saturday taught me that - to avoid crowds, don't go on the weekend. Abi and I took our time seeing what there was to buy. When I was walking down the kitchen isle where knives, bowls, and other kitchen appliances were for sale, it was easy to imagine I was in the US. That was nice. I think I'll be going to Sam's a lot, cause it's nice to play pretend. My life just got 10 times easier. We bought a box of happiness, just for fun (it's chocolates from Germany). And then we loaded up on too much junk food, including some Cheetos, Pringles, cookies, sugar cereal, and more chocolates. Then I thought we should try to be a little healthy, so we headed to the produce section. Got some cherry tomatoes - not the same bulk size, but we can live with that. And we also got (drum roll...) avocados! The big ones that Brazil sells! I've been looking for them but they weren't at Walmart, so I'm excited for those to ripen up, it's gonna be good. We also found the frozen section and got some frozen broccoli, just like we always bought at Costco. Plus a big double liter thing of strawberry ice cream. We checked out without a problem, even though I'm not totally sure on over half of the things the cashier said to me. Pay with debit visa, check, and tada! We're done! Yay!!! Good job Abi!
We got home and ate Pringles and the Cheetos, the kids said they looked like "Cheesy Dibbles" that the Penguins of Madagascar like.
What else - other than the trip to Sam's, it was a normal day for us here. The kids did music and read, I did laundry and swept. Here is where my washing machine is. It's outside. Outside in the maid alley, I can see it from the kitchen sink and door.
It's a good thing it's outside, cause the sink it drains into has clogged and flooded over a few times, At home in the US, that would be a big deal, but no worries here, cause it's outside and it all just trickles to the rain drain. It gets clogged cause of lint, cause it's a washer and dryer in one machine. Do they even sell machines like that in the US? We had one like this in Chile, but someone told me to not use the dryer cause it uses too much power and it will cost too much. I couldn't figure it out when we were there anyway, but I did figure out how to wash. So I hung the clothes out to dry in Chile, but am trying the dryer this time. Works pretty well. It makes cute little musical sounds, which I think is a nice touch.
It took me a few times doing it before I figured out the right buttons to push. I don't think I rinsed the clothes on the first two loads I did. If I do the heated water, wash, rinse, spin, and dry, it's about a 5 hour process. If I take off the heated water, it takes it down to 4 hours. And I think it dries it for a bit longer than it needs to, Sometimes I'll come check it when it still has an hour and they are already dry (and scalding hot).
And this is our little Natalie going out the front (south) door to explore the yard. She likes to walk around barefoot. 
The kids try to warn her "That's not American grass!" but to no avail. She's a brave soul.
Luckily the fire ants have only gotten her once. Wesley was our toddler here in 2007 and the fire ants had it out for him. So far, Hyrum and Wesley have both gotten bit once, and Lily got bit yesterday as she was warming up on the deck by the pool. There are lots of different kinds of ants here, but the little black ones that look like normal US ants... those are the ones to look out for. On Lily's bite, you couldn't see anything but they burn like a bee sting. Lily asked me why Jesus made fire ants. I didn't have an answer. I put some lavender oil on it and it stung for a little while. And then Abi got a cut on her knee from Hyrum pushing her in the pool, and that injury had blood, so it was worse according to the kids standard (just a little scratch). Lily was able to sympathize with Abi's scratch blood more than her bite, cause it looked normal. So didn't hear any more about it. And thus we come to the end of a pretty typical day here in Campinas.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tiradentes Day

So, after some googling of official holidays observed in Brazil, I learned that today is Tiradentes Day, in honor of Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier, who was executed on April 21st for his involvement in a revolutionary movement protesting taxes from Portugal. Well, more than just protesting, also wanting to declare independence for Brazil, which Portugal didn't like. He was hanged and his body was... well, read this if you want to know more. Pretty brutal. It might have been nicer to remember him on the day he was born rather than when he was executed, although I can see why that date was a more poignant memory for the populace. We've been doing some research on Brazil and it's founding, interesting stuff. I'll share those things some time (I'm glad I was not born in the 18th century and that I was not a member of any European monarchy, see this info on Maria Leopoldina. Married by proxy when you're 20 then sailing to a new continent, yikes. And I'm sure she didn't have a Sam's Club membership. I got it easy) Anyway, so no work for Corey today. And they closed the road around the park, just like they do on Sundays. I joined many other exercise enthusiast out there, and it was fun walking in the road rather than on the sidewalk. :) 

Our ward here in Campinas had a big-ol' barbeque and party at the Chácara Wizard. Everyone had a good time. Party was scheduled to go from 9:00 to 16:00. (I'm still getting used to trying to do a 24 hour clock). We didn't know proper protocol, but showed up at 10:30 (got lost on the way there, I had looked at the map but then second guessed myself when the gps lady told me to go a different way, next time I'm not listening to her). When we arrived There was a great party going on! You having fun in the ball pit, Sophi? Love that little happy face.
The kids had fun in the ball pit...
....on the playground...
The thought the bridge was super scary!! It shakes!
Helping Natalie have the confidence to cross it...
All the big kids are great helpers with the little girls.
There was a little musical group strummin' their guitars and singing songs, Corey broke out his saxophone (he's so good, always prepared) and joined in.
That takes talent to play the saxophone in the Brazilian heat with a warm toddler sitting on your lap.
Why Corey and I wore long pants and shirts, who knows. I just don't have shorts, I don't wear them anymore. And especially not when I'm pregnant have my varicose veins return with haste. I have knee length skirts that I'll wear at home, but not in public. Wish I could have. It was a hot day.
I also wish I could have gone swimming. The pool looked so good. It was deep all the way around though, so Natalie and Sophi didn't swim either.
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch (the chicken and steak were sooooo good). But after holding Natalie's hot sticky body all afternoon, I was ready for a break. I put her in her swimming suit and had Mel hold her in the pool, which Natalie loudly protested. Ok, fine, but I know your body is thankful for us helping you cool off. Her cheeks were so pink. We dipped her in again. Then we tried the shower approach. Lily showed her how it was done ~ bend over and get your back wet...
It was a hit, Natalie loved the shower.
And of course we just thought she was so cute and took a ton of pictures. She's get wet, then push Melodie towards the shower ~ "Your turn!" "My turn!" "Your turn!" "My turn!"
She looked like a bigger kid in this swimsuit or something, she just looked kinda older. She's not afraid to have water run down her face anymore, my baby is growing up.
We had a great time and were some of the last people to leave. The kids just can't get enough of swimming. Natalie would "push" them in the pool with a little slap on the leg or on the behind. 
I told the kids that as soon as we got home, I was going straight from the car into the backyard and jumping straight into the pool. Then I remembered we had to take off the net. That kinda takes the edge off of our dramatic action. But the kids helped us out and they took off the net, Corey put on his swimsuit, I just jumped in. Felt soooo good. Everyone got in the pool except for Sophi. Come on, Soph, we're all in! Come in with us! She would come out to watch us, and Corey would say "Come in!" and then she'd squeal a little girl protest and run away. Corey got out to try to hide and then grab her, but there are 9+ entrances and exits to the house and he didn't get the right door. He gave up and got back in the pool, then Sophi would come sneak out again to spy on us. Then Corey said "Sophi, I have candy for you!" "CANDY?!?!" and she forgot that he was trying to get her, and came up, closer, closer, almost within reach, and he nabbed her. He was in the pool and held her above the water while he took off her socks and shoes, then into the pool they dipped, diaper, dress, and all. "DAD! You get me wet!" she cried. "You get my dress wet!" She was pretty mad at him. Someone ran and got her swimming suit, and he continued to hold her trapped in the pool while they changed her out of the wet dress and into her pink suit. Then she had a change of heart and actually swam willingly here at home for the first time! She had fun! Go Sophi!
Corey got her to jump in and she kept doing it again and again and cheered for herself "I jump so high!" and did it again and again and again. 
Then he tried to bring up that big bad person that got her dress wet, and was able to convince Sophi that Melodie was the guilty party. "Mel got your dress wet!" "Yeah!" "Say no-no Mel" and we all told Mel no-no, don't get Sophi's dress wet. It was fun. Corey finished off the holiday by hooking us up with our own home theater using his work projector. Despicable Me. The kids had a good day, it was nice to have Corey home.
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