Saturday, June 28, 2014


I wrote an acrostic poem yesterday while Squeaks was napping on SUMMERTIME.  I should never become a poet but it was fun... here is what I got:

Stay up late and wake up early just cus... or not
Unplanned days
More time
More energy
Evenings with seemingly no end
Running trails and ridges, reading or perhaps resting
Time for self, friends, little baby Ruthann and my sweet husband
I can't seem to get enough
Maybe I'll change plans, again just because I can
Each day with fun surprises

Last week our fun surprise was little baby Ruthann army crawling.  The first time unfortunately we weren't able to catch on camera, here is her second attempt. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014


I've got to be honest, wasn't looking forward to my trip to Brasil.  Not only were we leaving less than 48 hours after my last day of the school year but I have long since abandoned my love of traveling and it seemed like too much of an undertaking!  Bring a 9 month year old across the world, were we mad!  Why subject yourselves to something like that if you don't have to?  However, if we were to spend time with Ruthann's cousins, Samara (7), Noelle (5) and Aliya (1 1/2) as well as Micah (Aaron's twin brother) and Marla in the next 5 years this was our opportunity, it was important. So off we went.

To my surprise the trip down there with baby in tote was a BLAST.  Ruthann got into the routine of entering and exiting the plane making endless friends as we went.  Boarding was an opportunity to be admired and she was a natural.  She made eye contact with as many folks as possible and then would start the gummy, teethless smiles.  She was a little peacock as she showed folks how she could stand and make funny sounds with her mouth by pulling her fingers over her bottom lip.  After a bit of time meeting everyone around her, as if on cue she would cuddle up in her dads arms and fall fast asleep.

The welcoming committee was Micah, Marla and Aliya.  Video cameras were out as we watched the two cousins try to figure out who was their dad.  However, they were more interested in one another than their Papi (Portugese for dad) at the time.

From that point forward Ruthann was mesmerized by her older cousins.  Each morning when she awoke she would reach her neck up as tall as she could make it and look all around wondering who would greet her first.  Often times in the morning I would hear youngest cousin Aliya shouting "Nene" (Portuguese for baby) repetitively, equally excited to hang out with her cus. Ruthann feasted daily on fresh Brazilian fruit and produce and had more stimulation than ever before.  The Brazilian public LOVED seeing a blue eyed, blonde haired baby and she was continually sniffed (traditional custom for greeting a baby) and called "fuerte" or strong instead of "fat or chubby"for her sizable checks and thighs.

Micah and Marla were fantastic hosts and took us to 4 different beaches and endless tasty eateries.  Olinda, where they currently reside was the first settled community in Brasil.  The sun went down at 5:30 each night and came up at 5:30 each morning. The weather was HOT, even though it was winter and rainy season, but there was always a nice breeze.  We were the only bedroom with an AC, and boy were we grateful for it.  There were bugs and critters galore. The market was just down the street as was everything else you could possibly imagine.  The women were fancy and the style was gaudy, but they took pride in what they wore.  By the end of my 2 1/2 weeks there I was beginning to feel more and more like a bum, with my athletic gear and chao sandals. 

All women and children wore bikinis which had remarkable less fabric on them than my conservative American counterpart.  The beach culture was delightful there is a reason they are some of the most talked about beaches in the world.  I could have spent a substantial amount more time on them, had there only been more hours in the day. 

Needless to say last night, a month after departing on my trip (I also spent some time at home in SC) it was weird to come home, not weird bad but very different.  No longer 85 degrees ocean breeze, but 52.  The sun didn't go down until well after I feel asleep in my bed and I no longer can comfortably walk around in my swimsuit and take outdoor showers.  Ruthann is now clothed in long sleeves, verses her diaper, and her house full of admires are far away.
Happy family

You are allowed to use the umbrellas if you order beach food!


This beach had a crazy backdrop of the city!

Notice the coconut!

Rockin' cool sandcastle, with even more rockin' cool cousins!

The girls meeting each other.

Ruthann did this the entire walk :)

Ruthann had a special attachment to this boat!


Day 1

Top of Olinda, oldtown.

Their street

Their home


The whole crew

What a gift it was to spend such quality time with a quality family.  Hurray for the unexpected!