Category Archives: Brazil

Beatrice: 9 months

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Little Bea is turning 9 months. She is so… adorable. Everybody loves Bea! And Bea loves everybody but she loves her mummy the most, of course.

I’m sure it happens with most mums – we suffer of memory loss. We do remember all the sweet stuff of our first child, but certain things are just gone from our minds. Like this separation anxiety phase. I thought that Beatrice was suffering from that before we came to Brazil. Now I know that it was nothing compared to how she is these days. Geez, Louise, my back is killing me from carrying her several hours a day. She just wants me all the time. And she cries and cries and gets really upset. I hope I won’t come here in a month and say that it got worse.

She had showers, as opposed to baths, most of the time during these holidays and now she cries a lot when having a bath. Oh dear.

She still tries all sort of food – even the wrong ones – and seems alright with everything, but she doesn’t eat much. She looks very healthy though, so nothing to worry.

No sign of teeth yet.

Her sleeping patterns are a mess. From three naps of 40-60 minutes (sometimes longer), she is barely having two naps of 40 minutes each. If I’m lucky and I sleep with her, we can have a one hour nap. And after a few days not sleeping much during the day, she has a long two hour nap – mainly when we need her to be awake. At night, it’s not too bad now – I managed to put her to sleep between 7-8pm a few times, but there are days that she just refuses to sleep and goes to bed after 9pm. And still wakes up at 7am (or 6:30am).

The annoying game of throwing everything on the floor a million times has started.

The annoying game of pulling our hair as hard as she can has started.

The annoying game of slapping our hands when giving her food or a drink has started.

The annoying game of slapping has started.

She has learned to climb – specially mummy.

She always looks for/to Laura when we say “where’s Laura?”, but sometimes she ignores us completely when we call her name.

She loves her sister to bits (and vice-versa).

Her mouth is still the first or second part of her body where objects go to – hands are usually the first, but sometimes she approaches things with her tongue.

She is learning to dance (with her sister).

If she finds a cushion or pillow on her way while crawling, she likes to lie down for a few seconds.

She is “walking” a few steps holding on to stuff, like a coffee table.

She can stay up without support for a few seconds.

She likes to sit down with one leg bent backwards and one leg stretched forward.

She is suffering with the heat, poor thing.

She kissed a dog. Just once.

She said Bella (the name of the dog) a couple of times, repeating after Laura, who calls out for the dog a billion times.

She claps her hands when we sing Happy Birthday (but only sometimes).

When there is a group of adults chatting really loudly, she shouts “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” non stop, even louder.

When she wants a cuddle from someone (usually grandma), she throws herself to the person with her head, like asking for a kiss.

She loves eating shoes more than any of her toys.

Changing her nappies is just the most difficult thing in the world. I will probably start potty training her soon.

Overall, she loves all the attention she is having here.

My daddy wear silly goggles, in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia

With daddy in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia


in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia

in Barra de Jacuipe, Bahia


With uncle Roberto, in Mangue Seco, Bahia

With uncle Roberto, in Mangue Seco, Bahia


in Baixios, Bahia

in Baixios, Bahia

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Cute little smelly foot

Cute little smelly foot


I kiss and squeeze every day

I kiss and squeeze every day


Always chewing on something

Always chewing on something

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Sweet pies

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I had forgotten how Brazilian people love babies and children. I’m shocked with the amount of people that stop to talk to us because of Bea and Laura, some even going to the “extreme” of holding them.

I normally don’t mind; I’m just surprised because my daughters are adorable, cute, smiley and fun but mainly to my eyes. I do remember looking at babies on the street, saying hello, etc, but never stopped what I was doing to play with a kid or changed route because I saw a baby.

And it’s everywhere: restaurants, beach, traffic light, touristic spots… All sort of random people and situation. My kids seem to enjoy the attention as the smile back snd say hello. Beatrice got to the point that she throws herself to people she “likes”, or nudge them. Not to mention the biggest smiles.

As for me, I don’t know much how to behave. The British side tells me it’s lacking a bit of personal space, but I like to see the good in people and rather have my children surrounded by happy loving people than by people that would rather have them with the mute button on.

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Holidays – part 1

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And we are here in Salvador, ending the first part of our holidays. Tomorrow we are driving to Praia do Forte, somethig like 70km north of Salvador.

Yes, I always have the hope we wil do loads during our holidays, spend 12 hours in the beach, walk everywhere, etc. Truth is: I love the sun and summer but I can’t stand high temperatures without air con on. The reason why I don’t complain about the British summer is because it will never get as hot as summer in Brazil. Salvador is cooler than Rio and yet temperatures here are between 30 and 40C. Yes, I’m feeling sick. And the biggest failure is having a husband that doesn’t like air con. I can’t even breath here.

Anyway, back to doing loads. We are limiting our days to ONE thing and that’s all. Pelourinho one day, just an hour. The zoo on the other, for a couple of hours. And it has proven too much for the girls. And us.

In terms of food, the idea of eating less because of the heat doesn’t work for me, especially if the room has air con. We are not having dinner, though.
With jet lag, tiredness and strict bedtime routine, by 6-7pm every one is in bed. And by 5-5:30am every one is awake.

Today we had a really awful event at our hotel, which only shows that we have to be all eyes and ears in our children. A 5 years old child drowned in the pool of the hotel. I don’t know the full details and I don’t think it matters now, but the thought of it made me want to cry. We were going to have lunch by the pool, we noticed the ambulances on our way there, then everybody looking at the pool, then the pool emptier than normal. A member of the staff told us that they didn’t have conditions to serve any food, everybody was in shock. It was shocking. It is still. It just take two seconds for a child to drown. Laura lost her balance a couple of times in the baby pool (it’s really shallow) and we had to help her to her feet. What if we were there? Or that quick? We were even saying that it looked like she was swimming, not drowing. We are never just one of us with the two of them. About the boy, we don’t know how he is – I was told that the paramedics were trying to revive him for over an hour and they managed to, before taking him to the hospital. I’m praying that he will be well.

To end the post on a positive note, some few photos (i’m not using the mobile that much, so not that many to share).

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And Happy 2014!

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Now my year has officially started. The last 10 days I was in limbo were quite hectic and not super duper.

I’m writing this in the plane, on our way to Rio. Laura is watching whatever on TV and Bea is driving daddy crazy. The flight was meant to take off at 12:20pm, which overlaps with her second nap. Of course she is fighting with all her strength NOT to sleep, too much to see, too much to do, lots of people around to annoy. Sleep isn’t as fun. But the poor thingy is so so tired that it’s heartbreaken.

I cannot complain, though. Despite being quite tiring to be awake, I haven’t had any problems with the two. They played, they ate, they watched TV, but very little tears (and all from Bea’s side and all because she was tired). Bea was all smile to people around her, giggling at any and all display of sympathy from others.

We had a little play area next to our seats and stayed most of the time (turbulance permitting) playing on the floor. Luckily, after several hours trying, Bea gave in and slept. It’s 20:45 UK time and she had an one hour nap when lunch was served and went to “bed” around 20h, just one hour behind her normal time. I won’t be surprised if she wakes up several times, though, as her chair is quite uncomfortable and the lights are on.

As for me, I am tired, couldn’t watch a film or finish my book, but I’m pretty pleased with how smooth the flight is going. And so happy that my little trouble maker, Laura, is behaving so well. She has been asking why we are on the plane for so long, why the plane is not going, how many sleeps ’til Brazil, but not moaning about it.

Three more hours to go. Let’s hope they are as good as the previous 8 hours.

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Bea woke up after dinner and didn’t go back to sleep until now, midnight local time (2am UK time). Laura had a two hour nap and now doesnt want to sleep. Great!

All good, though. We are ready for some more tomorrow. 🙂

The last day of MY year

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So I decided that 2013 will end today. Just because.

Things about the last day of my year:

I woke up with a strong headache and eye pain. Because Laura wasn’t sleeping well, came to our bed and (by accident) kicked me on the eye. I cried in pain.

It was a freezing morning but a beautiful sunny day. The conservatory, after a boost of heating, is at 36C.

I’m having sweet potato and coconut soup for lunch and home made lemonade full of demerara sugar (I needed it).

I’m washing the last load of dirty clothes. Not because I finished it all (I keep finding dirty clothes everywhere), but because I had enough.

I’m almost all packed. Just one more luggage and two hand luggages to go.

Despite the rush and stress, Laura will have a final play date this afternoon, here in our home. Because life is never stressful enough.

Beatrice turns 8 months today. Cuter than ever but not enjoying her sleep that much.

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Exciting times

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I woke up today very… not positive. Another very bad night with little to no sleep, Laura being so difficult in the morning (poor her, she was also tired), Bea being adorably difficult to put down to sleep (different noises in the house). But as the day progresses, I’m recovering slowly my mood.

Yesterday, Mr. C took the day off to help me with the logistics of taking Laura for her BCG jab (oh dear, thank goodness it’s the last – hopefully – jab for many years, she screamed so so so much, several minutes BEFORE having the injection. times like this, only an ice cream can make things better; not even chocolate helped!). He dropped me off at my photography workshop and when to a soft play area to spend some father-and-daughter time with Laura. She absolutely loved it! As for me, I’m really enjoying spending some time with other mums, and despite the subject evolving around kids, it doesn’t feel like that. It rained like hell yesterday, with 10 minutes of hail during the class, and it was freezing. I went home on the tram and train and by foot and it was alright, I think. I might try this again next time. Car is very convenient, especially when you need a wee, but I’m more relaxed if I am NOT driving.

We are in the process of tiny changes and news here. Nothing exciting for you lot, I guess, but tiny things help my mood to improve. The baby massage course finished last week. It was quite hard to massage Bea with her being so mobile and nosy, but it was fun nonetheless. And she absolutely adores having a back massage. So much that for the past week, she fell asleep a few times just being massaged. Before, I had to rock her for a long time (once, for two hours). I can’t believe how much and how sudden it changed – it’s not always easy, but even when she is agitated, a back massage calms her down. She might not go to sleep straight away, but she stays still and stops moaning (she is a moaner when she is tired, but I think it’s a general thing with all babies and children).

I was going to replace the massage course with a baby yoga class, which would be today, but I had some fitters in to work on the conservatory. Yes, it seems like we will have it done for Christmas. This puts a smile on my face. 🙂 Yes, it’s a pain to get stuck in the house while they are working, but hey, I wanted it, so I have to put up with it.

Beatrice started crawling yesterday, after what seemed the longest training period ever!! She was 6 months and 10 days old, which seems a little bit too soon, but not soon for a 2nd child I was told. Her sleeping hasn’t improved at all with weaning and the crawling training – I would say it got worse. But I have hopes for the near future.

We ordered Laura’s bed from Ikea (the one I mention on this post) and it will be delivered next Friday (oh, boy, Ikea’s online shopping is a pain!). So hopefully December will be some for of goodbye 2013, hello 2014 for us. Then, of course, we are travelling and who cares about routine?

We are also trying to reduce Bea’s dummy usage. Not that she uses a lot, on the contrary, but exactly because she doesn’t like it too much, we are slowly cutting it completely. It’s not easy (for me) though, as a dummy can be a life (for me) saviour. At the moment, I would say that she sucks her dummy about 2 hours a day? Yesterday she fell asleep without it, which is a victory. I’m hoping that it will be easier in Brazil, where I will have extra pair of hands to help soothing her.

Speaking of Brazil, we had some great news. Our friend Italiano, who is leaving in San Francisco for too long now, will join us in Brazil – a week in Bahia and another week in Rio. We are so excited!! Truth is, going to California is not in our plans just now (have other places in the queue) and coming to London is not in his plans either. So makes all the sense to meet up in the middle. And Bahia is a place that none of us know and we can explore together. Now, it is also be a test of our friendship – if he disappears completely after that, means that the girls scared him for good. hahaha If he enjoys the experience, I think we could look at an annual holiday with uncle R, eh?

Now, the last update is in regards my diet. It is going slowly but surely. I can’t get into the habit of exercising enough, so I must try harder. I’ve lost just over 1 stone so far and I would like to lose another 1/2 stone before the trip. I don’t think it’s impossible, but at the pace I am now, it will be hard. Oh well, it took me 8 years to put on weight, I should be grateful that it is coming out.

Learning to sleep

Learning to sleep

Learning to crawl

Learning to crawl

Getting rid of the dummy

Getting rid of the dummy

Press ups

Press ups

Baby item for our trip

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One of the worst things about being on maternity leave is that we don’t have time for much but we always find time to shop (online). It’s amazing the amount of things I bought on impulse.

The latest one arrived today but I got it thinking of our trip to Brazil. In January. Why, God, why?

I was looking for a tent to protect Bea and Laura from the sun and found this one, which not only is a tent but also a “bed” with mosquito net. It was perfect, because where my mum lives has more mosquitoes than the whole of Europe. Seriously, first time Laura was there she had about 40 mosquitoes bites on her body and this was on the firt couple of days.

So, although I don’t need this now, I bought it now (holiday mode on) and test it. It seems to be ok, good quality and all but the real test is yet to come. One complaint though: there is no way that the tent fits in the carry bag it comes with. Several tentatives later, already sweating like a pig from the “workout”, I managed to fit it in, but just, and I’m not sure the bag will last long. I think it’s a team effort and still not sure it fits (*).

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