Category Archives: Little Sis

Getting ready for tomorrow

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I didn’t realise it is Friday 13th until almost the end of the day. I was trying to justify why things weren’t going as smoothly as they should. Just excuses, it’s easier than say I’m exhausted, lost my focus, ran out of patience and can’t do a lot of things I am trying to do.

The girls’ party is tomorrow. It’s all sorted in my head, but truth is, I don’t know if I can put it all together in an hour. It’s how long we have in the hall before kids start arriving. And this is the UK, people do arrive on time. 

I’ve been working on everything individually, not thinking how things will look good together. I do have a rough sketch of how the main table should look like, just to help on the day. 

It will all be good, it will all be great, but I can’t wait for it to be over.

How can we be in May already?

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It seemed not long ago that I read all the May the force be with you  / May the 4th be with your posts on Instagram. And this week they were all back. We are in May… goodness.

And with May comes the girls’ birthdays. Beatrice is turning 3 years old next week and Laura turns 6 at the end of the month. In between we have a birthday party that I am trying to organise. With the trip to Florida in April, I got timings wrong and everything got delayed. Nothing to panic about… yet. Not that things are under control, they are and they are not. Things are completely… messed up. Let’s say that there will be a party and kids will have fun, but the OCD mum here is kinda freaking out because, due to the lack of planning, it’s all a bit random. We have a theme, which is important, and it is Ariel-Mermaids (like… different styles)-under the sea. The designs are all mixed up, got some designs from Etsy, some from party websites, from Little Mermaid stuff and that is the typical kids birthday party. Because, let’s face it, kids are… random. Get a 5 years old to pick up her outfit and you will see. It will look great, but not always will match.

One of the reasons for the delay in planning (I’m not a quick executer, I must confess, so I need extra time) was that Laura couldn’t decide on the theme. Princesses,  fairies, My Little Pony – no! Equestria Girls, a spin off MLP – Rapunzel, Ariel… she set her mind (not quite) on Ariel/Mermaid just after we got back from Florida, so I couldn’t even check out what are the latest party stuff in the US. Not that the prices are better there, they were not, but they have more options. More physical options, as opposed to online stuff. Although I get everything online these days, there is a lot of shopping in the dark and getting something slightly different than I thought.

I’m also a bad planner… I did some research online (thanks Pinterest and all party blogs) and wanted to get and do everything! And started shopping for random stuff. Now I’m not even sure what I’ve got – most of them didn’t even arrive yet. Food-wise, there is very little I can do before next week. I mean, I don’t think I can bake a cake and leave it for a whole week, right?

One of the fun stuff about it all is sharing little things I do on Instagram. It makes it feel a bit more special for me. It’s just too much work and too much effort (and money) for just a 2 hour party for 20-something kids. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally worth it, they will be happy, but I feel like I need to share the behind the scenes with more people. I love how some of my friends give their opinion and help me along the way. My “comadre” (Beatrice’s godmother) is also my consultant – thanks to Whatsup – and provides me with instant feedback when needed. Not to mention that I have an “ear” (an eye, more likely) to listen to my insecurities, and and someone to tell me “it’s great!” or “maybe try this”.

Being at home is being great to get this party organised in the little time I’ve got – I would be pulling my hair off if I was on a full time job now. It is also very lonely, if it wasn’t for the online community. When hubby comes home, we talk about other things (I’m working for him too), and the girls are super excited about the party and I do welcome their feedback, but sometimes it’s not enough.

Mini wooden treasure chest that I spray painted in gold and Laura decorated with stickers. I have loads of washi tapes at home, so experimented with them – I don’t love how it looks with them on, but Laura does, so she wins.

 

The fun part: spray paint 30 mini chest in a few minutes.

 

It’s a bit of a messy job and I ended wearing gloves (not a big fan), but no far, my favourite part.

 

Little bracelets that will go in the mini chest… I was going to put each one together, but friends on Instagram voted to keep them in bags and let the kids do it at home. Got myself a few hours back here.

 

Ballon filler in training. We have a lot of balloons to blow, missy B, you better practice. (If I don’t give up the day before, which is what normally happens)

 

Every other day…

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… the girls have a bad night of sleep. One of them will wake up at least once in the middle of the night. Only I will hear and go to the rescue.

… Beatrice will throw a tantrum after not getting what she wants. And the other day she will throw herself on the floor, cry, beat Laura (also known as tantrum).

… Laura will shout and scream and throw things at us because she doesn’t get what she wants.

… I will have a headache at the end of the day. Every other day I’ll have a headache during the day.

… I feel like I should move somewhere warm, like Florida. And then I feel like the UK is the best place to be.

… I hate my job.

… I love my job.

… I want to redecorate the house.

… I want to sleep for 18 hours.

… I love cooking.

… I love looking after the house and deep cleaning it.

… I read a few pages of a book.

… I want to go back to school to learn something new.

… I sleep late. Or very late. Never early.

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2015/01/img_2627.jpgNext holiday destination according to Laura.

2015/01/img_2583.jpgWhere’s Wally?

Christmas came and has gone in pictures

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It was warm
The views are always stunning
I had a week off work; more work then usual at home
We went to the dentist
We went to Romania
It was warm
But then it got cold
Not enough to build up snow
But enough to ice skate. Twice
Frozen is still a home favourite. Let it go!
Santa showed up in Romania
We ate like pigs and brought lots of food in the luggage
Santa stopped at home too, but mummy forgot to take pictures
Santa stopped at mummy’s work and decided that mummy is not overweight enough and can have lots of chocolate

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Beatrice: 18 months later…

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I have no idea how it happened but my baby is gone and has been replaced by a full time, interactive demanding toddler.

She is fully aware of who Beatrice – or Bea – is, but she doesn’t say her name. She will say “mamãe” (or mummy, thanks to Laura and her father), “papai” (but rarely “daddy”), Uaua or Lala but not Bea or Bibi. She says Booboo (Bubu) which is how Laura calls her. So much for choosing a beautiful international name…

English is definitely a much easier language to learn than Portuguese. I only speak Portuguese to her, she spends the day with a Brazilian childminder but the majority of words she says is in English: ball, gone, up, down, out, bath, juice, cake, eyes, other, help, please, bye. A few Portuguese ones: carro (ca-o / car), pé (foot), bumbum (bum), mais (more), água (a-ua / water), não (no), xixi (wee wee), pepê (chupeta/dummy), tchau (ciao/bye). And the baby talk ones: uh-oh, poopoo, au-au (for dog), meouw (for cat), moooooo (for cow), ai-ai-ai (when the room is a mess), papa (food), choo-choo (train)…

Her vocabulary increases by the day, even though she is not at nursery with other kids, being stimulated all the time. We can understand her most of the times even when she is not saying much.

She loves going to the ballet with Laura – but I haven’t got her in a class just yet.

She is a much better day sleeper than Laura was – she can easily sleep for 2-3 hours during the day without disturbing her nights. She wakes up about once or twice every evening, same as Laura at the same age.

She is going through the biting phase. Laura sometimes annoys her so Bea bites her – the marks are scary. She also slaps and scratches but if we tell her off, she hugs and kisses. Sometimes she knows it’s not right and says “nao, nao, nao” with her finger going side to side.

Her teeth come out very randomly. She has her four front teeth, two bottom ones, 5 at the back, both sides, top and bottom, and lots of space in between. So 11 teeth, 9 more to go.

She is now into bedtime stories and this is daddy’s business. She loves books and would happily get several books read to her every evening.

She is much easier to put to sleep than Laura was. Hmmmm, let me rephrase this: she doesn’t need to be rocked to sleep. All I need to do is lay down in her bed, feed her and let her fall asleep on her own. Lately (about a week now), she has been sleeping on my chest, listening to my heart.

When she wakes up in the middle of the night, she comes to our bed. Laura used to sleep in a cot-bed until she was 2; Bea sleeps in a normal bed since she was 1 and a bit, so she has no barriers. Laura was scared to leave her bed when we took the side down and I always had to go to her in the middle of the night. I don’t have this “problem” with Beatrice.

I have no idea how much she weights and measures and I couldn’t care less. She is very healthy and eats well (most of the time) and seems pretty ok in terms of development, so not worried about check ups at all.

Her first fireworks display was quite funny. She loved the loud music and kept asking “mais” (“more”) whenever the music stopped, but freaked out and got so so scared with the actual fireworks…

She tells us when she has a dirty nappy.

She is a funny little girl, who loves kissing and waving goodbye to strangers, dancing, singing, playing, eating, putting things in her month, climbing chairs and sofas, running, plying hide and seek, etc. She still loves Peppa Pig and Frozen (which she still calls Go but now she added Anna to the mix), but we have introduced her to Marsha and the Bear. She loves Atirei o pau no gato, Sapo cururu and other Brazilian nursery rhymes. Daddy teaches her the English ones and she likes them as well. Laura is her buddy but we have to keep an eye as sometimes they can fight like grown ups.

I’ve been trying to keep her as a baby forever, but I lost this battle. I just need to accept that she will soon be a child and will soon be sleeping through the night. 😉

Happy 18th month, Bee-bee-beautiful!

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We can’t stop time

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I’m a tiny bit shocked that it is getting to end of October.

I’m thinking about Christmas (because it’s too late to think about Halloween). Just thinking because probably we won’t do much about it apart from putting the Christmas tree up. (Can i say that I was thinking about putting it up now to justify the hard work it is? The longer it is up the more worth it it seems).

Beatrice is nearly 18 months old. Laura has been in school nearly two months. I’m no where near getting used to the “new” life (working full time-mother of two-big kid at school-small kid somewhere else).

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2014 has been a funny year. I can’t say it was good, because my father passed away in February and it has been harder than I thought. My mom’s sister had an emergency operation around the same time and still hasn’t recovered (actually had an accident last week) and another aunt – my dad’s sister – passed away unexpectedly (for me, at least). I do know, though, that despite these news weren’t welcome, this is life and the older we are, the closer to heaven we are.

I can’t 2014 has been a bad year either. I spent half of it on maternity leave, watching my baby Bea grow healthy and cute, watching the love of two sister develop, watching my big girl become a funny and intelligent child. We are healthy and we have a decent life. We might not be over the moon with our jobs but it might be because we rather be retired and traveling around the world to spending 10 hours a day working, even if we enjoy the work. And we have jobs, which is great. We visited friends, went to friends’ wedding, had family over, visited our home countries and had a nice summer holiday. And one of the highlights of the year: the British weather. Aaaah, what a beautiful spring, what a lovely summer and what a good autumn (at least for now) we’ve had. Thank you, Mother Nature (although it is because she is suffering, not because she is being nice, that the weather is like this).

So 2014 was a funny year. I want to say it was half full. It could be better, but it can always be better, right? Maybe 2015. Maybe we will be in the mood to make it better.

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I’m already working on my New Year’s resolution. I love lists and I love resolutions. I still have a few things to do in 2014 and I want to start some of my resolutions in 2014, but I like to plan the future (without putting too much energy into it – I rather use my energy doing something).

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We had visitors today and we cooked lunch at eight hands. We had nice grilled fish and prawns. It was the first time I bought fresh fish and the first time I bought fresh prawns with shell. It was a weird experience – in some aspects, I am one of those people that think that tuna comes in a tin. It was quite funny to see Laura’s reaction to the prawn:
– I don’t want this fish.
– This is a prawn, Laura.
– It has eyes!!
– Of course it does.
– Why?
– Because animals have eyes.
– But prawn is not an animal!!
– Yes, it is.
– Rice doesn’t have eyes…
– Rice is not an animal.
– Oh.

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People at work are pretty crap when it comes to recycling. The put banana skin in the paper recycling, bottles in the food bin… and to complicate things, whoever deals with the recycling decided to add more layers to something already confusing.

This week we found a new recycling bin in the bathroom. We were all discussing why the heck they would put a recycling bin in the bathroom if we don’t use paper towels to dry our hands. Really, what are they expecting to recycle?! Toilet paper? People were actually putting tissues in the bin. And then someone decided to have a closer look and read what was written on the bin: it is a recycling bin for bras. Excuse me?! Who the heck recycle their bras in the office?! It became a joke on our floor.

We later found out it is something for charity – but the explanation is only available in the bathrooms on the ground floor. Clever.

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After a good couple of months eating like there’s no tomorrow, I’m trying to eat better. Reducing sugar consumption, increasing greens and fruits, drinking more water, this sort of things. I’m not extremist, I don’t cut things completely, I don’t replace all unhealthy stuff with organic ones, but I’m trying to balance things a bit, because there’s just so much my body can take.

For a long time, I saw friends and online recipes talking about ganache and all cakes had this on top, and ganache this, ganache that. I didn’t like the name, so I didn’t want to try it. Until the day I made dark chocolate ganache for the first time. Hot cream + melted chocolate. Can I say? I hated it. No, really, I thought it was awful – sickening. I tried three times, following recipes. Pour it on the cake still warm. Not for me. Luckily all the three times I made too much, so placed the rest in the fridge. And now we are talking. And now I can say I like it. I like it dark, milk or white chocolate (not so much this one). I even like 1/2 chocolate 1/2 carob. But it has to be cold, after several hours in the fridge. Everyone in this house love it. It’s our desert when we don’t have a proper desert to eat. One day, I will try to use it (cold, lots) as cake filling. Until then, a teaspoon from time to time to sweeten life.

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Beatrice: 17 months

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Little baby is growing and, although I’m suffering to see that time is flying, I’m also loving all the new things.

* Bea’s kisses are proper kisses now. Before she just touched her lips and said “Muah”.

* She loves playing with dolls and cuddly toys, putting them to sleep, kissing them. And the she has a click and throws them far.

* She loves Buddy, the childminder’s dog, but also punches him and pulls his tail in a ‘mean’ way. It’s cute to see the photos of them sharing the bed but if I ever decide to have a pet, I would wait this aggressive phase to pass.

* Her vocabulary is increasing. Maybe at a slower pace than it would have if she was attending a nursery but at least she says more words in Portuguese than Laura used to.

* She is still a good fruit and broccoli eater. One of these days I gave her a bowl of cooked vegetables to eat by herself and she ended eating two full bowls.

* Her laughter is contagious and we all find ourselves (Laura included) doing all sort of silly things to make her laugh.

* She calls the childminder’s husband “ma-mor” (from “meu amor”, which means “my love”).

* Forever teething, no new tooth this month.

* Her sleep had some improvements.

* She cries when Laura goes to school.

* She loves Peppa Pig and ONLY Peppa Pig and ONLY in English. She can be heard singing the theme tune (“tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tutu Paaaaaaapig).

* She know all animals sounds but my favourite (for now) is when she imitates birds.

* When she does something wrong she either says “uh-oh” or “no no”
and does “no” with her finger.

* She wakes up in the morning and comes to our bedroom when I’m not sleeping with her. Huge progress from just staying there and crying.

* She loves brushing her teeth.

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