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My kid turned 2

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So unlike my child’s first birthday, I actually put on a party for him. I thought about inviting the entire world, but my husband was worried about a thousand kids running around, and well I didn’t want to overwhelm my son, so we invited all of the 2 year olds he knew for a get together.  Of course, he really only hangs out with 2 year olds from our neighborhood who are Brasilian.  So ordering a pizza  and hanging out in the house wasn’t going to cut it.

In fact, at least daily my nanny informed me someone had asked the following questions:

1. What type of food will be having?  Is this a full meal or snacks?

2. Can we just drop off our kid, or is this a parents come to party?

Yeah odd questions I thought, who thinks about a 2 year old party this much.  Thankfully I’ve read this blog post and seen the amazing display of Brasilian love for children first hand.  I even took pictures I was sooo impressed.  So I figured I needed to do something somewhat similar.

Here’s my weak attempt (unfortunately, my husband and I only took a few photos of things as there was a miscommunciation about who took what).

Yes, I realize my other son was only a month old, but I needed to do something.  So I brought in a bunch of American food, milkyway bars, licorice, and a ton of oreos.  I also bought the car shaped cookie cutters from Williams Sonoma and made graham crackers out of them  You can see the graham crackers in the photo below..  The kids loved the graham crackers.  You can find the recipe here.  I also made little sugar cookies with the Williams Sonoma Message in a Cookie cutters – Happy Birthday and Parabens.  After 2 batches, I finally figured out how to get the cookies to be readable.  Note to those who thought those cookie cutters were “too cute” like me.

I also decorated my first birthday cake– red velvet—very not Brasilian.

I wasn’t going to fork out for an entertainer, as most parties have, nor did my husband see any reason to fork out money for a bounce house — both standard at most kid’s parties here.  So I decided to make a pinata.  My kid loves to beat the crap out of things, and it would be different.  AND I figured I could get away with not having to do a bunch of little gift bags.  I found a lady who makes pinatas here for R$150, but that’s pretty steep for something you can easily make yourself with crepe paper, a balloon and glue.  It was a hit (haha)!

All in all my kid had fun, and we did have an outfit change halfway through like most Brasilian parties, except this one was due to my son falling into the fountain.

Crafty time

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So like oh probably 3.5 to 4 years ago I ran across a little magazine article from Marth Stewart on how to do pintucks. I also had seen a $300~ duvet cover at Anthropologie and loved it. So I bought thread, and a big King sheet for the Queen sized bed, and figured it would be a quick project.  Then I got caught up in work.

Then I got pregnant, and one night before my first kid was born, I took the time to make all of the marks of where the pintucks would be… but that’s about it… because I’m a slacker.

So I brought it with me to Brasil, thinking I would have dead time to craft.  Well I’m not crafty, and found many other things to fill the dead time with.  Then came baby #2, and I realized that it was freaking about time, and well winter was coming up and our old duvet cover had been killed by the stupid thing that Brasilians try to pass off as a washer/dryer (seriously this thing eats my clothing).

And walla, my beautiful duvet.  Not quite as equal to Anthropologies, as I spread out the pintucks, as I’m lazy, but pretty still the same.

I still need to sew on buttons like Anthro, but remember I’m lazy.  I think it will add a little color, each button I plan on using a different bright color of thread, as it’s rather white.

I miss Sephora

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I stopped by a Cosmetics store the other day, a larger one as I needed to pick up some blue hair dye for some highlights.  They had a lot of hair products, but one thing that I have consistently found lacking is makeup here.  I’ve seen the MAC store, but to be honest I’ve never bought into the whole MAC cosmetics world.  I do however miss Sephora, walking in and looking at the various beautiful brands just makes me happy inside.   I’m more of a Laura Mercier and Tarte girl, and I don’t get that option here so I have to buy makeup whenever I go back to the US.  Well that was until I remembered a little site I had run across a very very long time ago.  www.strawberrycom.net.   I remembered they did free international shipping (from China), and they said if you got charged customs they would reimburse it.

Yes ladies, that’s right in English bren.strawberrycom.net and br.strawberrycom.net in Portuguese.  They have it all on the site, and they usually have deals as well, not as sweet as Sephora, but close enough.  I did read their FAQ, and all I remembered was right, they do reimburse and shipping is free.

 

**Update! Looks like we won’t be missing Sephora anymore.  http://vejasp.abril.com.br/noticias/sephora-abre-primeira-loja-no-brasil

The Albert Einstein experience

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So I’m behind on so much…new kid and all.  So a quick final having a baby in Brasil post.

It turns out you really do need to bring your own clothing to the hospital. When the nurses came in the next am, they asked me where my clothing was for the day… there was no gown (not that I would want to stay in the gown as it was completely open in the back!). They then showered me. Yeah, they walked me to the shower, then sat there and instructed me on how to shower, as well as held the shower head. When they did finally give me control of it, they sat and watched me sit (wasn’t allowed to stand) and shower. After giving birth, my sense of modesty usually goes out the window, so I really could have cared less at this point.

My first meal was an interesting one. Split pea soup, brussel sprouts and steak. Seriously, in the US, that would be considered nasty…the meat was much better than I got in the US hopsitals though. Overall, for hospital food, the meat was not bad. It was definitely Brasilian though, an interesting mixes of food though, like green grape sauce over chicken, or almond crusted salmon with applesauce… but still much more edible than I had in the US. They also brought in morning and night tea and crackers.

I had every intent of never letting my son leave my sight after the initial 2 hours “monitoring,” but it turns out that the hospital is MUCH more strict on controls, and every shift change your kid goes back to the nursery, so they can account for the kids. This was a MAJOR pain around feedings, as I had to basically try and force feed a sleeping newborn, as they are there for about 2 hours. Also, my son was completely gagging/turning purple on amniotic fluid, and keep throwing it up, so they refused to let me keep him at night, and would bring him to feed every 3 hours. They pumped his stomach twice. The second time seemed to take. Then there was the circumcision, so then again they wanted him to be watched in the nursery for a bit. Then the next day they decided he was a bit yellow and needed to take a light bath for 24 hours, so on my birthday they took him all day and night, and I would nurse him in the nursery every 3 hours. I never though I would have been okay with it, but I was. As he really does just want to sleep, so just slept calmly in the light bath, and my other son was able to come on Saturday and just spend the day with me and get mommy time at the hospital. Also, my husband got a good night’s sleep, as I had to go to the nursery all night to nurse.

One thing that I have come to really REALLY appreciate about Brasil’s hospital experience is every nurse was trained on breastfeeding. First breastfeed in the room a nurse was there helping me breastfeed. And they were knowledgeable… unlike nurses in the US, who all seemed kind of inept. Each feeding a nurse would stand by me and help to make sure I knew what I was doing.. manhandling the goods if necessary. With my first son I had to visits by the “lactitions” once at 9am … and they were NOT helpful, and actually pissed me off. For my first kid, I ended up using a shield for 3 months, as I couldn’t ever get him to nurse without it.  Also, despite the help, my son lost about 11% of his birth weight. When my other son lost 7% the US freaked out and told me I had to start using formula immediately. This time, the pediatricians said they were worried, but said to wait till my milk came in, and see my pediatrician as soon as I got home, to check to see if the weight came back.

As you can see their help has paid off, what a chunk.

Another thing that I thought was funny was that EVERYTHING had a barcode on it. My kid came in the room with a bar code on his butt, his hat, and each of his booties. It was kind of funny to watch them scan him like produce repeatedly throughout our stay.

Either way, I definitely think Brasil’s hospital is a bit tight on security, but I can understand why it happens.

Dance monkey dance

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A year and a half into Brasil, and my husband and I still haven’t got dancing. I don’t think he’s really much into dancing, so haven’t pushed it.  My son however, has embraced all things Brasil. From his love of corn (he pretty much has decided that all cans contain corn), to his love of Brasilian music and dance.  I’m quite impressed with his samba footwork.  He’s definitely going to leave Brasil with a few skills.

and a bit more here:

 

Easter.. catch up

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We did Easter again this year. The egg was even bigger and heavier, as it was filled with chocolates.

Since the kid’s old enough to understand a bit more about Easter this year, I created a little flour trail for him to follow to the typical Brasilian easter egg, and a packet of mini M&Ms, which I figured would be cleaner. Obviously…

Police Jeito

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So this weekend we headed off to Maresias. There was a 40% chance of thunderstorms, but weather prediction in Brazil is pretty fickle… as you can see from this lovely photo.

As we pulled out of Sao Paulo city, my husband mentions he forgot to grab his passport, and how he’s essentially driving illegally. I was confused as he’s never brought this up before. So he explains, that a cop could pull us over randomly (um ok paranoid much hon?) and we’ve been here long enough that he should have got a Brasilian license. With the passport he could weave a story about how he just got here (since he was recently in the US). Then I start thinking about how in Brasil you have to have some kind of documentation to travel with your kid, to show that they’re not kidnapped. Then I realized this is just crazy think that we’d get pulled over, and went back to sleep for the long drive.

That was until my husband was waived off to the side by a cop? WTF?!! Yeah, at one of the roadside police stations, a cop was just standing in the middle partition of the the road and decided to wave US over. My husband immediately turned on his charm (he can seriously talk his way through any ticket), but then the cop asked him to get out of the car and step away from it. Crap right?

No this is my weasley husband here…he’s good at weasling.  When he got back to the car, he let me know that the cop was enjoying the conversation about California and the tv show C.H.I.P.S.  so much, that he asked my husband to step into the police station for a “cafe”… yeah okay that makes sense. My wife and children are sitting in a tiny hatchback in the “pull off area” on the side of a small freeway, and we’re going to go inside and drink some coffee and talk about C.H.I.P.S.  He actually had to explain to the cop why he couldn’t.. the fact that we were clearly on our way somewhere before we were waived over seemed to slip through the logic that was being used.

Otherwise, Maresias was as lovely as ever. I did get eaten alive by these tiny vampire mosquitos.  You can see the little bits of blood they left all over my ankle.  It actually hurts to walk on my right foot due to the sheer numbers of bites.. and that’s just my right ankle (9 on just the right side of my right ankle).