Saturday, December 29, 2012


Just a taste of what "boinky-boink" and "waaaaaahh" are at our house. Usually there is more laughter and squeals of delight.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thanksgiving and Christmas 2012

Two pregos on Jane's birthday
This holiday season has been really wonderful, beginning with Thanksgiving with both our families in November. We got to meet Sam and Benson's baby boy, Hudson, and then meet Josh and Aly's baby girl, Jane (born three days before Thanksgiving), which got all three of us excited to meet our own new baby in January. We loved spending time in Utah with our families and are so grateful for their kindness and support and love even as we live so far away. We also acquired our residency visas for Brazil, which means that our sea shipment was finally sent. Last we heard, it will arrive in the country sometime in early January and will get to our home (after sitting in customs) in early February. Any prayers on our behalf, particularly that we might get our shipment a little closer to our baby's due date would be appreciated. :)

35 weeks, just before Jake's work party

We headed back to Brazil at the end of November, and have spent December wishing for air conditioning (lots of 90+ degree days), playing outside, and getting back into a routine. We went with some friends to watch the light and water show (kind of like at the Bellagio) at Ibirapuera park, and my friend, Rebecca, was kind enough to take a family photo (see post from December 23), and I managed a nice picture even with our non-fancy camera.

Lights at Ibirapuera Park after the water show

I was feeling pretty blue last week because of the lack of Christmas in our home (my one box of decorations guessed it...on the boat), and Jake came through Sunday night with a borrowed tree and decorations. I can't believe how that one gesture changed my whole attitude. I finally let myself get excited about Christmas, and I was so grateful to Jake and the other ward members who helped out.

Christmas Eve rain
Christmas PJs, courtesy of Nana; tree courtesy of our bishop and his family

We had a fun Christmas, just the three of us. Christmas Eve we had the Miller family traditional Mary & Joseph dinner (consisting of fish, dried fruit, nuts, grapes, grape juice, and crumbly cheese) and read the Christmas story from the Bible. We had hoped to share it with our friends, but their daughter got sick the day before, and so they weren't able to make it.

Mary & Joseph dinner

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Joseph got far too many presents, and he had a lot of fun reading his books and playing with all his new toys. He even spent minutes at a time with a toy playing quietly by himself, which NEVER happens. Note to self: encourage this, particularly since the new baby will frequently tie you down. :) We had leftovers and treats and got to talk to both our families on Skype later in the afternoon. We miss them a lot, but technology makes the distance much easier.

Jake and Joseph with Elmo and Panda Christmas morning.

Our anniversary is two days after Christmas, and Jake took the day off from work. We went to Ibirapuera Park, ate lunch at home, went to a doctor's appointment for me and then another for Joseph, ate at the Chili's down the street, and picked up Joseph's and my prescriptions. I loved being able to spend this fifth anniversary of ours marveling at the strange turns our short marriage has already taken, reminiscing about crazy road trips and starving student days, talking a lot about what we want to do next, and wondering what strangeness is in store in the years to come. I'm a lucky girl to be married to this awesome guy and have such a beautiful family.

Playing at the park two days after Christmas

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Joseph Update

I realized how little I've posted in the last while, and I know that once our daughter arrives in January, I won't have much chance to provide an update on Joseph as often, so I wanted to get some of this down.

Joseph is a whole lot of fun these days. I never knew two-year-olds could be so much fun (as well as so exhausting). He is learning rapidly; he finally figured out which number is which, thanks to our elevator, and is so quick with his letters. He loves to run and have Jake chase him and fly him all over the house, and he loves being thrown on the bed. At this point (8.5 months pregnant), I can't do much of that, but Jake loves it too, or at least doesn't mind being accosted the second he walks through the door: "Babypandaflyingboinkyboinkwaaaah!" For those who might not speak Josephese, baby panda chases him, flying is zooming around, boinkyboink and waaaah are two distinct ways of being thrown on the bed. He talks about it all day, especially in the afternoons when he knows Jake will be  home soon. He's getting more dextrous and loves to put stickers on paper, though he still has a hard time getting the stickers off the sheet and onto his fingers.

He also loves books, and has many of them memorized, including Quick as a Cricket, which he pronounces "Titt as a Titett." Adorable. He won't read or sing on demand, but he'll do both when he thinks no one is paying attention. His other current favorite books are Go, Dogs. Go!, The Cat in the Hat, Your Personal Penguin, a Christmas pop-up my parents gave him before we left Utah in November, and a book about Jesus Jake's mom gave him for his birthday. He loves having me sing Primary songs, Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo, and the theme from Winnie-the-Pooh. He's very into Elmo, and we watch several YouTube videos featuring Elmo most days.

He's starting to get humor. I'll ask him where his dirty clothes go, and he'll look at me, smile, and say, "In the garbage!" I'll say, "No, where do your clothes go?" and he'll run to his room yelling, "In the basket!" He thinks it's funny every single time, and he'll do the opposite phrases when I ask him where his dirty diapers go. He's also having independent thought, not just mimicking us. He'll say things like "You MAY play with the ironing board" after he knows we've said he may not. He's also putting ideas together, so that when I say, "You need to ask daddy about that," he'll come up with a brand new sentence using the asking structure we've taught him: "Daddy, may I play with your phone please?" or "Mommy, may I have some water please?" He has to be prompted to ask, otherwise it's just "more water?" but I'm really proud of his language progress.

He's also incorporating Portuguese words into everyday use. He likes to pray in Portuguese at bedtime with Jake, and he likes me to count things in Portuguese, particularly when we're counting down the bites left on his plate a mealtimes. He's very proud that he knows the words for dog, cat, bear, and several other animals, and he says "Tudo bem!" to everyone at church (standard greeting, like "How's it going?"). Food is easier, because much of it doesn't have an English equivalent (pavĂ©, torta, pastel), and he asks to go to the feira all the time.

He is very definitely a creature of habit, but from what I've read and heard, most kids his age are. Our day goes something like this: get up around 7, eat breakfast, change his diaper and clothes, play with toys or books or go outside (weather permitting), snack around 10, watch Elmo videos and play with toys or books some more, lunch around noon, then fruit snack (can't forget the fruit snack!), diaper change, go down for a nap, sit in his room for several hours not actually napping, get up, snack, play or run an errand or two or Skype with Nana, drive Mommy crazy while she's trying to make dinner, eat when Jake gets home (after flyingbabypandaboinkyboinkwaaaaah), lime cookie, play or read, PJs, brush teeth, story, song, prayer, and bed by 8 pm. It's a busy day. We'll break the routine some days and go to the park (about 3/4 of a mile each way), see a friend, or some other thing, but this is pretty much how it goes most days.

I've held off on potty training, as our lives have been in upheaval since August, and I probably won't begin in earnest until our baby is here and I've established some semblance of a routine, but we talk about the potty and sit on it most days, though no success on that front yet.

He's gotten frighteningly good at playing with the Kindle and can find his couple of games without any help. One funny side effect of playing with it is that he tries to swipe the computer screen and TV screen and gets frustrated when they don't work the way he thinks they should. Oh, child of the digital age!

As for discipline, I've found that time-outs are pretty effective, and he's to the point now where he'll sit in a chair by himself for the duration instead of having me pin his arms down on my lap. Considering my lap is shrinking daily, this is a welcome change. I still have a hard time getting him to come when called, and I'm sure part of that is my own inconsistency, but I think we're making progress. Now if I could only figure out how to get him to whisper in church and not shout "All done!" after the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting....

He likes to give my belly hugs and kisses and "tawt tah baby stistah" and give her stickers. He's asked to hold her and talk to her on Skype, and he got very excited when he saw her on the screen during a brief ultrasound at my doctor appointment last week. We talk about how we have to be gentle with babies and how they can only drink milk and how he can help get diapers and clothes for her. He's seen a few babies in the last several months, so I don't think it will be a completely foreign experience to have a baby around, though I don't know how he'll react when we bring her home and she's here to stay.

He's getting big, too. He can reach all the lightswitches and I'm frequently amazed at the shelves he can reach, but his self-control is getting better too, or at least his obedience is better developed. I'm finally taking him for his two-year-old checkup tomorrow, and will update with height and weight when I get a chance.

We are sure lucky to have this awesome little boy in our family. He's curious, excited, fun, funny, and a joy to have around. He's gaining so much independence, and it's amazing to watch him grow and learn and do more on his own.

UPDATE: Joseph's stats are 48 cm head, 25 lb, 2'11". Weight is 50th percentile, height is 70th percentile. Not sure where the tall genes came from... The doctor was absolutely the best pediatrician of the three we've seen since Joseph's birth, and he made the whole experience very pleasant. In other non-Joseph news, I'm dilated to 3 cm, so this new baby could come any time. Freaking out a little inside right now.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Tropical Christmas!  (Yes, our child is wearing skeleton pajamas.)

Thanks for the picture Rebecca!