Saturday, 4 September 2010

Blog: September 2010

28th September 2010

That's it. Our last day at Maceio. We are all tired, believe it or not. Last full day and al the children wanted to do was stay in the room. I managed to get them out to play at pol for a while but not a chance to take them across the street to the beach. After a while, they begged to come back to the room to watch TV and rest. My parents are also worn out. So our last day in Alagoas state was very lazy. Trust me, I'm not complaining as I'm also quite tired. None of us cannot eat anymore.

Since going to the beach or doing some fun stuff was not an option, we all decided to go shopping. Believe me it was quite weird hearing the children say a they wanted to go shopping as opposed to go playing at the beach or at the pool. Yes, that's time to go back to Brasilia.

Children are starting to complain that they miss Mummy, the cat and even the dog. Maybe the last few days in Brasilia won't be as much fun as children seem to be ready to go home. It will be another two weeks until we are back to Australia though.

I'll be using the last few days trying to catch up with friends that I have not met yet, including a very god friend who is suffering from the same disease as Stephen Hawkings. The last time I saw him, three years ago, the disease was at the very beginning. Now, he's lost all movement, cannot speak and cannot eat by himself.

Lela and Rafa are enjoying it all. Rafa even asked me if we stay forever in a hotel. My Mum said that I once asked a very similar question when I was a young child. That's my boy :)))).

26th September 2010

Nothing much happening here. We had a pretty sunny day today, at last. We all got a bit tanned. Children enjoy the water either the ocean or the pool. Rafael asked me today if after we check in in a hotel if we have to leave, if we could stay here forever. I think he'd like Hotel California. :))))

Other than that, we did some shopping. Of course Rafa found a miniature soccer game and I had to buy it. Now we play it everyday. But that's ok.

Children have not asked anything about going back to Brasilia or Australia yet. That's a good sign and I could say they're still having a good time.

Today, with the sun, I had my first day at the beach as I wanted it to be: children playing in the sun, swimming a bit, running around, while I was sitting under an umbrella, drinking beer with my Dad and eventually getting into the water dot play with the children. Not many waves today. That made our lives much easier. :)))))

We have three more days here. We are flying back to Brasilia on Wednesday. Then, about ten days later, flying back to Australia. I think we have just gone over the hump of our time in Brasil. :((((

I think that's it for now.

21st September 2010

Today is Tuesday, 21 September in Brasil and we are heading off to the northeastern of the country to enjoy the sun, the cold beer, the seafood and the ocean. I've been dreaming about this for three years. Now we're just few
hours away. YEAHHH!!!!

In the last few days the kids had quite a busy schedule. On Saturday we went to the zoo where they could meet some of the local fauna (jaguars, wild cats, macaws of all different colours, vultures, south-american wolves, capivaras (imagine a rat 1 meter long. That's what a capivara is. The largest rodent in the world). The kids got really amazed when one of thos giant rats came out of the enclosure. Gabriela was probably about 1 or 2 meters away from it. Rafael got so excited that his first question was: "can I pet him?" Well that was a wild animal so the answer was: "Of course!!" Just kidding. No way I'd let him scare the poor animal. :))))

In the zoo in Brasília we have many and many birds. All different types and shapes. We also saw some snakes, including a small anaconda and few boa constrictors. I let the children know that the boa constrictor was the snake that Harry Potter talked to in the first movie/book. Gabriela let out a very non-interested "ahhhh".

Of course, other than local fauna, there were animals from other continents as well. Rafael's favourite was the giraffe, which was the animal he played the his school play. When he saw the giraffes he said: "look, that's me!" :)))

The day was really hot and dry. We left and went to a club where you can spend the whole day having fun and socialising. You can have lunch there, go to different simming pools, some with slides, soccer fields, basktball courts, you can play volley-ball, beach soccer (even though there are no beaches in Brasília), foot-volley (volleyball using any part of your body, except hands) and, of course, my favourite sport lately: beer drinking. Rafael was excited because the team I used to play in Brasil and who won the championship in the World Master Games in Sydney was playing and they won. They trashed the other team 5 x 1. Of course, Rafa had to play a little bit with his tios (uncles).

Then the next day we had the big BBQ. According to our accounts, we had about 80 people attending between family and friends. Chldren were a bit overwhelmed. However, by the end of the day, they were glad to inform me that they had made 4 new friends. Three of thoe I can identify, but the fourth one is still a mystery. Note that there were lots and lots of kids there. But only four who could communicate with them, or made an effort to play with them. Therefore, the 4 friends made.

We hired a couple to prepare all the food. It was the best money spent as all we had to do during the whole day was relax, drink beer (my favourite sport) and chat. Children loved to play in the pool even though every single one of them ended up with blue lis and shaking because the water was freezing. That's a mystery how can a day when the temperature was 30 plus have such cold pool. Well, not really a mystery: Brasília at this time of the year has a climate similar to desert: very hot during the day and very cold/cool at night.

Anyway, we're heading to the beach, in a city called Maceió. We'll stay there until 29 September. I'll try to send an update in the meantime. In case you don't hear from is because we are having fun at the beach. At least I hope we will, since Rafael decided to let me know ysterday that he's not going to the beach, as he prefers to stay at home. Anyway, I'll make sure I'll pack him.


19th September 2010

I don't have any news on how the big party went - I imagine it was HUGE - about 70 people at a BBQ at Dom's family home :-)

I spoke to Lela and Rafa very briefly on Skype - once :-( They are not interested in talking to me at all :-( If I was their parent, I'd use Skype when their cousins are not around, or they are not playing Wii - and then they may be more inclined ;-)) :P :P

On Saturday they went to a clube in Brasilia to watch Laranja Mecanica play. Gabriela & Rafael stayed in the pool with their cousins and then later on went to watch the game.

Before that they went to the zoo. Gee, things change in 10 years - now adults have to pay to get in!! $2 ;-) It was very hot, but the children enjoyed it a lot. Rafael wanted to pat the capivare's - eewww! Giant rats ;-)

They are heading off to the beach on Tuesday for 10 days, so I don't know when I'll have any updates.

Lastly, do you remember Ruby and how devastated we were by her passing? Her 8 year old friend has set up a Facebook page "Ribbons for Ruby" He wants to raise A$1 Million for Y.A.M.S. How amazing is that!! Ruby would be so very happy :-)) When the ribbons are ready for selling, I'll let you know


17th September 2010

Well, it is, actually, 16 September in Brasil. This week has abeen a quiet one. 

After our arrival in Brasília, children setttled in very quickly with their cousins. They feel very, very comfortable aroubd the house. It's a pity that, instead of learning Portuguese from their cousins, Rafael and gabriela have been teaching English to them. Nonetheless, from time to time ethey are able to make a request in Portuguese, such as: Vovó, quero goiabada; or Vovó, quero pão de queijo; or Vovó, quero água.

No need to say that both grandparents are in heaven having all their four grandchildren under the same roof. The house is incredibly noisy, which is great, I must say!!! We have children yelling from afternoon till time to sleep.
The reason the yelling does not start in the morning is because cousins leave early for school (7:00 am) and my children sleep in till 10:30ish.

Cousins come back from school at lunch time and from there on, till bed time, it is a relentless rythm. Incredible energy that children have. Gabriela and Rafael count down the minutes till their cousins come back from school.

In the morning, by 10:00 am, while children are still sleeping, my Dad and I can start having our quiet beer. Yes, we start at 10:00 am. That´s true we finish by lunch time, but the idea is just to catch up with some chat.

After a very slow start in terms of eating, Rafael and Gabriela seem to be getting the rythm and have started eating better: steak, chips, mashed potatoes, rice, ice poles, pão de queijo, goiabada and, of course, lots and lots and lots of tomato sauce.

Since not all can be perfect, there hsa been a bit of hick up: Rafael is in fine form, bossing everyone around. Today, Thursday in Brasil, Rafael made his older cousin cry after he lost his temper playing Uno cards. Grandeparents and uncles and aunties and cousins are aware of his temper now, which goes from a huge and
cuddly smile to a very angry face in a split of a second.

On Tueday my Dad and I I decided to try to motivte children to get into the pool. The water is freezing. So my Dad and I went in and lçater we convinced the two of them to join us. They didn't last 30 seconds in the water. Gabriela left the pool crying. And that was the end of it... until one of their cousins decided that she wanted to go into the pool on the next day. Then, it was a completely different matter: Gabriela jumped in the pool and stayed there laughing a lot because the water was freezing. The power of the cousins!!! Mum and Dad are non-existent at the moment :))))

Nonetheless, both Rafael and Gabriela are enjoying their time here. They don't want to go to the beach anymore. They want to stay here with their cousins. I think I need to take them to beach to give the cousins a bit of a break. :)))

So far, they have only met a few of their Laranja uncles. On Sunday, we´ll be celebrating my father´s birtheday as well as mine and of 3 other cousins. We´re having a BBQ for at least 70 people. We'll have a chance to meet more people then. I'll make an effort to meet more people when I come back from the beach, at the end of September.

So far, I managed to stay out of trouble just staying at home and not doing much. I had not realised how tired I was until I got here. Hopefully, by the end of the month, I'll have some of my energy back and we'll be able to socialise more.

By the way, Rafael had a hair cut today. I think it looks great. The best hair cut he´s had in years. I took him to a barber and not to a hairdresser. I told the guy that all I wanted was to cut his hair short. He asked me if I wanted to keep the "fio longo" (long hair as oppose to cut in layers). I said yes and the guy did it perfectly. Why can't Aussie hairdressers listen to what we say? Anyway, Rafa was really happy with his haircut.... until we got home. For some reason, by the time we got home (10 minutes later) he hated his haircut, even though everyone loved it. Rafa, Rafa, Rafa... (big sigh)!!!!  :)))

Dom, direct from Brasil

13th September 2010

The flight left Sydney nearly 2 hours late and therefore they missed their connection in Argentina :-( Domingos got very stressed ;-) Apparently the children handled it like the "pros" they are ;-) Mingo forgets that Lela and I spent 2 days at an airport last year!

They managed to find a B & B to stay in overnight and made it on to the BA flight the next day. Once in Sao Paulo, Domingos was able to negotiate with the airline that they had full fare tickets on. It should have cost "an arm & a leg" to change their flight (they missed theirs due to the other missed flight), but the nice lady only charged them about $70 total!! Woohoo :-)

They arrived in Brasilia at 6:30 pm on Sunday, making them only 8 hours late!! Everyone is so excited. I tried to talk to the children on Skype, but they are having too much fun with their cousin's already :-) Rafael was wearing shorts too - that's all he's wanted all winter ;-)
So far they have eaten pao de quejo, pizza and beijinhos - I can hear their thoughts from here - they'll never want to leave!!! LOL


11th September 2010

Very busy and tiring week for us all ;-)

Gabriela's school performance was lot's of fun - Masterchef :-))) We enjoyed it a lot.

Gabriela and Rafael stayed behind to watch the Grade 5 + 6 performance  - I came home to keep packing ... LOL

They didn't go to school yesterday - still too sleepy from their late night before ;-)

We managed to squeeze as much into carry on luggage as we could - but it weighed too much! Gosh - shoes - who needs them???

This morning we all had to wake up at 4 am!!!! Ai carumba ;-) It took a little while for Lela & Rafa to get moving. Rafael was in fine form ;-)))))

They all got away from Melbourne without any problems, they even managed to get their boarding passes all the way to Buenos Aires :-)

..... However ...... the flight left Sydney nearly 2 hours late :-( So now they have missed their connection in Argentina to Brasil :-( Joys of staff travel ;-)

They have tickets for another airline at another airport, let;s see if they make it ;-)

I'm off to Los Angeles tomorrow for a 6 day trip - I've never done one before :-)) A nice way to spend my alone time ;-) Shopppppppppping & sleeeeeeeeeeeping ;-)


9th September 2010

Last night was the school Performing Art's Festival - Rafael was a very little giraffe!!

He has been very excited about the performance all week. I was meant to be away, but thankfully, managed to swap trips :-))

Gabriela's class is performing tonight :-)

Rafael enjoyed the whole experience, learning his lines, going to rehearsals, and especially getting ready at the school :-)))

I'm trying to upload a video, having some probs, will add photo's too.

We (read I) am trying to get the bags packed and paperwork in order. I feel like I'm in slow motion - I look at the bags - and walk away!! LOL 


4th September 2010

Hello all, sorry for the slow update - again!! Have been flat out since I got home from work late Wednesday night!!!

Domingos and the children leave next Saturday for 1 month in Brasil :-)) There has been a lot to arrange, least of all, a letter through the Brasilian Embassy allowing Domingos to leave the country with the children on his own !! It has been a nightmare week because they did not accept the 1st signed documents and I had to run around and find a Notary Public to make it official - wah!! Finally got it dome last night, but still have to send it to the embassy in Canberra and hope it arrives before they leave ;-)

Most of the packing is done, just need a final sort + 2 teddy bears that are too busy at the moment to want to sit in suitcases ;-)

I took Rafael to the GP yesterday to get his Hep A, pneumococcus and meningococcus immunizations. As per Dr Peter's email from last Sunday, Rafael also needed measles and rubella :-( They GP ended up calling RCH and spoke to a specialist there for advice on what to give??

As it turns out, the standard for oncology patients is that they are full re-immunized for all childhood vaccines 6 months after they finish treatment. Well, Rafael is technically still in treatment, but he hasn't had chemo for over 18 months!!!

Anyway - he ended up getting ALL of them, plus chicken pox and typhoid - ALL at once :-( They got 2 nurses, one on each side of Rafael and he had 2 needles in each arm and one in each leg :-(( He cried a lot and got very scared, but he didn't fight it, he just sat there and watched and screamed :-(( Such a brave little guy xxx I didn't send him to school after that!! Later in the day his leg got very sore - from the typhoid. I remember what that's like in the arm - ouch!

On Thursday, Domingos took them to school early for the Father's Day breakfast - both children promptly ran off and left him to chat to some other Dad's ;-) When Mingo went looking for Rafa, he found him playing football with the Grade 3's ;-))) Tiny little Rafa next to tall 10 years olds - too cute :-))

Last night we went to Tyler's house for dinner. We all had a great time. Rafael misses Tyler a lot at school :-((

Today is the last day of soccer for this year - just in time for their holiday :-))

Tomorrow is Father's Day and I have to go to work in the afternoon :-(( 

The children are counting down the sleeps until they leave ;-) They won't be too excited next Saturday when they have to get up at 4am!!!


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