Filipe and I are here in Seattle enjoying this beautiful city. I will share more about it and post pictures next week. For now, here are just some random moments over the past couple of weeks.

Lily is maturing every day. She is reading far beyond what I thought she would be capable of by now and she loves to write (cards, notes, “books”, etc). This mama couldn’t be more proud. The best part is that she is very self-motivated right now. I do very little pushing, and try and do a whole lot of encouraging.

But of course, there is always the need for discipline and correction. When it’s necessary, I try and think big picture and get to the root of the problem, not just correct the bad behavior. Case in point (disclaimer, not sure if this was at all a good idea, just telling ya what happened).

We are working on her ability to stay focused and not get distracted. Often I’ll ask her to do something but as she goes off to do it, something else will inevitably catch her attention and she’s off doing else. This happened last week. I asked her to do something minutes later went upstairs to find her in my bathroom with a bottle of hairspray in hand “fixing” one of her doll’s hair. It wasn’t a big deal what she was doing, the big deal was she totally disregarded my instructions.

I had to think of some kind of discipline that would focus her attention for longer that a few short minutes. So I told her before she could do anything else she had to write me an apology letter without my help. She disappeared into my office and came back about 30 minutes later with this:

“Mommy I am sorry for disobeying you and for using hairspray without asking you.
Please forgive me.”

Efraim is a big talker now. His language is developing quickly, and his personality comes more alive each day. His favorite phrases are “hold me mommy”, “ajuda mama” (portuguese for “help”), and “abri, abri” (portuguese for “open”). My mom sent the kids little photo albums from our trip to Charleston over Christmas. He loves looking at them and staring at the faces.

I finally renewed our membership to the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. I took Cailyn & Efraim last week when it was raining and we had a blast!

Efraim is very particular. Everything has to be “right”. Here here is trying on the Fireman jacket making sure all the buckles are closed.

Ta-Da!

But, being the boy he is, “driving” the fire truck was his favorite.
(This pic doesn’t quite capture his excitement, he was more concerned about Cailyn NOT taking his seat.)

Cailyn is my little big helper. She makes things a little easier for me during the mornings when it’s just me, her, and Efraim. If you ever wondered, I think the age difference between the two of them is perfect (26 mo.). Cailyn wants to be a cook when she grows up.

Here she is at the children’s museum:with her cookie factory. 

She helped Filipe bake me a birthday cake,

 and she knows the best part.

Wednesday night we celebrated my birthday with Santos family & the Wood family. That cake was one of the best I’ve ever had. The name? “Deep Chocolate Raspberry Cake” It was a rich chocolate cake w/ a ganache like layer outside. Unbelievable!

I hope your family had a great week!