One of the first nights we were there the kids fell asleep in bed with their Tia Dida (one of Mari's 2 sisters). It seemed like a completely normal thing to be doing. Then that next morning, I lay awake realizing how not normal that is. I certainly didn't have that close a relationship with my aunts and uncles. I still turned out great (some might say, lol). But I believe it would have been sweeter to enjoy a larger circle of love. So I feel really lucky that the kids get to enjoy a close relationship with their tias, aunts and uncles. Plus there is grandma who's back from her two month long trip across the Atlantic.
Mari grew up with a pack of cousins all in the same neighborhood. His mom's side of the family is so close, she occasionally breastfed almost all the 9 cousins at one point or another and served as wet nurse for 2 of them. They all had such a joyful and mischievous childhood that they keep talking about Kaio and Nala needing some cousins to roll with. Unfortunately, doesn't look that that will be happening anytime soon and I'm not holding my breath. My kids will just have to befriend the neighbors or something.
We got Nala baptized while we were down there. A few of Mari's family came to show their support:
Nala didn't really like it. Especially after the priest got water in her eyes.
Then we came home to celebrate Kaio's 5th birthday party.
I bit my lip on the sweets and let them make the party Brazilian style, even if it meant the kids were sugar high all day. We've been detoxing since them :).
I tried to make a pinata for him. And it actually worked!
Then there is Tia Manga (one of Mari's younger cousins). Kaio developed an almost immediate affinity to her. She spent the month practically living with us and usually sleeping next to Kaio, since he would complain anytime she was away, "Where's Tia Manga? I want Tia Manga."