Reunited & It Feels So Good

Last weekend, our family of 3 was split apart as Michael headed to Cabo to celebrate his best bud, Mike Saign, at his bachelor party. So, while Michael was here:IMG_3689

Culhane and I were here, enjoying a beautiful weekend at a nearby fazenda with friends.1240661_10151922911839882_896436008_n

(And yes, that is a beautiful peacock crossing the lane. Photo credit: Erica Winter!)

Colt’s first time in a pool! IMG_3664 IMG_3666Hanging out with Trent, Paige & Mailey Jane.

IMG_3653Culhane discovered a new favorite seat! IMG_3680 Partying with the best of ’em! imageBoth Michael and I had wonderful weekends, but it was hard being apart, and especially tough for Michael to be away from Colt. He left on Thursday morning and returned Monday morning, so it was only 4 days, but it felt longer.

On Monday morning, Michael was so ready to get home and see his family. By the time he was getting close to the house, Culhane had been up for a couple of hours and was getting fussy and tired – ready for a nap. I almost sent Michael a message to let him know so that he wouldn’t be disappointed if Colt was crying when he got home, but the second that Michael walked in the door, Colt absolutely LIT UP!

Adorable video of them!!

Colt smiled so big at Michael for the next 2 hours straight and continued to be so happy with him the rest of the day. It almost looked like he wished he was able to laugh because he was smiling so big – like he couldn’t contain it. It was literally the sweetest thing I have ever seen!! IMG_3691 IMG_3710 IMG_3700IMG_3717

Belo Horizonte & Inhotim

This past weekend Michael and I took Colt on his first flight! Michael was speaking at a legal conference on Friday in Belo Horizonte so on Thursday afternoon our family of three headed to the airport, and two of us crossed our fingers and held our breath to see how the littlest one would do on his first flight!

We knew that no matter what though, he would at least look the part!
IMG_3510Big-boy travel attire! (Thanks to Jessica Bryant for the shirt, Brad & Brett Coppens for the pants, and Mike & Moira for the sweet kicks!)IMG_3507

When we checked in, they said that the flight wasn’t full so we would be able to bring Colt on in his carseat and put it in the chair between us. I made a bottle before we left as I have heard that it’s good for babies to be drinking at takeoff/landing to help with pressure (similarly to how chewing gum can be helpful), but since presh-pot was asleep, I figured it was best to just let him sleep. He woke up during the flight to eat so we gave him the bottle then, and he was back asleep by the time we landed. Not a tear was shed and we were thankful that he seemed to be a good traveler since that’s kiiiind of a big part of our lives.
IMG_3514On Friday, Culhane and I got up early and got ready to go watch Michael speak at the conference. I didn’t know if we would even be able to get in, but I thought it was so impressive what he was doing — speaking and presenting at a legal conference to a Brazilian audience in Portuguese!!! — so we decided to try our best to sneak in. Thankfully Colt was napping so we snuck in the back and were able to watch most of the presentation. Michael spoke for about 30 minutes and did an amazing job! Although I didn’t totally understand it all, I can say that Michael looked great up there! Culhane and I were so proud!DSC_0334DSC_0327

Our return flight was for Saturday evening, so during the day we decided to rent a car and drive to Inhotim – a very unique park of sorts that has random modern art exhibits scattered all throughout. The weather was perfect and the park was gorgeous – we had a great time walking around, exploring.


DSC_0414Culhane’s new favorite changing-table.
DSC_0390On the flight back they didn’t allow our carseat so I held Colt the entire time. At first I was a little annoyed but it was nice getting to snuggle with him for an hour and a half. He gave a couple of little cries on the flight but nothing that lasted more than a few seconds. Otherwise he seemed happy to either be sleeping or snuggling.

It was a relief to get his first flight out of the way, especially since the next one will be MUCH longer (heading to Jackson, Mississippi in November to celebrate Emily & Kern’s wedding!!), but at the end of the trip we were all happy to get back home.

Michael’s 31st Birthday!

Culhane and I were so excited to celebrate Michael’s 31st birthday and his 1st birthday as a dad on Monday, September 9th.

We had a busy few days with friends the weekend before and we’re heading out of town this weekend and Michael will be out the next one as well, so we took it pretty easy but had fun together.

Morning breakfast and festive signs and notes throughout the house.IMG_3463Colt, a little unsure (and chubbier by the day) in his custom-made dad’s-birthday-attire: DSC_0321DSC_0310Lunch at the Gourmet Tea: IMG_3467and dinner at the new Argentine steak house in our neighborhood, 348 (which – if you’re in SP and like meat, I would totally recommend!): DSC_0325

Happy birthday to my best friend and the love of my life, Michael Harper!  I can’t wait to celebrate you for the rest of my life. XO



Culhane’s 2nd Month!

Colt, my dear, you are 2 months old today! Happy day!2 months

Colt developments: Sweet love, you are changing so much – growing from a beautiful baby to an even more beautiful, tiny little boy. Let’s be honest, you’re still in the little baby stage, but it feels like you’re so much more of a defined person now. All of your features – your eyes, your nose, your eyebrows and eyelashes… – they all just seem stronger.

Personality-wise you continue to be your super chill, laid back, awesome self. You generally only cry if you’re particularly upset about something (time to eat or you’re ready to sleep) and you’re still very easy to soothe and quiet – especially with your paci – you love that thing! You are very portable and we enjoy taking you with us wherever we go.

You also started smiling this month, Culhane! You smile every day but each one is still a treasure, and when you give one out you’d think your mom and dad were being told that we won the lottery – we get so excited every time! The best part of your smile though baby, is your eyes. Your eyes squint up a little bit and just look so happy. What a blessing and a joy it is for us to be a part of that pure happiness.

You are really following people and objects. Sometimes you bat at the toys hanging above you but I think it’s just coincidence at this point. You do tummy-time every day and usually you seem to like it at first – holding your head up and turning it from side to side, doing pseudo push-ups of sorts. Then eventually you either want to fall asleep there or you get feisty and start kicking. If I put my hand behind your feet then you’ll push off and scoot around, but it’s more out of frustration than anything. When you sneeze, you typically give 3 in a row and your arms fly up in the air. We have also decided that you definitely yawn more than the average baby. We are pretty certain you are a little South Paw, and we think that this bodes well for your future baseball career. One of my favorite times with you is when you are first waking up – you’re SO cute I think I might explode with love for you.

Oh, and you’re officially a bad-ass dual citizen with both US and Brazilian passports. I’m so jealous!

Health: My goodness little one, have you put on some weight! At the pediatrician’s office yesterday you weighed in at 12 lbs 2 oz and I hate to say it love, but you are just roll after roll. Your chubby little legs are unbelievable and I’m pretty sure you even have mini rolls on your fingers and toes. You moved from Newborn to Size 1 diapers at about Week 5 and you are starting to outgrow some of your outfits. We are certainly not starving you little one.

I’m happy to tell you that your little face acne cleared up a few weeks ago (it probably only lasted 2 weeks) but about a week ago you developed a light heat rash of sorts on the top of your chest, shoulders, and a little bit on the top of your back. It seems like mama is keeping you a little too warmly wrapped all the time, so we are getting a cream to put on it. I’m glad that in the meantime, you don’t seem to notice.

Eating: You are such a great little eater baby! You always make it known when you’re hungry and you’ve gotten pretty efficient with the whole process – usually spending about 7 minutes on each side. You make me laugh every time we feed though, with your little faces and noises – I love it. Due to life and logistics, sometimes I have to pump and have someone else feed you a bottle, and while I am happy to share the joy of feeding you with others because it is so special, part of me is always a little sad when that happens because I feel like it’s our sacred time together.

I’m amazed when I look at the beautiful, chunky little man that you are and realize that from the moment of conception, God has given me everything that you need to develop, grow and thrive. What a blessing!

Sleep: Praise the Lord you are a great little sleeper. You are getting about 6.5 hours of sleep at night (7-8 hour feeding cycle start-start) and you nap all throughout the day. You always sleep in your crib at night, all swaddled up, but during the day the naps are all over the place. Your favorite place to nap is in your stroller or in the car – those get you to sleep immediately every time! I swear that you look like a tiny angel from heaven when you sleep and I love to just stare at you and snuggle with you.

Schedule: Although I totally would have thought that I’d have us on a set schedule by now, I have come to realize that a loose routine with predictable patterns is better for us than a rigid plan at this point. A couple weeks ago I tried to put you on a more legit schedule and it was just a mess. I would get stressed out whenever activities got in the way and often you just wouldn’t stick to it and I wouldn’t know what to do. The worst part, however, was that it messed with your night-sleeping abilities and, although it definitely wasn’t part of the plan, we were waking up a lot more at night for feedings.

Anyway, right now our pattern focuses on trying to feed you around 10:45pm and get you to bed somewhere between 11:30pm and midnight. You usually sleep until 6 or 6:30am when you wake up to eat. After your morning feed, we change your diaper and then you get some snuggle-time or play-time with Daddy, either before or after he goes to the gym. Some mornings when you’re especially, irresistibly cute he skips the gym to play with you longer or take you for a walk in the park. Who can blame him though?! After that we just operate on 3-4.5 hour cycles of feeding, changing, playing and napping, but it just depends on what we have going on for the day and your mood. Every day I try to play with you a lot, sing to you, do tummy-time and back time with you, read to you, dance with you and get you out of the house a little. I try to keep you awake the entire time between the last two feedings to help you go to sleep for the night a little easier, so usually those last two are only a couple of hours apart. It works out well though because it means that you’re awake and able to play with Dad the whole evening!

I like our routine little one, and I appreciate that it gives us some flexibility from day to day. And as time goes on, I think you’ll naturally sleep for longer stretches at night, but for now I know I’m getting more sleep than lots of moms of 2 month olds, so I can’t complain.

Mom: Physically I’m feeling great, fully recovered, and back to my old self! I’ve had a few tough days (following nights of very little sleep) but I think we’re finding our rhythm and I’ve realized that I just need to take naps during the day sometimes. Now that we no longer have any visitors, we are settling into normal, real life as a little family of three and I love it.

Thoughts: My littlest love! What a blessing it is to be your mom! You are so much fun and bring so much happiness to this family every day.

I love watching you change and grow – so much happens so quickly right now. It is pure joy to witness, but I also find it a little painful. I love you so much it hurts, and I think that the hurt comes in realizing that in this life, nothing is permanent. You are so tiny and cute and cuddly and I just want to freeze time, but I can’t. Each developmental milestone brings new joy and new heartbreak at the same time. I know this may not make much sense to you right now little one, but I know that the day will come when you will know this feeling – this joy that only comes all tangled up with this heartache. It is a beautiful reminder that ultimately, we were not made for this temporary world. We have eternity built into our hearts and our souls, and one day the joy shall win over the heartache, and we will have the wholeness without the bondage of time.

But, for now we live in this world and I pray that I am making the most of each moment with you and living out a godly example of love, joy, grace and justice. I pray that you will grow up to be a man who loves the Lord with all your heart, and that you will be used by Him in mighty ways, to bring Him glory and honor in this life and the next.

Nana & Papa Harper: The Fasano at the Fazenda Boa Vista

To close out their visit, Sharon and Ollie took Joe, Michael, Colt & me to the Fasano at the Fazenda Boa Vista — an incredible hotel on an even more impressive property.  fasand

We drove out on Friday afternoon and it was only about an hour and a half outside the city, but it felt like a complete and total escape from São Paulo. Everything was so magnificent – I’ve really never been anywhere like it.

Culhane was immediately excited about the room as ours was all set up for him with a beautiful crib, a baby bath and a changing station! DSC_0068DSC_0066DSC_0070

But even with all of these amenities, Culhane still tried to steal our bed! That little rascal! DSC_0150

We spent the weekend relaxing, exploring the property, enjoying the spa, eating great food and soaking up our time together.

Morning stroll on the deck before breakfast.IMG_3030

Afternoon biking around the property.DSC_0075DSC_0088DSC_0100DSC_0114DSC_0081

In spite of the cold water, Michael jumped in the lake for a quick swim. IMG_2173

Lots of snuggle-time with Culhane. photo 1photo 3

On Saturday night we celebrated Michael’s upcoming 31st birthday (on September 9th) with a surprise cake that had an even more surprising candle / explosive device on top that Sharon had found at the supermarket! It even played music!

DSC_0149IMG_3308DSC_0135IMG_3018DSC_0118It was the perfect setting for us all to enjoy being together for a few final days before Sharon & Ollie headed back to Arizona. It was such a special time and when it came time to say goodbye, Culhane was the saddest one of all!

IMG_3034Come back soon, Nana & Papa!

Nana & Papa Harper: São Paulo

On August 15th, Michael’s parents landed in São Paulo to meet their first grandchild! We had an amazing time sharing Culhane with Nana and Papa and are so thankful for all of their love and help during their visit. In true Harper style, we packed a lot in, so consider this Part 1 of their trip — Part 2 coming next!

Upon their arrival in São Paulo, Sharon & Ollie came directly to meet Culhane. Here they are holding him for the first time!

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Amazing all-day lunch party at Bar des Arts! DSC_0049 Culhane & caipirinhas — what else could you want?!DSC_0052


Visiting our weekend street-market.IMG_2830

Heading out for pizza with friends! 
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Sushi at Nagayama followed by live bossa nova at the Fasano.IMG_2899IMG_2909Lunch at Museu da Casa Brasileira.IMG_2971

Nana and Papa also made us lots of delicious dinners (both at our apartment and at Joe’s), and those family dinners at home were some of our favorite times together.IMG_2163IMG_2858photo 1


Culhane loved spending time with his Nana & Papa, and Michael and I loved all of the help! On top of cooking us dinners, doing our grocery shopping, bringing me lunch and taking us to to fun places, Sharon & Ollie were also all-star babysitters, allowing Michael and me to go out together and letting me get a few extra naps in! Their visit was so incredible – Culhane is missing you both already! 

image** Up next: The Harpers at the Fasano – Fazenda Boa Vista!**