The Canadoca has earned the "oca" (from Carioca) in her name... she offically loves the beach. Even if it IS "winter"... Last Friday we took her and our guests out to Recreio to the beach for a little sun, frescoball and R&R. Mr. DRL even took the day off!
We bought the Canadoca a little Peapod Pop Tent/Travel Bed thing that folds up super small and protects her from some elements (sun, wind, insects, etc.) while engaging in outdoor pursuits. Almost like a pack & play but much lighter and smaller (less than 5 lbs, and measures 14x14x5 - easily put in a suitcase)! Friday was the first time we used it so we weren't sure how it would go but she seemed mesmerized by the red interior and with the exception of coming out for feedings, she spent the better part of 5 hours of the afternoon in there!
But this post is not about fruit, rather about body types and body image.
You have to hand it to the Brazilians - to generalize, they are incredibly laid back and accepting people. Internationally, the women have the reputation of being the most beautiful in the world and TALL (??) In reality there are as many beautiful people here as there are elsewhere, and literally every one of our visitors is surprised to find that your average Brazilian woman is quite short, and pear shaped. Or should I say - Pear shaped & Proud of it!
Back home, being pear shaped is not something one strives for. (Most prefer an hourglass). It's not seen as being a desirable body type. Here, there are special exercises at the gym that women do to beef up their bums and thighs. Back home, a pear shaped woman would be encouraged to wear a-line skirts. Here they wear a little belt to accent their waist and upper body, and the most skin tight bottoms they can to make their bundas look even bigger. After over a year, I am still not quite used to it.
That said, I think the more accepting Brazilian attitude towards body image is refreshing and much healthier. If I could pass just one "Brazilian" lesson on to my little Brasileira (Canadoca), I hope that's it!
Marcelo Camelo, Mallu Magalhães, George Israel, Victor Biglione and 4 more www.leblonjazzfestival.com.br Saturday 25 July 2009 Rua Dias Ferreira - Leblon Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2ª Edição do Itaipava Premium Leblon Jazz Festival
I think I am going to make a flag that says this little slogan. Since Canadoca can't yet speak for herself and since apparently at least 5 people insist on harping on me that she is cold every time I leave the house. Yesterday it was 25 degrees and she was in the baby bjorn with me in a long sleeved shirt and pants with her feet in little booties. THREE PEOPLE stopped me in as many steps at the grocery store to tell me she was cold. One scolded me for having her near the refrigerated section in the store because it is apparently too cold for her. I'm talking full finger shaking scolding here. If I thought that their criticisms had even the slightest amount of legitimacy I don't think I would be annoyed but it is truly ridiculous. She isn't cold. The third lady in as many steps got a very dirty look and sour response from me.
Some days I think it is definitely a good thing that I did not ever learn to properly tell people off in Portuguese.
Can you tell that it's been a year since I have been home?
So... Canadoca is now more than 10 weeks old, and officially weighs more pounds than I've lost since her birth. Although I realize that there is "no rush" and "it took 9 months to put on" and "it might take a year" and "breastfeeding makes you hang on to some fat" .......I'm just not a very patient girl.
So what's a new mom to do?
Well I walk a lot. Go to the gym occasionally, and Mr. DRL and I sort of swap off taking care of Canadoca. I haven't returned to my ashtanga practice yet as our schedule is just not regulated enough yet.
11 days ago I started the "30 Day Shred" - an intense workout video that takes just 30 minutes per day. A highschool friend recently had a baby and used it to get back in shape - she was back in her pre-pregnancy clothing within 14 days of starting the shred, and only did level 1 (there are 3 levels). I've managed to do it every day for 11 days and notice a huge difference in my endurance and how my clothes are fitting (I am fitting into my size 8 pants now. Which is great except that most of my stuff is more like size 6 but hey this is progress!!!)
The video is tough but as the trainer Jillian Michaels says, if you are only going to work out for 30 minutes, you have to make every minute count. I will do a weigh in/measurement update after day 15...
Has anyone done a chilean cruise? If so, recommendations? Warnings? Anyone done Machu Piccu recently and might have some recommendations? We are thinking of going in the fall to do both with Canadoca - any travel tips with kids/hotel/tour recommendations appreciated!
I should also mention that I spotted someone rollerblading in ear muffs recently. To be fair, I believe that day it was a low of +22 (c) with windchill.
Last year around this time, I left Rio to go home to Canada for a few weeks. Mr. DRL joined me later in August, but told me that all of the leaves fell from the trees while I was gone, only to miraculously reappear before I returned. I have always joked with him that he must have been lying and that winter could not possibly have been so short but now the leaves sure seem to have turned and are falling from the trees at a quick pace!
She has her dress picked out: but will she get to wear it? (Dress is from Fabula - a children's boutique here in Rio).
Canadoca's aunt is getting married two weeks from today somewhere in Canada. Will we and the Canadoca be there to show off her mad air guitar skills (aided by mom)? Not sure. Why? No Brazilian passport yet.
To be fair, this should have been a fairly easy process. IF we had already received our Residency Cards, which we applied for over a year ago.
I was told by other gringoes to make an appointment at Shopping Leblon at the passport office and that from there on it would be quite simple and we'd have the passport within days. Our appointment was in mid-June.
We arrived at the appointment accompanied by an agent from the company my husband's firm employs to take care of passport and visa issues. When our name was called, we were told that since we didn't have our Residence Cards yet, we could not be issued a passport at that office and rather we would have to go to the Federal Police at the International Airport. This was frustrating for two reasons: 1) Mr. DRL took the day off work for this appointment, but more importantly, 2) Our agent should have realized that this was the case since they were involved in applying for our residency cards.
The next day, we headed to the international airport. A different agent met us there and asked us what we were there for (!! I am not even going to go there.... I am just not...) and basically stood around. Mr. DRL dealt directly with the officials, who told us that our presence wasn't really required, we could have motoboyed in some forms, and that they would need to launch an investigation into our daughter's birth since we don't have our residence cards yet. We were told that this would take about 30 days. Around this time the agency also admits that there was some sort of error or mix-up on their part with our application for residency cards. Strike three.
We are now applying for permanent citizenship based on the fact that we have a Brazilian child. Which will apparently take about another year, but allows us to work here, for any company, rather than being tied to the company because it holds our visa. Nice to have flexibility for sure.
However, currently we are waiting to hear if the signatures from FOUR doctors present in the delivery room are enough to prove that Canadoca is ours. I have heard horror stories of people having to undergo DNA testing in this scenario so we are hopeful that their word will suffice (I guess I should have opted for the birth video at the hospital!).
Clearly our agency dropped the ball. I just hope that it can be retrieved in time, so that we can attend Mr. DRL's sister's wedding, and so that he can be there when his family first sees Canadoca. (I'm going home once the passport is issued, regardless, but he is only going to go if he can attend the wedding).
Lessons learned: 1) If you are a foreigner having a child in Brazil, make EVERY effort to ensure you receive your residence card before the child is born. It will save you a lot of hassle. 2) Carefully check the reputation of any agency you entrust with these matters. This particular agency deals with many companies here and seems to do a great job with the actual workers' visas/passports, etc. but drops the ball when it comes to the dependants/families. I know another woman whose husband works for another company who was stuck in the US for WEEKS earlier this year because the same agency made mistakes with their family's visas.
Have you checked out this Google Latitude thing? It is a feature on Google Maps on that can be used with your blackberry or PDA device to share your location with others. We use Google Maps a lot here in Rio on our blackberries and now Mr. DRL and I can also stalk one another on Google Latitude. Also a good tool if you lose your cell phone (assuming no one's nabbed it). Now I can just check my handheld to see where he's stuck in traffic now (assuming he has his with him) and not call him to find out. Which is good because yesterday he received a ticket in the mail for talking on the cell phone while driving!
As much as it is a great tool for families, etc. I don't plan to ask all of my friends to join me on Google Latitude. Seems a bit odd!
Remember my post on the ROBOT that my mom and sister took home full of Brazilian art a few weeks back? Aparently the little Robot had a boyfriend... and he can be seen in the meridian along the beach in Ipanema near the canal.
Mr. DRL sent this to my mom & sister today:
My mom quickly responded that her robot was much cuter...
The final question of the survey: Any recommendations or words of wisdom for future guests?
My Bridesmaid & her Boyfriend: Oh this is simple.....GO TO RIO!
My Mother-in-law: Perhaps to learn a few extra Portuguese words to help with their travels.Thank you so very much, Mr. DRL, DRL, and our grandbaby, for a wonderful holiday!
Engaged Couple Friends: Try to avoid the Citibank bank machines - we paid a fortune there - they convert your withdrawal into USD first and then into Canadian. We did better at HSBC and even at a bank machine we had never heard of before in Buzios. And, buy stronger sunscreen then you would normally use. I don't know if its the closeness to the equator, but we burned way more than we do somewhere like Mexico, on a comparably hot day.
My Dad: Take some time to review the language, simple words/sentences. Bring along a dictionary and sunscreen. Make sure you do your share and more as the parents to be will need the extra sleep. Can you believe how much company they are having???? Crazyyyyyyyyyyy!!
After learning to play canasta with a group of expat ladies, I started noticing that there are people playing canasta everywhere in Rio. On the streets, it is not unusual to spot tables of four playing the game, or alternately, dominoes.
I then learned that Canasta does in fact have South American roots - it was invented in Uruguay. So now I feel like we're being "all cultural" when we attend... haha.
Canadoca has sort of become an unofficial Canasta Mascot (or Canascot...) for our group.
To read more about the history of Canasta, click here.
When our visitors were here I thought that the words they managed to master in Portuguese to be very revealing about the type of people they were... (be it a vinho tinto/com licenca/desculpe/quantos reals...)
The ONE phrase my mom retained from being here the first time to the second?
Another massive FAIL on my part as a parent according to many of the Brazilians I encounter on my daily adventures is the lack of a CHUPERA in Canadoca's mouth. If she cries for even a moment they immediately ask if she has one, when I say no, I inevitably get a tsk tsk or the dreaded shaking of the finger in my face (because every baby's life is incomplete until they suck and chew on plastic? It's okay for babies to cry for a minute or two every once in a while...). Don't get me wrong, there are times that I would definitely love to simply stick in a plug of some sort to console Canadoca when it will be a few minutes until she can feed or be changed. BUT SHE DOESN'T LIKE IT, people!! She won't take it. It's not really an issue, as she doesn't generally cry unless there is reason to do so, and promptly stops when her needs are met. She's a great baby. All the more reason not to have her dependant on a soother.
I am thinking of purchasing one of the crazy baby soothers below to carry around and distract the Brazilians when they ask if she has one...
Part 10 of an 11-part series of questions I asked my guests after they visited Brazil.
Question 10: Which Portuguese words did you pick up while visiting Brazil?
Engaged Couple Friends: Please/thank you, "I don't speak Portuguese", and then food words, especially so we could order wine. The waiters thought it was funny that we knew how to say red wine.
My Dad: The first two words two words my brother and I learned were obrigado (thank you) and desculpe (excuse me). Typical Canadians eh. What other nationality would do that. Oh yeah, almost forgot, the third word we learned was cerveja (beer) You really don't need to know much more.....
(DRL's note: on pretty much a weekly basis I get a voicemail from my dad "practicing his Portuguese". The message consists of him saying "Oi, obgrigada, desculpe" over and over again in a booming voice. I always know who it is.)
My doctor delivers babies at Perinatal in Laranjeiras. About a month before my due date, we went for a tour.
We did not get to see the delivery rooms, but rather were shown all varieties of suites available to us for after the birth. We ended up going with a basic one, as we weren't expecting many visitors and as long as it was a private room with somewhere for Mr. DRL to sleep (he had his own bed), we were happy!
During the tour, the woman kept telling us how much nicer the facilities at Perinatal in Barra were, it was newer, etc. I found this odd!
Fast forward to delivery day... My water broke at midnight on a Friday. By 2 am we arrived at the hospital, where I was admitted, and went for an ultrasound right away. My doctor had already arrived and her team was on their way (I had three ob/gyn's + a private anaesthesiologist at all times... yes all 20 hours!). So it's important to note - you bring your own "team" into Perinatal - doctors, etc. Nurses are hospital staff, but the doctors are basically your doctor's staff. And you pay them directly and everything.
One of her assisting doctors commented on the size of my belly in Portuguese. I am not sure if she knew I understood or not! I let her know I did... haha.
All privacy ended the moment I stepped into the hospital. Mr. DRL and I were shown to our room where we could store our things and change. The nurse stayed in my room with me to ensure I got into my gown okay, and then a bunch of questions ensued (religion, all kinds of things. I have a theory that Perinatal does all sorts of surveys and sells their results to research companies... read further for more!)...
About an hour later (I was not very dilated at this point!) we were taken down to labour and delivery. I was not allowed to walk, was put on a stretcher. I found this hilarious, considering that I was bonked into walls no less than four times on the way down, and that my doctor had me pace the halls for HOURS after arriving there. But anyway.
I won't go into a ton of detail about the next several hours (20 hour long process in all), but here are some key points that I am told were unique experiences for me that I would not have experienced in North America:
- The biggest of course is the amount of personal attention. To have an entire team of doctors there solely for the birth of our baby was overwhelming. Everyone was great! - Our pediatrician attended the birth. - Our delivery room was quite pretty - and large, with a private bathroom with a jacuzzi tub. Unfortunately since my water had broken I was not allowed to use the jacuzzi tub! - The entire 20 hours, I was only offered one small glass of juice, and was told I wasn't allowed anything else. Not even ice chips which you hear about all the time. Not that I wanted ice chips, mind you... - The epidural and episiotomy are pretty standard here. If you don't want either, it will be difficult finding a doc who will go without. - Apparently all of my doc's colleagues could not understand why I would want to still have a vaginal birth after so many hours... luckily my doc did! - I started pushing when I was 8 cm dilated. - When pushing, one of the three docs was by my side, putting his weight on my stomach to try and push the baby out. - I can't describe how overwhelmingly positive everyone was, and the energy in the room when Canadoca was born was just awesome. We were all cracking jokes until about the 3rd push from the end, and despite the fact that the doctors had been there for almost an entire DAY, they were all in incredible spirits. - My doctor and her team suggested that Mr. DRL and I put on seminars for Brazilians called "How to Behave During Childbirth" - apparently at the slightest amount of pain, most of her patients beg for a c-section. They were impressed with our patience (and I don't consider myself to be very patient...) I loved the compliments - and they continued to my post-natal appointments when the receptionist greeted me by saying: "I hear you are a warrior!" Back home a woman who had less than 24 hours labour with an epidural would never be referred to as such.... - Despite being assured many times before the delivery that I would be immediately handed my baby and given time with her, this was not the case. She was handed to the doctor for a quick exam, then I got her for about 5 minutes, then we were apart for nearly an hour. There were no complications at the time of birth or anything. If I were to do it over, I would have my husband be more insistent on this point with the doc's. But all ended well! - The lactation consultants in the hospital were not very encouraging when it came to breastfeeding. I am told this is the opposite of how it works back home! They were very overbearing, physically, with me, and I ended up kicking them out of my room several times as I found them to be rude. (They would come into the room, not even speak to me but rather just start manhandling me immediately. This even occurred the first time that I held my baby back in the room!) Their response to my rejection of their methods was to basically say that if I was going to have any trouble breastfeeding, I should go get a bottle (they even sent Mr. DRL to a drugstore to buy an item they wrote down - turned out to be a bottle). This sort of goes with my point above about tolerating pain - it seems as though when confronted with the slightest amount of difficulty, the typical solution for patients here is to somehow get around it (c-section, bottle feeding, etc.) I would like to note that I didn't have any unique difficulty getting started breastfeeding, but getting a latch was certainly an adjustment - which is entirely typical! Just like anywhere in the world, we need to take charge of our own health and go into these situations as educated as possible, to make our own decisions where we can. - I don't think I would have commented on this but for the fact that I was told that the food was so amazing at Perinatal - I didn't find this to be the case. After being in labour for 20 hours and not allowed to eat, I was brought a plate of coldcuts and some crackers. NOT KIDDING. I found this incredible considering how bad cold cuts are for a person... I didn't eat it and they commented on that, and by the day we were checking out they sent over a nutritionist to talk to me about what I would prefer they serve me (I had one meal left to have there by that point). - After the baby was born, there were a variety of services available to us such as signage for our door, manicure/pedicure, face makeup, videos, photos, etc. etc. - The bathtub for Canadoca's first bath was the coolest ever: Overall the hospital experience was great and a lot better than what we'd have back home from the sounds of things. Having privacy was so nice. Knowing that our doctor would be there every step of the way was so reassuring. Having the continuity of the same pediatrician since birth is also awesome. We would have another baby in Brazil for sure if we could!
** A note to expectant moms in Rio - if you are considering having an elective c-section in Rio, ask your doctor about Casa de Saude - Hospital Sao Jose. It is a very nice facility. **
As Luiz of "Eating Out in Rio" has pointed out in the past, there are many opportunities to consume "high end pizza" in Rio. Our favorite is Braz, which he recently reviewed. Despite eating a cookie there which contained peanuts and going into anaphylactic shock and being rushed to hospital my first time there, I still wanted to go back! (NOT that it was their fault, it was mine entirely! But bad memories aside, I wanted to return.) But the back patio is a MUST at Braz, the dining room is a bit bright for my liking.
Last weekend, Mr. DRL, Canadoca and I checked out a newer high-end pizza place in Ipanema around the corner from the lake, Stravaganze. I must first say that although the food is good, the ambiance and decor are what I'd return for. The shrimp salad and antipasto platter were VERY good.
Canadoca LOVES light fixtures and so this place was paradise for her...
I'll soon get into the wild goose chase tale that outlines the adventure of getting Canadoca her Brazilian passport... until then, here are the details for obtaining a Canadian Passport/citizenship for children born to Canadian Citizens in Brazil.
The Application for Canadian Citizenship can be downloaded and printed out of the CIC website: www.cic.gc.ca form CIT0001.
Besides the application, we will: - 02 photos (following sizes and instructions provided on the form); - original birth certificate of the child in Portuguese; - translation of the birth certificate by a Sworn Translator (available at www.atprio.com.br); - original proof of Canadian citizenship (Birth Certificate or Canadian Citizenship Card) of the applicant (mother or father of the child); - marriage certificate (not mandatory); - original document of mother and father (passport or ID with picture and signature); - processing fee R$140,00.
Please note that in order to apply for a Canadian Passport you need a proof of travel. No Canadian Passport will be issued without it.
For the passport the application can be downloaded and printed out of the Passport Canada website: www.passportcanada.gc.ca form PPTC 042 (For Children under 16 years of age English).
Please note that the back of one of the pictures need to be sign by a guarantor (refer to the instructions).
Form PPTC116 will be signed at the Consulate General, as the passport will be issued with a limited validity with no extension of validity.
- R$37,00 for a 24 pages passport (for applicant under 3 years)
Passports are now issued in Canada in 15 working days, when all requirements are completed. Please note that fees are paid in Reais, in cash, to the Consular Department when the application and documents are submitted.
The Consular Department opening hours to the public are: from Monday to Thursday, from 08:30hs to 12:00hs and from 14:00hs to 17:30hs and Friday from 8:30hs to 14:00hs.
Consulate General of Canada/Consulat Général du Canada Av. Atlântica, 1130 - 5th /ième floor/étage 22021-000 - RJ - Brazil/Brésil Tel: (55 21) 2543-3004 Fax/Télec: (55 21) 2275-2195 www.brasil.gc.ca
My note: it was of particular interest to us that our daughter will not be a Canadian Citizen for at least a year (this is how long it takes to process), and the passport she will be given now is just temporary because she needs it to travel.
These socks are VERY popular amongst women in Rio gyms. My theory on the socks is that they are worn because it is very popular to do leg exercises with these special weights strapped to one's legs here. But maybe they are fashionable here...
Or maybe their calves and ankles get cold? Any other theories?
They sell them at my gym - I'm thinking I will have to get some as a souvenir...
2009 Monthly Fees Pre-Nursery (Part-Time) R$ 1.963,00 Pre-Nursery (full time) & Nursery R$ 3.007,00 Reception to Class 4 R$ 2.759,00 Class 5 to Class 11 R$ 3.367.00
An Entrance Fee is charged at the time a child enters the school. Entrance Fees contribute to the school’s Development Fund which is maintained strictly for major development projects. Use of this fund is controlled by the Board of Governors. Entrance Fees are as follows: Entrance Fees (1st January – 31st December 2009) First child R$ 16.747,00 Second child R$ 10.766,00 Third and subsequent children R$ 8.374,00
Part 9 of a series I am doing based on a survey I asked my guests to respond to after visiting Brazil.
Question 9: What, if anything, did you learn from your trip?
My Mom: Too many things to mention!
My Mother-in-law: Always an appreciation for Canada after seeing the poverty in other countries.
Engaged Couple Friends: We learned about another culture and way of life, both for the rich and poor. And, we learned about the struggles of being a foreigner trying to make a life in a new country and learn a new language. It certainly gives you a new respect and understanding for anyone who has moved to a new country, including Canada. Mr. DRL and DRL are doing a great job and have accomplished an amazing amount in a short time.
My Dad: How great we have it in Canada, although Brazil is a beautiful country. Be careful while in Brazil. Safety in numbers and don't drink too much if you're out as you may need your wit's in event of trouble. Have a game plan as it's too late if you get into a situation and haven't. "Muito policias" lots of police around, but not sure if they do anything and didn't want to find out given the rumors of corruption....................
I had a lot of tests while I was pregnant. Urine and blood tests, ultrasounds, you name it. If you are not insured, these tests do NOT come cheap. I'm talking R$2,000 each time for blood and urine tests. Ultrasounds are cheaper, ranging from $R180 - R$350 per time, depending on which tests are required. Later in the pregnancy, 3D ultrasound photos were included. I'm told that back home you would pay something like C$300 for this alone.
I found that my doctor was very thorough with the blood tests, I had them done about every 6 weeks or so and she discussed the results with me in detail. In fact there wasn't much we didn't discuss. At each prenatal visit, I was there for at least an hour. My doctor is incredibly warm, and I feel the care I received was fantastic. Back home, never in a million years would a doctor greet a patient with a series of kisses and a big strong hug (and she's a tiny little woman).
My doctor relied solely on the results of the ultrasounds to predict my due date and sort of ignored the other info used to calculate due dates. Not that it really matters in the long run. I happened to be SURE of my conception date, and according to the calculation using the conception date to predict due date, Canadoca was due on May 9th. According to the ultrasound tech, she was due on May 17th. According to my last period, May 1st.
I didn't sweat the discrepancy because I figured the baby would come when she was ready! Besides, my doc said she'd induce me 1 week after my due date if it came to that, and I didn't want to be induced, so I thought it was fine if she went by the May 17th date. I was sure it was May 9th though and besides, it kind of split the difference between the two dates, so that was the date I had in mind and shared with others.
The ultrasounds were not totally accurate in my experience (obviously). Even in an ultrasound performed when I was first admitted to the hospital after my water broke, the technician predicted the weight of the baby to be a FULL POUND less than what she was when she was born.
Canadoca must have known since conception that her mother likes to be right, because she arrived promptly on May 9th.