Thursday, April 17, 2014

Red Wellies!

Charlie loves nothing more than to jump in puddles, and given it's mud season here in Maine, there's many of them for him to choose. Unfortunately he'd been usually wearing shoes to do the jumping, so on Saturday we schlepped the boys (Charlie with a pair of too big shoes on as his others were all soaking wet) to Freeport to get them both new wellies. It was a lovely warm and sunny day and neither of the boys would take the boots off after we'd had them fitted. So they walked around for the entire day in shorts and boots - eating a sorbet cornet along the way - and came home to jump in a lot of puddles. Raf has worn his boots everyday to school this week, declaring that, 'I just can't stop wearing them'! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Boys' Favourites

Rafi's Favourites...

Food: peanut butter and jam or a hummus sandwich
Toy: trains
Favourite new toy: hobby horse
Train(s): Douglas, Porter, and James
Colour(s): red and black
Friend: Rowan
People: all of us in the family
Book: Thomas - the one with James, Gordon, and Thomas in it... Gordon crashed into an old tunnel.
TV: Thomas.
Drink: juice (English juice... cordial!)
Word: caterpillar
Animal: sheep
Number: 100
Puzzle: pirate puzzle
Outside: play on his playground
To go: Children's Museum
Girl: Cordelia
Ice cream: strawberry sorbet
Favourite way to walk around the block: bike

Charlie's Favourites....
Food: tomatoes, spaghetti, banana, and ice pops
Toy: trains
Favourite new toy: hobby horse
Train(s): the one his brother is playing with
Colour: so far unknown
Friend: Rafi
People: mama
Book: Thomas - any and all
TV: Thomas
Drink; milkies
Word: mama
Animal: doggies
Number: so far unknown
Puzzle: none
Outside: jumping in puddles
To go: open gym and the museum
Girl: mama
Ice cream: strawberry sorbet
Favourite way to walk around the block: holding mama's hand


Saturday, April 12, 2014


This week Rich and I met with Raf's preschool teacher. Well, I ended up meeting with her because Charlie was being a little rascal and wanted to play outside (he wasn't quiet about his desires). Raf will soon be starting big boy school - which is difficult for us to fathom. How on earth did he get so big.

We really, really love Raf's teachers and all of the kiddos in his class. We really were very fortunate in having Christina (the lead teacher) and Jesse (the assistant teacher) as teachers this past year. They're very child centered but have good boundaries with the children. Raf is very happy there. Recently Raf's best friend, Rowan, transferred into the class and so he's been even happier!

The meeting was fairly brief and Christina said he's doing really well and she thinks he'll flourish in kindergarten. 

Areas of strength:
* Very social and can easily make friends
* Gross motor skills are right on target
* Fine motor skills are progressing well
* Can recognize all the letters of the alphabet and numbers up to at least 10.

Areas to focus on:
* Focusing during group activities 
* Calendar-learning the days of the week
* Practice writing letters

We were relieved to know that he is following others less and being a little more discerning. That was an issue that his teachers brought up last time we met. 

One thing that is very sweet is that when he walks into his class each morning, lots of Raf's classmates come over to see what train he's brought in that day. It seems as though more and more of his friends flock to see. Rich said that a couple of his friends came over for a group hug as he walked through the door. We're really going to miss his classmates and teachers.

Here Raf is saying good-bye to our lovely old Civic last week. It's been a good 13 years, old friend.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Big Brother

Raf is a lovely big brother. Sometimes, if I'm complimenting him, or telling him I love him, he responds, "but what about Charlie?". Worried, is he, that I've missed his little brother out.

These are a few of the sweet things he's said to - or about - his brother this week.

"Good morning, my little sweetheart".

"He's such a sweet little fella".

"Look at Charlie's squishy bottom. Awww, he's so cute".

"I love you Charlie. Do you love me?"

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Picture Catch-up.

Downloading some photos from the last few weeks, I thought I'd post some here. This is before Charlie was poorly. We had a fun day at the Children's Museum, just Charlie and I. Before we left he was playing dress-up with my hat and Raf's sunglasses. Silly little Charlie. 

And then more dress-up at the museum. Charlie loved playing on the fire truck there!

Kisses for mama, with silly glasses on.

And then home for some farm sanctuary fun.

Rich took the boys out to buy a new reading book for Rafi... Thomas, of course.

And then everyone became ill. Poor Charlie, starting to feel a bit better here.

Showing me his nose...

And then cuddling with his poorly brother.

Taking solace in one another as they walk around the house holding hands. 

And then a miracle... we start to feel better and the weather is above freezing and somewhat sunny and warmish. A family springtime after work walk. 

And then a late delivery from the UPS man. Some lovely stickers from our dear friend Sarah-Hope. Thank you, my love. The boys love their present!

So glad that it's Spring!

Sleeping Boys

We're all slowly getting better. Thanks so much for the kind messages, and Sarah Hope, thank you for such a kind gift. Both boys have been loving creating new animal scenes with the beautiful stickers you sent them. Such a lot of fun!

The sad thing is that Charlie lost a lot of weight, and really, he didn't have the weight to lose. He's such an active little boy, and he's not a huge eater. Thankfully this past week he's eating much more, and I'm hoping he can put some weight on quickly. He's down to the 5th percentile, which is much too little for him, I think.

Neither of our boys have been terrific sleepers. Now, though, Raf sleeps through the night in his own bed. I didn't think we'd ever get to this point. Mind you, he's in the top bunk and I'm in the bottom bunk with Charlie!!! It really does work well for everyone. Raf goes straight to sleep (after a bit of a chatting) and usually (sometimes) Charlie goes right down, too. Mind you, Charlie is still up at least 4-5 times a night, but I keep in mind that Raf was like this, too. 

In the morning, Raf climbs down from his top bunk (we've had to take the ladder away as Charlie climbs up it, otherwise!), and he joins Charlie and I for a lovely snuggle. It's a lovely way to begin the day.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sick House

We're just coming out from very possibly the worst two weeks of our parenting lives. Indeed I'd go as far as saying that it rivals my very worst week ever, and that's saying something. For we are all recuperating from the flu. 

I can't begin to say how much I was looking forward to spring break. Work is busy and stressful, I've been working every weekend, and I was excited for some days to catch up as well as to spend time with the boys. Well, on the first Monday of spring break, Charlie started vomiting. And then things went downhill from there. I woke up with a fever, chills, extreme body aches, and then we all dropped like flies. It was impossible to sleep with the body aches we were experiencing, but, anyway, who can sleep when your poor one year old is screaming - literally - all night. So there I was, with a 103 temperature, trying to console a sad and uncomfortable toddler night after night. '

Poor Charlie ended up having an ear infection, on top of everything, and he's lost so much weight. In fact he's down to the 5th percentile in weight, which is just tiny for him. We're honestly a little worries as he didn't have a lot to lose so now we'll have to work on slowly putting weight on him. 

Raf was also poorly, but he'd had the flu shot and so his symptoms weren't as severe as the rest of us. He wasn't able to go to school, though. So we were all home, as ill as we've ever been, with all of us sobbing at various time (well, me and the children). 

We're all over the worst of it, I'm madly trying to catch up with work, and the kids are seeming a lot better, though everyone is fatigued and full of cold. 

We did have a wonderful neighbour, Janet, offer to help, and my friend Tracey went on a pharmacy run for us for medicine and food - thank goodness. Yet Rich and I are both realising that we're really at a loss without family here. There was no one we could really call to come and watch sick children, or take care of us in what was, frankly, an awful, awful time. My mum and my sister, Melissa, were calling us to check on us, but of course couldn't do a thing to help in practical terms. It may be that we begin to think about relocating to the UK. We love it here, we have wonderful friends and neighbours, but not having any family in the country - let alone the area - is really challenging.