Thursday, October 16, 2014

Charlie Boy.

On the night Charlie was born... Two years later and I still haven't written about that lovely, exhausting, painful day! I'd been dealing with excess fluid, had been expecting him at any point after being on bed rest from 30 weeks on, and was really feeling ready to not be pregnant. And so at just shy of 41 weeks I went in to Mercy to be induced. I was also a little concerned about the higher risk of cord prolapse that can happen when you have excess amniotic fluid...

On the morning of the 17th, we headed to the hospital to meet with Jen, my very favourite midwife. Raf had gone to preschool and our friend Margaret picked him up and took him home, and there he stayed. Meanwhile, we started the induction with cervidil.  Well, hours later (with constant, worthless contractions) and many episodes of Parenthood watched, we had to make a decision about what to do - go home and begin again tomorrow, try pitocin, or break my waters. We chose the latter - and literally within minutes (after a massive tidal wave of amniotic fluid) I was in full blown labour.

The nurse was brilliant - so calm and helpful. With each contraction I popped on my hypnobabies tape and became very still. very, very quickly I reached transition. I was shaking but also remember feeling truly serene. I had a strong image of my dad, said something silently to him, and felt really at peace. And then into the tub I went - the water was so lovely and warm but I have to say that the pain was incredible. The contractions were one thing, but Charlie basically made his way into my birth canal in record speed and it was fairly agonizing. I know that I must have looked like a loon, because at one point I was so hot in the tub, didn't want to get out, and the nurse was putting et towels on my head!

I have a very vivid memory of asking for a tums as I suddenly experienced terrible acid. The nurse ran off, but by the time she got back, I very sheepishly and apologetically admitted that I no longer wanted it. By that point the hypnobabies narrator was driving me crazy so I asked Rich to turn it off, and then it was time to push. I'll try not to go on and on about how painful this was (fast labours are clearly more intense than longer ones!), but I could barely move when Jen needed me to, so bless her, she rolled up her trousers and got in the water to help bring Charlie safely into the world.

Complete euphoria! There is simply nothing like holding your child for the first time, particularly after such agony! It was getting close to midnight and frankly I have never felt more exhausted but exhilarated.

Here he is... just a few minutes old.

Charlie basically stayed up that entire night - while Rich slept :) Here he is catching up on some sleep the very next morning.

And a reminder of Raf's first meeting...  <3 nbsp="" p="">

And then, in a blink of an eye, he turned ONE!

And tomorrow he turns two. He is such a funny, funny boy.  He often insists on wearing half his clothes to bed - especially jumpers and hoodies. He sing songs, 'scuse me, Raf/Mummy' as he barges past us, or shoves us out of the way, he's painfully persistent when he wants something or doesn't want to do something. Brushing teeth is always a portrait of torture, and yet he is the most resilient kiddo I know. Blood could be dripping from his face and he'll reassure you, 'okay mummy'! He and Raf are the best ever chums, and every day he amazes me with the things that he says or the level of his understanding. His little golden curls and his petite body remind me so much of my dad - and I have to think, given his sweetness and feistiness, that they would have had much in common. 

Goodbye One... New Nanny!

This is Charlie's last day as a 1 year old! And today he had his first day with a nanny and his friend, Annie. We have some lovely new neighbours with a little girl a couple of months younger than Chas. They get on so well! Annie's nanny moved up from NH with the family and they were interested in a nanny share. Their nanny, Audrey, is fantastic. So lovely and phenomenal with children. 

I have been a bit poorly and this morning was very sick but we all walked up to Annie's. I had told Charlie that he'd be spending the day with his friend, and he was literally beside himself with excitement. He cried all the way through a morning bath because he wanted to go there directly... and then he helped me pack his bag. We only had a few minutes to spare so we said a quick goodbye and Charlie was completely non-plussed about us leaving! We've never left him with anyone without Rafi being there, too. Audrey said he didn't even ask for us!! 

Audrey sent me this sweet photo of the two of them playing 'doctors'. 

And she must be a miracle worker because Audrey got Charlie to sleep... and he slept soundly for over two hours.

When I picked him up he was utterly underwhelmed. Barely looked up... though Annie ran up to me and gave me a huge hug. It truly couldn't have gotten better. This evening Charlie asked to go to bed around 6:45... and he's out cold. I have a feeling he had a lot of fun today. I think Annie might be his first best friend. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

2 x 20 = 40!

We have quite a few milestones to celebrate! Rich turned 40 in September (I know he's been meaning to write a blog about it!), we celebrate our 20 years together anniversary this coming Tuesday, and Charlie turns 2 next Friday! We decided to have a party to celebrate all three occasions in the form of a 2 x 20 = 40 party. We invited lots of friends from our neighborhood, Charlie's pals, and some friends from work. It was such a lovely time. Charlie was spoilt rotten with some lovely pressies, and Rich and I very unexpectedly received 2 restaurant gift vouchers with offers to babysit, some lovely plates, a good bag full of vegan treats, and a very generous gift card to LL Bean. People brought very delicious food to share, and most importantly, we got to spend a really brilliant afternoon with some of our best friends.

Here is the house before the kids hit..

Within seconds it had descended into a bomb site (popcorn cups seem like a fantastic idea until you find popcorn in literally every single room of the house, ground into the carpet! We were very lucky that the sun came out, after a wet morning. We had a lot of guests so we were glad for the outside and deck. 

Getting ready to sing happy birthday!

I hope others have good pictures as Rich was a little bit distracted and forgot to take snaps!

Then we sung happy birthday to Rich(!) and Raf got to blow out the candles.

I gave Charlie a cupcake but he soon thought, 'what the heck?' and started to dig into the quarter cake that had been left in front of him!

Then chaos ensued with the present opening! It was a free for all so we have no idea who brought what, but Charlie was chuffed to pieces with his many cars, trucks, books, blocks, and more.

After a massive clean-up, the boys played with the new toys and it was quite some thing to get Charlie away from his new goodies!

A very lovely time. We didn't get to take many photographs so if you have some, please do share them with us!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

1 month of kindergarten!

When asked Raf what his favourite part of kindergarten is, he'll habitually respond, 'recess'! He also likes 'choice time', when he gets to choose his own activity - such as playing with legos, trains, clay, etc. Raf's teacher offers the children quite a bit of 'choice time' in these early days, especially since they are so, so tired by the afternoon. He also loves to read, and in just a short few weeks, we're already seeing a big improvement in his handwriting, as he writes more and more lower-case letters (which are more difficult to do). In gym, they seem to play really fun games, and in music they've been learning some songs, which Raf likes to sing at home.

On Thursdays it's Raf's turn to share something with the class. The first week he shared that he likes 'chutes and ladders'. The next week we remembered we should try and help his remember something and he decided to share about his birthday. I sent some photos to his teacher, and she apparently passed her iPad around the class so all the other children could see. We forgot to discuss it with him this past Thursday, but he reports that he told everyone about visiting his cousins in England and in Spain, and about Nana's nasty fall (and her bloody nose) that she had last week!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall Fun

We enjoyed a beautiful weekend of sunny weather in  the high 70s, low 80s. We had a lot of stuff planned and very much made the most of it, despite Rich working Saturday late afternoon, evening. After swimming classes on Saturday morning we headed to the Trolley Museum to pick out some pumpkins. It's a lovely set up. They fill a field with pumpkins and you hop on the trolley to get to it. We were dropped off and had a fun time picking out some pumpkins, painting them (Charlie was a bit of a nightmare with the paint!) and some face painting fun.

All aboard! Charlie getting ready to depart.

We're here!

A little heavy for Charlie...

Trying to stop Charlie from mixing up all the paints and spilling the massive pots of water...

On the other side of Raf's pumpkin was a train... of course!

I was surprised that Charlie sat still while the young woman painting a pumpkin on his face. Of course he smeared it off almost immediately.

We checked our pumpkins in (and got a token so we could pick it up when we arrived back at the station), and we hopped back on the trolley to continue the loop. The trees were glorious, the sun was warm, and since we had gotten there early we managed to avoid the huge crowds

Raf proudly placed his pumpkin on the step when we arrived home!

The next morning we headed to Dole's Orchard for one of our very favourite things to do: apple picking. Unfortunately it was so hot so we couldn't stay there for long as we were exhausted and boiling after just an hour. Still, the boys had a lovely time picking plums and apples, going on a hay ride, and playing on an old tractor. We plan to go back next weekend...

With such warm temperatures we took an impromptu trip to the beach! The boys played in the sand, I lay on the rug, and Rich - surprising us all! - jumped in the sea! Brave man.

We took chips home to eat and both boys passed out quickly. Such a brilliant weekend.