Saturday, January 30, 2010

Busy Times, Quiet Moments

It's been am extremely busy - but good week. Work is crazy and I don't know how we're managing to get everything done, but we are... sort of. I feel pretty strongly that during this first year Raf should be with me or Rich as much as possible, but making this happen with two full time jobs and a graduate course between us makes this a real challenge. Still, so far we are doing okay - even as we seem to be always in a rush. Once again I am really glad to have Jen, the nanny's, help! Indeed Raf had a great week with Jen. I think it helps that he feels lots better, but it's also testament to how good Jen is with Raf. She somehow manages to get him to sleep, eat, and laugh throughout the day - and the photos she texts me really warm my heart :)

We're hiring a new faculty in the department so I am even more busy than usual outside of work hours. On Thursday evening (and the next few to come) I'm having to wine and dine the person we're interviewing. This is fine except bedtimes are really important so I made my excuses and came home early (though not as early as I needed to be). Somehow I've also managed to be teaching a 3 hour class on a Friday morning.. and between that and interviewing the candidates on that day Friday's have been hectic. But on Friday afternoons Raf and I are taking a baby and me yoga class. It's a bit crazy trying to get there as Rich has to bring me Raf and I have to make a mad dash to Portland in order to make it - all the while trying to squeeze in food for both me and Raf. It;s really worth it, though, as this past 2 weeks it's been a lovely way to spend some time with Raf after a long busy week.

On Thursday mornings there's a storytime at the local library. I hadn't been, mostly because Raf is always napping around that time, but I thought we'd go for it this week. So we did that, too... The children's part of the library is really nice, and the story time was mostly sing songs, which Raf enjoyed (he loves the bouncing). This was another lovely way to connect with Raf after a very busy beginning to the week. He really seems prime to enjoy these type of activities now he's a little older.

These little activities are really helping to make the return to work more bearable. Knowing that I have some peaceful times/slower times with Raf planned out during hectic work weeks provides some solace that 1) I get to spend time with Raf; 2) I spend time with him that is fun and peaceful.

I'm looking for an infant's music group I can take him to. He really does love music, and actually just received the most lovely and sweet 'fiddle' CD from our friend SH :) I wish I could post some of the music here as it really is so delightful, and it does make you happy to just to listen to it (even when you're tired and a bit grumpy).

Whilst getting Raf to bed is entering a new difficult phase (we're transitioning from his Amby to his crib... just for the first part of the night before we go to bed), co-sleeping is really working out well. For one Raf now stays in bed with Rich when I get up early, so now both Rich and Raf are getting more sleep, and secondly when you're away from your baby all day and you don't get in until bed time is looming, it's a very sweet and pleasant way to find a way to spend more time with them. Here he is last night as I got into bed....

Monday, January 25, 2010


What a busy time we're having. I'm not sure how we're fitting in everything, but it is a bit nutty around these parts. Last week I returned back to work and, unfortunately, it coincided with Raf becoming sick. Little S and H, his nursery friends, had come down with it, and I'll share with you guys that I thought we'd escaped it. No luck, I'm afraid. Tuesday night he was up every few minutes and the following night wasnt much better. Rich stayed home on Wednesday as we just felt it would be hard on everyone (especially Jen, the nanny!) if we took Raf both ill and sleep deprived. So it was a very hard week... It wasn't a gentle reentry to work, either, as I am on many committees and we;re also doing a faculty search meaning dinners out and long interview days.

Oh well.

But on Friday, after work, I did take an ill Raf to baby yoga, which was very sweet.

That night, though, Raf has a temperature of 103. The nurse hotline we called thought it might be an ear infection, but after brining his temp down with tylenol, and after managing to get him to sleep for the night, he woke up feeling much better. Thank goodness. We had a nice weekend with him, and I have to admit that weekends are ever more enjoyable to me now that I have to work on a Monday.

This morning Raf went to the nanny's and I made my way to work incredibly sad. But Jen is very gracious and was soon sending me adorable updates and photographs of the poppet, which really did help. And he did well today... He took more of his bottle than usual, and because he only takes enough milk to stave off real hunger (leaving him a bit grumpy still) Raf has been having from time to time some rice cereal. He doesn't seem to mind it, and my sense is that if he can at least not be hungry when he's away from me then he'll be a much happier baby. It seemed to work today. He had a couple of good naps and tonight he is actually asleep in his cot! When he wakes up we'll bring him back into bed with us, but it means that if he sleeps in his cot for a couple of hours that I can get some work done..

Oh, spoke too soon.. I hear someone beginning to cry!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

bit of a moan.

I may have to begin another blog as I may regularly whinge about work! Today is my first day of classes. I'm not contending very well with the transition to work. Im sure it'll get easier but at the moment it's difficult and I find myself pulled in so many different directions. I already feel burned out and I have yet to even meet with my students!

This isn't helped by the sleep I've been having recently. Or, more precisely, the lack of sleep. I do around 98.9% of night parenting and recently - probably since we returned from CT - Raf has been sleeping pretty poorly - which means mama sleeps very poorly. I was feeling chronically sleep deprived earlier this week, but now Raf has a cold and last night was just horrifying. I went to bed before 9pm thinking I'd catch up on a bit of sleep and Raf just couldn't sleep. Rich took him downstairs but all I just lay there listening to Raf upset so up back he came and basically didn't sleep the entire night. It's not an exaggeration to guess that I woke up over 20 times in 5 hour period. I'd drift off to sleep and Raf would start crying. Not much would comfort him.

So I'm up at 3:30am wondering how I'll manage the day. Rich has a class this evening so it's going to be a long day.. and then tonight, oh, mercy, tonight. I'm already dreading it.

It doesn't help that I haven't managed to squeeze in any sort of workout in a couple of days. It feels like the only time I get my body back.. and today it's not looking good.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Raf's first day with Jen

It was Raf's first day with the new nanny, Jen, today. She is really lovely. She brings her little 16 month old little girl, who is very, very sweet - and so Raf gets to hang out with Hudson, the little girl, and Hudson's big brother, B, who is 5, when he gets home from school.

I feel really confident about leaving Raf there, and Jen is very experienced. Raf had a few moments, but as I worked away at Panera bread on my syllabus I received a lovely picture text from Jen which showed Raf sleeping! I thought this was quite a feat as I have a hard time getting him to nap lately.

Raf may be cutting a tooth so I was a bit nervous about having Jen look after a potentially grumpy raf, but he did pretty good. Jen is an impressive woman looking after these babies :)

Here's he pic I received!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Blue Eyed Boy

Today was the day I was meant to return to work, but it was a completely pear shaped day. Raf was up a lot in the night - which is quite unusual for him - and then I completely got the wrong time for his 6 month wellness Dr. checkup. Thus my day revolved around driving in to Portland twice... returning home the first time to a huge blowout nappy which required a bath - and then back to Portland. All was well with the appointment, though.

Here are the stats:

Weight - 17 pounds 15 oz (55th percentile)
Height - 26.25 inches (45th percentile)
Head - HUGE! Over 18 inches (100th percentile)

Big head.. and I think I know where he gets it from (see below!).

I also asked Deb if Raf's eyes would stay looks like they will! We were both pretty certain that he'd have brown eyes and be quite dark given all my recessive genes, but many people comment that he looks more and more like me. I think he has my cheeks, skin, and eyes.. and maybe smile :) What do you lot think? Unfortunately there are very few photos of me as an infant. Here's one - which I cropped - and one of Rich, about the same age that Raf is now. I think we know where all that hair comes from.. and that smile.. it could be Rich's!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's the Small Things...

Trying to get Rafi to sleep upstairs tonight, my little finger being used as his pacifier - and looking out across to the darkened church, and thankful I was not outside in the minus temps. I began thinking about all the things I hadn't done or still needed to be done in the next few days, and the list was getting longer and longer.

However, slowly I began to feel that this is what I should be doing right now - enjoying the quiet, the low-light and helping Rafi get to sleep. It was for a few moments peaceful, the dogs were even quiet - and I suddenly wanted to make an concentrated effort to remember this moment as we rocked back and forth. Perhaps I won't remember this exact time - writing it down may help - but it was lovely while it lasted and it's the small things that count...and Rafi woke up about 15 minutes later!

Sitting Up

Look who's sitting up!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happy Half Year!

Rafi is six months today. It really goes quickly. Of course we made half a birthday cake for his half year birthday :)

A mini break to CT

We just returned from a fabulous trip to CT to see a family friend and her family. We actually stayed at a resort casino as our friend works there, and we had a super time. The room was amazing, with a massive jacuzzi hot tub in the room. It was more a suite than room and the living area looked over spectacular land (picture below.. sort of). We stayed a couple of nights and it was a much needed and appreciated break from the humdrum of home; especially as I go back to work.. well, now.

The first night jill, our host, suggested we go to dinner. Now, Rich and I are vegan, we have a 6 month old baby and the idea of going out to dinner is always a nerve wracking proposition. Not least because I worry about meltdowns (if Rafi has a meltdown then I'm sure to have one, too!) and other diners... but after some texting with Jill we decide we will go for it and we go to go to quite a posh restaurant. Rich and I are not fine diners - so this was a real treat, and definitely a new experience for Raf! And my concerns about Raf were unfounded. He was such a trooper. it was past his bedtime and we took the stroller for him to sleep in it shoudl he want to.. well, he did, and we spent a fun 3-4 hours eating exceptional food.

The next day I enjoyed a run around the hotel grounds. because it was so icy and COLD, I couldn't run on the trails so it wasn;t the funnest 5 mile run, but, when I returned back to the room and snuggled with Raf, Jill called to say she'd booked me in for a spa and massage!!! let me say that this is a very upscale spa.. it is nothing like I've been to before. The hot tub (pool!), steam rooms, and so forth are pretty fabulous, and the massage - a deep tissue - was out of this world, though I shoudl add that it was painful! The massage therapist asked how the pressure was and being the English person I am I gritted my teeth and gasped, "oh, it's good' :) Still, it was a real treat and a very appreciated surprise.

After my spa we headed out into the casino - which is enormous. We didn't of course go in to the actual casino, but to the many stores and restaurants. We found, yes, you guessed it, a Panera Bread (though a more expensive one!) and enjoyed lunch, and when we got back to our room the boys napped whilst I lapped up the view. We headed into Mystic that afternoon and then to Jill's house for another night of fun.

Thanks to Jill et al for a really great trip. We felt really looked after and it was like visiting family. Jill's son Matt was there and another guy from England), so we were surrounded by familiar accents.

On the way home we stopped off in Worcester, MA, and visited with the lovely Fia! The first time she'd met Rafi..

Hanging out in our room.

Not a great picture, but the view from our window. It was almost like a glass wall looking out over this beautiful view.

Raf snuggling in bed with Daddy.

We headed to Mystic in the afternoon, It was freezing! But a really sweet town. We ambled around a book store and some how ended up 'Mystic Pizza'!

We got to hang out at Jill's lovely (very New England) house. We sat in front of the fire enjoying tea; this was followed by dinner at a really great little restaurant around the corner. Again, lovely food.

raf and Daddy keeping warm by the log fire.

Jill and raf enjoy a cuddle.

On the way home we stopped off to see our dear friend Sophia. We met in, of course, Panera Bread, though it was in Worcester, MA. ( did try a bit of Rich's veggie soup, the last yucky morning sickness food.. it was fine!).

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 with Rafi

What a wonderful year! Raf will be 6 months old on the 7th... Here's a video of his first half year. It includes his first time with a rattle, his first trip to Europe (Spain), the special moment when he met his Gran and Grandpa at the airport, his first time in a pool, his first time meeting his cousins Rory and Freya and his aunt and uncle, his first time flying, his first Christmas, and so much more!!

New Year Walk

A few firsts for Rafi yesterday. His first day in 2010, his first day in his snowsuit from my mum, and his first walk in falling snow. We had a lovely family walk with the pups!

mid walk, Raf was very curious about the falling snow. In the ergo carrier Raf can lean right back and look up, which is what he did, getting a very wet face.