Saturday, February 26, 2011

The things I worry about

I am not a big worrier about Raf's 'progress'. He is such a happy boy. Yet sometimes I do worry 'a little' bit! He's super active, loves to climb and tumble and empty cupboards. He runs, squeals, giggles, and hugs, he spends hours going through the recycling, trying to eat cat food, putting dog food in the water bowl. He runs around the kitchen island as happy as can be.

At times, though, I do worry a little bit about his language development. He understands a lot. He cries when I say 'Rafi, time to change your nappy'; he picks up the ball/book/train when I suggest that he does; he looks for me when I shout 'where's Mama?'... you get the picture. Yet he doesn't utter a lot of words very clearly. He says:
chee chee (cheese)
baloo (balloon)
appal (apple)
Choo choo (train)
ba (ball)

He does have other words, I think, but I can't remember them or I can't really understand them. He has a different word for nursing almost every week, though lately he just follows me around with his boppy pillow(!). This past week he learned the word 'apple', which he says absolutely adorably. And now he walks around saying 'appal', as though he just really enjoys saying it! When he points to his or my nose he says something not even approximating 'nose', but when I ask him where his nose is he does point to it. I also think he may have tried to say 'I love you' in response to my incessant declarations when he said 'I la' over and over again.

Other things that I worry about...

His diet! Being vegan I feel as though I need to be extra vigilant about what he eats. The fact that he's still getting a lot of milk puts my mind at ease, but, you know, that worry slips in sometimes. Mostly I think he eats very well, but he only likes a narrow range of foods. For instance, he doesn't seem to like pasta or potatoes - but loves bread of all kinds (oh, so much like his mama!). He doesn't really like protein type foods (again, like his mama), and mostly eats hummus/Daiya cheese/yogurt/nut butters for his protein. Here's what he ate today:
Left his almond butter and apple butter on toast - though he usually eats it
Dried cranberries
Combination of coconut yogurt, soy yogurt, applesauce with almond butter mixed in
Green shake made with spinach, almond milk, flaxseed, banana and strawberries

Half a peanut butter/apple butter sarnie
Few cranberries and pretzels

Whole wheat wrap with hummus and spinach
More yogurt/applesauce mix but with tahini

Same as before

Hummus on toast
Peas and sweetcorn
More mix

And lots of milk.

I worry about other things... watching too much TV, not getting enough reading time, not enough time with other kids, too much time inside (this winter has been LONG), and on, and on. Mostly I don't worry too much.. just a little bit :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Good Sport

Despite another snowy, cold winter (that's three out of the last four), we have still endeavoured to keep running outside, and work towards some spring and summer races despite the conditions underfoot being less than ideal for the last two months. Alex is much more hardy than me, especially in the morning and will head out in really cold conditions that I wouldn't dare even think about - whilst muttering about hating our long winters and dreaming of hot, sweaty summer runs.

We try to run together at least once per week - and can only do that with our chariot and our good sport, Rafi, who comes along for the ride. We pack his water, snack box (usually pretzels, dried fruit), a few toys and books - and we're off for varying miles around local roads. We are so lucky that Rafi never complains, sometimes falls asleep - or as today will look out quietly as we shuffled for ten cold miles, seemingly content and warm to witness our sporting efforts. In the summer he will be hooked up again to our bikes and we head further afield, boy I'm looking forward to those days...

As we arrive home, pluck Rafi out and head into the house - we always thank him for another good run...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Poor little Rafi has had an ear infection this past week and a bit. Last Tuesday I had to take the day off from work and take him to the Dr. where his little earache was diagnosed. He's making a speedy recovery, thankfully.

Just as a little note for ourselves, his head was a whopping 20.5 inches (yes, off the charts!)
Weight: 24.something pounds (Not really any additional weight this past couple of months taking him from the 50th to the 20th percentile in weight)
Height: 33.5 inches. (Massive growth spurt, which is probably why he hasn't added any weight as he's been too busy growing upwards!)

It's been a difficult week because Raf has been taking things VERY hard. Asking him to take the dog food out of his mouth, for instance, leads to a whole lot of tears, as does practically anything. But as he'd feeling less poorly he seems to be coping better with things; at least I hope!

It's Sunday night. We've had a lovely weekend with Raf. Yesterday we took him to Borders for a couple hours of running around the store fun, and this afternoon I took him to the Peekaboo Center, and he had a lovely time playing with the balls and trains. Um, that's all he seems to play with at home, too!

Not a very scintillating blog, but there you have it.

Monday, February 14, 2011


We're back from our very quick trip to Orlando. We headed there on Wednesday morning and returned yesterday. I was attending a conference on Thursday and Friday and we stayed an extra day so we could enjoy a very mini vacation. We had an okay flight out of Portland, though Raf hardly slept, so we had to find ways of trying to entertain an overly tired toddler for a few hours. But we arrived in sunny Florida at noon and as soon as we got to the hotel we headed to the pool for a quick swim (see pics below).

The next couple of days were pretty cool and dreary, but I had my conference so it wasn't so bad. Raf and Rich enjoyed some time together and I believe they did a lot of book store visiting. They texted me photos as I sat in workshops and listened to papers and met me on breaks for quick snippets of family time. IN the evening we strolled around the mall (our hotel was at the mall!) and took Raf to the indoor play center, which he really loved (I think Rich may blog about this), and he really seemed to come out of his shell. Indeed one of the highlights of the trip was walking through the mall with Raf skipping along next to me, when he suddenly stopped outside of the Armani store. He'd heard the music playing within and started dancing right there, right then outside... and then he wandered into the store and just bopped along to the music, looking up at a mannequin as he tapped his feet. It made me almost cry with the sweetness of it.

On the way home Raf yet again didn't sleep. Unfortunately he fell asleep as we checked our baggage in so we knew we'd have 3 hours of an awake-Raf! but it was his 13th flight en route home so we knew he'd be a trooper about it :)

A few snippets...

Watching mama swim some laps, trying to decide if he'd come in for a swim.

All of a sudden, in the midst of swimming laps, Raf decided he'd come into the pool and join me. We had a blast! He loves the water and especially loves being thrown in the air.

Hanging out in the hotel room... just reading in the drawer.

On Saturday we headed to downtown Disney. Raf is a bit too young for Real Disney, but we headed on the bus and walked around the downtown part and Raf had such a super time. Disney is definitely not our cup of tea... and knowing that the Mickey Mouse teeshirt we bought Raf was likely made in Honduras by children, and thinking of the awful messages articulated through Disney films and more, made us a bit leery about the entire thing...

But the truth is we knew Raf would love it, that he'd be enchanted by the music and atmosphere, and we weren't wrong. He loved it. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but we got some brunch and then headed outside. Immediately we happened upon a carousel. What was more fun for Raf, though, were the bubbles that were being blown by various employees around the ride. Raf was raptured! At first he stood and watched, looking at the other kids running and jumping, and then, out of nowhere, he started shrieking and running, trying to catch the bubbles (I posted a little video below),

Waking up... about to head out for our day at Disney!

In awe of the floating bubbles!

First time on a carousel.

Waiting for the car service to take us to the airport, Raf tried to climb up on the wall and jump into the water feature and fountain outside of our hotel. We let him dangle his feet in the water, though that only seemed to make him want to go in even more!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chasing Bubbles

We spent today in downtown Disney! It was surprisingly a lot of fun! Here's a little film of Raf chasing bubbles as we waited for a carousel ride!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


We're off on a trip to Florida!! Wish us luck with Rafi... I am not sure it's going to be as easy as our journey to San Francisco, but I guess we'll see. I'm going to a conference and so Rich is bringing Raf along. We're going to stay an extra night around Disney and hopefully the weather will be somewhat decent.

I'm meant to be packing since we're leaving here at 3:30am but I wanted to post this little pic of Raf and I. I had my longest day away from Raf yesterday. I was filling in for an adjunct whose class runs from 6-9pm. Raf was of course in bed when I got in, so this morning I decided to spend a couple of hours with him and put off our nanny for a couple of hours. We had a lovely time.. and Raf took a few pics with my ipod.

Other things he did today included giving me a lot of sloppy kisses, and then talking to my mum on the phone as though he was having a proper conversation. It was quite adorable.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Little Munchkin

I thought it would get easier to go to work, but the truth is it does not. I think it actually gets more difficult because Raf's little personality is really emerging, and I love being around him. Of course it's also restorative and resetting to be away, but you know, over all, I would rather not have specific times when I have to be away... I'd quite like to be independently wealthy and 'be away' to go for a nice bike ride, or something!

I half joked on Facebook that I'd like to be a stay at home mum, and while it's actually much more complex than that, I am finding the work/mum balance ever more of a challenge. Mind you, work is incredibly busy and I'm sure that doesn't help. Tomorrow i'm filling in for one of our adjuncts and won't be home until 10pm, but, when Sunday night comes I feel dread wash over me and I start counting down the hours until the next weekend.

We did have a lovely weekend. Lots of chores done yesterday, a nice doggy walk when we returned home, and today a really hard and awful(!) family run, which was also great but very tricky with such slushy conditions (it's HARD to push a stroller through snow and ice for almost 9 miles!). Now I'm looking at the ironing, knowing I need to get a little bit ready for tomorrow. I better go and do it!

Raf's new hairdo :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Fifth Wiggle

In our 16 years plus together I never thought I'd see the day when private, introverted, reserved Rich would dance and sing to the Wiggles - and that he would do so with complete abandon! My guess is that he wouldn't appreciate me sharing pictures and video of him dancing with Rafi, but I have to say that it's incredibly sweet.

We had lots of ideas about Raf watching TV but the truth is we've failed horribly in our desire for him not to watch any TV. We used a portable DVD player to get us through our plane ride to San Francisco, and since then Raf has become quite obsessed with Peppa Pig. My parents spoiled him rotten when they were here, and it seems like a grandparent;s prerogative to allow their little ones to watch their favourite show whilst lying in bed, eating grapes and dried cranberries.

Whatever our rationalizations, it is the case that Raf is watching more than his fair share of TV lately. He only watches Peppa Pig and the Wiggles, but, you know... gah! Perhaps another rationalization, but Raf is very interactive with the Wiggles and dances and sings along the entire way through. We also dance and sing along with him, which makes me feel slightly better about him watching the box...

Before I go into more excuses for our permissive parenting I'll just leave a couple of clips of Raf's dancing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rafi's first time in the snow!

We've had a lot of snow this year but it's either been too cold or the snow has iced over before we've had a chance to take Raf out into it. This afternoon, though, we bundled him up and took him to have a look... he loved it! (though getting him to keep gloves on is something else entirely!)