Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Other News...

Just a quick note to celebrate...Sammy's 5th birthday this past week! What can be said that hasn't been said before about our lovable doughnut of a dog. He's everything a trained dog isn't - but so damned cute he gets away with daily murder. Guided by his large and varied appetite and a deep sense of doggie justice when out walking - not a day goes by when we don't question our decision to acquire a second Westie. He's a side-kick to Kiltie, though I'm not sure Kiltie has ever fully appreciated a bigger, more challenged companion - though their playful fights through the house are a joyful sight to behold. The nickname 'wind-up Sammy' is apt as he barrels through the house banging into everything in his path - ears and tongue flapping behind him, now with Raf squealing in delight...

Friday, April 29, 2011

3 chocolate fairy-cakes makes for a lovely Easter

Bit late with our Easter weekend post, but unfortunately I was sick for most of it and only started to feel better on Tuesday. Alas, Raf picked up some tummy bug, too, and he was sick the second half of the week. In spite of sickness, though, we had a lovely Sunday with a family run (replete with stops because I was so poorly), a ride in the car to the building plot we'll hopefully eventually end up buying (fingers crossed) and then an Easter tea with chocolate cake and fairy-cakes. Raf ADORED the cake and unexpectedly knew the words 'chocolate cake' (his own version) which must have been learned from Peppa Pig as we rarely have cake... (see how educational Peppa Pig is?).

Anyway... Easter in a few pictures.

Our attempt to find Raf something akin to a 'lovey'... a plush Thomas the Tank Engine :)

Spring book.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Another Chapter...

Hi everyone - I've been a bit lax recently and I've been meaning to write this post for about a month, which is just as well - since we (Raf & I), are still reading the same book, which is the topic of this post - the importance of reading to children. It's a pet project of mine (moving beyond board books), since the love of reading I believe starts early - and hearing many and varied words early must play into that on some level - so that's why every night as we have some time upstairs before the lights go out - I've whipped out Roald Dahl's 'Danny The Champion of The World' for a chapter or two - as Raf bounces around the bed. Seemingly oblivious to the adventures of Danny and his beloved Dad in Hazell's Wood - I read on regardless, feeling that my efforts must be working on some 'hidden' level, as I try to bring to life Dahl's wonderful array of characters to Rafi's ears. When he's finally asleep, I switch to a current read - Miyuki Miyabe's 'Shadow Family' being careful not to read aloud as I don't think a dark Japanese detective novel would be apt for a toddler. I plan to continue this reading project until Rafi is about 18, do you think he will mind?

Family catch-up

Such a busy week. Our nanny needed some time off this week so we were really stretched... Added to that Raf's sleep has been dreadful. He has another cold, which keeps him up at night, but worse is getting him to sleep, which never really was a problem. it's been taking TWO hours every night. Since we're both short on time this is a bit of a nightmare, especially since Rich is out a lot in the week for school and work meetings, and this week I was doing classroom visits (observations of adjuncts and tenure track faculty), grading, writing assessment plans for the college's core, rewriting our own department's curricula (we have a couple of programs) and then extra things such as award ceremonies (well done to my dear friend Jen - an often visitor to this blog) for receiving the HIGHEST award that can be given to a faculty. It is so deserved, and it also reminded me that I am not personally close to winning ANY such award. I'll leave it for a blog post on my other blog to whine about these things - about trying to manage parenting, work, and mental health - and honestly how it is just impossible to do it all without being institutionalized... well, at least for me.

In family news we put an offer in on a building plot/building package. We had ideas of buying some land and designing our own home, but then the realization of a) how much it would be to do that, b) how time consuming it would be... so we're hopefully moving forward on a build package. This would be wonderful as we still get to do some basic design things (like an extra room over the garage), eco-flooring, fireplaces, kitchens, and bathrooms... Mind you this is all hinging on the town buying our current home. Our house is under contract but, alas, we have to wait for a referendum in June. We're VERY nervous. We'll either be drinking a glass of champers mid-June, or downing the entire bottle.

We're definitely thinking it's time for another little one. How realistic this is I cannot really determine. For one I am still nursing and also training for a half ironman in September.. neither which lend themselves to good fertility. The half ironman (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run) will be a consolation prize if it doesn't happen... Of course I simply cannot keep quiet about these things and even though I told Rich we'd tell no one apart from close family if it happens, I know myself enough to know that I'll likely be blogging about it before it's even official! I wish I could be more discreet.

In Rafi news... despite the sleeping issues (just when you think it couldn't get worse!), he continues to be his funny little self. He is a great ball thrower, and has me standing in the garden while he throws the ball off the deck, down the stairs (which are blocked off by a baby gate), playing a very fun game of catch. I'm amazed by how accurate he is, and also he has caught the ball a couple of times (quite accidentally, of course) - which helps make up for his lack of expressive language :)At least he can throw a ball.. and he in fact likes to say 'ball'.

I do love his little voice, though, and lately he has been doing a lot more pointing and labeling. His favorite things to point out are APPLES! He just adores apples... He also likes to shout CAR and CHOO CHOO and BUS. Oh, and 'diddies' during the night... just guess what that means.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

from baby to little boy

I just love the little boy that Raf is becoming. He is so funny and sweet, and while last weekend we saw Raf's frustrated and determined side, all week we've been enjoying this little character who makes us laugh as we sigh in disbelief that our little Raf is growing up... much MUCH too quickly.

Some new favourite things:

1) Hiding in cupboards

2) Giving big kisses on the lips! We were signing some contracts this week and Raf was sat on my lap, and all of a sudden he put his arms around my neck and gave me a huge kiss on the lips. This morning, too, when he thought I was asleep I got another big kiss on the lips... aw.

3) Raf thinks all fruit are called 'apples'... he just loves 'apples' of all kinds. Here he is eating a very big apple, which looks very much like a melon. He likes to eat all fruit in the way he eats apples!

4) He is his mama's son for he just adores chips (i.e. fries!). We don't have them often but in the last two occasions we've had them in a restaurant or as takeaway he has scoffed them down like there's no tomorrow.

5) When we walk the pups around the neighbourhood (a 2 mile loop) he loves to get out of the stroller part way around and walk/run after 'the boys'. He usually walks with either 2-3 Thomas books in his hand, or all three bath squirter Thomas trains.. yes, we stop a lot as there is a lot of dropping.

6) Buses.. he really loves to say the word 'a-bus', and he excitedly pointed out two today on our way into Portland.

7) Walking up and down stairs... and up and down and up and down.

Such a great little boy.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Oh deario, where did this little boy come from? All of a sudden - well, today - we've had a lot of tears, many meltdowns, many lying on the floor (including road, gravel, car-park) moments when Rich and I were just left scratching our heads. We had to pop to the mall this afternoon and as Raf realized we were NOT going to Borders, he just screamed and screamed.. and screamed as we walked into Macys. Rich ended up taking him to Borders while I ran a few chores, but even Borders wasn't too pretty. He seems to have a bit of a temperature so I'm wondering if it's just that he is a bit sick. Lordy, I hope it's just that he's sick!

Despite all of that, though, we had a busy and nice weekend. Yesterday Raf came to work with me to help out with 'Accepted Students' Day", and then we headed to the beach for a quick walk. It was Raf's first time to the beach since last year, and it was like he'd never been before. It was so sweet to see him in awe of the sea. He kept pointing to the sea shouting out his word for water (which does not actually sound like water!), and then he ran around with the wind in his hair, enjoying the sights and sounds.

After that we went to a home show in Portland, which was also not that pretty, and then the park... fun but also a bit of a challenge. This morning on a family walk Raf got out of his stroller to walk a bit, and even though it went quite well he did not want to hold hands... Trying to explain to a 21 month old that they need to hold your hand or be carried on a pretty busy road did not go that well... he relented to hand holding but it was short lived and I ended up having to put him over my shoulder and carry him home like I was a firefighter!

Oh, and have I mentioned how getting him to sleep is going lately?....

Friday, April 1, 2011

Snow Day

It does seem as though Mother Nature is having a joke with us given it's April 1st and we've had a snow day. We are ready for winter to be well and truly over. The nice thing about a snow day, though, is that I got to stay home with Raf, and we had a pretty nice day.

Raf is a real snuggler and even if I turn my back on his during the night he taps me on the back until I turn back around and give him a cuddle. But aside from blowing kisses he doesn't give a lot of kisses. This morning I went upstairs to grade some papers for a while, at some point Rich and Raf came upstairs and we all sat on the bed reading and chatting. All of a sudden Raf started kissing me and then Rich... over and over again, a smacker on the lips, back and forth, back and forth. I have to say that it was quite adorable.

As regular readers will know, Raf loves to dance. I mean he LOVES to dance! Watching an episode of Peppa earlier he danced to vigorously I thought he was going to cause himself an injury! He's working on 'jumping' and it's very funny to watch. I'll try to get it on film.

Raf also produced his first piece of art today! He has a tendency to just hold as many crayons as he possibly can as opposed to using them to draw, but he's enjoying sitting in his booster seat at the table, lately, and today, while Rich worked, he sat at the table and produced two masterpieces :)

I must have mentioned Raf;s love for all things train.. he just loves Thomas the Tank Engine. Here he is this evening after his bath clutching his Thomas bath toys Rich bought him earlier this week.

We've been doing a lot of house hunting recently. Earlier this week Raf and I (Rich was at work and then in class) along with our realtor visited a couple of houses and a couple of plots of land. It's exciting and stressful to be on the verge of moving, but we're ready! Here's the mucky little Raf checking out some stairs in a house that was not quite finished.. so it was DUSYT! We went through two pairs of trousers because of mud and dust that afternoon!

I'm not sure how he got so big but Raf is really growing up. I spend a lot of my time saying aloud, 'what a great little boy we have', and I have to admit that while I LOVE seeing him grow into a little boy, I am already missing the baby and infant that Raf has ceased to be.