Monday, May 30, 2011

Big Boy Birthday Party

it's been a busy couple of weeks in the Oliver-Campbell household. Our nanny, unfortunately, is leaving much sooner than we thought... i.e. she is leaving this week. It's been a mad scramble trying to decide what to do, so this past week we toured a couple of daycare centers nearby to us. One of them was ROOTS, which we have heard mixed things about, but the toddler room teacher was just lovely and very kind and sweet with the kids. The ratios there are pretty low and the kids in the room Raf would be in, seemed very mellow. The truth is Raf did seem to do great when he was there, ambling around, seemingly quite confident. We visited another place, too, and he really like that one, too, so if ROOTS doesn't workout for whatever reason, then we have another place. And if none of these work out we will find someone new....

We've also had some fun trips to the park this past week and I will try and upload some pics later. This weekend was especially busy. Rich took part in a trail race, which we all went to, and in the afternoon Raf attended his first big boy birthday party. Our friend Kate's little boy, Thomas, was turning 4, and with his older brother Taylor and his friend, Max, as well as their sweet little Connor, there were a lot of big boys for Raf to toddle after. He had a lovely time, and the big boys were really quite sweet with him. The highlight was watching Thomas patiently showing Raf some games on Kate's iPad. Raf was babbling in response, and whilst Thomas could not have understood a single word, he nevertheless chatted to Raf as though they were engaging in a proper chat.

Checking out the big boys...

Taylor whacking the pinata... !

Monday, May 23, 2011


A bit late, but on the 13th we had a fun day celebrating my birthday. Yes, I am 35. Rich had the day off work and we spent the day having a lot of family fun. We started the day with a 6 mile family run, stopped off at the store for some goodies, and then came home for a lovely breakfast. It was a super leisurely day and so we meandered into Portland for lunch at Flatbread pizza.

It was the last day of sunshine (it;s been raining ever since) and we hoped to get out for an evening ride as our sitter was coming.. Alas, it fell through so enjoyed a nice birthday tea. I was a lucky woman and received an I-pad so I can watch and chat with Raf when I'm at work. And the next morning we did a 29 mile bike ride for a total of 35 combined miles (run and bike).. albeit a little late.

Lovely, lovely day.

Birthday breakfast.

Birthday lunch at Flatbread Pizza. Vegan pizza followed by vegan crumble... Yum.

Birthday tea!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Child Care

We've been so lucky with Raf's childcare providers. We started off sharing a nanny with some friends of ours and Jen, the nanny, was super. The logistics, though, were very taxing so we found Vanessa who's been with us since last summer. She is great and Raf really loves her. He has so much fun... but today she gave her notice in as, in happy news, she's getting married and her soon to be husband is in the military and is stationed out of state so in September she will be departing.

We have plenty of time to make new arrangements but we're simply not sure what to do. We don't know whether to look for another nanny/sitter or to think of a childcare center. We're just not sure. We were hoping to wait until Raf was preschool age before we sent him into the bigger world, but, well, he'll almost be 2.5 in September. Honestly I have such significant fears about him being elsewhere.

I don't know if our little boy is ready for it.

Oh, I don't know if *I* am ready for it. I don't think Rich is...

Id love to hear others' thoughts on childcare as well as suggestions if you're in the area. With any luck we'll be moving to the Saco area in September/October.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Birds and Fishes

On Monday - one of our spilt work days where we try to figure out our schedules so we both get to do some work and Rafi time - we met at a library in a near-by town. These Rafi transfer sites usually varies depending on our needs/location/time and have included petrol (gas) stations, parks, gyms, bookstores and our workplaces as we kiss and go our separate ways...

So back to the library - a very nice library where there was a nice kiddies area and steps, for which Rafi loved going up and down, up and down whilst clutching building blocks. There was also a fish tank, which we think was Rafi's first exposure to fish - and whilst at first he was not that excited after a short while he kept running back and forth to the big tank then pointing towards the fish while jabbering away. I can't say what this meant in the great scheme of things but it was very sweet to watch and perhaps the start of an appreciation of all living things...

Then we arrived home, had lunch and went into the garden to potter around as Rafi bobs around between the car and garage. The bird feeders needed refilling (we are getting blue jays, cardinals, and a few cheeky chipmunks and squirrels to name a few visitors). So I pulled out the bird food, got down the feeders and showed Rafi once what to do - and he promptly filled the two feeders with the little scoop in a very delicate and measured way! OK we lost a few (hundred) seeds over his shoes and in his pants...Again it was very sweet and touching to watch, me filled with images of Rafi as a great ornithologist/conservationist in the Amazon repelling the advances of corporate greed and finding and protecting long-lost species. I'm planning to take up bird-watching/nature watching with camera over the summer - and with my little assistant in tow - don't worry we'll take our cell phones with us just in case....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's day

What a lovely mother's day! Rich and Raf really did make the day special. Lots of beautiful gifts and flowers and food - and some time with some of my favourite people. We headed out for a morning run but, alas, the chariot was a bit wonky and after we tried to fix it we totally broke it, so after a couple of miles we attached the chariot to Rich's bike and they followed me while I ran. We stopped at the store and shopped for some goodies, including a balloon (raf picked it) and a bright red ball for Raf.

After our run/cycle Rich sent me upstairs to get back in to bed so he and raf could make me breakfast in bed! Although it was 1pm by the time we ate, I have to say it was lovely to get back from a 9 mile run, hop in the shower, get back into my PJs and read the NY Times and my new triathlon magazine Rich brought upstairs... Sheer bliss. After breakfast they left me upstairs for more relaxing.

Helping me with breakfast.

Rafi picked me out a balloon at the store and then proceeded to run up the aisle with it. He also ran around the house with it before he gave it to me.

Raf wasn't too interested in having his pic taken this afternoon, but I did manage to snag a pic with me when Rich presented me with a huge plate of chocolate fairycakes! Gorgeous and so delicious.

Such a wonderful day. It doesn't get much better than this. x

Friday, May 6, 2011

slow down!

We have an incredibly joyful and sweet little boy. There's not a day when I don't feel unbelievably lucky to have such a sweet little boy. On Thursday nights Rich is late home so I take Raf to bed. I have to confess that a lot of the time I do resent that I don't get to have a little alone time on those evenings as I go to bed at 7pm with Raf and I usually don't get to come back downstairs. It's especially difficult as Raf is a bit of nightmare to help to get to sleep, and i think it's even worse when I go up with him, so for almost 2 hours I usually have a little squirmy boy who is up and down, kicking and thrashing, cuddling and standing, etc. it drives me bonkers!

Yet last night as I lay there with the squirmy little poppet who couldn't quite make up his mind whether he was going to try and sleep (I can't express how much he squirms and gets up and down), I was struck by how temporary this is, how these evenings are precious and short-lived, and how, before I know it, this little boy isn't going to want to fall asleep with his arms wrapped tightly around my neck with his face buried in my hair. He's not going to want to lie on top of me with his legs and arms like a little starfish, outstretched and utterly dependent.

If only we could just press pause. We say this at least five times a day, and while I do love seeing this little boy's personality emerge, he is just so much fun - even with all the toddler drama - and maybe even because of it.

So last night as I lay in bed with Raf, him not sleeping, him getting up and down, standing up and bouncing on the bed, him clambering on top of me... and then off again, standing up again, and so forth, I pretended to be asleep and started to pretend to snore. And of course this made him laugh and then he started to pretend to snore, and then I did, and then he did. And inevitably I started to laugh, too.

Raf will be two in July and it seems that time has never flown so fast. Slow down, slow down - little boy - you sweet, beautiful light of our life. When I walk through the door and see the little boy so full of joy and excitement when he sees me, I feel as though I literally may burst with delight.