Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And another good day...

One of the nicest things about ROOTS is that they write a little journal highlighting parts of Raf's day. Today there was a part about his morning... this is my favourtie quote:

"He did lots of fitness! He loves to walk like a bear and jump like a frog".

Ms. Sonya, this teacher, also told me that he likes to sleep with his shoes and the family photo album we pack in his bag. He's such a funny boy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Best Day Yet!

Rafi has been adjusting fairly well to nursery, though drop offs have been painful, and afterward, even though he's had a lovely day, he is very, very anxious about leaving my side. There are a lot of tears if he thinks I'm not getting in the car with him, and he constantly wants to be in my arms, or at least in view. It is totally understandable but it's made us worry that perhaps he's not ready. So we were very happy that today he had an excellent day. I also asked his teacher to give us her impressions on Raf's language development - and she wrote some really helpful comments in his journal.

"Rafi has his best day yet! His separation time this morning was really short. He was very interested in a musical circle time with some stretching, deep breathing, and yoga. He had a wonderful time outside. What a fabulous and free laugh he has!! He enjoyed playing with Sawyer and Rory, and likes watching all the interesting construction going on :)

As far as Raf's speech goes - I wouldn't worry!! He is just starting to open up here at school, but we have heard a variety of sounds as well as multiple syllables. His receptive language is great and age-appropriate and he has his own 'conversations' with Sawyer using their own words. I think he will speak when he's ready! :)

Rejuvenation: 12:45-1:05 (diaper change), 1:30-1:45 (with Miss Jenna snuggling in the rocker).

PS: what an attentive story listener Rafael is!"

Rich and I were both there to pick him up. They were all outside and as we stepped out into the play area we could see him with 3 other toddlers playing on the slide having such a fun time. He saw us just as he was about to slide down... he took his turn and trotted up to us and gave me a big, big bear hug, and of course wouldn't let me go. It was a relief to have this note from Miss Sonya, his teacher. She is just phenomenal with these little ones, and shows so much love and care for all of her charges. We really are feeling lucky.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Late Bloomer..

Raf will be 2 years old in less than a month. He is a funny little boy, smiley and happy and full of hugs and kisses and plenty of laughter. He likes to play ball - catch, throw, kicking; he likes to work on his 'art', especially painting; he likes to run and climb; he loves to watch bigger kids and gets a big kick out of watching them misbehave... and yet honestly I am a bit worried about Raf. My sense is that he has pretty good receptive language skills. If I say 'Raf, do you want to give the boys a biscuit?' he'll run to their biscuit tin and, once I've handed him a couple of biscuits, he'll feed them to the boys. Or, I'll ask him to put on his shoes and he'll bring them over to me to help him with them. Or, I'll say 'it's time for bed, night, night', and off he'll trot to the door. Or, I'll say there's a car coming and he'll take my hand and crouch down (!!) and wait for it to pass.. You get the picture.

His expressive language, however, seems really delayed to me. Indeed I think by most standards he is pretty behind. He is no where near putting two words together, and the vocab he has isn't very broad and the words he does have aren't very clear. He has stopped saying his most clear word - 'apple' - which today created a lot of anxiety... I mean, could he really be losing his very limited vocabulary? I don't actually think so, but, you know, I worry.

The biggest part of me thinks that he is just a late bloomer. Raf's cousin, Rory, who is 3 months older than Raf, is not too more advanced than Raf, and my sister isn't overly concerned. My cousin's little boy, now 5, was also late to bloom, as was my other cousin... all boys. I read that late bloomers tend to run in families, and most are boys. But... could it be something else?

I am reluctant to really push for a referral. First, I don't want to medicalize and pathologize a little boy who is in every other way seemingly really smart and happy. I mean he knows how to work my iPad and can play several pre-schooler, educational apps, he likes to sit and read his book, he points and says stuff I cannot understand... he is social, good eye contact, very loving and interactive when he knows people. Second, I don't want him to be diagnosed with things he doesn't have, as did happen with a good friend's son. This little boy, at 2, wasn't able to put two words together and was diagnosed with all sorts of things - including being placed on the autism spectrum. Seriously, this little boy - now 6 - is one of the most social, empathetic little boys I have ever met.... But then again I don't want to miss out on important interventions.

Gah, what to do.

Me and my little sweety this morning.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Week in pictures

Thanks for your support as Raf starts his school career. it's been a busy week, and this week is slightly nerve wracking as we'll find out if we're moving. For those of you not aware of what's happening, our house is under contract with the town, who want to buy our property and land in order to put in a road. We're hoping it goes through so that we can move closer to work as my commute is insane. Before Raf it was completely fine and I really didn't mind, but if we move to Saco I'll cut about 7-8 hours off my commuting week. Fingers crossed... We'll either be celebrating with a glass of champers on Tuesday night or we'll be downing the entire bottle. Watch this space.

The biggest thing this last week, of course, was Raf's first day at nursery. We really love his main teacher and her assistant and we think it's going to work out well. On Thursday, though, a couple of teachers were out sick so it was a little bit hectic and I think Raf had a much harder time. Hopefully this week things will be back to normal there. Raf himself is getting over his ear infection and now, unfortunately, I'm sick. it's a pretty nasty head cold and cough, which is a real pain especially at night as I've been awake for the past few nights hacking up a lung.

Here are a few pics caught on my phone camera this week... funny, silly boy.

Spontaneous morning 'art' before nursery.

Getting Raf to sleep is proving to be easy these days...

Eating outside al fresco style..

Buy 3 bags of snapeas get a little boy for free...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nursery: First Day

What a nerve wracking day. I barely slept and I had a bad dream about Raf being in a place with a million other kids, and I was watching him trying to make friends with other little ones and no one would talk to him. Gah. Talk about projected anxieties! Poor lad, I tried very hard to be upbeat about it all... So Rich and I packed all of his things, his little lunch, extra clothing, and so forth, and headed to Gorham. The plan was to stay an hour to help him settle. He did seem very comfortable and had a nice time pushing a pram along whilst drinking 'tea'. As time neared 10am, though, I could see he was getting ready to leave... ach, just as we were supposed to. Rich nipped out to head to a meeting and I stayed for the dreaded goodbye.

it was much harder than I even expected. I burst into tears but was careful to try not to let Raf see, and said, in a probably unconvincing voice, 'have a lovely fun day, sweety, see you later'. And then he started to hug on hard.. I was about to panic, honestly, and I could tell I was going to sob and disintegrate into a total mess (which would have made things a trillion times worse, I know). THANK GOODNESS, one of the lovely women opened the back door to the yard and off Raf trotted. I sort of followed him and said goodbye and then ran out...

It was a very difficult morning and I didn't get much work done as it was so hard to focus. I called and spoke to his teacher and she reassured me that he was having a very good first day. He was actually sleeping!! Such a relief... Apparently after he realised I was gone he was upset for about 5 minutes and then found the sandpit and slide.

I was anxious to see him, though, and so Rich and I met for a late lunch at the cafe next door to the nursery and went in to pick him up together. When he saw us he smiled so brightly and ran into my arms.. it was a really sweet moment. He did have a very good first day, though, and it is such a relief. I do think it is hard on these little ones even if we think it's harder on us. What was so hard was realizing that he had no clue that were going to be leaving him... I know kids are very resilient but it is tough on them.

Sonya, his main teacher, writes a little note in each child's journal (for now ours is just paper but we;ll get a journal for next time). This is what she wrote....

"Raph has lots of fun playing in the yard today. He likes the slide and the sandbox. He showed his creativity with chalk, and his flexibility by being comfortable in a new environment :) he is so interested in musical pursuits, this should prove to be fun in the future"

Rejuvenation: 12:40-1:25 (sleep)
1:25-1:55 (rest)

Nourishment: sandwich and fruit @ 11:30
applesauce mixture @ 2:10.

Pretty lovely. She said that when he woke up he saw the other kids still sleeping and rested with a teddybear he liked for about 30mins, Apparently towards the end he collected some blocks and then brought them back to his sleep mat to play with!

This is him this evening.. pretty happy :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Funny Boy.

Poor little Raf is once again a bit poorly. I took him into the Drs on Saturday morning and he does have a little ear infection. I think he's already feeling better with the antibiotics. Whilst we're not huge fans of loading up Raf with antibiotics, the relief they always give him when he has an earache is so evident, and I know from personal memory that earaches are just plain awful.

The nurse practitioner we saw (and have seen many times!) is just lovely. I mentioned our concern that Raf is not very skilled verbally - though bless him, he does try, and I am sure he saying lots I just simply don't understand. He seems to have good understanding, and does have many ways he communicates his point/wish/desire across.

Raf is such a sweet little boy (I am sure I am just like every other mother in the world who thinks this, so not very original on my part), but when I see him at the Drs or hairdresser - as I have recently - I am always struck by how sweet natured he is.

He is also a very funny boy.

Raf is a bit of a mama's boy and is such a lovely little hugger. Hugs all of the time... especially when I've been out. Except when I'm coming back from a run or a bike ride. He literally wants nothing to do with me! I met Rich and Raf in Hannaford last week after a run. Raf was running around the aisle and as he saw me he came running down with arms outstretched, ready to give me a big hug. Well, as soon as he realized I'd been running and was a hot sweaty mess, he veered off, shooing me away with one arm while throwing himself at Rich instead. He waits until I've showered, or at least changed, before he comes close.

In fact Raf is a bit fussy around being clean.. if he falls down the biggest nightmare for him is not the cut knee or scraped head, it's the gravel on his hands. And finger painting... forget about it, though he loves to paint (and Rich will write about that, I think).

Other silly things... he loves his liquid vitamin and this morning cried, literally cried, when I wouldn't give him another dose, If you're ever smelt the stuff you'll how how disgusting the stuff is. He also like to put boxes on his head - and washing baskets, too - giggling to himself as he walks around not quite being able to see.

Everyday Rafi does something incredibly sweet and funny. It's hard to believe that he'll be 2 next month.