Thursday, May 31, 2012

Juggling Skills

Whilst Al took the pups for a much needed walk this evening (a good sunny warm one in Maine), and Rafi was finishing his dinner - I decided to dust off my juggling skills after spying a bowl of oranges. I have tried to impress Rafi in the past with my juggling skills but he was seemingly too young for these feats of magic - and with Al never overly impressed - it was a losing battle to impress my family. Though tonight was different - up went the oranges and Rafi was immediately impressed, laughing and mesmerized so much that...he wanted a go! One orange then two then three in his hands and then...thump, thump, thump - we now have three bruised oranges. Quickly grabbing those up - he wanted the others in the bowl, oh dear - and pushing the bowl safely out of reach lead to a round of big tears and crying/wailing - not the end of the fun I was expecting!! Perhaps tennis balls next time Rafi...

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Holiday Weekend

It's not over yet, but so far we've had a super holiday weekend. Yesterday was very hot and after forgetting Raf didn't have a gym class - and being the only parents who turned up to an empty gym - we spent some time gardening and mowing the lawn and then headed to the beach later in afternoon. Raf had a blast. He liked to collect on the pretext of making the sand wet for sandcastle building, but mostly he just loves to collect the water. So many older folk were sitting watching him as he was squealing every time his toes touched the cold water. Here he is pouring the water over Rich's feet... that's a lot of fun!

Today some friends came around this morning to check out our baron landscaping and to see if they can help (fingers crossed). My friend Amy has two lovely little girls, both younger than Raf. Raf was so proud to show Analise his trains and his other toys upstairs, and Rich - who was up there too - reported that Raf was offering to share his choo choos. He is so pleased with his toys when he shows them off!

We all headed outside, and as I was showing Chris around the yard, Raf and Analise played on his little slide. All of a sudden (I missed it, but thank goodness Amy had a camera!) they spontaneously hugged. It was so sweet!

And then there was a goodbye kiss. The little charmer!

After a busy morning we headed to a wedding reception at a golf course. The wedding was actually a few months ago in Israel and it was great to have an American celebration! I must admit that I've been looking forward to Rafi wearing his new shirt and tie since I found in on NextDirect. He pulled it off nicely, I think. He wouldn't wear the new shoes we bought him for more than three minutes so he ended up back in his crocs. I was very happy he didn't take off his tie.  He had a lovely time running up and down the stairs, watching the golfers, and generally running us ragged. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sweet big brother

We've been trying to get Raf used to the idea that there's a baby on his way. We're having varying success. We play a game when we point to something and label something incorrectly, to which Raf responds, "noooooooo", and laughs. When I say there's a 'baby in mummy's tummy', Raf's been responding with the same incredulous, 'noooooooooo', and laughs as though we're telling him a big funny joke. We also ask him if he wants to kiss the baby in mummy's tummy and he does, but then he blows a big raspberry!

We're not sure what to make of all this. He does love to read his 'baby is coming' books, and at the park yesterday, his nanny told us, he was super interested in an 11 day old baby. Apparently he was very sweet. When he woke up this morning, after asking from some kisses, and after I had bribed him for a few minutes with my ipad (it was 5am), he said, 'kiss the baby?' And he gave my tummy a few kisses - without the raspberries (although perhaps there was one).

As I was getting up and getting changed into my running kit, Raf went for it and gave my tummy a big hug and kiss. It's a terrible picture but it's so sweet.

This evening we sat on the couch and my tummy got my kisses and a couple of raspberries. As he went up to bed with Rich he said, 'night, baby',

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Night Night

Getting Raf to sleep lately has been quite a challenge - we have theories and ideas as to why he's not even contemplating sleep until 8:30pm which is running about a hour later than usual. Could he be growing out of his afternoon nap, or the longer, lighter days or just not wanting to say goodbye to his trains which have been regular guests in the bed again - which is OK for the most part unless they are the ones that make noises which can go off and wake him up when he does fall asleep! So it's late by the time he starts to wind down, a few books are attempted and he likes 'Stick Man' at the moment - and then I switch the light off and we now have a nightly round of 'Night, night.' This can go on for sometime - tonight it was at least 30 times and just as you think he's nodded off - yep - another 'night, night' comes out of the darkness and the rattle of a train and I know I'll be in the bed for another ten minutes or so. It's very sweet though and one of those times that is oh so brief and you hope you don't forget in the great scheme of things...

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Sea

Having to get a garden trowel to plant our flowers and a 'speedy recovery/get well' card for my step-brother who has had a serious accident after falling from a horse - I decided to drive around our old stomping ground of Biddeford Pool first - which as the crow flies is not too far from where we now live if you were swimming it. So we drove the long way around going by UNE (hey mama Raf shouted) and past our little stone cottage rental where we lived from 2001-2002 before being turfed out for the summer rental market - it was nice while it lasted! Then up to the Pool - all our old running routes and the scene of my duathlon a couple of years ago - it's a beautiful spot - great bird-watching (and seals sometimes) and an impressive looking spiritual retreat that was an old hotel are a couple of features. The sea can be quite wild - and whilst it was relatively calm - it was quite an experience today - breaking in all directions, very odd to see! Being close to the Atlantic again - has been one of the best things of our move - and whilst we will miss the lakes close to our old home - and plan to visit as much as we can - the sea and the beaches are very reassuring, and connects us more to home in some ways not easy to explain. Apart from the obvious that the Atlantic hits Europe 3,000 miles away! And it's just as cold there too - UK summer holidays and hypothermia were always a cause for concern. So we are lucky to have this on our doorstep - even Old Orchard Beach has it's colourful charms - and we are waiting to get into the water one way or the other as soon as possible - kayacking, swimming, rescuing the dogs - and whilst its not the Mediterranean sea for warmth or colour - it's just wonderful to be able to see the sea nearly everyday...and looking forward to those hot July/August days!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beachy Weekend

It was a beautiful weekend in Southern Maine, and in some ways our first taste of summer in our new pad and locale. Work is fairly hectic, right now, but we did have some fun. On Saturday we headed to an opening of our friend's photography showing at a really lovely coffee shop is Falmouth in the early evening. Raf had such a fab time. He sat down like such a big boy and ate his favourite snacks (crackers, hummus, juice!) and then he played with some of the toys in the coffee shop and was a bit of a goof with his fake laugh! Funny boy.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit grumpy yet the birds were chirping away and the sun was coming up so I snuck out of bed and headed out the door for a nice 5 mile run. We've found this great loop which takes you past the Saco river, down a trail, along the coastal road, and then back along another trail to get back to our house. It was gorgeous!

Yes, feeling pretty big at 20 weeks. Things have definitely popped sooner this time around!

After a quick trip to the garden center we packed up some lunch and hitched the trailer to the bike and we biked down to Ferry State Park for a picnic. There's a great picnic area next to the beach. Perfect.

There were some crazy people swimming and Rich and Raf went to get some water so we could make sand castles and Raf was soaked! I could hear him squealing as he was running back along the beach with the cold water slopping all over him.

Burying feet is hard work.

A very nice Sunday, and all of us are feeling pretty lucky to live in such a super place.

Friday, May 18, 2012


A busy week at the Poppet household. We're all looking forward to mid summer when things hopefully calm down a bit. In the meantime Raf continues to be the funny little fella that he is. For a while now he has a new game, which involves getting stuck (on purpose) and then asking for help. He does this on the bed where he squeezes himself between the mattress and the bed-frame, and as he climbs into the space he's already shouting 'I stuck!' He also does it when he climbs onto his seat to sit at the table. He moves the chair as far away from the table as is possible, usually turning it right around, and as he climbs on declares that he's stuck because he's too far away from the table. "I stuck" is invariably followed by "help please". I caught an episode on my phone yesterday - this time involving long grass.

In other adventures someone accidentally knocked on the gas knob on our cooker/range and without us knowing we had a gas leak. I couldn't work out the smell at all when I got home (duh) but opened the windows anyway. I was working upstairs all day with this nasty smell and it wasn't until Rich and Raf got home that Rich worked out what it was and turned off the gas. Of course we were scared to turn anything on in case there was a big bang so we called the local fire service to get their advice, and before too long we had two very loud fire engines arriving at our house!!!!!! It was a bit overkill but the fire officers we saw were extremely nice and gracious about it and even invited Raf to sit in the fire engine! Aw, dreams do come true. he was pretty happy.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sweet, sad, funny Raf.

I spend a lot of my time gushing over this little boy. He is so sweet and lovely and everyday I see some more of his personality coming through. When he wakes up in the morning and starts talking with his eyes half closed, sometimes all happy, sometimes a bit grumpy - it's usually not long before he is a happy camper and full of hugs and kisses. And then he demands his shoes so he can go downstairs for his breakfast.

Mind you he is not always a happy boy, and mostly it's when we say 'no' to something, such as when he asks for another ice pop. Yesterday he asked for another pop, brought 2 over from the freezer, even. I said, "I'm sorry, Raf, you've already had two. Can you put it back please". He was pretty mournful, bowed his head, and trudged back to the freezer to put them back. This morning we said 'no' to something else (I forget what) and he stood in front of us with his sad head bowed. I said, 'Raf, do you want a hug?" He shook his head. I asked him if he wanted "more toast, more kisses, more yogurt, more seeds, more this, more that", and each time he shook his head, slightly bowed, but we could see he was working hard to maintain his sad look. I asked if we wanted 'more tickles' and starred to sing 'round and round the garden' and before we knew it he was giggling away trying to tickle Rich.

I do wonder if this next little poppet will have Raf's sweet disposition.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Double Celebration

It was a double celebration in our house today. It was both Mother's Day and my birthday! Poor Rich! We had a super day. I've been feeling quite sick again, mostly because I ran out of my zofran prescription, but this morning I felt quite good so we headed out for a really lovely family run. Unfortunately I had a camera malfunction so we lost all the photos of the run but it was a gorgeous morning and we ran to Camp Ellis where we stopped for a walk around so Raf could stretch his legs and do his own run. We finished the run along the coastal road and then back along the trail which leads to our house. We always feel incredibly lucky when we're running around our new neighbourhood. It's like being on holiday with the sea and trails.

We came home to a lovely brunch prepared by Rich, with beautiful flowers and balloons. Raf was especially happy with the balloons and bagels. After a brief rest we headed back outside on our bikes and hit the Eastern Trail and rode our bikes to the Scarborough Marsh.

We were all pretty tired, and starving, when we got home so after a quick lunch I hopped in the bath for a very long soak while Rich and Raf made a birthday cake! I came downstairs to a wonderful birthday/mothering Sunday tea and Raf thoroughly enjoyed eating the icing from a spoon.

Raf treated me to a pedicure and massage voucher and Rich bought me the most beautiful rose. Roses really remind me of my dad so it was extra special.

I felt so lucky to have all my boys with me there today - with Raf, Rich and this new little one on the way (though goodness knows we have NO idea what we're going to name him). Hard to believe that this time next year I'll have two rug-rats.

Friday, May 11, 2012

And it's a......

We had our anatomy scan at 8am this morning. I managed to drag myself out of bed so I could get to the gym before we had to leave at around 7am, and I did have a few tears as I drove along worrying about the scan but also thinking about dad not being with us anymore. Last time, mum and dad had arranged to call my cell phone at a certain time so they could be the first to know about the baby's sex. Our plan was to do something similar and for this time, of course, Raf to be there with us... We arranged with mum for her to call again, but it was very sad to think of her finding out the news on her own.

It was a bit of a mistake to go to the gym as I returned home and things were frantic and then traffic was terrible, so we just about made it to the appointment in time. Thank goodness we bought ipads, ipods, and all things distraction with us as Rafi wasn't especially interested in looking at the baby on the screen!

It was an absolute relief to see the baby. En route to the ultrasound mum had called to tell us she had come across a birth announcement in the local paper welcoming a baby names Isla May. This seemed like a good omen. Neither Rich nor I had strong feelings about the sex of the baby but both of us were erring towards a girl. Then a boy!

Like last time, we asked the sonographer (a lovely woman) to place the card in an envelope so we could open it later. It was phenomenal to see the baby with its developed spine and heart and other organs. Everything was looking super and the technician explained everything as she went along. I suspect she may have heard that I am a bit of a frantic lunatic about pregnancy.

Measurements all looked good, and thank the Lord the head was of average size! Raf's head and tummy always measured about 3 weeks ahead with his little legs always measuring right on track or a little earlier (which is similar to his build now). This baby had a normal sized head, long limbs, and the same Oliver Campbell big tummy :)

Raf held himself together for the scan - just - but was pleased to leave the place so we could get some breakfast. We headed to the same restaurant we'd gone to when we'd had our scan with Rafi, and amazingly exerted some patience and willpower as we ordered food with the envelope right next to us. Raf, mind you, was being a little tyrant so we were quite preoccupied trying to get him to dial it down a bit.
Waiting... the anticipation!

 Waiting some more...

 Cheesy grin before the big moment....

 I can't look... I help get Raf started with the envelope....

I still can't look.... 


Oh, mercy... I see it... 

I'm in utter shock....

It's a baby brother! We were not expecting that! 

A little shell-shocked... 

The best thing about a new brother is the cake!

We weren't expecting this, either!