Tuesday, December 31, 2013


A brilliant year with the boys. Everything else may have been a bit stressful and overwrought, but Raf and Charlie were their fun, effervescent, funny, brilliant selves. Raf transformed from seemingly a toddler to a proper preschooler, and Charlie went from being a baby to a little toddler.

Rafi learnt to ride his new bike.
Charlie learned to sit up, crawl, and then walk! That's a lot in one year.
Raf's language skills blossomed.
Charlie's finger pointing and grunting became ever more expressive.

Raf's favourite things to do in 2013 include: watching telly (not a proud moment, but it's true!), playing with his trains, riding his bike, doing puzzles, reading books, making himself dizzy, jumping on the bed, colouring, drawing pictures (usually of broken things), singing silly songs, dancing, cuddling and hugging, and counting to 100 together.

Charlie's favourite things do in 2013 include: being held and cuddled, playing with cars, planes, and trains, going into the broom cupboard, climbing stairs, throwing things down the staircase, throwing food, screeching, clapping, dancing, and pointing.

Raf's current favs:

Colour: Red
Toys: Trains, Buzz, puzzles.
TV show: Blues Clues (this changes weekly, though).
Films: Up, Toy Story, Jack Frost
Games: Restaurants, Doctors,
Music: Wham, Zero 7, Frank Sinatra
Food: Apples, Daiya cheese, toast, ice pops

Charlie's current favs (what we can determine!):

Food: Spaghetti
Music: the music to Tro Tro
Toys: anything that moves, but he especially loves zooming around his cars, making airplane sounds, and playing with trains on Raf's train table.

In 2014 Raf will begin Kindergarden, Charlie will begin daycare, and I am sure that we have many adventures ahead of us. Rich passed a huge licensing exam, so he will soon be working as a clinical counselor (huge accomplishment after such a lot of hard work, time, and effort), and while I didn't do anything big, like learn to walk, ride a bike, pass a big exam, I survived the year! Every day I look at the boys and feel as though my heart couldn't get any bigger or fuller, and yet it seems to. I must kiss the boys a thousand times a day and tell them I love them a thousand more. I wish time would slow down.

Boxing Day

Boxing  Day isn't an official holiday here, alas, but we nonetheless celebrate it by doing not much of anything. It was mostly a home/pajama day (for Raf, at least), playing with our new toys, playing in the snow, a Boxing Day tea, a bath, and a dance party. 

Charlie was up early, just for a change! He took advantage of the quiet time to play with Raf's new castle.

 Soon both boys were up and they enjoyed a morning of snuggling on the couch while Raf watched a couple of shows.

They were joined by the pups, too.

Raf made some cool structures with his new mangatiles...

And then we all bundled up and headed outside.

Poor Chas can barely walk in his snowsuit and snow boots.

But he could lie down on the sleigh and I pulled the boys around the neighborhood. And then Rich ran around with them...!

Our Boing Day tea was a bit measly as it snowed most of the day and we didn't want to head out to the shops to buy extra stuff, so we made do. It was still yummy, especially as we had picked up a few English treats for the holidays.

First time in bubbles!

And then a Wham dance party!

Rich modeling his new jammies.

Night, Charlie.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day

Christmas was a very relaxed affair this year. We usually have my mum here with us, and so it just being us made for a quieter time. We had planned to do a few things, as we usually do, such as watching The Snowman, having a Christmas tea, and more, but we ended up just playing with the boys' new toys after lunch and really didn't do much of anything else! 

The day began at a reasonable 6:30am. Raf was so excited and ripped through is stocking, and then everyone else's. That was the theme of the day. Raf had asked for two trains (Connor and Stephen) and a puzzle from Father Christmas. And he delivered those trains right in Raf's stocking. 

Wow! Happy boy!

Meanwhile Rich opened his stocking....

And then Raf delighted in new toothpaste!

And Charlie found two kiwi fruit.

And I found a Wham CD. How did Father Christmas know I'd been pining after this?

Eventually we made it downstairs to find evidence of a visitor.

And the boys discovered more pressies under the tree.

Raf was a bit daunted by this almost 100 piece puzzle, but with a tiny bit of help he did it!

And then a lovely breakfast of waffles and fruit.

And one of the highlights... a castle from Nana!! Charlie bought his brother some knights to go into it.

Charlie really enjoyed it!

Raf was super happy about his dinosaur book from his cousin Archie.

And then it was lunchtime.

And then we really got to work with the presents. We made poor old Raf wait to open most of his gifts until after lunch as we knew he'd be sad when everything was opened. In the meantime, we had to endure constant requests to open 'JUST ONE MORE present, and that's it'. I have never seen someone unwrap presents so quickly. He in fact opened everyone's! Poor Charlie will put up a better fight next year, I'm sure.

We did get everyone out for a brief Christmas walk. It was sooooooo cold!

But Nana had sent Charlie some lovely warm snow trousers and coat. He was really snuggly and warm.

And then home to an evening of playing and playing and playing. The boys got so many books, which we made an effort to work through. And then we got to do some building. Raf and I managed to put together a motorbike from Aunty Jo, and then we played with Raf's new magnatiles, which were our main present to Raf. They're great!

No Christmas tea and no viewing of the Snowman (we'll do that today), but a very laid back day with a delicious tufurky!!