Today was Rafi's 4th birthday party! We've been waiting to celebrate - as we did last year - until his cousins arrived. We'd been hoping for good weather as, frankly, the summer has been sort of awful as we veer from 90 plus degree days to rainy days in the 60s. All week I've been obsessively checking the weather to see what we had in store because hosting a party inside was not going to be fun.
The weather Gods were smiling down on us, though, as we enjoyed blue skies all morning long. Even better, the awful mosquitos kept away allowing us to enjoy some really super outdoors conditions. Some of our favourite people were there, we'd cooked up some good food and had some fun decorations.
And then, as the party got going, Raf came over to me and said he felt 'shy' and was tired. He seemed really sad and we assumed he was just feeling overwhelmed by everything. I carried him around hoping he'd warm-up, but he was just getting worse. After the saddest 'happy birthday' song ever, I took him upstairs and within a few minutes he was asleep... and then, I realized, he was burning up a fever. Poor old Raf was super poorly. Some medicine helped to rally him, but he slept the party away and later this afternoon he burned up another fever and had horrible chills.
I feel so sad for him that he effectively missed his own party but everyone else seemed to have a good time, and at least he had fun in the water with his friends before he checked out.
My sister and her two lovely children arrived on Saturday to spend 3 weeks with us. It's been a lot of fun, and, as you might imagine, it's incredibly busy with 4 kids. Raf is in heaven and Charlie, who is going through a major spell of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety, adores his big cousins Freya and Rory.
Here they are on Saturday evening immediately after they arrived.
The next morning Freya came with me for a cool-down portion of my run with Charlie. She is really fast, and even better she pushed Charlie for the last quarter of a mile.
Lots and lots of group hugs and kisses.
And then to the beach. Lots of beach and swimming fun. Freya is a little fish and adores being in the water.
Home for some pool and slide fun.
And then pizza night while the boys play with superheroes!
More cuddles the next morning followed by a trip to the park.
And breakfast on the rug.
I have lots of other fun times to post about and we have 2 full more weeks to go! Raf has his friends' birthday party on Saturday so things are incredibly busy - but so many brilliant memories.
As we are seeing Charlie's development in moving forward (poor doggies are now in his reach) - we are also experiencing much development in Rafi's language skills - the amount of new words and how he applies them in different situations. From the 'I have a question for you...' and the common 'why?' Raf is using his words to tell us about his ever expanding and sometimes scary world. He presently seems to be concerned with safety and will frequently remark 'Its dangerous...' Asked a few days ago what particularly he finds dangerous - it included bridges, the sun, forks in the head(!), cars (can hurt your fingers...), roofs and knives (again they can hurt your fingers...). All pretty understandable child anxieties/concerns and we have obviously mentioned all of these to him at various points - with the exception of forks in the head which had us stumped but could unfortunately happen given the wrong set of circumstances! He has also been recalling the fate of the Titanic which came up briefly in a A-Z book of the sea - and how the poor people had to jump off and the boat tipped up - he is definitely concerned with safety and wanting others to be safe. A future health and safety inspector in our midst or a therapist or a doctor? It could go many ways...
We also did a first real go at I-Spy in the car as we were heading to the lake surrounded by thousands of trees...
Mummy: Rafi, I -spy with my little eye something beginning with the letter T.
Mummy: Not tires, something else outside...
Mummy: Good guess, but there's no train's outside. I'll give you a clue - they are green...
Mummy: Lots of green on top...
We will work on I-Spy...
We also did Rafi's alphabet - gauging what he associates with each letter (he knows the whole alphabet but we got about half way before the appeal wore off...)
A - Apples
B - Ballons
C - Cole (preschool friend)
D - Doggies
E - Eggs
F - Fox
G - Grapes
H - Henry (as in Thomas train character)
I - Ice cream
J - James (favourite Thomas train character)
K - Kiltie (family dog)
It's great to hear all these new words and sayings - plus his singing and own versions of songs - sort of mash-ups with many references to trains and crashes - and the constant witterings of a four year old - Raf is coming into his own...
Little Rafi turned 4 on Sunday. This felt like a really big milestone, which I wasn't really expecting. No longer an infant, a toddler, and barely a preschooler - 4 feels like the dawn of a new era. I honestly feel a little bit sad as we're very close and of course as he develops new relationships and friendships become deeper, his connection to us changes.
IN saying all that, he is a pretty young 4 year old - although he did say to me on Monday when I asked him if he needed help with something, 'no thanks, mum, I can do it myself. I'm 4 now'!
Anyway, we had a super fun 4th birthday! We're having a friends' party for Raf when my sister gets here in a couple of weeks. He's pretty excited about that.
Before we headed to the beach for a morning picnic, Raf got to open a little gift. It was a big hit as he's recently developed a like for all things space.
Of course, as soon as we got to the beach - despite it being in the 80s by 8am - it started to drizzle. It didn't deter us, though.
We couldn't convince him to get changed from his swimsuit and it was straight into opening pressies.
From baby Charlie.
Stomp Rockets... a huge hit!
Some favourite books from Great Aunty Linda.
A space puzzle.
And a brilliant red rocket from Nana!
And a very big surprise present... a new bike. We couldn't have hoped for a better reaction. He was so happy.
Another trip to the beach for a late afternoon swim