Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sick House

We're just coming out from very possibly the worst two weeks of our parenting lives. Indeed I'd go as far as saying that it rivals my very worst week ever, and that's saying something. For we are all recuperating from the flu. 

I can't begin to say how much I was looking forward to spring break. Work is busy and stressful, I've been working every weekend, and I was excited for some days to catch up as well as to spend time with the boys. Well, on the first Monday of spring break, Charlie started vomiting. And then things went downhill from there. I woke up with a fever, chills, extreme body aches, and then we all dropped like flies. It was impossible to sleep with the body aches we were experiencing, but, anyway, who can sleep when your poor one year old is screaming - literally - all night. So there I was, with a 103 temperature, trying to console a sad and uncomfortable toddler night after night. '

Poor Charlie ended up having an ear infection, on top of everything, and he's lost so much weight. In fact he's down to the 5th percentile in weight, which is just tiny for him. We're honestly a little worries as he didn't have a lot to lose so now we'll have to work on slowly putting weight on him. 

Raf was also poorly, but he'd had the flu shot and so his symptoms weren't as severe as the rest of us. He wasn't able to go to school, though. So we were all home, as ill as we've ever been, with all of us sobbing at various time (well, me and the children). 

We're all over the worst of it, I'm madly trying to catch up with work, and the kids are seeming a lot better, though everyone is fatigued and full of cold. 

We did have a wonderful neighbour, Janet, offer to help, and my friend Tracey went on a pharmacy run for us for medicine and food - thank goodness. Yet Rich and I are both realising that we're really at a loss without family here. There was no one we could really call to come and watch sick children, or take care of us in what was, frankly, an awful, awful time. My mum and my sister, Melissa, were calling us to check on us, but of course couldn't do a thing to help in practical terms. It may be that we begin to think about relocating to the UK. We love it here, we have wonderful friends and neighbours, but not having any family in the country - let alone the area - is really challenging. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Joyous Runner

It has been a long old winter - from early December to nearly April we've been hit by periods of snow and intense cold - and none of us are too happy about it. Indeed most people we know are tired of this never-ending winter and long to be outdoors without several layers of clothing and hitting the beaches and trails once more.

So getting outside when it's cold/snowy is a big challenge and keeping active is harder during these winter months - even our basement activities require a few layers. So at Rafi's preschool they are resorting to getting the kids to run up and down their one big long corridor to get their legs moving and hearts pumping. It's an accident waiting to happen but a few days ago we got to experience this happening as we picked up Rafi. It was suppose to be one kid racing with another - but quickly descended into a mob scene of kids howling down the corridor with Rafi in the middle of it - and what a great thing to see since Raf loves to run with absolute joy! Head back, mouth open, arms a-shaking, smiling and not one bit of competition with the others - which was a good thing since he was too busy looking at the ceiling!! He must have done 10 lengths in about two wild minutes - we were very proud of our little runner (of sorts...)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Charlie on the move

Jumping in muddy puddles!

17 months old

This past Monday Charlie turned 17 months old! How he's almost a year and a half, I don't know. Time is passing much too quickly. Rafi is sat next to me as I write this blog, and he tells me he's going to buy Charles a present. He's going to buy him a train! "A Thomas one that he does not have. It's a secret. It's a diesel engine. And It's DIESEL. And it moves. And it has a lever". (so not a secret anymore). 

We had a fun packed weekend with 2 birthday parties. One was at the Children's Museum, which we all love. We woke Charlie up from a nap when we got there, so he was a bit of a monster. Nonetheless, when he was able to do what he wanted, he was a happy boy!

Charlie loves to draw. He's always pointing for the crayons and paper.

He's also very, very active. When he's not running around the house, he has us pushing it in his car. On Monday I was able to go to the open gym with the boys (it's spring break here). Charlie was in his element as I pushed him around and around on his bike. I can't wait for this interminable winter to be over so that we can go outside much more.

Drawing on the chalkboard... another favourite thing to do. 

Sadly, on his 17 month-birthday he woke up in the middle of the night vomiting. Poor little chap. The next morning he was so much better. When it came to morning nap, he grabbed my hand and took me to the bed so I could lie down with him. I wasn't going to argue, and enjoyed an hour and a half snuggled up with him.

Gorgeous baby-lashes. He's a beautiful boy.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"I know you love me, Charles'.

Raf is quite a protective big brother. As I tried to get Charlie to sleep, who was crawling up and down the bed, around and around... for an hour... I said sternly, 'come on, Charlie, it's time for night-nights now'. Raf called down from the top bunk, 'he didn't mean to, mummy'. And yet Charlie is quite an annoying little brother to Raf! Poor Raf was just trying to watch a show when Charlie decided he wanted to wrestle.

Raf usually takes this fairly well. Here he is leaning in for a kiss. I missed the actual moment myself, but Rich overheard and spied Raf leaning in for a kiss, and with his arms around Charlie, he said, 'I know you love me Charles'!

They have such a good time together, and while I was having doubts about whether more than one kiddo was a good idea as Charlie pulled an all-nighter on Wednesday night, we wouldn't have it any other way. Such a joyous little soul.

One thing we never have, though, is a tidy house. Living with 5 males (two of them dogs) is a messy business. We have quite different ideas about what constitutes clean and tidy. Were we to have more kids, I hope that we have one that enjoys tidiness. Here is Raf, who has re-arranged the sofa cushions. 

 And they are mad, mad, mad about trains. Charlie loves them as much as his big brother. Indeed they barely play with anything else, and they play with them everywhere.
Rafi.. so proud of Char'v'es.

I couldn't adore these boys more. So funny and loving.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

A week in review.

A hectic work week for me, but Rich has just handed in his final document to compete his masters! Hurray! So happy for him. Hopefully he'll soon have his certificate in hand, and once that's in we'll be fully celebrating. In the meantime, we've had a super busy week. Sadly I had to work most of last weekend and almost this weekend, too. We've of course had some fun times, too, though:

On Mondays I don't return home until close to 7. The boys - mostly the doggies - give me a rousing welcome. Charlie joined in for a big hug, too.

On Tuesday morning, I was busily making porridge and noted a strange quiet fall on the house. Wondering what was amiss, I turned the corner and found the boys in the coat cupboard, playing in the hats and gloves tubs. They were having a fine time, and then they settled in there to read books and play with trains. 

While they may row a bit about trains (indeed Raf bit Charlie on the cheek this week...), they also have times of really enjoying each others' company. Here they play with their magnets and train tracks. 

It was also Pancake Day! I made some English style pancakes and the boys had fun watching me flip them. I think Raf was super impressed! I didn't drop one!

One thing Charlie likes to do is scribble. If I say to Raf, 'do you want to do some drawing or painting', off Charlie toddles to fetch the crayons and paper. This usually encourages Raf to do some, too!

On Friday night Raf had dance class (which he loves) and then on Saturday morning we all took Raf to gym class. He has such a blast!

Afterward, with temperatures in the 40s, we hit the beach. This looks much more fun than it was! It was nevertheless cold and breezy, the dogs were their usual ill-behaved selves, Charlie was in the carrier in his big puffy coat making it uncomfortable, and then he insisted on getting down so we had the long slow march back to the car...!! Still, can't wait for spring. This winter has been interminable. 

Rich had the boys for most of today. I honestly was feeling miserable because it was another weekend of working, and I'm still behind. Nonetheless, the boys came in for regular snuggles, and at one point, Raf knocked on the door and said, 'Can I come in? There's a very important person here who needs to see you!'

Sunday morning bath was a lot of fun, though!

And then some relaxing and playing in their room!

And then we braved the cold for another walk. Charlie walked all the way around the neighbourhood, save for a quick 1 min pick up as we walked down the hill. 

Spring break next week. I am counting down the minutes.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Double Trouble/The Return Of Movie Night

As Charlie has become more mobile and into everything - cupboards, stairs, standing on the sofa with many falls and tears - he has acquired a sweet nickname from Raf of 'Double Trouble.' So whether Charlie is bashing the television, half way up the stairs or throwing train tracks - we hear 'Mum, Dad - look it's Double Trouble! Or 'oh no it's Double Trouble!' Charlie takes the nickname in his stride...

With our busy schedules, Nana's visit etc we'd not been scheduling our movie night until this past Saturday. With Rafi's choice of movie we settled down in the dark with popcorn and ice pops for....'King Of The Railway!' A Thomas and friends feature length special no less! With fine performances from Thomas, James and Percy and not forgetting a memorable turn from the old steamy Stephen - we were enthralled for over an hour - though Mummy skipped out with Charlie to bed before the end, for some reason!!