Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Adventures

Raf begins kindergarten in a little over a month and we're trying to make the most of every day - which is a big challenge as Rich is doing some per diem work and I have about 3 research projects on the go. But we've been having some lovely adventures - including lots of play dates, especially with our neighbours, who Raf and Charlie absolutely adore. Indeed Raf spends much of his time when we're home, looking out of the window to see if his friend Benjamin is home!

On Monday evening, despite the chilly evening, we headed to the beach for an evening walk. It took an unexpected turn as the boys decided to initiate a mud-sand fight with poor old Rich. They had a fabulous time, and inevitably they were absolutely filthy by the end of it.

Tuesday we had a really lovely play date with Raf's friends' Addie and Calla (and my friend Margaret).  Before they arrived, the boys had a fun time playing together - and I read my kindle for 3 minutes!

Raf wanted to be buried and of course Charlie wanted to follow his big brother. Margaret turned them into mermaids (mer-men!) and they lay there relaxing for a good while.

Margaret introduced us to a new game - standing on your shadow, which was a lot of fun, and actually very tiring as Raf and Charlie weren't keen on ending the game!

And then we were lucky enough to be met by our lovely neighbour Shannon, and her boys and niece.

Towards the end Addie found a smelly old glove, which became a source of contention as both Raf and Addie were keen to take it home. Addie is an absolute sweetie, and as Raf started to cry she handed it over to him and preceded to then burst into tears.  Raf went to give it back and Addie exclaimed, through hot tears, 'No, I don't want to make Rafi sad. I'll get over it'! We agreed upon a shared custody deal, and that seemed to make both happy.


Lovely times with the boys. We're heading into the final month before Raf becomes an official kindergartener....

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Running with the boys

I've not been running much as I'm recovering from a weird knee injury - that led to no running over the winter and much of the spring. This past few weeks I've been able to run a little more, though, but with Rich working late into some evenings, I don't want to wake him up early to look after the boys so I've been taking them out for runs. They're super company - if a little heavy - and Raf is a good sport about coming along. Mind you, he does talk incessantly, and since I am so out of shape and I'm huffing and puffing, it's quite interesting trying to have a conversation! There are many little water breaks... 

One of our favourite runs is to the state park. We're always alone as the park doesn't open until 9, and the boardwalk takes us directly to the beach. Lovely. 

Morning juice boxes - a bit of a treat!

Running through the park.

Glorious Maine.

And we're off home...

Another morning - a hazy, hot, and humid run.

On Friday we ran a different route - a nice 6 miler to Ocean's Park and back.

And as always, a stop off at the beach...

I love the time with the boys, though inevitably, during the last mile, I pant out, 'Raf, sorry, I just can't talk anymore!"

Evening Beach Walk

For the past two years, my sister Melissa and her lovely kids have been visiting at this time of the year. I'm feeling very sad that they're not here this year, and I have to admit that summer isn't quite the same. Rich has been working some evenings and without Melissa there haven't been many opportunities to take the boys to the beach (and taking kids and pups on my own is sort of nightmarish!). Earlier this week, though, the boys had a late nap and we all snuck out of an early evening walk. We live in such a heavenly place (remind me of that when I'm moaning about the bitter cold in a few months!). I do wish I had a sister living near by, though. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy Birthday!

Raf is trying not to combust with excitement here! Thanks, all!

Party Train!

Yesterday was Raf's friend birthday party. In past years we've been able to invite mostly our friends but as Raf gets older he makes more and more of his own friends, so this was his first proper big-friend party. He had a fabulous time. Last year he slept through his party (and I am so glad we didn't have this party last weekend as the same thing would have happened!). We held the party at the Narrow Gauge Railroad in Portland, and it was super, super fun. They provide a few decorations, some tables, etc., and the kids get to have the party in an old train coach. It really was a fabulous place for a party. 

I was tempted to have a cake made for the party, but finding a vegan baker that isn't incredibly expensive is quite difficult, so I made everything myself :) Cupcakes!

Food was quite simple: popcorn (popped by Rich!), banana bread, blueberry muffins, melon and blueberry fruit cups, and peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I think only one sandwich was left!

A pinterest cake! Not quite as good looking as the one I was copying... but it was quite tasty, even if I do say so myself!

The children ate and played at will...

I love this play train. The kids were sort of wild in here!

And then we headed for a train ride! We had a coach to ourselves and it was quite the party train!

We stopped off along the way and the children got to see inside the boiler/engine (Raf will tell me what it's called). Raf looks adoringly at his big friend, Ava.

And then it was back to the museum for cake and presents!

I had a plan to write down all the gifts and who was the gift giver. It descended into a present opening frenzy with Raf's friends helping.

Raf received so many generous gifts! And he managed to received lots of new track master trains and not one duplication. Miracle!

Everyone left and the conductor had arranged for Raf to ride on another train ride, but this time with the train driver! I sort of held on for dear life on the outside...!

As we were about to leave ourselves, one of Raf's best friends turned up! We were so lucky to see them! And Raf was so happy to see Denny

A brilliant day! We didn't get home until after 3pm and in the evening we got some chips and headed to the beach for a late evening dinner.