On Friends.

ARGH!!! I am so frustrated with myself and my lack of posting. In all fairness, I have been pretty busy and one of the projects I have been working on is actually what I am going to post about today.

I really don’t have many friends. I am trying to make some in my new location (for crying out loud, I’ve lived here for almost 4 years! Go out and make some friends, damn it!) and I have a handful of “friends” that via Facebook or otherwise manage to keep in touch with me here and there. But for-real, hardcore, deep down, true friends come few and far between in my life. I am okay with this. I am a huge people person, and I love meeting new people, and I really love making new friends. But as far as super close friends, I’ve got those spaces filled.

My best friend of over 20 years, Raven, lives about an hour away from me, so we don’t get together as often as we wish we could. I decided that I have got to do something to contain our memories- we don’t have tons of tangible things to come back to over the years- so I decided we should make a video. We had so much fun making it and we will be able to come back and re-watch it time and time again, year after year after year.

If you so desire, for your viewing pleasure, I offer the end result, after hours and hours of my sweat and tears went into it:

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Out To Eat With Toddlers

Rudy Mae

What our lunch started out as. Aw, look at these little angels…

Sammy G

Now, you might read this title and wonder if this is going to be a post with helpful tips and ideas about going out to eat with little ones. Oh no. This is exactly the opposite. This is me asking anyone, no, begging anyone, for their helpful tips and ideas.

My best friend Raven lives an hour away so we try to get together at least once a month. That is at best and does not usually happen. We are both extremely busy and often have conflicting schedules. So when we do finally make it happen, we like to have fun and often will do a quick lunch out with the girls. Now, the older they are getting, the more difficult this is becoming. Rudy Mae is 21 months and Sammy G is nearing 18 months. They absolutely do not want to be in highchairs. They do not want to keep a reasonable volume. They do not want to eat what we order. For both Raven and myself, these little stinkers are our third child. We have done it all before. However, both of us have nearly a 10 year age gap between the girls and their next sibling. So maybe we’ve forgotten the little things, but whatever we’re doing is not working. And we ARE ‘doing’. We’ve tried:

  • preventative measures such as bringing along a little snack while they waited for food.
  • After that was gone, ordering them a little snacky to continue to hold them over.
  • drawing, coloring, playing…
  • taking them out of their seats and letting them sit on our laps.
  • letting them walk around a little bit to get their energy out.
  • etc, etc, etc…

I really do not want to have to say “Well, we are just going to have to wait until they are a bit older to continue going out to eat with them.” We barely ever get to see each other, we have been best friends for over 20 years, and I really cherish the time I get with them. Of course, we do not HAVE to eat out, I realize this, but it is just a fun little thing that we really enjoy. If it really came down to it, we would temporarily pause this custom and start back up after they are a little older.

For now, though, if anybody has any amazing A-HA! ideas, please let me know. We could use all the help we could get.

What our lunch started to turn into.

What our lunch started to turn into.

Bashing drinks. General crankiness. Trying to explore away from us.

Movie Night!

Caleab and I are transplants here in Yellow Springs, so we don’t have many friends. Slowly but surely we are meeting people but it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be. Some of the most wonderful friends that we do have down here, though, are Caleab’s co-workers and their families. They live relatively close, some of them right here in Yellow Springs, so it makes it easier to get together with them for a little party now and then and that is just what we have been doing lately. There are parties dotted throughout the year, but our most recent engagements have been an every other Monday Movie Night.

It all started when ‘Jaws’ was released on Blu Ray and some people got terribly excited about it. A group of us got together at Jay and Heather’s gorgeous house, ordered pizza and hung out for a while before the movie started. At that point, Rudy Mae, Heather, and I ventured into another room, got out coloring supplies for Rudy, and chit-chatted all evening. It was really nice to get to talk with an adult woman, so even though I didn’t get to experience the purpose of the party, I still had a very fun time. A lot of the other movies featured for Monday Movie Night were very adult horror movies, so myself and all of the children stayed home for those.  And the giddy excitement had died down a bit after the ‘Jaws’ night, so there wasn’t as much dressing up and silliness for the following parties, but they were still just as fun. Here are a few photographs from that first night.

Caleab and Calum had to make these ‘masks’ last minute before we left to go there and it made us a bit late, but they were the hit of the party!

Jaws on Blu Ray.

Joanne, Jay’s mom, stopped by. This woman has quite the commitment with all she does.

Some of the people that showed up, snacking and figuring out what to order for pizza.

My boys, or should I say ‘young men’, Calum on the left and Ziven on the right. Ziven would not be happy if he knew I posted this photograph!

Jay and Heather live in a very old, Victorian house and when they moved in, there were many things left behind, some of which they know what they are, and some which they don’t. I am left in awe every single time I go over there.

This is huge and heavy and old as dirt and it’s hanging on the patio wall. They have absolutely no idea what it is and neither do I.

An absolutely gorgeous chandelier greets you as you enter the house through double doors…sigh…

View from below.

Rudy Mae and I goofing off.

Ready to take a serious one? Oh, you’re not. Okay.

Calum came in for a photo op.

She is very serious about her coloring.

Rudelle was having a very good time.

I really loathe my flash being reflected, but I was in a hurry out the door and wanted to snap a last photograph really quick. Everything in the house is oozing with character. The Victorian charm is still heavy throughout and it is just an absolutely breathtaking home.

I really hope that this is not a passing phase that will quickly die out. I have such a good time, and I know Caleab probably does more so. Even on the nights when I cannot join him, it is good for his soul to get out of the house now and then and watch movies with friends. I wonder what our next movie will be…

The Tradition (Hopefully) Continues…

Anybody who knows me, will at least know of, if not know, my best friend Raven. We have been best friends since we were 10. It is so ingrained into our minds of being best friends forever that one time when some guy was asking me about my significant other “So, how long have you guys been together?”, Raven, without hesitation, answered “13 years.” not trying to be funny, but really thinking he was asking about us. (It’s now been 20 years, dear me, that makes me feel so old!) We are incredibly close,  but are also each incredibly busy, so some time might pass now and then between visits. She lives in Bexley (Columbus), Ohio, and I in Yellow Springs (Dayton), Ohio so it’s not just a trip around the corner anymore, and takes a little more planning and a little more effort.

“We’re ‘E’ ‘R’ and we’ll send you to the *clap* EMERGENCY ROOM.”

Raven has two boys, Jon (13) and Eliot (12) from a previous relationship. I have Ziven (13) and Calum (10) from a previous relationship. They all grew up together and were very close, more at some times than others (at the end, right before Raven moved to Bexley and we were all still in Toledo, we were helping babysit each others kids at least twice a week each). When she moved, I was crushed. I went down twice in a month the very first month, and then real life took over and I realized that I couldn’t make that kind of a trip that often. Fate stepped in when I met Caleab, and I eventually moved to Yellow Springs, which in addition to living with the love of my life and finding the best community on Earth, brought me much closer to Raven, from 3 hours down to just 1.

Fast forward just a wee bit, and Raven married one of the greatest men on Earth, AJ, in July of 2010, and I married Caleab (you got it- the other greatest man on Earth) in September 2010. While wedding planning, just a short time away from our big day, Caleab and I got the most exciting (and slightly terrifying) news we could imagine- we were pregnant! I wanted so badly for Raven and AJ to join us, as I knew that they were possibly planning on trying shortly after their wedding to get pregnant, and lo and behold, just 3 months later, Raven and I were sharing morning sickness stories. (I will never forget the phone call I received from Raven. I screamed, I cried, I wanted to run all the way to her house and give her the biggest double pregnant hug in the world!)

So. Two old boys and two old boys. And now, as we could not believe we were lucky enough to achieve, a baby girl each. Although, “toddler” might be the technical term now, as Rudy Mae is 15 months, and Sam just had her first birthday. I know we cannot force friendship on them, but with moms like us, and it being in their blood, how can they not be? ;) We jokingly say that they are best friends, but I really do dream of the day when Rudy Mae looks at me with her huge, saucer eyes and refers to Sammy G as her “very best friend”.

Rudelle Mae and Samantha Gail.

At Sammy G’s birthday party, Aunt Raven gives Roo a big hug.

Rudy and Sammy playing in the little geysers.

Really enjoying the water.

“Hey Sammy, where you goin?”

Wait for it….

Dried off and back at the house, the girls played in the backyard for quite some time.

Happy Birthday, Samantha Gail!!!

Sam was looking up the slide, getting ready to climb the mountain.

Climbing up! Rudy is standing at the bottom, slightly intrigued, slightly concerned.

“Here, I’ll help you.”

When I get this look, I know it’s time to chill out on the photograph taking.