Caleab, Rudy Mae, and I made a very short-lived trip up north (the boys are with their other family) for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It was hectic and filled with illness, so much to my dismay, I barely took any photographs at all. When looking through the tiny few I did have, it brought a huge smile to my face to see a photograph that Rudy Mae had taken of her feet and legs. And so in lieu of any photographs of my own, today I present you with the wrap-up of our trip up north with a self-portrait by Rudy.
Let me get it out of the way: our bathroom is surely the number one worst room in our house for lighting but I really enjoy documenting all parts of our day. Now that it’s been noted, let’s move on.
Rudy Mae is getting so big and so bright. She amazes us every day and makes us die laughing every minute. She’s got quite the personality. Today at bath time, she was trying to unzip her sleeper herself and was having a bit of trouble. When I stepped in to help, she didn’t just forget about it and let me do it, she had to watch very intently as if to mentally document what I was doing differently so that she could do it on her own next time. I really love this girl.
Also, do you know how much better bath time is when you are serenaded through the whole process?
The boys go with their father’s family for Christmas every other year, so on those years we have to do our Christmas with the boys early, otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it until January. This year our Christmas fell on Sunday, December 16. All around it was incredibly delightful. The boys loved their presents and for the first time, I really felt like Rudy understood what was going on when it came to opening gifts.
What made this year a little extra special for us parents is that for the first time since 2008, Caleab and I bought each other gifts. We didn’t have a huge spending limit, but it was the thought and love put into each present that gave them each tremendous value (wow, am I corny). The five gifts that Caleab gave me proved to me all over again just how well he knows me. I absolutely loved them all, which included a handful of books (I count a boxed set of 5 books as one present plus one stand alone book), a record, a bag that I’ve had my eye on for some time and, for your viewing pleasure, the cutest little Bilbo Baggins I ever did see.
If you asked me with what, I could not even tell you, but I feel like I have been super busy lately. I feel bad about slacking on the blog. To rid my brain of this guilt, I am doing a ‘hold-over’ post, with a few photos of just life, or most likely, a lot of Miss Rudelle Mae. The dates of the photographs range from June 2, 2012-July 1, 2012. Enjoy.
There are plenty more where these came from. I had to eventually stop myself when I realized the post was going to be miles long. At least next time I have a lull in my blogging, I’ll know just what to do, and have the means to do it.
Enough about having to part with the boys, I know!, but I just need to mention it right quick to explain why I was at my parents’ house. To drive 2 and 1/2 hours with the baby in the car to drop the boys off to their other set of grandparents who were going to drive them out to Minnesota, I really felt like I wanted to not just turn right back around and drive home. I wanted to feel like I could justify that kind of a drive with something a little more upbeat and lengthy. Five minutes at a gas station holding back tears did not seem worth the drive. As soon as I had all the plans set in stone with the boys’ grandparents and knew that we were going to be meeting at a gas station just minutes from my parents’ house, I called my mom and asked her if Rudy Mae and I could spend Thursday and Friday with her (Caleab could not get out of work and I just happened to be off those two days). Of course, she was game and more than excited. A short, random trip up north does not get to happen often, so we tried to make the most of it. And of course, I took plenty of photographs.
As I drove back to Yellow Springs without the incessant talking and video game noise of my boys, the silence was overwhelming and depressing. Rudy Mae was fast asleep within 3 minutes of starting the drive and I felt terribly alone. I put on envelopingly beautiful classical music and instead of wallowing in the quiet, I cherished it. I thought about the positives the summer would bring the boys and soaked in the incredible landscape. I started to feel so much better and actually enjoyed the rest of my drive. It was an indescribably beautiful day.
I don’t often toot my own horn, but I must say that I really do have well-behaved, polite, caring, truly amazing children. I absolutely do not take full credit. You know- ‘it takes a village’. When I was still living up north, I had the most stupendous support system. Also, once Caleab came into our lives three and a half years ago, he immediately was a positive role model, parent, and companion to them. They have been in awesome schools, and now more than ever, they are involved in a beautiful, encouraging community. Mix it all up in a big pot of love and the result is my brilliant, handsome young men.
I could imagine that getting a baby sister while being a bit older than the traditional age gap between siblings might be a fun novelty at first, but perhaps quickly wear off. Not in this house. Ziven and Calum are still just as taken by her as day one. They love playing with her. They get extremely exciting with every little accomplishment she makes. They love helping her, and helping us by watching her when we need to wash a few dishes or use the toilet. They are so incredibly in love with her that I fully believe that if there was any hardship on their part of leaving us for the summer, that it would not have much to do with Caleab and I, but rather not wanting to leave Rudy Mae.
The Sunday evening before they left, Calum stayed the night at a friend’s house, so Caleab, Ziven, Rudy Mae and I went for a walk, at first out in front of our house, and then we went up to town to walk around a bit. Ziven really enjoyed this special time he got with her, not having to compete with Calum to help hold her hand or pick her up to cross the street. It was very bittersweet.
On Sunday morning, Rudy Mae and I woke up before everyone. We ate a delicious breakfast and as soon as we were done, I could tell she was ready and rarin’ to go. We got dressed, brushed our teeth (a current obsession of hers), grabbed jackets and a camera, and went outside for a walk. Outside walks are a new thing to Rudy Mae. She has been walking for about two months now, but had a vendetta with shoes for the longest time (which I am just fine with- I have never had any of my children in shoes until they were steady walkers and we needed to walk in a public place or the likes. I feel like bare feet is the best way for them to learn). And if you know our outdoors area here, it is riddled with pine needles, twigs, soggy grass and an entire assortment of other maladies that she did not enjoy walking on with bare feet. Then one day, out of the blue, she picked up a shoe and demanded it be put on. Now she does not ever want to come back indoors.
As we went around the block, Rudy Mae was intrigued by what seemed to be a garage sale and helped herself up into the driveway. As I went to retrieve her, I saw a family that we know from our local library’s play group that Rudy Mae goes to on Thursday afternoons. We said our hellos and when I joked about Rudy just walking into people’s yards, they laughed, “Well this is the one she should go to! This lady is giving tons of stuff away for free!” I immediately began to have an internal struggle! “Free?! Go look, Erica!” “You are constantly trying to reduce at home and get down to bare essentials- GO HOME!” “But maybe Rudy Mae might find a little book or something…” In the end, Free won, and we walking into the garage. We found some pretty awesome treasures.
It all started with my 30th birthday. Between my family and my in-laws, I acquired enough cash (and gift-cards) to either pay my local taxes or get myself something nice. As horrible as it sounds, yes I was actually considering using the cash for taxes so they were able to be paid on time. My husband put a quick stop to this by firmly telling me that the money was my birthday present and I needed to spend it on myself. I decided to look closer at our money situation, and we were actually doing okay. I think it is just hard for me to spend money on myself so I automatically went somewhere else in my mind at first. After I decided I would, indeed, get something for ME, I was put to that long, head-ache-inducing task of trying to decide what. In the end, instead of getting a few smaller things, I decided to get something nice (well, nice to me, it may just be a silly ‘nothing’ to other people) and ultimately purchased a Nook Color.
I love my Nook. I am incredibly happy with my purchase and I use it quite frequently, especially while not at home. I am frugal, however (putting it lightly), and when looking at the books or apps, I mostly scour the free options. I kept coming across the free WordPress app but passed it up, as I did not have a WordPress blog. The more I kept seeing the app, though, the more I started considering starting one. My family and I live about 3 hours from most of our families. I try to keep everyone updated by the means that I have, but my cell phone camera is junk and I am very, very selective about what I put up on social networking sites (which I started using only because my Tia Mary asked me to start one as a way of keeping in touch with everyone once I moved).
So here we are. My first post. I have ideas rolling around in this big ol’ head of mine and photographs to boot, but for now, I will wrap this post up. I am just trying to get a feel for all this and am taking a practice round, will you. I have to study this website and the app and hopefully it will eventually become second nature. I do apologize if to my family it seems like blog-overload (we have a few amazing blogs in my family- in addition to my Tia Mary’s, her daughter, my cousin Lauren, has one of the best blogs I read.) I look forward to sharing with you and keeping everyone who cares to read updated on my family’s adventures.