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:

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.

Outdoor Playtime

Being the youngest in a family where even your siblings are 10 years your senior, you almost live as an only child. Rudy Mae’s brothers are extremely involved with her, but they are almost more like a second set of mini-parents than siblings. When it comes to peer-interaction, Rudy is lacking, and sometimes that worries me as far as learning important life skills like sharing, playing nice, etc. Luckily, I have a friend in town in a very similar situation whose baby daughter is 3 months Rudy’s junior. Therefore, we try to get the girls together often so they can play and learn. Mostly this was being done at a house, or even a local coffee shop, but a couple Wednesdays ago, Victoria asked me to join her instead at a local playgroup that meets at a playground for approximately 2 hours in the morning. It is attended by kids from about 11 months up to almost 3 years old. It was a lovely time and Rudy Mae and Ainslee Mae continued to solidify their friendship and thoroughly enjoy each others company.

Ainslee Mae and Rudy Mae share a slide at the park.

Rudy is still a little more hesitant than Ainslee.

She’s saying “bebe” in a terribly goofy voice.

Shhh…don’t tell: we got this toy for Rudy Mae for Christmas because she loved playing with it with Ainslee so much!

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…