Early Christmas

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.

Shall we be best friends forever and ever, Bilbo? Good, I think we should, too.

Shall we be best friends forever and ever, Bilbo? Good, I think we should, too.

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Complete Again

I do not think it will ever be possible to put into words the way it felt to have the boys gone for over two months, or even more so, the way it felt when Caleab, Rudy Mae, and I saw them again for the first time.

For about two and a half weeks now the boys have been home and things have never been better. If Caleab and I were able to get anything beneficial out of the boys being gone for so long, it’s that we both had true realizations about life with the boys. We had many a good conversation while they were away. We talked about never taking them being with us for granted. We talked about no matter what, giving our all in encouragement and support. We have always been that way, but after a while sometimes, life becomes routine, and you might forget to really take a moment and truly from the bottom of your heart talk to your children about, well, anything; making sure to tell them how proud you are of them at every opportunity. We talked about our levels of patience. We talked about remembering they are children and explaining things thoroughly when needed. We talked about ways to help them grow to be more responsible, ultimately starting a chore regiment and planning on sticking to it for once, and an allowance, which they have never had in their 13 and 10 years of living.

The moment we were reunited, our enhanced way of thinking and parenting began immediately and I am certain that it has affected the boys’ behavior. They will always have their moments, but I promise you, they are both being more responsible and more respectful than Caleab and I have yet experienced.

And this is all from the parental views. You cannot even begin to imagine how having her brothers back has affected Rudy Mae. The three of them are all more in love than ever and as a parent it just really makes your heart hurt with love.

The first moment that Rudy saw Calum. (The boys were so excited, they could not even wait for us to unload from the car; they ran out of the house as soon as we pulled up. Thank goodness I had my camera ready.)

The first moment Rudy saw Ziven.

So happy to be together. (She might be feeling a little squashed though, haha.)

We have plenty of things that frustrate me: our financial situation, our job situations, our living situation. I have not thought about a single one of them since the boys have been back. I am so in love with my life right now. I know what true joy deep in your heart is.

My Cure

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.

Calum Asher, my second born. This was the first day we had the camera, testing different settings out, etc. Even with that look on his face, he’s still terribly handsome.

Penny Lane is a pretty cute, very loving cat. She is probably one of Rudy Mae’s best friends.

Fluffy Kitty is an old cranky man. His zest for life is all but gone. Our love for him may be the only thing keeping his heart beating, cause God knows he’s one old stinkin’ cat.

This kid. He makes me smile.

Caleab and Rudy Mae walking up to switch the laundry.

This is too cute.

When Rudy sees something of interest, she is always very intense in her looking and showing.

She has this one belly laugh that is so deep and funny, and this little Goblin Grin usually accompanies it.

Obsessed with any technology, my first born, ZIven Keenan, is one of my go-to’s for computer help.

Why do my boys barely smile when the camera comes out? Still handsome as ever!

(Trust me, we do clean her face!) Calum was feeding her snacks and taking her pictures. She thinks it is the funniest thing in the world when people put things on their heads and especially if afterward, they then put it on her head .

She was supposed to be taking a nap, but to no avail. She instead decided to rip the bookmark out of my book and play with it (a bookmark, I might add, from China, from my Aunt Gloria when she used to live there). Also, she is in love with that Star Wars pillow case, constantly pointing at the characters, most especially Chewbacca. In addition to the point, he also gets a loud growl.

Rudy was a dancing queen that weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Wyant’s.

Three generations of cuteness: Grandpa Dennis, Dad Caleab, and Toddler Rudy Mae.

A big smile from my baby. This girl is genuinely truly happy. It, in turn, makes me truly happy.

Excited to be playing with musician extraordinaire, Daddy.

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.

Dirty Walks Part One

Caleab and I have arranged our work schedules so that we have a few less hours than your typical 80 hour pay period but this way, one of us is always home with Rudy Mae and we do not have to have anybody or any place watch her. This was very important to us and so we were willing to lose a few hours and work completely opposite schedules to make it happen. One of the toughest parts about this is how Caleab and I don’t get to see each other very much. We make the most of it and still keep our love alive and kicking, and of course as much as it hurts, the old line “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” is quite true. Once in a while we will get a special treat like yesterday, where he was off due to the holiday and I did not have to go in until 830p.

Of course, though, this heat is being stubbornly absurd and we had to work around that. Once again, we tried for a ‘beat-the-heat’ morning walk, which did not really beat anything since it was sweltering already. We still loved every second of it, maybe especially because Caleab and I got to do the walk together with Rudy, and more so for her, maybe especially because she got to play in the dirt, one of her newest loves.

Waiting on the porch for Dad to come out.

The sunglasses arm pinched her little finger.

Trying to master the porch stairs, with my help.

Let’s go!

Father/daughter.

The area Rudy decided to make our play place.

Dirt, rocks, twigs, leaves, bugs, etc.

Rudy is very particular with her kisses. Ask her for one, there is a high chance you will not get one. Wait for her to kiss you on her own, and it makes you want to cry with love.

Dig, dig, dig, explore, share, learn.

She was very intently studying every piece of nature she picked up.

Dirty, pebble-y little knees.

She was very excited to show her dad something, whatever it was she was holding.

I don’t even remember what I was saying, but I was talking to Caleab and said the word “cute” about something, and once I said “cute” she did this tilt-her-head and smile softly thing; I was dying laughing! What a ham!

Leaves and twigs were still abundant on the ground from our recent storms.

We were trying to wrangle her into the shade to be as cool as possible, which didn’t work very well. She likes to walk where SHE wants.