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!

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.

One Last Walk

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.

They were so happy to be out walking together.

What a smile!

Ziven was laughing because she was crying and freaking out because she wanted to keep walking but I just wanted a quick picture. This is as good as we got and I just gave up. Let the girl walk!

She would be happy just to walk around all day long. See ya!

Caleab and Rudy are the sweetest father/daughter pair :)

Walking around Yellow Springs, we stopped for a little rest on this little stone wall.

This was between formal ‘smile!’ photographs. The candidness really captures how much he loves her.

She was being very silly; look at that little gremlin face! She was cracking Ziven up.