Sunday, April 5, 2015

A New Addition to the Family!

 Meet Rudy.

Rudy is a dog. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to be precise.

We said we'd never get a dog. We said it repeatedly. And adamantly. A lot.

And now we have a dog.

He is a super sweet and good tempered dog. Really. Like one of the nicest dogs I've ever met. 

But, still. He's a dog. And we said we were never going to get a dog. Todd is allergic. I have enough other things to do!

And yet, we have him. And we adore him.

Caleb is like a dog whisperer. Better, probably. I've never watched that show of the same title, but he and dogs have a thing. (This is as of about 3 years ago when he finally got bigger than most dogs. Until then, he was a little shy around bigger dogs. My parents got two dogs and Caleb did everything with those cuties the whole time we would visit my parents.

Then a few months ago he asked if he could start walking dogs since we couldn't have one. He decided he could be happy just helping to take care of other people's dogs on a regular basis. This seemed like a win win for everyone. Caleb earns money and gets to hang out with dogs, and I didn't have to get one.

But he LOVES dogs, and all of a sudden on our neighborhood fb group up popped a picture of this sweet dog who needed to find a new home due to some circumstances having nothing to do with him. And even though it was crazy, I asked for more information. And called Todd. And emailed back and forth with the owner and researched the breed. And talked to Todd. And then we met the dog.

Then Rudy came over for a play date. Then we went to California. And the day after we came home, Rudy came to live with us.

All the kids are happy, but Caleb is HAPPY. Like he glows a little bit every time this sweet dog so much as looks at him.

So, even though it means I have another kid in the house, essentially, and much more vacuuming to do, and we have to do all manner of crazy things to make sure Todd's allergies stay in check, just watching a boy and his dog is maybe one of the sweetest things I've ever seen.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Spring in CA!


I think I mentioned a few weeks ago that our summer plans got turned on their ear when the timing didn't work out to visit my niece and nephew in Spain while we were going to be in Europe. Happily,  we discovered that they were coming to visit their mother and Grandparents in CA, so we crashed that party!

Todd flew out a few days early with Caleb and Lilyanna since that was significantly cheaper than waiting the couple of extra days that I had to with the older boys due to their concerts, rehearsals, and tests at school. On a Thursday night immediately after Nathaniel's band concert was over, we went to the Dayton airport where we hung out for 5 or 6 hours waiting for our 5:30 am flight. Incidentally, if you have to be in an airport all night before you go through security, Dayton is an excellent choice. Lovely lounge areas for sleeping!

 Or not sleeping. ;) 

We are so tired.

A view from the San Mateo Bridge. I swear fog like that only happens in the Bay Area. I love it there.

 When we arrived, I was told there were going to be some family pictures. Surprise! So, Grandma took the boys shopping for adequate clothing to wear and I went to sleep. I think I'd been awake for something like 36 hours at that point. There's something to be said for having extended family nearby. I went to sleep and the village took care of my children. It was a lovely thing.
 Nathaniel hates pictures. But the weather was so fantastic, even he couldn't master too much grouchiness about the day.
Lilyanna is ready to move to CA. She was VERY happy to wear her warm weather dresses and sandals again!

 My nephew's English is very good, and my niece's is getting better all the time, but when that fails, the universal language of gaming and technology takes over nicely. ;) 

 Do you see this grass, people?? Caleb kept taking off his shoes just to feel it in between his toes. We'd forgotten about grass here in Ohio. It's been so long.

Oh, yes, and here is Lilyanna with the orange tree in my in-laws backyard. When my father in law is feeling particularly feisty, he texts me pictures of it heavy laden with oranges. He sends it to me in February. I usually send a note back that is impolite at best.

This was taken right after my 12 year old niece tied with my 15 year old cross-country running son. We teased him about that for the rest of the trip.

Seriously. Caleb and Lilyanna are ready to pack up and move.

Sunshine! Grass! Blue skies!!

 There was a shopping day for the girls. They picked these shirts out separately and were excited to model them later. Lilyanna thinks Maite is the best!

 The best part was watching these cousins play together. They only get to see one another every few years, so it makes me happy that when they do, they are able to jump back in to friendship with one another.

Speaking of being silly together, we stayed up late one night to do this to Grandma's kitchen. ;)

Some pranks transcend language barriers nicely.

It was a lovely trip. And we are even more resolved that we need to go visit them in Spain in a few years before everyone is entirely grown up and it gets too tricky to do so!