He's a week old here. I spent as much time with him as I could. I would go straight from work on Friday's and stay until Saturday night. When he was so little, my sister would swaddle and lay him down in the crevice of the two sofa coushions. He earned the first of many, many nicknames, "Crack Boy."
From the moment I laid eyes on this precious miracle, I've been utterlly, head-over-heels in love with him. My love for him has only grown as he gets older. He's not even "mine", so I can only imagine the love a mother has for her baby, let alone the love the Father had for His Son!
About the time he was four months old, I found myself doing ANYTHING to get a laugh out of him! I'd make funny faces, sounds or gallop around the kitchen like an animal of some sort. My sister taught him sign for "more". Sometimes after one of my jaunts for laughter, he'd sign more. Gotta love this kid! I firmly believe he helped me get over myself enough to let go and have fun; no matter what. To this day, I'll say and do crazy things (like putting a bucket on my head, he's aloways loved that) to get him hackling. He has a great sense of humor!
Little roly poly was six months here. One day, while everyone was visiting my parent's, I plopped him down in my Mom's prep sink on the island. He liked it and stayed there for a while... until he figured out how to turn the water on! Always the curious child!
He's eight months old here. He and I clocked some SERIOUS hours on the porch swing. On the HOT summer days/nights, my sister would set me up with a fan. On the cooler days, we'd wrap ourselves in coats and blankets. Whatever the weather, I'd make myself as comfortable as possible (all the while knowing within minutes my hiney would fall asleep) and settle in for the long haul. When he was tiny, tiny, my Mom starteding singing, "This Old Man" to put him to sleep. Knocked him out in two rounds flat! However, a girl can only take so much This Old Man before she goes insane! So, I started singing worship and praise songs to him and for Jesus. Toots (one of the many names I've given him) would fall asleep after a bit, but I just kept on singing. It was my time to worship and give thanks for such an amazing little boy. I'd pray over Toots and ask Jesus to watch out for him as he grew.
I was telling Rudy (another one) stories about when he was a tiny, tiny baby recently. When he talks about himself as a baby, he always calls himself a "tiny, tiny baby", so we do as well. I told him all about how I'd rock and sing him to sleep on the front porch swing. Not too long ago, I was rocking him for night-night and starting singing my version of Jesus Love Me (different than what my sister sings), he popped right up and said, "Aunt Mer, that's not how you sing that song!" "Well," I told him, "that's how Aunt Mer sings it, remember?" He nodded his head and settled back in. He was asleep within moments.
One of my favorite things about being an Aunt is I can get away with stuff. haha I, like my nephew, love to go exploring in nature; getting in the muck of things, feeling everything first hand. This day, he was wandering about bare-footed, which is something he'd never done before. We wandered to the creek behind my parent's house. I waited to see what he'd do, and just like a little boy, he immediately got into the water! That boy has tough feet, I tell you! He was very adventurous; walked up and down the creek several times, all the while holding onto my finger (just in case). Independant, yet dependent. I think under normal circumstances my sister might have freaked out a little bit, but like me, she's always looking for a good photo opportunity! Trust me, this boy isn't lacking in pictures of himself! But, I'm so thankful. It's amazing to go back and look to see how much he's grown up! I recently got a new computer, so I only have tiny, tiny and recent pictures of the Toot.
We all went to the beach this summer on a family vacation. We weren't too sure how Toots would react since he did NOT like it the first time he went (nine months old)! But a lot has changed since then. He LOVED it!! He has a sandbox at home, but this was the largest "sandbox" he'd ever seen! He literally 'swam' in the sand, went rolling down the hill, and finally came to a rest in the above pose. What a beach bum! He loved it all - though the waves frightened him - and rightly so!
I've been telling him "I love you" since the day he was born and FINALLY this summer at the beach he said it back to me. My heart melted and I fell in love with him all over again.
Here's a recent picture of Rudy; taken before he went to Bible study with my sister. Apparently this is his new fake smile, but it looks pretty real to me! His other Aunt taught him how to wink at a very young age, so that anytime he got in front of a camera, he'd wink at you. What a little ham!
Two is a fun age. There's so much to see, learn and discover. He had a language explosion this year too! When I talk to my sister on the phone, he'll come on and we'll have an actual conversation. I don't always understand he says, but I get most of it. I love spending time with him, no matter what we're doing. One of our favorite things is to rough-house on the den floor. He's enjoyed treating me like a human jungle gym since he was tiny, tiny, but now that he's older, one or both of us ends up hurt (usually me!) We roll around on the floor, tickling, playing with all his John Deer toys, and giving him "tummy yummies" (raspberries on the tummy).
Rudy was a fireman this year for Halloween! This boy LOVES to pretend! He has such an amazing imagination! Last I heard, he had imaginary neighbors who go by the names: Jon Jon, Trailer, Toothbrush, Bingum, and Truck. Sometimes they go on adventures together; sometimes one of them is sick and Toots has to take care of them. Very creative.
I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, no question about it, LOVE being an Aunt! I can't believe Rudy turned THREE today!!! Just doesn't seem possible! I'm so thankful to have him in my life! I don't know what we did without him for so long!