It was also quite eventful. Kira's youngest sister got engaged Christmas night! Congrats to her and her fiance!
We miss you all and wish you a Happy New Year! So long, 2008!
...Avey is so thoughtful. She had to make sure everyone else tried her cake before she did.
Thanks to very generous relatives, she made quite the haul. Her real birthday is tomorrow, of course, but it looked like today would be the best day for everyone to get together. And Avey loves a crowd, especially when all the attention is on her.
She is definitely developing more of a personality lately. And that personality is stubborn! If she doesn't want to sleep or eat, she will put up the fight of her life. But she's also learning a lot, too. This week she learned "button", "bow", and the below picture was taken when she learned "hat". It's part of a Halloween costume we pulled out of a box to see how she measured up. Man, does she frighten my socks off...Kira and I had a busy Sunday singing in my parents' ward, and both teaching the lessons during the third hour of church, then getting everything ready for the party. We're both exhausted now, which may explain why this post is so poorly organized, and ends so abruptly.
...Or at least striving to be. Mom, because she had her first client this week! She did much better than she expected and is very excited to use her degree once again. She also went water skiing for the first time in years on Saturday and got up on the second try (that's on only one ski)! What a woman!
That makes Dad super (by default anyway) because he got to spend lots and lots of quality time with whom we affectionately call "The Princess" while Mom was gone. She first came to campus with Dad because he had a meeting with all of the clinical students. She was very well received (and she would expect nothing less) and very well-behaved. We had the most fun in a stairwell playing with our echos.
For some reason, though, Avey thinks that Dad putting her down for a nap does not mean anything close to Mom putting her down for a nap. With Mom, it's nap time. With Dad, it's party time. Saturday night she had some problems too. It looked a little something like this:
Hence "The Princess". It is her bidding that we stay up and party, so her will must be done. I've come to the sad realization in the last three days that Avey outsmarts me left and right all the time. When feeding her (attempting, anyway), if she decides the winter squash is not to her liking, she merely sticks her thumb in her mouth. That's it; it's over, man. Check...mate. I just sit there in the chair in front of her holding the teeny plastic spoon with a glob of squash slowly getting cold, wondering what on earth to do with the situation. I try putting the spoon to her mouth anyway, but sure enough, that hand is still there and I just get squash on her sleeve. After several failed attempts at giving her examples of how to eat, coming in at different angles, trying logic and rhetoric (when I'm really desperate), etc., she feels sorry for me and takes her thumb out of her mouth to allow in a few more bites. "Thank you, oh merciful one... I'm not worthy..."
I need to find that wee little research journal of hers to figure out her plans.
Avey has been doing a lot of work on words lately. Here's a brief video to demonstrate some of her progress:
Notice how she can say the "duh" sound and the "k" sound, but won't put them together to say "duck". Also, her "duck" sounds a lot like her "dog" and sometimes she confuses "dog" and "daddy". I try not to take offense though.
Sometimes I think Avey is just running experiments on us and is a better psychologist than I will ever be. I imagine that she wakes up from naps and, before making a sound, starts taking down notes in a wee little journal she keeps hidden from us. I imagine her entries going something like this:
September 14, 2008 - day 351 - I've decreased my father's hours of consecutive sleep time to 4 and, thus far, he has shown decreased cognitive ability in almost all areas. He maintains simple tasks, but at key times of the day (particularly after meals) enters an almost zombie-like state, sometimes even drooling while staring off into space. These findings are most encouraging for my future plans to have complete control over him. Mother's tolerance is much higher for lack of sleep, though she continues to demonstrate intriguing spouts of grumbling and shouting the longer I refuse to eat. Her behavior has become very predictable. Father will go to great lengths attempting to (what he calls) "distract" me while mother tries to feed me. He does things that would otherwise be considerably embarrassing. My next experiment will involve randomized bursts of mania coupled with almost simultaneous whining. Hypothesis - mother will attempt to put me down for a nap whilst father will attempt to cheer me up with one of his ridiculous games, then pull out the camcorder during a manic burst. Results to follow tomorrow.
She plays ignorant, but I'm slowly catching on.
Friday was my last day at my job. I'm taking the next week off to concentrate on packing and all that jazz. It was a very bittersweet last day. Everyone made me feel very valued and appreciated and I feel that I will be missed. It was very difficult for me to leave my office for the last time and walk the grounds that I worked so hard to keep up. I've made so many good friends this last year and had so many good times. I wish that I could somehow stay and also move back home, but as we know, the only constant in life is change.
Luckily, I'll be coming back to visit in February. The paper I coauthored was selected to be presented at a conference in Salt Lake City! I've also been invited by the main author to be a guest lecturer for one of her classes at a nearby university. If you didn't know, when you're in graduate school, undergrads will believe anything you say.
So, our packing is underway. We've got a nice group of helpers lined up to load the truck, and ample time to get all of our junk together. Hopefully, we'll have some time on the side to visit some favorite places and people too. In the meantime, farewell, Utah.
It's one thing to look at a calendar and see a bunch of boxes that tell you you've got just two weeks until you move. It's quite another to buy a gallon of milk at the grocery store and see that it expires after you'll have moved! For some reason, that made this whole thing become reality! But it's okay, I packed three boxes this week!
Things are slowly coming together. I have this last week at work and then a week of mad packing and tying up loose ends.
Kira has officially been hired out in Colorado and just needs to finish some paperwork and decide what hours she would like to work.
Avey, however, is clueless as to what is going on. I think it will be good though, because she's getting pretty bored with our current apartment; she's already explored about every square inch and could use some new territory. She's standing up on her own quite easily and it's pretty scary to go and get her from a nap to find her standing in her crib, awaiting our arrival.
She's been full of surprises lately. Last night, for example, she went to sleep around 8, then woke up at 10pm or so and stayed up until 12:40am, then slept until 3:45am, then slept from 4:45 until 8am. We're pretty sure she's teething, and hope that's where all this is coming from. In the meantime, we're trying to endure.
I'm still searching for the perfect background, but I'm afraid this will have to do for now. Try not to gag while you read in the future.
Well, I've decided to join the 21st Century and am trying to get my blog looking a little better. So, here's my first attempt at adding video! This is from a couple of weeks ago, when Avey was just starting to crawl. Now, she's fast as lightning, of course.
Also, let me know what you think of the new background. I still don't think it's very "cute" as the advertisement would have you believe. I looked at the ones under the "masculine" category (seeing as I'm a dude), but they all looked more girly than the rest of them.
For those poor souls reading this who do not currently reside in Utah, Thursday was a holiday: Pioneer Day. They worked hard so that I didn't have to for one day! To commemorate their sacrifices, I went and saw The Dark Knight on Wednesday night with a coworker, and Kira went Thursday morning with an old roommate. For a lengthy review, call or email me. In brief, I was not disappointed; and those of you who have tried to shop for me know that I am easily disappointed.
So Thursday was pretty low key. I babysat while Kira was in the movie, and then we pretty much just lounged around the house the rest of the day. I'm sure we would have made great pioneers...
The really cruel thing was going back to work on Friday. Not so much for the work, but the chronological torture. I kept thinking it was Monday all day.
On Saturday we were blessed with a visit from my maternal grandmother (who had never met Avey), an aunt I hadn't seen in probably 12 years and her kids, and an uncle who lives nearby. We had a pleasant afternoon and Avey was very entertained by my grandmother's necklace, earrings, and bracelets.
Last night Avey slept about as much as an insomniac at a Pearl Jam concert, so Kira and I have both been very fuzzy all day. By "fuzzy", I mean that state of consciousness where ones brain might as well be day-old oatmeal. You parents know what I mean.
We were invited over to dinner tonight with a family in the ward I used to home teach. The meal was amazing and their kids kept us all entertained. We sure are going to miss the friends we've made here.
My brain is beeping "low battery", so if it hangs up on you, just rememb-
Just a heads up - we saw Leatherheads yesterday. Meh. Very very meh.
But how about The Office Season Finale? Maybe that's why I couldn't sleep last night.
Okay, now I'm just rambling. Is it rambling when you're typing it, or is rambling only when it's verbal? Hmmm...
Oh, here's some news: that research paper I co-authored has now been submitted for publication! Yahoo (the exclamation, not the trademark)!
I promise I'll have more exciting stuff soon. Really.
In other news, Kira and I had our anniversary yesterday. The big "Oh-Three" if you can believe it. We went to a resort & spa not too far from here and had a nice time. It was a bit of a juggle with little Avey following us around everywhere we went, but a good trip overall.
I have to say though, dinner was phenomenal. Schneitter's in Midway, Utah has the most amazing pasta Alfredo that's ever come in contact with my tongue. If you're anywhere near on a Saturday night and can spare $30 a person (luckily we got half off), you really need to try some.
Avey has mastered sitting up under her own power! She can't get into the position on her own, but if we sit her up and give her something to chew on, she can hold herself there quite stable indefinitely (we timed her up to 10 minutes straight).
After her first tooth surfaced, the second was quick to follow. Both bottom front teeth are in and very, very sharp. I'm presently writing up waivers for anyone to sign who wants to come within 10 feet of our baby. I don't want to get sued for any "severe lacerations" that may occur to their minor digits and limbs. I'll add a link to the pdf soon so you can download it and sign it before coming over. Stay tuned!