Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Report

It was another successful Christmas celebration! It was a lot more fun this year with Avey more able to understand and be excited about it all. Surprisingly, in contrast with her birthday frenzy, she was much more calm in unwrapping Christmas gifts. She very slowly and methodically tore tiny strip of paper after tiny strip of paper until coming to the gift. She's been a little overwhelmed with all of her new surprises.
You may have noticed her bumps and scratches on her forehead and lip. She pulled a dresser on top of herself a few days ago just before going to bed. It was the biggest accident she's ever had. Kira got her cleaned up and calmed down while I screwed the dresser to the wall so that it would never fall again. It was wonderful that, after about 10 minutes of sobbing and cuddling, she perked right back up and started running around and playing. What a sport!
She has most enjoyed a sing-along DVD that Kira thought of getting her. It has the most annoying narrator I could ever imagine, but Avey loves the scenes of Disney movies and cheesy songs. She must have watched Cinderella's "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" two dozen times in the past couple of days.
I think her very favorite gift of the season (and ours) was having her uncles and aunt in town. She loves having people around who aren't afraid to play:
We hope you had a wonderful holiday too, and be sure to spend the last few days of the year wisely and memorably!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I cannot describe how good I've felt the past few days. Finals were all done and turned in Thursday morning, allowing me to sit back and spend the rest of the day working on the research project that pays the bills. Once I get some of that out of the way I get to really chill out by writing the rest of my personal statements for other graduate schools! Yeah, vacations are the best, aren't they?

Seriously though, it has been great to have classes out of the way. I've still got a lot to do, but more time in which to do it. We've also got more family in town for the holidays and will be taking a road trip to see more soon.

Avey's loved having more fans around too. Interestingly, she doesn't call any one of them "human":

I'll win her respect yet...

Everyone have a very merry Christmas, and make good use of the last few days of 2009!

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Last week I explained Avey's discovery and consequential exercise of my decline down the pecking order around the home; I had been demoted from "Daddy" to "Eli". So for most of the week, Avey and I were on a first-name basis. However, another interesting development (or perhaps a more appropriate word would be "recession") has arisen in the past few days.

Avey watched and fell in love with Disney's Beauty and the Beast. I will call your attention to the scene near the end where Beast transforms into a human. We tried to explain this phenomenon to our toddler by categorizing humans. "Mommy and Daddy and Avey are all humans," we elucidated. She liked that explanation, and so for the remainder of the night desisted calling me by my first name, and instead commenced referring to me simply as "human". I put her down for bed and heard her over the monitor saying things like, "Human, I want some water," and other such gems.

At this rate, I'll be known only as "Hey you" next week. I hesitate to predict what she'll call me when she's a teenager...

And now, by (we assumed) popular demand, here is our superstar with her own arrangement of another classic. Click here for the original, "Candle on the Water" from Pete's Dragon.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


When I was a kid, I called all the adults I knew by their last name, preceded by the appropriate "Mr." or "Mrs.", or whatever else. I did this because it just seemed strange to me to use adults' first names. I recognized that there was a difference in authority and respect when calling someone by their title. It was interesting, though, around my 19th birthday. Around then, it began feeling strange to address adults using their titles. I felt as if I were transitioning into an environment of peers. I was no longer an older child, but a young adult.

It was the same in college. As an undergraduate, it felt awkward to address my professors as anything but "Dr." or "Professor". As a graduate student, however, it feels much more natural to use first names with my professors. I have advanced from a mere student to more of a colleague, perhaps.

In any case, it hit Avey out of nowhere on Friday that she and I are now at the same level, apparently:

That's just a brief sample I was able to catch of about 45 minutes of talking about whatever she could and throwing in "Eli" at the end of the sentence. I heard my name probably 200 times in those few minutes.

On the one hand, I thought it was really cute, and a great thing to learn. On the other hand, I couldn't help but wonder what had happened; did she just rise up several levels of social status, or did I fall?