Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Day 2010

Annual pie day (or "Thanksgiving" - whatever it's called) came around just in time this year. We've been away from family enough since our move that we were desperately in need of a family fix. We were fortunate to have Kira's brother and his wife join on her side, and all of my siblings were able to be home for the holiday. True to form, Avey dove right into the social scene, demanding entertainment from everyone and occasionally delivering it through the medium of song. Somehow, we managed to get through the whole celebration without any pictures to show for it, so you'll just have to take my word for it this time that Avey was pretty cute and we were pretty stuffed.

Now we have plans to Christmasize the house. I received some lights for my birthday this year, and we live in a house, so I am out of excuses - except for the fact that I don't own a ladder - that might buy me some time. Seriously though, I'm excited to be able to express myself through the language of lights. I'm sure pictures are to come.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Missing the Mark

As is the sacred duty of fathers, I attempt to teach good morals and values to my daughter at every opportunity. Ergo, when she requested that we read Fanny's Dream for her bedtime story earlier this week, I seized the occasion. It is a delightful book, taking a different stance at the Cinderella story. As a synopsis: Fanny is not very beautiful or dainty, yet wishes to marry a prince (or someone like that). She sits outside on the night of a fancy ball, waiting for her fairy godmother to come and use magic to make everything right. But she waits in vain, for the fairy godmother never comes. In her stead, a nice man named Heber comes and asks if she'll marry him, work at his side, stay with him through thick and thin, through good times and bad. She eventually agrees and spends the next several years working very hard, with many good times and many difficulties that are commonplace in life. Then one night, Fanny heads out to the watermelon patch to get a melon, when who should appear but her fairy godmother - years late, but offering to make things right and send her off to a ball that very night to meet a prince! Fanny considers for a moment, remembering her three children and husband just inside the door of her small home. She recalls the love and warmth with them, along with the years of sweat and pain that she has put into her little family, which gave her precious moments in return. She decides that she does not want to go to the ball, and turns to go inside to her family. She decided that, although her husband is no prince and her apron is no glamorous gown and her children are not loyal subjects, they are all close enough.

This is precisely the point I was trying to explain to Avey at the end of the book. I thought myself very clever as I attempted to walk Avey through it in very simple terms, first asking her why Fanny didn't go to the ball, and then suggesting some ideas. Avey seemed to listen intently, awestruck by my years of wisdom. After I had finished explaining the moral of the story, Avey's response was, "That [Fanny's] doggy don't have hands, so he can't pick a melon."

Well, that's a good point too, I suppose.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Up to Our Knees in Leaves

It's a bittersweet transition from an apartment to a house. Although I did landscaping as part of my first job right after college, we have not had our own yard to take care of for the first five years of our marriage. Now, we suddenly have a large yard with half a dozen very tall and very leafy trees. As tends to be the pattern about this time of year, the trees are shedding their leaves all over the lawn. Before this week, I had done some periodic raking to simply maintain, but this last week's cold winds pulled nearly all of the remaining leaves from their branches to make a virtual ocean of browns, yellows, and oranges. This video was taken long before the tidal wave of foliage:
As you may imagine, Avey was a huge help with the job; Kira and I handled the raking, while Avey assumed the role of jumping in the piles, stopping us every few seconds to show us a particular leaf she found to be of interest, and occasionally telling us she was bored. We got the job done yesterday, but noticed that there are still a few stubborn leaves in the trees, so we may have to head out again and do it all over.

At least we don't need to worry about mowing right now. We'll get this whole routine down in a few years, I'm sure.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Happy Union

It's been quite the week! Most momentous was that I bought our frog a wife! Yeah, the frog formerly known as Ursula turned out to be a dude. I had a hunch that he was after doing some reading a while back on the subject, and he exhibited several symptoms of maleness (it's sort of like a disease, right?). It was really obvious after he'd been "singing" for several nights in a row. A little research revealed that only males sing, and that he was probably lonely. I decided I'd make a great matchmaker, and swung by the pet store to pick him up a wife.

Of course, we couldn't call him Ursula in front of his new bride - that would be embarassing - so we decided to give them both new names. Avey liked the suggestion "Timothy" for the male, and she came up with "Foovy" for the female. That's right - Foovy.

Oh, and the fish, Jeffery, has made a full recovery from the infection. Thank you all for your prayers and cards, and all the flowers.

In other news, I'm getting even older. Today is my birthday. Kira has made it a wonderful couple of days, including eating out, family visits, sleeping in, and delicious treats. Avey was a big help at opening presents.

Thanks for reading! More news to come!