Sunday, May 29, 2011

Correction

Well, it seems that I published the previous post too soon. It turns out I have ridden an elephant (I am at the end of the line):
So how do you like that? Turns out I had a pretty cool childhood after all. I guess it's moms that never forget. Good work Nana Laura for enlightening me!

Firsts

If you're reading this right now, it means that someone made it through. Someone survived. We've fought them off as best we can, but it appears all of our efforts have been in vain. For every one we kill, two more take its place. We are nearly overrun. The worst part is the fluttering. The constant fluttering, the chills up the spine, the surprise attacks after opening every door. These moths will be the death of us all. Our resolve is waning, as we are down to our last 2 functional fly swatters, and running out of places to bury the dead. Whoever gets this, please tell our story, that others might know of our plight...

Seriously though, I hate moths. For the last 3 days they come out of nowhere as soon as the sun is down, and then they fly around our lamps, smacking into the bulbs and each other like idiots. Do moths even have brains? Or are they like jellyfish, just drifting and annoying the rest of the world?

Anyway, this was quite the week of novelty. We went to a circus Monday night, where Avey got to see real clowns, acrobats, tigers, a bear, and even ride an elephant (she's the only one facing the camera):
The elephants put on quite the impressive show, but Avey seemed more concerned about her little cheese crackers throughout the displays. She doesn't seem to get how cool it is that she rode an elephant. I'm nearly 30, and I've never even touched an elephant!

We also decided to take the plunge this week and get Avey's hair cut. Here is a photo of it at maximum length, having never been cut since birth:
When we suggested she get the haircut, she said that she wanted a "boy haircut," like mine. We tried to get her to explain why she wanted it that short, but didn't ever really get a great reply. After a little coaxing, she agreed to keep her girl cut, but declared that she would get a boy haircut someday and just walk behind everybody so that they wouldn't see it. Here she is during the operation:
And below is the finished product. Be prepared for me to begin writing more freak-out posts in the future as she experiences more firsts, and I wrestle with the reminders of her growing up. It's almost like I can feel my youth evaporating from my body as I write this.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cowboys

Call me prejudiced, but I thought it was usually boys who are obsessed with cowboys. Avey, however, has loved pretending to be a "rootin' tootin'" cowboy for some time now, going months back to a certain Elmo's World about the Wild Wild West. I think we inherited it from my brother, and Avey instantly fell in love. It probably has something to do with the fact that they get to ride horses all day and wear those spiffy hats. Her interest in cowboys seems to have been reinforced by her recent introduction to Toy Story 2, in which the hero is Woody, a cowboy toy:
video
She's really been studying the cowboy way of life too. For example, this week a friend of hers came by while in town, and through the conversation revealed that her father is a cowboy. Avey became ecstatic at this news, and the barrage of questions began. When could we meet him? Does he wear a real cowboy hat? What color is the hat? Does he have a horse? What's his horse's name? And so on. A few minutes after her little friend had to head home, Avey and I continued on a walk and she, still lost in her fascination, speculated, "Dad! Maybe her cowboy daddy says 'tarnation'!"

After all, that is the mark of a genuine cowboy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Potpourri

We were graced this week with a nice visit from Kira's brother, his wife, and their baby. Avey's auntie somehow found the time between feedings to spoil Avey and Kira with some fancy nail painting:
Unfortunately, I was stuck at work all day and didn't get home in time to have my own done. Maybe next time they're in town...
Other than the pleasant visit, there's not been a whole lot to tell about, so here are a few updates on Avey:
  • Yesterday she started using the phrase "after all." We were sitting at the dinner table having a riveting discussion on a Pixar film or something along those lines, and she said the phrase a few times. "After all, Dad, Sully is a good guy," she'd say.
  • I taught her recently what a cylinder is. She started identifying cylinders around the room, but slowly faded from saying "cylinder" and finally drifted to something that sounded more like "calendar."
  • She can identify about two thirds of the alphabet consistently, and has been working on identifying words that begin with which letter. We've been informally coaching her on some basics of reading, and she's taken an interest. Maybe we'll have her reading in the next year or so!
  • Avey upgraded to a "big girl bed" a few weeks ago. That just means that we took the front rail off of her crib. She loves the freedom, but has fallen out a couple of times in the middle of the night. Kira and I will hear a soft thud, and then a second later, an exhausted little cry. When we go in to console her she mumbles some disoriented nonsense until we lay her back in bed. It's actually pretty funny to us, but we try to feel bad all the same.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Perception

A very happy Mothers' Day to all! I hope everybody called their moms today and thanked them for tolerating all that we children put them through! I was in charge of Avey only slightly more than most days today, and I got a pretty big wake up call about how hard it can be to deal with a little princess all the time. For some reason Avey decided that she would make sure I paid my dues, and had two potty accidents over the course of the day for me to clean up. It's kind of sad how Kira and I both went to 6 years of college in the hopes of keeping from having to do that kind of work, and yet here we are cleaning up poop, doing food preparation, and attempting to smile at our "customer" as she tells us that nothing we do is helpful. We sometimes begin to understand why so many people these days are opting to let the television raise their kids (here's a funny article on a similar subject).

We have had quite the busy week! Yesterday was the Blossom Festival, and we (i.e., Avey) dragged two of my brothers around town to all of the little fun spots. They even waited patiently while Avey got her face painted. She chose a dragon, but we lost one of his eyes while playing at the park later:
We also purchased yet another betta fish! We decided to throw down the extra money this time and get one that actually eats. He's made it 8 days now, so we think he just might make it a little while. Avey chose another red one, and named him "Elmo" just like the last one. We'll be sure to follow his antics closely over the next year or so.

Earlier this week Avey was sitting at the table attempting to keep herself entertained. She typically accomplishes this by imagining inanimate objects are living beings, and making them interact with one another. This often creates problems, as her spoon and fork nearly always are the stars of her play, but her unimaginative parents also need her utensils to help direct the food from her plate to her mouth. These conflicting roles are often the subject of great dissonance at the table. I tried to explain to her at dinner the other night that I needed to "borrow" her fork to help her take a bite. She barely muffled the impatience with my naivety in her voice as she said, "No, Dad. My fork is not a fork - it's a girl!" I chuckled internally and decided that I might add to the fun. I picked up my glass and suggested that it was a rocket ship. This time she made no attempt to hide her disgust with me, and informed me that my glass was "just a glass." She almost seemed legitimately worried that I was losing my mind, because she added, "Look at it" just to drive her point home.

Well, I did look at it. I concede that it is no rocket ship, but you have to admit it sure would have taken her little fork and spoon game to a whole new level.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Six

Kira and I celebrated our 6th anniversary this week! "Celebrated" may be a bit of an exaggeration though, as we have been trying to be more thrifty in preparation for our move at the end of the summer. We did spend a couple of hours away from Her Majesty, and had a little evening picnic and Frisbee toss until we came home for ice cream and the last half of a classic 8Os flick, The Last Starfighter. Avey was very kind to us and slept in until after 8 on Saturday, and until about 7:20 this morning! And that's the greatest gift of all!

It's hard to believe that it's already been 6 years! It's been nice looking back through old posts to remember all that we've experienced over that time - good, bad, and ugly. I just hope the next 6 years are as good as the first six!
Avey has really been into games lately, as you'll recall from her Monopoly interest. This week it's been a little bit more about Hide & Seek. Usually the way we play is that Daddy will randomly hide when Avey is looking for him, then Daddy sneaks up on her and surprises her. That must have been provoking too much anxiety because Avey changed the rules recently. Now she tells me where she is going to hide, and tells me to "look in wrong places first," then find her. That might take some of the fun out of it normally, but even when I don't know in advance where she's hiding, she squeals and giggles in anticipation so that I can hear her from the other side of the house. Even when it's my turn she tells me where to hide, and still acts surprised to find me right where she told me to be.

I guess to her it is more of a role playing game than a competition.