Sunday, September 25, 2011

Avey 4.0

It's the end of September again; cue Eli's freak out about his daughter turning a year older. It's the same thing every Fall. I start sleeping worse, I eat more junk food than usual (if you can imagine), I get this twitch in my eye, and clumps of hair start leaping from my scalp at random intervals throughout the day. There is something so awful about another year passing in my little girl's life. I don't know which is worse: getting farther away from her first steps, or getting closer to her first driving experience. Or maybe what's most depressing is that I'll still be in school when she starts, and every year she gets closer to starting.

At least during Avey's fifth year of life, we will be blessed with another new life to nourish and witness. While I am ecstatic about that, I don't know if I can start going through this emotional turmoil twice a year. And what may be most difficult is being reminded of Avey's little beautiful moments that we'll never get back while Newbaby goes through his or her own. The life of a parent is full of so many brief glimpses into innocence and purity, and it is so difficult to be reminded that the source will someday forget what things once were like.

For what it's worth, I am also a teensy bit excited that Avey will get to try out being four. She'll get to experience the joys of reading by herself, she's already forged into the mysteries of having a "big girl bed", she'll soon learn the wonders of basic math, and she'll feel the responsibility of being an older sibling.

At least one thing's (almost) for sure; she'll still enjoy giving me hugs for another year. And the countdown begins again...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Defense Mechanisms

Avey was finally exposed to Tangled recently. She's been quite taken with the stunning visuals, the exciting plot, the tangible characters, and the romantic development. She's also gleaned an additional valuable piece of information from the film, which will become apparent in the following anecdote.

A few nights ago, after putting Avey to bed, she called to me and explained that she was frightened about going to sleep. I asked what she was scared of, and she told me that she feared skeletons would get her (she's been a little nervous about skeletons since seeing a small plastic Halloween decoration at a store a few weeks ago). She said that she could not stop thinking about skeletons, and she was too afraid to sleep. We talked about some things we could try to help her not think about skeletons, and she finally came up with the idea of keeping something next to her bed to protect her from them. And what did she decide she could use to ward off the demons? A frying pan!

So while she may or may not have reaped the more subtle messages of non-prejudice, unselfish love, and unrelenting hope, at least she  understands the basic idea of blunt objects. You've done it again, Disney!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Companionship

If you'll pick at random some of the posts over the years I've been blogging, you'll undoubtedly notice that Avey has been through several interesting phases, and grows into and out of many quirky behaviors. One of the most recent that she is slowly growing out of is what we've come to call her "friends". It began with Avey starting to sleep with a stuffed animal or two every night. This quickly grew into a routine of having the same few stuffed animals every night. 
Somehow, the routine developed into a ritual where Avey had to have her friends "set up" before she would actually lie down at night. It went like this: "Sheepie" (now known as Baby Shaun the Sheep after we all became fans of this show) was to lay on her right side on her pillow, next to "Doggie". "Cowboy Bear" was to lie on her pillow on her left side. Eeyore, everyone's favorite dysthymic donkey, would be held between Avey's knees under the covers. Avey would then finally lie back, wrap her arms around her friends, turn to her side, and (sometimes) nod off to sleep.The ritual had to be strictly followed, else slumber was impossible. About once during the week, in fact, Avey would call out to us from her bed at about 2:00 in the morning and inquire as to the whereabouts of Eeyore. We invariably found him lost in the folds of her blankets, no doubt interpreting his misfortune as a reflection of his personal worth as a stuffed donkey. Safely returned to his place between Avey's knees, Avey could once again sleep until dawn. 

Her companions recently became regular attendees at several other events throughout Avey's day, such as taking their assigned seats on the dinner table during meals (Avey insisted that they had to watch her eat), and witnessing Avey's use of the water closet.

I've personally begun to worry that Avey needs more social exposure to kids her age, so that she can make some real friends. Luckily, we have a neighbor here with a daughter just a little younger than she. I just hope that once their friendship blossoms Avey will require less from the little girl than she has of the stuffed animals.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Offspringing

As the reader learned from the previous post, we are expecting a second child. This news came to us with much joy and celebration (we had been trying for some time), and we are glad to share the joy with everyone else. Here are a few points about this pregnancy:

  • Kira is approximately 12-13 weeks along.
  • She is slowly leaving the "morning sickness" phase. This time around was relatively better. With Avey there were a few days where Kira could not keep anything down at all. With Newbaby she has had a few rough moments (pretty much whenever she eats), but has had no days where she was unable to keep down most of the meals. 
  • We have basically no ideas for boy names.
  • We may have some options for girl names. 
  • Avey is convinced this will be a boy, and his name will be Robert. 
  • Avey is excited to be a big sister, and continually refers to the child as her baby. She's compiled quite the list of things she will teach him or her. 
  • Avey has been reliving what it was like to be a baby by having us ritualistically play peek-a-boo with her, pulling out her old baby toys, and explaining to us what babies don't know. 
We'll share updates as they come.

In other news, Kira's Texas license came this week, so that she can now practice therapy here. The temperature today has been in the upper 70s or so, which feels amazing compared to the lower 100s we've endured for the past couple of weeks. UTEP's football team won their first game in overtime against Stony Brook last night! I will start a small job at the juvenile probation office here next week. I will mostly be doing psychological assessments to determine appropriate mental health diagnoses, if any, the probationers have. I have also been picked to be the teaching assistant for a statistics class - the one class I had hoped I would not have to TA for. I think it will be alright.

Sorry for a mostly journal-entry-post. Things are sure to get crazier soon...