Sunday, June 24, 2012

Boys and Girls

The old saying goes that girls are made of sugar, spice, and everything nice, whereas boys are made of snips, snails, and puppy dog tails. There's also the joke that women are from Venus and Men are from Mars. Yes, there seems to be something inherently different about the genders. Whether these differences sprout from genetics, socialization, or a combination of the two is a topic of endless debate. We have tried to keep an eye out for evidence of either since the birth of our boy. Having conducted 4 years of intense research on female development, we have a keen awareness of any deviations in behavior. 

In Carver's first few months of life, we've noticed relatively subtle and, perhaps, negligible differences between his and Avey's behavior in the same developmental periods. However, we made a groundbreaking discovery this week; when Avey first learned to babble, she made gentle cooing sounds, simply testing the waters of her vocal cords. Carver, on the other hand is doing this:
As you can see, rather than a gentle experimentation with sounds he can produce, Mini-Man dove right in, head first, caution to the wind. Why mumble when one can holler? Why chit chat when one can wail? Why hum when one can scream? After all, why would a stereo have a maximum volume capability if it was not meant to be used? Would a banshee be nearly as legendary if it whispered? Would we even know thunder was there if it did not shake us to our very cores? Carver, by testing the thresholds of his voice and our tympanic membranes, is merely reminding us that he is here to stay, and he is a force with which to be reckoned.

Luckily, this force of nature passes out pretty easily with a little warm milk.

Maybe boys and girls are inherently different from one another, but one thing's for sure; both need lots of room to explore who they are and what they can do, even if it's at the tops of their respective lungs.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dad For A Day

By Kira-

While the common phrase "King for a day" implies that someone would want to be pampered like a king, I think at this point I would never want to be a dad for a day, and here's why; the dads that I know go out to work all day to provide for their families, then in the early morning and evening hours they help take care of the household as well. I think this is what a good dad should do, but it does sound tiring to me. My own father was the king of the yard and the garage, and both were well-kept. These tasks were more than full-time, especially during the summer. My dad also cooked breakfast for the family every day for all my growing-up years. There was a time that my dad worked 3 jobs to get by, and he has set a good example of how to take care of one's family. Thanks Dad, for taking care of us and teaching us what hard work is all about. 

The main reason I would not like to be a dad for a day, however, comes from watching Eli the past few months. Eli is one of the best dads there are; I have watched him get up early, go to work, go to school, do research, do homework, then go to the store to get groceries, then cook dinner, clean up the house, get Avey to bed, and stick Carver's pacifier back in his mouth repeatedly until the wee hours of the morning. Then he repeats this again and again. I think it must be especially hard to go out and function "normally" at work and school with no chance to take a nap and do all of this coherently. Besides Eli's endurance through this rigorous schedule, he does all of these things with patience and humor, and he takes everything in stride. Eli is often the glue that holds our family together. Furthermore, I have not even begun to describe what an awesome daddy he is. He has a special bond with Avey that only a dad and daughter can share. He is kind, patient, respectful, and gentle with our children, and they are blessed to call him Dad. We love you Eli.

Kira, Avey, and Carver

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Phone Etiquette

Avey started a new habit a couple of weeks ago. As I am away from home most of the week, she has taken to giving me a phone call during the day to give me an update on her various projects, latest plot development of whatever show she's watching, or most recent bowel movement. We talk for 3-5 minutes before ending the conversation. Although brief, I've really enjoyed the distraction from my daily labors. I always hang up with a smile. It helps me to keep in the forefront of my mind the reason I'm working in the first place.

I usually end up laughing again when I get home, because she nearly always greets me and then asks, "Did you get my call?" I remind her that we talked back and forth for a few minutes, so of course I got her call. I think she understands that the voice on the other end is my own, but may not quite get the difference between leaving a message and talking to me because, after all, even the voicemail message uses my voice. It's cute in any case.

Carver has regressed back to fewer consecutive hours of sleep since we returned to Texas. I think it's his way of protesting leaving the greatest state in the world after he got only 1 week to experience it. That's left us all a bit "down in the mouth", as they say. Luckily, he's made up for it with what Kira has come to call his "permagrin". The little guy just can't help smiling!
I teach my first university course beginning tomorrow! It's a bit intimidating, but I feel excited to introduce these undergrads to the world of psychophysiology.

We also welcome another niece into the world early this morning! Can't wait to meet her!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Over our "vacation" to Colorado, my generous aunt and uncle offered us their van to make the trip more comfortable (our transition to a family of four has revealed that our little station wagon is not the most luxurious way to travel 600 miles). The van includes, among other technological miracles, side doors that open with the use of a remote. I think it was my uncle who first demonstrated this feature to Avey, introducing it by having her say "abracadabra" . 
My daughter was beyond impressed. The entire trip, she insisted that she had to say the incantation each time we needed to open or close either of the side doors. Of course, there were two other buttons within the van that could perform the same function, but if Avey witnessed Kira or me pressing said buttons, she accused us of cheating. 
After a while, the game seemed to be getting a little old for us adults. We tried to explain to Avey that we needed to use the buttons to get the doors to open or close, but she adamantly insisted that we were mistaken - the doors are magic! We decided not to burst her bubble, as it at least occupied her curiosity. For the last few days we used only the remotes to get in or out of the van for fear of dashing her sense of fantasy into pieces.