Sunday, January 27, 2013

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Avey has been down with a bad cough and bit of a stuffy nose for the last few days. Carver woke up with a runny nose this morning. Even though Kira and I have no symptoms yet, we both feel terrible. Last night we spent most of our evening dealing with one child or the other, trying to get them both sleeping comfortably. By the time we were ready for bed, the kids were finally asleep, albeit temporarily. 
Between interruptions, we probably got a good nap between us. And yet, somehow, the children seem impervious to fatigue. I suppose they do not yet have the weight of the world on their shoulders either.

Maybe I'll have more positive things to report next week, and the energy to do so...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Calm Before

One perk of UTEP is that we generally get long winter breaks. As a graduate student, that comes as a major benefit as I have used the time to catch up on several projects that fell by the wayside last semester, and preparing to teach again. Luckily, I've also had a few extra hours to spend at home. Perhaps it has been good timing, as Carver is more mobile than ever and becoming increasingly bored with the things he can play with while developing a terrifying fascination with those he should not. This morning, I was shaving in the bathroom with Carver on the floor, exploring the cupboard full of bath toys. Well, he's no fool; Daddy's pulled this trick before. The boy whined at the lack of novelty, so I cleared off the counter where I could directly supervise him and thought he could play with his mirror image. That wouldn't do either after about 5 seconds. He saw the toothbrushes on the other side of the sink and decided he would attempt to get to them. In the end I resorted to letting him explore the empty bathtub while I finished shaving. 
He is particularly drawn to potential sources of food. We've caught him in kitchen cupboards trying to break into our bags of chips, and yesterday he was helping me out in the kitchen, whining for something to get into. I opened the fridge to retrieve an item, and the child made a beeline for the mustard on the bottom shelf.

We're running out of little corners for Carver to explore. We may have to move soon just to keep him occupied for more than 5 minutes.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Strides

Both of our children made great progress this week toward what they love. Carver, always focused on his tummy, attempted the fine art of feeding oneself:
It's funny to watch him work out the subtle muscle movements of picking up a small bit of food and then navigating it to his mouth. He knows it's somewhere below his eyes, but that's about it. Of course, I can't really blame him for having trouble - Goodness knows I've had my share of spills! 
Avey has also made strides with her reading this last week. Our 8-year-old neighbor has been beyond generous with giving Avey toys and such that she no longer needs, and after we returned home from Christmas break, she brought Avey a large box full of books. The books are all part of a series that is at the perfect level for Avey's reading. Each night she will pull us onto the couch and read a whole book by herself, with minimal guidance. She's figured out words like "unicorn" and "kangaroo" (it helps to look at the pictures), and is growing more confident with each page.

I have one more week until school is back in session. I'm torn between trying to enjoy my time off and trying to make use of the time preparing for the semester. I'm narrowing my dissertation ideas at least, and hope to propose it this semester.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Another Year of This...

At the risk of using the cliche of the week, I can't believe it's already 2013! Although it hardly feels like a year is gone since we celebrated the beginning of 2012, reflecting back on all that has happened during the year makes it clear that we've done enough to move on to another one. 
The major event this year was, naturally, Carver's birth. He continues to bring joy and laughter into our home every day, and we cannot imagine life without him. In the brief 10 months that have passed since we first met, he has become mobile beyond our comfort, discovered a love for food, and found his echo in Avey's room. We are so excited to see how he develops over the next year!
Avey's major accomplishment was starting preschool. She has loved every minute of it, and looks forward to each day. She thrives with her learning, and is reading simple books with almost no help from the grown-ups around the house.
Kira continues to keep the children alive and learning at home, and somehow manages to teach a class for church and keep her private counseling practice up and running. Everywhere she goes she brightens lives and eases burdens. If only we could clone her...
I have spent my year on campus. In addition to all of my coursework and research, the highlight of my academic year was becoming an instructor at a major university, and enjoying it so much that I want to continue it for the rest of my career.

I'd like to also document this little gem Avey gave us over the Christmas break: She has been very into the movie Brave since she saw it, and loves talking in a Scottish accent. Her favorite line from the movie is when Merida, the heroine, sets her bow on the dinner table and her mother expresses her dislike for weapons on the table. Merida replies, in a thick accent, "Mom, it just me bow!" Avey reenacts that scenario with us many times, and at Nana Laura's house around Christmas, she set a little figure from a nativity set on the table and instructed us to protest. She then responded, in her best Scottish accent, "Oh mom! It's just me baby Jesus!"