Sunday, February 24, 2013

Little Investments

It's tax season again, and now that both Kira and I technically are self-employed, what with her private practice and my work as a consultant for the Juvenile Probation Department, we opted to hire a CPA to take care of our tax documentation this year. 
Avey made a barricade to her room
We heard back from him a few days ago with the wonderful news that we are due for a sizable return from the feds. Knowing this is mostly thanks to our two children, I hugged them both and said, "I love my little goldmines!" 

Avey was clearly offended at my statement, and made no effort to hide her disapproval. She scowled at me, folded her arms, and declared, "Daddy, I am not little!"
video
Carver has been plagued by what appears to be an ear infection for the last several days. The poor little guy was inconsolable the first night, and has kept Kira and/or me awake more hours than not each night since. His ear has deprived him of naps as well, making for an overall miserable mini-man. He is clearly on the mend now, having just now risen from an hour-long nap, and we hope that he/we will have less fitful slumber tonight.

We have another busy week ahead of us as I make my final preparations for my presentation in Portland next week, I prepare for my first exam in my Categorical Data Analysis course, and Kira wrestles two very active children while also attending to clientele, friends, and other family.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Transportation

This week, Avey reached a milestone we all feared would come; She discovered she can carry Carver. She approaches the unsuspecting prey from behind, wraps her arms underneath him across his chest, and heaves, leaving him powerless. He bears it all with little complaint, somehow understanding that she cannot hold him for long, or perhaps that he will one day have the strength to carry her wherever and whenever he likes.
Kira and I thought Avey's new-found ability was neat, but assumed that it would soon become passé, and she would move on to other, more interesting things. To our dismay, she instead has looked for every opportunity to practice the skill. If Carver dares to crawl in the general direction of Avey's room, even if the door is shut, she announces that he is getting into her things and must, therefore, be deterred. We invariably see the boy passively hanging from her arms, enduring his temporary loss of autonomy and gentle but firm chiding from his sibling. Avey then goes back to whatever she was doing for a few more minutes, then the scenario plays out again when Carver tries to explore the kitchen: "Carver's going to choke on crumbs!" comes the alarm, and he is once more displaced.

Our poor son has thus been banished from all but 4 square feet of the apartment. Soon, we fear he will not be allowed to look in the direction of the kitchen without being at the mercy of his elder sister's will.

I suppose we will someday appreciate that his sister is overprotective rather than disinterested in his well-being. She ought to make a fine babysitter in a few more years.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Little Man

Our Carver boy has been turning into quite the character lately. He quickly moved from baby food to chewable foods, and now can go through a whole meal without a spoon. He has mastered the skill of gripping little bites with his thumb and pointer finger and then navigating them to his mouth. On occasion he will fall victim to the early release and the bite ends up in his lap, but otherwise he does very well. 
video
He's also grown a love of music with the help of his ever-dancing sister. You'll notice in the video that he prefers to boogie to the upbeat songs. There's a video of Avey playing with the same radio here.

Our little dude also survived his first haircut recently. He was practically drowning in his untamable fuzz, so it was really a humanitarian mission taking him for the trim. 
As most little boys do, he has a deep curiosity about everything. He's explored every square inch of our home, it seems, and yet he still finds new nooks and crannies. I installed some baby locks on the cupboards under the sink (where we store soaps and other things he shouldn't get into). He realized what happened yesterday when he was on one of his expeditions. His frustration was outdone only by his volume. We parents are so cruel sometimes.
Avey is on top of the world. She loves school, has great friends all around, improves at reading daily, gets a new wardrobe every couple of weeks handed down to her (from family and friends), and is adored by her teachers, family, and brother. Who could ask for anything more?
The kids make their parents look like bumps on a log. We are both mostly just keeping up with everything. This is the first year we've done taxes for Kira's private practice, she's also taken a new client,  I'm preparing to present some of my research at a conference next month, and hoping to have my dissertation proposed around the semester's end.
At least we have fun through it all.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Family Fun

We've needed a good family outing for a while, and one of Avey's most favorite things in the world is to swim. Unfortunately, the pool here at our complex is not heated (no need during the summer), so it is very chilly right now. 

Luckily, Kira heard about an indoor pool with an area for kids Avey's age. We took some time getting around to it, but finally tried to get there a couple of weeks ago. We planned out our day schedule so that Carver could come in between feedings and naps, got all geared up, drove around downtown El Paso trying to find it, finally arrived, unpacked the car, went up to the front counter, and learned that the chlorine levels were too low, so it was closed. 

It's hard to remember ever having been so disappointed in our lives. 

We built up the courage to try again yesterday, calling before we left to make sure it was open. If I were to summarize the experience with just three words, I would choose, "BEST DAY EVER!"
Avey had the time of her life! The water temperature was great, and the water level was perfect for her height and comfort level. She probably would have slept there if we'd have let her.
Carver was not as enthusiastic about the place. He watched with curiosity at first, and Kira even made a special trip to the store to get swim diapers so that he could join in the fun, but he mostly clung to us and observed without splashing. We think it may have been the noise that intimidated him.
To look at me, you'd think I was a 5-year-old stuck in a 31-year-old's body. I was splashing and playing like there was nobody watching. Avey and I had an elaborate game where each splash station was some kind of monster trying to attack us and the other children, so it was up to Avey to find its weakness.

There was even a decent sized water slide there that Avey was too short/scared to try out, but that didn't keep Kira and me from trying it a dozen times. We think we may have found our new favorite place. Maybe Kira and I will leave the kids at home for Valentine's Day and go to the kiddie pool!