Sunday, June 30, 2013

Moms and Dads

Carver must have different perceptions of Kira and me. We saw the same pattern with Avey, but for some reason it is most apparent when they get around Carver's age. Mom equals comfort, and Dad equals playtime. The man cub has been in an annoying phase where he gets up between 5 and 6 a.m. every morning. Kira and I take turns getting up with him, and we've noticed that when I get up with him, he rolls around gleefully on the couch as if it were a trampoline. When Kira gets up with him, he'll cuddle up in her lap or on her shoulder, and sometimes go to sleep for a few minutes at a time. It can't be how we react to him in the morning, because we are both equally lethargic. I certainly don't encourage him to have a blast at 5:20, so it must be related to his expectations of us. 
video
We got the same thing with Avey around this age. For a very long time, every morning when she woke up she would call out from her crib, "Daddy, it's time to get up and play!" Kira and I have both come to terms with our roles, though. Even though she can be fun, and I can be warm, we are glad that we are both predictable and dependable enough in our behavior that our children get the sense of stability.
An Embarrassing Moment for Mr. Potato Head
Carver seems to have taken an interest in our social rituals lately. As you'll note in the video, when he sees a picture of a baby come up on our screen saver, he usually reacts with an "Awww..." as if to say, "How cute!" Over the last week he started finding crumbs on the floor and saying, "Uh oh..." then picking them up and handing them to us. Just about any time he collides with something, even when clearly not injured, he will hold out whatever part made contact, with a sad look on his face, until Kira or I kiss it. Then he laughs and continues whatever he was doing.

We can't wait to see what new developments July brings!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Keeping Time

Avey gets so distracted by her imagination sometimes that she forgets what she should be doing. For a long time her eating has been affected by this little quirk. She will sit at the table, with food in front of her (even food that she likes), and she will let the time roll by as she plays a game with her brother, or imagines up scenarios, and so on.
Modeling Bracelets
As preschool was approaching, we knew that we would have to encourage her to eat more quickly: They would never tolerate taking a full hour to nibble away at a quarter of a sandwich! We devised a plan where Avey gets 30 minutes to eat all of her food, and if she beats the time she gets a treat. We bought a digital clock to keep at her spot, and began to write down her time to beat at every meal so she could keep track. We thought it would also provide good opportunity to teach Avey how to tell time.
Paper Dolls Never Go Out of Style
Earlier this week, Avey sat down to her meal and asked Kira what the clock should say when her time is up. Kira wrote down her time, 5:51. Avey looked at the paper, then at the clock, and said "My time is five fifteen." Kira noticed that Avey had confused the order of the digits and said, "No, switch it." Avey, now very lost, asked cautiously, "five teen fif?"
Totally Shocked

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tribute to Eli-Father’s Day 2013

By Kira-
With the help of the Primary, Avey made a gift for Eli today by filling in the blanks to the following statements: I love my dad because… “he is hilarious!” My dad likes to… “sleep.” [My] favorite thing to do with dad… “is to make jokes with him.” Therefore, according to Avey, Eli is either a one-act-show, or sleeping!
I am sure Avey knows that he does MUCH more than that, such as: continues to do most of the dishes for the past 8 years, cooks half (or more) of the meals, does most of the grocery shopping, pays the bills, cleans the house and the kids regularly, plays “Mr. Mom” 2-4 times a week (better than most Mrs. Moms!), comes up with creative games or toys to entertain his children in a small apartment, listens to his children and wife, supports financially and emotionally his children and wife, brings balance to the personalities and drama of the household, intellectually stimulates all of us, and he far outshines me in his midnight bonding with Carver (except for when I was feeding Carver as a newborn).
This is, of course, not even mentioning that he works 10 hours a week, is a teacher, is a student, does research, is finalizing 2 articles for publication, is writing his proposal for his dissertation, writes a family blog EVERY week, calls his mom EVERY week, and lets his wife “download” EVERY night, to name a few.
Besides all he does, what Eli is, is exactly what this family needs. We need, and are balanced out, by his humor, positive interactions with us, patience for us, his impeccable time management and punctuality, his love, support, and ever-helping hand. We love him, and would fall apart without him! Thank you for loving us, and we love you!

Affectionately,
Kira, Avey and Carver

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Communication

After Carver's fever from a few weeks ago, he regressed in several areas. He is now very hesitant to eat small bites of meat, opting instead for the baby food version. He has also taken less interest in walking, although he will humor us when we insist. But even with the setbacks, it seems his vocabulary has exploded.
Hugging His Puppy Dog
We've used our very limited sign language with Carver much more than we did with Avey, and it's made a clear difference. He has regularly signed "eat" and "more", but recently has nailed down "milk", "dog", "fish",  "bird", and "cheese".
Miss America
He's made even more progress in verbal words. Just yesterday I was feeding him a meal, and said jokingly, "Well, Carver, let's make some dinner conversation." He said, clear as crystal, through the little grin on his face, "Okay."

We've also caught him saying "Cuckoo" in reference to our clock, he says something pretty close to "cheese", "fish", and "sis" (our word for Avey). His all-time favorite word is "go", and we have to be careful not to say it or he will head straight for the door and say "Go! Go!" and sob if we don't take him outside. I've also caught him saying, "Ooh, look!" two or three times.

Just when we thought he couldn't get any cuter, he starts to speak! The problem is that now we have to be careful about what we say - he's always listening!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bed

Our new mattress is a huge success, with the whole family. Avey had fallen in love with our old mattress for its bounciness - in fact, the day the delivery guys were coming to exchange the mattresses, Avey bawled like they were coming to take away her left arm. 

Carver fell in love with our bed several weeks ago. He never quite got the hang of jumping on it, but that child could roll around on it all day and never once show a sign of boredom. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I showed the kids what it's like to make a little tent out of a sheet on the bed, and that immediately turned into their favorite shared activity:
video
Now, every night just before bedtime, they both demand some time on our bed. I've even had to move a baby mattress out to the front room so that they can play on it as long as they want with less supervision.

Forget some awesome vacation - these kids just need a few sheets and something soft to roll around on!