Sunday, September 29, 2013

-6 Candles

Avey will be six years old in a few hours. As a brief blast through the past, I've selected a few of my favorite videos of her over the years: 
It is at once exciting and heart wrenching to see how much she's changed in these few short years. I will spare the reader my usual blubbering on about the passage of time. Suffice it to say, I love my daughter very much, at every age.

Avey chose to spend the day doing the things she loves. She wanted to meet some friends at the theater to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which was enjoyable for everyone. We ate out at her favorite restaurant, and we will open her presents and eat her cake today at my grandmother's house.

She had early release on Friday, so we got to spend some time at her favorite park. That ended up being a mixed experience for both kids. Avey tried to make friends with 3 older girls (8 years old or so). The girls were polite and interacted with Avey, but once they saw Carver gleefully entertaining himself, it was all over. The girls all but ignored Avey, and would not leave Carver alone. They wanted to pick him up every few seconds, take turns going down the slide with him, and make sure he did everything they thought he would look cute doing. They would walk with him, holding his hands, certain that he would fall at any moment. Then they'd say, "I think he wants to go over here," or "I think he wants to try the swings." He took it all in stride, but I figured he was ready for some space, so I suggested that he may want to explore on his own. They eventually dispersed. 
video
Just as we were preparing to leave, a girl Avey's age showed up and they became instant friends, so we stayed a little longer. We finally left exhausted, thirsty, and satisfied. 

It's hard to imagine that the next six years will go by just as quickly (if not quicker) than these first six, but I suppose we will need to be prepared for anything.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fear

Avey and I had the opportunity for a daddy-daughter date this week. UTEP's theater was showing Monsters University, which we had not yet seen. We had a great time watching it, even though it was way past Avey's bedtime. After it was over, I asked her what her favorite part of the movie was. She replied that she liked the part where Dean Hardscrabble flew into the room, and was really scary (clip here). 
video
I admit I was surprised that she did not mention any of the silly parts, but she has always been a fan of being scared. Before we left the building, I asked if she needed to use the restroom. She said she did, but after I opened the restroom door and she heard the blaring air hand dryers, she said she did not want to use that restroom. It was apparently too loud for her. We would be passing my office on the way back to the car, so I told her we could try that building. When we got there, though, it must have felt like a haunted house to her. It is one of the older buildings on campus, and was abandoned at 8:45 p.m., so I had to unlock it, and find a light. She was a little nervous about that part, but then what really did it was when we got to the restroom.
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I opened the door and turned on the light, when what horror should await us, but 6 to 8 of the largest cockroaches scurrying around the tile floor. Avey panicked, so we left, and I suggested we try the ladies' room (as we were the only ones in the building), but she wouldn't risk it. She was horrified.

I do not blame her - I was pretty disgusted by the cockroaches, and I'm a little nervous about going back on Monday, because I don't know where they all hide during the day. But I am a bit fascinated by the fact that in her mind, she is really into scary things, but then gets spooked by the noise of hand dryers and the sight of insects to the point where she loses all her nerve. After that experience, she may never set foot on UTEP campus again!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Rehab

Okay folks, gear up for a proud parent post. We were once again reminded how awesome our kids are this week. As you recall from our most recent report, Carver recently had a disagreement with Gravity, and, to quote Radiohead, "gravity always wins." He ended up in a full leg cast for about 10 days. Our little guy was a good sport about the whole thing - he never really cried about having the cast, never tried to take it off, and never even screamed out of frustration. He simply realized he could no longer use his right leg, and moved on. 

It turns out that it was his right fibula that was broken, not his tibia. Apparently the doctor could not exactly see the fracture when Kira took him in, but the policy is to treat it anyway because it was very likely there. When I took him to have the cast removed, the x-ray showed that new bone had grown to fuse his fibula back together. It had broken, but hadn't shifted, so that's why the doctor was not sure where the fracture was.
video
After removing the cast, Carver was unimpressed. I expected him to kick his legs around and start running. It took him until we were in the car on the way home to realize what had happened. He finally started moving his legs, kicking around in his carseat. At home, he had some trouble walking again. He stood up and moved around as if his leg were still in the cast. He hardly bent his knee.
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Now, after a little more practice, he is nearly back to his normal self. He seems to enjoy sitting quietly a little more than before the cast, but that's probably good.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dead Weight

Several days ago, Carver was outside playing on the sidewalk, as he often does. Between two of the concrete slabs is a gap of about 3 inches. Carver has learned to navigate around it to avoid stumbles, but for some reason that day, he miscalculated and had a very short stumble to the ground. He cried briefly, Kira comforted him, and he went about his business. 

But we noticed that things were not quite the same. Carver had a little limp in his walk. We thought surely it would go away after some time. It was still there the next day. We tried putting little bits of pressure on his leg to see if it hurt. Carver gave no reaction. We tried bending his leg at the knee, then the ankle. He hardly noticed, and certainly did not wince. We were puzzled. The next day, the limp was no better, and we were beginning to worry. 
Fortunately, Kira has a connection with someone in her ward who specializes in exactly this sort of thing. He said it sounded like a small fracture in the tibia, and told Kira to bring him in. She did, and, although they couldn't see anything in the x-ray, they put a cast on just to be sure.
He tried walking the next morning with great difficulty, and now has resorted to crawling. He is mobile enough, and in good spirits as usual, but certainly will be thrilled to take the cast off in a few more days. 
video
On top of it all, our little trooper had a molar break through probably yesterday. We are beginning to suspect that he has a high tolerance for pain.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Nerds

With Avey's increased studies of late, Carver has had fewer distractions at home. He finally has the time to delve into his own interests, rather than working to entertain his big sister at every waking moment. It turns out that he is a bit of a bookworm. 
With increasing frequency, Kira and I get a very unsettling feeling - as if something is very wrong. It usually comes about when the volume of the household has dropped to tolerable levels. As we find ourselves once again able to hear our thoughts, we panic for a moment and frantically search for Carver - certain that he must be injured to have gotten so quiet.
Fortunately, we find him silently engaged in his own studies, methodically researching the intricacies of colors, shapes, counting, puppies, and so on. He typically plops down in front of his bookshelf, and goes through one book at a time, page by page, occasionally pausing to announce something he recognizes.
It is a good feeling to see our children so eager to learn, and so capable of being quiet for several minutes at a time.