Sunday, January 26, 2014


Avey is normally not very into her meals. Unless it involves chocolate milk, she doesn't seem to care much about eating aside from it being part of the daily routine. That's why, when she said Monday that her tummy felt a little weird, I thought it was some scheme to get out of sitting at the table. In my defense, she did run around and play like everything was normal until bedtime. At bedtime, she still insisted that there was something off with her digestive system, enough to prevent her from eating anything. 

The evening proceeded as normal, until Kira did her nightly rounds before retiring. She noted an odor that resembled that of stomach contents, and suggested we wake Avey to search for its source. In retrospect, we should have just gone to bed, basking in our ignorance for a few hours. Suffice it to say, Avey was ill.

After two days of missed school, she felt well enough to be out and about, but she is still not quite back to normal. The rest of us are fortunate not to have caught it (so far, anyway). 

Here is a video of Carver having the time of his life in the lobby of the car wash:
It was my first "week" back at school. I use the term loosely, as Monday was a holiday, and I was on Daddy Duty all Wednesday while Kira attended a conference. In the end, I had two days on campus. Frankly, that was enough for me. There's been quite the load of work to do for this grant with which I am involved. Once it is all up and running, it should flow nicely. Until then, I have lots of work to do.

The baby has been busy kicking Kira's insides, probably in protest of all of the noise around the house preventing him/her from getting any sleep. Maybe I'm just projecting. On that note, however, we may be waiting a few more weeks to find out the gender of Baby #3. There may be some need for an ultrasound at 28 weeks anyway, so rather than pay for two, we are probably going to just do one at that time. Until then, we are taking guesses... Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

How to Raise a Streaker

Mindful parents that we are, we often bathe our children. Both Avey and Carver enjoy the chance to splash and play and get everything wet, even though they have to suffer through the parts where they need to get scrubbed clean. When she was younger, Avey's favorite part of the bath came afterward as we would wrap her in a towel and cuddle up with her to keep her warm. 

Carver's favorite part of bathing, incidentally, also comes after getting out of the tub. But in contrast to Avey, who preferred to be held, Carver can hardly stand to be held. I pull him out of the tub when the time comes, and then struggle to soak up a few drops of water from his drenched body while he excitedly tries to break free of my grip. He plops onto the floor, and then runs as fast as he can from one end of the apartment to the next, squealing with delight to the shrieks and gasps from his sister and mother. 

We will need to break him of that before college.

Another recent event in our home is the invasion of Frozen, Disney's latest hit. Avey, Kira, and I watched it over winter break, and then not much happened until earlier this week. Avey wanted to find a clip of it on YouTube, so we found it and watched it. We then followed some of the other videos, including the scene with the song "Let it Go". Avey loves it, but surprisingly, Carver instantly became obsessed with it. Here is a video of him lost in the music:
Approximately 50 of those views are from us. He wants to watch it seven or eight times in a row after he wakes up and before he goes to bed. I thought it was a catchy song the first 35 times I heard it. Now I'm beginning to think one can have too much of a good thing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Gender Roles

Having now had both a female and a male child, we have had opportunity to note their identification with traditional gender stereotypes. As a student of psychology, I am particularly interested to know how much of it is nature, and how much is nurture.

With Avey, we were surprised by how quickly she identified with princesses. She clearly showed interest in ballet and dance in general. She loved (and still loves) dress-up games, playing in her toy kitchen, and taking care of her babies (stuffed animals). She has always been sensitive to emotions, and freely shares them as she experiences them. These all tend to be stereotypically female traits and behaviors. Although we may have influenced them socially to some degree, we were often surprised as she grew by just how girly she truly is.

On the other hand, Avey also enjoys adventure. She appreciates the recent portrayals of princesses who are more independent and do not shy away from fights; She recently got into pretend Kung Fu fighting. She went through a long interest in The Nightmare Before Christmas, which has a romantic side story and is a musical, but is not exactly girly.

Carver, about as quickly as he could stand, seemed to be the archetypal "boy". He loves any and all games that involve some sort of ball. He makes sound effects in his play far more than Avey ever did. He will occasionally turn on the television to find a football game, even though I rarely watch football, and never had watched with him before. He is much more competitive in his play with me than Avey was; Carver likes chasing, and other competitive games, such as where I steal something of his and he wrestles me to get it back. In an interesting turn, just this week he has requested to go driving around with me in the truck (as opposed to in our van).

On the other hand, Carver is also a big fan of dance, and enjoys singing in his soprano voice. Over the next few years, we may see his interests expand as well.

Although we note that they both tend to lean in their respective stereotypically boyish or girly domains of interest, we are glad that they at least do what they love, and appear to feel free to experiment with a range of activities. It will be interesting to observe how everything changes once Baby #3 joins us!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Seriously, 2014?

We are 5 days into the new year, and so far this has been the letdown of the century. I have been nothing but disappointed by 2014 up to this moment. It all started in the last few days of 2013, when we had arrived home in Texas. Kira came down with some strain of the flu, and it knocked her down for a full 3 days. Carver took a briefer turn, losing his lunch only once, but he has grown extremely picky about what he will eat ever since, and his appetite has significantly waned. Avey resisted as long as she could, but finally came down with it yesterday at 4:00 a.m. I have not seen any symptoms in myself so far, but with the way things are going, it will probably hit me the day school starts. We had planned to spend the last week tidying up the house, taking down Christmas decorations, running errands, catching up on homework, and making preparations for the next semester, but it appears that life had other plans. Currently, Kira is nearly better, Avey is just beginning recovery, Carver's appetite is more finicky than ever, and I just want the whole thing to go away.
This is going to be a bit of a different semester for me. I have been recruited to join a research grant on interpreters' influence during interrogations, so I will be doing that instead of teaching. It is a great opportunity, as I will be supervising about 25 undergraduate researchers, will get to attend conferences in New Orleans and Washington, D.C., and will coauthor a paper after the data are collected. 

In other news, we expect to find out the gender of Baby #3 later this month! Stay tuned!