Sunday, April 27, 2014


Yesterday, Kira and I celebrated our ninth anniversary. Unfortunately, I exaggerate when I use the word "celebrate," because I spent most of the day traveling, and we both are recovering from a cold that Carver passed on. 

I was in Utah for a very brief trip to see my only sister graduate from college. It was nice to see the family, and visit the campus again since I graduated. I only wish that I had slept better my first night there, and had more time to visit some more old friends. We figured out that we'd save money if I drove to Albuquerque and flew the rest of the way from there, but in hindsight, I'm not sure it was worth the hassle. The drive up was not too bad, but my 4-hour drive home was awful. As soon as I stepped into my truck, I was facing a strong headwind the entire way home. 
Luckily, the children were mostly well-behaved in my absence. I got to see them just before bedtime, and they slept well.

Carver has been doing well with his new bed. The second night we made the mistake of putting both children to bed at the same time. They chit-chatted and Avey kept climbing out for any reason she could muster. We quickly learned to go back to our original plan and put Carver to bed first while we read to Avey in the living room. Once he's out, she can sneak in and quietly fall asleep.

The baby's head is down, and we are panicking a little to come up with a fitting name. This will be a very busy summer!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

In Press

This was an extremely busy week, with a lot of hard work and good news. The biggest news was that late Wednesday night, I received an email from my research adviser, informing me that the article we wrote together was accepted for publication in the journal Law and Human Behavior. The article is about some research I completed the second year of my doctoral program, and it is very exciting to have it published in one of the top journals!

In fact, everyone had a big accomplishment or reached a milestone this week. Kira had a last session with 2 clients on Friday, with 2 clients left to close out, which will then bring her practice to a close for the rest of our time in El Paso. She is sure to begin again once I've graduated and Baby #3 allows her to leave his side, but in the meantime looks forward to the time away.

Avey lost her second tooth yesterday while eating cake at a birthday party. If you're going to lose a tooth, I think that's probably the best way to do it! In a rare moment of maturity, Avey also agreed to clean her room, finally throwing away dozens of little knickknacks and doodads she has accumulated.

The big news for Carver is that he now has a big-boy bed! I put together a bunk bed we had purchased for the kiddies, so that we can free up some space for our upcoming resident, and Kira bought a mattress. We were not sure what to expect for Carver's first night trying it out. We let him crawl around on it during the day, and get familiar with the setting. When bedtime came, we were prepared for a long and tedious night of attending to him, with Avey complaining the entire time about Carver making noise. In preparation, we put Carver to bed first, and planned to sneak Avey in after he was finally out. To our surprise, the plan worked perfectly, and Carver, after just one visit from his mother and father, passed out! He needed us only once during the night, when he woke up a little disoriented, but he had some water and laid right back down. To top off the whole night, he slept in an extra 30 minutes too (which for us is about 5:30)! Maybe we should have done this a long time ago, although we are somewhat torn; It is a hard thing to allow our son to grow up.
Carver has been doing a funny thing recently. He did this last night too. When I put him to bed, he lays down and sometimes tells me before I leave that he "want[s] Mom." I will tell Kira, and she will go in and tell him goodnight, and he usually goes to sleep. Sometimes, though, he forgets to ask me to get Kira. For instance, last night, I put him to bed, and left. A few seconds after closing the door, I hear him calling for me. "DAAAaad!" I go in and ask him what he needs. "I need Mom," he says. As smart as he is, he must not quite understand that if I can hear him from the living room, his mother can too.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Kira has been trying to get away for a break for some time now, hoping to visit her best friend since childhood. It finally worked out for her to fly out this weekend, so she is off on a mini vacation while I hold down the fort, as it were. 

It hasn't been bad overall. The kids have behaved well mostly, except for Carver's blatant disregard for nap time yesterday. I had to wake him after 3 hours of napping on Friday so that we could pick Avey up from school, but then on Saturday Avey had to be at a carnival her school was putting on. It was a lot of fun, but it meant that Carver missed his usual napping window. He finally passed out at the most inconvenient time later in the afternoon, and I had to wake him so that we wouldn't be partying until all hours of the night. He was up at about 4:00 this morning, ready to start his rigorous routine of running around and playing. Luckily, he is deep in slumber now as I write this, hopefully getting his Circadian rhythms back on track.
Being a temporarily single parent has meant a few adjustments to our strict household policies. For example, I've relaxed their daily dietary restrictions slightly, and we had both pizza and cheeseburgers this weekend. Carver is an avid fan of both.
Kira gets home late tonight, and we are all excited to have her back. I will probably spend tomorrow hiding in my office at school, suddenly enjoying working on my dissertation. Hopefully, Kira will also enjoy her time soaking up Carver's attention...

Sunday, April 6, 2014


We are glad to celebrate my littlest brother's birthday today, even though he is thousands of miles away from us in Japan. I suppose that is one way to party. 

The party goes on here in Texas, too. Carver has been more entertaining than ever recently. He is so talkative and enthusiastic about everything that he makes us believe everything is awesome all the time. 
I was giving him a bath earlier this week, and one of our bath toys is a large plastic cup. I thought I would show Carver a little game with the cup, so I leaned over the tub, filled the cup with water, and said, "Boy, I sure do need a drink..." As I slowly brought the cup to my lips, Carver caught on, and promptly smacked the cup out of my hands to splash back into the water. My playful expression of horror sent him into a giggle fit, and we reenacted the scenario several times. After a few minutes, he wanted to see what it was like to lose his drink. He filled the cup himself, said, "I just need a water," and then dropped the cup into the tub before putting on a show of disappointment and frustration. 
As he replayed the scenario by himself, I thought I should get some video. I wanted to keep it G-rated, so I lifted a towel to block from view his unmentionables. I started recording, and Carver filled the cup, saw the towel I was holding out in front of the camera, and must have misunderstood its purpose, for he poured the full cup all over the bathroom floor, apparently aiming for the towel.

I did manage to get the fiasco on video, but as the towel failed in its aim, I thought better not to post it this time.
Avey, being officially 6½ years old, has been occupied with pushing her adult teeth to the surface of her gums. Naturally, her baby teeth are still in the way, causing some minor conflict. She's had a loose bottom tooth for a couple of weeks now, and has worked on wiggling the little thing whenever she can. I have offered multiple times to remove it by any means necessary, but Avey politely declined each time, insisting that she is patient. Last night, after she had been in bed for several minutes, she came out saying that her loose tooth hurt. Further inspection revealed that the tooth was "hanging by a thread" as they say, but now sitting at an angle that probably poked her unnaturally. A firm, but gentle tug with some floss, and Avey now resembles a veteran hockey player.

She is very excited to take her baby tooth to school on Monday and gross out her classmates. That's my girl!