Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Jesse Hakan Ricks

Jesse Hakan Ricks joined the world yesterday, May 26th, at 6:56 p.m. He weighs 6.5 lbs, and is 20 inches long. 
It was a bit of a strange labor in that we knew that Monday was the day since about 2:00 a.m., but the contractions were not regular enough to be considered "active labor." We ended up coming home for several hours, and then by the time we went back, the little boy was well on his way. We were there for only two hours before he arrived.
Kira did an amazing job, with another successful VBAC with no medication. We are glad to be home, and hope to settle into a routine very soon.
Little Hakan was a champ, and latched on strong as soon as he could. He will likely take after his older brother and be a big lover of food.

More to come as our strength returns...

Sunday, May 25, 2014


It's been a rather long week, what with the expectation of a little one at any moment. Kira was fairly certain that the little dude would join us on Wednesday, but of course, here we are. I have not really had any real sense of when the boy might come, but if Murphy was correct, he will arrive just before I am scheduled to propose my dissertation this coming Wednesday. I figure he can come today or any time before Wednesday, and then after Wednesday around 2 p.m. If he will spare me for that little window, we will share his birthday cake with him. 
In preparation for the new arrival, Avey and I spent most of yesterday working on a new project she's been assigned in school. She is supposed to create a 3D insect model, and construct its habitat in a box. Trying to let her drive the thing, I asked what insect she wanted to make, and wasn't I thrilled when she replied, "praying mantis." Naturally we couldn't have made a simple ladybug or caterpillar...
Carver has been helping with baby preparations by making sure that all of his balls are ready to bounce at a moment's notice, and waking up extra early to get his parents used to the upcoming exhaustion.

I've been on campus every day this week, trying to get a little more wiggle room in my workload. I was glad to get my grades last night and find that I got an A in my psychometrics course - the most difficult statistics course I've had yet.

The official due date is in one week, so we're bound to have news by then!

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Several weeks ago, we resorted to using reverse psychology as a method to get Carver to eat. It worked very well for a few times, but slowly faded off. Fairly recently, I tried something a little different: competition. Now, instead of telling Carver not to eat, I explain that the food is mine, and I would be ever so distraught if I were to find that someone else had consumed it while I was not watching. Simply by pretending that I want something immediately motivates him to want it. This technique has worked so well, in fact, that these days it is just about the only thing that works. Even when it comes to things he likes doing, he has found that it is much more pleasurable if he gets to deprive others of what they want. 
Pirates Among Us
For example, he enjoys laying in his big boy bed, but the only way we can seem to get him to head into it is by saying casually that I am going to go lay down in it. He grins widely and then launches off toward his room, giggling the whole way. As he triumphantly lays his head on the pillow, he laughs at my moan of disappointment that I was too slow. 
First Swim of the Season
At this age, I figure it's just a fun little game, and a good ego boost for him to beat his daddy in a race. If he's still doing this in high school, there might be some trouble.

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the new child. We have decided on a name, still fairly confident that it's a boy. So here it is [drum roll]:

Jesse Hakan Ricks

Going with our pattern of names so far, we've used one family name from my side, and one from Kira's side. This time, "Jesse" is of course the name of my little brother who was killed in an accident last year. "Hakan" is a Scandinavian name of one of Kira's ancestors. We plan on calling him by his middle name, mostly to confuse him, but also partially because it would seem a little strange to call him by my brother's name. 

Keep refreshing your browser for the next couple of weeks; the little guy could come at any moment!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dia de Los Mommies

It is that wonderful time of year again, when we get to think back about all of the hell we put our mothers through, apologize, and beg for her forgiveness, while she insists that we "really weren't so bad." But we remember. We remember because we have our own children one day. That is when we are truly humbled. 

In our moms' defense, the joy definitely outweighs the hassle. The giggles drown out the shouting. The genuineness overcomes the naivete. The innocence outshines the defiance. The unconditional love overshadows the tantrums. And we press on, reluctantly acknowledging that our little ones will grow out of their phases, and one day have children of their own. And the cycle will continue. We are grateful to have wonderful mothers, who had wonderful mothers. 
This has been another week of busy baby preparations alongside all manner of school hurdles. I managed to get my dissertation proposal scheduled, but it is awfully close to the baby's due date. You would be amazed at how hard it is to arrange for 6 people to meet in one place for 90 minutes. I've also been studying hard for my psychometrics final (another statistics course), which takes place Tuesday.

Kira has been hard at work organizing newborn clothes, moving Carver's stuff into new places, and attempting to catch a breath now and then. 

Avey has been brainstorming ways in which her younger brothers will play tricks on her, which sounds adorable. Somehow I don't think she will appreciate them when they really happen.

Carver sometimes seems to understand that a baby is coming. He has decided that he will give the baby milk, and hold it. We will do our best to supervise all of this, because he is about as careful as a stampede of wild buffalo.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Panic Mode

With only about 4 weeks remaining before zero hour, we are officially freaking out. We keep realizing how much we have to get done before Newbaby comes. I spent half of Saturday on campus because I am determined to finally propose my dissertation well before June. I am now 94 pages in, and seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.
Kira has been hard at work sorting and washing all of the baby boy clothes after pulling them out of storage, all while dedicating bodily resources to the boy's nourishment and growth. She has officially wrapped up with all of her clients, and is enjoying the extra time and relatively lower stress.

Avey has been helpful by preparing her room to become more of Carver's room. She cleaned out a small dresser that was full of "treasures" (i.e., junk), and either threw them away or donated them to the local Goodwill. She has been more than gracious in helping Carver to transition to their new bunk beds. In fact, she is perfectly willing to stay up with us and read or play a board game while Carver drifts off to sleep.  
Carver is adding to the preparations by getting out all of his aggression - or so we assume with the way he's been acting. He's really not been that bad, but there are moments when he gets furious with Avey over some minor argument they've had, and he resorts to hitting. Luckily, he has very short arms and wee hands. Most of the time he is quick to apologize too. He has been doing quite well in his big bed. He seems proud to have been promoted, and may understand that he will soon not be the smallest person in the house. I'm a little worried that this little taste of authority over the new baby will just whet his appetite for power. He may try to become the alpha of the family soon, so that's an additional reason that I will sleep with one eye open after the baby arrives.