Sunday, July 27, 2014


Yesterday, Carver got to his nap a bit later than usual, and when he awoke he was in a bit of a mood. Although he had not eaten in several hours, he refused to sit and eat, instead insisting on playing. The real problem was that Avey was waiting on Carver to finish a meal so that we could go swimming. We had abstained from swimming for the previous two Saturdays because of a schedule conflict and then due to my hurt toes. Avey was anxious to swim again, but of course, we couldn't go with a hungry boy on our hands.

I tried everything shy of physical force to get that boy into his chair. I told him how we could go swim right after he finished. I offered him a chocolate chip as a reward to sit down. I described all of the yummy food he could have for his meal. Avey and I pretended that we were leaving without him. I explained that his body needed to have food in it or he would feel bad. Each time, he firmly turned me down, but still insisted that he wanted to go swim. 
Finally, Carver seemed to arrive at a solution of his own. "I got a [sic] idea!" he stated confidently, with a big smile. I listened attentively, glad to have him meet me half way. He offered, "How about I not eat my food, and go swimming!"

As adorable as his idea was, I declined it. He eventually did climb into his chair and have a small meal before we went to the pool. The bargaining was worth it - we had a delightful afternoon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Battle Scars

Friday morning I was pleasantly dozing in my comfortable bed. Far from my mind were any thoughts of work, school, family, and financial obligations. I was probably dreaming of taking a nice leisurely stroll through a snow-draped meadow, or something equally opposite from this horrid heat. My dream was short-lived, unfortunately, as I was ripped out of it by the screams of my eldest son, Carver. 
His was not a whimper of hunger, or a forlorn sigh of boredom. These were full out screams of pain. I, the protector of the household, was instinctively drawn out of my slumber, and instantly fully alert. Without a second thought, I burst from the comfort of my covers, leapt over the bed, landed with a crack, and charged to find my wounded offspring, limping like a clumsy oaf.
It turned out that Carver had fallen off the couch while watching his morning show. His pride was hurt the most, and his side was a little red from the impact. I, on the other hand, must have landed with all of my weight on my second and third toes of my left foot. I will not lie - the pain was significant. I thought I had probably broken at least one of the toes. By the evening, after limping around campus and our home, I took off my shoe to assess the damage. Both toes were a deep purple, somewhat swollen, and still hurt about as much as in the morning. 
Fortunately, after a bit of icing and elevating, and a good night's rest, the little piggies who stayed home and had roast beef (respectively) are feeling much better, and looking much less purple. I think I must have simply jammed them badly, but I do not think they are broken. I can walk with only a slight limp, and they don't hurt unless I try to bend them. I expect to make a full recovery this coming week.

Oh, and Carver's mishap with the couch didn't even leave a mark.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Carver picked up a new game this week. We play it nearly every time he is eating a meal, and it goes something like this:

Carver will tell me he's going to punch me in the face, and hold out his fist until I lean forward. He gently touches his fist to my cheek, and I act like I was knocked about a foot back. Carver chuckles and innocently queries, "What happened, Dad?" Sadly, I tell him of how "Somebody punched me in the face!" Carver, through a wide grin, says, "Oh, poor Daddy. I will get you a ambaid [BandAid] from the bathroom." He then pauses a moment and hums while he pretends to walk into the bathroom from his chair. He then mimics putting the bandage on my cheek and says, "There, Daddy. Now you all better," to which I display my relief. After all of this, Carver says, "Okay Daddy, now you punch me in the face." We do this back and forth until I can manage to change his focus. 
We've had a decent week as far as sleep goes. Hakan has been going around 6 hours between feedings at night, and his tummy is apparently much happier because his fussiness has waned considerably. He's also smiling like a champ. When we can make eye contact, and he's in a good mood, there's a high chance that he'll light up like the Pillsbury Doughboy. That's helped him to make better friends with Carver, who is beginning to show more interest in his newest sibling. They are sure to become partners in crime in no time.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Declaration of Dependents

We hope that everyone had a Happy Fourth. We certainly did. As Kira's birthday approaches later this week, we ventured out to our favorite indoor swimming hole, but found it to be uncomfortably cold, even with our sweltering heat outdoors. It was still enjoyable, made so with the extra hands of my two cousins with whom we share El Paso. 
Hakan had a few good firsts recently. I wondered if his long hair around his ears was bothering him (mine does when it gets like that), so I gave him his very first hair trim. It was just around the ears, so he does not look terribly different - I'm still trying to talk Kira into letting me give him a Mohawk, though, so stay tuned. 

I finally caught his smile on camera! He's been working hard on getting that down in the last couple of days. He usually gives me blank stares, but Kira's gotten a lot of smiles recently. Here is what I captured:

Hakan has also been working hard on holding his head up. He can hold it pretty steady for a few seconds before it starts wobbling a little, then he over-corrects in the other direction and loses his balance. Still, we've got to give credit where it's due.
Avey's latest obsession is a little film called The Nightmare Before Christmas. You may recall that she has had a little fascination with the main character for some time, but we did not think she was ready to see the entire film as it is rather creepy. Well, two Halloweens have passed since she first wanted to see it, so she finally convinced us that she was ready to subject herself to its horrors. We let her watch it while Carver was napping, and during the day (to allow some time to recover before bedtime). We were pleased and relieved to find that she loved it, and we've not had any reports of nightmares! She's watched it nearly every day this week, partly because she enjoys it, and partly because doing so makes her feel grown up.

Carver has been hilarious as usual. He's also been a little possessive of me. More than ever, this last week he has refused to allow Kira to assist him with the smallest things, and demanded my attention at nearly every moment. One day, I was feeding Carver his late lunch after getting home from school, and simultaneously talking to Kira about something that had happened during the day. Carver would have none of it, and shouted at me, "No! Don't talk to Mom - talk to me!" I promise I do my best to spread my attention equally, but it's getting spread thinner and thinner these days.