Sunday, November 30, 2014

Home Alone

As a graduate student in the final year of my program, days off of school do not mean very much. Adding to the problem is the fact that The University of Texas at El Paso held classes through Wednesday this last week. Avey, on the other hand, had the entire week off. Because Kira was going to be home with three children for half of the week while I was on campus, and because she has wanted to visit her brother for a while now, and because our neighbor has family on the way and was willing to go with, Kira decided to take the kids on a road trip for the week out to Houston, while I stayed to get some work done.

I did manage to get a good amount done, even working half of Thursday before coming home to make my little meal. From her reports, it sounds like Kira worked much harder than I this week. Carver became ill Thursday, and the kids had some trouble sleeping in the unfamiliar setting. They are returning this afternoon, hopefully with good memories. 

I am certainly excited to have them back. The week was fairly routine in many ways in that I got myself to campus by 8 each morning and stayed until 5, but when I was home it was with mixed feelings; I enjoyed the quiet, and the uninterrupted sleep, but along with those came the void of bachelorhood. I can't wait to get them back and have people shout "Daddy!" when I come home.

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday weekend!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hygiene

Carver has had an increasingly difficult time over the last few weeks when mealtime comes. He will be so busy entertaining himself with one thing or another that when we encourage him to sit up and have some food he gives every excuse he can find. He'll claim that he's not hungry, he'll claim that he already ate, and sometimes he'll just say straight out that he just wants to play.
Earlier in the week, I was working on him hard to convince him to eat. I thought rather than trying to go directly to the food part, I would start out with the easier step of getting him to wash his hands. Still, he parried every way he could. "But I can't wash my hands!" he insisted. I was optimistic and told him that if we tried, I'm sure we could wash his hands. He responded with, "Because [sic] I don't want to wash my hands!"
I reasoned with him that it is still important to wash our hands because they get dirty. Carver, now getting desperate to avoid the horrors of soap and warm water on his bare hands, made his final plea. "But Dad, I washed my hands yesterday!"
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Eventually he did climb up on his stool and wash his hands. In his mind, he must be covered for another week now.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Males

You may recall that I celebrated a birthday about a week ago. One of the gifts I received was a pair of much-overdue windshield wipers. Upon seeing them, Carver immediately requested to play with them. I foresaw no harm in it, so I handed one over. He held it for a while, inspecting it in its packaging. When it came time for him to retire, he dutifully brushed his teeth and got into his pajamas. He lay down and wrapped up in his blanket, and then whispered to me, "Dad. Can I hold your present?" Knowing that he was referring to my windshield wipers, I internally rolled my eyes before chuckling, and then retrieved the wiper blade for him. As I handed it over, he clutched it in his little paws, and said, "Thanks, Dad." before rolling over to go to sleep. 

What is it that draws males instinctively to automotive parts? The world may never know.

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In other news, I was out of town for just over two days this week for a job interview. I will wait to report on everything until it's all over and decided, but I had a very pleasant (albeit cold) trip. Kira held down the fort again, and found a little sleep when she could.

Avey got to go to the circus last night with a schoolmate, and was happy to have me home just a few minutes before she got back. Carver was sorely in need of someone big enough (and willing) to wrestle with him and chase him around the apartment. Hakan did not seem to realize that I had even left, but made sure to make up for lost time today by spitting up as much as he could when I held him.

I now feel like I've got a month's worth of catching up to do at school before Thanksgiving, but I suppose the feeling is nothing new. Maybe I'll feel all caught up when I retire.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Freaky Friday

Carver has had a favorite game recently. He will say while pointing, "Dad, you be Carver and I'll be Daddy!" 
Lady and the Gentleman
That scenario has the potential for all sorts of fun, but usually I'll start out with a common phrase we hear from Carver while in his highchair. Using his intonation, I'll query, "Dad, can I have a treat?"

Carver, fighting back a smile so that he can stay in character, says in a fatherly tone, "After you eat some good food, then you can have a treat, Carver."

Most of the time, I'll model a good reply by stating, "Oh, okay Daddy. Thanks."
Catching up on the News
I got another year older this week, what with the passing of my birthday and all. It was very low key, partially due to all of the stuff I need to catch up on on campus, partially because we are trying to keep our spending to a minimum, and partially because getting older stinks.

The day was very normal with my dropping Avey off at school in the morning and then heading to campus. I did leave a little bit early to pick Avey up from a friend's house, and then we went out to dinner at a new fancy burger joint in town. Then it was home to squeeze in a movie before we passed out. Saturday, Kira treated me to sleeping in and doughnuts for breakfast! I was glad to get a lot of mail and calls from loved ones to help break up the monotony of the day also.
Cuddling in the Sunlight
I've been particularly busy this last week in preparation for some upcoming job interviews. I've decided not to post much about them here just yet, just in case other potential employers check up on things here. Suffice it to say that I will be traveling around a bit over the next few weeks, and hope to come up with a job offer soon. In the meantime, I am feeling the pressure to complete some papers for classes, and work more on the dissertation. I surpassed the halfway point on data collection this week, so that's very good news - now to just keep up the momentum!
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Can't wait until Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sweet November

We've had another busy week full of Halloween, job interviews, and life in general. The kids had a great time at this year's Trunk-or-Treat. Carver went as a lion, Hakan was a skeleton, and Avey was a "damaged person." She had been planning her character for some time, and we're really still not exactly sure what it was. She wanted a black eye, messy hair, a dirty shirt, and jeans with holes in them.
Carver played his part with the occasional tiny roar.  
Hakan was just happy to be anywhere. 
I, for one, am glad to have November here. Partially, that's because I love the cooler weather, and partially it's because I am excited for this semester to end. I'm taking the last course I need toward my degree, and next semester I'll dedicate nearly all of my time toward writing up my dissertation. I'm nearing the half-way mark with my data, so perhaps soon I can begin analysis! 

With so much to do, I've been working hard to catch up after my trip, but can't seem to find enough time. Part of the reason is that I've had several job interviews that need preparation time. It's a good thing, and I'm glad to be receiving invitations, but it takes a toll on my schedule.

To leave this week on a high note, here's a video of Carver playing with a toy lion he got from his Nana. It helped him get through his meal yesterday. He would give the lion a bit of his food, but he realized that the lion did not have a bib, so I fashioned one out of a napkin. He proceeded to place the bib on the lion, give it a bite of food, and then remove the bib, and repeat.
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