Monday, December 29, 2014

Grateful for Our Holiday! RU?

We had an (overall great) end to our 2014. The biggest news is that while we were packing to head back to Colorado, I received a phone call with a job offer! Kira and I thought about it and talked it over as we were continuing to pack and travel, and then we decided to accept. Starting Fall 2015, I will be a member of the psychology faculty at Roosevelt University (hence the "RU" in the title) in Chicago!

Roosevelt is a private university, with a very popular psychology program. I was hired to head up the forensic psychology courses that they offer. As I understand it, the courses have been well-attended in the past, so they were looking for someone with my experience in forensic settings, research in corrections, and who loves to teach about it. We are slowly putting all of the pieces together of how we'll make the move, but we are mostly thrilled to have a tenure-track job lined up before my final semester has even started!
We had a grand Christmas in Colorado, but unfortunately were plagued with poor health; Kira came down with a nasty cough and stuffy nose, which made things less pleasant. We did not get to see all the people we'd hoped, but still had a great time. The kids found it especially tragic to say goodbye to all the fun, but I don't think they will miss the cold.

Welcome 2015, and another great year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Recovery?

I forgot to document this funny story last week, so will do so now. The second day I was in the hospital with Carver, I dashed into the bathroom to have a quick shower. Carver was settled in with a nice movie, and I told him to shout out for me if he needed anything. 

I was in the middle of my shower routine when I thought I could hear Carver urgently calling for me. Knowing the fragile state he was in, I worried he was in some distress. I quickly ran and cracked open the door to see what was the matter.
Sopping wet and quickly getting cold, I asked Carver what he needed. "Dad," he said weakly, "I needed you to dance."

There was a big musical number at that point in the show, and apparently because he couldn't dance, he demanded to see someone synchronized with the beat. I wobbled my head a little from the doorway and then got back to my shower.
Carver's energy is back to what it was before the illness, but his mood has been pretty grumpy lately. He normally is willing and even excited to run to bed for a mid-day nap, but the last few days he has adamantly refused. As he gets progressively grumpier throughout the day, Kira and I get progressively more frustrated with him. Today, after much discussion, bribery, and even arguing, it seemed that nothing would sway him. I finally offered him a chocolate chip if he got in his bed, and his attitude instantly became compliant. Even now he is slumbering peacefully. The chocolate chip was particularly surprising to me, because I had even offered to bake brownies while he napped that he could have after! I suppose an immediate reward has more meaning for him at this stage in life.
Avey as Cleopatra for Egypt Day at School
We are gearing up for another awesome holiday break. We are packing up, hoping to drive out tomorrow. Kira is suffering a little posttraumatic stress from their Houston trip, but I am excited to get back to Colorado for a few days. Best wishes and happy holidays to you all!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Pneumonia

Turns out that our poor Carver had pneumonia. And to make matters worse, Kira figured it out when I was in the middle of a job interview on the other side of the country, so she was on her own for the first two days. Carver was doing well, but needed to be monitored in the hospital for at least a night or two to make sure that he didn't come down with complications. Thank goodness that I have wonderful family in town - my aunt came and took care of Avey and Hakan so that Kira could stay with Carver in the hospital. 
A Little Outing at the Hospital
I flew home late Tuesday night and drove straight to the hospital to take over for Kira. Things had been especially complicated because she is still nursing and yet the hospital would not allow Hakan to be on the floor with the sick children, so Kira had to save milk while my dear aunt used up the supply we had saved since the boy's birth. It was good to be back to help out.

Carver had been miserable for so long that we were glad to figure out what the problem was. He is one tough cookie, though. He was in pretty good spirits for his hospital stay, watching movies and napping most of the day. His favorite great uncle visited him twice, and brought him a little stuffed stegosaurus that provided much comfort. Carver still snuggles with it as he sleeps. 

We had hoped to be home by Wednesday but, alas, it was not to be. Carver was responding well to the antibiotics, but the doctors wanted him to go at least 24 hours without a fever, and Carver kept getting little fevers about once a day. He finally came home Friday morning, and was so excited to find our Christmas tree set up and half-decorated. Yesterday, he finally seemed himself as he ran down the hall over and over, begging me to chase him. 
We are so glad to have him well and home again, and grateful to have good friends and family in town who were willing to help!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Illness

Both Carver and Hakan are still suffering through their illness. Hakan is doing much better, but still has a cough and runny nose. He is sleeping about as well as usual, and his appetite has not changed much. He is trying to make the best of it, and doesn't seem to realize that he is sick. 

Carver, on the other hand, is literally suffering through. The poor guy had some stomach problem from Thanksgiving through about the following Monday, and then we hit the eye of the storm. Here is a brief glimpse of what he was like in between the rough patches - just happy to feel a little better:
He was quizzing each of us over and over about what we would do if we encountered various beasts in a forest, and then he'd tell us, "Good choice!"

Unfortunately, this Carver has been all but lost. Soon after this footage he came down with a fever, and his cough has gotten only worse. He's been in his bed for about 40 of the last 48 hours. His appetite has waned considerably too. We've got him going to the doctor tomorrow to figure out what we're dealing with, but I have a suspicion that the poor guy is battling pertussis. It breaks our hearts to see him so miserable for so long.

To make matters worse, I am heading out of town in just a few hours for two days. It's not really something I can get out of, so poor Kira will need to deal with all the invalids. On the positive side, Carver's desire to stay in bed and loss of appetite mean that there's less to do for him during the day, but nighttime is when it all hits the fan. He needs something every couple of hours in addition to Hakan wanting food. Keep Kira and the kids in your thoughts/prayers.

In other news, I want to document the white elephant gift I made for our lab holiday party on Friday. I made an Eli Action Figure!
Notice My Lab Mates!
 It was a big hit, and now Avey wants to make one of herself! Fun times!