Sunday, August 30, 2015

Homecoming

[For some reason I'm having a lot of trouble getting videos on here this week. I'll keep trying, but may have to put them on another day.]
The first week of school is officially gone, and the verdict is... Avey loves it! Each day she came home and, when asked how school was, she replied, "Great!" She loves the new teacher, their library, and the fact that she gets a desk to herself instead of sharing a table. Her homework load has also decreased significantly from her previous school. They had her doing all sorts of busy work every night, but now she has less of that. In brief, she's thrilled.

My first week of students went well also. One of my courses is Forensic Science, and I am working on scheduling a tour of a forensic science facility in the area. That's turning out to be a big hassle, but if I can just get it to work I think it will be a great experience for everyone. This would be an easier semester, I think, if I didn't have a couple of deadlines coming up for my research. Add onto that the fact that I am chairing another student's dissertation and supervising a graduate research assistant, and I've got a lot to do. I need a couple of more weeks to get settled into the schedule and timing, and I'm sure it will all be okay.

Part of the pressure for everybody is a looming deadline this week. On Thursday, I fly back to Colorado for a very exciting reason - my youngest brother is coming back from an LDS mission to Japan! I haven't seen him in 2 years, so it will be great to reunite and hear all about his shenanigans. I wish the kids and Kira could come too, but flights were just too pricey.

Hakan has really been working on his words lately. He seems very focused on the sounds we make when we speak. He now says words like, "go," "car," "cat," and so on. He also tries really hard to say things like, "squirrel," and "banana." His latest obsession is Kix cereal. Just a moment ago, Kira put a plate of it down in front of him. He was holding a pen in one hand, and took a moment to decide how best to proceed. He then threw the pen to the floor so that he could shovel fistfuls of the cereal into his mouth. At the moment, his cheeks are stuffed with them like he's a chipmunk saving for winter. Good stuff.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

So Endeth Our Summer

Today marks the official last day of our summer break. Avey starts the 2nd grade tomorrow! She is really excited, and I think the boys are looking forward to having less competition for Mom's attention during the day. 
Looking back, we accomplished quite a lot over these past few months. We picked out a home, moved across the country, and got nearly all the way unpacked in just a few weeks.
Avey's Latest Pal, "Dolphinlania"
Carver, arguably, has made the most progress this summer, as he became potty trained. He has been accident-free for about two weeks now. A few days ago, I moped that nobody cheers for me when I finish using the water closet. Avey rolled her eyes and said, "Dad, you are 33. You were done with potty training like 20 years ago." Although Avey was right that I'd been through with it for a long while, I was a little insulted that she was 10 years short in her estimation.
I spent most of the week in meetings for my new job. I had new faculty orientation, a psychology department meeting, and I attended a convocation for the incoming students to kick off the new year. As a new faculty member, I was seated on the stage with a few others. It was pretty neat, and an exciting way to kick off the semester. I start teaching on Tuesday.

Hakan has been climbing like it's his job. Just this week he managed to get up on the couch by himself, and then made it onto Carver's bed. If he could be careful once he's up high, that would be one thing. But the kid loves to run about bounce and fall. It's a good thing my insurance kicks in soon...

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Smells Like Fish

This week, our desperate attempt at sucking all of the enjoyment out of the summer landed us at a nearby fishing hole. It was actually a ton of fun for the kids. Kira offered to take them while I went in to the city to get some paperwork finished. There was a whole event at the pond, including a lady with a baby lemur for all the kids to admire and even pet. 
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The kids had a blast playing at the park, learning about the lemur, and throwing sticks into the pond. I hurried to get my paperwork done, and then headed in to meet them there. 
I made it with just enough time before we had to turn in our poles, and managed to catch a little fish! It was a successful day, and turned out to be one of the kids' favorite activities since we've been here.
Avey has one more week before starting school, and so we are trying to do whatever we can to make the summer last. Unfortunately, I begin work tomorrow, so it will be more difficult for Kira to wrestle the kids and haul them around. I suppose the fun had to end some time, but there is still plenty in store for us.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Gentle Art of Elimination

The reader will recall that last week I left off with the news that Carver had successfully made it through his first half day of potty training. Kira and I were most excited at his progress last Sunday, and lifted our heads from our pillows Monday morning with high expectations. To our dismay, despite Carver's good mood and optimism, he had accident after accident throughout Monday. He finally found the potty in time just a little before bedtime, giving us cause to celebrate indeed, and perhaps renewing his resolve. After getting him to sleep, Kira and I were nervous about the rest of the week; we were unsure whether we could abide these constant messes and interruptions, especially with our explorer-in-the-making, Hakan, wandering about. 
We were thrilled when Carver's Tuesday was 100% accident-free! He was on top of it from first thing in the morning. Wednesday was just as successful, and by the end of Thursday it seemed that our diaper days were long since passed. Carver would go potty without us even knowing it was time. He would run in to report, and then help to tidy up.
As of this moment, he's had only one accident since Monday! He really proved he had it down on Friday, when the fates decided to put him to the test. Kira decided to take the two older kids for a little day trip to see the Indianapolis LDS Temple. It was about a 3-hour drive there, but they hit traffic on the way back, apparently due to some construction that had shut down a lot of the highway. The 3-hour trip turned into 5 hours on their way home. Fortunately, Carver managed to stay dry through each of the long parts of the trip. 
We are officially in the maintenance stage of his training. We need to get him focusing on night time now, but we are confident that he can get that mastered soon. He is a motivated boy!
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Of Beasts and Bowels

Our big adventure of this week was a whole-day outing to the zoo! We packed up food, diapers, and sun block, and headed out on the 10-minute drive. We spent nearly the entire day checking out all of the awesome exhibits. The kids had a blast, as did Kira and I.
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The zoo is much too big to see everything in one visit, and naturally the kids wanted to see the exhibits that were as far from each other as possible. We did our best to see as much as we could, but we have our work cut out for us next visit. 
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In other (and arguably bigger) news, yesterday Carver was looking through the underwear we have waiting for him, and then announced that he is ready to start using the big-boy potty. We were excited to hear that, as we had been mentally preparing to finally focus on potty training this coming Monday. It's nice when things like that coincide. Kira told him that he could start after "church day" which he understood as right after getting home from church today. He had been thinking about it all day, and got right into his underwear once he came in the door. After sitting on the potty for maybe 15 minutes, he had his very first success! 

We are thrilled to have him make this developmental stride, and cannot wait to start changing fewer diapers between the boys.