Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Healthy Baby Boy

...is what we hope to have in another week or so! Made you look!

We are keeping our fingers crossed that he will wait a few more days at least. I still have another final exam to write, and our extra pair of hands does not arrive until Thursday. We don't seem to be doing much to try and prevent active labor, though. Yesterday was a day of lots of work, and Kira was on her feet most of the day. We took inventory and realized that none of the kids has shoes that fit anymore. We are figuratively up to our eyeballs in hand-me-down shoes, but by some strange twist of fate each child's feet are in between the correct shoe sizes we already own.

We could sense Payless's stockholders' mouths watering as we pulled into the parking lot with six little feet needing something wrapped around them. Avey enjoyed herself exercising a little more freedom to choose styles she wants (now that she's older), and Carver had some fun showing off his Kung Fu skills to a little girl patron of the store. Hakan was in heaven - one of his favorite pastimes is to swipe shoes he finds in the house, put them on the wrong feet (somehow he never manages to get them on the right way), and shuffle around. A shoe store is his dream come true. He had a grand time trying on everything from heels to rain boots, but naturally, when it came time to fit him for some practical Hakan-sized shoes, he would have none of it. Eventually he let us try new shoes on his left foot, as long as he could keep a superhero-themed shoe that was way too big for him on his right foot (of course, it was a left shoe). After much weeping and wailing, the shoe fitting was complete.

This week Kira and I "celebrate" our 11th Anniversary. I hesitate to call it a celebration, because with so much baby preparation left, and our special day falling on a school night, and our complete lack of energy, it won't be much of a party. We had a small ceremony last night of getting take-out and stuffing ourselves silly after the kids were in bed, but it wasn't much. We've had a long string of mediocre anniversary celebrations, including being at other people's weddings, and even my little brother's funeral 3 years ago. We'll have to make up for all of these with a month-long cruise or something one of these years.

I'm afraid that I have no videos or pictures from the week, which is probably another testament to how busy it was. We may have a newborn by next Sunday, though, so stay tuned...

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sweating It Out

We are enjoying weather in the 70s for the last couple of days, and not a moment too soon. The cold was starting to get to us after our years in El Paso. It seems to also have warped our poor children - Hakan and I needed to head off to a store yesterday, so he did his usual routine of gathering his shoes for me to put on him and such, and grabbed his jacket. I told him it was hot outside (78 or so), and he seemed really confused. "Jacket!" he said with the excitement of going on a car ride. "No jacket. Hot outside," I replied. He stared at me like I had told him he did not need to wear a diaper to the store. He and I went through a few more rounds of that exchange until finally he relented and went to the car without the jacket. Now we try to transition from jackets to sunglasses.
Hakan has seemed especially more mature lately. He has been forming a few full sentences, and picking up new words like nobody's business. Even his mannerisms are mimicking those of his older siblings more all of the time.
Avey has been working hard to get her room organized, for two reasons. First, she is under orders to do so before her grandmother comes to help with everything when Merritt joins us. Second, she has been wanting to get things rearranged just the way she likes. She had her room clean for a while until I built a cardboard house for the kids, which she commandeered to make her own. It quickly fell apart and then things piled up around it. Now she cleaned up well enough to earn a little night stand, which she has decked out with pictures and lamps and such. 

Carver is starting to show some interest in reading finally, so we are doing our best to work with him. He gets upset at me if I encourage him very directly, so I've had to come up with ways to make it seem like he is the one in charge. I'll use a familiar book and "forget" some key words that he can "help" me sound out. We'll get this kid to finish high school if it kills us. 

Merritt seems to be putting on the weight, if Kira's discomfort is any indication. She toured the hospital yesterday, and is getting more mentally prepared for this little dude. I keep feeling like the birth is months away, probably because I have so much to do before he comes. I've been working to write all of my students' finals and get other things graded before it's too late. I'm doing alright so far, but it would help if I just knew when he was planning on showing up. 

We're about two weeks away from the due date, so start placing bets...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Carverisms

A couple of weeks ago, Carver was having a grand time pretending to be a superhero or some kind of warrior. He sought out worthy foes, and happened upon his 8-months-pregnant mother. He began kicking when Kira stopped him. "Carver, you can't kick me in the stomach," she explained. Carver was puzzled, saying, "But Merritt does it all the time!" How does one combat the logic of a 4-year-old?
Just yesterday, I was again struggling to get Carver to eat. I resorted to a game where his fork talks like Captain Hook, whom Carver terrorizes by eating off his "hat" every minute or so. Avey decided to get into the game too. She taunted Captain Hook by saying, "Hey, do you want a sandwich?" No one could refuse such an offer, and Captain Hook graciously accepted. He was met with disappointment and pain, however, when Avey revealed her hidden agenda. "How about a knuckle sandwich?" She then popped the poor evil captain square in the imaginary nose. Carver caught on to the game, or so he thought. "Captain Hook," he began with a sneaky tone. "How about a peanut butter and jam sandwich?" He then proceeded to punch the little fork representation of the mean old pirate.
We went through a bit of a scare on Thursday as Kira had some sharp pain. She said that it was not a contraction, but it was still painful enough and in a worrisome place that I came home early and took the boys on an outing so that she could lie down and rest. After some consultation with a nurse, and some good rest, she's back to where she was, but it was still a huge reminder of all that we still have to prepare before Merritt comes. 

We will keep you posted.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April Fooling

We did not do too much for this year's annual pranking holiday. I made a couple of small attempts to get Kira into a panic that I would be home late when she was hoping to have me take over so that she could go to an appointment, but she did not really fall for those. My younger brother made a nice attempt to convince us that he's engaged, but I sort of expected it. Carver, on the other hand, went way out of his way to fool us. 

Kira told him about April 1st, and then he dove right in. "Hey Mom," he'd say, "there's a nose in the backyard!" Cue the giggling. He continued on with "pranks" like that for most of the rest of the day. Other gems included, "There's a phone in your car!" which was actually quite realistic, and "There's a phone in the backyard!" I'm sure his jokes will get more sophisticated with age.
We are about 4 weeks away from our new family member introducing himself. I am quite excited for the summer, but quite panicked about finishing up the semester. Our first three came at relatively convenient times - Avey on Saturday morning, Carver on Sunday, and Hakan on a Monday that was a holiday. Interestingly enough, Merritt's due date is a Tuesday, so we'll see if the pattern holds. 
In any case, Kira and I seem to be pretty deep into the "nesting" phase. I spent most of yesterday cleaning and finally taking care of some small projects I've meant to get to for months. Kira has a whole list of projects she is working on. We are also wrestling with the pros and cons of trying to move to a place with 4 bedrooms over the summer, or just sticking it out here for our own sanity.

Thank goodness we have plenty of chocolate in the house to help us through these decisions.