We are planning on letting 2017 bleed out late tonight, and hope for a wonderful and joyous 2018. We wish the same for all of you!
Sunday, December 31, 2017
We are planning on letting 2017 bleed out late tonight, and hope for a wonderful and joyous 2018. We wish the same for all of you!
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. We are in Colorado for the festivities, although it has felt festive only at times. We had planned this trip for some time, and we spent Thursday and Friday packing. However, the packing was an extra nightmare because Merritt had been ill since Wednesday. He had a bit of a rough night, and then we discovered he was feverish around 5 that morning. With our trip in mind, we took him to the doctor that day, but she did not think much of his symptoms and felt that it was probably too early to tell. We brought him home, and kept an eye on him while he stayed ill and lost his appetite. After another difficult night, we found that Hakan was feverish in the night, so we took them both in to the doctor on Friday. The doctor ran a test on him and found the flu, so started him on some medicine that supposedly shortens the duration and severity. We put Hakan on it, too, figuring that he was just a day behind Merritt.
Then, we were simultaneously dealing with several issues. We were concerned about traveling with the sick kids, but we had already done most of the packing, paid for a hotel, and gotten our hopes up nice and high that we would be leaving Friday. On top of that, we had many family members with some stake in our presence given our various viral ailments. Some of said family members have compromised immune systems, and so were hesitant to share close personal space with us. We were stuck deciding between bagging the whole trip and trying to adjust arrangements enough to make it work. We finally got it settled and got in the car as scheduled.
We made it to our hotel later than expected because of some issues related to the illnesses, but Hakan was doing much better than earlier, seeming almost himself. The night was alright, but we simply did not get enough sleep.
We tried breakfast in the morning, but Merritt's and Hakan's appetites have been meager at best since their sicknesses. The meal was a struggle, so we got back on the road tired and behind schedule.
We made good time, but Kira had awakened with more severe symptoms of the flu. She was smart to get right on medicine the night before, when she first felt them, but the stress of traveling and sleep trouble took a toll. I was tired, but had my flu shot, which may have spared me the symptoms.
To make a long story shorter, we finally made it, and are so glad we did. The older kids are having a lot of fun with their aunt and uncles for an audience, and the new stomping grounds are fun to explore.
The enormous exception to our joy is the little gentleman we call "Merritt." Perhaps it is a combination of the illness and a separation anxiety that accompanies his age, but he will not leave me alone. He refuses to be held by anyone else, and screams and cries if I set him down for even a second. I wonder if he worries that we are going to leave him in Colorado. It may have been endearing for a few minutes, but after 2 days, it has been just nightmarish. He won't let me eat, change clothes, etc., unless he's in my arms. The one way around it that I've figured out is that he can be distracted with videos of himself or music videos he has come to enjoy. At least his appetite is improving, otherwise I would consider just taking off for home by myself.
We are excited for Christmas morning tomorrow, and looking forward to a fun day for the kids (with a chance of naps for the adults). Wish us luck with the drive home.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
Carver is looking forward to Christmas, but he may be even more excited for this week when he starts going to full-day kindergarten. As I've mentioned before, he loves school, so the chance to be there even longer really gets his tail wagging. We started him off with half day, because he would get wiped out in the afternoons, but he seems like he's ready to take the plunge. We'll see if it's all he hopes for.
Avey is counting the days until we leave for Colorado. She seems excited to do something out of the ordinary routine of going to school and then hiding in her room while the boys tear the house apart. We don't know that it will be that different in Colorado, where she'll be around several cousins, but at least she'll have more places to hide, and more projects with which she can occupy herself. Probably more than anything, though, she is looking forward to seeing the new Star Wars movie, as we've arranged to see it over the break.
I am done with the semester now, but still have several projects to do before we leave. Kira and I will be busy getting ready for the trip while simultaneously managing the kids, who never cease to surprise us.
Safe travels to all of you (if you're traveling), and happy holidays!
Sunday, December 10, 2017
We had our first real snow yesterday, so the boys went out to toss it around for a while before coming in from the frigid cold. It's not supposed to get much warmer from here on out, yet the snow is still basically all gone, so this winter has been lame. Last year was just like this, too. Maybe Colorado will be a winter wonderland for us!
Sunday, December 3, 2017
Sunday, November 26, 2017
|It's Exactly What it Looks Like|
Wednesday, I was back to the dentist for a temporary crown, and then home for some last-minute grocery shopping for our meal the following day. We opted to stay home and do our own meal, which I much preferred.
We figured the kids would be more likely to eat ham than turkey, so we had a big glazed ham along with our rolls, mashed potatoes, green beans with bacon, and pie. I made a chocolate pie because it's chocolate pie. I also tried out a fresh strawberry pie at Avey's request. I'd never made one before, but it turned out very well, so that may need to be a new tradition for us. The meal was delicious, and the day was generally low key.
Hakan agreed to this scenario, and I left it more confused than when I entered. That would be like me going into a restaurant and saying, "May I please have a free sandwich?" to which they reply, "Only if you promise to eat a free sundae afterwards."
On Friday, the kids were anxious to bust out the Christmas decorations. Kira prevented it from turning into a free-for-all, opening only one tote at a time, and keeping them focused on one decoration area at a time. We started with the tree, and had a great time explaining the kids' ornaments' origin stories. I got the outside of the house lighted up reasonably well, and we are trying out colored bulbs in our porch lights (red and green). Those are lots of fun.
I got in a home improvement mood (probably to avoid doing my normal work), and got fixing things here and there around the house. I was quite excited to switch out a power outlet in the kitchen where our highest charging traffic is. I put in a new one that has two USB charging ports in addition to normal outlets. Now we can charge our devices while also using the toaster oven!
Merritt is one of the worst with his eating, lately. For several weeks now, he just refuses to eat most of what we offer. It seems that the other kids went through phases like this, too, but Merritt is especially challenging. He turns his nose up at even his most favorite foods, when he clearly should be hungry. But then, some meals he will mow down almost whatever we put in front of him, keeping us constantly guessing. He keeps growing, so he must be okay, but it's enough to drive us nuts.
We are really looking forward to our Christmas break. I have just 2 more weeks left of classes, while the kids have 4 left. We hope to see some snow this year, too: Tomorrow's forecast is 60!
Sunday, November 19, 2017
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Merritt has really shown some character lately. He is very much into music. One of Carver's favorite things these days is to watch and rock out to music videos that we've approved, so Merritt has become accustomed to having a steady stream of beats pumping out of my computer. When he's got the bug, he comes over to the computer, rambles some nonsense words while pointing at the screen, and then dances while imitating a drum beat. Although it's adorable, it's also a real challenge, because he seems to want a specific song, but he lacks the language to tell us which one. I make my best guess, and then he screams at me for getting it wrong. He can sometimes point to it if he sees it, but otherwise, we are left with a very angry child.
Hakan's potty training is pretty much complete. He sometimes refuses to use the potty, but that's usually right before bed, when everything feels difficult. Those times, he just wears a diaper to bed, but still wakes up dry almost every time. It's been strange and wonderful to have only one kiddo in diapers, and we can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Carver has been working on mastering drawing since starting Kindergarten, but that seems to mean to him that he draws the exact same thing every time. He presents us almost each day with a new drawing or painting of the whole family, with each member portrayed in his or her favorite color, then with Carver's name above us. Avey and I discussed this and decided we should perhaps try to coax Carver into expanding his repertoire. Avey then showed him how to draw a simple dog. Carver tried it and had a hard time, but he seems open to practicing some more. If he puts half of the effort into art that he puts into perfecting his tumbling-on-the-couch moves, he'll be in good shape.
Avey has been in a helpful mood lately, offering even to bathe Merritt with our supervision. She's been very kind to keep him entertained at times when Kira or I are unable to tend to him (usually because the other boys are having some crisis). We hope that this helpful streak continues. On a related note, while Kira was helping at the school for Carver's event, Avey's third-grade teacher pulled her aside to tell her that when Avey was her student, she'd done a little performance where she talked and acted like an elderly woman. The class had thought it was so funny, that this teacher pulled Avey out of her normal class to come and perform in her elderly woman character for her current students. She was, of course, a big hit.
We are so surprised with how quickly the year is coming to a close. We'll try to wrap it up strong!
Sunday, November 5, 2017
|First Day at Nursery|
Sunday, October 29, 2017
|Hakan Commissioned a "Sad Face" for His Pumpkin|
|Avey's Design: A Lunging Snake|
|Probably the Last Time We'll Use the Lederhosen|
Sunday, October 22, 2017
Kira even tried a sticker chart this morning, but Hakan did not seem to understand it, instead wishing only to stick a few stickers on the paper and then never see it again. We've made the subtle threat of having him revert to diapers, but he just acquiesces before we swallow our words. He's definitely proud of when he has success, so maybe the best move for us is to just focus on the positive reinforcement.
We've got another thrilling week of school and work and potty training. You can expect all of the gory details next week.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
|Our Flooded Backyard|
Avey has been trying to help keep Merritt occupied when he is getting into things he oughtn't, and so she often utilizes music to tame him. She found that he is especially fond of Queen's "We Will Rock You," because she played it for him and he started to sing along with his soprano, "WEEE woooah weee woooah..." on a descending scale.
After some quizzing during meals, I've gotten Merritt to also identify his nose, teeth, and hair. He's still working on his eye - whenever I ask him where his eye is, he slowly inserts his index finger into his right nostril. That's in the right direction, at least...
Hakan had a great conversation with Kira a few days ago. He seemed deep in thought, and then seemed to ask more than say to her, "Mom, you don't know everything." She admitted, "No, not everything." Then Hakan thought for a moment and replied, "But Dad does."
I pretend to, at least.
Sunday, October 8, 2017
Sunday, October 1, 2017
|A Backyard Visitor|
Ninjago movie. She enjoyed it, but was a little disappointed by how much they had changed from the series she and Carver have grown to love.
Per her request, we ate pizza for lunch, and then prepared for a "shaving cream war." The two younger boys were quickly overwhelmed by the chaos and stickiness, so came in with me to get cleaned off. Avey, Carver, and Kira got into the game (Avey even put on war paint and made a little holster for the can), and made a big foamy mess of the whole backyard.
Man of Steel. It was an especially nice present for her that today she does not have to go to church, but gets to sit on the couch eating popcorn for the General Conference.
We are excited for October and all of the candy it brings!
Sunday, September 24, 2017
|Feigning Ignorance About How He Got on the Table|
|Merritt Shows the World His Tongue|
|Three (Temporary) Amigos|
When I got home from work one day this week, Hakan asked me in a how-was-your-day tone, "Dad, did you cry at work?" I laughed heartily at that one, but was very glad that I did not have to think back and assess my day before answering. It turns out that he picked up that question from Kira when she asks Carver about any "sad times" from his school day. I'm grateful that I enjoy my job.
I'll report on the fallout from Avey's turning 10 next time.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
|A Backyard Visitor|
After a fairly productive day of work at our local library, I returned home and we decided to take a family trip to Costco. That was sort of enjoyable, but mostly turned out to be too long. As a result, the tired boys got to bed later than we'd hoped.
If our week up to that point was a whirlwind, Friday night was a tornado of blood and tears. Merritt slept peacefully for a few hours in his bed, apparently having passed the worst of his stuffy nose. But when he awoke, he did so coughing. I approached to see if I could soothe him, when he threw up a little in his bed and on his pajamas. Kira cleaned up his bed while I tried to clean him and myself up. At first we thought it might simply have been that he gagged on some mucus, but after a little bit of water, he emptied his stomach all over himself, me, and some of the bathroom floor. The smell of bile and peanut butter was everywhere. He had a fever, and would not be left alone, so Kira took the first shift, and then I took the second, and then it was Saturday morning. Kira took everybody into the doctor while I napped, and there were no obvious problems, so we hope that it was just a brief bug passing.
On the way to the doctor, she dropped Avey off at a ward activity with a rope course, which Avey thoroughly enjoyed.
After a few more errands, and finally getting the kids to bed, we could put the last nail in this week's coffin.
Thankfully, Merritt's fever is gone now, and he slept very well last night. We may yet survive this. Now let us never speak of this week again.
Sunday, September 10, 2017
Both kids seem to be enjoying school well enough, although both would prefer to sit in front of the television all day. I, for one, feel the same way.
Have a nice week!