Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Times They Are A Changin'

The summer is almost over. I *officially* start back to school (and work) tomorrow. I have a meeting I need to attend in the morning, and then I have some other things I need to take care of before the semester begins on Monday. I can't believe that it's already been almost four months since I was last in school. They have just flown by. It feels like it was just yesterday that we brought Kieran home from the ho
spital. But, then I look at the pictures of my little, tiny, newborn baby and then glance over at my playful bundle of energy that is my almost four month old son and realize how much time has truly passed. I guess I was realizing how long it has been since I've been in school, too. Of course, it feels like it was just last night that I was trying to finish papers and finals (with a two-week old baby, nonetheless!), but I've have a more than three month break from all of the craziness that is grad school.
I'm really looking forward to getting back in the saddle and beginning the classes I'm taking this semester. I think that two of them may help me with the direction I am tentatively leaning in for my thesis: southern women authors. "Wait a minute," you say. "Weren't you going to be writing your thesis on children's lit?" Not anymore, and to be honest with you, I'm actually glad about this. I really feel like this could be a really exciting and intriguing thesis topic for me. I'm super psyched to begin thinking about it and starting to put my ideas down on paper.
I know, I know. You all must be thinking, "Wait a minute, wait a minute... You're going to write a thesis with an infant in the house? What are you going to do with him?" And, here is the beautiful situation I've found myself in, and (to a great degree) why I am so excited about school and not worried about KRUF this year: we have hired a wonderful undergraduate to come and take care of him three days a week while David and I work on our various work responsibilities. This means that both of us only have to devote one full day per work week (plus weekends) a piece to caring for the little guy, so we can focus on our school work and research and hopefully make this semester a success. We're just so pleased with our caregiver (we decided we didn't like the term 'nanny' (too many conflicted memories for me) or babysitter (not quite what we're thinking she is)). She's getting her degree in Psychology with an emphasis on child psych AND will be also conducting research in the Infant Cognition Lab here at UIUC this semester. She was a perfect fit with David and I, and we clicked instantly. Plus, Kieran seems to really like her, too. We're really looking forward to having her start on Monday!

Kieran is so much fun these days. He's really starting to get into playing and enjoys things so much. He's really fun to be around most of the time, and it's really exciting to watch him explore his new world and take everything in. The newest thing these days is a baby jumper that I got for him that hangs from the doorway. He hasn't quite got the hang of jumping in it yet, but he walks around in circles in the doorway checking everything out. He's still forming an opinion on the jumper, but I think it will become a favorite toy as time passes. (At least I hope it does because that means that I will be able to put him in it and jump in the shower on those days I have to watch him!) So, as I often do, I leave you with a couple of pictures of our little superstar. Bon Soir!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Some Long Overdue Pictures From Our Vacation

So, between packing for our move (which took place just three short days after we arrived back here from Virginia!!), unpacking from the move, and having a three (almost four!) month old to take care of, I have been a bit negligent in my email correspondence and blogging. So now, more than a month after we got back from our trip, I am finally posting some pictures that I thought you all might enjoy of our our little bundle of joy (at least most days--some days, like today, he's more of a bundle of patience-wearing-down-challenge!)

Here's KRUF meeting his Uncle Brian for the first time.

And meeting his Uncle Tom, also for the first time.

Sharing a chuckle with Uncle Albert.


What a handsome bunch of guys!

The happy family.

The trip was great, but it was exhausting (and not just for Kieran(!), although switching to a new environment every couple of days certainly took its toll on him.) We all felt like this after we got back, but the trip was definitely worth it. We look forward to seeing everyone again at Thanksgiving!

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Aunties are Coming, The Aunties are Coming!

Well, actually, a couple of the aunties were already here, but this title was much cuter. My sisters, Becky and Elizabeth, just left after almost a week-long visit. It was wonderful having them here; they helped me with KRUF and with organizing the house, hanging pictures, etc. I feel much more prepared for the upcoming school year to begin--which it will in just one short week! Kieran had TONS of fun with his aunts. They played with him and got him laughing (which he likes to do right now) good and hard. They also got to experience the awesomeness that was Kieran's first (and many subsequent) roll over(s)--from his belly to his back--but unfortunately I missed it! He's since done it a few dozen more times. (I got to see most of those.) All in all, the visit was great. Everyone had a great time, and I DEFINITELY miss them now that they're gone. Hopefully we'll have more visitors soon!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

We're Home!

Wow! It has been quite some time since we last posted on our blog. A lot has happened since then: we travelled back to Virginia for a wedding and to visit family; Kieran started drinking a bottle without a problem; he also began realizing that he could control his hand and make other objects move using it; he started laughing at various things; Kieran took his first shower, which he enjoys just as much as his baths and started taking naps in his crib(!); and shortly after our return from Virginia we moved from our apartment to our house!
We're really pleased to be moved in to our new house. It is just wonderful! It's all on one floor, so no stairs to worry about with our little guy who will be creeping along before we know it. David remarked when we moved in that this was going to be a really fun house to crawl around and explore in, and I have to agree with him. It's exciting to think that this may be the first home that Kieran will have memories of.
I was enamored with the house from the moment we saw it, and I couldn't wait until our move. Now that we're here, I don't regret our decision one iota. The neighborhood is peaceful and serene--a HUGE change from our former locale. There is a great park just a stone's throw away. David finally has a place to try out his green thumb; the balcony on our former place just didn't cut it. I finally have a kitchen that has enough storage for all of the gadgets and accessories I have. And, most importantly, there is now officially a baby's room with all of Kieran's things in it AND an office/guest room (read: we've put a futon in it). As we transition KRUF to his own bed, this last amentity will be incredibly useful.

Moving with a three month old was challenging, to say the least. When it came down to crunch time, David and I had to swap off moving and watching the little guy. I (with the help of several friends in the days leading up to the *big* moving day) moved pretty much everything besides the big pieces of furniture; David and some of his pals moved those things one sweltering Sunday. (The temperature was around 98 degrees, with a heat index in the mid-100's!) Although I swore the last time we moved that I would not be the one primarily responsible for moving the next time, that did not prove to be true. Next time is another story, however... To finish off tonight, I leave you with a picture of our new nirvana. Ciao until next time...I promise there won't be such a big gap between postings this time around!