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!

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