Academic Leigh Speaking

A professor, four kids, and a crash course in work/life balance

Happy Thanksgiving November 29, 2013

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving full of fun, family, food, and just the right amount of nip in the air. I’m currently on my fourth day off after several weeks of 6 days of work to the tune of 10 hours a day. Argh. I needed a break.

We’ve had lots of fun. Thanksgiving was pretty low key; Patrick made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie. We tried a red cabbage and cranberry dish for the requisite red, and I made stuffing with bread Patrick had made two days ago. Roasted cauliflower rounded out our contribution to the meal.

The boys have been on a pretty significant pie-binge, but it’s made them happy. A couple of days ago, I was eating with friends and Gilbert when G announced to the group, “We’re vegetarians! That means we eat vegetables!” (this as he was about to dig into a cheese quesadilla). My friend asked him what is his favorite vegetable? “Apple” and his favorite fruit? “Pumpkin!” Well, there’s the pie influence. This was after a blustery cold day in which we went to the Japanese Information and Cultural Center’s Origami exhibit. (Very cool, but small–however, no big deal as it provided plenty of entertainment for an 8 month old, 2 year old, 3 year old, and three adults.)

Seamus and Gilbert have been dog-sitting. They really enjoy it, but in a sad twist of fate, the dogs were a little afraid of them at first. A few treats, feeding, quiet-walking, and petting has reversed the trend and now the dogs seem to cautiously enjoy them. Seamus informed me that dog-sitting is a little like baby-sitting, “like when other people come stay with me and Gilbert.” Seamus and I had a good day running errands on Tuesday. He didn’t really want to go, but when I agreed to race into and out of every destination with him, it seemed to work out.

As we go around the table to say what we’re thankful for, the boys continue to escalate the stakes.
First Round

Seamus: I’m thankful for my friends. Now you Dada.

Patrick: I’m thankful for Mama.

Gilbert: I’m thankful for Teddy.

Leigh: I’m thankful for my healthy family.

Second Round

Seamus: I’m thankful for my friends and family. That included Grandude, Grandma, Grandaddy, Granny, Nana, and PopPop.

Patrick: I’m thankful for my little boys who like to play T-Ball.

Gilbert: I’m thankful for Dada.

Leigh: I’m thankful for my job, my family, and this nice house we live in.

Third Round

More of the same. At the actual Thanksgiving dinner, the boys threw a monkey wrench into the machinery by whispering what they were thankful for to the person sitting next to them. Like all games of Telephone, it quickly devolved into a catastrophe of tears.

So. That’s what I’ve got. At least none of us were thankful for sweet potatoes. I have to admit, I’m thankful they took a nap yesterday so that I could rest some too.

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