Academic Leigh Speaking

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

Impending Snow January 22, 2016

As we wait for the snow event to come in, I thought I’d fill you in on some of our news.

Right now, Patrick and the older boys are setting up the winter deep-snow tent in the backyard. There’s no guarantee they’ll stay in it all night, but they’re planning to pretend they are out camping in the Alaskan wild. At the very least, it’s a fun activity for them. At the most, they’ll decide to camp on the decks of the ferries that make up the Alaskan Marine Highway, saving us the price of an additional cabin when we decide to make that trek in a few years.

I was hoping to get to more posts about Austin, but I don’t know that I will. The semester has started off very busy, especially since we didn’t get back from MLA until after the semester had already started. We ate at two Tex-Mex places (in one place the boys talked about how delicious the food was and asked why we can’t ever have food like that at home–it was beans and rice!–when we pointed out that we do, in fact, have that all the time, they were unimpressed). We stayed at an AirBnB for the first time, so we essentially rented someone’s guest cottage for a few nights. It made the trip a million times better for us. It was a bit cheaper than the conference hotel, but the real draw was that we weren’t going to wake anybody up if the kids were up early. We could cook for ourselves two meals a day, there was a washer/dryer, and all the space we could need. I would definitely do that again.

We finally cut Porter’s hair. He has the most hair of any of the kids. It still made me tear up a little, as it was so cute and he looks so different now. He scared himself, actually. After his haircut and bath, I held him in front of the mirror. As usually, I said, “Who’s that baby?” He looked at himself, started screeching and grabbing at his non-existent hair. I think he was wondering “Who is that baby, and why is my mama holding him?”

Before

Before

After

After

We’re still regularly working on getting Seamus to eat with a fork, but Porter has it down! He pitches a fit if everyone else is eating with a spoon or fork and he’s just got his hands. Here he’s taken down two bowls of applesauce on his own power.

I don’t know how long the snow means we’ll all be here together. I’ve put assignments for my students on-line, so we don’t lose the class time. I really can’t afford to lose class time in the run up to the baby’s arrival. We’re trying to keep them outside today, having as much fun as possible before we have to resort to inside activities.

Seamus and Porter bond over Mac'n'cheese.

Seamus and Porter bond over Mac’n’cheese.

Seamus and Gilbert love the cannons at the Alamo.

Seamus and Gilbert love the cannons at the Alamo.

Gilbert and Porter have fun at Zilker Botanical Garden.

Gilbert and Porter have fun at Zilker Botanical Garden.

 

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