Our Feisty Fisks

Raising the female population of Indiana one child at a time

Web www.avafisk.blogspot.com

Saturday, May 24, 2008

No. 1 times 2

Since I'm home with Ava and Doni will be home with her all summer, we decided this would be the perfect time to re-kickstart Ava's potty training. Apparently when Doni was a toddler she was a potty training prodigy. They put her in panties and after the first time she peed in them she was trained. We were hoping for the same good luck with Ava.

Ava and I went to pick up some panties at Wal-Mart after Doni went to work yesterday morning. I felt like a pervert looking through the choices of toddler panties on the rack. I'm glad Ava was with me or people might have called security. There were Dora panties. There were "no ride-up" panties. Three-packs, four-packs, and six-packs. Tagless and tagged. Do we really need that many choices for an article of clothing that few people are going to see? We settled on a variety six-pack of the tagless type. I went through the self checkout because I wasn't about to hand my one item to a cashier. A guy has to maintain some level of pride.

When we got home I changed her out of her diaper and into her panties. I went to put her skort back on and she said, "No!" She gave me a look like, "Can't you see I already have bottoms on?" Apparently anything other than a diaper qualifies as bottoms. Eventually she agreed to put on a pair of shorts.

We went out into the living room and she started playing. She hadn't even had the panties on five minutes when she stopped cold, looked to me for help, and said, "Oh no!" I saw streams of urine dripping down both legs and puddling on the carpet. Oh no indeed, Ava. I picked her up, holding her away from my body, and took her to the bathroom. By the time she sat on the toilet it was too late. She had already finished. I thought maybe, just maybe, Ava's 23 chromosomes from Doni would kick in.

She suited up with a new pair of panties and shorts. Back to playtime. Thirty minutes later we entered round two in the potty training tournament. It was like deja vu (all over again). She was playing normally, froze with her legs spread, looked to Dad, and said, "Oh no!" By this time she was getting tired, so she didn't handle it as well as the first time. She cried as I took her to the bathroom. She cried as I pulled her shorts and panties down. She cried as I placed her on the toilet. She continued crying as she sat on the toilet. I went to my old standby where I get on my knees and hug her as she sits on the toilet. No go. She wanted off that toilet.

Figuring two tries in one day was good enough, I diapered her up and asked if she wanted to go night-night (code for anytime she goes to sleep). Usually she'll come right out and tell us if she's nap ready. Other times, like this time, she'll deny it to the end. I laid her in her crib despite her pleas to the contrary. Thirty seconds later she was as quiet as a church mouse. Another slam dunk for father's intuition.


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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Backyardigans Live!

(That's Backyardigans Live as in happening right now, not pre-recorded.)

Yesterday we went to see Backyardigans Live. This was one of Ava's birthday presents that has been drawn out over the last three weeks. Ava didn't care that she had to wait because she apparently has no concept of time. You ask, "Do you want to see the Backyardigans in three weeks?" She starts looking for the nearest TV.

Personally, I see something wrong with having to buy three tickets when Ava is the only one of us that is the target audience. Doni, however, was looking forward to it as well, so I guess it made sense for her to buy a ticket. Me? I'm more annoyed by the Backyardigans. Four characters are animals. The fifth character is an unknown species named Uniqua. What kind of name is Uniqua? Get outta' here! I secretly was looking forward to it, though, for the sole reason that I knew Ava would enjoy it.

Before the show started there were ushers reminding (read: dictating) that photography was not allowed after the show started. I had to get Ava's reaction though, so I palmed our camera and set it to record video of her and Doni when the show started. My hand blocked the glow from the LCD screen so the camera nazis wouldn't be tipped off to my clandestine videography.

For twenty minutes before the show started they had been playing bits and pieces of the Backyardigans theme song. Just when you thought it was ramping up into the full-blown song with vocals they would bring it back down to its bare bones bass track. Ava picked out the remnants of the theme song despite the craziness of hundreds of youngin's and the noise they make. She has hearing like a rabbit. Seriously! When we're at home and the first note of the Backyardigans theme song falls, she flips out. She runs into the living room and makes laps around the coffee table screaming at the top of her lungs. We're talking late 80's - early 90's New Kids on the Block hysteria. (Note: NKOTB were on the Today show the other day and Doni was NOT impressed.)

With the teaser music coming in and out Ava was on the edge of her seat. She scanned the theater like a meerkat scanning for predators. I could imagine her thinking, "I don't know what's going on, but I think I like it." So there I was, camera poised in hand, waiting for the start of the show. After a couple of jesters with trumpets came out to remind us to shut off our cellphones the show started. "She is going to explode with glee," I thought.

The tension built. The theme song came in full strength! The characters came on stage! The room was alive! Ava... was entranced. Instead of a massacre of childish joy, she went straight into a Backyardigans coma. Usually that only happens after her screaming and coffee table laps during the theme song. Maybe it was because the characters had human faces. Maybe it was because they were there in real life 40 feet away from her. Maybe it was because the voices weren't the same voices as the characters on TV. Whatever it was, she was caught off guard enough that she went straight to coma.

Personally, my favorite moment was when Ava sneezed and a six inch booger was dangling from her nose. She didn't know what to do. Doni was scrambling to hold Ava's hands to she wouldn't wipe it all over the place. I was scrambling to get the tissues out of Doni's purse. There was definitely excitement in our row.

The show ended with nearly all of the audience singing the theme song loud and proud. I just shook my head as I watched adult after adult give in to peer pressure and belt along with the kids. It was a sad moment for the human race.

On the way home Ava sat quietly in her car seat with a big smile on her face. We like to think she was remembering all the fun she had at the show.


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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Two Thoughts

1. It's a good thing that in real life she looks like her mom instead of me.
2. If I had her face, I'd REALLY look like I was balding.

Inspired by www.manbabies.com


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bond. Ava Bond.

Now that I'm done with medical school I've got some good quality time I can spend with Ava all day every day. She wakes up - I'm here. She goes to bed - I'm here. She takes a poop - Dang - I'm here. Most of the time during medical school I was able to schedule my rotations such that I wouldn't have to spend too many evenings or weekends away from home, but there were times that I had to do those things. Some days she would still be sleeping when I left and down for the night when I got home. Those days sucked. Unfortunately there are sure to be more of those days in my future. Let's just hope I can keep them to a minimum.

It worked out well that I was off last week because Ava wasn't feeling too well. Doni got a bug at school which she passed along to Ava a couple of days later. As these things are prone to do, I picked it up another couple of days later. We are a sharing family if you cannot tell.

After having a runny nose and coughing for a few days Ava started to wheeze. It was perfect timing really. Not only did she start to wheeze on the weekend, but she started to wheeze on Saturday night. She must have conveniently planned this because our doctor's office only has open hours for walk-ins on Saturday mornings. NO APPOINTMENT FOR YOU! (ala the "Soup Nazi"). I ended up calling the doctor that was on-call for Ava's doctor that night. I have worked with him before as part of my family medicine rotation, but I'm not sure if he remembered me. Regardless, he phoned in a prescription for a nebulizer and some meds.

I went to pick up her prescriptions around 9PM (everyone's favorite time to go to the pharmacy). We have had to give her nebulizer treatments before (see post "When it Rains it Pours"), but that time we rented a nebulizer instead of purchasing one. Our reasoning was that the price difference was about $70 and her need for treatments was probably just a one-time deal. We were wrong. This time I was planning on ponying up the extra money to actually purchase the nebulizer machine. I figured that, if she needed treatments twice, she was much more likely to need them in the future. Turns out the nebulizer at this pharmacy was just over $200. Rental? Yeah, they carry those, but they're all out. There goes Ava's portion of the economic stimulus package.

The next week Ava was doing better. She still wasn't feeling well, but at least she wasn't wheezing. One day, forty-five minutes after laying her down for her afternoon nap, she woke up. Forty-five minutes? Really Ava? I can barely get to sleep in forty-five minutes when I lay down for a nap. Peeking in on her, it looked like she was having trouble breathing through her nose from her congestion. I picked her up and started rocking with her in her rocking chair. No go, she was just too squirmy. Plan B: The couch.

I'm not sure what I was expecting when I took her into the living room to lay on the couch with me. She has never fallen asleep on our couch and we have never even tried it for her before as a nap location. The living room is where she comes AFTER her nap, not during. But maybe, just maybe she'd fall asleep laying next to her daddy (you're only fooling yourself when you think this).

I laid on my back with her on my chest, facing me. My goal was optimal nasal drainage and breathing ease, even if it meant snot on my shirt. No go. Next, I laid her on her back next to me while I laid across the front of the couch so she couldn't fall off. I told her, "It's time to go night-night. Go to sleep," closing my eyes so she'd get the clue. It seemed to be working because she laid down quietly and covered her eyes with her hands.

She rolled over onto her stomach and adjusted herself a few times. Peeking out from my barely open eyelids, I could see that she wasn't just getting comfortable, she was moving further and further from my head towards my feet. She would move, then stop. Hold it, then move, then stop. Ava was pulling a James Bond in trying to sneak away while I slept! I decided to go along with it to see how this would play out. Eventually she got more brave and sat up with her hands still covering her eyes, peeking out from between her fingers. If I were to "wake up", I wouldn't be able to see her eyes clearly and thus not be able to tell that she wasn't asleep. Clearly, the diabolical mind of a two-year-old.

Eventually she got brave enough that she let her hands down. Deciding to "catch" her, I stirred a little bit, slowly opened my eyes the rest of the way, and quietly told her to go to sleep. Caught, she covered her eyes and laid down. I "went to sleep" and thirty seconds later she was back making her clandestine movements.

She never did fall back asleep that afternoon. She played me. I played her. We played with each other. It's good to be home to play.


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Monday, May 05, 2008


Doni, Ava, and I saw a couple of houses on Saturday. The second house we went to is an inventory home that is nearly completed by the builder. We had seen this same house once before several weeks ago. After they finish painting a couple of things and give it a good top-to-bottom cleaning, it'll be finished. Oh yeah, the entire yard also needs to be sodded. Rock-filled dirt might cut it in the winter, but not when it is 70-some degrees out in May. Doni and I REALLY liked this house. This was the first house that we've looked at in 6 months that we both REALLY liked. Ava REALLY liked the "yard". She's been playing in the dirt next to our driveway from when we had our water line repaired. Not exactly good, clean fun, but good fun nonetheless. We went with our realtors (they're a team) to ask the guy in the front office some questions, but he was out momentarily. Ava was getting to be hard to wrangle since we were cutting into her nap time, so it worked out well that he wasn't there.

Our realtors went back over later that afternoon and talked to the builder's representative. Little did we know how crazy of a day this would become. After they finished talking with the representative, they gave me a call to fill me in. It turns out our realtors were able to negotiate several scenarios. In the most attractive scenario they would give us a $20,000 price break on the house, a competitive interest rate locked in for 60 days (they were specific about the exact interest rate, but I'm not going to be here), and they would cover closing costs. Tempting enough for you? The problem: They would not accept an offer that was contingent on us selling our house. Oh yeah, and they required a nearly 2% deposit that was non-refundable if we didn't close within 60 days.

Our house has been on the market for 6 months and we haven't even had an offer yet. In this scenario we would need to receive and accept an offer in 30-40 days so that we could close on our current house in time to close on our future house. If we chose to take up the builder on his offer, our realtors were willing to commit two of the three of them to intensively marketing our home and finding buyers. They were extremely confident that they could get this done. Given the scenario, we would need to consider how low of an offer we would accept. We would need to get back with them by the next day or risk losing the interest rate we were quoted when the markets opened on Monday.

Bring on the headaches. That night I took maximum does of ibuprofen and tylenol for my raging tension headache. Doni took some as well. Initially I was more resistant to the idea than she was. Doni wants to get out of our current house. It has worked well for us for four years, but the size of the house and the neighborhood are getting on her nerves. We talked about the scenario throughout the evening. After determining how low of an offer we would accept under this scenario I began to warm up to the idea more. If we were offered the lowest amount we were willing to accept for our current house, we would be losing a significant amount of money in equity. However, when the housing market rebounds the value of our new house would increase significantly (we were offered a $20,000 discount). Needless to say, that $20,000 would easily eclipse whatever we would potentially lose in selling our current house.

Let's take a look at the worst-case scenario. We get to the end of 60 days, haven't had an offer we can accept, and have no buyers that seem interested (thus there wouldn't be any reason to negotiate an extension of our offer at the new house). In this case we would need to walk away from our offer, losing our deposit. Ouch. However, it turns out that the amount we would lose if we had to back out of our offer is not that far removed for the amount of equity we would lose if we sold our house at the lowest amount we would accept. It is in fact less. This was one of the major things that began to change my mind.

We continued to think, discuss, and, most importantly, pray about this scenario over the evening and the next morning. Most times I sense that there is a specific way that God is directing me when it comes to decision making. These are the easy decisions. Sometimes, however, I feel like I don't have a clear picture of his intent. Maybe I'm "blinded" in these situations because I'm emotionally involved. I read somewhere that when God's will isn't clear, you sometimes need to make a decision and start moving in that direction. His will can become more clear through the process and your decision will either be affirmed or not. Personally, I got to the point where I had to say, "God, I don't know what your will is, but I'm mentally deciding to go through with this. If it is not your will, please make that clear to me before we have to make it final." From this point on I felt better and better about going forward with purchasing the house. We went to church the next morning and Doni and I both felt like this was the direction with God's blessing.

That afternoon we went to the builder's office and filled out the pages and pages of paperwork with our initials and signatures. After we finished, we walked through the house and pulled the "For Sale" sign out of the ground. It feels good.

Are we taking a risk? Absolutely. But we would be taking a risk by not going through with this as well. In 60 days I will have started residency and will be on call at the hospital every 5th night. Between now and then I basically have a two month vacation. NOW is the time to move. NOW is the time to get things done.

I believe that God's will is the best possible way for me to live. Sometimes I don't like it in the short-run, but I am never disappointed when the smoke clears. I believe that it was God's will that we went forward with this. Even if we get to the end of 60 days and have to walk away, I will still believe this. I know that, if that happens, I will have learned something and be stronger because of it. In God's will there is no endeavor that is not worthwhile.

We appreciate your prayers in this exciting and stressful time in our lives.

"The hardest part of the journey is the first step." - Anonymous


  • At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Allison said…

    Good luck!!! The market's not so great right now, but your house really is nice and its in a good area. I think you'll be fine.

    Now I want to see your NEW house!

    I'll be thinking about and praying for you guys! See you this weekend!

  • At 11:10 AM, Blogger The Tappan Family said…

    Wow!! I almost got a headache myself, just reading all of that! I sincerely hope and pray it all works out for you guys!!

  • At 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    whoa....that sounds stressful!
    we'll be praying for you guys. give ava our love...sorry we weren't able to make it for her birthday party :( the pictures look like you guys had fun!



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Friday, May 02, 2008

Birthday Pictures

To Blow or Not To Blow
Originally uploaded by Ava's Antics
I've uploaded some pictures from Ava's birthday onto Flickr. Click on the picture for more.


  • At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Cori said…

    Happy Birthday Ava! The cake was huge! Looks like it was fun. Sorry we couldn't come, but we WILL see you for the graduation! I'm also sorry I planned to comment ON her birthday, but then got super busy and... dun dun dun... forgot! AHH.


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