While Sharayah was helping me think up topics to write about, of course one of the things that came up was the short time until I'll be a father and the things we're doing in the next couple months to prepare. Then, for some reason, this exchange happened:

Sharayah: I give you permission for your first words to him to be "I am your father."
Me: But I think he says that after having just cut off his hand...
Sharayah: Well, just say it after you cut his umbilical cord.

I don't really know what to do with that, but it seemed like the world should know.

Editor's note: I didn't ask for permission to say that. Neither of us are Star Wars fans. I'm not sure why she even came up with that. Spoiler alert: I probably won't say it.

Back to the topic of preparing for the baby. We've been trying to make sure we get everything we're going to need. Sometimes it's hard to know if you have everything. We've made lists and tried to keep track, but of course we'll get home with the baby and think, "How in the world do we not have X? It's so obvious we should have bought that. What were we thinking?" It's inevitable. But still, it seems like we've got most everything covered. Things purchased online are going to start coming in during the next few weeks, which should be exciting. The baby's room is pretty much done. Things are coming together nicely.

Things have also been moving along with my research. By the end of summer I'll probably have submitted two more papers, bringing the total to three. I've been working on two different problems with two groups of people, and it's been hectic at times but also kind of nice. When I get stuck on one problem, I just go to the other for a while. I'm really proud of these two much more than the first one. I think I was a much more important part of the work on them, as opposed to the first paper, which I think would have gotten written just fine without me.

Now I'm in the home stretch of my quest for a PhD. At this point, I have enough research done to finish. From here, it's just a matter of how much research I can do before I have to call it and start putting it together as a dissertation. It's been a long, very difficult road, but the end is in sight. Just in time, too, since apparently I'm almost a dad.

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