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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Updated: Jan 30

We've mostly just kept our heads above water this week after Isaac left again and a cold has made its way through the house.

Last Sunday we had our special meal when everyone was back from church (Korean BBQ). We all just sort of hung out for a bit after that. Merritt wanted to then "help me" with a video game that he and I have been playing. He started it before me and has more time to play, so he's farther ahead. It just tickles him endlessly that he knows more about the game than I do, and so I think he likes to feel like the expert. Anyway, I obliged him and started playing the game, and then he spent the whole time telling me how to do the most basic controls and getting in front of the screen to block my view. Needless to say, I make a lot more progress on the game when he's not helping me, but I'm glad he feels like he's making a difference, and I want to encourage the helping attitude.

All of the boys bathed because we'd missed it the day before at the aquarium. We had a family night where we worked on setting our new goals for the year and reviewing how we did on our goals from 2022. We also spent some time remembering Kira's late dad for his birthday. We then ate dinner and played some games. Isaac had his usual game scheduled with some friends over the internet, so he went to do that while Hannah, Avey, Kira, and I played some card games before our bedtimes.

There was no school on Monday (teacher work day), and so Kira and I slept in. I took care of the kiddos while Kira got ready for work. I had a lot of grading to do from over the weekend, but got that taken care of and tried to keep the kids occupied. The weather was not inviting, and so none of the kids wanted to go outside. Jesse and Merritt had some good buddy time, at least, and Avey took the dog on a walk.

Hannah was able to break away from her office job around 3:30 p.m., and then came over to hang with Isaac and dote on Apollo. I baked two batches of brownies (one gluten-free), and then it was dinner and dishes and bedtime/school preparations. Kira was home just before bedtime and we watched a little TV before early bed for school the next day.

Jesse was up during the night with a sore throat, and so he stayed home on Tuesday. I was up earlier than my alarm, and then had a long day in the city. It was a good day, though, because on the elevator to one of my courses a student I had never seen before asked me, "Are you Professor Ricks?" I said that I am, and he told me that he took one of my online courses a couple of years before and that it was his favorite class. That was a nice little boost for the rest of the day.

I caught the first train I could after my last course and then picked up a prescription at the store before coming home for dinner time. Kira made everyone salmon burgers and then we had a typical evening, except for the nightmare that is my new heated mattress pad... For Christmas last year, I bought a heated mattress pad for our new bed. We tried it out Christmas night, and it has been so wonderful that I am not sure I can ever go back. But about a week ago now, my side stopped working at all. It flashes an error code when I try to use it. Kira's side works just fine, naturally. I tried all of the troubleshooting that the company recommends, and nothing worked, so I had to start the awful journey of working with their customer service. Anyway, they requested the receipt at one point, and so I tore the house apart Tuesday night looking for it. I was quite certain that I did not throw it away for exactly this reason, but I just cannot seem to find it in the places we keep our receipts. Anyway, that took up a good long time. I ultimately just told them that I can't seem to find it, but I know exactly where and what day I bought it. They asked me to send some other photos and so I did and am now waiting to see what they'll do.

Anyway, the weather was supposed to get bad that night, with snow starting early the next morning and not stopping all day. The teachers sent home backup plans in case of an e-learning day (where all their assignments are online), and some of the teachers even said to be prepared for such an event. But when Wednesday morning came, school was still on. Carver was banking on school being cancelled. When we came downstairs, he hadn't gotten dressed or bothered making his lunch. He reacted to the news that school was still on like we had just told him that Christmas was cancelled and we would have to spend the day at church instead. He was crushed, the poor guy. Jesse was feeling better enough that he went back to school. They were off, and I drove Avey to school. The roads were a little sketchy, but it was supposed to warm up a little by midday and then the roads were just wet.

It was also the day that Isaac was to ditch us, and so he kept a close eye on his flight. It first got delayed a little, and there was a gate change, but it was still on. Hannah came over for a little to hang out before I drove him to the airport. The roads were fine and the traffic was relatively light, so we were there in no time, and then by the time I was home his flight was delayed for another couple of hours... He did eventually get to his destination safely, albeit later than he had planned.

Just as he and I were leaving for the airport, the snow plow was coming up our street. I swear on my life that I saw the plow hit my mailbox this time, but luckily it just wobbled and didn't actually crack. I hope that the reinforcement I put on this one helped, but now I am worried that it is just a matter of time until another maniac plow driver runs down my poor, innocent mailbox. I think at the next snow, I will camp out and video the snow plow coming by.

Jesse Sandwiched Into the Folded Cot

I was home from the airport pretty quickly and then did work before the bus came. It was then showers and homework before the rest of the night routine. Nearing the evening, I could really feel the symptoms of the cold that was making its way through the house. They were relatively mild, but definitely there. I went to bed nervous about how the night would go before another long day in the city.

Thursday morning was rough - I didn't think I'd make it through the day, but things went pretty well. I caught the early train home again and then collapsed on the couch. Kira had stocked up our groceries and she did the trashes. When I pulled into the driveway, there were about 6 boys in the front yard playing in the snow. We had some neighbor kids having a blast with our boys in some game. At times we worried that things were getting out of hand, but they assured us it was all in fun. Carver and Jesse both said how much fun they had had, and so we were glad they got to do it, even if it meant later homework and bedtime. Kira then took Avey to another store just so Avey could get out. I fed two of the boys dinner and then Kira fed the other one when she was home. Hannah stayed at home due to the cold.

Friday morning Kira got up before the alarm, and then I got up a little later and saw the boys off. I felt much better from my cold symptoms, feeling through the worst of it. I worked while Kira visited the younger boys at their school for lunch. There was heavy snow that day for a little while, but not much sticking on the roads. When Jesse came home we learned that he and his girlfriend are now just friends. He did not want to talk about it much, so we are having trouble getting the details, but it seems like she just thinks they are too young to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Of course, nothing is really changing about how they interact, but Jesse still really likes the labels of boyfriend and girlfriend, and he is especially bothered that he won't get to give her the Valentine's gift he made her (the pillowcase). I reminded him that she was the one who wanted to be an item last time after she had broken things off before, so who knows what might happen in the future?

Jesse wanted to recreate the snow play from the day before, but because Carver was ill, the other kids' parents decided not to risk it. We just made it a dull afternoon and evening inside. I dropped Avey off downtown to hang with friends and then took Apollo over to Hannah's house where she told me her big news of the day - she is no longer working her office job. Things had worked out so that she could stop working there earlier than she had thought, and so she told me how it had gone down. She's very relieved to be done there, as it was just too stressful, and so she's glad to have the extra time to dedicate toward other things in between the bus driving. She had the temple the next morning, so she stayed home. Avey, Kira, and I watched a movie after the boys were in bed.

It's still snowy outside, so we may try sledding today, on top of everything else. Carver is feeling cold symptoms again, so he may be down for another day. It's going to be a cold week if the forecast is worth anything, so let's hope we don't all go mad with cabin fever...

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