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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Adding to the Entropy

It was another week of work and school, filled up with as many activities as we could muster.

Last Sunday, we put together a meal of chili cheese dogs for our feast, and ate them with tater tots. It wasn't the healthiest meal we've ever made, but it really hit the spot. We may need to make those more often.

Kira was feeling rather crummy, so she laid down for a nap and awoke feeling much better. We otherwise spent the day trying to keep the boys from their turf wars, but the weather sure hasn't cooperated much lately. At least Apollo got a walk, thanks to Avey.

Spooning on the Couch

Monday was not all that interesting. We got the kids to school and then I tried to hit work hard so that I could feel more caught up. We dropped Kira off at work in the evening and then picked Avey up from Drama Club. The boys were so bored for the 10 minutes we waited in the car: "Where is she?", "Is she coming?", "Why are we here?", and so on.

I got the boys fed and to bed, and then picked up Kira while Hannah was over.

Hannah's been dealing with some pests in her attic. She thought she'd heard scratching up there, but she wears earplugs at night, so it wasn't obvious. She finally borrowed a trap of mine, but then when she checked it there were just chew marks on the outside, making her wonder if it was something bigger than a mouse. She tried a couple of different traps, and finally had some success when she caught a deer mouse. She released it out in a large nature preserve, and then set the trap again to see if anyone else wanted to try their luck. Long story short, she's caught 4 mice so far...

Look at That Monster...

In any case, we finally made some progress on our plumbing situation, too. He called to say that he might have his guys come by on Tuesday, but then they never made it. They did eventually get here on Thursday, and this time they brought a methane detector. I was strangely glad that I could smell the stink pretty well that morning, hoping that would make it easier. They came and narrowed down the location, then cut a hole in the wall where they thought the problem was.

They found a bent area of the cast iron, so they are pretty sure that's the culprit. They took measurements and photos so that they could get the parts they need, and they said they'd have to come back to replace it in a few days. Luckily, they had a nice panel cover to put over the hole in the wall, and it happens to be behind a desk anyway. Let's hope that really is the problem!

The kids had dental appointments this week, so that was fun. Everyone came back cleared of cavities, although Carver has the beginnings of one, and he's got some teeth that need to get out of the way soon. Merritt had a bit of a rough time with his gag reflex - every time the hygienist turned on the vibrating brush, he'd gag. He also was very picky about the flavor of the toothpaste, but he survived the appointment somehow.

Wednesday was payday, so Hannah and I made our monthly run to Costco. It's the first time in a very long time that I didn't have to wait in line for gas! Kira got the kids started on their remote learning (every Wednesday), and when the Costco trip was done we all unloaded and fed them lunch. Hannah left to do her stuff, and I finally got working on my semester preparations for the day in the afternoon. The boys all bathed.

In the evening, Merritt thought he would explain to me his understanding of the criteria for when one needs to use toilet paper versus a baby wipe to clean up after a bowel movement. He was doing pretty well for about halfway through his sentence, but then he drifted off and couldn't remember what he was talking about. He looked at me and said, "Daddy, what did I say?" He was clearly ready for sleep.

Kira has been getting used to her new phone. Mostly everything is familiar, but there are a few features that she's not quite got the way she'd like, so she's spent some time on that this week. She's been very busy with Relief Society things seeming to take up most of her day every day, but at least others are willing to step in and help out. Poor Merritt still seems to be bored out of his mind once the older boys leave for school.

Thursday, while Kira was with two of the kids at the dentist, Merritt was practicing writing his letters. He was doing very well going through all of the names in the family, and then he came to me, throwing him for a loop. He asked my name, and I tried to clarify if he wanted to write "Daddy" or my real name. He said he wanted my name that people call me, so I told him "Elijah." He didn't approve of that at all, and said that it was a girl's name. I took the criticism, and then suggested that he could write "Eli" instead. He liked that just fine.

With the stupid weather, we've had some trouble finding things to do. Luckily, Hakan likes to think outside of the box, so one day this week he decided that he would like to try breaking boards with his hands. I have a nice pile of scraps, so I let him go at it over a couple of cinder blocks. He quickly saw the challenges of using his hands (wood is not very soft), so he opted to use his feet instead.

Friday was especially weird weather. It would be snow flurries for several minutes, and then sunshine, and it went back and forth for most of the day, never really accumulating into anything. In any case, I got my courses pretty much set up, although I still have a few things to do. Kira went to pick up the neighbor girl we sometimes watch for a while before her mom or soon-to-be-step-dad can come be with her. The boys had lots of fun running around the house playing games with her. Merritt was really in a mood, too. We first played hide-and-seek, where he tells me exactly where to hide when he's the seeker, or he tells me exactly where to look and what to say if I'm the seeker. He then played his favorite card game, Slapzi, with me. We then did a pillow fight, and then played duck-duck-goose. Even after all of that, he didn't fall asleep right away. I'd love to have some of that energy.

Tattoo Idea?

On Saturday we awoke to about an inch of snow. We quickly made plans to go sledding, although we weren't sure if we should let Avey sleep or give her more notice about the plan. She opted to stay home alone, so I walked Apollo around while Kira helped the boys.

It was a little slushy, but they sure had a good time.

We spent the afternoon getting kids bathed and cleaning up the house. I scrubbed our bathtub like never before, and it looks better than I've ever seen it, I think. Kira also cleaned some of the bathrooms and got the boys' snow gear all set up to dry out. I vacuumed the stairs (long overdue), and then Avey did the dinner routine while Kira and I went on a late-afternoon date, getting burgers and watching the waves at the lake. We came home for bedtime, and then watched a movie with Hannah before going to bed too late. Hakan's new mini-drone replacement arrived in the mail, so we tested that out before bedtime and it's working so far, anyway. I'm glad it was an easy process to replace it.

We have a little more snow today, but it just can't seem to make up its mind on whether to be ice or water, so that it's not worth much. I'm sure Hakan will find a way to get soaked and muddy, though.

The kids get tomorrow off for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I start my classes on Tuesday, though most of them are Thursdays this semester. Let's see if we can make this week any more hectic than the last!

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