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  • Elijah Ricks

All Wet

After a week like this one, we're sort of looking forward to school starting up next month...


Sunday afternoon, Hakan was playing with neighbor kids from two different houses, and the ones who just got a big pool installed invited everyone to go swimming with them. Hakan was so excited, but it was Sunday, and we are quite concerned about him swimming in a pool where he can barely reach the bottom (he's a confident swimmer, but lacks just enough ability for us to be comfortable). Kira and I both felt like it wasn't a good idea, but Kira needed a nap badly, so she left me in charge. I could see in his face that he wanted to swim more than he wanted air, so I checked with the neighbors' mom that she would watch. She used to be a lifeguard, too, so I relented and he had a great time.


Carver was a great big brother and offered to go on a bike ride with Merritt. I was a little nervous about that, because Carver is faster than Merritt, and I worried what might happen if there were a crisis. Still, I figured it would be a good chance for them to see what they can do on their own. I waited on the driveway, keeping an eye out. Of course, when they came around the corner, Merritt was in tears, absolutely livid about something. It was not a cry of "I'm in physical pain," thankfully. It turns out that Merritt was fuming at Carver because he did not do a countdown for their "race" up the hill, that Carver surely would let Merritt win anyway. That kid needs everything to be according to his will - he'll make a brilliant dictator some day.

A little later, just to shake things up, I took Merritt and Avey to the library, picking up some Where's Waldo books to occupy Hakan as he's fighting sleep in bed each night. We then came home to do dinner and have a family lesson and activity before bed. Hannah had two dogs she was sitting this week, so that kept her plenty busy. Hakan and Merritt tried out a new idea on the trampoline - dodging bubbles. They turn on this bubble maker we've had for a long time, and then they pretend the bubbles are bullets moving in slow motion, so they need to dodge them. They've played it a lot this week.

Monday began Hakan's week of day camp at the Indiana Dunes National Park (about 5 minutes away). Carver started that tradition when we moved here, and Hakan started joining as soon as he was old enough last year. He and Carver are now in separate age groups, so Carver starts next week. We got up early to get him ready and go pick up Merritt's older friend (who is Hakan's age) to take him, too. I took them while Kira got ready for work. While she left for her morning client, I cut the grass, then did my day job and kept the other kids from world domination. Kira brought Hakan home after her morning client, and he reported a great time. We told our new neighbors about the program, so their kids are also in the camp - meaning Hakan already knows nearly half of the kids there, and is already Mr. Popular.

In the afternoon, I got the dressers we brought from Colorado in their new rooms, and then it took some time to get the boys to move all of their stuff to the new ones. I pushed the boys on the big swing in the neighbor's yard. Avey started her week of cat-sitting for the neighbors, which was not much work, as their sick cat passed on not too long ago. I also set up an Alexa device that we inherited from my mom on our trip. We've had some fun with it, and I'm glad to find that I use it more often than I thought I would.

Tuesday started off on the wrong foot as I awoke to our door alarm. Merritt decided it would be a good early morning activity to go jump on the trampoline at 7. It was just a little before the alarm, so I don't know why it was so hard on me, but I was drained of energy all day. Anyway, I got Hakan ready for camp again and took him and Merritt's friend. Then I made a quick run for a few groceries before coming home to do my day job. While driving, the emergency brake light kept coming on and then turning off after a few seconds. I worried a little about it, and then just filled the brake fluid with some that I'd had in the garage for forever. Problem solved. Kira made it her project for the day to find where to put our fancy dinner plates we brought back from Colorado. They were a wedding gift, but we kept them in storage, knowing that they'd just get chipped and broken in our cramped apartments and with our little kids. Now we're going for it. Anyway, she got that all arranged. I took a rare nap in the afternoon so that I could feel slightly less homicidal the rest of the day. It worked.


Carver tried out a new thing - riding his bike to his best friend's house. He lives just about 2 minutes away by car, but he lives along a much busier road than ours, and there are no sidewalks or lanes for bikes, so he's been unable to just go over by himself all this time. He finally tried riding half of the way until he gets to the busy street, and then walking along the side of the road in the grass. He survived the trip, and then came home after they invited him to swim in their pool, having a great time.


That night, Kira and I decided to try a rare date. Avey was willing (for a price) to babysit, so we went to try out a local restaurant we often pass. It was good, and then we went to the movie theater to see the new Marvel movie, Black Widow. It was really enjoyable, and especially nice to see in the theater after such a long time.


Merritt woke us up again on Wednesday, but Kira took care of him, letting me sleep. She then took Hakan to camp. I decided that I should use some time in the morning to take our vacuum to a repair place. For a while, the brush has not been turning. I cleaned it out thoroughly, but it still wouldn't turn. The repair guy didn't even look at it, and said it was the clutch, which would be $200 to repair. He also wouldn't recommend it, because our vacuum is very old (we bought it refurbished when we were first married). I brought it back home, not sure what to do. Kira and I talked about it, and decided that I would try to repair it myself, so that we could have a working vacuum on hand, but we also wanted to try out a robot vacuum (so that the vacuuming would actually get done every once in a while). So I ordered a clutch and found the robot vacuum we wanted for $200 cheaper than the list price, and still brand new. The clutch came yesterday, so I replaced it with no small amount of effort.

When I first tested the vacuum, it still didn't work, almost crushing me. I tried it a little later after standing up the vacuum, and it totally worked then, so I went to bed feeling pretty good about myself. I even vacuumed our rugs today, just to show them who's in charge.


Our robot vacuum is on the way, so let's hope Apollo doesn't destroy it the first day.


Anyway, so on Tuesday, Kira took the boys with her to pick up Hakan so that they could hike around a little before they got him. When they were all home, we did lunch. Hannah thought it could be fun to get the dogs she was sitting out to socialize a little, so we arranged to go to the dog park. One of the dogs simply cannot be near strange people or dogs or she will murder them, so Hannah first dropped off the calmer dog with us, and we loaded up the boys to go. We also invited Carver's best friend and his younger brother (Merritt's friend who is Hakan's age). It was a full car going to the dog park, but they had a great time. The anxious dog didn't murder anyone, and at least got worn out playing fetch. Avey was very popular with the little dogs:

Hannah took the anxious dog home, and the rest of us all came back to our house, where the boys played for about an hour and Apollo kept a close eye on the other dog. It was so nice to have weather near 70 degrees, making it very pleasant for an outside day.


With the weather so nice, I trimmed Avey's hair on our back patio. She's wanted it touched up for a few days now, and finally thought that she could trust me to not totally destroy it.

I think I did pretty darn well, and she didn't immediately burst into tears and shout "My life is over!" so I'll call that a win.


Thursday was the standard morning of getting Hakan to camp, and then we were invited to those same boys' house to swim in their pool in the afternoon. All of the kids wanted to go, of course, but Kira already had an appointment arranged to visit the bedridden sister in the branch, so I was the designated supervisor at the pool. The kids had a really good time, but Hakan got lots of mosquito bites when he went to play in their forest area without his shirt on.

Lesson learned, we hope. Kira picked us up after a while. I took Avey to get her glasses adjusted, and Hakan earned some money by emptying all of the trash in the house. Kira was on the phone with her mom for the evening, so Hannah, Avey, and I watched some TV without her.

Kira was up with kids during the night. Hakan's mosquito bites were keeping him awake in the middle of the night. She was very tired the next morning, so I let her sleep while I got Hakan fed and off to camp. Friday was beach day at the camp, and families are invited to join them there. We still hadn't been this summer, so we all got ready and went. We had a good time, although the water was cooler than we'd hoped, and I spent most of the time keeping Apollo out of everyone's stuff. After we'd been there for a while, it started raining a little, and then it started pouring! We were fully drenched in just a few seconds, and so we gathered everything up and took it to the car, fully soaking it and everything in it. It was an adventure. We then took Hakan to his camp where we all sat, soaked and cold, looking at their picture presentation from their activities. It was then time to go home and start the long process of cleaning ourselves up from the sand and sunscreen, and letting the car dry out.

Saturday, Kira and I slept in very late, after not needing to get up with an alarm finally. I got some laundry started, and then Hannah came to pick up Avey and me. We went to see a movie, A Quiet Place: Part Two at the theater, after picking up some lunch. That was a nice way to break up my normal Saturday of being in charge of the kids while Kira takes the car to do stuff for her calling. In the late afternoon, I used some old glass jars to make candles, although it was my first time, and so it was a small disaster. The wax did not pour well from the pot, so it got everywhere. Still, they turned out okay. I also cleaned Hakan's fish tank and then fixed he vacuum while we watched a movie.


This next week is Carver's camp, and it's twice as many hours in the day. That should keep him away from the screen, at least. Otherwise, my class is over on Monday, so I have lots of grading to do, and then I get to focus on preparation for the fall semester. We got the kids all registered for school, and paid their fees, so now we need to get Merritt used to the idea of making huge changes to his routine...

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