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  • Elijah Ricks

Before & After

We again found ways to squeeze every last drop of crazy out of this week so that there was none left for any of you. We had some big rain early on, and so that kept us walled in a bit, and then it also caused the grass to grow faster than usual, so that I mowed twice in the week just to keep it in check.

I offered Avey the regular chore of doing the line trimming all around the edges where our riding mower can't get, including all along the fence and in between the bushes. She caught on quickly and has now done it twice, too. It'll be nice to have a partner in yardwork!


Tuesday was Hakan's long-awaited birthday. He was so excited that I worried he wouldn't sleep the night before. Kira was gone that night, so I put him to bed, and explained how the morning would come faster if he fell asleep right away, and so he put up less of a fight in going to bed. He awoke to find his balloon and presents all lined up, and could hardly believe that the day had finally come. I had to do a phone call in the morning and then work on my list of day-job tasks while Kira and Avey got his cupcakes ready. We did those and his presents in the afternoon, and he seems to have gotten everything his little heart has ever wanted.

Aside from a birthday, we had other big things happen this week. Apollo has been acting strangely for a few days now. Hannah let him out one morning and when he came back inside, it seemed that his legs buckled underneath him. He hasn't seemed to have any more trouble with his legs, but he has definitely had decreased appetite and is acting more lethargic. We figure we'll take him in tomorrow to see if there's something up.


Avey also made a big change this week, as she finally got her hair cut. She's not had one in about as long as I can remember, aside from a very small trim of the ends a while ago. This time, she decided to do something more dramatic. She found an image of what she liked and Kira took her in to an open haircut place. Here's the before and after:

She seems quite pleased with the result, and I dare say I've noticed a little more confidence in her stride. We were able to show one of her school friends the cut when we met him at a park yesterday, and she nearly gave our neighbor a heart attack when she went to show her.


The weather has been gorgeous for a couple of days now, so we ventured out to a park yesterday. The playground was still closed off, but we could hang out in the grass and use the basketball hoops and such. We also took one of Hakan's presents, a water rocket, which has been fun for the whole family. Here he is enjoying it in our backyard:

We launched it half a dozen times in the yard, but it got stuck on our roof once, so we took it to the front yard to show Kira, and it almost got stuck in some tall trees, so it was nice to do it at the park in the baseball field, with no fear of losing it. It goes much higher than I expected it would, so now I get why Hakan requested it for his birthday.


I feel like my week was rougher than usual as I felt pretty overwhelmed with day-job work. I had to do a lot of phone calls with these job candidates, and that took away from the other things I have to do, like reading dissertations and research proposals on top of preparing courses and applying for tenure. I didn't get much done in household projects until the weekend, when I finally got to resurface the rest of the garage floor. It went much better than the test round, and is so much improved from what it was before:

I know you can't really see the difference in the photos, probably, but the result has covered the cracks and filled in where the concrete has slowly worn away. I'm glad to have it done, anyway.


I also have been anxious to clean up the vinyl on the north side of our house, where the sun never reaches. I've noticed it's getting very green with mildew or whatever, so I sprayed it down with cleaner and scrubbed it with a push broom before hosing it down:

It's so much better, but now it's got me thinking I should do this to the rest of the house, which would be a much bigger project. We'll see...


Hannah's kept busy with her mask sewing among other things, but it's really paid off in auntie points, as Merritt and Hakan feel like real ninjas.

Kira's got a new client for tomorrow, and is meeting with two others also. Otherwise, this is likely to be another week full of work for us adults and play for the kids. Let's hope Apollo feels better soon!

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