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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Christmas Madness

We very much enjoyed our stay in Colorado, despite the streak of viruses that tried in vain to lower our spirits. Merritt, Hakan, Carver, and Kira seem to have had the flu, as they each had a fever and aches at some point. Hakan’s symptoms disappeared after one round of ibuprofen, although his nose was stuffy ever since. Merritt, patient zero, seems to have had it the worst, with his nose running constantly, and disturbing his sleep. Avey never showed symptoms, and I, the only one who had a flu shot, came down with a mild cold, but nothing more. 

Merritt had a surprisingly difficult trip. As I noted last week, he would not leave me alone unless I plugged him in to watch videos of himself or music videos that we’ve approved (mostly from OK Go). He screamed and clawed at me incessantly at all other times. Nearing the end of our stay at my mother’s, he did have a few fleeting moments of joy. One time he played catch with me in the living room and smiled, and another time he went down a slide several times at a park nearby, but in both instances the fun lasted only 15 minutes or so before he started back up with his screaming. 

Nighttime was even worse. He would go to sleep pretty normally, but then for 3 nights in a row, he woke up between 12 and 2 a.m. in an absolute hysteria of screaming and tears. He was literally inconsolable. He would arch his back to get out of our arms if we tried to hold him, and then when we set him down so that we wouldn’t drop him, he’d scream like we’d abandoned him. Before this trip, he had done that maybe four times at our home, but we never had seen him do it on consecutive nights. What was worst of all is that he woke up everybody upstairs, and when he finally calmed down after a solid 20 minutes of wailing like a banshee, Kira and I had to get Hakan and ourselves chilled out. Even then, Merritt didn’t fall asleep right away, but needed to be cuddled. We figure that it was probably some combination of teething, being in a new place, frustration from a stuffy nose, and intentional messing with his parents. For some reason, he had a grand ol’ time on the drive home. 

We all loved various things from our trip. We saw the new Star Wars movie, and enjoyed catching up with my family. Kira was glad to spend a few hours with her parents, too, although it’s never quite enough. Avey really enjoyed getting to know one of her cousins better, and the boys liked spending time with their aunt and uncles. We watched movies, played games, made jokes, played with our toys, and had a marshmallow fight with blow guns my older brother had made for us all. It’s so hard to leave, but we had high hopes that Merritt would finally improve once we made it home (luckily, we were right). 

Carver and Avey have the week off, and I have two weeks before I need to be back on campus. We are excited to take advantage of the break, although I have quite a bit of preparation before I’ll be ready for the semester. Carver did a full week of all-day kindergarten before we left on our trip, and he loved it. He was a bit of a celebrity among his classmates when he showed up at lunch. He probably would prefer to start school up tomorrow, but Avey is happy to have some time to relax.

Avey is nearing the six-month mark, where she’s been responsible with her fish all that time. In two weeks, she’ll be eligible to try taking care of a small mammal, again working her way toward a larger or more difficult pet. She’s doing some reading now on the pros and cons of gerbils, mice, hamsters, and the like. We’ll certainly have photos when the new family member(s) arrive(s).

We are planning on letting 2017 bleed out late tonight, and hope for a wonderful and joyous 2018. We wish the same for all of you!


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