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  • Elijah Ricks

COVID Rears Its Ugly Head

Updated: Aug 22

This week was the first full week back to school, but it was marred by a stupid virus that finally made its way to our household.


We left off with our adventures last Saturday morning. Kira slept in while I worked on the blog and fed the boys, and then I cut the grass and took the boys to a park. To seal the deal, I offered to also bring along Jesse's little car. They chose to go to a park rather far away, but then they had a good time. Jesse even offered rides to some of the other kids.


When we headed home, it was clear that the creaking sound on the truck's suspension was back, much to my dismay. I puzzled over it, because it was gone for about 24 hours, so I figured that I must have found it and lubricated it, but the lubricant just didn't last long enough. I decided to deal with it later in the week to see if I could locate it once and for all.


Once home, we set up for Apollo to play with our neighbor's dog, a young German shepherd. They get along very well, so we try to get them together often.


Kira and I finally sat down to purchase our mattress. We're trying one of these highly rated online mattress companies, so we'll see how that goes. It's supposed to arrive on Tuesday. In the afternoon, Jesse wanted to play catch with the baseball, and hit the ball around a bit with a bat. Ever since, that's been one of his favorite things to do - play catch. I think he may need a better glove if this keeps up, though, as the one he uses is more for like a 5-year-old, and is not padded very well for a real baseball. Anyway, Kira and Avey made a run for groceries to get out of the house, and Kira spent a lot of the day doing stuff for her calling and getting us caught up on laundry for the coming school week. Hannah spent the day at the temple in Illinois, and then came over in the evening. Just before bedtime, the boys were invited to play with their friends a few minutes away. That's a rare opportunity, so we let them go for a little while. They had fun, but then had a hard time getting back on track for bedtime.


Sunday morning I was up early to shower and get the kids ready for church. Kira had arranged for us all, including Hannah, to sing "I Am a Child of God" in Sacrament Meeting. We sang it a cappella, and did a really good job, if I say so myself. We got lots of compliments, and one sister told us she cried through it. After church was a Linger Longer, but Carver and Merritt were not interested in staying, so I drove them home and Kira stayed with the others. Hannah gave them a ride home.


Merritt really wanted to find his friend's house in the neighborhood. He sees where she gets off the bus each day, so he knew where she lived, but he didn't know her name and so we couldn't find her parents' contact information to get them together. Kira went on a walk with him to find her house, but he was sad that she couldn't play right then as she was showering. She's very close, so I'm sure we can get them together soon. I cooked our dinner, and Hannah joined us. We then had a short family night lesson and prepared for school the next day. Carver played his cello for us.

Hannah went home once the boys needed to get ready for bed, and then the girls and I watched old family videos of when Avey and Carver were much younger. That's always a riot.

Monday was a standard morning of getting the kids to school. I then spent about 45 minutes trying to pinpoint the source of the creaking sound on the truck. I am pretty confident that the problem is a ball joint that has gone bad. I could probably replace it myself, but it would take more time and effort than I have right now, so I arranged for the professionals to do it the following Monday.


I spent the rest of my morning doing work, and Kira left for her clients. I took Apollo to the dog park in the afternoon, but he was an asocial weirdo, so we didn't stay too long before coming home for the bus. I helped the boys throw together their little bags of items that are meaningful to them to share with their classes. After feeding everyone dinner, Jesse wanted to play more catch outside. He's slowly getting much better at catching and throwing. Jesse asked me whose birthday is next in our family, and I told him it is Avey's at the end of September. He then said, "Ok, and it's like, March now, right?" It's pretty impressive just how far off he was on the current month...

Jesse Found a Cicada

Kira made it home by their bedtime, and Hannah stayed home.

Tuesday morning we were up a little early because we were expecting the delivery guys to bring our new bed frame. They were supposed to get there at 7, and so we figured one of us would deal with the kids and the other would get our old bed frame out of the way. Naturally, they showed up at 6:40, so we were barely even awake. It was alright, and they had it up in no time. It looks great, and takes up much more of the room (it's a king). Now, though, it's been pretty stupid having our old queen mattress on the large frame while we wait for our new mattress to arrive (it's supposed to get here this coming Tuesday).


Anyway, we got the boys on their bus, but Avey was feeling pretty crummy with a sore throat, cough, and stuffy nose. She also had a bit of a fever, so she stayed home and slept most of the day. She wasn't miserable, at least. Kira took the day off, taking things easy and avoiding doing things for work or her calling. It was a beautiful day, so she spent some of it just chilling in the backyard.

Spider Web in Our Front Bushes

We got word that Merritt's glasses had arrived, so once he was home Kira took him in to make sure they fit well. He was very excited.

It's been weird for us to get used to, as half of the time I see him out of the corner of my eye and think he's Jesse.

He could barely contain his excitement to show his classmates the next day, assuming they would think he's a new kid.


Kira went to Carver's school that evening for a little thing to meet the teachers and learn about the school. Carver really didn't want to go with her, so he stayed home.


Merritt asked me that evening when his birthday is, and I told him it's May 1st. He got mad at me and said, "No, that's my last birthday! When is my next birthday?" I again told him, and he thought I was trying to tease him. I had to explain that his birthday will always be May 1st, and that there is a new year that starts the calendar over after Christmas. He seemed to accept that answer.


I played more catch with Jesse that evening, and learned that he is really enjoying 3rd Grade. He has no crushes yet, and now he's toying around with the idea of being a gym teacher.


Hannah was over early that evening so that Merritt could show off his glasses. Kira was starting to get a sore throat that night, so we figured she was catching whatever Avey had.


Avey stayed home again on Wednesday and mostly slept. That allowed Kira and me to get up a little bit later than usual, and we got the boys ready and on the bus. Kira was feeling worse, with a sore throat and stuffy nose, so she napped. I worked and then went to the dentist to find zero cavities. Kira had an appointment at the dentist the next day, but canceled it because of her symptoms.


Once the boys were home from school, I got reports from everyone. Merritt's classmates had good reactions to his glasses, and Jesse got in an epic game of chase between his guy friends and several girls in the class.

The Rats Snuggle Up

I made a quick grocery run and then came home to get kids bathed and fed. Apollo played with Ivy again, and Jesse and I played catch again. We keep using a real baseball, and so my bare hands have been getting pretty beaten up. I decided it was time to get a glove the next chance I had.


That night, I felt like I might be coming down with symptoms of the same illness, as I had a little bit of a tingle in my throat, and my nose was runnier than usual. It was noticeable, but hardly worth talking about in how mild it was, so I figured it would be worse the next morning.


Kira felt much worse Thursday morning. She was up extra early and then let me sleep in. I woke up feeling basically normal, although I could tell that my throat was trying to act like it was sore. Luckily, that was the worst of my symptoms.


It was very foggy, which more or less matched the mood of the day.

Foggy Day (Picture Doesn't Do It Justice)

I actually did sleep, and then felt bad that I'd left Kira to do the morning feeling as bad as she did. Avey went to school later in the morning. feeling like she was mostly on the mend, with just the occasional cough. Because Avey and I had much milder symptoms than Kira, and because we were vaccinated and Kira was not, we started to suspect that this mystery illness making the rounds through the house was COVID. We scheduled Kira for a test in the afternoon, and got the results today - she has COVID. As far as we know, this is the first time it's come through the house. We've tested the kids and ourselves several times over the last couple of years, and that's the first positive one we've had. I'm surprised we made it this long, frankly.


Anyway, she had a good long nap before it was time for other jobs, and then she stayed home to keep up with the boys while I picked up Avey and took her to an appointment. I bought a baseball glove while out. After Avey's appointment, she used a store credit to get a new hoodie, and then we went back home to help get kids in bed after Jesse and I tried out my new glove.


Kira was up with her symptoms during the night again, so I worked on the kids and let her stay in bed a little longer until it was time to get Avey to school on time. I then bathed Apollo and worked while she took a long nap.

I baked cookies in the afternoon before the bus came, and then it was more baseball in the afternoon. Avey went to hang out downtown, but was disappointed that none of her friends showed up like usual. Merritt seemed great until it was about bedtime, when suddenly it seemed like the symptoms all hit him. He felt really crummy, so we got him to bed.


This morning, Kira is doing a little better. Avey has only a mild cough, my symptoms are so mild that there's not really anything worth reporting. Merritt slept pretty well, but wouldn't eat his breakfast because he felt so bad. He tried to fall back asleep for part of the morning. Jesse says that his throat is just a little sore, and Carver says his is also a little sore. We are planning on the boys likely staying home for most of the week if they stay on the same course as Kira. Hannah and I played some racquetball this morning, although now that I know how bad Merritt felt maybe I should have just stayed home. I picked up some medicine for him, which he turned down hard. I tried sneaking it into his yogurt, but he found out about it. Kira then helped him choke it down, and now he feels much better, so we are really trying to help him connect the good feeling with the medicine so that he'll be more willing next time he's due for a dose. It's rainy off and on today, so with the symptoms in the house and the stupid weather outside, I picked up some movies for the kids to watch inside while we all just take some time to let our immune systems do their thing.


I'm very glad that I had such mild symptoms, because I've still got a lot of work to do my last week before my semester starts. I have to go in for stupid meetings two days this week, and then I start classes the week after.


In the meantime, Kira is planning on staying home from church tomorrow, and we're going to take it easy for the next few days. Don't come visit us if you want to stay well!

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