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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Decking Halls

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

I'm not sure we have many updates for this week, but here's a quick rundown.

I enjoyed brass choir rehearsal again on Sunday. This time we practiced in the chapel, which was nice for the sound, but we still haven't settled on what pieces we're playing, so I don't know what to practice at home... Anyway, I came home for a quick family night, and then a very long and painful bedtime routine as the boys symbolically fought off the next school day.

Monday was typical stuff. A graduate student and I had a small study accepted to present at a conference in Denver in March, so I'm going to do my best to make it out there. The problem is that my university stopped paying for travel since the stupid lockdowns, so this whole thing might have to come out of my pocket. Anyway, I'll see what happens.

Kira had work that day, and I finished up my stuff as best I could before taking Apollo to walk around a park. I then came home to do more work and have lunch. I then baked cookies and greeted the boys as they got off the bus. The flurry of releasing energy and doing homework then commenced. Hannah was hoping to unwind at home, but like a moth to flame, she came right over when I told her there were fresh cookies. Kira came home after the boys were in bed, and when she went in to check on them, she accidentally woke Merritt, who seemed affected by a lack of sleep the next day.

I left for the city Tuesday morning, rather glad that I had an excuse to leave. Merritt was in a full-blown tantrum, absolutely refusing to use the potty before Kira would let him play a video game. He eventually calmed down and made it on the bus on time. I was very busy in the city, teaching and then full of grading and reading students' work. I was looking forward to a nice train ride of not thinking about work, but I discovered that I had misplaced one of my wireless earbuds somewhere, and so I couldn't listen to any music or watch anything, so I read instead. I usually keep a backup pair of earbuds in my bag for times like that, but I had taken them out on Monday and not put them back. Lesson learned. I found the earbud on the floor in my office on Thursday, thankfully.

I called the mechanic to find out the status of the part that was supposed to arrive. They didn't have it, and found out it is on back order, but should come on the 9th. I decided to schedule them to repair the other part that they could fix on Friday, so that at least that would be done. I also tried a fix for the other part that is on back order, so we'll see if that works and maybe I can cancel the stupid back order.

Avey stayed after school for auditions for the school play next semester, and said that they went well. We found out later in the week that she got three parts in the play, which is a collection of 30 unrelated scenes.

Wednesday was another typical morning. I got straight to work after the boys were on the bus. Kira had several phone calls and visited the bedridden sister in the branch. She then picked up Avey for a couple of chiropractor appointments. My whole day was eaten up with stupid meetings. Fortunately, our oven guy came with the new part and got it working in no time. It's such a weird feeling to have a competent worker come through the house.

Jack, who is Jesse's betta fish, has been acting strangely for about a week now. He holds very still and tucks himself on top of the tank heater. I noticed his right eye was a bit foggy, and so I wondered if maybe he was sick and on his way out. But Wednesday we took a look at him and he seemed totally back to normal, and his eye was all clear. He's back to swimming around like a champ, so that was a relief.

While Kira and Avey were gone, I did laundry so that the boys would have some clothes for school the next day, and I got the boys bathed. Little good that did, because once Kira was home, she checked Merritt for any pee accidents, and he bragged about being dry, but then went to use the potty and exploded urine all over the place because he had to go so badly!

Thursday was more of the same stuff. Classes were really good, and then I fought to keep my energy up for more grading and tasks, but I was very tired. I was supposed to get Avey from the school once my train came in, as she stayed after school for choir rehearsal, but my train kept getting delayed. I wasn't sure I'd make it in time, but I did.

Once I was home, Merritt was very sad that he couldn't seem to find the bottoms to his skeleton pajamas. I searched everywhere I could think, without success, and then finally just gave up and he put on some different pajamas. Wouldn't you know it, I found them today in with the rest of his clean laundry, which Kira and I had already searched!

Friday, Kira kindly let me miss the breakfast routine, but I got up to say goodbye to the boys. I went into the crawlspace to check our mouse traps, and found them both empty. There were also no more corpses around, so I'm hopeful that we got all of them, although I'll keep checking about every week. The smell has been noticeably less prominent this week, and so I hope that it will keep diminishing and then never come back if we can keep the rodents from getting in the crawlspace in the first place.

I then showered and we took the truck in for the part to be replaced. They had it done in about an hour, and so we picked it back up when Kira took Apollo to play with his old doggy friend. They had taken a long break from one another, but we decided to try it again after these few months. It was like old times, Kira said, so that's good to have something for him to do.

I took the truck to the grocery store briefly, and then came home for my own lunch and to join a meeting just before the boys' bus came. Kira was home by then, though. I then raked up the leaves in the backyard and Merritt showed me all of his school papers. He's been working on counting to 100 by 2s, which is tricky, but he finally did it without any help! He was very proud of himself, and Kira was also very impressed.

Two of the boys had been up since 4, and it was clear as day in their behavior, so they went to bed earlier. That was a good move, because they have been really good buddies all day today.

Kira and Avey left for a Relief Society activity early this morning, and then stayed after to clean the church with Hannah. I kept the boys entertained with a big tent, a haircut for Jesse, and showers for everyone else. We then went to the dog park where Apollo and they could play.

We came home for lunch and unwinding. Kira and Avey eventually came home, too. Who knows what's in store for the rest of the day?

Brass choir was canceled for tomorrow because one of the members can't make it. This next week is my last week of teaching before finals, so I'm looking forward to that. I'm cautiously watching my check-engine light to make sure it stays off now. Kira got several calls from potential new clients, so we'll see how many actually end up coming. We're slowly getting our Christmas tree overrun with gifts, so soon this place will be even more of a fire hazard than it already is!

Stay well, and have a great week!

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