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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Updated: Jun 6, 2022

We had another full week of spring, including plenty of water activity.

I ran some errands on Saturday and Kira dropped Merritt off at his friend's house, while that friend's older brother came to play at our house with Carver and Jesse. They played here for a while before riding their bikes to join Merritt at the friend's house. We were rather impressed that Merritt was cool with being there without any of his family - he usually gets nervous. He had a good time, though.

I had cut the grass earlier in the day, but hadn't moved the trampoline to get underneath it, so I suggested that Avey try out the riding mower to cut just that portion. I showed her how the mower works, and she showed that grass who's boss. Maybe we'll take turns mowing before too long.

She hadn't left the house all day, and so I took her out to redeem a coupon for ice cream cones. At least that was something.

The evening was fairly standard with bathing the boys and getting them to bed a little later than usual before Hannah came over.

Sunday was absolutely glorious weather, so once the family took off for church, the neighbor kids came over looking for Jesse. I told them where he was and that he wouldn't be home for a few hours, but they asked if they could play in our backyard anyway. I should have just turned them down, but I have a hard time depriving anyone of our backyard I've worked to make desirable. I let them play, and of course they were soon joined by other neighbor kids. I tried to just keep a casual eye on them as I got stuff done inside, but it quickly turned into chaos. They'd just walk into the house for water or to find a toy or something, and I didn't feel comfortable with that, so I'd try to get them to go back into the yard. Anyway, suffice it to say that I lost my whole morning to babysitting the neighbor kids. Lesson learned.

I got burgers going for lunch for when the family returned. Jesse spent most of the rest of the day driving around in his birthday present.

He has a set route he likes to take, and just does that over and over and over.

For family night that evening, we watched some old family videos of when Jesse was younger. That was lots of fun to see just how far he's come.

Once the kids were in bed, Hannah came over and then we went outside to watch for bats and chat. Once it had gotten pretty dark, we saw something rather large crawling up the side of the house. I thought it might be a very large spider, but I got closer and realized it was a tree frog. It hopped off of the house and then disappeared into the flower bed. We played some games inside before going to bed ourselves.

We slept in on Monday, and then Kira had only one client still on the schedule for work. I got some of my work done and then took over the kids while Kira left for work. It was hot outside, and so I first built a tent inside using the couch and a big sheet. The boys enjoyed that for a while, but then interest shifted to the outdoors. I suggested they put on their swimsuits and I threw together a water slide.

Carver had no interest in the fun, of course. He stood by, well out of the way of the water.

I need to think of a better system, though, because the bricks holding it down make me nervous. It was so very windy that I needed something to hold it down, but I'm not sure what to use that would not be a hazard. I should probably invest in sandbags. Anyway, nobody broke a toe this time...

The younger two had a blast on that for a good long while, then I fed everybody lunch and took them to a park nearby while Avey did some yard work at home. On the way home, we stopped by Kira's office where the boys could interrupt Hannah for another grand tour. I then took the boys home for dinner and Kira made it home by bedtime.

Tuesday was another hot day. Jesse's friend from school came over in the morning while I was working. I finished up and then got the same water slide thing going, so that kid joined in with all of the fun, too.

They had a blast again, and I determined to get a better system worked out for the next time it gets hot enough.

Carver got an invitation to go to his friend's house 20 minutes away, so I drove him over and then came home to pick up Avey and go on a grocery run so she could get an outing. Kira took a much-needed nap. Avey and I picked up some take-and-bake pizzas, so we had one ready for Carver when he got home. Hannah joined us for the meal.

At some point in the afternoon, Merritt was playing a video game while I was in the kitchen. He paused his game, came into the kitchen, and asked, "Dad, is Kira your wife?" I'm glad I could clear that up for him.

We heard that our neighbor's dog had to be put down on Monday, and we were all quite heartbroken, as she was a very sweet girl, and we knew how devastated the neighbor would be. We made her a card and Merritt drew a picture, and so then we delivered it to her after dinner and chatted.

On Wednesday, Kira got a text from a client who wanted to have a session that day - apparently there were some things going on that she needed to sort out. Kira arranged to meet with her in the afternoon, so I worked in the morning. I called our insurance to see what had come of that denied claim (I had gone to the eye doctor 4 days too early), and they had denied my request to allow it. I was quite upset, but I decided that I would go to the eye doctor next to see what they could do. After all, they are the ones who sent me the text that it was time for my appointment, and they printed out on my bill what the insurance would pay, so I think it's sort of on them. I drove down prepared to pay the bill, but I figured that if they asked me to do that, I would tell them I would take my whole family somewhere else for our optometry needs in the future. It didn't even get to that point, though - the manager was very apologetic and said she would take care of it. What a relief!

It was cool out, so nobody was interested in a water slide. The boys said that they were hungry, even though it was pretty early for lunch, so I fed them and then offered to take them to a park while Kira went in to work. Avey walked Apollo for most of the time, and I got my yearly workout chasing the kiddos around in one of their favorite games, Daddy's the Monster. We stopped at a grocery store on the way home. Kira stayed at work until the boys' bedtime, and Hannah came over to watch with Avey and me while Kira was on the phone.

Thursday, Kira was up a little early to get ready for a temple trip she'd planned. She was asked to be an escort for a sister who was going through for the first time.

I fed the boys and she was off. I then cut the grass and got an invitation for the boys to go to a friend's house for the afternoon. That worked out great so that I could get some other work done. They had a good time, but I kept busy at home doing laundry and other chores. We had an early dinner, and then the boys played in the backyard with the neighbors. I introduced them to the catching game, 500, which they really enjoyed. Of course, poor Merritt is the shortest one, and so he doesn't catch any throws very often with the other kids around.

It was a rough night of very little sleep for me, so I was moving slowly on Friday. The kids were very excited for the free swimming at the middle school, so once we'd finished a typical morning of me getting some work done, we all went for swimming. Because it was free, we figured it would be very crowded, but there was hardly anyone there. That was great to get the place mostly to ourselves, but then the lifeguards were bored out of their minds, and so they were breathing down our necks a little - hovering just over us at all times, offering us tips on our swimming techniques, and so on. Anyway, it was a lot of fun, and then we came home to dry out, eat, and play in the backyard.

Just before we'd left for the pool, Kira noticed a baby bird in the grass by the side of the driveway. An adult robin was close by with part of a worm in its mouth, and so we figured that must be its parent, so we left it while we went swimming. It was still there when we came home, and so we determined to get it out of the sunlight where it was exposed to cats and birds of prey. We found the nest in a nearby bush with another baby robin still in it, and so Kira got some gloves on and gently transferred the robin back into its nest. It's stayed there, so we think things are going to be ok for the little thing.

This morning, Kira was up a little early and dealing with the boys. I slept extra long, making up for the previous night. The weather is cool again, so we're likely to enjoy the outdoors today.

Avey starts her summer school next week, which will allow her to get some gym credits out of the way so that she can fill her schedule with things she wants to take. We're hoping that's not too much to do, but we'll see. Otherwise, we're hoping to keep the kids entertained and fed.

My summer semester started on Tuesday, and so I've been checking in with the online course each day. So far it's been alright, although it's still early...

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