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  • Elijah Ricks

Exercise in Futility

Updated: Apr 18

This was another busy week, but we got some good stuff done, no thanks to the rest of the universe...


Last Saturday I played racquetball with Hannah now that we are both feeling better, but by the third game we were both pretty wiped out. Of course, my neck was much better, but then randomly a few days later in the week the muscles in my shoulder were feeling like my neck was. I wonder if next it will work its way down the rest of my body and eventually leave through my toes.


Anyway, in the afternoon, I cut the grass for the first time of the season, and then Kira and I took the boys and dog to the park. Hannah came over for a movie that night.


We told Merritt that I was going to drop them off at church on Sunday, because Kira had an early meeting. He asked which car we would take, and then he told us that his favorite car is the truck "because it has new Band-aids." He also likes that we can open the tailgate for him to sit on to put the new Band-aids on. I never really thought of how neat that is, but I suppose it is a big plus.


Jesse and Carver both tried fasting on Sunday morning, and so it was an easier time of just getting them dressed and feeding Merritt. After I dropped the boys off at church, I planted some flowers in our pots and fixed part of our trampoline that had come apart with all the abuse it takes. I also laid down some poison for the voles to see if I can keep them at bay this year. Inside, I prepared lunch of grilled chicken with tortellini and Alfredo sauce, and then made some brownies for dessert. It was a beautiful day, and so we all went to the dog park to enjoy the weather, and to celebrate Apollo's anniversary of joining our family.

That was fun to see Merritt make some friends his age, and Jesse brought along the baseball bat, so we all went and played a bit while Kira worked on stuff for her calling in the nearby sunshine.

We had a brief family night at home, and then went out for bike rides before the sun went down.


I let Kira sleep in on Monday. Poor Avey had awoken around 3 a.m. and then couldn't fall back asleep, but she had a practice test at school, so I took her and hoped that she'd feel better. A few hours later we got a call from her school that she had a fever, and so I went to pick her up. She tried resting most of the day, but has felt crummy all week with aches and a sore throat and runny nose. We gave her a rapid COVID test which was negative, and then when the doctor told us to get a more reliable test, we did that and it also came back negative, so we don't know what this is, but it's been lingering now for nearly a week. She didn't go back to school this whole week.


While Kira was at work for the day, I tried calling the IRS several more times, and eventually got through by some miracle. I was absolutely determined not to get passed off or transferred to a different department, and I'm glad I did, because I eventually solved the problem with very little thanks to the guy on the other end of the line. It turns out that it was my mistake originally - I had miscalculated something because their form was weird. Of course, if they had just told me that in the first place, I could have found the error and moved on with my life, but instead they sent me a form that gave me the wrong reason for why they changed our return, and so I had to be on this wild goose chase for over a week. Anyway, after a very painful journey, I can finally put all of this behind me and just quietly loathe the IRS in the background like any other average American.


The boys made it home, and even though it was only about 50 outside, Merritt immediately changed into shorts and then went outside to jump on the trampoline. He came back in after about 5 minutes, though. Even after some Tylenol, Avey was still not feeling great, so she took it easy and I did the homework and dinner routine with the boys before Kira came home at their bedtime.


Tuesday I left for my train while the older two boys were still in bed. That was really surprising, but I hoped that it would be a sign of better days to come (when they don't wake up as early as they can). It turns out that they had both woken up just a few minutes before I left for the train, and were just hanging out in their rooms so that they could avoid exchanging pleasantries with me before I left (probably).


That evening, Merritt and Jesse wanted to go to a special event at their school, and so Kira and Hannah went with them. There were all sorts of science displays and things to check out. They both even got to bring home a real peacock feather!

It was a late bedtime for them and then a little TV for us older kids. Hannah has been very busy at her day job because the main person there has had to leave for a family emergency, and it's not clear if or when she'll be back. So Hannah has to take over most of those duties.


Kira let me sleep in on Wednesday, but I was up to say goodbye to the boys. Avey felt a little better, but not well enough to go to school. I had planned to go to Costco that day, but I hadn't been paid yet, so I put the trip off until Friday. I instead did my grading most of Wednesday. I made Avey a doctor appointment to see if this was strep or something, but then the doctor didn't even want us to come in the office from the parking lot, saying it didn't sound like strep, and insisting we get the official COVID test. I scheduled that for the following day.


While calling the doctor, I asked if my blood test results had ever come in. I was excited to learn that my cholesterol has improved enough that she's not recommending medication anymore. That's a big win for me.


Kira left to have lunch with a lady who had recently moved away from the branch, but was back in town for the day. I made a grocery run for a few essentials before Costco. Hannah went to the youth activity for the night.


Thursday I was back in the city while Kira took Avey for her COVID test that eventually came back negative. That evening was standard dinner and homework stuff. I kept Merritt entertained for the couple of hours before bed. Kira told me that Jesse opened up about all of his girl troubles that afternoon. He and his most recent girlfriend broke up amicably, but Jesse really wants to try a dating app to find his next girlfriend. She and Avey discussed with him how dating apps are really not made for 7-year-olds, and Kira tried to understand why he feels so badly that he needs a girlfriend. It seems that he just likes feeling liked, as we all do.

Carver broke a salt shaker and Merritt broke a chandelier crystal

Friday, the kids were off of school. I got up at the normal time and Kira slept in a bit. I did some work and fed the boys before a meeting I had. I then ran to Costco for the month. In the afternoon I mowed the grass again. Avey still didn't feel well, so she took it easy. It was not very sunny outside, but everybody kept entertained in one way or another. Kira tried to interest the kids in dyeing the 142 egg shells she'd saved for the last several weeks. Carver had no interest, and Jesse hung in there for only about 12 eggs. Merritt did the most, but even with that they didn't finish all of them. Perhaps they've just grown out of it already...


Saturday, I was awake around 5:30 for some reason. We had the branch Easter celebration at the church, so I fed the kids partial meals and Kira made Carver pancakes he could have. Avey stayed home, and we went to the church where Merritt asked about the pancakes he was expecting every couple of minutes. We were so sad to learn that they didn't do pancakes after all. He handled it pretty well when I promised we could make them at home, so he made do with some crackers and milk. After the program, the kids whacked a pinata instead of doing an egg hunt, and then Kira and Hannah practiced singing in their group for a musical number they'll perform tomorrow. Kira is also giving a talk tomorrow, so wish her luck!


It's sunny, but cool today, so the kids have been outside a lot. Kira let me nap once we were home from the church, and she made Merritt's beloved pancakes.

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