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  • Elijah Ricks

Eyes of Pink

Updated: Mar 8

After posting last week, the two older boys went on a walk together around the block, taking a walkie talkie (from Christmas) to keep in touch with us at home. That way, if they get kidnapped, they can give us updates on which brother is annoying the other one more. It was very muddy from the steady melting of our mountains of snow, but they kept to the roads.

Hakan then played with the neighbor girls when they got home. Kira offered to cook the Sunday meal, baking chicken with a new seasoning recipe we hadn't tried before. It turned out really well, so we may do that more often. Hannah enjoyed the warmer weather by going birding, and then joined us later for food. We watched the boys' talent show contributions that evening. They'd been posted online this year. Hakan did a dance routine:

And Carver did a piano improvisation:

It was still sunny, but cold, on Monday. I came down to get the morning routine started and found that Apollo had apparently thrown up on our rug sometime during the night and then apparently cleaned it up as best a doggie can. I got breakfast going for the boys and then cleaned up what Apollo couldn't once they were all out the door.


Avey missed her bus coming home. She hadn't taken it in so long that we're sure the bus driver wasn't watching for her, but she was also a bit late because she and the rest of the drama club had hoped to meet and write their names on a wall as part of tradition. It turned out that they couldn't access it because there was a scheduled meeting there for something else, so when she realized she'd missed the bus, she texted us. I was in a stupid meeting, but Kira dashed to get her and then ate a quick meal before leaving for her 4:00 client.

An Art Project From Avey

Once I was off of my meeting, Kira left for work and I played with the younger two in the backyard, even though it was chilly. Hakan played with one of the neighbor girls for a while, leading to a late dinner and bedtime routine. Hannah opted to stay home after a very long day.


Tuesday was pretty typical stuff. During library class, Kira and Merritt made a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I had a bunch of work stuff to do, and then in the afternoon I took Apollo on a walk while Merritt and Avey rode bikes. That was the first time Merritt had been on his for a few months, so that was nice. Several days later, he worked himself into tears when he remembered that Apollo had gone down one road while Avey and he had gone down another. He didn't seem upset at the time, but with enough effort one can twist anything into a trauma.


Avey and I took a quick trip to the dollar store for some consolation prizes for the boys when it was time to celebrate Carver's birthday. When we got home for the evening routine of dinner and bedtime, Merritt tried to explain the video he had watched on his tablet. He likes to watch this kid who plays video games and narrates what he's doing. He's British, and so he's got an accent. So it was really funny when Merritt told us the game he played is called "Cah sim you laytah." We eventually figured out he meant "cat simulator," where you take care of a virtual cat.


Kira had a virtual meeting that night, so I got the kids in bed that night, and then we watched some TV before calling it a little earlier night.


The plan on Wednesday was to power through remote learning and then get the kids to a trampoline fun place for Carver's birthday. His real birthday was Thursday, but I am in the city all day, and it's also half off at the trampoline place on Wednesdays, so that worked out nicely. One problem was that I had a call the day before from the bathtub resurfacers saying that an opening had come up for Wednesday afternoon. That was a week earlier than we had scheduled, so I took it. Kira got up extra early to get the kids going on their assignments so we could be done for sure on time to get to the trampoline place. I spent about an hour cleaning the tub as best as I possibly could, removing the waterproof tape I had used to fix the leak temporarily, and getting stuff out of the way for the worker. I then had a faculty meeting and tried to record part of a lecture. The kids finished their assignments really well, and Hannah came to keep Apollo from eating the bathtub guy while we were gone at the trampoline place.

The place is about 30 minutes away, but we worked it out just right to get there around when they open, and then Kira left for a nearby store to get some items she wanted, while I supervised the kids.

We were disappointed to find that their basketball hoop was broken, and they had another area closed off, but the kids still got in lots of fun, and wore themselves out plenty fast.

Kira got there around time to leave, and so we picked up some dinner to eat on the way home.

We got home in time to get Kira to the elementary school to register Merritt for kindergarten next year. It's hard to believe that they will all be in school in just about 6 months!


The bathtub guy was nearly done when we got home, and once he finished, we couldn't believe the difference. Here's a before and after:

Before

And now after:

It looked brand new! The worker was great, too. He was very respectful of the home - taking his shoes off every time he came inside, and moving our tooth brushes so that the vapors wouldn't get on them.


I felt kind of silly after the whole thing as I realized that I probably didn't need to spend so much time scrubbing the tub earlier, because he sanded the whole thing down (duh!). In any case, at least I got a little upper body workout, right?


Thursday was Carver's birthday, so we wished him a great day and put him on the bus. I went and did my long day in the city, and Kira baked him his gluten free cake at home.

Merritt's eyes were looking really bad, though, and he complained that they hurt. Amid all of the stuff Kira had to do, she made a doctor's appointment for him the following day.

Hannah came over in the evening and did all of the dishes, which was great. Thursday happens to be trash day, so there was already enough to do on top of keeping everything in order. By the time I got home, Avey was sad after some problem with her iPad had caused her to lose all of the work on one of her assignments. It wasn't the end of the world, but it was of course enormously frustrating.


At the doctor on Friday, we found out that Merritt has pink eye. It's highly contagious, and so we canceled the sleepover that Carver had planned to hold. He took it better than we expected. He was still disappointed, but there was no screaming or crying, probably because he was going to that same friend's house for a sleepover the next day anyway.


Merritt needed eye drop medicine every two hours, and that could not have been worse. He reacted to it like he expected us to gouge out his eyeballs with rusty spoons. We tried bribes, motivational talk, psyching him up for it, explaining how it worked to make him better, and everything we could think of. Nothing worked, and so after 15 to 20 minutes of no progress at each dose, we finally just had to hold him down and force it.


I got stuck working on cleaning up a dataset all day because a graduate student's software stopped working. That was a nightmare, but I got it done. I then took Apollo to his first play date in several weeks, but he got anxious for us to come get him after about 40 minutes. I went to the store while he was there, and then baked a chocolate cake for the rest of us to have so that Carver could keep the gluten free one for himself. I then picked up some pizza for our meal, and we had a good celebration.

Carver opened his presents, and was very excited to get everything he wanted, and more. He and Hakan then stayed up until 9, which is especially late for them. They played video games and watched some TV. Hakan didn't ever want to go to bed by that point, so I said he could stay up as long as it took him to empty the dishwasher. He did that, taking about 20 minutes.


Hakan wanted to sleep downstairs, but we older people wanted to use the TV, so Kira let him go to sleep in our bed, saying we would wake him up in a while and he could sleep downstairs. When the time came, he was so deeply asleep that he wouldn't respond to us at all. We just moved him to his own bed and called it a night.


Saturday morning, Kira let me sleep in. That was great, although I forced myself to get up eventually and probably could have slept all day. She did breakfast all by herself. Merritt went through his whole freakout routine about his eyedrops again, but then at his next dose, he was suddenly willing to try out some of our ideas, and so they've gone much more smoothly ever since.


I picked up Hannah and we went to two hardware stores for a few things. When I got home, I showered Merritt and Hakan played with the kite that Merritt had gotten as his consolation gift the day before. He got it stuck in a tree right away, but I got it down. Of course there's no wind today...


Kira went to visit a branch member in the hospital, and Avey decided that she wanted to try biking to her middle school to see how long it would take. We talked over how to get there, and what to do in case she got lost, and she took a walkie talkie with her, although the range goes only about halfway there. She can text us when she's connected to wifi, so we told her to find a restaurant or something if she got turned around. She left, and checked in with us when she made it to her school with no problem. She told us she'd go to the library nearby, and then told us as she was leaving the library.


I was home with the boys, dealing with them when a friend from school came by to play with Hakan, and Merritt was finally feeling better, so he played on the trampoline. After a while, it seemed like Avey should have been home. I thought it would take maybe 20 minutes for her to ride home from where she was, but I checked when her message had come and it had been just over an hour. I started to get worried, and so I tried the walkie talkie, but she was out of range. Kira took Carver to his sleepover at his friend's house, and we had maybe an hour of sunlight left, so I was getting more nervous about Avey. Kira got back and I handed her two of the other walkie talkies, so she drove to the library and used the radio to try and reach Avey. With each second of no response, she got more and more panicked. Hannah joined in the search after a while, meeting Kira at her house to get the second radio. I had decided that if we hadn't heard anything by sunset, I'd call the police to get their help in the search.


Thankfully, Kira had reached her over the radio as she started heading back toward our house. Avey said she was on her way, almost home. Apparently, when she said she was leaving the library, she intended to keep riding around and exploring the city, so she went to the dollar store and bought some snacks, and then went a few more places. She got a little turned around, but never lost. We were all relieved, and had a good talk about communicating better next time what the plans are.


Merritt's eyes look almost better today, and he's clearly feeling better. We now get to do the eye drops farther apart, as well, so that's helpful. Kira had a very early meeting this morning, and so I got up extra early to get the kids fed and ready for church, and then I went to pick up Carver from the sleepover. He's tired, but had a great time. It's a glorious day today, and we've got a dinner invite from a family we know, so we'll do that later today.


Perhaps we can avoid some adventures this coming week...

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