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  • Elijah Ricks

Fair-Weather Conservation

Updated: Apr 25

Saturday was cool out, but nice and sunny. In the morning, Kira made Carver some gluten-free pancakes because we were planning on going to the church for their Easter celebration. We had been told that it would be a potluck with the youth making pancakes, so we made sure to get Merritt's hopes up nice and high. We got there and he kept asking where the pancakes were, so I assured him that they were probably making them, or getting ready to make them. He held onto his paper plate, wondering where the syrup was, and when he could get it inside of his tummy. As the food arrived and it got later and later, we realized that there would be no pancakes. He handled the disappointment very well, considering he's Merritt. I told him we would make him some pancakes when we got home. The rest of us had some of the food, and then there was a pinata instead of an egg hunt (for simplicity's sake).

Kira made Merritt pancakes once we were home, and he loved them as long as they lasted. It was pretty sunny out, and so in the afternoon I took the boys out to a new park at one of the other elementary schools in town. I walked Apollo around and they had a great time getting out some energy. It was then the usual routine of getting people to bed before we older kids watched some TV.


Hannah was quite sick with flu-like symptoms, and so she had to skip church the next day, missing singing in the musical number with Kira. Of course, Avey had also practiced with the group, but she was still too sick to sing with them, so they made do without. I think they sounded great even without the full group. Kira also gave a wonderful talk on Easter Sunday, although Merritt simply could not stop talking through the whole thing to tell me absolutely everything that entered his little brain.


I came home to get lunch going, but Hannah of course stayed home to work on feeling better. She did not drive bus the next day, but her COVID test eventually came back negative. It sure seems like it's the flu that's been going around. Anyway, Sunday afternoon was deceptively sunny, as it was very cold. We did a little Easter Egg hunt in our backyard.

That went pretty well, and then the kids took stock of all of their candy before going back outside to smash the egg shells with baseball bats. Merritt stood on the trampoline with a bat, and Jesse stood on the ground with a bat, and I pitched them shells. They had a grand time smashing them to smithereens.

Kira took some of the eggs to the neighbors and chatted, and then we finished up our evening.


Monday, Kira let me sleep. We awoke to light snow on the ground, and it was very cold and windy. Merritt keeps talking about moving to Australia because they have summer first, but I explained to him that that means it will start getting cold there next, and he just doesn't seem to grasp that. Anyway, I came downstairs to see the boys off, but only Jesse was ready for the bus. The other two were complaining of symptoms, but they seemed well enough. After Jesse had left on the bus, Kira got the other two on board and they went to school. We reminded Merritt that there were eggs waiting to hatch in his classroom, and he wouldn't want to miss them. That seemed to get him excited again. I dropped them off and then showered and got to my work. Kira had some cancellations, and so eventually went to work later with only one client still on the schedule.


In the afternoon, Merritt simply would not stop talking again. He has about 10 minutes of homework to do every day, but he can't just focus on it. He has to bring up every thought he has, tell me stories he's already told me before, and free-associate as his mind wanders. Those 10 minutes of homework turn into 45 pretty quickly. I did some laundry that afternoon, and got them fed before Kira made it home right at bedtime. Hannah felt a little better, but not very much.


During the night Tuesday, Kira started to experience the same neck pain that Hannah and I had. At this point it is very strange that three of us have had it, so Kira thinks that it must be related to some sickness going around, but I'm pretty sure that we have each been abducted by aliens and operated on as they work to perfect their technique of detaching heads from necks. We may never know for sure.


I was off to the city, but I didn't put a mask on all day, because it was the first day when masks were optional on trains again! It was so nice to get to cough on people at will again! My joy at breathing freely was overshadowed somewhat by how much work I had to do, but it was a pretty good and productive day. Kira stayed busy at home with errands and some appointments. Avey slept for a long time, but felt worse once she woke up. She felt a little better as the day progressed, but still didn't feel up for school. Hannah felt well enough to drive the bus, so I wonder if it is because she had her flu shot this year, but Avey didn't. I'm just glad no one else in the house has caught it.


The boys came home with their school photo proofs. They let the kids all be a little goofy this year, so of course Jesse is flexing his bicep, Merritt is sort of flexing with an awkward smile, and Carver is posing. They were pretty funny. Merritt had a good afternoon playing with the neighbor kids on the trampoline, but at one point he laughed so hard that he peed his pants...


I slept terribly that night, so Kira let me sleep in a bit again. Avey still didn't feel up for school. I did my work and then got to a stopping point before leaving for some shopping. Avey worked on homework that she was missing, and then took Apollo for a walk. Kira had an afternoon meeting while the kids got home, so they tried everything they could to interrupt and avoid showers. Carver actually did a good job and showered right away so that he could play video games longer. Fair enough.

Merritt told me that the chicks had not yet hatched, but then he told me all about what they learned about Earth Day. He said that one thing we can do to "take care of the earth" is to take shorter showers. I thought that was sound advice, and so when it was his turn for a shower, I turned off the water after he had rinsed all the soap off. He got mad at me, saying that he wasn't ready for me to turn it off. I said, "But I thought we could take care of the earth by taking shorter showers." He replied, "No, Dad! That's just on Earth Day!" Apparently the earth does just fine the other 364 days of the year.

I was still very tired from the terrible sleep, so I went to bed early. Kira was starting to feel achy, so she worried that she might be coming down with Avey's flu. Fortunately, she felt much better the next morning after a good night's rest.


Thursday, while I was in the city, Kira got the boys to school, and then let Avey sleep in before taking her to school to finally start getting back in the saddle. It went ok. She's slowly feeling better. Once I was home from the city, Kira and Avey left to attend the first little bit of the high school orientation. They couldn't stay long because they also had a Relief Society activity that night. They picked up Hannah and went to learn how to knit. Avey must have had an OK time, because she's been working on new skills, even watching some YouTube videos to figure out how to do things. I was in charge of the boys at home. It was a glorious 66 degrees outside, and so the boys played outside as long as they could before I dragged them back inside for bed.


Friday morning, Kira was up with Merritt at 1:00 when he woke up thinking that it was time to get up. After her bad night, I tried to let her sleep in, but she got up at 7 to help get the boys off to school. Avey went to school for the whole day, and so we hope that means that she's going to be fine for the rest of the school year. I did my work, and then took Apollo to a park while Kira picked up Carver for a doctor's checkup. She then took him to visit a bedridden sister in the branch, and then picked up the other boys from school while she was out. I picked up Avey from school, because Kira and I had planned to stay at a hotel that night to celebrate our 17-year anniversary early (it's this coming Tuesday). Avey was willing to take care of the house while we went out to dinner and then slept at our hotel. The room had a hot tub in it, but we did not think it through and tried watching our movie while in the hot tub, so we got way too hot, and then it took us most of the night to cool off again.

Still, the room was fun, and the view was great - right on a lake. The geese kept thinking I was going to toss them food, just like Apollo.

It was nice to get away for a few hours. We picked up donuts on the way home, and got to work.

It's a glorious 79 degrees today, so I got our AC back up and ready for the season. I cut the grass, and the kids have been playing outside with the neighbors for most of the day. Jesse got invited to go with his friend and classmate to the park, and Carver has a friend over, too. Kira's been working to gather shoes to donate to the Ukrainian refugees, so she's dropping those off right now.


We're going to try to soak up this weather as much as we can before it cools back down!


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