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  • Elijah Ricks

Fire in July

After a relatively laid back Sunday last week, we packed the rest of the week with enough stuff to fill an entire summer.


We slept in pretty late on Monday. I don't think I've slept that solid in a very long time, attributing it to the mental and physical exhaustion that built up over the long trip. Kira had work coming up, so I got caught up on emails as quickly as I could and then took Avey and Hakan to buy fireworks since we were in the car for the Fourth this year. We planned to have our own celebration later in the week. We came home and traded the car with Kira, who left for work and had a bit of a rough session with a client about what would be best for her safety. She even called me to get my opinion on the situation, and also collaborated with the local police department. All of that excitement brought her home later than usual, but at least she'd covered all bases.


Tuesday started out rather rough, as Merritt had run out of diapers for the night time. He's mostly accident-free during the day, but we have him wear a diaper at night just in case. He'd done very well being dry in the mornings on our trip, and so we hoped he would be okay transitioning out of them for nights now that we're home. Of course, for his first night, he wet the bed during the night, and then again during the morning. Kira took that shift with him, kindly letting me sleep. He didn't do any better when awake, though, peeing on the couch twice that day. After that, though, he's done much better, though I've gotten up with him a couple of nights to take him potty in the middle of the night when he's squirming around.

I was struggling through doing my work, feeling completely unmotivated and tired, but not yet recovered. Kira took Carver and Merritt to their dentist appointments, which went fine. When they were back, I got out of the house for a little while, trying to see about getting a watch repaired for Kira's birthday that was upcoming. I went to a watch repair place in town, and when I walked in, I was greeted warmly by the fattest dog I had ever seen in my life. It was so pudgy, it had trouble standing up to lick my leg before promptly lying back down. Anyway, there was a customer in front of me, finishing up, and then the woman who runs the shop opened the door for him to take him outside, leaving me standing in the shop alone. She then stayed out there chatting with that guy for 10 to 15 minutes, while I just stood there like a moron. I was getting pretty frustrated, but didn't know what to do, exactly. Finally, she came in and sort of apologized, and then looked at the watch for about 3 minutes and said there was nothing she could do. Thanks for nothing.


Avey, after having gone too long without creating something in the kitchen, got a bee in her bonnet about homemade pizza. She saw that we had almost all of the ingredients, so asked Kira if she would bring home the rest so that we could try the recipe this week. She finally got her chance on Tuesday, and so whipped it all up.

She ran into a few roadblocks, including our can opener that opens cans only of a certain diameter, so we vowed to get a backup for next time. She was even thoughtful enough to make a gluten free version for Carver, and he had only high praise for it, so that's perhaps the best compliment she could have received. We enjoyed the gluten version as well, and look forward to next time when we plan on buying mozzarella cheese, and maybe even trying different sauces.


The van has been rumbling since we got within 100 miles of home from our trip, and upon inspection I found that the problem was a small hole in the exhaust pipe. It looked like we must have hit something that tore it. I planned on taking it in on Wednesday morning, but of course had forgotten that I had a phone meeting set up to hand off my responsibilities as faculty advisor to a student organization to another person, so I couldn't take the van in after all. The rest of the day is a bit of a blur, as it was very hot and humid outside, so we all just languished inside for most of it. While Kira was dealing with other things and I was trying to get caught up with work, Avey fed the boys lunch without being asked, and then ventured out to line trim since I had mowed last Sunday. I worried that the heat would be too much for her, but she came in for water breaks, and got it done. She's a hard worker and a huge help!

Thursday was Kira's big birthday bash! She slept in a good long while, and I ended up waking up earlier than usual to deal with noisy boys so that she could actually sleep in. I made everybody French toast, and then showered while Kira ate so that I could be ready to go for the day's activities. Hannah took off to do some shopping and planned to meet us for the day's festivities at a bowling alley. We met there right before the discounted time ended, and had a fun time.

The first half of my game was horrifying, but I finally got my groove back in the last half. It's been too long. Avey had the single goal of getting a strike before Merritt did, because Hakan and Carver both got one (probably with the help of the bumpers - just sayin'). On the tenth frame, she got her wish, getting her first strike and spare of the day. Merritt even hung in there without getting too bored.

Oh, you can see in the video that Hannah's hair is much shorter. I forgot to mention last week that she had her hair cut in Utah, and it's a pretty dramatic difference:

Anyway, after bowling, we picked up takeout from our favorites, while Kira tried out a new restaurant, and ate at home. We then did presents and cake before she took the kids to a pool party they got invited to just that day. Kira thought it would be nice to chat with her friends there, but it ended up being a few too many kids in a situation that did not allow much chit chat. Hannah and I stayed home. Hannah used her gift to Kira to get the rug in the living room to stop sliding around (works great), and I vacuumed and cleaned until Kira and the kids came back.

In other Thursday news, Apollo caught a squirrel in the yard. He enjoys chasing them around, and has now caught two, but he seems to just enjoy catching them, as he lets them go. The scared little guy scampered off rather sheepishly, but it's fine physically. Apollo spent the rest of the day strutting around like he was freaking Mike Tyson or something, too. He kept checking the yard again to see if anyone else wanted to try to look for nuts in his domain.


Friday, I got up early to get the car in to the shop. My plan was flawless: I would grab some breakfast on the way to the shop, and then eat it while walking to the library, where I would spend the next couple of hours without distraction, getting all sorts of work done. What really happened was that I just skipped getting food, as I figured I could walk to the restaurant after dropping off the car (it isn't too far). The restaurant I wanted to go to was drive-through only until 10:00, which I should have figured. I walked across the street to another where I got food, but they had their dining area closed down so that I couldn't stay. I instead ate while I walked back in the direction toward the library. After finishing my food, I could feel a few raindrops, and they slowly increased in intensity so that I figured I should probably wait it out in some shelter. I dashed over to another restaurant that was closed, but that had a covered dining area outside. I was glad to have found it, because the rain then poured heavily for about 30 minutes.

It finally eased up enough that I could get to the library without getting too wet, but there I learned that they weren't actually allowing anyone to stay longer than 30 minutes, so they had actually taken down all of the tables and places for people to sit. Great.


I then walked over to Hannah's office nearby, because she was going to be in any minute. Her coworker happened to be coming in about when I got there, so he let me in and we chatted for a bit. I got a call that the car was going be ready in 45 minutes, so I worked from Hannah's office for about that long and then walked back to pick it up and go home to try and recover what I could from the morning. Ugh, what a stupid morning. At least the car is fixed now.

I took the kids and Apollo to a park that afternoon, where they had a good time, but it was pretty hot, still. That evening, we started up a fire in the fire pit, set off our fireworks, and enjoyed watching the fireflies who don't come out until after the boys are in bed. It was a really nice time.


We paid for it on Saturday, however, when the boys woke up at their normal times and were then pretty grumpy all day. Merritt was especially moody. It was a busy day, as I fixed my bike wheel that would turn, but with some resistance. I then took the boys to a local splash pad and park, where they had tons of fun while I called my family in Colorado. Kira had dropped us off to go shop for some window coverings for her office, to help protect confidentiality. When she got back for us, we went home for lunch, and then I took the van to her office to install the blinds she got. It was a little tricky to work with the dimensions of the windows on the door, and the placement of the handles, but I think they turned out nicely. We'll see what she thinks of them when she sees them tomorrow,


That was pretty much our week in a nutshell. Thanks for reading!

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