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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Growing Up

It's felt like a week of change and progress around here as Merritt's made some good transitions in to big-boyhood, Avey spent a day at a big choir event, and we made some updates to the furniture.

Merritt has made wonderful progress in his potty training. I'd hoped that he'd get the hang of it and take over himself, sort of like he was our only child to just decide he was done with his pacifier. He made great strides this week: first by trying out the seat that goes over a regular toilet, so that we don't have to clean up his small potty chair. That's much easier to take with us to public places, so that's been a nice move. He's also initiated going to the potty all by himself. He has surprised me twice by finding me and informing me that he had a bowel movement in the potty, with no problems.

In another big move for him, once Hannah's new bed arrived, I got his new big-boy bed all set up in his room, and then switched his clothes over to a real dresser instead of just his changing table.

When I brought him up to surprise him with the bed, he was furious at first. He screamed and cried and tried to unmake the new bed. We wondered if he might do that, even though I talked over the idea with him the night before, and he said he would like a big-boy bed.

In any case, he threw a fit for a while, and then Carver showed him how much fun he could have on the bed:

Merritt warmed up to it enough to sleep in it, and after another couple of nights, he asked both Hannah and me on separate occasions, "Can we keep this bed?"

Saturday was a very busy day, as the two school-aged boys had large projects to work on, and needed close supervision from grownups. I worked with Carver while he makes a model of a business in town. He chose to do a bank, so we drove down to get some photos (trying not to look too suspicious in our black van), and then he painted the lot while I tried to get the building structure made. It's looking good so far, and we'll pick it up next weekend to finish up.

Hakan teamed up with Kira and Hannah, putting together a model of a waterfall, using cones, cylinders, and a rectangular prism, which is also looking good.

Avey left for her school early Saturday morning to catch a bus for a town about 40 minutes away, where she participated in a state-wide choir day for students. It is somewhat similar to what Kira and I did in All-state Choir back in high school, where several students come together and prepare a few pieces to then sing together for a larger concert. The family drove to see the concert in the afternoon, which was very impressive. The boys were even well-behaved. Avey said it was so much work that she may not want to do it again next year, but she was delighted to be placed on the top row of the choir for the first time, which is where they place the tallest kids.

After the concert, Kira took the kids to eat at a restaurant and I gassed up the car and then went shopping for some things we'd needed before picking them all back up and heading home.

We're also feeling like some nice changes have come because our neighbor has sold her home, and although we're sad to see her leave, she's leaving a lot of furniture and such behind. The other day I found two stools on her curb that are the perfect size to replace one of ours at our breakfast bar that has been falling apart for months. These stools are sturdy, so I gave them a thorough cleaning and then painted them to match the rest of the kitchen, so they look brand new. Avey and I reconditioned a coat rack from the neighbors, too. I used some wood putty on the foot, because it looked like a dog had scratched it up a lot, but with the putty, a good cleaning, and then a coat of paint, it looks great, too. I figure it can be a good place for the boys to hang their backpacks instead of just having them all over the floor all the time.

In other news, I finally finished the last closet light today, and I had just the right length of wire for it. I'm very pleased to have that all done, and now want to move onto some other projects like getting the garage better organized and dealing with some minor plumbing things.

Kira has two clients coming tomorrow, and is not sure what the third wants to do after their initial meeting (there may be no need). Hannah's Monday trip to outside of Indianapolis was long, and she felt rather behind at the other tasks at work, but is doing well otherwise. She's getting used to her new bed, and loves the adjustable base.

The week has been stupid cold and snowy most of the week, but yesterday and today are finally sunny and even moderate in temperature, so we are soaking that up while we can. Apollo has finally had some play time with his best doggie friend, and the boys are spending more time outside. Alas, it is not to last into tomorrow, with lots of rain and possible snow in the forecast.

Carver is getting excited for his birthday in another week and a half, and I'm getting excited for my Spring Break just after that.

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