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  • Elijah Ricks

In Stitches

This week took a turn we didn't fully anticipate.


Monday was full as Kira had a morning phone call with her doctor in Colorado, and then she went to work all day. I dropped her off so that the boys and I could have the car to go to the park with a splash pad. They had a good time playing in the water while I walked Apollo to and fro. He got lots of compliments on his good looks, but he was preoccupied with smells of who-knows-what all over the place. It was very hot, so the boys eventually let us head for home to eat a very late lunch. With the rest of the afternoon, I got the bug to start cleaning up some of the clutter that is constantly everywhere in the house. I started gathering some of the old toys for toddlers, and I thought I'd rearrange the boys' room to conserve some space. With Hannah's help, I put the bunk beds back together (we took them apart about a year ago or so), and then moved a spare desk to their room for Hakan to use for homework. Carver already has one in there, but it has just become a place to store more of his treasures. Anyway, it is a better move, and Merritt enjoyed his lower-level bunk for a while, though now he wants me to move it back so that he can jump on his bed again. There's no pleasing him.

Craft Time - Straw Boat

Tuesday was my first day going back to Chicago since mid-March. A colleague of mine retired after the spring semester, and I was offered his office. However, with the pandemic, campus has been closed to everyone who doesn't have to be there, so I didn't want to ask, "Hey, are you gone yet?" Anyway, the person who is going to take over my office asked about it, and so I got the ball rolling and went in to move into my new office on Tuesday, planning on spending a couple of hours packing and unpacking, and then the rest of the day doing some work. I rode my bike to the station, really feeling the months of atrophy in my legs. I had the train car all to myself, as almost no one goes into Chicago anymore, what with the lockdowns, the closed businesses and museums, and the looting and shootings. I arrived on campus to find a convoluted maze for how to get to my office. They have an entire entrance closed off, so that I have to go into the wrong building, go up a floor and transfer over to the right building, and then take a specific elevator up to my floor. Boy do I feel safe (#sarcasm).


I made it to my old office to find that I.T. had not moved my phone and computer to my new office like they were supposed to last week. I could do it myself, except that they tether them to the desk to prevent theft and self-sufficiency. So I followed up with an email that day and still have not heard a reply. In any case, I packed up all of my crap in about an hour, and then found that the person who is retiring was still not quite finished packing himself up. So, I went and got some lunch and then came back to clean up some of my old office while I waited. He finished up, and we said goodbye, and then I moved in in about an hour. In my mailbox, there were some things to deal with since March, so I had to make a trip to another office on campus, and then went to catch my train home. I'm really excited about the new office, though - it's a nice step up from the last one.

(These photos are from a walk Kira took everyone on last week. I didn't have the photos when I wrote the blog.)


When I got home, Kira and the boys were gearing up to head to a park for a little picnic dinner, so I came along, pushing Merritt on the swing, encouraging him to eat his food, and then playing "monster," where I chase them around the playground, always just missing them as they escape.


Wednesday morning I got a little bit of work done before Kira left for a doctor's appointment. She was scheduled to have a mole removed. It's large, but was at her hairline so that it was not very noticeable. Still, a doctor recommended that she have it removed, so she did. She came home all bandaged up and numb, with a couple of prescriptions for the pain and antibiotics.

While I was home with the kids, I bathed the boys, mowed the lawn, and Carver's and Avey's new glasses arrived in the mail, so they modeled them for us and got used to the new prescriptions. That night was a youth activity of bike riding, so Hannah borrowed my bike and took Avey to meet everyone and ride. Hannah had a little accident, resulting in a bruise, but she saw lots of bunnies on her ride, so it was totally worth it.


As the night drew near, Kira's wound started hurting more and more, and the Tylenol wasn't doing anything (she's never found it to be very effective for her). The doctor told her not to take ibuprofen, which she usually uses for pain, and she had already taken the prescription pain medicine she brought home, so she was not sure what to do. She was nearly at the maximum dose for Tylenol, so we figured she should take another of the prescription medicine - she wasn't at the daily maximum. That seemed to help with the pain some, but then she awoke later to use the restroom and fainted - she could feel it coming, so she called out to me and laid down on the floor gently before it happened. She was out for about 5 seconds. She got back to bed okay, and then awoke again in the night to throw up.


The next morning, Hannah and I were planning on doing our Costco run, but we delayed for a while until Kira gave us the go-ahead. We got the kids fed and set, and then Kira felt better enough with Avey's help to just chill while we were gone. We left and were back in a couple of hours, and then I took Kira back in to see a nurse, who gave her some tips and extracted some of the fluid causing swelling around the wound. It wasn't terribly helpful, but she did say that things should be better after another day or so. We came home and Kira napped, and awoke feeling much better.

We Found a Leaf Bug!

Friday was the first morning I actually got some real time to get work done, so I tried to capitalize on that as much as I could, Kira had an okay morning, and then by the afternoon she was in a lot of pain again, and the swelling had spread down her face. She was nervous as she was running out of the prescription medicine and might not have enough for the weekend, so she called to speak to the doctor. The office had closed, so she got a message to him through another place, and he advised her to go to an urgent care. She was furious at that, and feeling hopeless, but she was able to get the pain under control and then napped. I tried to get the kids interested in doing something, but nobody wanted to go anywhere or do anything, so we stayed at home.


Kira was doing better on Saturday, so Hannah and I took a quick trip to a used building supply store to get a kit for stairs I saw last week. I'm going to build some steps down into the crawl space if I ever get some time. I then took the kids to get their new glasses adjusted, and then we all went to our neighbor's pool while Kira napped. I then showered everyone and took a brief trip to the grocery store for some supplies. Kira showered and cleaned her wound, but the swelling and bruising is still fairly prominent. She's asked some men in the branch to come and give her a blessing later today.


Avey's been busy dog-sitting for the neighbors, as they are gone for about a week this time. She's excited for the cash that's going to bring in. The boys have seemed to lose some of their motivation to earn money this week - I offer lots of ideas, some for very easy tasks, and they usually turn me down. I suppose I should be patient while they learn the value of a dollar.


Hannah got her bus route assignment, so she's glad to have that finally answered. Her new apartment is getting some upgrades right now, so she's starting to think about how much she should worry about decorating and such, versus saving money to eventually buy a place.


School for the kids was supposed to start this week, but it was officially delayed for 2 weeks, so the kids are happy about that. I'm still trying to figure out how this semester is going to work for me.


This is sure to be another crazy week. Stay well, everyone.

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