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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Independence Play

With Kira gone until Thursday night, we spent most of the week trying to find ways to stay entertained and cool. It was still in the 80s with really high humidity each day, so as soon as we stepped outside it felt like we were swimming through the air. Still, the kids were determined to beat the challenge from my mom, so we pressed on with practicing bicycles each day. 

As I mentioned last week, Hakan has had the hardest time staying focused on his task, but he really pushed this week and got down the balance really well.

He can keep going really well now until he starts going uphill too much. In those cases, he starts to panic a little, even though he can usually just peddle to keep going. Our next goal is for him to start the bike by himself and then to stop a little more gracefully. Carver is now more independent than ever. When I was out with Hakan the other day, a girl that rides the bus with Carver was about a block behind us on her bike, so I mentioned it to Carver when we got home, and he took off to see if he could catch up with her and ride with her for a bit. He went all the way around our block all by himself, though he didn’t find her. Even so, I’m glad that he can feel the joy of being left to his own devices, and able to navigate and problem solve on his own.

We found Avey a newer bike last week and she officially decided she liked it more than the one she learned to ride on, so she texted a friend who lives close by and offered it to her. I keep thinking maybe they could go riding together sometime, but Avey’s a bit hesitant.

On a sweltering day this week, I thought we should try to get Apollo to the dog park, as he seemed so bored with our routine. We took everyone to the dog park only to find not a single other dog friend there (probably because of the heat). The kids played pretty well, at least, and eventually another dog did come to run around with Apollo for a while.

Carver had two things scheduled at the library this week, so the boys and I hung out there while we waited. At the first one, part of the activity was making a sort of play dough out of mostly wheat flour. I was a little shocked to check on him and find him covered in the dried-on dough that will devastate his intestines if he swallows any, but he washed off thoroughly, and at least he doesn’t show symptoms when it’s in his system.

Kira was scheduled to get back home late Thursday night, so we spent the day getting the house in order for her. Hannah and I did the bulk of it, although the kids helped here and there, and Avey was a champ in pitching in all week. We split it up by attending a Fourth of July parade in Portage. It was hot, but the kids had a pretty good time collecting candy that was thrown to the crowd. I installed a curtain rod in the laundry room that Kira had wanted, and hung a picture I’d been meaning to get hung since we moved in. We did a few fireworks on the back patio before dinner and bedtime.

Kira’s flight was, of course, delayed for more than an hour, so I left to get her around 9:30 p.m. and we got back in around 12:45 a.m. Friday. We woke Apollo as we came in through his room, and he was thrilled to see us, but we’re glad he went back to sleep.

We were both awoken much too early by boys anxious to see their mommy. We all took it easy on Friday, though I had an MRI scheduled for the morning. That was to try and get a better idea of why my shoulder and arm are being so weird. They have been really bad since I painted the fence, as I said, but they’ve very slowly improved since I stopped taking that medicine (maybe related?). Anyway, in the MRI, I had to stay perfectly still, but I just could not find a position that didn’t cause my arm to throb with pain. I had to have the technician try me in three different poses before I just told her to go ahead. I tried to think of other things while I laid there, not moving a muscle for 25 minutes while my shoulder and forearm throbbed. I was so glad to have it over with. Naturally, the doctor was off all week, so this next week is full, and I won’t get to see him until next week. I just hope for some answers.

I took Avey and Hakan to buy a few more fireworks so that Kira could join us for a bit of a celebration that afternoon. We had a good time and decided to save some of them for another night when we could keep the boys awake until dark to see the fireflies that are out now (around 8:45 p.m.).

Avey bought a new phone this week after becoming increasingly frustrated with her old one’s ability to hold a charge and such. It came on Friday and she’s enjoyed it ever since. She’s considering selling the old one to Carver at a discount, but still neither has a SIM card, so they’re just for fun.

This week will mostly be me trying to get caught up on work stuff. I have lots to do for my day job, and plenty of home improvement projects I’d still like to get done while I can. We’ll celebrate Kira’s birthday this week, too, although she’s still working on deciding what she wants to do. We’ll report next time.


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