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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


We've finished off another wild week of craziness, and Kira is in Colorado, helping her mother finish up her packing.

Last Sunday, the kids were in need of an outing, but we also needed to get some laundry done before Monday, so Kira and I split up the tasks. I chose to stay home and do the laundry, so she took the kids and Apollo to the park. As the loads were in their cycles, I replaced a pull string light whose switch was barely working, and then I decided to go putter around in the garage. It turns out that was a big mistake...

I have a CD player and radio that goes under cabinets. We inherited it with the house. When I got a new one some time ago with Bluetooth, I put the old one on my tool bench. But when I added the wooden back to my tool bench, the CD player wouldn't fit anymore, so I decided to put it under some shelves in the garage. The very stupid thing about the CD player is where the screw holes are - they do not align in a square, so it's very difficult to correctly mark where to drill the holes. I had the idea that I would put some ink on the holes, and then sort of stamp the player where I want it, thus marking where to drill with the ink that is left on the underside of the shelves. The problem was that I somehow also managed to knock the ink bottle off the shelf, splattering black ink all over the garage floor, and my precious Wallter. It was a disaster. I was able to clean most of it up, but I fear I'll just need to paint over what's left. At least it's only about 6 square feet - frustrating, but doable.

Anyway, we had a short family night when the others got home, and then Hannah came over for a few games of dominoes as we all struggled to stay awake.

Monday was Labor Day, so we hoped to sleep in. My stupid brain had other ideas, though, because I couldn't seem to sleep past 6:45, so I just got up. While I was awake anyway, I decided to try and reestablish my dominance as the chef in the house, after Kira's amazing burgers. I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, including a batch of gluten free ones for Carver. They lasted the whole week, so that was nice to have. We invited Hannah over, but she was already deep in the middle of the wilderness, in search of rare birds.

Kira had a client to see at 11, but she learned of a baptism in the branch taking place that morning, so Avey and Merritt both opted to join her and go to that. The rest of us stayed home - I worked while the boys were on the screen. As soon as Kira was back, I took her to work and then came home to finish some grading. Once that was done, I took us all out for a picnic at the park. The kids played for a while, and Avey and I took turns walking Apollo around. We came home to do some preparation for the school week, including getting clothes ready. Each Sunday, usually Kira is the one to help the kids pick out 5 outfits for the week, so that she can make sure they actually match and such. She was still at work, so I helped this time. I tried to explain to Merritt how we needed only 4 outfits this time, because it was a holiday from school on one of the days. He just could not comprehend this simple concept, and repeatedly insisted that he needed to have 5 outfits. I finally gave up and let him pick out a fifth outfit. I then got dinner going and then left to pick up Kira from work. We came home for lots of play time and then the bedtime routine. Hannah came over for a little while.

Tuesday morning was a little rough after the day off. I woke up a little before my alarm. Merritt really didn't want to go to school, saying that it was too long. I agreed with him, and then reminded him that it was "letter M day" at school, and he was planning on using himself as a letter M object. That got him back on board for going to school, thankfully. I got his food going, then ate my breakfast before riding my bike to the train station. It was a good day for me in the city - classes went well, but then I spent the afternoon trying to get my UTEP email set up. Kira finally heard back from the doctor that the kids' COVID tests were negative, so we must have just had some bug make its way through the house. Kira took the boys to Tae Kwon Do by the time I got home, so Avey was feeding Merritt his dinner. He was finishing a pancake when I got there, and asked for another one just to top him off. We had a standard bedtime routine.

Wednesday, after the kids were off to school, I worked and then made a grocery run. I worked some more after lunch. Avey missed her bus to come home, so Kira went to pick her up. We were surprised by a couple of 4th graders (a boy and a girl) coming over to our house. We've never met them before, but they are both in Carver's class. Carver had a good time playing with them for a while, and I enjoyed witnessing my backyard continue its inevitable takeover of the world.

Thursday, Kira had a flight scheduled to go to Colorado to help her mother do some last packing as she prepares to move to Utah. She drove me to the train so that I could just take the van that she would leave there, and then she went back home to get the kids to school. She then got ready for the trip, packed her bags, and also cleaned up some areas of the house a bit. I had good classes in the city, and then left immediately to catch the train to be home before the boys' bus. It was nice to get to drive the car instead of my bike.

I greeted the boys and helped with their homework. I was very tired - this little sickness we had wasn't too bad by way of symptoms, but it's had a big impact on my energy. I feel ready to crawl into bed between 4 and 6 each day. Anyway, it hit me pretty hard, probably compounded by the sense of total dread having Kira gone for the weekend. Anyway, I rallied to empty the trashes, and then just as I was about to wheel it down to the side of the road, I realized that, because of Labor Day, the trash would be delayed by a day. Ugh. The boys were fairly cooperative for bedtime, and then Hannah came over for a little while.

Friday, Avey took the bus again and I got the boys off to their bus. I then did my professor work, and then got going on some other projects. I finished mudding the garage ceiling in further preparation for painting. I then put a new firebrick mortar on the firepit, because the one that was holding them together wasn't holding anymore - I think it got too hot. I installed the stupid CD player in the garage. I then took a bunch of crap to a recycling center, unloading a lot of old metal and wires, and getting a little cash in return. I came home to take Apollo on a very long walk, letting him lead me around the neighborhood. We came home for lunch, and then I finally chilled out for a bit before the boys' bus came home. After they debriefed the day with me, I started sorting some of the many piles of stuff that needs sorting. I made a dent there, and took the boys to Tae Kwon Do. After dropping them off, I thought I'd make a quick run to the library to browse around. It turned out that nobody else in the universe thought that was a good idea. I first waited for a train, and then once the train had passed, I saw that the road was closed because there was a homecoming parade going through downtown. Great. I turned around and tried a parallel road, which was also blocked by the parade. I saw Hannah driving, too, trying to make it home, and she stopped for a second to tell me she'd been trying every route she could think of to get to her house, but they were all blocked by the stupid parade. She tried a few more routes, and eventually got home after 40 minutes of driving around. I eventually made it to the library for just a few minutes, and then went to pick up the boys. What a nightmare...

A woman kneels at a headstone in a graveyard.
Kira Visits Her Dad's Grave

Avey had Merritt ready to go once we got there, and so they both hopped in the car and we took Avey to her rehearsal for Sister Act. It was then dinnertime for the boys, so we did that and got them to bed. Hannah came over in time to be with the sleeping boys while I went to pick up Avey from rehearsal, and then we watched a movie.

I finally slept in a bit on Saturday, and then we all took Avey to a morning rehearsal. The boys and I came home for breakfast, and then thought we'd beat the heat of the day and go to a park and splash pad. The splash pad was not on, though, disappointing the boys. They quickly recovered and went to play on the playground. They had a good time, and Apollo had fun leading me everywhere his nose could reach. We came home for a little while before picking up Avey. and then all of us went to a $5 store. Hakan had decided a few days ago that his guns needed to move up to 8-pound weights. He earned the money he'd need to get them, but then almost as soon as we got into the store, he changed his mind and decided that the weights he wanted were probably too heavy, so he should spend his money on toys instead. Avey got a few items, too, and then we all went to pick up fast food for lunch.

After lunch, I did all the boys' haircuts. Hakan randomly said that he was ready for something dramatic, so he had me cut the sides of his hair a lot, but leave the top long. He then had me style it into a Mohawk.

It was such a dramatic change to his beloved beach bum look that I was nervous he would hate it, but he looked at himself in the mirror for a minute, then turned to me and said, "Dad, you get 10,000 out of 10. I LOVE IT!"

He's talking about dying it red or something, so we'll see just how far this goes. I'm curious to hear the reaction from his school chums.

The rest of the afternoon was full of playing with neighbors while I worked on cleaning and organizing. It was such a pleasant evening that it was difficult to round the boys up and bring them inside, but they were pretty good about it. Hannah joined us for the evening, and Carver couldn't sleep, so he joined us for the movie, although he may regret that now.

Kira comes home tomorrow night, so we'll hang on just a little longer. I may try to make the Costco run tomorrow while the kids are in school, although I've got a busy day of grading and meetings. At least we're all basically recovered from that sickness that made its way through!

See you on the other side of this week!

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