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  • Elijah Ricks

Let Them Eat Cake

Updated: 2 days ago

Surprise - it was another very busy week!


Last Sunday, the two youngest were fighting pretty hard over some couch cushions for some reason. After a lot of negotiation, we finally talked them into working together, and so they built a "house" in their room, using the cushions. We also put up the teepee, so that they had more "rooms" with which they could work. It turned out to be a good project for them both, until nighttime when Apollo couldn't find his favorite cushions for sleep. Avey snuck into their room to retrieve them for her doggy.

We happened to have all of the ingredients for tacos handy, so I fried what corn tortillas we had, and we ate those for a late lunch. Carver even enjoyed a tostada, and had another one the next day. We may need to work that into our normal menu. We invited Hannah over, but she opted to nap, and came over later to watch a youth broadcast with Avey in the late afternoon. Kira joined in, too.


Nearing bedtime, I helped Carver pick out some clothes for the week, and when he couldn't find any long-sleeve shirts, I busted open the totes with winter clothes in his size. We found a treasure trove of stuff, including Sunday suits, and some jackets. He's enjoyed his new pajamas, too. I looked through all of the other totes I could find, and found just a few items for the other boys, but nothing thrilling. At least I found some church pants that will actually fit Hakan: he's been high-watering it for months.

Carver, the Pokemon Trainer

Monday morning, as we were getting the boys ready for school, the neighbor girl whom we've been watching after school some days came over to wait for the bus with us while her mom left for work. That went ok, but we look forward to the days when that's not something else on our plates.


Kira had a morning client, but they cancelled with symptoms of the stomach flu. That gave me a little more time to work, so I took it. My address decal came in the mail, so I went outside and applied it. Here's the before-and-after:

I'm very pleased with the new one, and hope it doesn't rust anytime soon.


When Avey got home, she chose to babysit while I took Apollo on a walk. Although I had asked Merritt if he wanted to come, and he turned me down, as he saw me leave he flipped out and wanted to come after all. He rode his bike and I tried to keep up with Apollo stopping and chasing smells.


Kira had several more cancellations that night, so she was home about 9:15, Hannah joined us for some TV, and we all got the word that our schools have not been able to keep staffed, so they will need to transition back to remote learning at the end of the month. Oh boy.


Tuesday, Avey took the bus early to finish a math test that she had missed while waiting for Kira's COVID test results last week. Although I did not need to go to the city after my school went fully remote, I went anyway so that I could actually have some time without interruption, and I think the internet is much faster on campus, which helps when broadcasting my lectures live. I was really wiped out after lunch, though, and I struggled to focus. I felt like I was losing track of what I was saying during my evening course, so I was glad when that was over. At home, Kira was determined to keep Merritt off of the screen more, so she got out some of his old toys and started playing with them. He, of course, became instantly interested and started joining in.


Wednesday was finally a chance to sleep in just a bit, as the kids didn't have to go to school in person. After we did breakfast, I was up at my desk working while Kira supervised their remote learning tasks. I took over with the kids after lunch so that she could go get some quiet and shower, etc. The day looked nice, even though it was pretty cold, so the boys wanted to play on the trampoline. I bundled up and then joined them for a while.

Wednesday was my brother Jesse's birthday. He would have been 37, which is crazy! We had a cake in his honor, and talked about him a bit to remember him.


That evening, Kira unloaded a lot of green beans at the church that had been donated to Thanksgiving meals that the church is putting on. She then talked on the phone with her friend, and so Hannah, Avey, and I finished a show we had been working on.


Thursday, I opted to return to the city, catching the early train. It was again exhausting, as I taught three courses in a row with little break. Kira baked up 3 dozen cookies for some people in her branch, including a family with a member who had recently entered hospice.


Avey stayed later for the first meeting of drama club. That sounds exciting, even if it won't be like it would have pre-pandemic. We look forward to seeing whatever they can put together.


Avey's phone gave her some trouble when the screen froze and then went blank, but didn't turn off. Normally, we remove the battery, but this particular model was nearly impossible to open. I took a small crack at it, and then Avey tried a little later, and between our efforts we found that the screen connector had torn. We discussed options, and so I took it to a repair place the next day, and they got it back up and running. At least that's done!


Hannah stayed home to go to bed early that night, and Kira was on the phone with her mom, so Avey and I watched a scary movie before going to bed.

Friday, after the kids were off to school, I got ready for the day and then had a meeting I joined over the computer. I then recorded a review session for my statistics students, who have an assignment due the week after Thanksgiving. After that is when I took in Avey's phone and then did a Walmart run, then I came home to take Apollo to a play date. Merritt and I went on a bike ride with the decent weather, and then I picked Apollo back up and put together the two lamps I had just bought. That night, Kira and Avey went to pick up her phone and then went clothes shopping while Hannah came over for some quality time with the Switch. When the girls were back, we watched the next available episode of The Mandalorian.

Saturday morning I finally felt like I had some energy, so I raked up and burned the last of the leaves on the grass, and then I mowed the front lawn for the last time this season. I was glad to have judged the gas level just right so that it died right in front of the shed where it would spend winter. I took out the battery to keep it where I could charge it over the winter. Hannah and I wanted to go check out our favorite little used furniture and hardware place, and found some cool stuff, but nothing we really needed. I did find some grip for a step, and so I got that and put in on our step from the garage to the mud room.


Kira wasn't feeling great, so I packed the boys up into the car and took them to Wendy's and a park for a picnic. We dropped Apollo off at a play date, and met Hannah at the park. It was a little too cold after a breeze picked up and the sun hid behind some clouds, but the boys had fun anyway. I picked up some food for Kira and Avey on the way home.


After we had finished Jesse's cake, we all still wanted a few more slices, so I got one going in the oven. Hakan helped me frost it at dinner, and then we all enjoyed it before bedtime.


Avey still wanted to get out, so she and I drove to a craft store for some supplies for Christmas. As we were all tossing around ideas for the kids' Christmas ornaments this year, it seemed clear that they had some pretty specific interests that might best be suited with custom-made ornaments. I bought some clay so that I could make them that night. Avey wanted in on the action, so she made Carver's, which looks like a green Switch remote:

Merritt's is the iconic Meta Knight sword (from the Kirby video game universe). That's his favorite character. Hakan's is a dinosaur-shaped peanut butter and honey sandwich - a staple in his diet over most of the last year. You'll have to see Avey's ornament after she's opened it (she reads the blog).


This next week is my Thanksgiving break, so I don't have to teach at all, but I have a lot of work to do before the end of the semester. The kids get some time off, too, so it's not like I'll get tons of time to get ahead, but at least we've got most of our meal planned. We're doing ham again, as that seems to work best for our picky little eaters. We're a little saddened that we can't have some of you over, but at least Hannah's in town.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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