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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Updated: Oct 31, 2021

What a week...

On Sunday of last week, Kira had an early morning meeting at the church, and so she took the truck while I got the kids fed and dressed, then I took them there in the van and picked up the truck. I ran a few errands while I was out, and then came home to prepare and prime the master bathroom ceiling. It's been growing mildew. It was bad when we moved in, and so I touched it up with the cheapest ceiling paint made, but then over the last 3 years it has continued to get worse. I thought about replacing the exhaust fan, but it's rated for higher than necessary for the room size, so now I'm going to try a mold-and-mildew-killing primer, and then a mildew-resistant paint. I would need to do those anyway, even after replacing the fan, so I'll watch and see, and if it comes back I'll get a more powerful fan. Anyway, it made a world of difference:


Ok, so maybe it's hard to see in the picture, but it was really getting gross.


Ok, so anyway I finished up with that, and then cooked sweet-and-sour meatballs that I totally spaced for Hannah's birthday. She had requested them, and then I ruined everything by forgetting to do it, so I made up for it.

It was rainy all day, and so we were stuck inside and pretty bored. Still, Avey saved the day by showing us some of the videos she has taken over the last several years. She even had some from when we lived in Illinois. We'd never seen them before and so it was an especially fun time to get a glimpse back to our old lives aside from the videos I've taken. She also treated us to her Soviet propaganda presentation, which was very entertaining.

We had our family night then, and Kira walked the kids through what they should do if ever there were an accident and Kira was unconscious with just them around. Merritt burst into tears several times the rest of the evening, traumatized by the idea of his mommy getting hurt and then him feeling all alone and scared. We comforted him and I also tried to explain that we be prepared so that we do not need to feel scared, but he mostly just needed some sleep.

A Halloween Dream Catcher

It rained all night and all into Monday. The kids made it to school and Kira snuck in a quick nap before heading to work. I had lots of grading to do, so I did that, took a break for lunch, and then dropped off some used oil at the auto parts store. I then went right back to my grading. The boys made it home, and then Hakan took off into the cold rain to ride his bike with a friend. I then fought off my inner sloth and went down into the crawlspace to see how the sump pump was doing with all of this rain. It seemed to be working after I cut off that pipe that was blocking the switch, at least. I then painted our bathroom ceiling before feeding the boys and getting them to bed. Kira was home after bedtime.

Tuesday was standard stuff again, except that Hakan wanted to try something different with his hair. We slicked it back with some gel, and he really enjoyed that. The next day he wanted just the front sticking up, and then he wanted it slicked back again later in the week. At least he has hair, I guess.

I had a busy day planned. After classes, I left immediately to get home for a doctor appointment. It turned out that my train needed to have us all get off a few stops early and then get bused to my normal stop. It added about 15 minutes, but I made it to the appointment in time. I'm not sure how much I should share about the appointment, so suffice it to say it resulted in Kira and I sticking with just 4 children. If that's still not clear enough, the procedure rhymes with "basectomy." Anyway, Kira came along to be a support, and so a neighbor caught the kids off of the bus and kept them from raising the dead before Avey got home 45 minutes later. I have been recovering since then, feeling mostly ok, but I'm not supposed to lift anything, walk or stand much, and all of that. It's been hard feeling rather lazy and useless, but maybe it will do me some good.

Anyway, Hakan told us that he was sent to the principal's office that day at school. I think we all knew that this was coming, but then he explained the circumstances, and it turns out that he was not in trouble. He was playing with some other boys at recess, and during their game of tag, one of the boys did not like a rule change, and went to punch Hakan, but it wasn't hard, and Hakan blocked it, so he reported the incident to a teacher. We had a good talk about how he handled it well.

Hannah went to a baptism in the branch, but then she came over in the evening to watch some TV with us and mock my pain.

Kira let me sleep in on Wednesday. I'd had some trouble getting comfortable during the night, but it wasn't too bad. I didn't need any meds Wednesday. Avey had the PSAT at school, so she was up early to get some food and be on the bus in time. It sounds like it went well overall, but she's not sure when or even if she'll hear about the results.

I worked for a while from the computer, and when I was done, I relaxed on the couch for a while. After some of that I was going a little crazy feeling like I hadn't done anything all day, so I snuck into the garage when Kira wasn't looking to replace the leaf spring rebound clips on the truck (the originals had rusted right through). I just needed to lay down underneath it, and it didn't take any lifting or anything. The problem is I think that probably didn't help my back. Anyway, I got them on and then came back inside, glad to have something to show for the day. The boys came home shortly after that. Hakan and I went to pick up Avey from library club after school, where she learned to play UNO from Hell, or something like that. Apparently, it's where you take out all of the normal numbered cards and play just with the trick cards. Too rich for my blood...

Anyway, Hakan, Avey, and I all went to Goodwill after school. Avey was on the lookout for something special to wear for pajama day at school, and we thought we'd take a stab at some new shoes for Hakan. We did happen to find a good pair, so we didn't need to go to a department store after that for new ones. Hakan and I did his homework on the drive home.

Avey Can't Hide Her Enthusiasm

Hakan wanted a skull tattoo on his chest this week, and so he asked me to do it, but I suggested he also see what Avey came up with. He opted to go with Avey's design, so she drew it on him with normal pen:

He was very pleased with it, but I don't think he showed it to anyone at school (luckily).

It was a rough night for Kira and me. Kira had a headache for much of the night, and then I woke up with back pain. It was actually a lot more uncomfortable than my... other pain.

Avey left for the bus, ready for picture retakes that day. She said that these turned out much better, as the photographer actually let her approve them before moving onto the next kid.

I made it to the city and stretched my back as much as I could before classes. That helped, but I wasn't at 100% for the rest of the day. Kira stayed very busy at home, mostly working on her job and her calling back and forth. Merritt went to the pumpkin patch with his class, so now he has two pumpkins!

I came home to help with dinner and bedtime. Merritt wowed us with his counting - he can get to 100 with just a little bit of help, and now he can read the sight words, "too," "like," "see," and "the." Hannah joined us for TV while Kira was on the phone with her mother.

The kids had their costume day on Friday, so they got decked out in the morning, and Kira tried to let me sleep in again. Apollo didn't like that, so he came upstairs and whined at my door until I got up, but then I could see the boys before they got on the bus.

Hakan was the same ninja as he was last week, but I don't have another picture.

The plumbers were supposed to come by to do a smoke test, stopping the roof vents for the sewer lines and then pumping smoke into the house to help us find where there may be a leak. But it was raining all day, and so they called to say they would instead send out a guy who is pretty good at locating these things. They didn't feel safe going up on the wet roof, which I get. But of course, I fell for it, and thought that they really were going to come. In fact, they never came, and so 3 hours after they said they would be there, I called to tell them I had to leave and pick up my kids, so we rescheduled for Wednesday of this coming week. Kira left while I was working on my day job. She visited the bedridden sister in the branch and then picked up Avey from school for a doctor appointment about a sore throat that's been lingering. Nothing really clear about what it is, so she'll just keep drinking honey tea and such.

About 10 minutes after Kira left the house, I could hear a smoke alarm going off upstairs. It was in the boys' room. I smelled nothing, and I don't think that Kira has been smoking in their room. I silenced it, but then it turned right back on. I silenced it again, and it came right back on. I finally took it down to turn it off. It is not a CO detector, and it was about 6 feet from two other smoke detectors that were not going bananas, so all I can figure is that it malfunctioned. I'm just glad it wasn't in the middle of the night...

Anyway, I picked up the boys so that we could drive over to the Boys and Girls Club before the buses got there. Hakan has been talking about going there after school for several weeks now, so we thought we'd check it out. He is really excited, so we got him signed up, and we'll try taking him over there 2 days a week or something. He'll start this week sometime.

Kira and Avey got some food and then brought home milkshakes for the boys. Avey had rehearsal that night, so she got ready and then I dropped her off. She'd planned to drop by a school dance for the last 20 minutes after rehearsal, but by the time she got there it looked like everyone else was leaving already. That was disappointing, but hopefully more things will come along like that. We watched a little TV with Hannah when they got home.

Today is still cold and it was rainy all morning. The boys are in a real mood. Avey had a very long rehearsal today, so she was at that. Kira and Carver went to a family history activity thing, but it rained so it didn't last long. I bathed the other two boys and dealt with some rust spots on the truck, using a new patching material that looks like it did the trick. Kira has kept busy all day, taking Merritt to ride his bike in a parking lot while walking Apollo. At least it stopped raining.

We've got a busy week ahead. Avey is getting close to show time, so they have rehearsals every day after school. Maybe the stupid plumber will stupid come and stupid fix the stupid smell we keep stupid getting, but maybe it's time I just gave up. Maybe I'll just rip out the walls until I find the problem...

Tomorrow is Halloween, so we'll probably get some candy-grabbing freeloaders, and we'll send our own out, too. At least it should be dry this week...

Thanks for reading!

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