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  • Elijah Ricks

Preschool House Rocks

It feels like we crammed 3 weeks into this last one, but I also feel like I say that a lot. 

We left off last week with the older 4 in the house attending a show from comedian James Acaster, in from the U.K. We arrived in Chicago with just about 15 minutes before the show was supposed to start. Parking was hard to find, and we wondered whether we’d make it in time at all, but then we found a spot right around the corner from the venue. To our surprise, parking was also free that night! 

The show was in a small place, with maybe 120 people. We sat at the very back, behind a very drunk man who was having the time of his life. That guy thought absolutely everything was hilarious, and caused quite the ruckus. James started out catching us in some classic American-audience-isms, and then got going on his material. The show got a bit odd, though within maybe 20 minutes. He kept commenting about someone in the audience who was distracting him with her disapproving looks. Finally, he addressed her directly. She was sitting in the front row. He seemed sincere and jovial about it, but she seemed to give explanations that were not really relevant. He tried joking with her a bit, but it was getting nowhere until she got up and left. He then spent nearly the entire rest of the show processing the whole thing, feeling really bad about the exchange. It was still really funny, as he is a very quick-witted guy, and he said that that was the first time anything like that had ever happened to him in his 11 years of doing this. We witnessed history. Still, we were saddened to not get to hear the rest of his material. 

After the show, we all went to use the restrooms before the long drive home, and then when we came out, there was James in the hallway, greeting people. We decided to go over and chat with him a little, so that was nice. He said he would record his show on this tour and that we’d probably get to see it that way. 


Hakan began preschool this week on Tuesday. He was so excited, he could hardly contain himself. He prepared a folder by putting some paper in it for any projects he would need to do, and he converted an unused notebook from Carver into one for him (pictured above). The morning of, he got himself in all of his gear a full 2 hours before it was time to go. We eventually convinced him to occupy himself instead of just sitting there waiting, so he started playing with Legos. After a few minutes of that, he did finally remove his coat, but it was very endearing.


Merritt has been both adorable and an absolute terror this week. He is on a controlling streak, where everything must be exactly as he imagined or he will scream and holler until it is made that way. For example, just this morning, I could hear him rolling around in his bed, so I got up to change his diaper and get him out. As soon as I entered his room, he screamed and cried, insisting that Mom had to help him. This is not usually an issue, but I figure he just expected it to be Kira that morning. He eventually let me get him dressed, and then wanted to go show Kira that he was ready for the day. We entered my bedroom, where he expected to find her laying down in the bed, but she was in our bathroom, so he cried and screamed until Kira got in her place in the bed, and then we reenacted it the way he wanted it to play out—he and I carefully and quietly open the door to find her laying in the bed, and he impresses her by being dressed already. This has to just be a phase, right?


We’re all a little freaked out about ticks still, after finding that one in Avey last week. Hakan had one small one crawling on him after an afternoon playing outside, so we were happy to find it before it burrowed in, but quite concerned that this is going to be an issue this summer. We didn’t see any ticks last summer.


With the warmer weather, I’ve had projects on my brain. Hannah and I made a birdhouse this week, hoping to get some chickadees moving in. I cut all the wood and Hannah assembled it. We’ll probably put it up today and watch to see who comes.

I also started to think about using some of the bricks that were left in our back yard for some projects, mostly with irrigation stuff. I started gathering the bricks and one jagged one scraped my thumb open a bit. I ignored it for a minute, because it was just a scratch, but the more I used my thumb, the sharper the pain was. I put on a bandage and gloves, but any pressure on it was surprisingly uncomfortable. I washed it more thoroughly, but the next day it still was not much better. It was difficult to tie my shoe, even. Finally, last night, I opened it back up a bit and soaked it in hydrogen peroxide. After that, I could see that there was something there, so I pried it out—it was a grain of brick that had become lodged in the wound. As soon as I got it out, it felt immediately better, and I can hardly feel it now.

Another big project of the week that the boys helped out with is that we salvaged an old dog house that was left here by one of the previous owners.


The boys were so helpful. That, of course, leads to what is probably the biggest news of the week: we adopted a dog!


We started looking a little earlier than we were thinking, just because we figured it may be several weeks before we found the right dog. I came across a shelter that seemed to have a very nice selection of smaller dogs that could be a good fit for our family, so I filled out an application. They were the first place to actually respond to any of my applications or inquiries, so we decided to go and see a dog that I had my eye on, if he was still there when we were all available for the trip. The place is 2 hours away, so we didn’t want to go unless there was a dog there we could maybe get serious about.


He was available for adoption on Friday, and was still there by the end of the day, so we all went up on Saturday as early as we could manage. We got there at 10:00, and met Weaver, a 1-year-old dachshund and Sheltie mix (their best guess). I liked what I had read about him, and liked his photos, but I was a little concerned that he would be a standoffish or sad dog. I was pleased to see that he has good energy and likes a crowd (perfect for our crew). He came right up to the kids and sniffed them, and then got right to exploring everything. He didn’t pay me much attention then. We played with him for a while and then Kira asked his caretaker about his behaviors. We tried out two more dogs after that, but both left us less impressed, so we all arrived at the decision that Weaver seemed like he could make a good fit for us. We found out that he’s not yet neutered, so they arranged to have that done on Monday, and then I will pick him up Wednesday when I’m closer to the shelter for my Schaumburg teaching.


After the decision was made, we all took a photo with him, and when the worker handed him to me to hold, he licked my face a couple of times, so it looks like we are friends after all.

We’re all excited and nervous to enter this unknown stage of our lives. We’ve never had a dog! We’re spending a lot of time thinking about a name that would fit him better, as we’re not too keen on “Weaver.” We have lots of ideas, but may need to spend more time with him to get a feel for his personality. We are accepting suggestions, if you have them. My brother’s dog is “Rocky,” so we thought it might be fun to name ours “Apollo.” We have several others in the works, though.

I’m sure we’ll have plenty to share about week 1 next time!

#Happenings #LittleGems

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