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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Sick of School

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

Last Sunday, Merritt seemed like he might be coming down with a cold, because he was sniffing his nose a lot. He acted pretty normal otherwise, so we weren't sure what to do about school the next day. We tried out salmon burgers for our meal, and they turned out really well. It was a nice change of pace, and even Carver liked them! Most of the rest of the day was spent playing outside, as the weather was nice and cool. In between stuff, I worked on painting my garage cabinets with a gray paint that we inherited with the house, but that doesn't actually match any other paint in the house. It makes a nice contrast with the white walls, so I've been using it as an accent color in the garage. I had an idea to switch two cabinets in the garage with two others, but then after I did it, I didn't like it, so I decided to just start all over with the cabinet arrangement the next day.

Carver was in an industrious mood, wanting some money, so I made him a deal for vacuuming out the car. He accepted, and then did a great job. It was fun to be nearby as he worked - he put on some ear protection so the vacuum wouldn't be too loud, but then he was singing at the top of his lungs, arguing with people who weren't there, making jokes, and monologuing as he worked.

On Monday, Merritt seemed normal, so we sent him to school. While I was packing his lunch, I asked if he wanted a pudding for his dessert, and he broke into tears and said that he did not because he was scared that if he tried to take the lid off, the pudding would spatter all over the room. We tried a cookie instead, but then he wouldn't eat it at lunch because it had broken into pieces (somehow changing the entire experience).

Anyway, once all the kids were off to school, I finished the west wall in the garage, so glad to have that nightmare over. I then painted more of the cabinets as well as a couple of dressers I use for tools and supply storage out there. I took Kira to work, and then went to run a bunch of errands before coming home to shower and work on my day job while waiting for the bus to come. The boys caught me up on their day, and then they went to unwind. I played some dodge ball with them, and they played video games together before Kira caught a ride here with Hannah for bedtime and then some TV.

Tuesday morning was pretty normal in getting the kids to school. Merritt still seemed mostly fine. When they were gone, I moved the cabinets to where I wanted them, and worked on general organization and cleaning up of the garage. I'm trying to get all of my tools and such exactly where I want them, so that's taking me some time to decide exactly where they should go. Anyway, I then showered and did Roosevelt work while Kira went to get some supplies for a combined youth and Relief Society activity going on Wednesday. She was glad to find everything she needed at the dollar store.

I had to go to the city the next day, and I would need to leave right in the thick of the morning rush to get kids ready and out the door, so I checked my bike tires to be sure they were in good shape. I was glad I checked, because I found my rear tire completely flat, and it wouldn't hold any air at all. I didn't want to ask Kira to take me to the station, because it would be at the worst time. Still, I wasn't sure what else to do. Luckily, Avey reminded me that I had an extra innertube lying around. I'd forgotten about it, but got it on and filled up, and it worked fine. Whew!

Wednesday, I got up and ready, and then helped just a little in getting the kids ready for school before riding my bike to the train station. I worked on the way to Chicago, and then had a faculty meeting for most of the rest of the time. It was nice to see most of the rest of the faculty, but I would have preferred to use the time for other things. Anyway, Kira was very busy back at home. She needed to pick Avey up before school was out so that she could get her to an appointment, but then she needed to get the boys during Avey's appointment, and get back to pick up Avey. Of course, Merritt had a potty emergency at Avey's appointment, so she then had to deal with that. It was quite the hectic afternoon, it seems. I got home around dinner time, and then fed them dinner and got them bathed and in bed while Kira and Avey were at the activity. Hannah had pressed a bunch of wild flowers and grasses so that everyone could put them into frames. Avey's and Kira's turned out wonderfully:

While they were gone, Merritt became very concerned that Kira wouldn't be there for bedtime. He decided that we should write Kira a note that instructed her to say goodnight to the boys when she got home. He made me write it, and then fretted about where we should put it so that (a) she would be sure to see it (b) Apollo wouldn't mess it up, and (c) no one would slip on it. I assured him several times that I would show it to her, but he was quite concerned. Eventually, he just put it on her night stand. Of course, the next morning he was upset that she did not wake them up to tell them goodnight. I suppose he'll need to be more specific in his next note.

Thursday morning, I had a doctor appointment, and then Kira and I went out to lunch, just because we could. It was a nice break. In the afternoon, she took off to help out a sister in the branch, and I worked in the garage, painting our very old, rusty, and beige freezer:

I primed it with a paint that stops rust, and then I painted the whole thing white to go better with my new walls. I continued organizing and cleaning up until the boys came home. Kira made it a little before dinner, and then it was a standard evening.

Friday, I made myself put off the garage until I was all set for the coming semester. Then, we had a window guy come and give us a bid on some of our sadder windows. We decided to go with replacing the worst three, which should be done sometime in November (after the manufacturing delays). I'm excited for those. I then finished my Roosevelt work, and then I rewarded myself by organizing one of my cabinets with all of my wrenches and screwdrivers. Of course, I then decided it would make more sense to have it switched with the other one, so I traded two cabinets, but that didn't take long. That evening, Avey mentioned that her throat was really sore. She had a rehearsal for Sister Act the next morning, so Kira emailed the director to see what she should do.

We hadn't heard back from the director on Saturday morning, so we just took Avey to the rehearsal to talk to her. She told Avey to just go home and rest, so we picked up donuts on the way. I then took the two younger boys to a splash pad, because it was very hot and humid, and they needed something besides home and school.

They had a really good time. While at the park, I got an email from the chair of the psychology department at UTEP, asking if I knew anyone who could teach an online course as soon as possible. Long story short, I am now teaching it. Luckily, it's a course I've taught several times, and I'm actually already teaching it this semester anyway. The weird part is that the timeline is very tight - their semester already started and an emergency came up for the professor, so I'll be starting the semester over for them. I'm just glad that I use the same text book as the previous professor! Anyway, I worked on the syllabus that night and got it finished so that I can officially begin this week.

So after the splash pad, I came home and fed everybody lunch. Avey had been invited to swim at a friend's pool, so she went to do that (informing the friend that she had a sore throat). They had a really good time. I worked more on the garage, and then when Avey was home, she and I took off to several stores. I had just gotten a huge rebate in the mail for my favorite hardware store, and so we went by there to get stuff I'd need for my little project for today.

Once we were home, I started dinner, and Carver struggled through it. He was very tired and complained of a headache. We gave him some medicine for it, and he fell asleep on the couch for about an hour before waking up to feel much better. We started to wonder if he was coming down with something that Avey is dealing with, but then he's been normal all day today. Merritt sounded very bad as the day wore on. He was coughing more and his voice sounded like he'd been smoking cigars since he was born. He was in good spirits, but tired. Hakan was really acting up, too, so we wondered if everyone was getting sick after the week at school.

Sunday, Merritt seemed better, but was still not quite himself, so we kept him home. Hakan and Carver seemed okay, so they went with Kira. Avey's throat is still quite sore, too, so we'll see what tomorrow brings. I used up my supplies from my shopping trip yesterday, adding a back panel to my tool bench, and then painting it as well.

(You can also see the now-white freezer to the left.) I love it, and I'm so very excited to slowly get the garage just the way I want. I just need to do a little more organizing and such, and then I'll get working on the ceiling.

Merritt was a big helper, needing something about every 5 minutes. Once I finished the tool bench, I made him a huge tent in the TV room so that he could have some fun.

The poor guy has pretty normal energy, but just sounds terrible.

I start teaching at Roosevelt this week, and I'm also apparently teaching at UTEP, so it's going to be crazy for me! We'll see if any of the kids goes to school tomorrow, or if Kira and I come down with any symptoms...

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