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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks


Last week feels like a month ago!

Last Sunday, Merritt was feeling a bit crummy with a runny nose, so we let him stay home with me. I took him to a park to enjoy the sunshine in the cool weather, and he ran around like everything was just fine. We figured we'd see how he did overnight before deciding about school the next day.

Kira and the other two boys attended a baptism after church, so Merritt and I had plenty of 1:1 time.

Hannah came over for a late lunch and then we had a quick family night before I left for brass choir rehearsal. It was a lot of fun, but we need to finally decide what pieces we're going to do for the program so that we can focus. Hopefully we can do that at today's practice...

We had a late dinner and bedtime, and then Merritt was up a couple of times during the night, struggling with his nose and general discomfort. I gave him medicine, and then got up with him again although he was so out-of-it that he couldn't even communicate with me what was wrong. Luckily, he stayed asleep after midnight.

Jesse's Thanksgiving Craft

Monday came too early. Kira kindly let me sleep through breakfast after I was up in the night with Merritt. He was still dealing with a runny nose, so we kept him home from school. Kira left for work, and Merritt kept me company while I tried to work. Once I was able to stop, he and I went shopping for some shoes for him (his old ones are very worn out). He was a good trooper. He seems to have normal energy, but his nose just bothers him.

Kira had a rough session with her client, and so she's been trying to process that for part of the week, and hopes to resolve some things at her session tomorrow.

Avey stayed for choir rehearsal after school, but was disappointed that she didn't seem to need to be there for the whole thing. Jesse was excited to try out the climbing wall at the Boys and Girls Club, so I dropped him off. He said that he made it halfway up. Kira picked him up on her way home, and then we did dinner and bedtime. I played with Merritt after dinner and he sure has all of his energy, so Kira and I were leaning towards having him return to school the next day, but waited to see how the night went.

Carver has been scared at night, and needs someone to sit with him in his room to keep watch for demons and whatnot until he falls asleep. We thought we'd try putting him back in with his brothers, and he seemed to like that idea, so his mattress is on the floor in there for now. Jesse enjoyed sleeping on the air mattress for last week's sleepover so much, that he's been on it every night since, so we now have two boys on mattresses on the floor, and an empty top bunk (Carver feels like it's too dark up there).

Merritt slept through the night, so that settled it for Kira and me. He put up a small fight when we told him he had to go to school, but he relaxed when he remembered that it was only one day of school left for the rest of the week.

I had a full day ahead. I first went down into the crawlspace again, and found a dead mouse, probably from the poison I'd placed. I checked the spot I'd sealed to make sure it was still closed up, and then went to the store for some steel wool and traps (I'd heard that mice will not try to burrow past steel wool, as they can't stand the texture.). I plugged up a few more possible points where mice might be getting in (although it seems unlikely), and then set the traps. I then showered and got working on reading through a thesis proposal for my very unprepared and overambitious student. Kira worked on her calling mostly. In the afternoon, I went to some stores for a few Christmas items. I wrapped them at home and then met the boys off the bus, excited for a very long weekend.

Jesse was in a mood to earn some money, so he wiped down the outside of the refrigerator, which inspired me to scrub some tubs and toilets. I then baked some brownies for fun (after washing my hands thoroughly), and did dinner. Kira took Apollo out for a late and dark walk, all decked out for the cold.

I went to replace a light bulb in the hallway, and discovered that the socket is faulty - not the bulb. Kira took over after the boys were nearly done with their food, and released me to the hardware store where I found a replacement fixture. I installed it once the boys were in bed, but Kira asked for more light, and now it seemed harsh, so I planned to install a dimmer switch once I had a chance.

Wednesday was the kids' day off before Thanksgiving, so Kira and I slept in. I got up to move my truck so Hannah could use our garage to change her oil, and then I made pancakes to help get the vacation off to a great start.

My unprepared student sent me another draft of her thesis proposal, so I read through that, and then showered while Kira had a phone call and kept tabs on the kids. They all occupied themselves with lounging, video games, and shows.

After lunch, we tried to convince all of the kids to come on a shopping trip with me after we would drop Kira off to visit a sister in the branch who is recovering from surgery. Two of the boys put up big fights, but eventually came along. Those two same boys who were so cranky also fell asleep on the drive, but I'm sure their exhaustion was unrelated to their mood...

We did our stuff and then came home. I installed the dimmer switch, very pleased, and we bathed and fed kids. Hannah came over for a movie. We didn't finish it so that we could get to bed earlier, but then we all chatted for a while, apparently not ready to call it a day.

Thursday was Thanksgiving! The boys were up making noise downstairs, which woke me. I tried to fall back asleep, but my brain was ostensibly very concerned that if I slept any more I would ruin the big meal, so I got up and started a little of the prep, getting out things that needed to thaw and whatnot. I realized in that preparation that we were missing just a few items that we might want, so I made a quick run to the grocery store and came home.

Hannah was there working on pies by the time I got home, so Avey worked on the chocolate pudding pie, and I started on other foods. Jesse was very helpful in crushing graham crackers for crust, and then he was a big help in setting the table and later occupying Merritt.

Merritt lost his 5-year-old mind at mealtime, loudly protesting everything that was out of the ordinary. He threw a big fit at one point in the meal when we asked him to take part in the tradition of saying something for which we are thankful. We really missed having my great aunt and grunkle over, but maybe they dodged a bullet...

It was cold, windy, and rainy all day, so we were trapped inside, but we filled up the time with meal prep and then cleanup. Hannah left to take care of a dog she was sitting. As we were digesting, we got the boys interested in a Thanksgiving movie, Free Birds. I dozed off during it, so felt groggy most of the rest of the day. We had some pie later, and Hannah eventually came back when we tried out a new game she had: Puns of Anarchy. Carver joined in once his brothers were in bed, and we had a good time. We then got Carver to bed and finished that movie from the night before.

Friday was focused on putting up Christmas decorations. I got out the tree and assembled it, and we all decked it out. I then put the lights on the roof, and then realized I was 6 minutes late for a COVID test. We are all supposed to get tested before coming back to campus, so I dashed to my appointment and got it done. Kira worked on getting the inside decorations all set.

Jesse had been aching to get to the store to buy a plushie he'd seen on Wednesday, so I took him and Avey to a couple of stores. The rest of the day was standard stuff.

Saturday I fed the boys and then got working on the rest of the outside lights, including the bushes, around the front door, and our tree. It's always a pain to do the tree, but it looks so nice I just can't seem to let it go. I used up all that we had, and then I cut bricks and cemented them in place in the gap under our doorstep where the mice appear to have been getting in. I had already sealed it from inside the crawlspace, but just to be sure, I put the bricks in on the outside as an extra layer of protection.

Kira took Apollo, Avey, and Jesse to a store for an outing again, and Carver and Merritt stayed home with me. Luckily, they got along great, and even stayed friends when it was time to bathe.

Kira brought home fast food and we got them to bed eventually.

Kira had an early meeting today, so I dropped the boys off at the church with her, and then came home to go into the crawlspace and check my traps. There was one dead mouse today. I think I'll check each week until there are no more corpses before I feel like I blocked all the access points. Avey and I also bathed Apollo, and then I got showered and wrote this blog post!

We're back to the normal routine this week, so let's hope we can finish up the rest of the year strong! Have a good week!

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