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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Turning Two

We celebrated Hakan’s day of birth this week – he is now two years old! We can hardly believe how time has flown by. Merritt’s presence is a great reminder of how far Hakan has come. 

We started the celebration on Friday, with cake and ice cream. Hakan picked green for the frosting – so far each of our children’s first favorite color has been green. He opened his presents that day, too. We were all thrilled with the fun things that came in the mail, and the kids have all been “sharing” the new toys. 

Our celebration spread into Saturday also, when we presented the kids with the choice to go to a splash park or the zoo. They chose the zoo, and Kira opted to stay home with Merritt and attempt some rest. That did not turn out to be very successful, but at least the older kids and I had fun. We saw a rhino marking his territory, a juvenile gorilla clapped his hands for us, and we ran into a peacock outside who showed off his fancy feathers. It was a great visit.

Among the rest of our activities this week (feeding children, etc.), Avey decided that it was high time she purchased a new scooter. Her first one is now too small for her, so she found one that she thought would work, and we drew up an agreement for how she could earn her share. She did several chores and also wanted to sell (ask for donations) lemonade to passersby outside our home. With Kira’s help, she mixed up some lemonade, and she made a sign for the table, then she and the boys played around and attracted everyone they could.

It was far more successful than Kira or I had expected – neighbors came over, a jogger stopped to chat and have some refreshment, and at least one car stopped. Avey made a huge haul, getting her just under halfway toward her earning goal. I guess it pays to be adorable.

Avey didn’t stop either. She earned her portion of the scooter, which we ordered, and then she took on more chores to earn money for some projects she’s thought up. Inspired by her school art class, she bought some clay to make into some creative pieces (pictures forthcoming), and also fulfilled her dream of purchasing a Venus fly trap kit. We planted the seeds this morning in her little terrarium, and now we are anxiously awaiting the moment we can trick unsuspecting insects into their slow demise. Avey has already formed a list of names for her plants, including “Vanessa,” (close to “Venus”) and “Snappy,” among others.

Merritt is slowly gaining weight and becoming even more aware of his surroundings during the day. He is going for longer stretches at night, but seems more fussy more often during the day. I think he can sense when Kira or I are close to getting some things done for the day, because that’s when he’s sure to go off like an alarm clock that can be soothed with nothing but being held. We remember Hakan being fussier than Merritt is at this age, but with the neediness and number of the children in the home, we struggle a bit to keep up.

At least we have willing helpers. I have 8 more times to teach my course, and then I hope I can be home for most of the rest of the summer to keep the kiddies occupied. We also hope to break up the monotony with some visitors from out of town [hint, hint]. Just give us some notice, and bring a change of clothes.


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