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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Winter Whimper & Wallop

We had another wild week, marked by disappointing snowfall, but then followed by a whopper.

Last Sunday, the boys were rearing to get out of the house. They had had so much fun at the park the day before, they wanted to re-live the experience, so we went back with Apollo. Merritt was furious when we pulled into the parking lot - he thought I meant a different park, and he is not one to handle things well when they do not match what he had in his head. He threw a small fit, but then at least got out and had fun. It was about the same weather - a little cold, but at least not windy and very little snow. They all had a great time: it seemed like we were there for a couple of hours. I worried that they would never want to leave, but Merritt tripped on his way up some stairs and got a little bruise, but it was enough to set him off again and declare the entire day a fiasco, and all my fault because I took them to the wrong park. This is the life I chose.

We came home eventually and Kira had made a roast, which I thoroughly enjoyed, although the kids aren't usually quite brave enough. Avey and Carver will eat it, but not the younger two.

Kira worked through much of the evening getting her presentation on mental health ready for Tuesday.

That night, neither of us slept well. Kira had some tummy issues going on that kept her feeling uneasy all night, and I was awoken at 5:00 a.m. by the boys' stomping around downstairs. We were both tired all day. We got the kids off to school, and I fed Merritt breakfast and took Apollo to a long-overdue play date (the dumb weather has kept him from getting in some doggy social time). Kira picked up Apollo and then went in for work and continued to work on her Tuesday presentation, then picked Avey up from drama club on the way home. At home, I kept the kids on task getting their homework done. Hakan graciously offered to read books to Merritt and me for his assignment. We expected an overnight snowstorm - the news had been talking it up like it could be up to 6 inches or something, so I half wondered if school would be canceled for the next day.

We awoke to find just about an inch of snow on the ground - barely even worth mentioning. We got the kids off to school, and had an average day of me working from the bedroom and Kira trying to keep Merritt occupied. They did library class, where Merritt made a silver gingerbread man-shaped craft. Kira and I took turns shoveling the little snow. I had a mock interview with a student who was trying to get into graduate school, and then Kira had her mental health presentation at 7. I kept the kids quiet downstairs and then got them into bed while she presented over the computer. She said it went well, but that she got through only about half of the material she prepared because she would say a little and then the translator would take as long to repeat it in Spanish. In any case, she felt that it went well, and it was nice to have behind her.

Wednesday was fairly standard for a remote learning day. In the afternoon, I took the two younger boys and Avey sledding with Apollo. Carver still had school work to do. Hannah met us there for the last 10 minutes or so, and we watched Hakan do all of his crazy stunts over the ramps and such. We headed home after an hour and Kira was still in a phone meeting for Relief Society, so I got dinner going. She then got the younger boys showered. It snowed a little more that evening.

I went into the city for my Thursday teaching marathon. I got up early to shower and then helped get the kids fed and out the door. Kira and Merritt then took me to the train station. Merritt was pretty confused about how it worked, because he saw the train come last week when they dropped me off, but didn't see me get on. He wanted to see it again, so Kira parked in the parking lot until it came by, then I waved at them as I got on the train. That seemed to help him understand that I take the train to the city.

Later, Kira tried to explain to Merritt how the Baptist church we pass to come home is actually not called "Carver's church," as he dubbed it when we moved into the neighborhood. We have no idea where he got the idea to call it "Carver's church," but that's what we have all called it since he coined the term. He was very puzzled when Kira explained that it's not actually called that. I wonder if he got mixed up, thinking that Carver went to school there.

Kira took Apollo and him to the park later that day, where the light snow made for an adventure. Apollo squirmed out of his harness, but he at least doesn't go running off.

I was gone until late again, and felt like I wouldn't have the strength to make it through my 6:00 p.m. course. I rallied, though, and class actually went really well. Kira worked to keep up with some Relief Society stuff that kept popping up, and Hannah even offered to come help with dinner and bed. Things went well, though, and so we all survived another Thursday.

Kira let me sleep in a little on Friday, and then I got up to see the kids off to school. I got Merritt's breakfast going and then did my work in the bedroom. I had a couple of phone meetings. Merritt and I read books together while I fed him his lunch, and then in the afternoon we played Hungry Hippos, while Kira was out shopping. There are four hippos, but there were only two of us, so I asked if he wanted me to play at two hippos. He said no, and that the other two could just be "computers," because that's what you do on a video game that has spots for more players than you have. That was pretty funny. Kira made it home for the evening routine.

Saturday Kira took the boys sledding in the morning while I worked on some small projects around the house. They had a good time, as usual.

When they got home, she let me take the car to go have a break. I went looking for a particular hand soap that Kira likes, but came up with nothing, so I got the next closest thing I could find. I then got a little lunch and went to hang out at a hardware store, buying a few things, and getting ideas for other projects I'd like to do someday. It was a nice break, and then I came back home to shower and get back to the routine. The ceiling leaked a little bit of water during my shower, so now we know it wasn't the loose toilet causing it. I finished my shower and then tried to recreate the leak so that I could finally locate the problem, but it never did leak again after I tried four different things. I'm just about out of ideas. I'll keep thinking on it.

The forecast had another big storm coming, and this time it was supposed to be no joke. They were saying maybe as much as 10 inches over the weekend. It was falling lightly around 4 in the afternoon, and kept up through the night. Hannah opted not to come over for fear of getting caught in it on the way home. Kira spent the evening trying to get her tax information from her job in order, and Avey and I watched a superhero movie together as the snow just kept coming.

This morning we awoke to about 5.5 inches. Apollo didn't know what to make of it.

The boys weren't interested in food, so I went out to shovel snow, and Hakan and Kira joined me.

We moved most of the driveway snow to the yard where we could build a fort. Hakan helped for a good while, and then resorted to playing, as kids tend to do in snow.

Merritt and Carver came out after a while, and Avey joined in, too. Apollo couldn't seem to decide if this was really fun or ominous. He'd pounce around and explore for a minute, and then he'd seem like this was all a sign of impending doom. He especially didn't approve of a snowmobile that made a few rounds through the neighborhood. He voiced his concern about the snowplow that came through, too.

Once I had the driveway clear and the fort was mostly formed, the kids helped to make the finishing touches.

We got it to where we could be satisfied with it (for now), and then called it good.

Around 10:45, we all came in to find that Kira had joined church remotely, and then with all of her other meetings postponed, she had made us pancakes! That was the perfect end to a great morning. Hakan said several times that this was the "best day ever."

After a nice breakfast, the boys played inside for a while, but now are back outside seeing if it's possible to get their snow gear any wetter.

It's supposed to keep snowing lightly throughout the day, so who knows what it will look like tomorrow?

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