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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Working Late, or Lately Working?

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Yes, both of those, thanks.

Last week, we left off after Sunday morning. In the afternoon, Kira was in desperate need of a break, with an oncoming headache. I loaded the kids and Apollo up into the van and we took off for the dog park. We hadn't been in a long time, what with the pandemic and Apollo getting regular play dates with his local best bud, and so we were surprised to pull up and find zero children at the kid park, and about 20 dogs at the dog park. Avey stuck with Apollo while I chased the boys around (in our separate parks). Avey busted out some treats to get Apollo to try his agility stuff, and she got knocked over by a couple of large dogs who wanted to get at the treats. She's fine, of course, but got a bit muddy.

We came home to find Kira feeling better, and I cooked up some shrimp for us hungry grownups. Hannah joined us for that, and then I took Apollo to a play date with his buddy, even though we weren't sure if he'd have the energy after the park. He did fine, though.

That evening, Hakan got in his head an idea to sell apple juice at a little stand in front of our house. It was cold and late, and we think it's probably not a good idea to do during a pandemic, but he was excited, so he made a sign to possibly be used at a later date.

It says, "Apple juice for $1! Come get your apple juice! Please, please, please. I never did this before."

Pity is a solid business model, right?

Monday was full of work. We got the kids off to school, and then I worked while Kira messed with Merritt. We traded so that she could go to see her clients. Merritt was in [not so] rare form in the afternoon. The poor guy sits all day at home - the only one not in school, but Kira and I are both so busy with our obligations that he doesn't get as much 1:1 time as he'd like. He held out really well for when Carver and Hakan would get home, but then when they did, Carver was not in the mood to play the games Merritt wanted to. He was devastated. He then translated that energy into rage, and butted heads with Hakan.

Tuesday was cold and rainy, like our moods. Kira drove me to the station, and then Merritt's library class was canceled (it's held outside), so they just made it a normal trip to the library and picked up some materials so that he wouldn't be too disappointed.

I had my usual day in the city, but I had toyed around with the idea of staying later so that I could get caught up on some projects that are really starting to weigh heavily on me. I did stay until about 9:00 p.m., got some of the stuff done, and then came home very late.

Wednesday I had three meetings spread throughout the day so that I couldn't get much real work done - that all exacerbated my stress level. The kids were home for eLearning, but I did manage to work until later than usual, thanks to Kira's patience. Kira treated each of the boys to a Wendy's Frosty to make up for the boring day, and then we grownups (and teenager) took advantage of some Culver's coupons that arrived in the mail that day, getting frozen custard with Hannah after the boys were all in bed. Kira was on the phone with a friend until after midnight, so she was feeling pretty rough the following morning.

I awoke to the boys' fighting around 5:00 Thursday morning, so I just stayed up to get ready for work and make Hakan's lunch. Although the weather was going to be alright, Kira offered to drive me to the station as it was very dark when I needed to go. I graciously accepted. She then came home to get the kids off to school, but then at least managed to get in a good nap.

Avey had the PSAT that day at school, so she had a long day of that, and then the teachers let them relax a bit after it all. We're not sure when we will hear how she did, but she feels pretty good about it.

I again stayed late in the city, thanks again to Kira's support. I was very tired, but I stayed focused and nearly finished one of the big things that was stressing me out. I still have plenty to do, but that project was the most daunting, so at least I feel a little calmer now. Fortunately, I also get this Tuesday to work on it, as the university made it a holiday so that people could go vote.

Friday, I dropped Avey at school in the morning, and then Kira took Merritt shopping for some essentials. I worked more, and got another good chunk of stuff done. That was good, because once the boys got home from school, and Kira was still gone, that was our best time to get the pumpkins carved. I asked the boys what they wanted to do, and they both drew their designs, and then had me draw them on their pumpkins, and then had me do the cutting. I had them try to clean out their pumpkins, but of course, they didn't have the strength to last long, and they were grossed out by the slimy innards. Naturally, it fell to me to do the rest of the carving. At least Avey did her own...

Hakan's Design on Top, Carver's on Bottom

The boys were, of course, pleased with the result, so that's something.

Avey's (character from Among Us) on Bottom, Merritt's on Top

The candles were quite a project, as we found that we were finally all out of the candles we usually use. I had to combine some of the wax from birthday candles and such, and eventually found a large dinner candle that I cut into three sections. That finally worked the best.

Once Kira came home, we unloaded the groceries, and she took the kids to a drive-through trunk-or-treat at their school. They got there at the very end of it, but still came home with some pretty good candy.

Hannah came over that evening to join us for the first episode of the second season of The Mandalorian. We're excited to see what's in store next week.

Saturday was packed to the brim before we even got there. Kira was off to help prepare for a church-sponsored party that was not exactly Halloween-themed, but did involve a little sidewalk-trick-or-treat. In any case, Hannah picked her up and they were there a couple of hours before us. I had the boys take their showers, while I vacuumed most of the downstairs. I then took some time to thoroughly mop the downstairs bathroom, because it gets the most traffic, it seems, and I feel like it smells bad. I think it made a difference, anyway.

On the way to the church, we stopped at the Office Depot to print off a color sheet for Avey's costume that she would wear that night. We then got to the church. The meal was outside to avoid the exchanging of germs, but it was rather gusty and chilly. Still, the food was good, and the kids seemed to have a good time. We didn't see much of Kira as she was helping manage everything. In any case, we got home and I did a few more chores while the kids mostly played, and Avey took Apollo out on a walk. Kira got a ride home, eventually coming back at 4:30 to help feed the boys some dinner and get them out for trick-or-treating.

As they were off to meet the neighbor girls for the adventure, Avey and I went to pick up a friend of hers who didn't have anyone with whom he could trick-or-treat. They then went off on their own path, eventually coming home for a stop to drop off some of their haul and take Apollo with them (he was just barking at everyone who came by).

I held down the fort while they were out. We got a decent number of visitors in maybe 10 groups. Hannah came over around 6 after getting no traffic in her neighborhood. She was all decked out in a Sheik costume (from the Legend of Zelda).

The kids got home around 7, with bags full of candy. It's as if the neighborhood was trying to make up for all of 2020 with their candy giving. We let them dive in for a little bit, and then got them ready for bed. Avey's friend stayed around for a pillow fight and bedtime, and then we all got started on a movie far too late. Avey's friend seemed bored with it for the first half, but insisted he was having fun anyway - mostly on his phone and exploring the toys in the house. He finally bailed around 10:00, so Avey and I took him home before coming back to finish our movie.

The alarm came far too early again this morning, even despite the time change. It was very windy all night, and still is now, so it looks like another wild day of trying to keep the boys from murdering each other. Kira dropped the kids off after church and then left to go see a marathon to support someone running.

At least this week should be somewhat different with my Tuesday off of classes. The kids will have another eLearning day then, and we'll all see what the results are. Saturday is my birthday, so that's at least an excuse to eat cake...

Everybody stay well!

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