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  • Elijah Ricks

Wrapping Up

Updated: Dec 19, 2021

We're inching closer to Christmas and the end of 2021, which means that we're feeling the pressure to get sick one last time.


Last Sunday I had a brass choir rehearsal in the afternoon. Our performance is tomorrow night, and so we did a dress rehearsal with the choir. Kira made it home where I had lunch ready to go, and then I left shortly after to get to the rehearsal. Naturally, I had spent about 30 minutes during the week to get a song transposed correctly, and then at the practice I learned that they decided instead to just tune down the digital organ that we were accompanying, so that my transposition was all wrong. By the way, no one mentioned to me that they had tuned down the organ, so I spent half of the rehearsal trying to figure out why my transposition sounded so terrible. Of course, by the end of the rehearsal, the director decided to throw in two more songs that I would now need to transpose, and we would not rehearse them before the performance, so let's hope I got it right!


I came home to do a quick family night and then typical bedtime. Merritt was not feeling too hot, still, so he had a rough night and absolutely refused to take any medicine that would help with his stuffy nose. I was up with him around midnight trying to convince him to take medicine, and he would rather have died, so I let it go. He fell asleep pretty quickly after that, at least. I do not do very well when I'm woken up in the night, so I was awake for a while after that. Thankfully, Kira let me sleep in once the morning came. I then dealt with the sick boy while she went to work that day. Merritt was in good spirits, but just dealing with a lot of sniffling. I did a lot of grading and such, wrapping up my UTEP course.

We took Apollo to play at his friend's house and then went to the park ourselves. It was not too cold, at least. Merritt and I then stopped by the library for a book he'd wanted, and we made a special trip to the pharmacy to get some cold medicine that tastes pretty good for cold medicine (that seems to be the main reason he refuses meds).


The boys made it home on the bus, and Jesse had remembered to get his girlfriend's phone number, so he wanted to call her right away. I called, but we just left a voicemail. I then fed the boys dinner. Jesse had no homework for the week, which was a nice break for all of us.


Kira picked up Avey from Drama Club on her way home from work. Kira had a busy day with clients, including one session that she had to assume would not go well. It went just fine, though.


As soon as the girls were back, Hannah and I left for the monthly Costco run. I'd never done an evening trip, but I wasn't about to take sick Merritt out with me on that. On the way there, Jesse's girlfriend called me back. I told her I had just left the house, but I gave her Kira's phone number. She needed me to repeat it about 5 times, and then her mom had to get on to help her write it down, but she called Jesse and they talked for a while. I then got some texts from her at my phone, which included kissy faces and such. We are in uncharted territory now.


She and he call each other about once each day and just chat about stuff. It's pretty funny because they are both so terrible with phone etiquette. I guess it's better to learn this stuff now than when he's in high school and the ladies expect slightly more civilized behavior.


Hannah and I made it home with the groceries, and so we unloaded all of that and then messed with bedtime. I dealt with a couple of moron students who finally started caring about their grades at the 11th hour. It happens every semester, and yet it still somehow baffles me every time.


The internet had gone down while I was at the store, so I troubleshot that and found that an outlet had a loose connection from when I replaced it more than a year ago. It's weird that it took this long to come loose, so I quickly fixed that and we were back up and running. We finished a movie that night before bed.

Merritt's Christmas Crafts

Merritt put up a big fight still even with the medicine that tastes pretty good. He's got some mental block, it seems. He got about 3/4ths of a dose in him, anyway. It was still a bit of a rough night, though, as he got up in the night. I tried to get him to take a second dose, but he said he needed Kira to do it. So she tried, and he still wouldn't take it. I again had a hard time falling back asleep, so Kira graciously let me sleep again. I went to the city to focus on work and be there for any students turning in their finals physically. Only one came by, but it was nice to be able to focus.


Kira kept Merritt all day, but he was acting so normal that she decided he'd go to school the rest of the week. She took him to the grocery store for some items. That night, she helped get the kids ready for bed and then left to go to a nearby church's Christmas music performance. It's a very large church, and so they have many talented people who put together a great show.

Wednesday I finally gave Kira a turn to sleep in while I dealt with the breakfast routine. I took Avey to school, too, and then came home to enter in UTEP grades. I ran into a weird problem when I had a student listed in one place, but not another. It took me about 15 minutes to realize that they had changed their name at some point, but it was reflected on only one of the sheets I had. Glad I figured that out!


Once I was finished with my stuff at home, I took off for some shopping. I fueled up the truck, too, and took another look underneath it once I was home. I found a little spot where it looked like there might be a small leak in a hose, so I decided to try and replace that hose myself after buying the part from my mechanic guy. That was a big mistake, because I had just filled up the tank with fuel. I figured that I could jack up the side of the truck so that the fuel would go to the other side of the tank where the hose wasn't, but once I disconnected the old hose, I still had about 2 cups of gas spew out before getting the new hose on. Lesson learned. Anyway, I got it all connected again, so now we cross our fingers and hope that did the trick...


Kira brought Avey home from library club, and started dinner while I took another shower and tried to clean up my stupid mess. The boys showered after dinner, and we got them to bed. Hannah came over to make some checkers, and even left us some!


Kira let me sleep again on Thursday. That was possible because I have been taking the later train now that I don't have to be there at a certain time. I almost didn't go, because I didn't really need to, but I opted to anyway so that I would not be tempted to stop working and move onto house projects or cleaning or whatnot. Kira had a busy day full of appointments with people in the branch and errands to run. She visited a lady who loved Merritt, and gave her a card that he had made. She really liked it.

He wrote the words he knows and had Kira do the rest.


Friday was pajama day for the kids at school, and it was their last day of the year! I tried to let Kira sleep in again, but she came down after about 30 minutes, unable to doze anymore. After the kids were gone, I went into the crawlspace to check the mouse traps. They are still empty, and no more corpses elsewhere, so I'm feeling better about the plan each week. The smell is also much rarer and so mild that we don't hardly notice it anymore.


I worked and dealt with a few more last-minute student crises, and then had a meeting with a student looking for someone to supervise her dissertation. Kira and Avey went Christmas shopping once the boys were in bed. Hannah came over for a bit, and we all got to bed too late.


Today is dark and rainy, so we're not likely to get the kids out of the house very easily. They are a little stir crazy with no school next week, Christmas approaching, and nothing to distract them in the meantime. I will finish up all of the grade entering starting tomorrow, and then we'll try to find things to do. It's not looking much like we'll get a white Christmas so far, but there's still time...


Hope you're all well!

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