Chris took the two girls on a road trip--subject of its own blog post, of course!--so I advertised the time for those of us at home as Boys' Week (counter-intuitively: with Mama). Our outings were grounded by a deluge of rain on Day 1 (with thunder, lightening, and enhanced tornado watches), and the fact that the toddler was sick on Days 2 and 3; and our at-home indulgences were limited because one of the kids had lost all screen time for three days (thus cancelling out some special family movies we were going to watch), We had to get creative!
What did John want to do as soon as the girls left the driveway? Bake bread! It's his new hobby and he's trying to do it once per week. We made beer bread this time.
Note to self: I cannot have beer bread in the house. Eat a loaf per day by myself? Easy.
|Gorgeous, crunchy beer bread|
The boys played so much with the Legos that John actually got bored with it. In probably six years with these toys, I've never seen him play Legos long enough to get bored.
We played card and board games together, with some creativity considering I didn't have another adult to occupy the littles.
We also did fix-it projects around the house! A ten-year-old boy is at an age to feel and truly be very useful.
We got out our generic Magic erasers--I highly recommend buying generic "melamine sponges"--and cleaned off wide swaths of dirty, defaced walls.
We did a bunch of pruning around the yard, repaired the kitchen sink when it broke (without even calling my husband for help!), and caught up on random little projects around the house. (Did you know if you just wait long enough ever to make returns of products to Amazon that you may no longer return them and the task is taken off your to-do list?) John also mowed his first neighborhood client's lawn for pay: it is an active goal of this young man to launch his lawn care business, and we are so very proud of him for this first step.
We hung curtain rods so the boys could have draperies in their room again after more than five years!
My dad is a jack-of-all-trades and highly accomplished fix-it man, and he raised me with a solid foundation of how to fix and build things using tools. I lived alone from age 17 to 28, and further developed my independence and confidence with tools. But in our 11 years of marriage, I haven't lifted a finger to use any tools, as that's just how our division of labor has worked out, and I've lost most of my confidence in what to do.
But determination combined with a solid foundation of teaching goes a long way! We got out the curtain rods waiting to be hung, read the directions, gathered all our tools, and set about going step by step.
The whole project took more than an hour, with two-thirds of that spent on the first window where we did make one mistake, but then we learned how to fix it.
For the first window, I did a step, then I'd have John do the next step, back and forth. For the second window, I had my ten-year-old boy do it in the entirety.
|Preggo mama with her little helper|
It was not all work and no play. At popular request, we got out John's official s'mores roaster and made that camping dessert.
It was Thomas' first time trying s'mores and he was overwhelmed by the sticky mess, so hardly ate anything (his lack of appetite perhaps also indicative of his getting sick for the following two days).
Meanwhile, Joseph (4) tried to pull a fast one on his Mama: He showed me his leftover graham crackers and said convincingly, "All I need is some more chocolate and marshmallows, and then I can finish these." Sorry, buddy, you ate all the insides first and that's all you get!