"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters
compared to what lies within us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Filling the Days

Tis the season to go stir crazy. Everyone is home, all the time. The minutes are ticking by very, very slowly. 

I can feel my brain cells leaking right out of my head as I repeat for the thousandths time, "Yes, Francesca, you will get candy if you pee in the potty." So pee already! 

Help! I need some ideas!!

The big girls are very creative and manage to keep themselves amused. Don't these playdough pastries look delicious? 

And they prepared a wonderful dinner just for me. How did they know pine cones were my favorite?! 

Anastasia can even keep herself occupied by carving cranberry sauce. That's my girl.

We baked lots of cookies to give as gifts, but we keep eating them. 

But the three little ones are going to send me right over the edge. As you all know, I am not a fan of tv, but I have begged the dynamic trio to just watch one little show, please! Nope. No surprise really. If little Catherine knows I want her to do something, then she is sure not to do it. 

Victoria was smitten with my violin for about 2 minutes. 

They sorted beans and buttons by color: 7.5 minutes. 

 Me scrapping buttons off the ground: 20 minutes 

Investigating the merits of the Frosted Flake: 2.2 minutes. 

Drawing. Almost 3 minutes! Whoo hoo! Only 12 more hours until bedtime. 

Bundling up to go outside: 36 minutes. Actually playing outside: 17 3/4 minutes, which were off-set by three pairs of fists pounding at the door every 7 seconds. 

Painting: 1 minute (I didn't know those little sponges could be ripped off so fast)

Trying on miscellaneous glasses belonging to Grandma: a thrilling 6 minutes. 

Driving to Wal-mart to buy an eyeglass repair kit: 1 hour. 

Typing on an imaginary computer and jamming the keyboard: 9 minutes.
 Stern reprimand: 8 minutes
Mastering the art of staring at me and loosing all knowledge of the English language: 2 seconds

Assisting in putting away silverware: 4 minutes.

Re-washing all of the silverware: 10 minutes. 

I should also mention that no one naps anymore. 

"Go, ahead, make my day. I triple dog dare you to find something to keep me occupied."

Ideas, please!!! They have two more weeks of vacation! 


  1. Replies
    1. That would take hours to clean!

    2. I got my littles a mini dust pan and brush from the $1 bin. They fight over who gets to sweep the rice back into the kiddie pool.

  2. Visit Houston - 216 Hours ...

  3. Give them paint brushes and water and let them paint the back fence.

  4. freeze some stuff in a large container of water and once it is a solid chunk of ice put it in the bathtub and give the girls salt shakers, squirt bottles of warm water, little wooden hammers, etc. and they can sit in the tub or beside it working away at getting their treasures out.

  5. make some I SPY bottles. http://chasingcheerios.blogspot.ca/2012/12/christmas-tree-i-spy-jars.html

  6. Get up earlier and go to bed later :D

    If you find the 'off' button let me know. We still take (forced) naps around these parts!

  7. edible finger paint ...corn syrup and koolaid mixed to taste or to color paint with your finger as the brush clean by sucking it off...paint on paper plates ...the pictures dont dry EVER so take a picture of them then toss...has kept wee ones and teen one entertained in my house for a while.

  8. our winter break starts tomorrow. some ideas i should've been planning:

    sidewalk chalk: (my kids literally spend hours with this--of course this means i'm sitting outside for hours but no mess in the house!!!)

    picnic at the park: (again, this can kill hours and no mess at home)

    online games for older girls: mathfactcafe.com (ooh that's a winner), starfall, etc. (again, can i say, no mess)

    story hour at library or mall: i know we're all avoiding the mall now, but if a trip can provide a few hours' entertainment...how bad can it be?

    playdates: host some, send your kids off for some

    music: my kids have loved dancing to select pandora stations lately. they use flashlights for "spotlight" dancing and make up lots of games.

    sleeping in and locking your door: teach the kids a secret knock only to be used in emergencies. disclaimer: this one can get messy, but oh so worth it!!!!!!!

    merry christmas!

  9. Sock basketball. Use the socks that there aren't any more matches for, or any socks really, and ball them up in pairs. They can shoot them into laundry baskets. Once it gets too easy, you can have containers at different distances with different points for each one. The older ones can keep score and even arrange a tournament or something, with the winner getting lunch served to them. Or you can make it a bowling game with empty water bottles. No one ever got hurt from a sock thrown at them, and it's pretty hard to break a window with one too. And you already have everything available to play! :0)

  10. I have no ideas since mine drive me crazy the same way. I just wanted to say that I love the way Anastasia and Isabella play - they have imagination!!

  11. funny just lost post. baby pool in the garage, fill up with warm water and let them pretend they are at the beach. Have a heater somewhere far away to warm up garage......or...fill baby pool with sand instead . I also would let my kids fill up some pans with water in the kitchen, large towels...and the would clean the floor skating or just playing with wet towels ...you get a clean floor also.

  12. Most littles seem to love to do house work or cleaning up the yard. Not that they actually clean anything up, in fact they make it all much messier then when you started but they love the idea of working along side of you. They are not going to leave you alone- you must also toil through the jobs along side of them, it is hard because you kind of get into cleaning and they keep messing it back up, but it will pass the time. They will think they are helping you and they will be learning how to do the job for in the future when they are old enough to do it correctly.

    Washing windows with a spray bottle and a lot of paper towels and newspaper for polishing, You can put a girl on each side of the glass- like the storm door- and they can see each other while the spray and spray and spray the window

    washing the kitchen floor with ripped up old towels or old cotton panties. They will think it very funny to use old underwear for cleaning rags. You can get the floor wet with the hose attachment from the sink for a added surprise.

    polishing the furniture with a spray on furniture pledge product and cleaning rag

    making bread- that can take all day with punching it down and letting it rise

    folding blankets where everyone grabs an end and comes together

    keep talking about what a big help they are and how everyone will love what ever they are working on being clean

    polishing brass or silver with a sponge and polish

    get a big board of plywood for outside and let them paint it with water using a big paint brush (one of daddy's works best) add a few drops of food coloring to the water.

    Have them lay on the sidewalk and trace their bodies with chalk. Then color in their face and clothes.

  13. Let the older girls set up a carnival or fair, with 3 or 4 games, like knocking down a stack of blocks with a ball or beanbag.
    Your older girls are so creative, I am sure they old think of other things. Little Catherine could probably even help make tickets.
    You would have to entertain the littles while the big girls set it up, but after that, it would be their show. Of course, each game only takes a few minutes, but they have to wait their turn in line, so it adds up to some free time for you. The kids could win prizes like a free book reading or piggyback ride from Anastasia or Isabella. Yeah, more free time for you.
    San Diego Granny

  14. Found this FREE ebook about keeping kids busy, particularly preschoolers:

    Hope it helps!
    Merry Christmas!


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