Thursday, August 20, 2015

Enjoyable Days at Home

The kids never left the house from Monday afternoon until Thursday morning. I used to absolutely hate days at home, but we had just as much fun at home for two days as we did running around town. That says a lot since one of our days was a 12-hour day without Jesse (thanks to Open House). The only thing I don't like about being home is the the more you're home, the more opportunity there is to make a mess. The kids proved that again and again. Here's how we spent our lazy days:

James has a sixth sense for when we accidentally leave a door open.
His favorite hobby is to dump all the cats' food in their water dish.
Lots of water play, that ended up with outdoor bath time.
What happens when the pantry door is left open
Matching blankie and pajamas
Painting more than just paper
Indoor jungle gym on rainy days
Reading to siblings and cats
Proof that we got dressed...
...though I clearly didn't pick out everyone's clothes
Trying raw carrots for the first time. Huge success for the girls!
Watching the rain
Cat naps
The kids and I fell in love with our new present from Jesse--a cordless, handheld vacuum. You cannot take the cushions out of our new sectional, so I was having to drag the heavy vacuum and plug in the attachments to try and keep the couch clean. The new vacuum also made cleaning out the van 100x easier!

Amelia figured out how to pull out the bottom of the gate, lift it up, and crawl underneath. James and Amelia snuck upstairs while I was in the kitchen. The gate was still up, but they were upstairs. When I caught Amelia in the act a few hours later, she turned to me and clearly said, "Go away, Mommy. I up!" Then I watched her lift it and crawl under. The gate quickly became pointless, so I officially took it down yesterday. 

Conspiring to lift the gate
The kids now have free reign of both floors. I keep the office, bedroom, and upstairs bathroom doors closed, which only gives the kids access to their bedrooms.

This new freedom has made it a much more relaxed household. A completely unexpected benefit of taking the gate down is being able to spend one on one time with different kids. While the girls played with Jackson in his room, I wrestled and tickled James on the couch. A while later, Maddie came downstairs and brought me a book. She sat in my lap and I read and sang to her, while her siblings played upstairs. This is a big deal to me. For the past year, I've kept the trio contained downstairs, in their room, or in Jackson's room. I've always tried to stay in the same area as them, and when I try to read a book or play with them, all three compete for my attention. I'm sure they appreciate their increased physical space where they are no longer forced to be in the same area.

Of course, James, Amelia, and Maddie just turned two. I still have to supervise them as best I can and make sure everything is toddler proof. I've been mostly successful, with the exception of a broken picture frame. I was in the same room when that happened and the gate was up, so it wasn't a matter of negligence. I just don't know how to keep James from jumping on the couch!

In general, our days at home have become a lot more enjoyable.

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