I've been alone with the three kids for quite some time now. I don't even know how long its really been. Some days go really well and other days, I feel like I've crossed that line from stressed to crazy.
Right now, the baby is teething. My oldest never complained when her teeth popped in. Actually, most of the time, we didn't even know they were coming in until they were out. With our son, we were able to give him these wonderful teething tablets that worked like a charm... Then they were recalled. Luckily, he was pretty much done teething by the time that happened. Adrina though.... Man, oh man. Poor thing can't sleep, doesn't feel like eating and to top it all off, has outrageous congestion. Needless to say, she consumes much of my time right now. The house work is piling up. I've got 4 baskets of clothes that need to be folded and put away. I need to clean out the fridge. And I'm pretty sure the plants in my bathroom window would have survived better living in the desert. Its just that because the poor baby is so needy right now, the only things I have time for are feeding kids and dogs, cleaning up from feeding kids and dogs and then cleaning the kids and dogs.
In the midst of all the chaos and crying, I think the older two kids were feeling a bit left out. Plans that I'd had for park trips I had to postpone because of the baby being sick. Even playing in the back yard... I'd planned on having some fun with them out there today but about 5 minutes before were went out, the lawn care company came and put chemicals on the lawn. So that was scratched too. I decided to put aside all the cleaning and such and have some fun with the kids.
My husband found these neat books years ago with cool crafts and recipes in them for kids. I picked the bread recipe and the kids and I made some cool stuff out of really easy, kid friendly bread dough.
1 packet of active dry yeast
2/3 cup of warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup flour
raisins for decorating (I didn't use any though)
Don't ask me how they made animals out of this stuff!
1) Dissolve yeast in the warm water.
2) Mix salt and sugar into the yeast and water.
3) Stir in the flour and butter.
4) Take "dough" and kneed it for about 5 minutes, until it is stretchy and smooth.
5) Make animals or shapes or whatever your heart desires out of the dough and place on a cookie sheet.
6) Set cookie sheet aside for 30 minute to allow the dough to rise.
7) Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until bread is golden in color.
We ate ours at dinner with our pasta. The kids had so much fun doing these. The excitement on their faces when they saw the bread on their plates at dinner was priceless. I am so very glad that we got to spend time together doing something fun. I think I needed it just as much as they did. And you know what? Having them do this with me kept them from making other messes in the house that I'd have to clean up later. Added bonus :)
We also painted pasta orange (and then my son painted himself which led to an impromptu bath in the kitchen sink). After the paint dried, we glued the noodles to a paper with a pumpkin drawn on it. Simple but they had fun. Entertaining preschoolers isn't that hard and if you put your heart in the right place, it can be a total blast.
As much as being on "house arrest" with the kids can drive me nuts sometimes, I love getting to spend time with them. There are times when I'm pretty sure I need them more than they need me. I know I have many years until this happens, but I have no idea how I'm going to survive empty nest syndrome. I hope my hunny is starting to put together some fun vacations to keep me occupied!
Time with your children is important... for them AND for you!