Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween...
...from Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Little John. and the lady in waiting*
more pictures to come!
*isn't lady in waiting such an appropriate costume for a mom, because aren't we always waiting on someone or something?

Friday, October 30, 2009

A little preview...

Halloween events begin this evening for us and I thought I would share a preview of this year's theme:

Some of you know, because I have a big mouth and cannot keep a secret.

If I haven't blabbed to you already...any guesses out there?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

50% off Shoes!

Need new shoes?

Payless and Oprah have teamed up and are offerring a 50% off coupon for an entire purchase.

Click here for the coupon.

Hurry...this offer ends TOMORROW, October 30th at the close of business.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

I have mentioned my world-famous ( famous) pumpkin cinnamon rolls a few times here at savethephillipsfamily. Today I am sharing the recipe. Beware...these are not figure-friendly.

Pumpkin Patch Cinnamon Rolls with Gooey Cinnamon Icing

2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
4 eggs
1 cup shortening
1 cup canned PUMPKIN
1 cup warm milk
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup instant vanilla pudding
1/3 cup instant butterscotch pudding
1 teaspoon salt
7 to 8 cups flour

¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons sugar

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast into hot water. Allow to sit for about ten minutes. Add the eggs, shortening, pumpkin, milk, sugars, pudding mixes, salt, and 6 cups flour. Beat using dough hook until smooth. Stir in enough flour (approximately one more cup) until a soft, sticky dough is formed.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead for about five minutes, until smooth. Place dough in a greased bowl. Cover and let sit for one hour or until doubled in size.

Punch dough down. Divide into two parts. Roll each portion out into a 12x8 inch rectangle. Brush with butter. Combine brown sugar, sugar, and cinnamon and then sprinkle over dough.

Roll dough up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Pinch seams to seal. Cut each into 12 slices. Place into 13x9 inch greased baking pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 22-27 minutes or until golden brown. Spread icing over rolls. Serve warm.
*For the icing, I simply mix some powdered sugar, some evaporated milk, a dash of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon together until it tastes good. Sorry there is no exact science to my icing recipe!

How to deal with Halloween Candy 101 (LINK is fixed now!)

Yesterday, Miss E. arrived home with a plastic pumpkin full of treats. Not one to be terribly excited about sweets (french fries are another story), she quickly abandoned the pumpkin and went about her day.

A few hours later, I discovered Isaac rummaging through his sister's candy looking for a snack. He sited that Miss E. needed to share, thus the reason he was helping himself to her stash.

I failed to mention that E. had (unknowingly) already shared with her mother during naptime.

In the next few days, casa de phillips is going to be hit hard by the inevitable candy explosion. I figure we will pass out a few pieces to the children, eat a few ourselves, and then send the rest off to work with Tobe.

Today I wrote about other creative ways one can deal with the influx of Halloween candy.

By the way, one of the pieces of candy in E's pumpkin was Spongebob Fruit Snacks. We do not do Spongebob at our house for a variety of reasons and the children regarded this "contraband" package of fruit snacks the same way someone might have reacted should a carton of cigarettes had been placed in a child's Halloween pumpkin.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'll eat you up, I love you so

This little boy... ...keeps me in stitches.

On occasion those stitches feel a bit more like they are coming from anger or frustration, but usually they are from laughter.

In the past 24 hours he has:
  • informed me of a conversation he had with the pastor at his preschool about "Dancing with the Stars" during which conversation said pastor indicated that he desired Jesus to be a contestant on this popular reality show. I do not know how this conversation began or if Isaac agreed that Jesus did need to be a contestant on such a show, but I have been laughing over this constantly since the topic came up in the car yesterday afternoon.
  • managed to fall into the mud about 72 seconds after we arrived at a Pumpkin Patch this morning
  • asked when our family was getting a baby (we aren't), saying that he would want the baby to be a boy and we would name him "Lyle." He then said we should go ahead and get a baby girl as well and could name her "Pyle."
  • used a accessory to his Halloween costume the wrong way and put a large gash between his two eyes (Didn't see said gash in the above is because of my mad photo editing skills)
  • managed to cut a hole in his pajamas while crafting a Halloween banner at 7am (What? Your kids aren't working on art projects before sunrise????)

Stitches, I tell you.


Baby Einstein, Give me a refund!

The other day the children wanted to watch a video. It was day #174 of rain (slight exaggeration...but it has rained a lot here), so I figured a video might just be the answer to the stir-crazies that had seemed to settle in on my two children.

The dynamic duo scavenged the video cabinet and returned with this.

After sweeping away the dust off the DVD jacket, I warned them that such a movie would not hold their attention. I also warned them that there would be no movie trade-out once boredom sat in as they attempted to be entertained by sock puppets and classical music.

They insisted that such a movie was indeed the desire of their two little preschool hearts.

They were indeed bored about five minutes into the video and eventually wondered off and found something else to do with their time.

I have nothing against Baby Einstein and such movies were indeed our friends when the children were younger. Apparently a few parents thought such videos would enhance their child's intelligence and a bit of controversy has been brewing over such thinking. Disney has been prompted to offer full refunds to those parents who are dissatisfied with the Baby Einstein products. I wrote about such issues in detail yesterday.

Do you think they would offer me a refund simply because my kids are no longer entertained by a few moving toys and some Mozart?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Play Date

A few weeks ago, Isaac asked if we could have a Halloween party.

Always one eager to throw a party, I agreed.

Then our family was sick for what seemed like the majority of October and planning for said party was pushed to the back-burner. Once it appeared that the phillips family would not need saving from the swine flu (thanks to Tami-flu...whose costly price may be the reason we pass out homemade presents this Christmas), the party was back on. Evites were sent, plans were made and our Halloween play date was written in on the calender.

Despite record-rainfall and last-minute planning, our little play date came together quite nicely yesterday.

The house was decorated (it was actually already decorated...we just added the banner)

Snacks were set out

I had another excuse to make my favorite pumpkin cinnamon rolls

Because this was a play date, I opted for the kids to wear costumes from their dress-up buckets as opposed to their actual Halloween costumes. I let others know this on the invite, in case they wanted to follow suite.
Isaac was a train conductor (apparently a hip train conductor, judging from the placement of his hat) and Miss E. was a ladybug.

E. let me style her hair up in four mini twists and four bows....because we all know ladybugs are nothing if not stylish.

Guests arrived. A craft was attempted, snacks consumed and then everyone simply ran around and played.

At the end of the play date, the children trick or treated. I had intended for this event to occur throughout our yard, but rain prevented that from occurring. Instead, I stationed the other moms around the house with "treats" for the kids to gather.
Miss E. was especially fond of the treats.

I *heart* a good play date and attempt to host them on occasion for the kids. Sometimes we get a bit fancy and have a "pizza making" play date and other times we just call a friend over to come hang-out. Yesterday, I wrote a little piece about how to host a play date without losing one's mind.
Do you host play dates at your house? Any good play date themes out there you'd like to share?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween and Four Year Old Boys

Halloween is merely days away and the excitement is building here at casa de phillips. I truly believe that four is the magical age because the boy is caught up in everything associated with holidays right now. He already has his fifth birthday planned (which will occur in August 2010), has a Christmas wish list likely longer than his body, and is planning when we will make our Thanksgiving turkey placemats. Last night he could barely sleep in anticipation of today's Halloween playdate set to occur at our house in a few hours and keeps reminding everyone of his changed school schedule this week due to the class Halloween party.

As the 31st draws near, I am putting the finishing touches on the familys' Halloween costumes. Last week I treked up to our local craft store, braving record rainfall, to inquire about how I can make some minor alterations to Isaac's costume. Apparently the woman at the sewing counter mistook me for someone who can do more than merely thread a needle and replace a button because she went on for five minutes about the "easy alterations" I needed to make. When I broke the news that I need an alteration option that involved tools such as a hot glue gun and some duct tape as opposed to an actual sewing machine and thread, she simply gave me a sad smile and wished me good luck.

For those of you still in search of the perfect Halloween costume, check out some ideas of mine here and here. In case you are wondering if you should purchase thigh-highs for your toddlers outfit, perhaps you should read my thoughts about such costumes.

And, for those of you feeling a bit edgy this Halloween, here is the perfect wig to complete your Halloween costume.

How is Halloween planning going at your house? Anyone still doing some last-minute fixes to costumes or waiting until Saturday to even shop for an outfit?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Happy Blog-iversary to me!

Today is my four year blogiversary.

Surely, Hallmark will start creating cards for such events. They have mass-marketed every other holiday (and non-holiday) out there, so perhaps celebrating individuals entrances into the worlds of blogging or tweeting or Facebook will eventually be acknowledged with an appropriate greeting card.

When I first began blogging four years ago, this is what served as my subject matter: Hard to believe he has transformed into such a big boy in four short years:
Seriously how did this precious little lump of baby....

...become a super-hero overnight?

Since October 2005 we have added another little blessing to our family. Miss E. has proved to be an abundant source of blogging material for savethephillipsfamily. (and even more joy and laughter in real life....just yesterday she said, "Mommy, those leaves are changing colors on the trees. That is hilarious!" She also inquired, "Mommy, why are you not talking to me?" in the two second pause she had in her constant stream of chatter.)

Although I feel on occasion that I need a bit of saving from these two...

...they are still keepers.

Besides, what else would I have to blog about if I did not have them?
Thanks to all of you who check in with us here at savethephillipsfamily and read about our little lives!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Anxiety of Commenting

I follow several blogs through Google reader.

I know, I know...when you read a blog solely in a reader the blog doesn't get your hit. Sorry. I do click on the actual blog name occasionally just to send some reader love, but for the most part I stick to my reader. It is easy, fast, and perfect for a busy mommy who only has small pockets of blog reading time (and occasionally has little eyes peering over her shoulder, questioning if children on other blogs are themselves).

Like I said, I read several blogs. Some of people I know, others of people I do not know. Just this past weekend I ran across someone who's blog I read but do not actually know. I stopped myself before I said hello, realizing that this particular blog author does not know me and likely does not know I read her blog. The blog world is a bit creepy like that, but I chalk it up to how society runs in this age of technology. Sure it is odd that I can tell you what the kid I sat next to in third grade ate for breakfast this morning courtesy of his Facebook status, but that is simply the era we currently exist in right now.

My confession here is that although I have been blogging for FOUR YEARS now (my blog-versery is tomorrow!) and reading blogs for a bit longer, I am horrible at commenting. By that I mean, when I sit down to leave a comment my mind simply goes blank. Obviously something in the author's post has inspired me to reply back in my own words, however such words become tangled and awkward as that empty comment box stares up at me. Rather than being able to type out some witty reply, I often am searching for words that eventually convey such profound thoughts as "Great post!." or "I like that."

Comment wordsmith I am not.

Am I alone in this arena? Am I the only one who feels a bit of test anxiety when faced with an empty comment box? Obviously other people are able to leave behind thoughtful comments full of witty banter because I read them right here on my own blog.

So if I leave a comment on your blog that sounds something like "uh...that was cool" know what I really mean is that your story, thoughts or ideas stirred a bit of something inside of me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thigh-highs for toddlers?

Many parents of young girls envision their child dressing up for Halloween as a sweet princess, a charming bumble bee, or perhaps even a spunky pirate. Imagine such parents surprise when the costumes that are marketed toward today's young girls resemble something one might wear to a party thrown by Hugh Hefner, not to one thrown by the fifth grade...(to read more, please go here)

Three Cheers for the Purple and White

At the age of 18, every cliche song about leaving home ran through my head. I wanted Independence (perhaps, a touch of Independence, the kind funded by one's parents) and new experiences. I loaded up my belongings and set my sights on college nine hours away.

It was the best decision I have ever made.

This past weekend I returned to my Alma mater to celebrate my 10 year college reunion. I can be a bit of a sap and tend to be slightly dramatic, so such things as "10 year reunions" are my cup of tea. My college roomies and I met up on The Hill and within hours of pulling into West Texas, it felt like I had hardly been gone.

The collage experience gave me lots of things:

It gave me an education (and school loans).

It gave me an understanding of independence...eventually not funded by the parents.

It gave me everlasting friendships.

It gave me the chance to meet my husband.

It gave me a sense of self.

Going back to the grounds in which such things were brought into my life was beyond an enjoyable experience. Earlier last week when it appeared the flu might possibly wreck such plans, I was a bit sad about possibly not being able to attend such events. Fortunately tami-flu and a devoted husband saved the day and I was able to embark on my journey. Fourteen years ago this past August I drove into the small college town as a girl with big dreams. Last Friday I drove into the same town as an adult with some dreams fulfilled and others still emerging.

ACU does not do a tiny Homecoming celebration...they go all out. Purple and silver tinsel hang from every stop sign and street marker. There is a Friday night carnival, Saturday social club breakfasts (at 6:30am...who started such a tradition and why has someone not changed it to lunch???), a parade, Homecoming chapel, the actual football game (aka "Nap time"), and a dinner in the evening for classes celebrating reunions. Apparently there was also a sunrise devotional on Sunday, but I had already had my fill of getting up early for the weekend and opted out of that fun.

The weekend was festive, fun and a gentle reminder of the passing of time. Bonds were reestablished and school spirit was reignited. I wanted to grab every little baby-faced college student I passed those two days I was on campus and attempt to explain to them exactly how important their time was right now, how precious the memories they are creating at that moment will be to them one day, how never in their life will someone hand them an iphone and a chance to have such an incredible experience ever again.

But I refrained and simply basked in my coming home experience.

I also took a few pictures as well, in between my bouts of dramatic reflection and all.

Four out of the five roomies at the carnival

Four out of the five roomies at KJK breakfast
Our little social club celebrated their 90th year this Homecoming.

The missing 5th roomie

This gal and I attended ACU together 3 out of 4 years, yet never really chatted during that time. She actually lived on the same street as Tobe. We have since become blogging friends and real-life pals on those rare occasions when our paths cross. She is uber-crafty and has a kitchen that I pine over via her blog.

Chambers Hall: Home to all my under-grad and grad psychology courses. This is the place where I met Tobe...mainly because he used to shout "Welcome to Chambers Hall!" along with a fellow class clown every Tues/Th morning of the Social Psych class we shared my sophomore year and was hard to miss.
Fortunately he no longer yells such things at me when I enter our home.

The Kojie float in the Homecoming parade.
Those poor pledges will never get back the countless hours they toiled over their tissue paper float. However, they can now add such skills to their resume. I keep waiting to use my knowledge of crafting chicken wire and tissue into a large sailboat (the float I helped create when a pledge years ago), but have yet to be called on to make such a being since my sophomore days of college....

1017 Washington Blvd
This, dear readers, was my college home. Although it was old and had a wall on the verge of collapse, the roomies and I loved our home at 1017. Many laughs and many tears were experienced inside this little home. I think we all cried when we moved out after graduation, likely wondering if we would ever live anywhere quite as fun ever again. We were happy to discover that girls reside at 1017 once again (stinky ol boys moved in after we moved out). Half of us roomies wanted to knock on the door and ask if we could get a quick peek at our old homestead. The other half realized that perky young college girls would likely be frightened by a group of older women storming their home, excitedly chatting about such foreign topics as the "tish wig" and inquiring as to where "peeps" happened to be at the moment. We never knocked on the door, although we did slow down long enough to take a few pictures of the old place.

And this, dear readers, is where Tobe lived for a short while during college. Fortunately I did not know him when he lived in such a "home".

Do you attend college or high school reunions? What about them makes them special or terribly horrible for you?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's the great (glitter) pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

Fat pumpkins, friendly scarecrows, bright mums and cool weather all make me happy. I love fall, especially the decor and flavored hot drinks that accompany it. A few weeks ago I set out to add to my fall decor, opting to glam up a few pumpkins with some glitter and glue. It is a simple project, one inspired by the crafting queen herself.

First, assemble the needed items: glue, paintbrush, extra-fine glitter (important to get "extra-fine"), and a pumpkin or gourd (can be real or fake). Next, paint a small section of the pumpkin/gourd with the glue.

Apply lots and lots of beautiful, sparkly, messy glitter.

Repeat this process until the entire pumpkin is covered in glitter. Allow to dry for several hours. After the pumpkin is dry, drop gently on the ground to shake off excess glitter.

Display and feel happy every time you glance up at your craftiness!


*Do this craft outside! Your home will NEVER BE THE SAME should you attempt to do this craft indoors.

*Evelyn helped me with some of my pumpkins and they came out a bit spotty. She is just learning to hone her crafting skills, thus the reason some of my pumpkins have orange peeking through the glitter.

*Head on over and read more from me discussing glittering pumpkins.

Monday, October 19, 2009

'Tis the Season

In case you were unaware, I happen to live in the Christmas Capital of the World.

For real.

I am not sure who deemed my quaint little suburb the Christmas Capital of the World or if the city council decided to declare such title on their own, however said title is proclaimed loudly for the world (State? Metroplex?) to hear. Last week the Christmas preparations go underway as all the major hotels begin their holiday decorating.

The husband and I get a bit nauseous as we think about viewing holiday decorations while I am still knee-deep in scouring the Internet for Halloween costumes. Alas, the garland and the silver stars are out in full-force. I imagine the 24 hour Christmas music will begin on November 1st.

Although I hate the rushing of seasons and how everyone conveniently forgets that little holiday known as "Thanksgiving", I am discussing preparing for the holiday season over at today.

Sorry. I just could not help myself. Head on over and read some ways that you can prepare your own casa for the upcoming holiday season.

Then make sure you schedule a visit to the Christmas Capital of the know, once it is actually Christmas time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fair Day

Growing up in a small town, I anxiously awaited the arrival of the county fair every year. The week-long event, which was welcomed with a parade on a Monday and closed with a crash-up derby on a Saturday, was one of the highlights of the year.

Fast-forward to my adulthood. I now reside in a large state with a large state fair, which runs for a month. Rather than a small town beauty pagent, this fair boasts major entertainment acts as well as a rather popular football game. My mother, the children and I attened said large state fair (thanks to Chevy!) today despite a bit of gloomy weather. The husband stayed home, as he is the third person of our little family to fall victim to the flu.

The Tiger loved the fair.

He worked on the farm.

He drove a car.

He took a canoe ride.

He saw a giraffe

He took a bike for a spin

Tiger also rode his first rollarcoaster. To say he loved it is quite possibly an extreme understatement. The boy who we often describe as being a bit on the cautious side loved the large, rickety rollercoaster that travels the country on the back of an 18 wheeler and can be disassembled easily. I was his trusty riding partner. Fortunately I did not notice the old ladder that was being used to support part of the rollercoaster until after our ride came to an end.

Miss E. had some mixed feelings about the fair.

She was unsure about driving.

She tolerated farming.

She thought she wanted to ride some rides...

...until she changed her mind mid-experience.

Fortunately there was popcorn at the fair and the world was made right again.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

To Tweet or Not To Tweet

Up until a few years ago, we all thought "tweets" were something that came out of the mouth of tiny little birds on the pages of storybooks.

Then Twitter became a part of our vernacular and everyone is constantly updating their "followers" on the ins and outs of their lives via tweets.

I have hesitated jumping on the Twitter bandwagon. I am already hanging on for dear life to the blogging bandwagon, the Facebook bandwagon and the Internet bandwagon. I questioned if I had room in my life to listen and digest thousands of peoples updates on what they consumed for dinner last night.

Recently someone brought to my attention that Twitter is more than a mode for people to share hilarious links or discuss the toileting habits of their toddler. It is not limited to social networking, but extends its little bird arms into the professional world as well.

I like the professional world...especially when promoting myself and my work in the professional I established my own Twitter account. If you are on Twitter, you can follow me at savethephillips.

I pledge to only tweet professional tweets, such as links to a variety of my writings.

Unless I have a really funny potty story about my children...

Volunteer opportunities for the stay-at-home mom

When inaugurated into the White House last January, President Obama encouraged fellow Americans to make a commitment to serving their communities and their country. This past summer, the President's campaign focused on volunteer efforts was launched. United We Serve is a movement that is dedicated to calling Americans to reach out into their communities and help fellow man. Both the President and First Lady Michelle Obama have been spotted volunteering around the DC area, participating in such volunteer efforts as refurbishing playgrounds and passing out food at area food banks... (to read more, please go here)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tiger Tales

I get to hang out with a lot of cool people.

Sometimes even famous people.

And by "hang out" I mean, sit 10 feet above and stare at on occasion to see how said famous person enjoys u2.

That is Tiger Woods in the photo. He is texting someone during last night's U2 concert. The husband, DKDFW, and I sat directly above the Dallas Cowboy's suite at the Death Star for the performance. Not only did we get to enjoy the lovely sounds of Bono and gang (the origanl name of U2, by the way), but we also got to see some terrible dance moves by Jason Witten and witness Tony Romo embrace Tiger on occasion.
Good times.

Give Peas a Chance...

Across dinner tables nightly, battle lines are drawn. Parent stands-off against child, child stands-off against parent. Agents of war such as green peas, leafy spinach and baked chicken stand guard in the middle of the battle, wondering if they will indeed be consumed.

This battle of wills, centered around a parent's desire for a child to consume healthy food and a child's desire to exert Independence, has been waging for decades. Parent and child fought over consuming the Swedish meatballs of the 1960's, the casseroles of the 1980's, and the processed food of this decade. Dinnertime does not have to be a family battle field. Parents do not have to leave the table frustrated nor do children have to be forced on a nightly basis to consume food they do not like. Peace can be achieved at the dinner table, even on nights brussel sprouts are on the menu...(to read more, please go here)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Longest Week Ever

A little over a week ago, these were my children:

Running crazily through the yard, laughing at each other, full of energy...

Then "the virus" hit on Saturday, and this is how Miss E. looked the majority of last week:

Can you find her little brown head amidst all the pink blankets and pillows?

Did you ever know of a little girl who owned quite so many shades of pink (or should I say "blush" and "bash")?

Have you ever considered paying hundreds of dollars in the middle of the night to somehow make a replacement pink ballerina pillowcase magically appear because you had to toss the original in the wash due to a 2am tummy issue and a particular two year old little girl was less than thrilled about such events transpiring?

As mentioned, "the virus" began last Saturday and was with us a week. By Wednesday when there was no change in Miss E.'s condition, I found myself with both children at the pediatrician's office. Due to the fact E. had been running fevers, we were sequestered to a smaller waiting room and handed a mask for E. to wear.

Raise your hand if you have a two year old who will happily wear a surgical mask when she is running a high fever and is mad because she has been forced to sit in the only section of the doctor's office that does NOT have a view of the fish tank.

Bless you if your child fits such a mold (email me your tips!), because my child does not. There is no way E. was going to wear that mask and I didn't have the heart to force the matter. I held her instead and kept us far away from all the other children (which was not an issue since the other two mommies in the waiting room were glaring at me and shielding their children from our corner as if I had brought in a case of leprosy).

Much to the surprise of our doctor, the flu test came back negative and we were sent home with instructions to treat the fever and allow E. to rest. 1:30am on Saturday was her last fever and we are hoping this bug has departed for good. Isaac has been a little under-the-weather this afternoon, which we hope is more allergy-related as opposed to eternal-fever-that-brings-down-the-whole-family related.

What originally was supposed to be a very busy week here at casa de phillips turned into a homebound week. MOPS, playdates and school for Evelyn were all scratched from our to-do list. Instead we watched large amounts of Strawberry Shortcake, drank gallons of apple juice and attempted to rest indoors. Evelyn did not sleep well at night due to fevers so by Thursday afternoon she and I were pretty sleep-deprived. Due to her fevers, any plans I had set aside for Friday were cancelled. Thursday night as I went to bed I found myself dreading the next day.

I am not sure how Ma Ingalls survived in the dead of winter on the prairie with young children itching to burn off energy. If I were in her prairie boots, I would have run off screaming to the barn by about 10am every morning. On Friday, I was not looking forward to another day inside (it was raining which prevented all outside activities) with one sick child and one terribly bored child. I needed an activity. I needed something simple, engaging, and located to one general area of the house so I could attempt to restore casa de phillips to its pre-fever state.

Enter the kitchen sink.

I filled the two sides of the sink with soapy water, constructed a make-shift bench with kitchen chairs (which I covered in bath mats to prevent little feet from slipping), rummaged the Tupperware drawer for odds-and-ends and set the children loose.

They played in the sink for almost two hours. By the time all the fun came to an end, both children were soaked (tip: leave kids in PJs to do this), soap covered a large portion of the kitchen, E's fever was beginning to return and I would eventually have to move the microwave to clean out the small pond that had accumulated underneath it. Despite the mess and the extra load of laundry such a "project" generated, the children had fun and there were minimal tears and tantrums that morning.

Wonder if Ma Ingalls knew about the kitchen sink technique?

How do you survive those long days when a child is sick?