Stay at home dad alternative facts: “Doll”

Poor Monkey 2 doesn’t actually have any proper dolls. But…she loves that drill. And so do I. It’s funny how not having to lug and plug an extension cord makes work so much more appealing. It makes me think of all the little impediments that get in the way of incremental progress. Hmm. Ought to do something about those. So far Making a List Of Impediments hasn’t helped.


 What you  may not see is that Monkey 1 rests the battery pack on her knee when she uses the drill so that she can steady it. I didn’t teach her that. Kids will find a way to overcome their little impediments. Inspirational.


This post brought to you by wonderful neighbors. Both the drill and the fantastic skirt Monkey 1 is wearing originated with friends and neighbors who knew we would put things to use. That has contributed to a virtuous cycle of trying to be as helpful in the neighborhood as possible.  Also it is quite the morale booster to reflect on all of the great things I have received from others (life itself for instance).

Speaking of being thankful for simple things:

Growing (Stuff) and Learning

Sewing Seeds March 2016 - 2

Three kids, one slightly older, planting peas

We’ve been really fortunate to start planting stuff for the last few weeks. The girls and their buddies really enjoy seeing stuff grow. We had an incredible conversation the other day about how inside each seed is a tiny plant, and in that tiny plant is the ability to make more seeds and on and on. (I’m not quite ready to scale that conversation up to human reproduction…)

Sewing Seeds March 2016 - 10

Show me the B!

Our neighbors have graciously offered one of their raised garden beds as the kid’s garden. The Ringleader is really great about offering any adult with a kid who passes by the opportunity to plant a seed.

There are so many cool “extensions” and learning opportunities that come from working in the garden. The “low hanging fruit” (Ah, puns! I’m getting old.) is of course just vocabulary building and fundamental literacy stuff.  The higher order stuff is the idea that all projects take time, continual effort, and require learning other things to complete.

Sewing Seeds March 2016 - 17

Of course, Spring around here means lovely little tree flowers. Don’t let them fool you, though. Those delicate beauties will knock your nose and eyes out of order for a week!

Two books that we love this time of year and on the topic of growing things:

What are you growing and learning this time of year?

(Avian) Community Building

We call it a condo.

We call it a condo.

Over the weekend some neighbors and I got together at The Ringleader’s house and built some birdhouses! We were also celebrating a birthday, but power tools did get a fair share of the attention.  It was great for a million reasons. I got to meet lots of folks I didn’t already know.  I got to think and rethink about how to build the birdhouses while including 4 year old assistants in the mix. I learned about patience. I was in the Patience Zone that day thanks to an early morning visit from my Dad and thinking about how important it is for kids to have their first exposure to tools and building be Very Positive.

Monkey 1 graciously decided not to smash my fingers.

Monkey 1 graciously decided not to smash my fingers.

The building went slower than we thought it would, but it turned out much better than anyone was expecting. Best of all, no one was injured!

Looks like a party to me.

Looks like a party to me.


Check out the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s website all about birdhouses for plans and other cool information.