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Posts Tagged ‘boys’

Bedtime is one of my favorite parts of the day.  It’s not just the peace that comes after a long day of noisy boys.  Nor is it the moment when all the kids disappear into their rooms and I can have an adult conversation without any arguing or fart noises, without any sounds of armed attack or crying or complaining.  That is nice though.

It’s the whole bedtime routine I love.  The reading and the cuddling, the singing, the tucking in, the million drinks of water, the giggling and talking long after they were tucked in.  I especially love it when Dave is home and he sings to the kids.  Dave has this amazing ability to remember any song he’s ever heard.  He can sing all the words, he’s got the general tune.  From a tone deaf wife, who can’t remember the words to the “Wheels on the Bus”, I’m constantly amazed.  I rarely participate in this nightly singing ritual.    It’s too much pressure for me. I am glad that my children haven’t inherited this fear of performing.  Nathaniel will sing along whether it’s the hundredth time or the first he’s heard the song.  He’ll sing along even if the song’s in a different language.  It’s rather sweet.

Dave’s song selection runs the gambit from Contemporary to hymns.  The twins especially love the duck song, it’s usually their first request, it’s the Freebird of our house.  They also regularly request The Man in the Moon Song,but Dave normally saves that one for the eve of a business trip.

When Dave is gone, the song repertoire is much smaller (and sometimes replaced with an extra chapter or picture book).  I class it up with songs like: Jesus loves me, The Barney Theme song, the ABC song, George of the Jungle, or Jingle Bells Batman Smells (as an aside, my cousin taught the kids this song when he came to visit.  When he left the twins told me how impressed they were that he had made up such an amazingly awesome song right on the spot. I let them go on believing he was the author of that little gem.)

Some nights, when Dave is singing, I’ll walk down the hall and hear Our God is awesome God, in Spanish.  Or maybe some B.I.G.G.Y.  Nothing is really off limits for Dave, but each session is normally ended with a hymn.   Nothing sounds sweeter than a couple of five-year-olds singing about Jesus.

 

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Supergluing his head back together

8:00 am  I’m awoken to my phone chirping that I have a text message.  I roll over and it’s from McKayla, “Can you pick me up, I’m feeling sick”.

We’ve been battling the weirdest stomach flu ever at our house.  It started with Nathaniel who complained his tummy hurt and the announced he was going to throw up and then promptly threw up all over the bathroom.  Afterwards, he was completely fine.  He ate dinner, he helped clean the kitchen, he read to me, I read to him and he fell asleep.  This was followed by Michael screaming his stomach hurt and then throwing up all over the other bathroom, declaring himself better and going back to bed.  And then Jacob woke up in the middle of the night to cry how much his tummy hurt, “Why does God make my tummy hurt?  Please pray over me!  I think I might die.” We tend toward the dramatic in this house.  Everyone woke up one more time, threw up all over the floor and then went back to bed.  We would have labeled it possible food poisoning, except the following night Marshall was hit and Michael once more.  My poor, poor carpet. On the bright side, my bathrooms are sparkly clean.

So, when McKayla said she wasn’t feeling well, I came to get her right away before she threw up all over the halls.  She’s having a hard enough time without being known as “the girl who lost her breakfast all over the halls”.  I don’t think anyone could ever live that one down.

9:00 the glamorous life of homeschooling 4 boys.

9:23  SQUIRREL!  no, not a distraction, an actual squirrel.  The largest squirrel we’ve ever seen.  It was looked less like a squirrel and more like a cat with a bushy tail.  It sat right by our bird feeder, stared through the window with a look that said, “WTF People, why is this bird feeder empty?  This is unacceptable!”

9:40 back to learning.

11:17  OH CRAP PEOPLE!!!!  GET YOUR BATHING SUITS ON RIGHT NOW!!!!!  GO!!!  GO!!!!  GO!!!!  WE HAVE TO BE AT SWIM LESSONS IN 13 MINUTES!!!!

11:22 

Jake:  Oh no mom!  I forgot to take off my underwear!

Me:  Oh, well.  That’s okay, you can swim with them and we’ll come home without underwear.

Jake:  I don’t want to go home with no underwear!

Me:  Sorry, We don’t have time to change when we get there.

11:26 Jake:  You don’t have to worry about my underwear.

Me:  I wasn’t terribly worried, but why don’t I have to worry?

Nate:  ‘Cuz he was getting naked back here!

Jake:  Yep, I took off my swim suit, took off my underwear and then put my swim suit on.  All while buckled into my car seat!  Now I can have dry underwear!

Me:  For the win!

11:30  We make it to swim lessons right on time.

I have thought about doing something with those 30 minutes of freedom.  I could totally go run for 20 minutes, but then I’d have to give up the entertainment of watching swimming lessons.  For whatever reason, Jacob is absolutely terrified of water.  He doesn’t like getting his head wet.  He doesn’t like letting go of the wall.  He doesn’t like the whole idea of getting in the water.  It’s rather comical.  Though its rather hard to swim holding on to the instructor like they are your personal life raft during a tsunami, it’s hysterical to watch.  When they got to the pool the instructor had them put on floaties that go around their middles.

Jake:  This is ridiculous, there is no way this can ever hold me.

Instructor:  No, really this works great.  Let go from the wall, I promise you won’t sink.

Jake:  No, thank you.

Jake’s swimming looks, less like swimming and more like motion by electrical shock.  Meanwhile, Nathaniel swims circles around him trying to convince him he’s completely safe.

Jake:  NATHANIEL!  You are going to drown.  Touch the wall!

Nate:  I’m fine. Perfectly safe.

Jake:  MOM WE ARE GOING TO DROWN!!!  (we tend to the dramatics here)

12:15  We arrive at home.  I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the chlorine and the screaming at the pool or the lack of caffeine but I have a killer headache.  Lunch is made, school is wrapped up and I decide to lay down before my head splits into two.

 

1:00  “Mom, are you asleep?”

Me:  I was.

Random child:  Can we jump on the jumpoline?

Me:  Okay, open the door so I can hear you.

For the next 45 minutes I hear kids happily bouncing on the trampoline intermingled with whinnying, complaining, crying and laughing.

I’m sure you know where this is going.

1:45  I hear mike scream like he was just pounced on by a tiger.  Followed by Nathaniel screaming and then Jacob screaming.  At first I wonder if maybe zombies attacked them and they are now pinned inside the trampoline net.  This may not seem like a likely scenario, but it’s probably as likely as all three of them being hurt simultaneously with enough damage to elicit the amount of screams I’m hearing.

Mike comes running in the house dripping blood from his head “He broke my head!!  Oh my gosh!  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!! CAN YOU SEE MY BRAINS???  (the drama)

I assess the head damage and it’s minor.

Me:  You’re fine.  Jump in the bathtub so you stop bleeding all over everything.

I assess Nathaniel.  He’s completely fine.  No blood anywhere.  We can’t find Jacob.  McKayla goes to look for him.  Marshall gets out all of the first aid supplies.

Marshall:  I am completely qualified to wrap his whole head in gauze.  I have almost earned my first aid merit badge.

Me:  Okay, Tell me exactly what happened.  Marshall I think we can hold off on mummyfing your brother for a few minutes.

Mike:  HE BROKE MY HEAD!!!  We were jumping and Nathaniel’s chin hit my head and broke it!!!

McKayla:  I found Jacob, he was crying under the bed scared.

I look more closely at his head, but can tell if it’s ER worthy or not.  I call Dave.  He doesn’t answer.  I call him 4 times in a row.  Still no answer. I call my mother-in-law.  No answer.  I take a photo of his bloody head and text it to dave.  I call my best friend whose been to the ER for two head injuries on two separate kids.  No answer.  I call her cell.

Me:  THANK GOD YOU ANSWERED!

Her:  What’s up!  Did you know they sell vanilla vodka!  I have some in my cart!

Me:  Why do you live so far away!!!  I need Vodka!  (I promise, we always speak in such a way that requires all of these exclamation points).  How did you know that you needed to take the boys to the ER?

Her:  The copious amounts of blood on one kid and being able to see his skull on the other one.

Me:  What does skull look like?  Do you think I could text you a picture?

Her:  Didn’t you just meet your insurance deductible?

Me:  I know, but I hate the ER.

Her:  Just think of it as a little break.  Bring a book.

2:15  So off we went to the Urgent Care. There wasn’t anyone there but the intake lady was on the phone.  A nurse came by to see if we were okay.

Me:  Um, can you look at his head and let me know if you think this might need stitches?

Her:  Oh, yeah, that’s probably going to need some s-t-a-p-l-e-s (in a mock whisper).

Mike turns a little green.  While we wait for the doctor I text Mike’s coach.  “Mike probably won’t make it to practice.  We’re at the ER.  Tragic trampoline accident.  Mike’s head vs his brother’s chin.  Chin wins”

Mike:  Did you call dad?

Me:  I did but he didn’t answer.  I texted him a picture of your head.

Mike:  Is he coming?

Me:  I haven’t heard yet.  Probably not.

Mike:  Oh, I kinda need him.

Me:  What am I?  Chopped liver?

We get back to the doctor and explain the whole story. She washes the wound and offers us staples or super glue.  I was really trying to sell the staples, but Mike wanted the super glue.

Me:  Come on!  Don’t you want to see the medical stapler?  Maybe it’s run by an air compressor.  Kachunk!  Kachunk!  Kachunk!

I don’t know why that didn’t win him over.  I can’t imagine why he wanted Dave and not me…

Mike:  Do you think I can go to baseball practice?Doctor:  I don’t see why not.

3:45 We head home, Mike quickly changes into his baseball clothes and we’re off to practice.

 

6:00 Home from baseball everyone quickly eats frozen pizza, prepared by chef McKayla and changes into Awana uniforms.

6:30 All of the boys are dropped off at church.

6:45  I run home and take a quick shower, down some more Advil, because my head still feels like it might crack open at any minute and my eyeball will fall out.

7:15 I run to a Cubscout leader meeting.

8:15 I leave the riveting leaders meeting, mid discussion on Fish drops and run to pick up all the kids from church.

9:00 When we are all finally home, Dave inspects Mike’s head.

Mike:  How big is it? Do you think my brains will leak out?  Do you think we should make a doctor appointment to get my bones checked?  Don’t you think my skull has to be really wimpy because Nate’s baby chin could crack it?  Should I wear a helmet all the time? Should I sleep sitting up?

No wonder he wanted Dave.  All these unspoken fears he’d been carrying around all day.  Poor kid.

 

 

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I have this looooong list of possible topics I should blog about.  I keep a little file on my laptop of the funny things my kids say and do.  It’s a list I don’t share on facebook, because I need to hold back some material if I ever decide to write a blog.  Every time I add something new I think about actually logging into wordpress and writing something and then more pressing things require my attention.

Things like repeatedly feeding the masses of hungry mouths that seem to be hungry the moment they leave the table.  I think I might start teaching my children to expand their culinary skills outside of pancakes, waffles, and quesadillas and scrambled eggs, and then I will stop cooking all together.

It’s also possible that the lure of cleaning my house and doing the monotonous job of laundry always pulls me away.  Never mind, no one would believe that.

Or maybe it’s the latest book I’m reading that is so much more enticing than actually putting finger to keyboard.  I started pinning the books I have read in 2012 on Pinterest.  Currently, I’ve read more than 60 books.   I had no idea that I read so much.  Before you get all jealous, you should go check out the list of books,  but be sure not to judge me too much.  I guess it was the year of zombies, vampires and smut.  I’d like to say that’s not typical, but obviously it is.

Without further ado, enjoy the hilarity.

We’re classy

We only have two rules for what you can wear for church.  (1) A shirt with a collar.  (2) No holes in your pants.

Sometimes, these rules lead to an exciting outfit combination. I know you love those black and gray plaid pants combined with the red and white shirt.  This was also paired with rain boats.  It was stellar at Sunday School.

***

For whatever reason, Boy Scout of America has decided that every registered person in scouts NEEDS a magazine.  Dave and I each get Scouting magazine and both Marshall and Michael get Boy’s Life.  They come bundled together in a shrink wrapped package monthly.  I disperse them throughout the house (aka in various bathrooms).  Personally, I never read them (it might have something to do with the 63 books I’ve read this year).  It turns out that I’m the only one in our family who does not.

McKayla:  Yes!  The new Boy’s Life magazine.  I love Boy’s Life.

Dave:  yeah, it’s a pretty good magazine.  Lots of girls read it.

McKayla:  I always read the “Scouts saving lives” section and then if the guy is cute I’ll go add him on Facebook.

***

Continuing on the scouting theme:

Marshall:  I’m really glad that I’m in scouts.

Me:  Me too.  Why are you glad?

Marshall:  They’re teaching me good life skills.  If I decide to be homeless I can totally pack a backpack full of all the necessary essentials.  Really, everything a homeless guy needs is right here on my back.

I’m not sure if Boy Scouts of America wants to go with the slogan, “Teaching Boys how to survive being homeless for over 100 years!”

***

McKayla:  Can I invite some people over this weekend.

Mike interjects:  Yes, as long as it’s less than 2.

(this still cracks me up.  We were all so surprised by his quick wit)

***

Recently Nathaniel and Jacob have started playing Lego Harry Potter on the xbox.  I don’t think they have any concept of the rules of the game, the object or how to actually win, but they have a great time doing it.  For those of you who don’t know, the XBOX Kinect has voice commands.  Theoretically, you can control the whole system with your voice.  I can browse the internet by saying, “XBOX BING ‘The Walking Dead'” and lots of movies and games will pop up at the sound of my voice.  We frequently browse and turn off our system with this method.

Nate:  Mommy!  Mommy!  Hurry come quick we can’t get off this level.

Me:  Who is the expert at Xbox?  Definitely not me.  (I was thinking he’d go to Marshall or Michael)

Nate: “oooooo  I have an idea!”  He runs into the other room. “XBOX!  GET US OUT OF THIS LEVEL”

***

Me (during some reading to the boys):  What are skills?

Jake:  I know!  They’re like bones, bones in your head.

Nate:  No, those are skulls.  It’s like nails.  They are long and twisty (he proceeds to turn in a circle) and you need a skill driver.

Maybe I should have their hearing checked.

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I have lots to tell you dear internets about my bunny, but for fear of turning my blog into a “Chanel’s bunny” blog, I will save it for later.  Just know that she is probably the cutest thing, the most expensive animal ever, and a cat bully.  This one though, is for all of those random visitors that come to my blog for the GI Joe house. 

Dave and I instituted an only “gifts of time” allowed for Christmas for a few years.  The kids all had to make everyone gifts.  Dave and I only gave the kids things that we either made or consisted mostly of our time.  We gave Mckayla (13 at the time) a new bedroom.  We helped her paint her room, replace the bedding, I think we even painted some furniture.  It was shockingly purple.  We made Marshall (10 at the time) a bike ramp.  Which was hilarious.  As dave was building it, I kept telling him, “This ramp is a baby ramp! Make it bigger!”  And being the amazing husband that he is, he did.  It was huge.  I think at the tallest it was 3 feet.  Marshall rode it once (on Christmas Day) and biffed it so amazingly hard that he never rode it again.  We moved it here, to the land of rain, but it was cannibalized for the treehouse.  I can’t remember what we gave the twins, but Mike got the most awesome present ever.

For all of you who don’t personally know my Mikey, it’s important that you know how much he loves anything to do with the army and war.  He has always loved G.I. Joes, little green army men, any type of gun.  He has dreams of enlisting.  I am trying hard to encourage the Army Corp of Engineers,  “But Mom, I don’t want to be a General or build things, I want to be in the front lines!”  When we moved here, the first time we went to the library, he said, “Oh mom!  I love this place!  They have a huge World War II section!”  He knows the call numbers for every war and whenever we visit another library, he immediately bee lines it to them.

For Christmas that year, I wanted to make him a GI Joe house.  Gi Joes are like barbies for boys except larger.  I think Jem was made for GI Joe, if he wanted to go on tour, hang out with short mini skirts, sparkly hair and groupies while he was on leave, then definitely a perfect match!  So, I was looking for an old beat up, FREE Barbie townhouse.  For a few months I searched high and low.  I went to garage sales, thrift stores, perused freecycle and craigslist.  There was none to be had.  I enlisted every one I knew to keep their eyes out for one.

My mother-in-law didn’t find the townhome, but she found something even more amazing.  She found me this beauty:

dollhouse

Oh, but it gets better.  It came with windows, curtains, wall paper and working doors.  It was priced something incredibly ridiculous like $5.  I needed it.  Who cares about GI Joe! I have a box full of my old doll house furniture that my Grandma had diligently saved for me.  I was mentally planning where I was going to put the fireplace and divan.  Yes!!  I now had a house for all this miniature furniture from the 1960s.


Dave:  This is even more awesome than the Barbie townhome!  We can camouflage it, board up the windows, put in some mortar damage.  Mike’s going to love this!

Me:  (absolutely horrified):  WHAT!??  We can NOT desecrate this!   I have a whole box full of miniature furniture.  This is too pretty for a boy.  Maybe one day we will have a baby girl who will love dollies.  This will be perfect.

Dave:  We are not saving this for a hypothetical child.  I promise, if we have for some reason have a baby girl, we can change it back.

And of course, we don’t have a baby girl.  But I still have a box full of dollhouse furniture without a small home…

So we began the sad, sad, job of destroying a perfectly good dollhouse.

We went to the hobby store and bought camouflage spray paint.  Incidentally, there are directions on the spray paint bottle on how to correctly camouflage something.  It’s an exact science.  Who knew?

dollhouse

I’m rather lucky to be married to a spray paint master.

gi joes house

Me:  Maybe we shouldn’t camouflage it, If we just paint it green and he doesn’t love it, I can always take it back and paint the trim white.  It won’t be the perfect yellow house, but sage green is nice.

Dave:  What are you talking about?  He’s gonna LOVE this!  This is awesome!!!

Please notice the beautiful bay windows.  Does GI Joe need bay windows?

gi joes new baseWe boarded up the windows with small sticks  Dave drilled small sniper holes in the windows.  We pulled off shingles, all the while I complained.

Me:  Shouldn’t we do a better job painting the trim?

Dave:  Do you think that GI Joe would be spending a great deal of time on the trim while he commanders this colonial era home as their new base of operation during the apocalypse or World War 3?  The bad paint job is realistic.

gi joe home

Dave really wanted to knock holes in the walls, splatter red paint around to mimic blood and gore, make gunshot holes in the walls.  I finally drew the line.  We stuck some army decals, American flag stickers and little army men on the walls.  I went through all of my doll house furniture and found a few pieces I was willing to part with.  We spray painted them boy colors and added them to the home.  And called it done.

It was by far the best present ever.  He absolutely loved it.  Actually, everyone loved it.  I think Mike convinced Marshall to play army with him for a few weeks.  Now, three years later, Mike has outgrown playing with army men.  He has moved on to staging full scale wars in the front yard with the little green men.  He has built a complicated trench system among my flowers. Yet,  sometimes I will find a full scale army staged in his room, complete with the home base command center but mostly the house is used as storage for the army vehicles and men that are too precious to part with.  Thankfully, it still sees much playtime among the twins.  Eventually, when it has been completely outgrown, I will move it into the attic to await my first grandson.  The girls will just have to wait.

 

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Today my heart grieves.  It sits in my chest like huge blubbering lump of an organ, kinda like my ovaries.  In two days, my twins will turn 5.  They will no longer be babies.  They won’t be anywhere near babyhood.  Every day they say, “Please, don’t call us babies.  We’re big boys”.

Logically, I know it’s ridiculous, to be so upset about a fifth birthday.  I’m expecting these kids to live to be 100.  They’ll see things I can’t even dream of.  They’ll crest a new century.  They will probably get to go to the moon on vacation.  It’ll be amazing lives these kids lead. If we round this birthday up or down compared to 100 years, they are closer to babies than wrinkly old men.

But lately, every time I see an older person I think about how they were once small helpless babies.  Once, they were precocious toddlers who delighted their parents with their views of the world. Once they were little.  They were new.

And when I see a baby, a little piece of my heart shatters knowing that I will never again have a baby.  Never again grow little hands and feet in my womb and feeling little legs and arms stretch within the safe confines on my body.  Never again, will I rock a sleeping infant in the dark of night.  Never again, will I nurse my baby, wear them on my hip, stand over their sleeping shapes in the dark and listen for the sweet sound of their breath.

I think of all of the lasts that happen every day.  The things that I didn’t even know where the lasts.  The things that I didn’t even know I would one day miss.  Things like onesies under feety pajamas, rocking little ones to sleep, and playing this little piggy on small toddler toes.

There should be mother books for things like this.  This way we could keep an exact record of it.  We could cherish all those things we rush through every day to get to the next thing.  The last time I nursed you.  The last time I needed to hold your hand while you walked.  The last time you feel asleep on my chest.  The last time I played the Tooth Fairy.  The last time you called for me in the middle of the night to kiss your head and tuck you in.  Sometimes they are small things we can’t wait to get past.  The last diaper change.  The last time I had to tie your shoes.  The last time I brushed your teeth.  The last time you cried for your pacifier.  The last time they wore those small tiny training pants on their little tiny hineys.

This is just the beginning of the lasts.  There isn’t anyone behind these little two to rock and hold and baby.  This is the beginning of the end of this phase of my life.

It just breaks my heart.  It breaks it into a million pieces.

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Marshall left to go camping with the scouts on Friday morning.

It’s like someone cut off my right arm when he’s gone.

I have no one here to be my man power to help with my crazy ideas.  There isn’t anyone to shake their heads in disbelief as I walk around Home Depot trying to decide which drywall to purchase to make my chalkboard wall.  Their also isn’t anyone who will help me tip it into the cart and then get it to the car and shove it into the back of the minivan without complaining.  Hence, the drywall is still at Home Depot.

It is much quieter with this kid gone though.  He is constantly singing, humming, and all around making noise. I’m pretty sure this boy will either grow up to be a famous rapper (any other kind of musician is totally out of the question because unfortunately he was blessed with my wonderful lack of rhythm and being helplessly off key and out of tune, ALWAYS.  Yes, even my rendition of the ABC song is painful.

I’m pretty sure that the constant noise which seems to constantly spew from his mouth will be absent at camp.  Marshall was in charge of dinner for night 2.  While we are standing around they are talking about missing dinner for night 2.

Me:  Marshall, you should tell them you have dinner.

Marshall:  No, they know.  I signed up for it.

Me:  No, I don’t think they know you actually brought the food.

Marshall:  No, it’s fine.  They know.

Me:  Seriously, Marshall, they don’t know.  They’re talking about buying dinner. Tell them you have the spaghetti!

Marshall:  No.

Me (to the boy in charge):  Marshall has dinner.

Boy (to Marshall):  Dude!  Why didn’t you speak up during that hole conversation?!

The quite is a little bit unnerving though. It makes his absence so much more acute.  I’m sure he’s having a great time right now.  They’re probably telling scary stories in his tent while having a farting contest, or whatever disgusting thing tween boys like to do.  Or maybe he’s exhausted from hauling that massive pack around. Whatever he’s doing, I hope he knows how much we miss him here at home.

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When we lived in California, we were part of a homeschooling art class.  It met a friend’s house.  The kids learned how to use many different types of media in a very non-stressful, nonacademic format.  Well, McKayla did, the boys usually spent the whole time engaged in Nerf warfare. It was very informal but informative.  It was the highlight of our week.

Mike is my social butterfly.  More than anything he really misses the weekly get together with his best friend.  A few months ago he asked if we could start our own art class.  I can draw a pretty darn amazing stick girl, dress and pigtails included.  That is where my artistic ability ends.  We brainstormed all of the things that we knew how to do and people would be willing to learn.

Mike:  Cooking?

Me:  Sorry, I don’t think our kitchen is big enough to handle a brood of boys.

Mike:  Nerf warfare!

Me:  No. How about a book club?

Mike:  BORING!  How about crocheting?  You could teach us to make a stuffed animal.

Me:  I don’t think I could teach boys to crochet.

Mike:  cake decorating?  Then we could eat a whole cake every week!

Me:  Sorry, not my expertise.  How about a painting the treehouse club.  I could teach everyone to paint?

Mike:  NO!

Me:   How about sewing?

Mike:  Okay, we could try that.

I sent out an email on the various email groups we belong to. The first meeting we had 5 boys ages 6-9 and Marshall.  We made a pillow case.   Mike would like you to know that he did not choose a pink pillowcase for himself, but made it for his sister for her birthday.

 

The first class was a learning lesson.  I thought we could cut the pillow case out and sew the whole thing.  The attention span of a group of young boys is not that long.  Trying to direct a group of kids who have never sewn, was chaotic to say the least.  All I can say is, I am so thankful that my mom happened to be visiting during that first class.

Marshall made his brothers coordinating pillow cases.

After the class Mike and I talked about what we liked and what we didn’t.

Mike:  I want to play more! 

Following this lead, we decided to cut the sewing time down to 30-45 minutes and then the boys could play until everyone was ready to go home.  Honestly, I do very little teaching.  It’s more of a play date masked as a sewing club.  Everyone brings their moms, so the adult to kid ratio is 1:1.  Most moms have a basic knowledge of their sewing machine and can sew a straight line.

Week 2 we cut out a patchwork pillow.  I provided square templates and the boys cut out squares.  Then they played.

Week 3 We sewed together the front of the pillow.  What I really love about this project is how forgiving the patchwork was.  Yes, corners might not actually meet up, but if seams aren’t very straight, it’s hard to tell.  Even the boy whose material looked as if he gnawed it rather than cut it with scissors had a pillow that looked amazing at the end!

Week 4 we sewed the back and front together and stuffed them.  The hardest part of the whole project was the hand sewing to sew the stuffing closed.  Boys don’t particularly have the patience or fine hand eye coordination for a hidden stitch.  While the boys played this week, Jake and another sibling made tiny pillows.

Week 5 We lost a few families and gained some new ones.  We tried our hands at sewing a pattern.  The boys decided they’d like some new jammies. Actually, they’ve been coveting army and baseball fleece that they’ve spied at the fabric store and this was the best project we could think of to use it for.   I chose a Simplicity So Easy Pattern.  JoAnne’s only had ONE pattern so I ended up making my own patterns for the boys to cut.

This week we finished the jammies.  They turned out amazing!  I think my favorite part about the sewing class is seeing the individual boys.  I love seeing which fabric each boys chooses.

The twins have also been bitten by the sewing bug.  Jake was lucky enough to be given one of the boys extra pirate material and we whipped up a pair of jammies together today.  I pressed the pedal and Jake guided the material.

Nate also wanted a pair of Jammies.  We didn’t have enough pirate material, but I did have a pair of Dave’s pajamas which have been waiting far too long to have a hole repaired in a rather unfortunate spot.  He was very excited to have a pair of Daddy pants.  Nathaniel was not even remotely interested in guiding the material.  Instead he pressed the foot and I guided the material.  It was definitely an adventure.

Our next project will be a quillow (A quilt that turns into a pillow).  I think we will do this one.  I know there are much easier patterns, but I need something that will not only interest the 7 year-old but also challenge the 13-year-old.  Hopefully this isn’t something that will frustrate everyone.

Do you have any ideas for some sewing projects that a boy would love?  I’ve scourged the internet and have come to the conclusion that sewing is not only primarily done by girls, but also for girls. If we wanted to make tutus or dolls or an easy dress, I could find hundreds of patterns and ideas easily. Alas, I don’t think a pink tutu clad doll would be very appealing to these boys.   I’m thinking of designing some kind of nerf gun carrier, maybe a messenger bag.  Please give me some ideas.  I don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

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