After 6 years of marriage and almost 5 years of being the sole breadwinner for the family we have transitioned to a new phase in life. I now get to be a Stay at Home Dad! You can call it what you want, SAHD, Mr. Mom, luckiest guy in the world or craziest guy in the world, but for me it is the most challenging yet rewarding experience I have ever had. My hope with this Blog is to share some of my experiences, ideas and skills with you. You may be another stay at home dad or a stay at home mom looking for a different point of view. Maybe you have to work and only get to spend so much time with your family and you are looking for a good way to make the most out of the time you have. Whatever your reason may be please follow my page and let me know what you think. I’m always looking for suggestions and ideas so please share! Thank you for joining me on this adventure!
It’s been pretty hot here and we have been looking for a fun way to pass the time. That’s when I had the idea to do an archeological dig! I remembered how much fun it was when we did this on a larger scale back in 6th grade but unfortunately I don’t have a big section of dirt I can just let the boys dig through. Not to mention how miserable digging in the heat can be. So I decided to do it much smaller scale and it turned out to be a great beat the heat project. Now I wish I could take all the credit for the idea but I will admit I saw it done with a plain block of ice somewhere else but I did it a little different.
We have been doing a lot of color mixing and rainbow projects and what little boy doesn’t love dinosaurs! So I combined them all and made an ice block with three different color layers, plastic dinosaurs, rubber cars and Hot Wheels just for fun.
The key is to make sure you have a good container without a lip that the ice block can slide out of when you are ready. I first did a layer of yellow colored water and put in the first dinosaurs. After letting that freeze for a few hours I did a layer of blue water (which ended up mixing and changing the yellow slightly green) and added more rubber toys and hot wheels. A few hours later I added a red water layer more cars and a kids fork. I let that finish freezing and I was done!
We took some toy tools and little condiment bottles and began chipping away and melting the ice outside. As we worked through the block he found new toys and got more excited each time. We eventually had to move inside to the tub but the fun just continued.
My earliest memory is of me on our back porch, probably 3 years old, swinging my plastic hammer while my dad was adding on to it. My parents tell me stories of how I was sitting in my bouncer while my dad worked and I was covered in saw dust. Those moments have to be what got me started on my life as a handyman.
I remember constantly having projects in our childhood home. Anything from crawling into the crawl space access in my bedroom closet to help pump water out from under the house to reroofing the house, my early years were spent helping my dad with projects.
As a first grader I had a bit of a temper. I remember one morning playing kickball before school and the class bully came and took one of the balls I had caught. So I punched him in the mouth! By the time we were both sitting in the principal’s office we were friends however I still got suspended. When I got home I don’t remember my parents getting mad, what I do remember is going out on that hot summer day in Northern California and helping my dad reroof the house. Now that may not be what actually happened over 20 years ago but that’s how I remember it.
That project stands out in my memory most of all. After all how many boys get to climb on top of their house, tear off the roof, find possum skeletons, and jump off the roof as an elementary schooler? I can tell you that now there is no way I, or my boys, would be jumping off roofs but it did show me that doing hard work can still be fun.
As I continued to grow there were always new projects for me to help out with. Digging trenches seemed to be a reoccurring job. We laid giant flagstone in our back yard, built an awesome workshop, poured concrete countertops before they were all over DIY Network. We installed hardwood floors and stair treads, painted more walls than I could possibly ever count, installed lights and ran electrical, hung drywall and doors, remodeled bathrooms and kitchens and all of this and more before I turned 18.
I will forever be grateful to my father and grandfather for teaching me these skills. If it were not for them I would never have been able to do the things I have done since then. I use the skills my dad taught me on almost a daily basis and would be a much different man than I am today.
After turning 18 I left on a service mission for two years and during that time I was able to use those skills to help other people. Little projects mostly, like fixing lights and ceiling fans, but because I had those skills I was able to touch the lives of many other people.
When I returned from my mission I got married fairly soon after. I remember living in a tiny apartment, east of San Francisco, and it drove me nuts not having anything to work on. It was about two years later that my wife and I bought our first fixer upper and I was able to get back to my roots. This time however I had a baby to work around. Projects became more difficult not because I didn’t know how to do it but because I didn’t have time! I laid flooring, installed trim and mouldings, built furniture, painted more, and did even more projects before selling that house and buying and even older home that needed more work!
Our next home was built in 1951 and hadn’t been updated since maybe the 70’s. There we rewired the house, ran new plumbing supply lines, gutted almost every room to insulate and update, drywall, more paint, gutted and remodeled another kitchen and bathroom and countless other small projects. It felt like it would never end! All of a sudden I missed that small east Bay Area apartment where I could actually relax.
Well that’s about when we moved again this time to a new state and into a townhouse where my projects are small but enjoyable. Now I have time to help others again and begin teaching my boys and I must say, there are not a lot of things more gratifying than watching my 3 year old use a socket wrench to help build a crib for his little brother. My dad taught me and now i hope i can teach my sons and help others with the skills I have and continue to develop.
We have been having a lot of fun with mixing colors and doing rainbow experiments lately. This one did not disappoint.
-6 clear containers
-Red, Yellow, and Blue food coloring
First begin by filling 3 cups up with water and leaving 3 empty. Next mix each color into one container each and arrange them in a circle with an empty container between each color.
Now just wait. In a few minutes you will see the colors start to creep up the paper towel. A few hours later you will see the colors make their way into the empty containers and start to mix.
When we did the experiment my almost 4 year old son was so excited every time he went into the kitchen and saw the colors moving and mixing. It really helped him remember what colors you mix to make orange, green and purple. It also gave me the opportunity to explain how sometimes you have to be patient for great things to happen.
Not to mention I was able to do something even my artist wife had never seen!