What to do with this incredible amount of free time?

Jordan’s last final was on Monday. Her final final, ever. At least until she decides to get a Ph.D. This class has been eating up a lot of her time, and lots of my time too, since I was devoting my evenings and weekends to taking care of Sylvia so she could study.

So what will I do with all this free time? Let’s see…

1. Catch up on my email. (Just did that.)

2. Blog.

3. Clean the house.

4. Do laundry. And more laundry. And more laundry. Last night we folded three loads of laundry.

5. Mow the lawn. I’d hoped that the Minnesota lawn-mowing season wouldn’t start for another month, but the neighbors on either side of my house have mowed already, and there were a few tall tufts. Fortunately, it only took half an hour after dinner tonight. And Sylvia loves watching people mow the lawn.

6. Prepare for the second kid. “Kicks” (so-named by Sylvia) is due in late August.

7. Watch TV, read magazines and newspapers. We’ve been doing the latter a lot, since it’s easier and quieter than the television when Sylvia is going to bed.

8. Potty training!

Okay, so that’s a pretty sad list. It makes it sound like parenting is all diapers and laundry. Here are a few more things I’ve been doing lately, and most of them don’t take enough time to have been deterred by Jordan’s busy schedule:

9. Watching the bunnies get fat under our bird feeder. When Sylvia is cranky, I point out the wildlife in our yard. She can go from crying to laughing in no time.

10. Hiding the raisins from the raisin monster. Sometimes you can convince a two-year old to eat with a creative ruse. The first time I did this, she launched into a long story about how the raisin monsters and flake monsters were going home, coming back on their skateboards, and playing with their kids in the living room. That was as much fun as her long story about Curious George and George Bush a few days later.

11. “Daddy, I want to jump way up high.” She’s small enough that I can loft her nearly to the ceiling. Ten jumps per rep, and many reps over the course of an evening. She’s my personal trainer.

12. Bicycling to the park. I did that last weekend while Jordan was studying.

13. Swim lessons. Learning to kick and blow bubbles.

14. Reading story books. I can recite quite a few Dr. Seuss books from memory. She can’t read, but she can correct you if you read a word wrong. (Those of you who think I’m a linguistic nitpicker should meet her.) Lately she’s been asking about all the pictures in the Harry Potter book Jordan has been reading. “What’s Dumbledore doing?” “Who is that next to Mad-Eye Moody?” It’s been three years, Sylvia, I don’t remember…

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