So, here are some things that I have done, and others that I've tentatively planned, all in an effort to keep peace in our wee kingdom.
Baking - We made these frosted pumpkin cookies on the first day home together. They are delicious and not too fussy a recipe, which made baking these with the 9 year old actually enjoyable. Madness!
Crafting - We made suet (actually, lard) cakes for both the wild birds and our chickens.
Chicken scratch, oats, dried fruit, poppy seeds, peanut butter and lard, mixed together and pressed into hollowed out orange peels and set up in the fridge to firm up = birdie delights.
Threaded with a little biodegradable cotton yarn, and hung up high enough that the dog couldn't snatch it up and eat it himself (the lard smells very tasty), our little cakes are ready for the finches and chickadees to enjoy. This one is hanging in our giant old apple tree.
Distraction - I bought a dvd of their new favorite "old" movie, The Goonies, that I'm holding back for a time when I can't take the I'm borrrrrred's any more. Now I just have to resist the urge to give it to them immediately, lest they burn themselves out on it too quickly.
Distraction #2 - Their Pop is lined up to take them to see The Hobbit this weekend, during which time I'll be at home luxuriating in 3 solid hours of silence. Have I ever been so happy to be raising nerdlings? I doubt it.
That's what we have on deck to get us through the first week. We're hoping for - nay - counting on their Christmas gifts to keep them sufficiently occupied for the second week.
In the event that they fail (don't do me like that, Santa. You owe me, fat man!), I've got my Costco-sized bottle of Baileys and a pair of noise-cancelling headphones at the ready. ;)