The layout of our house doesn't allow for much private space. The kitchen is only separated from the dining room by a counter and overhead cabinets and the dining room is only separated from the living room by a partial brick wall.
I love the fact that everything is so open and there are windows in every room so you feel like you are right out in the nature which surrounds our house. But, the drawback to the open layout is that we can never really get away from one another, unless we seclude ourselves off in our bedrooms with the door closed (Bryce's constant choice).
Add in an extra long winter and the stir-craziness abounds. Perhaps this accounts for some of the friction, mentioned before, between my two youngest sons. I have been noticing a reprieve from the constant bickering and pestering. I am convinced that it has to do with the weather and the trampoline.
As soon as the weather improved, Trevor began to want to head outside. He doesn't like to do this alone. He wants a companion. Especially, if it involves jumping on the trampoline. Trevor and Sean have been spending hours outside jumping happily together on the trampoline. Their favorite thing to do is to fill large balloons with water and then bounce on the trampoline with the balloons until they burst and shoot water all over them. They've gone through countless dollar-size bags of balloons, but I'll eat the expense if it means they are happily enjoying each other's company.
The other blessing is that they are getting more exercise and spending less time on electronic devices. Trevor will probably always struggle with his weight, but at least I'm no longer having to cajole him into walking on the treadmill (although I do miss that some, since he used to beg for me to read aloud to him while he walked - something he rarely does otherwise). So, we're tackling the weight issue and the sibling rivalry in one go with the fairer weather and the trampoline. Praise God!