Love11, you should stop and play with your kids. Not only is it wonderful fun for you but those are the memories your kids will have forever. Never get too old to do that!
Some tricks that I've used (mine are now 9-18):
A new movie or the one old favorite you know will capitvate them (I hate sit down occupation, but somedays it's the best idea)
Anything they can create, be it a lego creation (you can find free patterns to use what you already own on their website) or a painting is good. You can find recipes for homemade playdoh and silly putty online. Make a batch, then let them go with it. The 9 nine year old is old enough to make it with supervision and measuring and stuff is good knowledge.
My mother's trick and one of my favorites - "If you come in the house, I'm going to give you a chore." She never warned us or said that phrase but looking back I can see it was a well-planned ploy. We just figured out at some point that every time we walked in the house, she gave us something to do so we learned to stay outside and play with our friends! It kept us outside even when our favorite tv show was on! As a mom, I figure this one's a win for ME either way.
Good chores for little ones
- sorting socks..you know that big bag in the back of the closet where you've thrown all the odd ones? You must have 50 matching pairs in there but someone has to sort them.
- organizing the Tupperware (not that you care if they are really organized)
- dusting, weeding, etc.
And speaking of the Vaseline incident - we had something similar happen; when my oldest was 2 1/2 and her little sis was crawling, she painted the baby's entire head with Desitin. she looked like the baby ghost on Casper, down to the curly cue on top! The best part, one of my black friends was at the house at the time, and I just looked and exclaimed "oh my g-d, I have a white baby!" He just smiled and said that if I had a preference for Chocolate, I should have come to him. Getting rid if the white was easy, getting rid of the fish oil smell took days. I still have great pictures.