Well we’re more-or-less back into the normal swing of things around here. The new normal, anyway. Going to the gym looks a bit different:
Jace is too young to go into the nursery with the other two kids. So Jordan and I have been taking turns wearing him in a baby carrier and walking around the track. That way we each get a chance to work out every other day. And wearing a 13 pound pack weight while walking for 30 minutes is a pretty decent workout too. For the adult, anyway. Jace looks around and then falls asleep.
Jaylee found some videos on YouTube of kids making candy bars using a kit they ordered. So we ordered some molds off amazon and made our own “kit”. It was a really fun project for her. I told her not to touch the silver pot or the bowl where the steam came out, and she make sure not to. I put the chocolate in to melt, but she did everything else – adding sprinkles and wafer cookies, and scooping the chocolate from the bowl into the molds. The candy bars turned out ok, except they’re too tough to eat. The chocolate bark basically hardened back into its impossible-to-bite stage. Jaylee is patient enough to nibble at it, but the rest of us are not. We have some ideas about how to improve this for future batches though. And Jaylee had a ton of fun. Its so crazy that she’s grown up enough to be trustworthy around the stove and with hot tools. I still see my baby girl in her face sometimes.
I realized that we hadn’t really read very many books to Jax during his childhood (see: second child). So I started a routine every night where I go into each of the kids’ rooms and read them a couple books (after Jace is asleep, of course). Jaylee likes to read about how the human body works. Jax just LOVES to read all his books about trains, how machines work, construction equipment, airplanes, and the like. He just keeps bringing me books and saying “another book?” over and over. He’d go all night if he could. Its pretty nice to get special time with my biggest little boy.
Speaking of special time, we got to have a fun playdate with my niece Jaina the other day. I used to watch her a little bit when she was a baby, and she’s definitely more of a toddler now. We just played trains in Jax’s room the whole time. Jax has a love/hate relationship with playing trains with her. He wants her to play, but he wants to own all the trains. Haha. But if she moves on to something else (due to lack of trains), then he tells her to come back and play again. But not with “his” trains. Rinse, repeat. Its pretty humorous, until mommy makes him share.
One other major occurrence this week is that we bought these “dinner winner” plates on amazon. Jaylee is an EXTREMELY picky eater, and refuses to try new foods or even foods that look slightly different then she’s expecting (think: french fries that aren’t from McDonald’s). When she was almost 2, we could not FOR THE LIFE of us get her to try ice cream. Her pickiness is pretty bad.
But she loves board games, surprises, winning, and chocolate. The dinner winner plates combine all of those. She has to eat her way across the “board” until she gets to uncover the special treat underneath the castle cover. Using this plate has gotten her to eat new versions of approved foods (nuggets and fries from our favorite wing place, rather than McDonald’s). And last night, she even ate pasta with red sauce and sausage! That’s a HUGE stretch for her! We had a little bit of avoidance, but mostly she was motivated enough to win the game that we didn’t have to fight! She ate her whole dinner, and then wanted her game spaces reloaded so she could earn some more chocolate. Hey! Whatever gets her to eat foods besides ramen, cereal, and McDonald’s, I’m all for! Plus, she actually asks to use the plate and gets excited when its time to play “dinner winner”!
Teaching is exhausting. Its nice to be back and be using my brain again, but it sure is a massive juggling act to try to balance work with all the mom responsibilities (playing, loving, cleaning the house, etc). But we’re working through it. Thankfully there are tons of random breaks these next couple of months – president’s day and the like. That’ll make this transition a little easier.
Till next week!