I opted out of my usual 5 a.m. wake-up yesterday morning in favor of sleeping in until 6 a.m. because I was up for HOURS reading on Monday night and then Ryder randomly woke up screaming for the first time in a long time and needed some middle-of-the-night soothing. Thankfully Ryder settled back down easily after I rocked with him but I was definitely more tired than usual after reading for so long before bed. I started reading The Banker’s Wife on Sunday night and flew through it in two days! It was just the kind of book I was looking for and had the perfect amount of mystery and suspense without terrifying me in the process. I’ll definitely share more thoughts on The Banker’s Wife in Friday’s blog post but if you’re looking for a quick, suspenseful read, I highly recommend it!
Once I was up for the day, I made myself a cup of coffee, grabbed the vegan protein overnight oats I prepped the night before and settled myself on the couch with my latest small group study. (For those who have asked, we’re doing this study but it’s currently all sold out! I hope they bring it back because it’s a good one and does a great job of helping me navigate and apply scripture to different areas of my life.) I then made my way into my home office to work until the boys were awake.
Ryder was up first yesterday and I nursed him in his room before setting him up with some toys in our bedroom while I got dressed. It didn’t take long for me to hear Chase calling my name from his room, so I scooped Ryder up and we all read some stories before I got the boys dressed. As I type out the last sentence, I realize this makes our morning sound seamless but morning story time is getting harder and harder now that Ryder is on the move and so grabby! Lately reading stories with Chase and Ryder looks a lot like me scooping Ryder up when he wants in and then setting him back down to play with toys before the cycle repeats itself over and over again. I love easing into the morning with a book or two with the boys and Chase really counts on it so I’m doing my best to go with the flow and make it work.
Eventually it was breakfast time for everyone and I quickly reheated some pancakes I had in my freezer stash from a large batch I made last week and served them with some fresh berries.
This week is a “camp week” meaning it’s one of the four weeks of the summer I have Chase signed up for camp so we didn’t have too much time to spare in the morning before we had to head out the door. The boys played for a bit together while I got Chase’s lunch ready and then we were off!
After Chase was settled at camp, I brought Ryder with me to Burn Boot Camp where I met up with some friends for a push/pull strength training workout.
After completing about a million push ups, the workout was done and I scooped Ryder up before driving home and settling him in his crib for his nap. Immediately after Ryder went down, our contractor, Mike, arrived to begin replacing our backsplash!
We were responsible for picking up all of his materials over the weekend and then he came by on Monday to begin taking out the old backsplash. What Mike thought would be a two-day project is turning out to be a lot more work than we anticipated. I’m so, so glad we hired Mike to help us because once he removed the old backsplash, he pointed out some seriously uneven gaps between our granite and the kitchen wall behind it and all of this requires a lot more work. Hopefully we’ll have a new backsplash up by the end of the week!
I talked with Mike as I made myself a post-workout smoothie (one of the plant based Daily Harvest protein smoothies — I just added coconut milk, cashew butter and frozen cauliflower) and then gave him some space as I worked in my office.
I got a jump start on my Father’s Day Gift Guide post for this year and plugged away until Ryder was up from his nap and ready for some playtime!
Eventually it was time for us to go get Chase, so we scooped him up before spending some time with friends at the playground. By the time I had everyone back home, we were all hungry, so I made snacks for the boys, settled them in their rooms for their afternoon naps and then reheated leftovers for lunch to eat as I worked.
My leftovers looked like a lemon pesto cauliflower rice dish with chopped green beans, regular white rice, chicken thighs and sundried tomatoes. (I loosely followed this recipe for the lemon pesto cauliflower rice on Monday night.)
As I heard Chase making noise on the monitor, I quickly logged off the computer and grabbed some 12-18 month baby clothes from the attic to go through since Ryder seems to get bigger every second.
Once Ryder was up, we hung out at home for the remainder of the afternoon and I’d love to say it was wonderful and lovely but some days around here are just plain tough and yesterday was one of them.
Now that Ryder is crawling and on the move, “brother battles” seem to happen around here all the time. They’re nothing horrific or long-lasting but they DO feel very constant and typically look like Chase taking a toy out of Ryder’s hand, being too physical, etc. Sometimes I feel like I’m telling Chase some variation of “be gentle / share with your brother / please don’t take a toy right out of Ryder’s hands when he’s playing with it” a billion times a day. I try hard to have Chase hear me “talk” to Ryder and correct him, too, even though he’s a baby so Chase doesn’t think he is the only one getting reprimanded all the time but, honestly, I’m struggling.
Chase is a truly fantastic big brother and loves Ryder so much and Ryder completely adores Chase but sometimes these “brother battles” drive me absolutely bananas. If you have been through this with your children before, what did you do? Any tips or tricks for getting older children to give the little ones some space/share their toys/be gentle? So far the thing that has worked the best for me is taking Chase aside and talking with him about his feelings and communicating with him one-on-one. He definitely responds best to me taking the time to acknowledge his feelings and brainstorming alternative ways to behave toward Ryder when he feels frustrated, upset, etc. but I’d love any insight you guys might be able to provide if you’ve been through this with your little ones. It can be incredibly frustrating and try my patience, that’s for sure!
In the midst of brother battles, we did have fun playing at home yesterday afternoon even if a decent amount of frustration was peppered in the mix. Bless the moments that Chase and Ryder crack each other up because they give me life! Phew!
As Chase and Ryder played together in the family room, I said goodbye to Mike as he left for the day and then got to work assembling a simple dinner for our crew.
Since our kitchen wasn’t exactly in the most usable condition thanks to the backsplash replacement, dinner looked like a whole lot of microwavable and canned foods thrown into a bowl. I chopped up some kale quinoa veggie burgers and paired them with my favorite ready-made combination of brown rice, spelt and lentils from Whole Foods and black beans. We dug in right as Ryan arrived home from work (Ryder in particular LOVED this dinner!) and then I put Ryder to bed before saying goodbye to Ryan and Chase and heading off to my small group. We meet every other Tuesday at a local coffee shop and it was so, so nice to have the chance to talk with my friends and also hear I’m far from alone in dealing with sibling-related frustrations.
I made it home around 9:30 p.m. and talked with Ryan for a bit before beginning a new book and reading until my eyes could no longer stay open.
And now I’m off to get this Wednesday started. I hope the rest of your week is a good one!