I woke up on Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. and made myself a cup of collagen coffee to sip on with a sweet potato muffin. I then dove into my devotional and cranked out about an hour of work before joining Ryan in the garage for a workout.
I kept things short and sweet and was in and out of the garage in less than 30 minutes. I grabbed a quick shower, threw my hair up and headed into Chase’s room where I found him getting dressed and waiting to begin the day with some story time. Ryder joined us shortly after we were done with a couple of chapters of a Merlin Missions book (we’re re-reading the series at Chase’s request) and then we all headed downstairs for breakfast.
The boys played while I whipped up some pancakes for all of us. I followed this recipe for sweet potato pancakes from Ambitious Kitchen since I had some canned pureed sweet potato leftover from a batch of chocolate chip sweet potato muffins we made over the weekend. The boys loved them the last time I made them so I knew they would be a hit again and we were all happy campers! (I omit the chai seasonings in the recipe and just use a little more cinnamon.)
After breakfast, the food processor ended up serving as our morning entertainment. The boys loooved loading veggies into the processor and pulsing them around. (The veggies were for the veggie-packed meatloaf you’ll see below.)
We also made a batch of energy bites with dates, pecans, peanut butter, honey and oats. (I didn’t follow a specific recipe, but my ingredient ratios were similar to the ones in this recipe for Chocolate Superfood Energy Bites. Just omit the cocoa + greens powder and add oats in their place + honey to taste.)
The boys then played inside for a bit while I did a little more food prep and straightened up the kitchen and then we made our way outside.
Ryan and I recently gave Chase his first “big boy bike” and it’s been the biggest hit! He stuffs Lizardy, his little stuffed animal friend, into the water bottle slot on the back of the bike and away we go!
Super random fact about Lizardy: He’s actually a stuffed version of the Geico lizard. A nice man working for Geico gave it to Chase when the two of us were at the office after I got in a car accident a few years ago. He gave it to Chase while I was filling out paperwork and I’m sure that man had no idea this lizard would become one of Chase’s most treasured stuffed animals. Chase now freaks out and yells “LIZARDY!” whenever he sees a Geico commercial, a Geico billboard, etc.
I pushed Ryder along in his convertible trike as I walked Sadie and we made our way to a local marina where the boys love to run around in the grass and look for turtles, ducks and fish.
I packed some toys for them to play with and we stayed at the marina for quite a while since they were having a blast and Sadie seemed to enjoy putting her butt on me as usual.
By the time we made it home, Chase was all psyched about the idea of searching for worms and slugs so that was the next adventure on the agenda. (He pretends to be “Creature Man” when he searches for/rescues/plays with/”helps” various creatures. Ryder’s version of “Creature Man” that I shared on Instagram yesterday cracked me up!) We headed into the backyard after I put a veggie-packed meatloaf and potatoes in the oven.
My initial plan was to save the meatloaf for dinner and whip up some sandwiches for lunch but the meatloaf was calling to me and ended up smelling too good to resist! I based our meatloaf off this recipe from Jen’s blog and only made a few minor substitutions. (I swapped the turkey for ground chuck from Evan’s Family Farm, yellow squash for the zucchini and Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs for the panko.)
The meatloaf was a slam dunk!!! It was absolutely fantastic and the veggies added flavor but were pretty much undetectable. The best part? Both boys ate and loved it! (Chase didn’t like the glaze on top, but that was easy to work around.) As for the potatoes, they were simply tossed in avocado oil, garlic salt, rosemary and pepper roasted at 400 degrees until they were tender and slightly browned.
Eventually I changed the boys’ shirts because they had a little too much fun washing their hands before lunch and then I got Ryder down for his nap. With Ryder sleeping, Chase and I had the chance to dive into “preschool time” together and went through the short list of (optional) assignments from his teacher. It’s bug week for Chase’s class this week which is right up Creature Man’s alley!
We also did a little sight word scavenger hunt in our screened-in porch!
After his school activities, he settled next to me on the couch with his very first kid’s podcast! You guys, I am SO darn excited about this discovery!!! Last week, I received a sweet DM on Instagram with a recommendation to try The Alien Adventures of Finn Caspian podcast for Chase since he loves his audio books. Episodes are 20-25(ish) minutes and Chase was all-in from the the first episode!
While Chase listened to the first two episodes of his new podcast, I worked on my computer until Ryder was up and ready for action. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing outside around our house and then Ryan joined us for some more outside shenanigans once he was done with his work day.
By the time dinner rolled around, I was not about to spend a ton of time in the kitchen again, so dinner looked like mashed up leftover meatloaf from lunchtime stirred together with spaghetti squash.
Plus some fruit salad on the side!
After dinner, we made our way upstairs for bath time and the whole bed time routine. We had the boys in bed right about 8 p.m. and then Ryan and I hung out for a bit before reading until our eyes closed. I’m about halfway through The Weekenders and while it took me a little while to get into, now I’m intrigued by the mystery aspect of the novel and look forward to reading it before bed every night.
I hope you all have a great Wednesday and I hope to see ya back here tomorrow for a yummy new recipe post!
Katie Shottes says
I just started The Queen of Hearts and can’t wait to get into it!! Quarantine has me feeling like a reading machine. Highly recommend The Wives by Tarryn Fisher and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks + Sarah Pekkanen (as well as Anonymous Girl, by the same authors!)
LOVED The Queen of Hearts and hope you do, too!! Thanks for the book recs. Always appreciated!
Stephanie Marburger says
Story Pirates is my daughter’s favorite podcast- it’s great! She chose it as her quarantine birthday theme a few weeks ago and shares it with everyone who will listen! They have a TON of new offerings now their “creator club” right now, which has been super helpful for entertaining her while my husband and I to work during our youngest’s nap time. It may be a fun one to add into your rotation!
Absolutely! Sounds perfect — thanks for the recommendation!
Where did you get your dining set and porch furniture? Love them both!
Amazon but last fall! I need to do a post about it because I promised a few readers a while back I’d share everything and still need to do this — stay tuned!!
Your boys are adorable! Can you share which big boy bike Chase has now? We’re looking for one for our 5yo son, he’s riding a paw patrol tricycle he’s happy with but I think it might be time for a new bike! Our 2yo boy also needs something, his legs don’t reach the tricycle pedals yet. That meatloaf looks so good! My go to recipe is your bbq one which we love!
Yes! We ordered him the RoyalBaby Freestyle 16” bike and it’s great!! It comes with removable training wheels and the quality is awesome — no complaints so far! It seems to be sold out online everywhere right now though :/ Here’s a link to to the bike in case you want to set up an alert to be notified when it’s back in stock: https://bit.ly/2zhgPlh
It looks like such a lovely day! That meatloaf sounds amazing. Such a nostalgic, comforting meal. I’m like you, I need sunshine to help me feel at ease and happy. Glad you all were able to get outside! I went on a total of 1.5 hr walk yesterday between my lunch break and after work, and man did it feel amazing. Have a great Wednesday!
Sunshine + Vitamin D is good for the soul!
Hi Julie! Do you have any advice for getting out of a mood/funk? I often find I unintentionally end up taking it out on my family members, which then leads to guilt etc etc. Just wondering how you manage to turn things around!
Oh man some days this is WAY easier for me than others. In the moment when I’m really frustrated/angry/overwhelmed, it’s admittedly really challenging. I will often just give Ryan or whoever is around me a head’s up and say — “listen, it’s not you, it’s me… I just feel off today” and find that this honestly helps BOTH of us approach each other with a little more grace and kindness. When I recognize I’m just in a mood and need to “get over it” I try to make myself take a deep breath and focus on gratitude. Again, easier said than done some days, but gratitude, for me, has always been at the root to regaining a positive outlook. And going to bed early and reading so I can just escape!
Thank you! xxx
Hi Julie! Do you have a particular book you use for your devotional?
Right now I’m doing the Draw Near study from Love God Greatly with a few of my friends but I can’t say I’d really recommend it. One that I go back to over and over again is Joyce Meyer’s Trusting God Day by Day. It’s a year-long devotional and such a good one. It begins every day with a line of scripture and then Joyce Meyer does an amazing job of diving a little deeper in an easy-to-understand way –> https://bit.ly/3cKvrbx That one is very quick so if you’d like recommendations for a more in-depth study, let me know because I have a few I’ve done recently that I’ve loved and would be happy to share more.
Thank you! I’m still new to all this so I will start with the one you suggested. 🙂
Kelli Harrison says
Chase is looking more like Ryan now! Funny how kids change so much as they get older!
I definitely see more and more of Ryan in him these days!
janet pole says
Ryder’s hair is the BEST.
Just curious why you never seem to take your boys outside when it’s raining. It was always mandatory when I was a kid to get outside for at least an hour a day. Didn’t matter if it was raining or a full on blizzard. We bundled up and go out there. My siblings are raising their kids the same way and the kids love jumping in the puddles and sliding on the wet grass. It’s an absolute riot!
When Ryder smiles he uses his whole body. Fersher
I always say this and totally agree! I hope it lasts his whole life because it just melts me! <3
Bpom recommendation: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. Histprocal fiction.. I can’t seem to put it down! Thought you would like it if you haven’t already read it!