I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I'm a total bribing mom.
There I said it.
And you know what? It works.
When Jasper was 2, I bribed him with M&M's to use the portable potty chair instead of his diaper. Totally worked. So what if he needed a little extra encouragement? So what if he demanded 'poop chocolate' for a good 3 months after he had mastered the toilet. I promise you that 7 year old Jasper isn't shouting from the bathroom that he needs chocolate because he successful used the toilet. Was the 200ish M&M's worth it to stop having to A. buy diapers and B. stop wiping his butt? Totally. No regrets.
Tindra I didn't really have to bribe to use the toilet. She decided a few months before her 2nd birthday that she was over diapers and wanted 'big girl underwear' and that was that. No bribing necessary.
But I had to revisit my bribing stance in October/November when she decided to become a super picky eater. She wanted crackers and Mac n cheese and that was it. Oh and milk. Naturally, I got clever with my parenting and resorted to bribing. For every dinner (those were our toughest meals to get through) that she ate every bite on her plate, she got one piece of her halloween candy. After halloween candy ran out we switched it to her advent chocolate for December. And now? At the end of February? I DONT NEED TO BRIBE HER TO EAT HER CARROTS! I don't know what happened over the couple months of bribes, but she stopped expecting a treat after dinner, and she started to really really enjoy her carrots, green beans, really any vegetable I put on her plate. I can't remember the last time she didn't eat all of her dinner.
We have made a new 'rule' for the kids when making their meals. Half of their meals need to consist of fruits and veggies. And now half the time that's what they go for first. A few nights ago they had a slice of pizza, carrots and pear slices for dinner. Before Tindra had even touched her pizza she was asking for 'mo carrots and pears please'. I'll take that as a win.
Now WebMD tells me that apparently bribing can back fire. So apparently this isn't solid parenting advice. But for us? Bribing works!
This #BigGameTreats shop has been compensated by #Collective Bias, Inc and it's advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
Who is ready for the Big Game this weekend? I know we are! Obviously our team is out, but my second favorite team will be playing, along with my least favorite team (can you guess which is which?!) so I'm still excited for the game!
I always make Drew's favorite nacho recipe for all the big games, and I'm sure I'll still make that as well, but being 8 months pregnant this time around and having a major sweet tooth this pregnancy, I need to make something to satisfy my cravings as well. Two of my biggest cravings this time around have been chocolate and cream cheese, so I decided to combine the two in a fruit dip, and it did Not disappoint!
My shopping assistant and I headed to Walmart to get all the necessary ingredients for this concoction; SNICKERS® Fruit Dip. SNICKERS, a package of cream cheese and a jar of marshmallow fluff. Tindra insisted on throwing some Skittles® in the cart as well. I mean, can you blame her? She has her mother's sweet tooth.
Random fact, we had been in a different neighborhood of Denver delivering something to a friend so I decided to see if there was a Walmart near her house. A quick look at my phone told me there was one just a couple of miles away. What my phone map failed to indicate was that it was this locations grand opening! Imagine my surprise when I walk into a super crowded store to a man leading 20+ shoppers in Zumba in the produce aisle..I still didn't catch on to it being a grand opening though till a Walmart worker stopped me to hand me a store map and a pack of coupons. Not even the balloons tied to the doors gave it away for me. Can we blame pregnancy brain on this one? Probably not.
Melt marshmallow fluff in microwave for about 20 seconds, then add in cream cheese (that I had sitting out on counter to get to room temperature) and stir till it's all blended together. Lastly, add in your chopped up snickers, stir until well blended and chill in fridge for an hour or two before serving.
Serve with apple slices, or fruit kebobs (or just eat by the spoon full, like Jasper recommends.)
Ridiculously easy right? I tested it out on the entire family even though I really didn't want to share. I needed to make sure it wasn't just one of those 'I'm pregnant so throwing things together taste really good, but in reality the average person hates it' type of things before I bring it over to our friends for the Big Game. Turns out, they all thought it was amazing as well. Drew said the only way you wouldn't like it is if you don't like SNICKERS or cream cheese. But really, do people like that even exist?
For your football parties, are you more into a sweet recipe like this one, or a heartier one like Drew is with his nachos? Or do you want to eat it all..like me?
I'm SO behind on these Europe recaps, but bare with me. They are coming. Whether you want them to or not ;) I don't ever want to forget this trip and I want the kiddos to be able to some day read about them, and why have a blog if I can't share these moments?
Here are the other Sweden recaps, Part 1, part 2, part 3. I have a feeling this will be like a 20 part series, keeping things short and simple is not something I'm known for!
When we left the J hotel in Stockholm we hopped on a train to Ljusdal, about 3 hrs north of Stockholm, and where I grew up. I still have family there and friends who are like family. It was the total opposite of our crazy, jam packed touristy days in Stockholm and it was perfect. When planning this trip we knew with being gone three weeks we were going to need a combination of relaxing and being on the constant go, and we couldn't have possibly planned having those relaxing days in Ljusdal after Stockholm.
We stayed out at our friends house out in the country, and it's basically the most gorgeous piece of land out there. The kids never wanted to leave. They were happy to spend from sun up to..well bed time since the sun doesn't set in the summer there, outside running around. And we were happy to sit on their deck eating, and drinking (mainly coffee!), and eating some more watching them play after our busy busy week.
And some pictures from our first couple days there. They had a really rainy early summer and everything was even greener than normal!
^Ridiculous view from our friends back deck. Can you see why we didn't want to leave?^
^T and the boys^
^Sofie made us the best food. Every day.^
^ A couple of things about the stilts..I discovered a new talent of mine while in Sweden. I can actually walk on stilts! Like pretty well! A friend and I even had a race and 'ran' on them. She definitely won, but I could keep up! And didn't fall! I need to find a way to use this skill..^
Before Valentines day.. We had Such a good Christmas morning. Maybe the best one yet? I think I have that same thought every year though, at least now after having kids. Getting to be Santa is just the best thing ever!
Jasper has been asking since Tindra was an infant if on Christmas eve he could sleep in Tindra's room with her, and I had said maybe when she's 2..well that was obviously this year. We set her crib mattress on the floor, and pulled out Jasper's old crib mattress, and after hot chocolate and The Night Before Christmas and some Christmas caroling in bed let them try to fall asleep.. I knew it was going to be a slight disaster. She was just too excited to fall asleep with Jasper there next to her. After going in about a dozen times in between wrapping presents (please someone remind me to get started wrapping in like November next years) and building a doll house (which by the way I think you needed an architect degree to be able to do by yourself) they were finally out. About 2 hours past bed time. Oh well! Christmas time!
Jasper woke us up at 4:45 (I kid you not) and normally I'm all for waking up super duper early on Christmas but I was a grinch and made him go back to bed and took Tindra into bed with us to fall back asleep. For two reasons. 1, Drew had been up till 2:30 building Jasper's basketball hoop, and 2. We were leaving for Iowa that afternoon where I knew Drew would be driving us till the middle of the night so for our safety, I needed him to get more than 2 hrs of sleep. Kids fell bask asleep and by 7 were ready to see if Santa had come.
We spent the morning slowly opening presents, playing with some new toys, playing a few games and eating the most delicious monkey bread. Which by the way mine did Not turn out looking like the Pioneer Woman's-shocker but was still amazing. I decided either things rise more than normal here in the altitude (totally possible) or maybe she used a bigger bunt cake pan? Regardless, it wasn't pretty but it was Amazing.
Drew spoiled me Big time with an amazing new little camera. I'm Totally still learning how to work it. In fact, for some reason it's seeming more complicated than my DSLR's but when he bought it he bought some package where I can go in to the camera store and get a little lesson on working this camera so I will definitely be taking advantage of that!
After our morning of opening presents, Tindra went down for a nap and we packed up the car and got on the road in the afternoon for our 10-11 hr car ride to Iowa where we spent time with both of our families! Wonderful wonderful break back in Iowa. Minus the snow storm we hit leaving Colorado and the uncomfortable car ride! I've decided long car rides in the third trimester, are Not for me.
Like I mentioned, we got back late Thursday night from our week in Iowa, and by Friday morning we were ready to get going on all the organization we needed to do. After a HUGE brunch at one of our favorite spots (because hello, no food in the house after being gone) we got to work. Friday evening we made a run to Ikea for a new bed for Tindra, and while there decided we needed other things for our organization, but didn't have measurements. So that meant we had to go back Saturday morning.
By Sunday we were all a little crabby from all the work we were doing, and still had a TON to do (seriously how do we have SO MUCH STUFF!) but mamma decided we needed to make time for a morning of fun. I interrupted Drew as he was halfway through building a shelf for our new toys closet and told him we were going sledding. At first he was a little reluctant to break stride, but as soon as we got there he kept repeating what a great idea it was.
Sometimes you just need to drop what you are doing and go sledding in 10 degree weather, right? I asked a Denver mom's group what the best sledding hills around where because near us there are just tiny ones and I didn't feel like spending 30 min driving into the suburbs, boy am I glad I did. We now know the bestsledding park around, and its less than 10 minutes from us! I seriously don't know how we didn't know about this park. If you are in Denver, Ruby Hill is where you need to go sledding. Several different big hills (not fun for this preggo to walk up) and some small ones perfect for the little ones. We did a combination of both and it's safe to say the entire family had a blast. Tindra kept shrieking again agaaaaaiinnnn every time she got to the bottom of the hill with Drew or I. We did realize we need to make a major sled upgrade before our next sledding weekend though! Ours looked quite pitiful compared to some of these other ones. Kids were even snowboarding and skiing down these hills- they are That good!
My snow pants wouldn't even zip a little bit so I'm wearing Drew's. And I forgot my one jacket that even halfway buttons in Iowa so I'm wearing Drew's flannel and vest. That might be my daily uniform for the next ten cold weeks.