If there is a part of my day that I actually dread it would be bedtime.
Not my own bedtime, I LOVE that in every single way possible; I'm talking about my toddler's bedtime. I used to love putting Octavian to sleep- we would read, cuddle, smell good and he would fall asleep in my arms as I rocked him to sleep. Bedtime was nice, and for the most part, fairly predictable- of course there were those difficult nights when I had to read or sing a little longer, wa wa poor me.
Bedtime now is a completely different story. With no more crib and no more sweet rocking (sadly, we couldn't leave that dangerous piece of furniture in his room), bedtime is now a test of endurance.
Each night a little different, they all involve lots of running in and out of the room as if someone slipped my child coffee when I wasn't looking, chasing after him (as calm as possible because that would just excite him even more), jumping, rolling, smacks and kicks in the face from flailing limbs, and more running out of the room.
His newest thing (after reading, of course) is the demanding stories about gardeners. There's John (Deere) the gardener, the Lady gardener and Alex the gardener. Since my kid is no dummy, and knows EVERYTHING about gardeners, these have developed into some long stories. My brain officially a big pile of mush, I try to transition to lullabies (his bed in on the floor so we can both easily lie in bed together).
But no. He is so OVER lullabies.
"Mama, talk about da gawdnas. Mama! Talk about the gawdnas...peas. Maaaamaaaaaaa".
This is when I pretend I'm asleep. Sometimes, on those amazing rare nights, he will suck his thumb and fall asleep within about 30 minutes. But, usually, he will run out of the room again.
Now, the past few days we have tried something a little different. We bought one of these things. This is not a sponsored post and I am not being compensated at all for that link, but, any for parent out there looking for a potential helper or solution, I feel it is my duty as a parent to help. This fancy plastic contraption completely prevents Octavian from being able to run out of the room- although I can easily get in and out AND slide it right off the door.
Of course, Octavian hates the thing, but on days like today, where he completely refused to nap, it kept him confined in his room for an hour without shutting and locking the door (I like that he can see out a wee bit).
The best part, though, is no more running after him. The mattress is on the floor, under a loft bed (full big boy bedroom makeover pics soon, promise!), so getting up and out of the bed in a hurry is a challenge. Over and over and over again...endurance.
Mentally and physically.
So far, Octavian is winning.
Until we say F it, just drive the kid. And then we win (or the car wins, but whatever).
Seriously, motherhood and endurance. Completely synonymous.
The thing that gets me through Octavian's never-ending bedtime routine is dessert. Actually, knowing dessert is waiting for me at the end of the day gets me though a LOT of things. Like, right now, for example. As soon as I'm done with this post I will be dishing myself a BIG bowl of vanilla ice cream with crushed Birthday Cake Oreo Cookies (seriously, have you had those. They're engineered crack).
Last night the husband and I ate these delicious Strawberry Graham Cracker Coconut Chia Pudding Parfaits.
Creamy coconut milk (the canned stuff, guys, not the cereal coconut milk) is blended with chia seeds, and frozen strawberries and is refrigerated into a thick, sweet chia pudding. Then layer.
Pudding, crushed graham crackers, chopped strawberries, and Repeat (you can even top with whipped cream!) These pretty layered glasses look like a million bucks when they're finished and are probably the easiest dessert I've ever made.
Hint: They make TERRIFIC desserts for entertaining and you can prepare a zillion of these bad boys ahead of time. Plus, they're dairy free!!
Just remember the long spoons; you'll need those :)
Coconut Chia Pudding Parfaits with Strawberries + Graham Crackers
Prep Time: 5 minutes / Cook Time: 2+ hours / Total Time: 5 minutes (plus 2+ hours off time)
Yield: 2-4 servings
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons sweetener (maple syrup or honey)
2 cups frozen strawberries
1/4 cup chia seeds
1-2 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and chopped fine
4 whole graham cracker sheets, crushed
Sweetened toasted coconut chips
- Combine coconut milk, frozen strawberries and sweetener in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer to a large mason jar (or similar) and stir in chia seeds, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate until it gels and thickens, approximately 3-4 hours.
- To serve, take turns layering chia pudding with crumbled graham crackers, chopped fresh strawberries and sweetened toasted coconut chips (or, dump it all in a bowl, that works too :)
- Serve immediately and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.