growing up way too fast

Since Jake's been home from his weekend with his grandparents, I've made a conscious effort each day to focus on him more throughout the day. Rather than fit him into my schedule and to-do list, I've tried to relax and not jam our days quite so full. So instead of getting this errand done and that chore finished, we've been out in the backyard drawing with chalk and picking (and eating) snap peas, even the little ones that aren't ready yet.

Yesterday while I made lunch, I set him up next to me with a butter knife and pieces of cheese so he could practice his cutting skills. Not much cutting got done; he'd try cutting a piece once or twice and pop it into his mouth saying, "I eat it! Is gone!" Last night we found a recipe for oatmeal blueberry bars (which is really just blueberry crumble) so Jake helped dump ingredients into the bowl and stir. I've really enjoyed introducing him to cooking and "bacon" (as he told his daddy later) because entertaining him while he sits on the counter next to me is so much easier than numerous attempts at finding something for him to do while I cook meals.

^"Is gone!"

I wish I could always ignore the daily errands and chores like we have been lately, but instead I plan to be more efficient while Jake naps and *hopefully* become consistent at waking up even just thirty minutes before him to get a jumpstart on the day. I'll do what I can while he sleeps and for the things that don't get finished, we'll do them together and enjoy it. Sometimes I get so frustrated when just getting us both out the door to get groceries takes over an hour, but then I have good days where I throw my timeline out the window and I let Jake stand in the cart and hand me every single item while I check out (I only do this in the self checkout with no one in line behind us, don't worry!).

I feel like I can see him growing up right in front of me and its amazing and seriously sad all at once. We've been talking a lot lately about being a big kid as we practice using regular cups rather than sippy cups and as we prepare to move him to his toddler bed (once I get the dang thing finished, that is). We weaned him off his pacifier this week in preparation for moving to a toddler bed here soon and he handled it so much better than I expected. His first nap without his pacifier was a little rough but I rocked him to sleep in just a few minutes and since then, he's asked for his pacifier but hasn't cried over it. We bribe him with M&Ms which has obviously helped. But all this talk about being a big kid is too much for me! Even though he's almost too long for me to hold and rock, I'd rock that baby to sleep every night until he's 18 if that wasn't frowned upon. ;)

^momentous not because Handy Manny knows how to properly use the toilet,
 but because this is the very first picture where Jake purposefully smiled into the camera!
I should have given him an M&M...

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