We have spent the first week of the year working on getting back to normal. The kids went back to school on Monday, Sam went back to work on Tuesday, and Grandma flew home on Wednesday.
The other big news for the week is that we have started really pushing the kids to try new things. They were getting way too picky and our lives don't need to be that hard. So we came up with a reward system and it seems to be work even better than we could have hoped! We thought that Kaitlyn would be willing to make some deals and that we'd have to rely more on hiding veggies for Tyler and making sure any snacks he has are high in nutrients. As it turns out, Tyler is even more enthusiastic to try new things than his sister and comes home from preschool every day ready to try something new for lunch. Lots and lots of happy dancing going on here! He thinks it's fun and not only does he try the new foods but he likes almost all of them and is enthusiastic to have them again. (it doesn't hurt that we try to get him to eat things we are pretty sure he will like, like grilled cheese and mac and cheese and pizza) One day he said in his happy little voice "5 year olds are big and very brave to try new things!"
I think Kaitlyn was getting a little frustrated that her brother was doing so well with it, especially when he started earning rewards that she couldn't get yet. I think the competition is a good little push added in there for her. And Tyler is a sweetie. When he earned his first fun activity for trying 5 new foods and picked bowling, he also said that instead of picking myself or Sam to take him while the other stayed home with Kaitlyn, he wanted to wait and go bowling when Kaitlyn had tried her 5 things and could come with us.
These are the sticker charts for the kids. The rewards we have set up so far are for every 3 in a row that they try something new, they get to pick dessert. For every 5 items tried they get a fun activity (doesn't have to be in a row). We write down everything they try in either the Tried It, or Liked it columns and for every 5 in the Liked It Column, they get $5. And when both kids hit 30 new things we all get to go to Great Wolf Lodge (an indoor water park) for a weekend. We're hoping they keep this up so we can go the end of Feb/first part of March.