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Hello there, old friends!

Wow, after {exactly} six months of silence, I’m back. Monday. With a post you won’t want to miss.

But today, I just popped back to say “hello!”

I’m not sure what one says after a prolonged absence. Especially one where I left without saying goodbye. 2012 was sure a trip: there was the wee baby, then the other wee baby,  then my nasty little bout with thyroid cancer, a few additional bumps in the road here and there, and then just like that it’s been half of a year since I’ve shared something here. I haven’t stopped thinking about it, however.

Actually, I have spent quite a great deal of time thinking about why I am drawn to a creative outlet such as this. I wonder if what I share makes a difference in the enormous and sometimes overwhelming World Wide Web. Every person, business and group seems to have a blog, seventeen social media accounts, and an Etsy store to boot. I can’t keep up with reading them sometimes, much less holding my own in terms of keeping up. Hats off to you, five-day-per-week bloggers, but I can’t swing that. I realized that I don’t really want or need to “hold my own” – I’m not selling anything, I still can’t figure out how to keep up with Twitter, and every day there is some new “it” app or site that everyone is creating an account for. Even so, I still wanted to contribute something useful. I guess the thought that I kept coming back to was this: while I don’t think I’m writing anything earth-shattering and I’m not angling for my own HGTV show, I still feel that I have something to share to give back to the internet community from which I have taken so much. I’m a blog-reading addict who syphons ideas from Pinterest, I haven’t purchased paper towel or toilet paper in a brick&mortar store in years, don’t even get me started with Zulily and I am kind of obsessed with Instagram. As you can see, the internet and I are good friends. I don’t want to just take, take, take.. every once in awhile I have something worth sharing!

You see, I have always been drawn to hearing real ideas, recipes and words from real people who tried them themselves. Cooking blogs over cookbooks; dialogue over directions; honest accounts over sales pitches. Some of our posts have really made a difference in people’s kitchens, home decor, and ability to sleep past 5am. More importantly, your comments sharing that these things have made a difference to you is what propels us forward!

See you Monday morning, bright and early!

 Last year at this time, Jess whipped up a roasted red pepper pestoHave you tried it yet? 

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Solution for {too} Early Rising Young Children

Solution for {too} Early Rising Young Children

Allow me to paint a picture for you: It’s 4:15am. You are asleep. Everyone is asleep. You hear shuffling. Your door creaks open {okay, so maybe your door doesn’t creak. Lucky!} A small person begins inundating you with requests at full, normal conversational volume: “Pancakes please Mom;” “Hi Dad;” “I want to read Hop on Pop;” “I want to play Memory!” Everyone is no longer asleep: you sigh and hope the clock is wrong; the baby awakens, excited to converse with her sister; husband groans and mutters things you hope toddler does not repeat. Chaos ensues.  Thank goodness she can’t yet reach the light switch.

Until two weeks ago, the above story {nightmare?} was a recurrent early morning occurrence. Our career 12-hour-per-night sleeper transitioned all of a sudden into an early riser. It started with a move from 7:30am to 6:30.. then 6… 5… {it got uglier}.. and then 4am. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that this behavior was disruptive to the sleep of the rest of the family. Some {great} friends and I were discussing this business of early rising a few weeks ago, and I was somewhat relieved to hear that it is seemingly common. So common, in fact, that companies market special clocks to serve as a sort of toddler alarm clock: they have areas that light up with a moon and stars when it is time for sleep, and a sun when it is time to be awake and can also eventually be used to teach children how to read a clock. Some have games.. music.. the ability to record your own messages.. The principle is great, and I came awfully close to clicking “buy now,” but something was nagging me. As my house slowly but surely is transformed into a small toy store, I realized that we have already accumulated at least three time-telling puzzles, games, et cetera. Cue the brainstorming: the purpose of these toddler alarm clocks is a visual cue that it is time to get up. What else could serve that purpose? As it turned out, the answer cost less than $10 and was already sitting in my utility cabinet. What, pray tell, was this miraculous alternative?

An Indoor Appliance Timer

 

Greetings from a land of increased sleep for all! Over the past week we have {somewhat intensely} implemented some sleep behavior modifications and yielded some pretty excellent results.

I simply hooked up her bedroom lamp to an indoor appliance timer and placed the lamp out of her reach. It is set to turn on at 7am. We explained that if she wakes up and the light is off, she should stay in bed until the light comes on. If she wakes up and the light is on, she can come out of her room. We discussed this for a full day, quizzing her repeatedly on what she should do.

It seemed too easy to actually work, but miraculously, it did. And then it worked again. And over and over again. I actually held off sharing this idea to ensure that our success wasn’t a one-hit wonder, but I am happy to report that I am writing to you from a more well-rested point of view. Sometimes we hear her squeal with excitement when her light comes on and she can come out of her room, but more often than not she puts herself back to sleep and the soft lamp light turning on is not enough to wake her up when it switches on. I realize this may not be a golden ticket for everyone, but surely something to trial before committing to something more expensive!

Tip: If your child has been getting up at 5:30am, you probably won’t have success jumping that alarm clock straight to 7am. Try incremental changes (15 or 30 minutes) as their patience in “waiting for the light to come on” will not extend for two hours.

Sweet dreams!

A Twenty-Two Word Tuesday

A Twenty-Two Word Tuesday

You’ve heard of Wordless Wednesday blog posts? Well here is my Twenty-two Word Tuesday: Continue Reading »

::Yoga for the New Year – Forever Young Family Yoga Activity and Giveaway::

::Yoga for the New Year – Forever Young Family Yoga Activity and Giveaway::

It’s January 6th!! How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming along, friends? I have a confession to make – I usually don’t get around to making mine until around the 10th. (Resolution #1: Stop Procrastinating.. haha!) I’m not attempting to get some kind of handicap on achieving them, actually it is less about procrastination and more about spending the entire holiday season celebrating with friends and family.. right down through a late lazy brunch on January 1st! Once the New Year has been fully celebrated, friends disperse and the holiday décor relocates itself back to the storage containers,  then it truly feels like the whole “new year, new start” mantra can start. Continue Reading »

A Year in Review: BFS at Home

We’re back again today with your favorite non-recipe posts from 2011. What fun to look back on the year that was and, well.. reminisce! Today, a baker’s dozen of the BabyFoodScoops top posts from our first year in cyberspace! Continue Reading »

Blessings in Disguise

Blessings in Disguise

2011 has been an interesting year around our house. Life looks a heck of a lot different than it did in December 2010! Last week, in what is hopefully the last of the year’s unexpected twists and turns, my computer crashed. It found one of those lovely rogue viruses that sneaks its way into your system, recording your every keystroke. I was quoted reporting to many that “Santa got me a computer virus.” Continue Reading »

Lessons Learned on Thanksgiving

Lessons Learned on Thanksgiving

Alright, before we move on to Christmas I want to take one blog post to reflect on my first year hosting Thanksgiving dinner. This year we hosted Thanksgiving at our new home for about 20 people. I have always wanted to have Thanksgiving in our home but last year we were unable because we were in transition between homes. For me, Thanksgiving is the quintessential holiday. It’s a time to slow down and give thanks for blessings in your life while enjoying a home-cooked meal. Continue Reading »

Is it ok to not enjoy staying home with your child?

Is it ok to not enjoy staying home with your child?

It has been five weeks since I decided to pull Wren from daycare and stay home with her two days per week. This experience has been surprising to me in that we’ve both survived and I’ve enjoyed it. I am not a patient or selfless person, two VERY important qualities when raising a child. Even without these qualities however, we’ve had an enjoyable time together. Only twice has she asked to go back to daycare…seriously. Yesterday, we made an agreement that I would be more patient if she can try and listen better. No more than ten minutes after the agreement was made she stopped listening and I lost my cool, but we’re trying nonetheless. Continue Reading »

Homemade Harvest Hands Tree

Homemade Harvest Hands Tree

My husband’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago and like most gift-giving celebrations I was stumped as to what to give him. I wanted to give him something from me that was sentimental and also something from Wren that he could cherish. As a gift from me I ended up creating him a canvas collage of pictures of our family. I have hundreds and hundreds of images on my computer that are never printed (what a shame) and I wanted to get some of the good ones on display to enjoy in our home. I ended up using a website called canvaspop to put together the collage. How I chose the site? I don’t know except that it was really easy to use and looked cool. The prices seemed reasonable too. After using them, I was most thoroughly impressed and will be definitely using them again. Here is what I ordered for John (please ignore our very bland bedroom, boo). Continue Reading »

{Positive} Timeouts

{Positive} Timeouts

These days, time seems to be flying by. There were a few days last week where I was feeling quite discouraged by my apparent lack of productivity as I watched the tasks on my “to do” list pile up. As I lay in bed one night exhausted at the thought of everything that I had wanted to accomplish the next day, I was reminded of a powerful conversation I had with a colleague five-or-so years ago. Similar to many professions, working in healthcare requires embracing constant change — and as such can leave you feeling like there are always too many things to do. With feelings like this both in my work and home-lives, sometimes I need a reminder to take the time to stop…. slow things down…. reflect… and enjoy where we’re at. Continue Reading »