Janssen Bradshaw

Janssen lives in North Carolina with her husband and their two little girls. A former librarian, she is an obsessive reader, especially of picture books, young adult novels, and adult non-fiction. She also loves food in any form, whether it’s trying a new restaurant or making dinner at home with her little sidekicks. Her lifestyle blog, Everyday Reading, features daily style, book recommendations, and her family's favorite recipes. You can also find Janssen on Twitter, Instagram and Google+.

A Baby Who Needs Alone Time

I’m definitely an introvert, and so I’m not surprised to see that both of my girls need a little alone time when they’re feeling overwhelmed or tired.

Of course, because they are little, they don’t always recognize that they need it, and as a parent, I’ve learned to suggest it to them when I can tell they are spiraling out of control.

My older daughter started begging to get in her crib when she was eight or nine months old. Almost every evening, right as the witching hour approached, she would stand by her crib until I put her in there. Then she’d lay there, cooing to herself (and later, looking at books) for a good twenty or thirty minutes.

Alone time for toddlers

This definitely eased dinner prep for me for many months.

My second daughter isn’t as quick to recognize that she will be happier with a little alone time, but if she’s melting down and my husband or I ask if she’d like to go lay down with her pacifier for a few minutes, she almost always says in a teary little voice, “Yessssss.”

Our current setup means she can get in her bed on her own, and she’ll climb the stairs, spend about five minutes on her own, and then come back down much happier about life in general.

Anyone else have babies that benefit from a little time away from stimulation and noise?

Alone time for toddlers

10 Super Cute Pumpkin-Shaped Treats

Pumpkin-flavored everything may be the star of the show on Pinterest during October and November, but my vote goes for items shaped like those bright orange vegetables. You’ll definitely rocket to the top of the fun moms list.

Whether you’re looking for dinner, dessert, or a snack, or something simple to more elaborate, these 10 pumpkin-shaped recipes have you covered!

It’s hard to decide which one is the cutest:

Pumpkin Bread Cake Balls

That Magical Moment

From the moment I found out I was having a second daughter, more than two years ago, I’ve dreamed of my little girls playing together.

I grew up with two younger sisters, and I have years of happy memories playing kickball in the backyard, playing paper dolls for hours on Saturday mornings, and pretending to go to gymnastic camp (thank heavens we didn’t have a dining table for years, so we could cartwheel across the dining room to our hearts’ content).

I couldn’t wait for my girls to have similar experiences.

Sisters

Not Finding Out the Gender? Here's the Perfect Nursery

Whether you aren’t finding out the gender of your baby before they are born or you want something that will work for a baby of the opposite sex later down the road, you can’t go wrong decorating the nursery with this cute Dumbo set!

Dumbo Bedding

A Toddler's Tour of Park Swings All Over Europe

In August, our family left the United States for four months to visit countries around Europe and then spend three months in London while my husband does a semester abroad (you can follow along on Instagram, if you’d like!).

Of course, when you’re traveling all around Europe with a 21-month-old child (plus a 4-year-old), you end up visiting a lot of parks. And whether we’re in the US or somewhere more exotic, my girls always gravitate toward the swings.

Over the last two months, I’ve collected quite a compilation of pictures of my little girl on swings around Europe!

Swing Lover
Rocket Fuel