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+.

4 Toddler Milestones that Weren't So Scary

I’m a little inclined to being a worrier.

(My father-in-law likes to say, “You have no idea how many bad things I’ve warded off just by worrying about them!” and I sometimes feel the same way).

But sometimes, things I worried about a lot turn out to not be that big of a deal.

Here are four milestones for my toddler that weren’t worth the worry I gave them!

Ditching the Pacifier

3 Things My Toddler Tells Me that I've Learned to Ignore

I remember how frustrating it was as a child to not be taken seriously.

One of the things I try to do as a parent is pay attention to what my children are communicating to me and doing my best to take their wants and needs into account.

However, with a few parenting years under my belt, there are three things my toddler tells me that I’ve learned to ignore:

Two Babies in a Single Stroller

5 Ways to Entertain a Toddler in the Car

You know those moments where traffic is way worse than you expected and you don’t have a single toy or snack in your bag, and your toddler is starting to get pretty crabby there in the backseat?

I’ve been there. Today, actually. And many many times before that.

I try to avoid lots of errands and endless afternoons in the car with my little girls, but when it can’t be avoided, here are five ways I keep everyone happy while the car inches along.

Entertain a Child in the Car

  1. Tell a Story. My daughter LOVES hearing stories. My husband usually makes up his own, but I’m terrible at that, so I stick to retelling classics. Right now, she’s into Hansel and Gretel, but Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood are also favorites.
  2. Sing songs together. For some reason, singing together is way more engaging for my kids than just turning on a CD or the radio. I run through every nursery rhyme I can think of and sometimes, if I’m feeling extra awesome, I make up a song of my own or change the words in a familiar song.
  3. Color Spotting. My little girls are too young for the alphabet game, of course, but I can ask them to find colors out the window. A blue car? A black truck? A red sign? They can go for a long time!
  4. Call a Grandparent. Talk about a lifeline. My sweet mom is great about talking to my girls on the phone, singing them songs, asking them about their day, and telling them little stories.
  5. Animal Sounds. Like many toddlers, mine are really into animals, so they can go forever making animal sounds. I’ll make an animal sound and have them guess the animal for a while, then switch and tell them an animal and have THEM make the sound.
What are your tricks for keeping a little one happy in the backseat?
Entertain a Child in the Car

The Best Baby Bib I've Used

Thanks to Disney for sponsoring this post and giving me the Bumkins Bib for free.

Having parented small children for nearly four years now, I’ve tried more bibs than I can almost believe.

I’ve used washable bibs and terrycloth bibs. My girls have worn handmade bibs and bibs that came free with coordinating outfits. We have snap bibs and Velcro bibs.

But this Bumkins bib is hands-down the best bib I’ve ever used.

It’s extremely light and folds up really small (which makes it great for taking when you’re going out to dinner or on vacation with a little one). It’s machine washable, has a little pocket, and comes in the most darling patterns.

My one-year-old likes to rip her bibs off, but she doesn’t even seem to notice this one. She eats her dinner and then I wash her hands, take off the bib and she’s spotless. I think I need about ten of these.

Baby Approved

5 Super Speedy Ways to Kick Up Your Outfit

You probably know that feeling where you have to leave the house with your baby and you’re covered in spit-up, plus the circles under your eyes are in danger of causing a solar eclipse.

Been there!

And while I’m no fashion guru, I do like to leave the house looking presentable.

Here are my five favorite tricks for looking (more) put together in ten seconds or less:

#1: A great pair of shoes
Rocket Fuel