Why The Early Bedtime Works For Us

We are huge fans of the early bedtime in our home. It came about naturally for us after a trip to Scotland when Crumb was 3 months old. He had been going to bed around 10 PM like many newborns and when we came home due to the time change, he wanted to go to bed earlier so we transitioned him then. Crumb’s bedtime was 7 PM until this summer when he turned 2 and we switched it to 7:30 PM. A few factors contributed to the change — his age, the extra sunlight in the summer, and the fact that we were transitioning Chip to a 6:45/7 PM bedtime and we didn’t want to have to rush to put them to bed at the same time.

I’d say my mom friends with toddlers and babies are a mixed bag. Some of them put their kids to bed relatively early like us and some of them have 9 or even 10 PM bedtimes. As with anything parenting related, every child is different and what works for one family might not work for another, but I imagine the Cookie household will continue with early bedtimes for as long as possible for a few reasons.

We both crave alone time at night.  Mr. Cookie and I want to relax and zone out in the evenings for different reasons. At the end of the day I’m touched out, questioned out, and just sick of cleaning, wiping, feeding, and organizing. I want to be alone to watch a show or catch up on my favorite YouTube vloggers and ignore everyone else. Mr. Cookie is an introvert who spends all day solving computer coding issues and is very mentally spent when he gets home. He wants to play a video game or watch a superhero show and chill out in his office. Occasionally we spend the evenings together and have recently implemented date night on Fridays so we make sure we have quality time together without the kiddos around.

We can get SO MUCH done after bedtime.  As much as we’d like to, we don’t get to relax all night every night. The evenings are also when I get groceries and run other errands that are so much easier without kids in tow. Mr. Cookie will do odd jobs around the house, assemble IKEA furniture, and take out the trash. We get so much done at night in a very short amount of time that we constantly wonder why we didn’t accomplish more before we had kids, haha!

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Pregnancy Update

bump shots

How far along: 25 Weeks

Weight gain: up 12 pounds

Due date: April 23rd (my first was 2 weeks late, so I’m trying to be flexible on that date :))

Birthplan: Hoping for a VBAC but with my family history, not expecting one

Sex: Girl

Name: Zoe Elizabeth. My husband and I have been together since we were 14 and thought that we would end up with all girls. We have had this name picked out since we were 18/20 years old. Combine that 10-year-old name with the miscarriage from early last year, and it feels like we have been waiting for this particular baby for an eternity.

I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison between the two pregnancies with the rest of the pregnancy observations.

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10 Ways I Handle Parenting with High Functioning Depression

I have what would probably be considered high-functioning depression. Though it appears to the outside world that I am fine — no one would ever know unless I said something — often I’m privately struggling. The severity ebbs and flows and can be caused by a stressful situation or just daily life. The side effects for me include exhaustion, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness, powerlessness, and worthlessness. When you’re a parent, there are things that you have to do for your kids daily, and your own needs often get put on the back burner. But there are some things I’ve incorporated into my life that have helped me manage my depression over the years.

1) Spending time in nature – I once read that the farther you live away from a natural body of water, the more likely you are to be depressed. I know that I always feel better when I spend time in nature, and we’re lucky to live right by the ocean. It engages all of your senses – the visual beauty of nature, the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt water, the feeling of the sand and water on your feet and the breeze in the air. Whenever I take a walk along the shore first thing in the morning, my day always starts off much more calm and relaxing.

2) Leaning on your partner – No one in my life, including my family, is really aware of the extent of my depression other than Mr. Bee. When I’m going through a tough time, he picks up the slack. He helps out with the kids more, gives me more time to rest, and is understanding of my erratic moods. Having someone that really understands depression makes you feel not so alone in the world.

3) Cutting myself slack – Sometimes I don’t have the energy to get out of bed so the kids get themselves cereal for breakfast. When I can’t cook dinner, we get takeout. Work, family, friends, chores sometimes fall by the wayside. I try to lower my typically high standards for myself and let it go.

4) Giving back – We try to do something for local kids once a month because we are lucky to have so much in our lives. We throw parties where they eat as much as they want, play games, do arts and crafts and take home a goodie bag. We pass out gifts on special occasions like Christmas. We give away children’s picture books written in Tagalog and English. We regularly give away our clothes and toys. Despite us having so much “more” than the locals, I can honestly say that I think they’re much happier!

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2017 Goals: Reducing My Family’s Spending & Consumption

I’ve had the goal since the beginning of 2016 to reduce my consumption and addiction to retail spending. I’m not a shopaholic or a hoarder, but I know there is significant room for improvement in my outlook and spending behavior. Last year, I got lazy and didn’t really changes my habits all that much, even though it was a goal of mine. I continued to fill up my shopping cart at Target with items of dubious utility, and I can’t tell you how many times I hit that “order” button on Amazon.

In 2017 I want to do better, and I work best with concrete goals. So with that in mind, I came up with a twelve-month plan to 1. save money, 2. change my shopping habits, and 3. reduce my desire for material goods. It feels like a tall order, but I’m excited to get started. Instead of boring/overwhelming Mr. Cotton Candy with a massive to-do list, I thought I’d share with you the things I’m going to attempt to do this month to form a new, healthier relationship with money and retail.

January: Retail Detox

I didn’t give myself any hard-and-fast rules for this January detox. Instead, I’m thinking once, twice, three times about every single purchase I make. Do we need to buy the expensive filters for our fridge water dispenser or will the cheaper ones suffice? (In this case, the pricier ones won out because they actually filter out harmful chemicals instead of just making the water taste better.) Do we really need a winter comforter or can we live with a big pile of warm blankets for one more year? (The answer? No, we don’t really need the new comforter.) I’m retraining my brain to not dwell on things I don’t have or covet what others have. I’m working on reducing our grocery budget (meal planning, meal planning, meal planning) and my personal spending. At the end of the month, whatever is left over from my personal spending budget will go straight to paying off my student loan.

February: No Online Shopping

Next month the plan is to buy nothing online. If I really need something, I can go to a store and find it. If I think of something I “need” online, I’ll add it to a wish list and check back in a month to see if I still want to make the purchase.

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8 month and 7 month update

The Starfish baby girls have stayed very busy over the past month. At this point, I think it’s probably pretty safe to say that differences in their development are mostly attributable to the individual child rather than their 5-week age difference. I had wondered when that would happen, and many of my friends predicted 9 months given their experience with their own little ones. It turns out that those predictions weren’t too far off!

The Starfish girls love playing with each other these days.


We are still waiting for crawling in the Starfish household. Both Lilly and Audrey have come close a couple of times but neither has quite figured it out. They both seem quite eager to get moving and they will scoot forward or backward while sitting or will roll around to get to a toy or object that they want, but no traditional crawling activity has yet been observed. I thought last month that it would happen any day, so now I really think it will happen any moment!

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After These Messages…

we’ll be right back!

We’re taking the day off for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, but we’ll be back tomorrow with our regularly scheduled posts.

Hope you’re enjoying a nice day off too!

Link Roundup – January 13, 2017

We had a long 3-week Christmas break, and I think everyone is happier to be back in school and on a routine. Our biggest challenge right now? The kids have really late bedtimes (10:30pm!), but it’s been really hard to adjust with our lifestyles here. School also starts at 1pm, and Olive has always loved sleeping in. She has been a sleepy child since birth, rarely waking up before 9:30, and it hasn’t changed in 5 years!

Here are some parenting links around the web this week we thought you might find interesting!

Women Are Penalized at Work for the Possibility They Might Have Kids Someday via New York Magazine


Parents View New Peanut Guidelines with Guilt and Skepticism via New York Times

CVS Health Offers Patients Lowest Cash Price in the Market for Generic Epinephrine via CVS Health

Women Still Need Folic Acid Supplements To Prevent Birth Defects via NPR

People Are Fascinated By This Video Of Breast Milk Under A Microscope via Huffington Post

How Exercise Can Help Depression in Kids via Time

Pope Francis Reiterates Support For Public Breast-Feeding via NPR

If You Thought It Was Safe to Take Tylenol While Pregnant, You’re Not Going to Like This via Popsugar

Students Zap Their Brains For a Boost, For Better Or Worse via NPR

How Dinner for Breakfast Revolutionized School Mornings for My Family via The Kitchn

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