Calm Baby

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In all the hustle and bustle of a household – whether your little one is the first child entering an adult sphere, or a younger sibling now contending with the hubbub of big kids – there’s often a lot of noise. It feels like we’ve had more than our fair share lately, from an under-the-weather big brother watching loud holiday movies, to music playing, to ambient sounds of dishwashers and laundry machines.

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If you notice your baby showing signs of overstimulation (arms flailing, turning the head away), then take a moment for this easy activity.

Veronika and I retreated to a quiet room with no background noise, where we could just be for a moment. You can talk quietly, or sing softly, or just sit with your infant.

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In moments you should notice the baby relax in your arms. Veronika sure did! I got smiles and her wide-eyed adoring gaze – making this a zen moment for mama too!

Dance to a Rhythm

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Today’s activity with Veronika was as simple as can be – we danced!

With Christmas music on repeat in our home, I was reminded o take a moment for a gentle dance party.

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Veronika and I put on mellow Christmas tunes and I rocked her to the rhythm. We started out with her in my lap, just swaying to the beat. It was hard to catch her smile on camera, but she seemed to love it.

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Then we got up and danced around the room (photo credit to Travis!) for even more movement. Music and rhythm is so innate in young kids, and it’s never too early to expose them to how it feels to move to a beat.

Whether it’s holiday tunes, classical music, or your other favorite dancing tune, I hope you get up and dance with your little one, too!

Peppermint Chocolate Brownie Cookies

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These decadent cookies are the perfect mix of crunchy at the edges and soft in the centers. The mint flavor makes them just right for the holidays, or any cookie swaps!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Ener-G eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  1. Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 45 seconds, until melted.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl, stirring after each addition. Travis was the stirrer, and loved watching each ingredient get incorporated into our batter!Peppermint Cookies (3)
  3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheets, and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.Peppermint Cookies (4)

Although not in the directions, I recommend letting the cookies set on the baking sheet for 1 minute before transferring to wire racks to cool. They will be quite soft just out of the oven, but transform into that perfect mix of crunchy and soft once cooled.