That Mac & Cheese Recipe + My Kid Won’t Nap

Hello, hello!

How’s your Wednesday going so far? We had a rocky morning here, but things have greatly improved!

Early-morning breakfast: English muffin with peanut butter and banana + iced coffee. I love this breakfast because I can throw it together in just a few minutes. And, of course, it’s tasty and filing!

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After his first feeding of the day, Quinn got cranky, which, unfortunately, has become a not-so-fun morning pattern for us. He hates napping and fights them so hard, so, inevitably, he gets overtired, which leads to more crankiness and the cycle continues all day long, so I really try to make him take his first nap of the day. And this means that we go for a ride in the car. (The stroller works too, but it’s too dark and cold to venture out in the early morning hours.)

When Quinn naps, he wakes up in such a great mood and usually has an easier time sleeping at other points during the day (or I just take him out in the stroller), so I guess this is our best solution right now. Some sleep is better than no sleep, right? I’ve tried everything to get him to nap during the day (swing, baby wearing, rocking, holding, bouncing, singing, white noise machine, nature noises, blackout curtains, swaddle, pacifier, nursing/feeding), but nothing works except for the car and stroller. Quinn’s pediatrician said using these two methods are totally fine and some babies just don’t like to nap. He also said around 6 months a lot of babies start to sleep better, so maybe he’ll outgrow this? I dunno. I’m just rambling. *sigh* I don’t know what else to do.

Anyway, he’s so darn cute.

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A positive spin on all of these early-morning car rides is drive-thru iced coffee! Haha! I went with a Hawaiian Chocolate Nut this morning.

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Mid-morning, we headed to the park for a little physical activity. The weather is absolutely gorgeous today, so I thought we’d all enjoy some time outside.

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And we did! We walked for about 45 minutes and then headed home. What a beautiful fall morning!

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And what you’ve all been waiting for… the best mac & cheese recipe ever!

Health News & Views

Now that the cold weather has officially arrived here in New England, all I want to eat is comfort food. You know what I’m talking about, right? Warm, creamy, and cheesy comes to mind, which, of course, reminds me of one of my favorite cozy meals: baked macaroni and cheese. I mean, who can resist such a decadent dish? Not me, that’s for sure!

Mac and cheese isn’t typically a low-calorie meal, but this recipe cuts calories and fat from the traditional recipe without losing out on any of the cheesiness, thanks to the bold flavors of Parmesan, Swiss, and cheddar. This recipe is so rich and cheesy, you won’t even notice it’s been slimmed down. But the good news is: A serving has less than 200 calories. Here’s how to make it.

Photo: Tina Haupert

Question of the Day

What were you like as a baby?

My mom said I didn’t like to sleep as a baby, so I guess Quinn’s nap protesting kind of makes sense!

70 Comments

  1. Just a thought but have you considered that Q finds your busy schedule just a wee bit overstimulating? I know it’s important for mum to get out of the house but I’m just wondering whether spending a week at home working on a solid routine might help with the sleep situation (boring I know but sometimes you just have to take one for the team!)

  2. This is my first time commenting even though I’ve been a reader for years…but reading this post brought back so many hard times with my first. My son would not nap unless he was in motion. Holy hell it was exhausting!!! This went on for 4 months and he was a fall baby so there were many car rides during winter months. Anyway, my husband realized he always was in the car seat for naps (we used the car seat attachment for he stroller of course) so he started rocking him in the car seat at home to see if perhaps we could replicate the movement for awhile before actually stopping and then go about our day at home…a novel concept! And it worked…not all the time but enough for this tired mama to keep at it until at 5 months he just started napping easier and I could actually use the crib. I remember telling myself ok this is the week of crib naps and I slowly weaned off the car seat just by holding him longer to fall asleep and then gently putting him down (and saying a prayer!!!). I didn’t think it would work of course but I think he was just at that older age everyone says babies nap better. All this rambling just to say you’re doing awesome and you have to do whatever works…my sisters thought I was nuts and of course all of their kids were just amazing sleepers (which I doubt, but you truly forget how bad it can be once you’ve made it through to the other side) but then when they would try to get him to sleep they all failed too! Ha! Then they understood. It sucks, it will end, keep yourself sane! Quinn is adorable….although man babies get even cuter when they sleep for us 😉

  3. I’m really surprised your ped said that. A really consistent schedule that revolved around my son really worked for us. Unfortunately it didn’t always work for me but a happier baby is an easier baby.

  4. My first had to be held to sleep. Which worked out great when Daddy was the stay-at-home. Then we moved back to Maine and he started working and I had a month home alone. I did NOT know how to get him down for a nap, so the daily car rides started. That was the only thing that worked. And at night, he got nursed to sleep. As soon as I got pregnant, he didn’t want to nurse anymore, but rocking to sleep was still a requirement. After having my second and not being able to devote entire evenings to his bedtime, he miraculously turned into THE BEST SLEEPER EVER! Hahahaha. He doesn’t nap, but he is in bed by 7pm and after mandatory snuggles from both parents, he doesn’t make a peep. It is AMAZING! My “baby” girl (who is 3), will stay up in her bad until at least 8:30, reading and getting into a bit of trouble, but then falls asleep on her own. Unfortunately she had night terrors AND sleep walks, so after her first wake up of the night (usually around 11pm), she comes in bed with us. That way I can soothe her before she gets too worked up. Oops, this was WAY longer than I intended. Anyways, I just wanted to say, do what works best for you and that will get you through this phase. To help me through the crazy I would repeat, “They won’t still be sleeping with me in college!” That way, I could remind myself there was indeed an end to the stage they were in, even if it wasn’t going to be for 18 years!

  5. Do you have a security blanket for him? My Harlow would never nap on her own, and if I put her down at night, I had to do it after she was asleep. If she woke up as I was putting her down, I had to start the whole routine over… Someone suggested the Aden & Anais Security blanket. I was really skeptical, but the very first time I put her down (awake!) with it, she grabbed it, rolled over, and that was that. We have about a million of them now so she is NEVER without “blankie”!

    http://www.amazon.com/aden-anais-Muslin-Security-Blanket/dp/B006ZSYIAY/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1415371164&sr=1-1&keywords=aden+and+anais+security+blanket+boy

  6. I’m highly suggestible, so I just made that mac and cheese recipe even though I only had three wedges of Laughing Cow left. It is very tasty. If you aren’t going to broil it, definitely mix in the cheddar with the rest of the cheeses. If you’re a garlic lover, I strongly recommend adding garlic powder and onion powder.

    Be advised, however, that these portions are small. If you like to have mac as a main dish, you might end up eating the entire recipe…like I did. Oh well.

  7. I’m sure you’re tired of suggestions by now, but our little man was the same way. What we ended up having to do was just let him cry until he went to sleep. Sometimes it was up to 30 minutes! :0 it was tough but it got better and better and he cried less and less and now he’s a great napper. Hang in there mama, you’re doing great!!

  8. As a mom of three adult children I remember it with fondness. Loved motherhood. My first had colic problems and feeding problems — super difficult. Even hospitalized for 3 weeks due to feeding problems when he was only 3 months old. My second was much easier. My third was such an easy going baby that she never cried and also seldom napped in the daytime after she was 3 months old! She was so contented that my friends all thought she was abnormal. What a joy…and as an adult she is equally as easy going.

  9. He may be working on a new skill like rolling over that is interrupting his sleep. I found when they are working on a new skill it helped to make sure they had extra tummy time, etc. He may also be changing up his schedule to only 2 naps per day. I would try and evaluate if something else is bothering him that he doesn’t want to sleep and then let the sleep work itself out. Babies go through periods of nap refusal and that’s also normal.

  10. Quinn is adorable!! Around that age my baby was having problems napping (falling asleep and duration). It did get better slowly. By 9 months it got significantly better and now he sleeps much longer too, two hours each nap. I was so used to such short naps, it feels so luxurious to have blocks of time!

  11. my 4 month old is the same with naps!
    And once he falls asleep we have to hold him or he wakes up crying. He hates his car seat so we just walk around rocking and shushing him until
    He falls asleep. Ugh.

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