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Scattered Sundays

You know that old adage, “the family that learns compressions together stays alive together”. That’s what they say, right?

Troy did an impromptu CPR lesson at home this week and Jack seemed to really pay attention.

That baby dummy is going to haunt my dreams

This guy on the other hand…let’s just say if I go down and he is the only one around, please serve chocolate at my funeral.

I pass this van daily on my walking route and I have yet to figure out the purpose of the Carebear in the front seat. And why the Rambo-like tie around the head? Is this truly the worst case of carpool lane cheating ever?

After weeks (maybe months?) of really terrible sleep by both boys, I threw in the towel and declared myself over it. Neither Jack nor Bennett were good sleepers as babies, but once we went all-in on sleep training (sorry not sorry. My sanity was worth it), they became heavy “dead to the world” sleepers.

Weaning Bennett off his nap has been meh, whatever. But his nighttime issue has been screaming in his sleeping every 60-90 minutes for weeks. Yep, screaming.

Doesn’t wake him up. Doesn’t wake Jack up. It sure doesn’t wake Troy up. But guess who woke up with every single scream? MEEEEEEE.

And while I was trying to go back to sleep after each screamfest, Jack was walking into our room telling us he was having nightmares. Jack has always been an intense “feel all the feels” kind of kid and I am a very vivid dreamer. It was a perfect storm of him being terrified to sleep.

A few times I ended up on a thin mattress on his floor, but that was not sustainable for anyone. Especially me. So we decided to tackle this on a double-front line of attack.

First things first, I got Jack a weighted blanket. Have you heard about these? They’ve been used for years with the special needs community and can help people on the autism spectrum and those with anxiety amongst other things.

And now they’re mainstream and you can find weighted blankets anywhere. I got him a 12-pound blanket like this one (at the time I linked this there is a 20% off coupon).

And second, we finally took him to his 10-year checkup…six months after he turned 10. Solid parenting on our part. Anyhoo, his doctor is the best and I really love him. He’s younger and connects well with Jack. And in a pediatric practice with a ton of female doctors, Jack really likes having a “dude” doctor.

Jack told him about the nightmares and constantly feeling worried about having nightmares. His doc’s response was so great I wanted to share it with anyone else experiencing this with their kiddos.

I’ll paraphrase what his doc said: “at this age, your mind and body are constantly at a battle to catch up and everything is just really weird and hard to understand. Nightmares are like trading cards you have been playing with and organizing all day. When you are actively sorting them and putting them in order they made a ton of sense. But when you fall asleep, your brain takes all those images that you KNOW are ok, and it puts them in an order that is confusing. And because it is confusing and different, it can be really scary”.

His suggestions were that Jack put down his graphic novels right before bed to remove the visual (Jack is really into The Last Kids on Earth series and Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series) and to read something lighter. He also recommended Jack listen to music as he falls asleep so that the audio aspect of things he’s thinking about is under his control. 

Jack has agreed to the book thing but has had so much success with the weighted blanket that he isn’t ready to try the music.

Phew! Kids man. Kids.

Oh, and I used the blanket one day when I was working on the couch and freezing my balls off. I had to put it back in Jack’s room within five minutes because I felt soooo sleepy. Troy used it after a bad shift at work when they were up a lot. He passed out instantly and slept like a tank. That’s a thing, right? A tank?

A belated birthday gift from a friend.

I have to thank you all for your kind words on my confession last week that I had been binging watching Veronica Mars. I finished the third season and watched the movie this week. I start season 4 soon. And I’m still really pleased with my viewing choices.


Um…did you see that Butcher Box is offering free 10-14 pound Thanksgiving turkeys to all new customers who sign up before November 17th?!

ButcherBox Turkeys are 10-14 lbs, all-natural (no basting ingredients, no artificial ingredients, minimally processed), animal welfare certified and never ever given antibiotics.

ButcherBox also delivers the best 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild-caught Alaskan sockeye salmon directly to your door on your schedule for less than $6.00 per meal. And shipping is always free!

Get your free turkey here!

What I’m Listening To This Week

My friend Cassie from Cook it Real Good launched a podcast this summer. Her goal is to help home cooks be more confident in the kitchen, so each episode focuses on one actional cooking tip.

And this week she had an amazing guest on to talk about the art of roasting frozen vegetables. Psst, the guest is MEEEEE! Check out the Cook it Real Good podcast here.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Hollie left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Orange Chicken {pin this recipe}:

I didn’t exactly make your recipe but I used your baking soda on the chicken trick… I soak my beans with a pinch of soda so I thought I’d try your chicken trick on some free-range giant (tough) chicken breasts my husband cubed. IT WORKS! It was tender, tasty and browned beautifully! I’m totally doing the baking soda trick with my enchilada chicken too! I have made the orange chicken previously (Without the soda trick) and it’s awesome! 

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Pressure Cooker Caramelized OnionsPressure Cooker Caramelized Onions add a ton of flavor to any dish. Making this caramelized onion recipe in your Instant Pot cuts the cooking time in half compared with traditional cooking methods. You’re going to love how simple it is to whip up a batch of these tasty onions! {Pin this recipe}

a glass jar of pressure cooker caramelized onions with rosemary and a spoon

Whole30 Beef StewNeed a quick, easy, and hearty dinner that the whole family will love? This Whole30 Beef Stew is the best stew you can whip up in under 90 minutes. Instant pot beef stew is a game-changer, and crockpot/slow cooker instructions are also included. {Pin this recipe}

whole30 beef stew in a blue bowl with a spoon and a grey cloth

Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce –  It’s so simple to whip up a batch of Instant Pot Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving or any time you’re craving a delicious cranberry side dish. Use fresh or frozen cranberries and just a few simple ingredients for this make-ahead cranberry sauce. {Pin this recipe}

instant pot cranberry sauce in a glass jar on a plate with garnishes

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Virgin Mojito Recipe  {Pin this recipe}
  2. Canning Pears  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Canning Applesauce  {Pin this recipe}
  4. Whole30 Beef Stew  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Canning Apple Butter  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Spicy Butternut Squash Soup (omg this didn’t get made AGAIN last week. At Jack’s request, I subbed in Whole30 Tomato Soup) and garlic bread.

Tuesday:: Sweet potato “bar” (aka, choose your own toppings), leftover garlic bread, and salad.

Wednesday:: A soup recipe I need to reshoot, and salad.

Thursday:: Breakfast – Whole Wheat Waffles, Make-Ahead Scrambled Eggs, and bacon (related: How to Bake Bacon)

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Basic grilled chicken with olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning (the boys gobbled this up last week with ZERO whining), grilled garlic bread, and some sort of roasted veggies (related: Roasting Frozen Vegetables).

Sunday:: TBD, our friend’s kiddo is turning one. We’ll see how hungry we are at dinnertime. We might just make more popcorn. 🙂

What We Bought This Week

Thrive Market: $56.73 (and then I got $1.54 back from ebates). The baby wipes were a free sample with purchase and they’re a great size for the car. Click here to get 25% off of your first Thrive order and a free 30-day trial membership.

Smith Brother’s Farms (this is our milkman, or as Troy likes to joke, “Bennett’s dad”.): $18.47. Smith Brothers is now carrying drinks from Seattle Kombucha Company and I added this to my order to give it a shot. It was delicious and tasted like a calming version of my homemade London Fog Latte.

Fred Meyer: $29.12. The excessive number of oranges and bananas were for half-time at Jack’s soccer game yesterday.

Costco: $81.53


What are you having this week?


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20 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Omg that bear will cause ME to have nightmares. I haven’t had a nightmare in ages until they recently found a small alligator in a nearby pond in Michigan, yes MICHIGAN behind the school my husband,  my niece & nephew went too!
    Now I’m going to have them of that blindfolded ????. Thanks Sarah! ????
    Catching up on your blog & saw I got review of the week. Had a crappy week so that made my day! Oh & if I woke up with a weighted blanket on me I would require sedation because it would put me In a panic attack, especially if my feet were weighed down. Now I’m going to have nightmares about weighted blankets????

  2. Great ideas for children with sleep disorders. Having a grandson with adhd and one with anxiety we monitor  what they watch or play as images seen before bed are stored by brain to pop up in middle of night. The old adage of “put no evil before your eyes” is tried and true. I may try the weighted blanket for their Xmas, or steal it for myself.

  3. I have used a weighted blanket for over a year now and YES….I suffer from anxiety and mild depression and my weighted blanket is a miracle…I’d almost like mine to be heavier (shrug).

  4. I have trouble “turning it off” at night (what if? what then? that (w)itch!..etc) and found this CD on Amazon: Weightless by Marconi Union (Ambient Transmissions Volume 2)

    (the blue one, not the “Cafe del Moar” one with the sunset, although I don’t know if they are different). This puts me out very well, although better if I don’t start it until I am settled in bed because the beginning somehow makes it *work*. Evidently, it works so well that it is recommended that you NOT DRIVE while listening to it. Some people put it on repeat so they stay asleep all night.

    I work with SpEd students and we do have weighted blankets for some to use. Thinking about it, that might be why I need blankets on my bed even in the summer. I find ways in which I am more like my students every day.

  5. It’s a really long story that involves a whistle that had “Jesus Loves You” printed on it, but I fell down a set of 15 stairs leaving two sets of arcs that my feet made on the wall as I went down. Upon landing, and not knowing if I’d remain conscious, I called to my 3 year old to bring my (then cordless) phone. I explained that she should, “Sit here, and if Mommy can’t talk, push 9-1-1.” She sat there for about two minutes and then said, “Can I GO NOW?” Yes, chocolate, for sure.

  6. I didn’t even finish reading your post before heading over to Amazon and ordering two of those blankets for my teenagers!  My 15 year old daughter struggles with a mind that doesn’t shut off easily, therefore causing her to not get the rest she needs.  My 17 year old son sleeps in the basement that runs a bit cooler than the rest of the house, therefore needing more warmth for the cold midwest winters (I’m a crazy lady who’s too terrified to have an electric blanket on overnight).  I can’t wait (weight?!) to see how they work for them!  Thanks for the recommendation!

    • Ah, your daughter sounds like me! My parents gave up on trying to get my brain to calm down and just let me read at night until I passed out.

      I can’t wait to hear what your kiddos think about the blankets!

      Also, fantastic weight/wait pun. 🙂

  7. I was eyeing that same pizza at Costco on Friday and my fiance had the audacity to say that it had too much pepperoni! I may be rethinking my choice of life mate lol.

  8. My hubby is the WORST sleeper – he only gets 2-3 hrs a night. He looks 10 yrs older due to the fact he’s so exhausted. Thanks to your story I decided to order a cooling weighted blanket and see if it makes a difference in his sleep. Fingers crossed. 
    The carebear is ummmmm nightmarish. Very odd!

  9. I started sleeping with a weighted blanket about six weeks ago. When in my 30’s I had terrible anxiety/panic attacks at night (AKA fear of not being super mom). I learned to breathe thru it but lost a lot of sleep. I don’t have them often anymore, but sleep is GOLD in my book, so I decided to try the weighted blanket. I was concerned I was going to get too hot. But nope, works like a charm. ????