Giggle ’til you pee your pants

Last night my sister made my day. See I love to hear my niece laugh. I tried quite often last weekend to get her to giggle, and I had my ways and succeeded, but not that deep gut laugh that continues and is impossible to stop. My sister knows how much I love a baby that giggles, and how happy it makes me. So, of course she texted me the most recent video. I cannot tell you how many times I have played it since she sent it.

Since Charlie’s birth my sister and I started a little informal tradition. Either I will text her: “POTD” (Photo of the Day) especially when I am having a rough day, or she will just text me a POTD without prompting. The video last night came with the text: “I think the element of surprise really got her. He was closing his eyes like he was asleep and then he would open them with a loud laugh.” I think we might have just ventured into VOTD (Video of the Day). No pressure Pen. Here is the video of Charlie:

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If only we all lived our lives taking time each day to make others laugh. That would be an amazing shift for the world. If we all lived to make others laugh until you pee your pants, because you cannot stop giggling, well that would turn the world upside down. Stop what you are doing, let your shoulders drop, watch Charlie again and find a way to share a deep heartfelt laugh today. Or better yet, giggle until you pee your pants.

A good night sleep

Most all of us like to cuddle, whether we are 3 months, 3 years, 30 years. The art of the cuddle is the security of connectedness, closeness, and feeling safe. Sleep is always the necessary commodity for both babies, toddlers, and their parents. Either you have a sleeper or you do not, or the child ebbs and flows from one extreme to the other. With my sister and good friend both having babies in the last 3 months, it seems to be a current topic. Co-sleeping, cribs, naps while laying on you, not sleeping unless you are near them. There are so many different philosophies to what we should and should not do, how we treat sleep schedules, whether we should co-sleep with our babies.

I honestly do not know what I will do, or how I will handle whatever situation I am in, all I do know is that every child and every situation is different. I might have selected how I want to handle sleeping, only to find out that it will not work for my child. I obviously do not have to worry about it for the moment. However, when I saw this video of this father who goes much farther than I would to get his daughter to go to sleep, I laughed. You have to watch it entirely. It is comical, and yet you can probably relate. He is probably thinking my back is going to be fun to stretch out tomorrow.

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What do you think? Would you go that far to get your baby to stop crying and go to sleep? It does show how sometimes we just want to be close to another, safe in their arms. She goes right to sleep if she is laying on him. I can relate. Sometimes just snuggled up next to Chris on the couch I can fall right to sleep. Comfort + Safety + Trust = A good night sleep.

 

WDWDWF (What Did We Do Without Facebook)

During these weeks that fly by with such crazy speed, I find it harder and harder to keep up with life, emotions, and the state of the world. I have not watched the news in months. I stay connected with morsels of information from Chris, whatever pops up in my Facebook feed, and the few moments I am at my desk at work with glances to see what is happening on CNN on the television in our area. Not too connected you might say?

Well, Facebook always tells me when a famous person dies, with friend’s status updates stating: “RIP, ________.” Or if there has been a plane crash, weather disaster, or incident in the world, my Facebook feed might say: “You are in my thoughts, ________.” I even know what job, home, or city my friends would be suited for based on the quiz they just took and shared. Or what level of Candy Crush they just completed. And, worst of all, whatever product I just searched for on Google, will now show up in my Facebook feed as a “Suggested Post.” So the news just follows me, I rarely have to go find it.

I almost forgot, I started following the No Poo group on Facebook, and now every other post is about someone who has failed or succeeded at removing toxic shampoos and conditioners from their personal care routine. Don’t get me wrong I have learned tons of new insights, but it is a lot of information and crazy amounts of people chattering on my Facebook feed. How to dye hair and stay “no poo”, how to get rid of frizzy hair and not use toxic product, how to start out on low poo, or mothers that have never washed their kid’s hair. I can only imagine what other “groups” discuss and at what frequency. It is like Dear Abby on steroids on every topic imaginable.

At the end of the day, some of it is worthless, some of it is so-so news, and some of it is just hilarious. WDWDWF? (What Did We Do Without Facebook)? We sent more texts, emails, and picked up the phone and talked to each other. Go figure. Before that we wrote letters (yes, I miss the lost art of letter writing). These days the only items I get in the mail are junk and bills. An occasional letter, yes, but that is the exception.

In any case, I am grateful that it is Friday as I look forward to a few extra hours of sleep tomorrow, time to catch up on emails, clean my house, run some errands and eventually curl up with a good book. Not too much to ask right? Oh, and I will probably take a few moments to peruse the mindless chatter on Facebook. Either it will be a waste of my time, or I will laugh, share, and like what you have bestowed on my feed.

Hug your security blanket…

I saw a photo yesterday that was of a little girl hugging the crap out of her teddy bear. It brought a smile to my face. It made me think about the things in our life that make us feel secure. When you are little it might be a blanket, or special toy. As you get older those security features might evolve and change, yet maybe they all have the same emotional connection for us. We just want to feel safe. Sometimes that happens with something that constantly reminds us of a specific smell or touch.

I remember a babysitter made me a pillow and blanket for when I was a baby. Somehow many years later (after never using the blanket or pillow) it was the pillow that I slept with each night. No one was to ever get between me and my pillow. It was what allowed me to feel cozy and go to sleep at night. It is funny to me that we often negatively call these items in our lives “security blankets.” For me, it was probably one of the constant things in my life. My sister and I shared a room, and since she was older, she often would stay up later than my bedtime. I would drape this small, thin pillow over my eyes and cover my ears so I could go to sleep at night, while she finished her homework.

The funny part? I remember my mom telling me later that her way to ween me off the pillow was to put it into the washing machine and hope that it would not make it through the wash. She was right. I was devastated. I later found a new pillow to take its place. The habit stuck with me and later I found a regular thin pillow and continued to sleep this way through boarding high school and college dorm life.

It was not until Chris and I moved in together that I broke the habit. Maybe I had a new security blanket sleeping right next to me. It was also a new concept for me to have a home where I did not have to block out the noise or the light each night. I know I will think differently about my future kid and their desire to have a security blanket. Maybe we need them for a given time or reason, and maybe over time those items of security evolve and change, but they make us feel safe, and allow us to relax and get the rest we need.

Hug your security blanket today, be it human or pillow.

Beds and crisp, clean sheets, ahhh…

I was talking to a friend yesterday over lunch and we discussed a plethora of topics, but one that I kept thinking about later in the day was our shared excitement over having clean sheets. I know what you might be thinking. “Are you seriously going to write about sheets?” Yes, I am. “Why?” Because it is one of the best things ever. “Really??” Yes, really.

Call me a dork, but there are a few little things in life that make me feel relaxed, grounded, and completely at home. One of those things is crawling into a bed with clean, tight sheets at the end of a long week and weekend. There is something fulfilling about it. Kind of like that first day of your stay at a hotel before you have lived in it for a week, except in my opinion my bed is far better than most hotel beds.

Beds. Yes, let me just tell you about my bed snobbery. I am in no way ashamed about it. Think about how many hours you spend in your bed each day. If we each got a good night sleep, we would potentially be in bed for 8 hours a night. That would be 1/3 of our entire day. On weekends you might get even more sleep. It is my opinion that a bed is worth spending good money on in order to find one of good quality. Think about how much money we spend on a car, and I sit in my car for maybe 30 minutes a day, yet I spend more time in my bed. Food for thought?

So back to sheets. If you have a good bed, then you cannot skimp on sheets. The quality also needs to be outstanding. It is what your skin touches all night. They should be soft, appropriate for your body temperature (flannel if you get cold, lighter cotton if you sleep hot), pillows, comforters, they all matter for that perfect night of sleep. Feathers, faux feathers, down, faux down, there are so many options but at the end of the day what is it about your bed that makes you crawl in, decompress, let your body relax, and you fall into a fitful night of sleep?

For me it all starts with the bed, and those clean crisp sheets. Absolute bliss.