A giggle, a cackle, a gut-deep laugh

I love hearing laughter, especially the full body kind that you can feel in your bones, that can be contagious. I love hearing my niece laugh. I am adamantly addicted to her and cannot go for more than a month or so without seeing again. She is growing up so fast. I vicariously see her through the videos my sister sends to me. She sent me a video of Charlie a few days ago (at 13 months) trying to put on her socks and shoes. She was like her Aunt Tami — relentless. She just kept trying and trying. It was so precious to watch her try to fit the shoe on her foot, and then open the velcro, and then when that still did not go on her foot, she tried her socks.

I am head over heels in love with that little munchkin, and one of the things I love most is her deep and utterly free laugh. So when I saw this video of this baby and dog, I instant thought of past videos of Charlie. The squeals of joy that come out of that baby!

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What is not to love? Especially how similar it is to a much younger version of Charlie (maybe at 6 months)? I also included it below.

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Irresistible right? I just want to eat her up. While I do not get to see her every day, I wonder as she gets older if it will be harder and harder to get her to giggle like that from head to toe. If only we could all giggle and laugh like that throughout our day. We got a bit slap happy at a work meeting yesterday where a few of us had tears in our eyes from laughing, but that at times is the closest we get to that uncontrollable laughter of a baby when they find something funny. Let’s try to laugh more.

Feeling deeply

Sometimes we feel things deeply. We feel emotions to our core.

I just spent a few days with my niece. I am smitten. The girl is a hoot. She is the happiest baby. Let me tell you I am probably slightly biased, but I have been taking care of kids since I was nine years old. First I babysat. Over time I did summer nannying. Eventually I worked with infants in a day care for my four years in college. And I babysat all the years in between. Oh, and how could I forget that I fell in love along the way. There were many kids. Emma, and Alden, and Chazzy, and Matts. Evan, and Ryan, and Bailey, and Addison. The list goes on, but nothing compares to the absolute love I have for my own sister’s child.

It is like an anchor that goes down deep while on a boat in the middle of the ocean. It is heavy, and raw, and real. It is painful how much I love this little girl. I have big shoes to fill. With my parents gone I feel like her aunt, and her grandma, and hopefully someday her confidante. Chris and I just spent the last few days with her, and said goodbye to her last night. When we came back home and crawled onto the couch to rest and snuggle there was an empty, quiet space surrounding the couch. We both missed her so much.

She is just now ten months old and walking like crazy, babbling, and utterly cute. She walks on her own all over the place, but still loves to hold your hand (I think because then she has a buddy to go with her). She loved the Christmas tree (mostly the balls, but also the lights). She had the best time opening presents and then eating the paper. She finally loves zerberts (thank goodness, as I love to give them)! I tried to teach her how to blow a kiss so that when we Facetime she will start to blow kisses to me. She laughs and giggles, and like I said is the happiest of babies.

My favorite: when she wakes up from her nap and snuggles into your neck and her deep gut giggle. #beyondamazing

Giggles In Heaven

On Monday I wrote about the book: “It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margarita” by Heather Armstrong in this blog post. The blog I wrote was more on the funny and painful aspects to motherhood. Today I wanted to share the awww moments of motherhood. The parts that make you cling to your spouse with gratitude for this little life you brought into the world.

“The best part of my day was when Jon carried Leta back to the changing table after her bath, and she’d lay there wrapped in the towel, her hand shoved as far as she could get it into the back of her mouth. He’d lean down and pretend to eat her neck, causing her to laugh. And she laughed for him like she laughed for no one else, a full-body laugh that shook her belly and caused her to let go of her hand for a second. Her giggles would fill the house and echo through the baby monitor into the living room and out to the street. I imagined that those echoing giggles were what the background music in heaven sounded like.” Page 159

Aww. Giggles in heaven. I love the laughter and absolute uncontrollable giggle of a baby or toddler. You can continue to repeat what you are doing over and over again to have that same gut laughter continue. It. Is. The. Best. Thing. Ever. And then Heather talks about the love for her spouse, Jon:

“In him I’d found the person whom I knew I would never get tired of, even in the most monotonous of times, even in the routine of being together every single day. I never thought I would find that.” Page 237

This is how I feel about Chris. Even if he is on the iPad dreaming about our future, and I am pounding out my next blog post on my laptop, while watching Michael Phelps swim the last Olympic event of his career, we are hanging out together. We look up and smile at each other and go back to our respective activities, my legs sprawled out on top of him. Aww the life. Can you tell how addicted I am to my husband? We live our life with giggles and laughter and maybe one day we will share those gut deep giggles with a little one. (Can you tell I am thinking very seriously about it!)

Again, I say, read Heather’s book. It is worth it. Okay I am done touting her book. You will not hear another peep about it.