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I miss you already, my baby—even though you're right here

How can I miss you? You're not gone. Oh, but it's coming. I know it.

I miss you already, my baby—even though you're right here

I sifted through your "important things" bin today. Stashed under my bed, I have been tossing artwork and birthday cards and trinkets in there for years. I found your hospital bracelet from the day you were born.


I placed it in my palm and circled it back together… held it in the place where the nurse snipped it off and released you to me—in a way, for forever, but also for only a short time.

I miss you already.

It seems funny to say that when you're sitting right in front of me. But it wasn't so long ago that you couldn't sit at all. You learned how to do that, and then you learned how to do everything—to crawl and walk and run and jump. And sing and dance and climb.

You used to need me so much. You'd cry in the middle of the night, and even though I'd groan (and sometimes say a bad word under my breath), I sincerely cherished the times I was the one who fed you, who held you, who calmed you. It felt like an eternity before you slept through the night, but when I think back, it seems like only a brief moment in my life. Time is a funny thing.

I miss you already.

How can I miss you? You're not gone. Oh, but it's coming. I know it. I feel it. Right around the corner are the days of Halloween parties in place of trick or treating. New Year's Eve sleepovers with friends in place of sipping sparkling cider in your footie pajamas. Birthday shopping sprees in place of themed parties with treat bags.

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The cutest baby accessories for your precious little one.


I miss you already.

Climbing on your dad's back for a transport to your bed will get awkward. You'll paint your own fingernails and will have your own lip gloss to wear—no need to swipe any from me. And before I know it, when I am the least ready as I'll ever be, your bright blue and pink roller skates will no longer be your favorite set of wheels.

Instead of a First Communion dress—it will be a prom dress.

And then maybe a wedding dress.

How I miss you already.

I knew from the beginning that you were going to grow. I wanted you to grow. But I had no idea how it would simultaneously thrill me and rip me to pieces watching you do it. Parenting is full of these paradoxes. A day can feel as long as a year, and year can pass in the blink of an eye. Everyone you meet will tell you this… from the little old ladies you stand with in line at the grocery store to the women who greet you at church to the mom shopping for jeans with her teenager.

"It just goes by so fast."

I heard this phrase so often, and I smiled through gritted teeth as I watched you lick the handle of the shopping cart. I smiled when I wanted to cry as you broke something while we were browsing at the store. I smiled when I was counting down the minutes to nap time and the hours to bedtime. I smiled and nodded, but I didn't really get it then. Until one day when it all clicked.

I miss you already.

So tonight, while you were sleeping, I went to your room and counted your freckles. I gently tangled my fingers in your curls. I listened to you breathe. I sat beside your bed and tried to meet you in your dreams. We laughed and sang in silly voices and ate lots of ice cream and went to Disney World until it was time for me to go to my own room.

I whispered, "I love you," in your ear, "I miss you already, my baby."

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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