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An ode to my husband’s sweatpants

Thank God I stole these from my husband because really—what would my life be without them?

An ode to my husband’s sweatpants

[Editor's note: This story is a letter from a woman to her husband. While this is one example of one type of relationship, we understand, appreciate and celebrate that relationships come in all forms and configurations.]

At the end of a long, tiring, sometimes frustrating, sometimes impossible day—just the mere thought of you makes me feel better immediately.


Because I can't wait to see you and feel your soft touch brush against my leg.

You are one of the best things that has ever happened to me. And I often find myself thinking about you...thoughts like…

Thank God I stole these sweatpants from my husband because really—what would my life be without them?

?

To be honest—I couldn't live without you.

So, to my cherished, hideous sweatpants that used to be my husband's but now are mine and he better never take them back if he knows what's good for him:

Thank you.

Thank you...for the comfort you've brought me over the past 10 years. Even with the drafty holes, you still are the most comfortable piece of clothing in my wardrobe.

Thank you...to the elastic at the bottom that is just barely hanging on by a thread. Hey—so am I—so that reminds me that we're both in this together. ?

Thank you...for “growing with me" during each of my three pregnancies. Seriously—is there a better type of friend out there? That is REAL love.

Thank you...to the drawstring that is magically still there after all this time and didn't get eaten by the washer or dryer or pulled out completely by one of our children. Even though you droop significantly when I put my cell phone in the pocket because you're not that strong, you still support me and I am grateful. ?

Thank you...for keeping me humble. Your stains are pretty gross and they should embarrass me. But they don't because here we are—keeping it real together, day in and day out.

I've worn you outside in our front yard to grab the mail or take out the trash, and just the other day I wore you over to my sister's house because she had an emergency and I needed to be there ASAP. There were about 15 people in her house when I got there and little to their surprise, they got to see me in my favorite item of clothing—you. How lucky they were, amirite?!

Thank you...for reminding me of our college days—and that I was once A LOT of fun. (I kind of still am but in a more “sureeee, you can watch one more episode of Daniel Tiger" way.)

You once were my husband's college football sweatpants—that he cherished back in the day. Now, he isn't allowed to touch them (and he knows that), and you are still cherished—probably even more so by me. ?♀️

Thank you...for being so wide and so flowy that you could basically fit one of my toddlers into one leg and the other one into the other leg while both of my legs are also in you. You are basically a blanket that I can wear on my legs at all times—and that makes me even happier than not being the one who has to go to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon.

Thank you...for always being there for me—during the highs and lows of this life of mine. When I am happy, I want to slip you on. When I feel sad, you are the refuge I seek. ?

Thank you...for never judging me. I may only wash you once in a blue moon, but that's just because I can't bare the thought of being without you and if I throw you downstairs to be washed WHO KNOWS WHEN YOU'LL ACTUALLY BE WASHED. You could be gone for weeks. It's just best you stay with me.

Thank you...for being loyal to me. I know my husband is jealous that he doesn't get to wear you anymore, but let's be honest—I had two (soon to be three) children of his. You are now rightfully mine and I know you totally agree—I can tell.

Every day I wonder—when will dirty, old, grungy, stained, holey sweatpants be the new mom-yoga-pant trend? (I am hoping very soon.?)

You may not be glamorous or chic—but you are the yin to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly—the bees knees.

So here's my promise to you.

I promise to never be ashamed or embarrassed by you. I promise to never make you feel less than (those lululemon pants in my draw can be so snooty!). I promise to keep you alive for as long as I can.

Thank you for your service. It has not gone unnoticed. ?

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

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Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

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Balance board

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Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

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Detective set

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This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

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Wooden doll stroller

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Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

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Sand play set

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Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

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Water play set

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Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

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Mini golf set

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Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

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Vintage scooter balance bike

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Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

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Wooden rocking pegasus

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Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

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Croquet set

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The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

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Wooden digital camera

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Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

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Wooden bulldozer toy

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Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

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Pull-along hippo

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There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

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Baby forest fox ride-on

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Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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