In these hectic days of parenting, I really miss you darling

I didn't know that I could sleep next to you every night and still miss you.

In these hectic days of parenting, I really miss you darling

When we first fell in love, we were young and starry-eyed with no idea of what was to come. We traipsed around town, went out late at night, kept strange hours, and had fun everywhere we went.

There were so many things we didn't know yet. About our relationship, about marriage and having kids, about having a kid before being married, and about parenting while also tending to your marriage—that I just didn't understand.

I didn't know that date night after kids would often be carry-out pizza and Moana on repeat. I had no clue that we would have the ability to have a whole conversation that consists of just eye rolls, head nods, and sighs. I didn't know that our idea of a fun outing would mean going to the playground.

I didn't know that I could sleep next to you every night and still miss you.

I really miss you.

I see you every day and every night and still find myself missing you. Regardless of the fact that we live under the same roof, share a life, and (come hell or high water) try to find a sliver of "us" time, there are days, weeks, and months when life has other plans.

We both work long hours. There are deadlines, bosses, and clients blowing up our phones and email at all hours of the day. Family and friends require our attention, too. And most importantly, we have a little human being that calls us Mama and Daddy and deserves our time and attention. We are being pulled in a thousand different ways by a thousand different things.

At the end of the day, we see each other for 10 minutes before falling asleep watching ESPN or a late night show.

We know the importance of keeping the fire lit, so we plan the occasional date night or weekend getaway—a night in our favorite city or in our home after we've sent the kiddo to Grandma's for the weekend. We have conversations through texting and the 2-minute phone calls during our day. We tag each other in photos and article links.

And, even so, I still miss you.

I miss the long conversations before falling asleep, the lazy mornings in bed watching the news or sports. I miss being able to have a whole conversation without bringing up the baby's diaper contents or what she ate for lunch. I miss going out for Sunday Funday and having the whole day to ourselves.

You spend long hours each day providing for and taking care of our family. You go in on your days off, covering shifts and scheduling staff. You spend all day on your feet prepping and cooking and baking. And then you come home and help me do laundry and clean the kitchen and help take care of our daughter. Your days off aren't spent resting anymore, but watching endless episodes of Sesame Street, playing dollhouse, making snacks, and wrangling a toddler during bath time.

I have long days and spend long hours providing for our family. I work full-time and juggle being a mom and managing my clients. I cart around our daughter to grandma's house, story times, doctor's appointments, and on errands. I fit in laundry, cooking, and general housework (that typically goes unnoticed).

I prep lunches and meals for the week, go through the bedtime routines each night, sing countless lullabies, and after all the toys are put away and the house is in some kind of order, I sit down in front of the computer to finish up work before finally letting my head hit the pillow.

We both work hard but in our own ways.

None of this is unordinary. We are adults. We aren't strangers to people wanting our time and attention. We wear a million different hats—son, daughter, mom, dad, chef, boss, maid, butler, cook, bottle-washer, chauffeur… the list goes on. And we give priority to do what is right for our family and for our little human who relies on us.

And we miss each other. But the wild part is, it might be a good thing…

In missing you, I remember how much I need you. I remember how much I feel the passion and romance we used to share. And I remember that you are the only man I'll ever need.

Missing you makes me appreciate the little things. It has given me an appreciation to count not only the days and years but to cherish each and every minute we have together.

So while I miss you, I love you more than ever. More than when we were younger, more than when we were still "new." And more than when we had no clue what kind of adventure we were in for.

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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

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

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.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

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!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

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.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

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.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

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.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

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.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

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.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

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.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

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.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

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.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

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.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

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.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

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.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

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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Sorry, you can’t meet our baby yet

Thank you for understanding. ❤️

In just over three weeks, we will become parents. From then on, our hearts will live outside of our bodies. We will finally understand what everyone tells you about bringing a child into the world.

Lately, the range of emotions and hormones has left me feeling nothing short of my new favorite mom word, "hormotional." I'm sure that's normal though, and something most people start to feel as everything suddenly becomes real.

Our bags are mostly packed, diaper bag ready, and birth plan in place. Now it's essentially a waiting game. We're finishing up our online childbirth classes which I must say are quite informational and sometimes entertaining. But in between the waiting and the classes, we've had to think about how we're going to handle life after baby's birth.


I don't mean thinking and planning about the lack of sleep, feeding schedule, or just the overall changes a new baby is going to bring. I'm talking about how we're going to handle excited family members and friends who've waited just as long as we have to meet our child. That sentence sounds so bizarre, right? How we're going to handle family and friends? That sentence shouldn't even have to exist.

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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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