Thursday, June 3, 2010

Things I Love Thursday: Homie the Sound Machine

People, it’s been hot here. Like sauna hot. Sub-Saharan desert hot. And this has led to housing dilemma #142: whether and when to turn on the AC. I grew up with Central Air and so about died for the first few years I lived without it in Boston. Then I got so used to being without it that any time I spent in Central Air, I looked around the corner for a penguin guiding me to an igloo or something. But just as quickly when I moved back here and lived in an apartment with a window air conditioner older and louder than me, I grew to love it again.

What I do not love is the cost. So we are pretty conservative about when we turn it on. And how long it stays on. Mostly, we use it at night. So the other night everyone is asleep and I am doing my nightly organizing (it’s so sad how happy a quiet night of making to-do lists makes me, it truly is) and I hear the unmistakable sound of the outdoors.

First it’s crickets, then the sound of wind and I am like “CRAP! The AC is on and a window is open.” This is like a cheap girl’s biggest fear: paying for air that’s going outside.

I immediately guess it’s the bathroom window because we frequently open it to yell at Cous Cous to stop barking at our poor little neighbor girl in her wading pool. Nope, shut tight. I check our bedroom, but as I walk in, I am sure it’s coming from Wee ‘Burb’s room, only we never open her window because she’s sure to wake up at the first sign of sound.

Then I start laughing hysterically, alone in the hallway. It is in fact coming from Wee ‘Burb’s room, and it’s her sound machine! My new bestest friend in the whole wide world.

Allow me to tell you how this beautiful contraption came into my life. Before Wee ‘Burb started daycare, I was TORTURED with her catnapping. By 5:00 every evening I was pouring a glass of wine and tearfully telling Scott that while I love our daughter with every fiber of my being, if she does not nap for more than 20 minutes, I will have to spend my weekends in a sensory deprivation tank just to keep sane. I would put her down, start to do dishes, or check e-mail, or any little task and within minutes I would hear her cry.

I tried EVERYTHING. Every book, every helpful and not-so-helpful “suck it up” hint. Then she started daycare and for the first week, she slept for 3 hours at a clip.

Finally, bags under my eyes, I grabbed the teacher and said “I need to see where she sleeps.” So she shows me the mattress, the crib, the blankets and I’m like there is NOTHING here that is different. And then she showed me what I now lovingly refer to as Homie. My homie, the HoMedics SS-2000 Sound Spa Relaxation Sound Machine. Just writing those words makes me sigh with relief.

I went online and found it for $20. I was positive there was ZERO way this cheap thing was going to make any difference, but I was desperate. I waited the longest five days of my life for it to get to me (if only I had known then what I know now, I would have paid for rush shipping). And instant bliss!

Each nap and each night for the first week I tried a different sound. I had low expectations of the sounds in general, they sounded pretty generic and I had a vision of Homer Simpson offering to help Marge relax with his “woooo ooooo, aooooooga” foghorn sounds. I did nix the heartbeat one because frankly it was a little too Edgar Allen Poe for me. But otherwise, with each one, she slept for at least an hour. And the crazy thing is, it started to relax me! Her room is right next door to ours and we can hear the ocean waves, or as I previously alluded to a “summer night,” and it’s just so soothing!

Now if you disagree and don’t find it soothing, it has a great feature: automatic timer. I tried this a few times, but I swear when I set it for an hour, I got exactly 61 minutes of a break before she was up again. I don’t mess with the timer. It’s on all night, and let me tell you, even if it ate up as much energy as my AC did, I would have it on every second of the day.

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