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Link Roundup December 9, 2016

It’s Charlie’s 7th birthday this week, and he requested to go island hopping and have cheesecake. We went island hopping today and we’ll throw a little party for him this weekend with mango cheesecake and mango float, a Filipino dessert he loves!

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We were the only ones on this beach today.

I found some really interesting parenting articles this week, as well as some fun holiday commercials for you to enjoy. Hope you have a great weekend!

H E A L T H 

Danish Doctors’ Group Wants to End Circumcision for Boys via New York Times

Why Parents and Doctors Should Think About ADHD in Preschool via New York Times

Video Games are More Addictive Than Ever. This is What Happens When They Can’t Turn Them Off. via Washington Post

Life After Zika via New York Magazine

Study Shows that Moms Who Give Birth in Their 30s are Twice as Likely to Live Longer via Popsugar

Here’s What Giving Birth Looks Like – In Two Very Different Worlds via Refinery29

E D U C A T I O N

Does Your State Provide Good Data on Your Schools? Probably Not. via NPR

Tackle Football Makes  Comeback in the Heart of Texas via New York Times

These States Allow Teachers and Staff to Hit Kids via NPR

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Our Wishlist for Panda (Age 11 Months)

We wanted to get Panda a convertible carseat since he is outgrowing his infant carseat. When we got into a car accident, though, they were covered by insurance and we replaced them. Panda has tons of toys, including Lion’s current toys and the ones he has outgrown. With that said, should our family insist on gift giving, here are some toys that we think Panda might be interested in. Like the toys on Lion’s list, this wishlist tries to avoid flashing lights and sounds.

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1) Baby Band: Panda is a big fan of noise makers. I prefer to avoid battery operated sound toys, and these are a great alternative, letting Panda be the one to shake around the instruments and make his own noises.

2) Mega Blocks Big Building Bag: Kids love to stack things and mega blocks/duplos are great for babies and toddlers. This is another toy that can be used for several years!

3) Nuby Octopus Hoopla Bathtime Toy: Our little water baby loves to splash around. He always seems to be starving around 6:30 for his last bottle and will cry until he gets it, except when it’s bath night. Whenever we give him a bath, he happily splashes around and gurgles, forgetting all about the time. It would be great to get some new bath toys to throw into the rotation.

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Quick Shortbread Cookies

Cookies and Christmas, the two seem to go hand in hand. Which is perfect for me because cookies are my forever go to treat. The only issue with most cookies is that they pair best with an ice cold glass of milk, and after coming in from playing in the snow I really want a steaming mug of hot cocoa, nullifying my need for extra sugar from a cookie and thus deprived of my favorite treat. Enter the shortbread cookie!! A delicious, buttery, but not overly sweet cookie.

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These cookies come together super quickly in a food processor and are made even easier by being turned into slice and bake cookies. I’ve adapted this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, just by streamlining and simplifying the baking process.  It’s an excellent cookie to make with your littles due to the minimal ingredients and one bowl process. Plus, BONUS, you don’t need to soften the butter!

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My Christmas Toy Wishlist (For a 5 and 7 Year Old)

We don’t have many toys here and I’ve omitted my mile long wishlist of educational toys, but this is what is on my wishlist for my kids this Christmas. My kids love arts and crafts, stuffed dolls, and imaginary play!

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1) Candy Construction – How adorable is this gingerbread house building set?

2) Fort Kit – My kids spend endless hours playing in forts. This kit lets you custom make forts of all different shapes and sizes.

3) Coloring Book – My kids adore adult coloring books and this adorable Pusheen one is sure to be a hit.

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A Private Hospital Room vs. A Shared Space

Giving birth to M three years ago, we had a large room for labour, then moved over to a room that was still quite big and well-appointed after she was born. It was set up as a single room, though I believe they can add in an extra bed and a curtain if need be. Our hospital delivers about two babies a day, and is only six years old, so it’s bright, new, modern, and not terribly busy feeling (I’m sure it’s busy for staff!).

On the other hand, with A we had to travel to the women’s hospital at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg for the C-section, and four days of recovery. I had been advised by both my local doctor, and the doctor in Winnipeg, that we were probably looking at a three-day stay, including the day of the surgery, if all was well with both me and baby. It’s a big hospital and quite busy, if the environment during our stay was accurate to business as usual around there, and per a lot of the staff we spoke with, things are fairly chaotic and cramped.

When we checked into HSC we requested a private room and handed over our benefits card – Mac Daddy works for our local hospital and our health coverage is top notch, and completely covers private rooms, although they aren’t that bad out of pocket at $88 per night. I had heard that private spaces are at a premium at HSC, so I wasn’t holding my breath, but I suppose when I was picturing a shared room I was imagining the large, bright, shared inpatient rooms at our own hospital.

In reality, when I was wheeled up to our room, my bed was actually being shaken by the movements of the nurse in the room next door while I was being transferred; that’s how tight things were. We had the smaller half of the room, with no outlets in our curtained area, and an overall footprint that is probably the size of the bathrooms in our local hospital’s maternity rooms!

For the first part of the day Mac Daddy was sitting on an old wooden chair he found in the hallway, and when they brought him a sleeper chair we actually thought he’d have to go sleep in the car because it was not going to ever fit in that space. Luckily the night nurse moved an unnecessary table out and he could slide the chair in, but every time someone needed to move we had to play Tetris with all the things on wheels. When the people next door moved, they moved my bed, which hurt thanks to my incision, and every time they talked it was basically right in my ear, with just a curtain separating us.

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Potty Training…Again

Root canals.

Being stuck on hold waiting for customer service.

Wet socks.

I would gladly take any of these at the moment over the pain of potty training another child, but here we are again.

Juliet happy

A rare smile in this trying period

Juliet is close to 3 1/2 now, which was around when I began training Drake. I clearly hate potty training and everything that goes with it so I wasn’t eager to start. Juliet is in the township program because of her speech delay and there are no potty training rules, unlike many private schools that ask your child be potty trained before they start school. So I never felt any pressure to really start before I wanted to, and Juliet has not really shown any interest at all herself. I was hoping in some ways that the school would aid me in getting her ready or her gaining some interest while watching her peers in the class go. Neither of these things happened and I think if allowed, Juliet would wear diapers until she was seven.

I bought Juliet some Frozen underwear and started showing it to her about a week before we began to get her mentally ready. On the first day I put them on her she cried, and I knew this was going to be as wonderful as it was with her brother. I had emailed her teacher telling her about our beginning steps and told them that if it was clearly an issue or too disruptive for them to stick her back in the pulls ups I sent her in, and I would work on it solely at home. The school made her a potty chart and said they would update me about any successes (none as I type this), but for the most part Juliet has stayed dry in the few hours she is at school.

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Ten Month Update

Panda somehow turned ten months already! We are enjoying our first holiday season as a family of four and feel so blessed to have our happy little guy.

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All smiles exploring the farm.

Teeth: We are now up to eight teeth! Now we’re just waiting for the molars to appear. We can’t believe he’s gotten all of his teeth so quickly.

Eating: Panda has continued to eat pretty much anything we put in front of him. He loved Thanksgiving dinner and is clearly a fan of turkey. He has also learned how to use a straw cup and is super interested in water, often trying to steal Lion’s water bottles. His favorites this month included raspberries, green beans, lima beans, turkey, and sushi.

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