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Link Roundup – April 28, 2017

It is summer here in the Philippines and very hot and very humid! My hair felt so heavy that I just asked a friend to grab my hair in a ponytail and chop off 5 inches. I don’t even care if it’s crooked (there are no good salons here) — it felt good to get rid of all that hair! Anyone else getting a fresh cut for the summer?

Here are some interesting parenting links from around the web this week! Have a great weekend!

HEALTH

Child Development by Age via The Center for Parenting Education

1.2 million children in the US have lead poisoning. We’re only treating half of them. via Vox

Scientists Create Artificial Womb That Could Help Prematurely Born Babies via NPR

What Pregnant Athletes Can Achieve via The New Yorker

The Postpartum Depression Documentary Every Mom Needs to Watch via Mom.me

EDUCATION

How Does Race Affect a Student’s Math Education? A new paper examines the ways “whiteness” reproduces racial advantages and disadvantages. via The Atlantic

PARENTING

Why don’t people take writing about motherhood seriously? Because women do it via LA Times

The 20 Most Common Parenting Mistakes I See via Fatherly

50 calm-down ideas to try with kids of all ages via Motherly

New motherhood is hard—but these 5 simple habits are all your baby really needs  via Motherly

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Final Pregnancy Update

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How Far Along: 39 weeks, 3 days

Due Date: April 23rd. After meeting with our doctor and discussing my progress, we have a cesarean scheduled for April 25th. More on that decision in a separate blog post!

Weight Gain: Up 33 pounds! All throughout my pregnancy, people commented on how small I was and I would explain that I like to pack it in at the end – mission accomplished!

Maternity Clothing: A pretty solid mix of regular and maternity clothing. I am down to oversized pajama pants and stretched out maxi dresses. This babe is sitting incredibly low making pants a near impossibility – making  getting adjusted at the chiropractor just slightly awkward.

Sleep: I get a pretty solid 6 hours every couple nights! Honestly sleep is terrible right now, I have Braxton-hicks for a solid 2 hours every night and am just so very very uncomfortable.

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Meal Time with a 15-month old

Meal time can be frustrating. AmIright? Or at least, I hope I’m not the only one who feels this way! I want my little guy to eat healthy and heartily, but sometimes I feel like he’s eating very little and with minimal variety. Before we moved into the world of solids, I pictured him eating all sorts of foods and doing so happily. But the reality is far from that – a large amount of the foods ends up on the floor or wall rather than in his mouth. He’ll throw the food on the floor without even trying it, feeds it to the dog, mashes it in his hands, hair, or smears it on his tray. Ahh!

It’s the battle of the ideal versus the reality. The ideal being a good eater in variety, amount consumed, and neatness. The reality being he has a few favorites, eats like a bird, and food ends up everywhere. Oh how I dreamed I’d have a toddler that loved food. His parents love food, so why not him? I dreamed he’d be like his father who I hear was a very adventurous eater as a kid.

And then I see these toddler meal pins on Pinterest like the 40 meal ideas for your toddler, except my toddler won’t eat half of what’s on those  items. Or the jealously I feel when another mom tells me how her little one eats everything.

I’m not sure what gets to me the most — the fact he likes something one day and not the next, all the wasted food, or the effort you put into preparing something only to have it rejected. I try hard to remind myself that he’s a toddler and all this is natural. I’ve been told they need to be messy and mash things in their hands and hair, that you need to try to offer something ten times before they can really make an opinion on it, try different preparations, yada yada yada. But inside I really feel like this:

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Korean Cold Noodle Salad

Every time the weather starts warming up, my body starts craving fresh, crisp veggies (as opposed to the belly-warming soups that I crave in winter). Anyone with me?? So I recently decided to whip up one of my all-time favorite salads.  It is a Korean cold noodle salad, and I like to make this for potlucks too because it is easy to make in bulk, and just so visually appealing!

I like to use my julienne slicer for the carrots and cucumbers, but other than that, there really isn’t any special equipment required.

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Ingredients

6 ounces soba noodles (other options: somen, vermicilli, or buckwheat)
1 large carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
Mint, just the leaves
1/2 a red onion, thinly sliced
Watercress, roughly chopped

This recipe is so flexible, you can use any greens you have on hand. Some others I’ve used in the past include thinly sliced red cabbage, lightly sautéed bean sprouts, thinly sliced bell peppers, and alfalfa sprouts. And if you’re going low/no carb, simply omit the noodles and add some protein.

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Pregnancy Update: 18 Weeks

It’s been six weeks since my last pregnancy update, so here we go! I haven’t had an ultrasound since I hit 12 weeks, but we will get to see baby on the screen again in just two short weeks. I’m full-on wearing nothing but maternity clothes now and sleeping with my pregnancy pillow every night. My bump has popped, and just yesterday I started experiencing belly-itching and noticed some new stretch marks forming. (No!!! I didn’t get stretch marks with my last pregnancy until something like 38 weeks.) I’m feeling good overall, though I did get some disappointing work news this week, which has put some emotional strain on me. I think it’s time to officially make yoga a part of my daily routine again.

18 weeks

18 weeks pregnant

How many weeks along are you? 18

Due date? September 27

How much weight have you gained? 12 pounds

Symptoms? occasional headaches; fatigue (For the most part, food aversions and nausea seem to be gone—whew!)

How is baby looking? Baby is the size of a bell pepper. We can’t wait to see him/her on the ultrasound in two weeks, when we will find out the sex as well as getting the full anatomy scan.

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What I Want My Husband to Know

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I often wonder if the things I am thinking or feeling are also things that other moms are thinking or feeling. Usually I am hoping that there are people who understand what I am feeling at any given moment, but especially so now that I am a mom. Being a parent is often isolating. There are a lot of things that happen throughout a day, a week, a month, or a year that have a huge impact on moms (and parents) but for a lot of us, there is some amount of loneliness being a parent. I sometimes wish my husband and I could switch places for a day or two so he could see how much I have going on and what it is like to me in my head and body.

1) I am exhausted. Literally, I don’t even know when the last time was that I had a full nights sleep. Maybe 4 years ago? Between the bed sharing, being pregnant, having to pee all night long, and long hours of staring at the ceiling willing sleep to come, I am beyond tired. Sometimes I say I am so tired that I actually feel like I can’t sleep. My body is almost always in a state of exhaustion, my brain often feels like mush, and I never feel like I have enough time to get things done.

2) The amount that I worry about the kids and our future is overwhelming. Now, I know that this is partially because I have an anxiety disorder, but I fully believe that a lot of other moms feel this way too. I am terrified of making a wrong move and having it affect our future. Or that something I do or say as a mom will impact the kids in a negative way later in life. I feel a ton of pressure to be a good parent. To make the kids happy and to support them. But in doing so, I often neglect myself. I can spend an entire day sorting through all the things that are stressing me out in my mind and still have things left over that are floating around and bugging me.

3) I love being a mom, but sometimes I miss being me. I truly think that I was meant to be a mother and I love almost all aspects of it. But there are some evenings when I just want to leave and take a few hours to wander around a store, or get a pedicure, or just be alone so I can think. The amount of noise that is produced between the two kids and the dog and the other things in the house is overwhelming at times. I just really need quiet sometimes. I can’t just zone out on my phone because I have too many things to do, and the kids need me for something every 5 minutes. I just don’t have that luxury.

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Destination: Taipei, Taiwan

We took a 9 day trip to Taiwan LAST May (yes, this post is just a little overdue!), and had a fantastic time! Since it’s around that time of year again where people are thinking of places to travel, I figured it’s better late than never to write this post.

I was actually raised in Taiwan up until I was 4, then returned to the states in time for Kindergarten. I hadn’t been back since, so this was a very special trip for me. It was also memorable because it was our first time introducing the kids to their great-grandparents. I even attended my cousin’s wedding. This was definitely a trip for the books.

JN_Taiwan

The most well-known city in Taiwan is its capital, Taipei.  We spent most of our time exploring Taipei, but also traveled 2 hours by train to the city of Hualien. We ended up spending 5 days in Taipei, 2 days in Hualien, and 2 days for travel. It really was the perfect amount of time for this trip.

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