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Link Roundup – August 14, 2017

I’m headed to Chiang Mai, Thailand next month! Please share any restaurant, shopping, things to do recommendations if you’ve been!

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Now here are some interesting parenting links from around the web to kick off your Monday!

E D U C A T I O N

How a School Ditched Awards and Assemblies to Refocus on Kids and Learning via KQED News

Sex-ed for kindergarteners? Yes, please via Salon

20 podcasts your kid should listen to this summer via Salon

H E A L T H

A sleeping mother suffocated her newborn in the maternity ward. Now she’s suing the hospital. via Washington Post

How high-tech breast pumps help new mothers reclaim their time via TechCrunch

Why Newborn Babies Smell So Delicious via New York Magazine

P A R E N T I N G

Motherhood isn’t Sacrifice, it’s Selfishness and Is Motherhood a Sacrifice or a Privilege? via New York Times

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Baby P’s Birth Story

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Hanging out at home waiting for Baby P to arrive (and making a HUGE mess)!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Baby P is here! He arrived the morning after his due date right around the time I am normally heading to work (and ironically my hospital room had a pretty darn good view of my office downtown).

Probably the most interesting thing about Baby P’s birth is that I went into labor on my own! Despite this being my 3rd baby, I had never experienced a “normal” labor and delivery (if there is even such a thing as a “normal” L&D – it seems like the majority of my friends have had inductions or C-sections). With Big P, my water broke at 39 weeks and 4 days, and I had to be medically induced. With Little P, I started to have signs of pre-eclampsia and was also quite sick with a virus, so we made a decision to medically induce at 39 weeks. Baby P’s pregnancy seemed very much like my other 2 (although thankfully zero signs of pre-eclampsia!), except this time I woke up a little after midnight on my due date and realized I was having contractions! I had never experienced a contraction outside of a hospital environment, so I quickly googled to refresh my memory about when to call the hospital (FYI most people advise calling when your contractions are coming every 5 minutes, each lasting 1 full minute, and have been that way for an hour).

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A Fire Station Birthday Party

This year, when Lion turned 3, we decided to host his first birthday party. We hadn’t thrown one in the past, and to be honest, I was pretty on the fence this year. All of his closest friends did have birthday parties, though, and he continuously asked for a party so in the end we decided to go for it. It ended up being a great party and Lion had a wonderful time at the party, hosted at one of our local fire stations! Lion is at the age where he is fascinated by emergency responders and wants to be a fire fighter when he grows up, so it was the perfect venue for him.

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Lion loved having his birthday party at the fire station!

Choosing the Venue

We live in a condo that has no common space to rent, so we didn’t feel that we could host in our home. We tossed around different ideas, but unlike where I grew up in California, the summer weather can be pretty unpredictable in DC. I didn’t want to host the party at a park if it would rain out since we didn’t have a good back up plan. I started researching different options, including My Gym (where many of his friends have hosted parties), nature centers, children’s theaters, museums and a few other places. Most options were more than we wanted to spend for a three-year-old’s birthday or were for kids that are older.

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The kids loved exploring the gear and an ambulance.

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Rock Art

Drake has a massive rock collection he has been collecting for some time now. He finds rocks on walks, the beach, when we visit friends’ homes, the park, and even in our own yard and adds them to his growing assortment. Sometimes I find a rock I think he will like and bring it home to him. All these rocks, different textures, colors, and sizes have made me think about rock art. Even if Drake won’t let me do anything to his existing rocks, I can show him some cool projects he can make with rocks so we can hunt for specific rocks to work on. Here are some ideas I have pinned:

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Rock bird family

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Rock Cactus

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Update: Living with another family with young ones

We’re coming up on almost one full year of living together with my sister’s family! In the past 12 months, we’ve gone from 2 kids to 3, and in a few weeks… there will be 4 kids under the age of 4 in one roof. I have to say, our home is looking more like a daycare each day! We have Toddler Pencil (3 years old), Cousin Pencil (2 years old), Cousin Baby Pencil (8 months old) and the newest Baby Pencil on her way in 3 weeks!

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Is it difficult to live with a whole other family? Sure, it can be. But there are so many benefits because we’re all sharing the same life stage. I honestly don’t think this could work unless the two MOMS see eye to eye on most things. Luckily, not only are my sister and I extremely close, but we have very similar parenting styles. (And what I mean by “parenting style” is that we don’t really know what we’re doing most of the time.) We generally stay out of each other’s hair for most of the week because everyone is either working, traveling or running errands. It’s also really interesting that ALL the adults work from home! So the house is constantly alive, constantly hustling… and very, very loud! I’ve always thought the idea of a Home Alone house would be fun, but it’s often chaotic. I’m just glad the kids are all sleep trained and the house finally gets quiet at around 8pm.

Here are the ways that have benefited both families over the past year:

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Pregnancy Update: 27 weeks

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Everyone was right when they said things move faster in your second pregnancy. The first time around, my knowledge of the topic was severely limited. I knew some of the details, but for the most part I was pretty clueless. Having gone through it, I feel much more comfortable in my body this time around and other than things happening on an accelerated timeline, nothing has been truly shocking so far.

These days I’m really enjoying feeling the kicks and movement in my stomach. Recently when I told Max the baby is kicking, he furrowed his eyebrows and asked, “does it hurt you?” My heart melted at his genuine concern. Other days when we talk to him about the baby in my belly, he lifts up his shirt and says “there is a baby in my belly too!”

We recently decided to switch doctors so that I can deliver at a hospital closer to our house. It was a little stressful to switch so far along in my pregnancy, but we’ve met our new doctor, toured the hospital and are feeling very good about the decision. The decision came about when Mr. Ice Cream and I were trying to figure out the logistics of going into labor. This time around we have a 2-year-old to think about. Since we don’t have any family in town, it made more sense to deliver at a hospital close to our house and daycare so Mr. Ice Cream can easily shuttle between for Max.

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Little Girl Hair

Little Miss LeLe has some seriously amazing hair. It is long, wavy, and a beautiful mixture of blond and light brown. Since she was about 18-months-old, I have been working on my hair skills with her, doing tons of Pinterest research and figuring out how to braid in a variety of ways. I was never really good at doing my own hair. Before I cut it all off, I had super long hair that I almost always wore in a pony tail. It is super thick and impossible to deal with, so I just never really tried that hard. But with LeLe, this is a second chance to get really good with hair, so I’ve really been trying. Now that we are trying all kinds of styles, I’ve been thinking a lot about the products that are making our adventure in hair a little easier.

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1.Hair ties: I use three different kinds right now, depending on what we are trying to do. I have super thick ones that are great for pony tails or to secure a high bun, some skinnier ones that work for tying off larger braids, or for smaller pony tailed sections of hair, and tiny elastic ones that are great for end of braids and for doing tiny detail work. LeLe also likes to have a decorative tie in her hair a lot of the time, so we have a variety of fancy ones that we add into the mix.

2. Hair tools are equally important as what you use to secure the styles. For LeLe, she gets super tangly hair, so I need to be pretty careful when I am doing her hair. I’ve found a few things that make this easier, and faster too. The detangling brush is a miracle for anyone with kids who have messy hair. I also have a smaller wider set brush, a wide set comb, and then a stylist comb, with the long end, and that makes it easy to set boundaries in hair for separate sections.

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