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I have prepared for Coronavirus to the best of my ability—but I’m still anxious

Today, our neighborhood was affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in Massachusetts—and I keep replaying the last few hours in my head over and over. Today was one of those unimaginable days that then become a reality.

I have prepared for Coronavirus to the best of my ability—but I’m still anxious

I can't fall asleep. Today, our neighborhood was affected by the Columbia Gas explosions in Massachusetts—and I keep replaying the last few hours in my head over and over.

I'm just lying awake reading news story after news story, updating friends and family who are texting to let them know we're okay.

My babies are okay.

This afternoon, a few minutes before 5:00 pm, I heard a loud noise outside my house and a lot of commotion on our street. I smelt gas. My two big girls were watching the movie Brave and my 11-month-old was at the tail end of her much-needed cat nap. I was trying on a dress for a wedding. I poked my head out our front door to see what was going on and right before my eyes, chaos ensued.

I noticed the smoke in the air, and paired with the gas smell, I knew this wasn't good. I shouted to my neighbors next door, "Do we need to leave our home???" They shouted back, "Yes! Get out now!"

Panic.

Get the babies. Get in the car. That's what I knew I needed to do. Focus, focus, mama.

I still didn't know what was going on, but I felt it—I knew this was bad and I knew I needed to get my babies out. I, as calmly as I could fake, told my big girls that we were going to go to Aunt Megan's for a visit and to "hold hands right here" while I ran and got the baby. I ripped the dress I was trying on off, threw clothes on that were strewn about nearby and quickly pulled my sleeping, confused baby out of her crib.

I scanned the kitchen to make sure I didn't leave anything on, and we bolted out to our car—no shoes, mishmoshed clothes, and only three diapers in my purse. A police officer in front of our house shouted, "Good! Get out of here!" as I buckled the baby into her seat with shaking hands. We live in the city of Lawrence, Massachusetts and decided we'd head to my sister's home in the town next door, North Andover.

She called me on our way over there and told us they were being evacuated too. The roads were crowded. I looked to my left to see firefighters working on a house near the intersection I take to my sisters. More panic set in.

But my babies were okay.

My babies were with me.

My sister and her crew headed north to her in-laws in New Hampshire, as we headed south to my sister and brother-in-laws 30 miles from our house. They ordered pizza. I watched the news. My husband finally got to us after work. I went to Marshall's to get some clothes for us, and shoes for me. I cried as I drove by myself, finally able to break down without my kids watching.

I took a deep breath.

This is a lot. This is scary.

But my babies are okay.

I am okay.

We have what we need—we have each other.

A house two doors down from us, where a local police officer and his beautiful family live—burnt to the ground. It burned for so long before firefighters could even get to it because of all the other explosions going on. My heart breaks for my neighbors—but I'm so grateful they are physically okay.

There have been a reported 70+ homes that have been affected by gas explosions and fires in our city, and our two neighboring towns, North Andover and Andover. National Grid turned the power out and we're unsure of when we will be able to safely return to our homes.

But my babies are okay.

Today was one of those unimaginable days that then become a reality.

So far, one mama's 18-year-old baby is not okay. A boy, in a house 1.4 miles from ours, died from the explosion at his home. I can't even fathom this. My heart breaks for his family, for their unimaginable pain and shock, and every ounce of love and prayers I have goes out to them.

My love and prayers go out to all the incredible, hard-working, brave first responders who are working tirelessly to make sure this is contained. They're amazing. Firefighters from all over New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts (and likely more areas) have banded together to fight this and to keep our community safe.

To keep my babies safe.

You never really think disaster is going to happen to you. Today it brushed way too close for comfort. It has rocked me to my core.

What if it were our house? I was home with all three babies. What if something happened to them? What if it happened through the night and everyone had been sleeping?

I can't answer these what if's. And they make my stomach turn even thinking of them.

So for now, I'll thank God and my lucky stars above that my babies are okay.

Today was overwhelming. And scary. And heartbreaking. It asked me to step up to the plate of motherhood—by pretending I was calm when I wasn't, by figuring out what to do because I was the adult in charge of three tiny humans, by making sure my babies were okay.

And they're okay.

My babies are okay.

And so, for right now, I guess I am too.

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These new arrivals from the Motherly Shop are *so* good you need them all

Noodle and Boo, Mushie and Plan Toys—everything you need, mama.

Motherhood is hard work—finding great products and brands to make the journey easier doesn't have to be. Each week, we stock the Motherly Shop with brilliant new products we know you'll need and love from brands and makers that really care.

So, what's new this week?

Noodle and Boo: Holistic baby skin care

Through working with chemists who specialize in natural and holistic skin care, Noodle and Boo has developed exclusive formulas that nourish, replenish and protect especially delicate, eczema-prone and sensitive skin—including laundry detergent. Their signature, obsession-worthy scent—which is subtly sweet, pure and fresh—is the closest thing to bottling up "baby smell" we've ever found.

Mushie: Kids' dinnerware that actually looks great

We're totally crushing on Mushie's minimalist dinnerware for kids. Their innovative baby and toddler products leverage Swedish design to marry both form and function while putting safety front and center. Everything is created in soft, muted colors from BPA-free materials.

Plan Toys: Open-ended toys that last

Corralling and cleaning up the toys becomes less stressful when you bring home fewer, better, more beautiful ones. Plan Toys checks all the boxes. Made from re-purposed rubber wood, they're better for the planet as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Mushie silicone baby bib

Mushie silicone baby bib

There's no going back to cloth bibs after falling in love with this Swedish design. The pocket catches whatever misses their mouths and the BPA-free silicone is waterproof and easy to wipe down between uses.

$13

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

Mushie kids' square dinnerware plate set

We're totally crushing on the soft muted colors that flow with our table aesthetics and the thoughtful high-sided design that helps babies and toddler who are learning to feed themselves.

$15

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Noodle and Boo nursery essentials kit

Stocked with everything a new mama needs to care for her little one's delicate skin, Noodle and Boo's nursery essentials gift set is the perfect way to create a holistic and natural skin care routine from day one.

$45

Plan Toys doctor set 

Plan Toys doctor set

Ideal for quiet time and imaginative role play, we love the gorgeous planet-friendly doctor kit from Plan Toys. The rubber wood stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, thermometer, syringe and reflex hammer pack up neat and tidy into the red cotton case should they need to dash off on a rescue mission.

$30

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Noodle and Boo instant hand sanitizer

Since we're buying and using hand sanitizer by the truckload these days, we're thrilled Noodle and Boo has made one we can feel good about using on little ones who cram their hands in their mouths 24/7. Not only does it kill 99.9% of germs, but it also leaves hands moisturized as well.

$10

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

Plan Toys natural wooden blocks set

A toy box isn't complete without a set of blocks—and this set is one of our new favorites. The sustainable, re-purposed wood is eco-friendly, comes at a relatively affordable price point and are certain to last well beyond multiple kids, hand-me-downs and even generations.

$30

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Noodle and Boo family fun pack cleansing set

Because their products were developed for delicate and eczema-prone skin, Noodle and Boo's full line of skin care has become a favorite among those with sensitive skin of all ages. This set is the perfect way to pamper the entire family.

$48

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

Mushie kids' round dinnerware bowl set

No need to sacrifice safety or design with the sustainable dinnerware from Mushie. Their minimalist, functional dishes are perfect for serving up meals and snacks to your tablemates who might hurl it to the floor at any point. They're made in Denmark from BPA-free polypropylene plastic mamas can feel good about and dishwasher and microwave-safe as well.

$14

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

Plan Toys geo stacking blocks

The best engaging, open-ended toys are the ones that are left out and available, inviting little (and big!) ones to play. These beautiful gem-like blocks make for addicting coffee table play for the entire family.

$30

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Plan Toys wooden green dollhouse

Energy-efficient design isn't just for grown-up real estate. This green dollhouse includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation along with minimalist furniture we'd totally love to have in our own houses.

$250

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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