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Saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t feel like enough—why I’m so grateful for my labor and delivery nurses

Thank you for your positivity and genuine belief in my abilities to get my baby out safely.

Saying ‘thank you’ doesn’t feel like enough—why I’m so grateful for my labor and delivery nurses

I wasn't prepared with gifts packed in my bag, or something clever to have delivered within the 48 hours of my hospital stay. I have to get around to that, because I want to do whatever I can to thank my labor and delivery nurses.


But honestly—what do you get for the people who cared for you at your most vulnerable? It hardly seems like flowers or cookies are enough.

What do you do for someone who emotionally, physically and mentally supported you through the birth of your daughter? I feel like buying lunch doesn't do it justice.

What do you say to someone who was one of the few people that was with you during a monumentally life changing event? Chocolates or coffees are just not equal.

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I'll try to think of something I can physically gift them, but for now, what I can come up with are words. Words of thanks, of gratefulness and of praise.

So to my labor and delivery nurses—

I thank you from the bottom of my very big, emotional, hormonal, overflowing heart. Thank you for recognizing the fear in my eyes and telling me funny and interesting stories to take my mind off of my worries. I genuinely enjoyed hearing about your life and I thank you for sharing bits of it with me.

Thank you also for pausing during a contraction so I could focus on getting through it without distraction. Thank you for adjusting my bed to whatever degree I wanted or needed when I couldn't move to do it myself. Thank you for fixing my pillows, for the warm blankets, the ice chips, the cold cloths and anything else you could do to make sure I was as comfortable as possible.

Thank you for letting me hug you while I got my epidural. As I leaned my forehead against yours, while also squeezing you with both of my hands, I was so scared—but you made me feel relaxed enough to sit still and calm enough to trust it was all going to work okay.

Thank you for your positivity and genuine belief in my abilities to get my baby out safely—I had only just met you a few hours earlier, but you made me feel strong and empowered and like I could really do this.

Thank you for keeping the space calm and peaceful—the way you spoke, reacted and moved around the room kept things this way. I can't imagine if you were more high energy or cold or rude—I don't know what I would have done. I needed your warmth, your careful concern, your attention to my needs and your compassion. I don't think everyone gets that and boy, am I glad I did.

Thank you for helping me hold my legs up as I pushed my baby out. You were gentle and so encouraging during this final stage. You gave me the strength to get through to the end and meet my baby.

Thank you for letting me cut the cord! I really didn't know if you would let me. It was not only a special moment for me, you said it was also a special moment for you because you've never seen a mom do that before. I'll never forget it.

Thank you for having extra support right outside the door in case of problems with shoulder dystocia which I experienced during my previous birth. (Thank you also for not telling me about that until after I delivered because that would have made me nervous.) We thankfully didn't need the extra support, but your proactive practices assured me that I was in the right place.

Thank you for respecting my wishes of how I wanted things to go before, during and after giving birth. You were non judgemental and truly supportive. You made me feel so comfortable.

Thank you for immediately serving me not one, but two, turkey sandwiches right after I delivered my sweet girl. I have been craving them more than you know, and even though they weren't anything fancy—I was ravenous and they tasted as good as any New York deli sandwich I've ever had.

Thank you for cleaning my naked, vulnerable body up after I delivered my daughter. You were quick and discreet and I was so enthralled with the beautiful baby on my chest I hardly noticed any of it. Thank you for helping me in the bathroom and wheeling me to my room. You never made me feel uncomfortable and it just warms my heart thinking of the kindness you showed me.

Thank you for being part of my birth experience. This was birth number three for me, and while I've had two unmedicated births (one of which was super quick and semi-traumatic)—this birth was different, and I wanted it to be that way. You helped me achieve the exact experience I wanted. That's invaluable to me.

Maureen and Anna, I'll never forget you and I'll always be grateful for the kindness and compassion you showed not only to me, but to my husband and baby girl as well.

Thanks for sharing in our excitement and being part of this incredible moment.

Maybe I could have done it without you, but I definitely wouldn't have wanted to. You're both angels. Thank goodness for nurses like you.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance (INARA)

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