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5. The peekaboo big sister pic


Our bodies are truly amazing, in every sense of the word. We have the ability to create and grow a human inside of us. It’s wild! Our bodies transform into their first cozy home, prepping them for life outside the womb. So, basically, what we’re trying to say is: Our bodies ROCK.

We love seeing your gorgeous baby bumps on Instagram, so don’t forget to tag #TeamMotherly in your next #bumpie (bump + selfie) so we can fawn over how fabulous you are. Let’s celebrate our bumps together, mamas. ? ?

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3. The use-your-belly-as-a-tray photo

A photo posted by @oldjoy on

10. The silhouette portrait

A photo posted by lauralacquer (@lauralacquer) on


Ladies, you and your #babybumps are fabulous! Thanks for sharing your special moments with #TeamMotherly.

8. The bare bump snap

2. The bumpin’ it at work selfie

9. The fit bump shot

6. The restful mama shot

7. The cradling-your-bump photo

1. The past my due date’ selfie (40 weeks + 5 days)

4. The fancy mirror selfie

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As a mid-Spring holiday, we never knew exactly what to expect from the weather on Easter when I was growing up in Michigan: Would we get to wear our new Sunday dresses without coats? Or would we be hunting for eggs while wearing snowsuits?

Although what the temperature had in store was really anyone's guess, there were a few special traditions my sister and I could always depend on—and it won't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me that my favorite memories revolved around food. After all, experts say memories are strongest when they tie senses together, which certainly seems to be true when it comes to holiday meals that involve the sounds of laughter and the taste of amazing food.

Now that I'm a parent, I'm experiencing Easter anew as my children discover the small delights of chocolate, pre-church brunch and a multi-generational dinner. While I still look forward to the treats and feasting, I'm realizing now that the sweetest thing of all is how these traditions bring our family together around one table.

For us, the build-up to Easter eats is an extended event. Last year's prep work began weeks in advance when my 3-year-old and I sat down to plan the brunch menu, which involved the interesting suggestion of "green eggs and ham." When the big morning rolled around, his eyes grew to the size of Easter eggs out of pure joy when the dish was placed on the table.

This year, rather than letting the day come and go in a flash, we are creating traditions that span weeks and allow even the littlest members of the family to feel involved.

Still, as much as I love enlisting my children's help, I also relish the opportunity to create some magic of my own with their Easter baskets—even if the Easter Bunny gets the credit. This year, I'm excited to really personalize the baskets by getting an "adoptable" plush unicorn for my daughter and the Kinder Chocolate Mini Eggs that my son hasn't stopped talking about since seeing at the store. (You can bet this mama is stocking up on some for herself, too.)

At the same time, Easter as a parent has opened my eyes to how much effort can be required...

There is the selection of the right Easter outfits for picture-perfect moments.

There is the styling of custom Easter baskets.

There is the filling of plastic eggs and strategic placement of them throughout the yard.

But when the cameras are put away and we all join together around the table for the family dinner at the end of the day, I can finally take a deep breath and really enjoy—especially with the knowledge that doing the dishes is my husband's job.

This article was sponsored by Kinder. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.


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It can be easy to focus on the negative things going on in the world and what you should worry about, especially as a parent. Thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, social media, cell phone notifications and even sources you wouldn't expect, like Instagram and YouTube, we're all immersed in the news.

It's understandable if you don't feel like putting on a happy face every day and keeping your kids optimistic about the future.

But don't give up. Ironically, even though media and technology seem to be the cause of our collective pessimism, they're also essential for overcoming it, either by using them wisely or knowing when to put them away.

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Here are six ways to help your family find a silver lining, even in a cloud.

1. Put things in perspective

When tragedy strikes somewhere in the world, we relive it every time we turn on the TV, open our social media, check our phone notifications or see a sensationalistic headline. Parents understand that the media amplifies things for eyeballs and clicks. But kids don't necessarily get the relationships among sources, sponsors and audience.

How you respond to news makes a difference in how kids process it, too. Help your kids put things in perspective by explaining that the loudest voices capture the most listeners—and you should always do your own research. When you "right-size" things, it lessens kids' fears and restores hope.

2. Talk about what you're grateful for

Counter defeatist attitudes by nurturing your kid's character. Strong character grounds your kids when the world feels chaotic. Take the time to share what you're grateful for and have them participate, too. Encourage them to persevere against obstacles and to have compassion for others.

Research shows that expressing gratitude actually makes people feel optimistic. Try these character-building movies to kick off the conversation.

3. Fight fake news

Many kids say they can't tell the difference between what's real and fake online. Confusion, doubt, lack of trust are all things get in the way of being optimistic. But kids have the tools to fight fake news.

They can use online fact-checking tools to discover the truth (or at least uncover the fraud). Plus, they can refuse to contribute to the spread of false information by not sharing stuff they can't verify and can call out dubious claims when they see them. Taking fact-checking into your own hands is empowering.

4. Stand up to bullies

Teach your kid that the buck stops with them. When they see someone getting bullied—and it happens all the time in texts, on social media, and in online games—they shouldn't just stand by. While they should never do anything that would endanger themselves, they can do a lot to assert their support of others.

They can call out cyberbullies, report them, stand up for the victim, or just private-message the victim and tell them someone cares. It's not tattling. It's truly everyone's responsibility to keep the internet a positive, productive place. Standing up to cyberbullies shows you believe you can make a change.

5. Stamp out hate speech

Online anonymity can have some unintended consequences. For example, people think they can spew hateful language or share insulting images without fear of being discovered. That may be, but hate speech is not a victimless offense. While institutions are beginning to punish those who spread abusive material, no one should wait until that happens. Hate speech hurts people, contributes to an overall negative environment, and is sometimes a cry for help from someone in crisis.

Explain how to handle hate speech: Don't respond to it, block people who do it, report offenders, and don't share it.

If your kid can influence only one person to knock off the negative stuff, then they'll influence someone else, and they'll influence someone else, and so on.

6. Tune out the world for a while

Grab your kids, grab your partner if you have one, and shut everything else down. If they're all there with you, you won't miss anything. Simply being together, whether it's to read, have a device-free dinner, or talk about an issue recharges you and sends your kids the message that family time takes precedence over everything else.

Experts recommend this kind of self-care because the buildup of bad news can be overwhelming and even debilitating. And if that's how adults feel, imagine how kids are reacting to the constant barrage. By managing your media and reclaiming your family time, you show your kids what's really important.

Originally posted on Common Sense Media.

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Learn + Play

When the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recommended Americans start using homemade cloth face masks to protect against the coronavirus parents had a lot of questions that were not addressed in the initial White House briefing announcing the change.

Here are the answers to some of the common questions about the CDC's face mask recommendations:

1. Do babies need masks?

No, babies under 2 years old should not wear masks, according to the CDC, as they can increase the risk of suffocation. The CDC's website states: "Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance."

That is why experts at Nationwide Children's Hospital are asking the new cottage industry of mask makers to avoid marketing masks to parents of babies, writing: "These products (infant masks, masks attached to pacifiers, etc.) may pose more harm than benefit in terms of safety for children under the age of 2 years old."

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2. Does my child need to wear a mask to go outside?

It depends. If you've got an older child and you're hanging out in your own backyard a mask isn't necessary, but if you're taking your child on the bus or into a grocery store they are recommended.

The CDC wants people to wear masks when they are in a community setting, not to avoid catching COVID-19 but to avoid getting other people sick. "A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but it may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others," the CDC's guidance notes.

Or, as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau put it this week, "it protects others more than it protects you because it prevents you from breathing or speaking moistly on them."

Because children do not seem to get as sick as adults when they have COVID-19 they can unknowingly be carriers. The best way to protect our kids and our communities is to keep our children home, but if you absolutely must take your child out into your community a mask can protect the vulnerable.

3. Does my child have to wear a mask if we go out?

In some parts of the United States, local governments are requiring citizens to wear masks when they leave their homes, but the CDC's statement on face masks is only a recommendation.

Some kids, especially preschool-age children, will not keep a mask on their face. If that's the case for your child, wearing one will increase the likelihood that they will touch their face. As experts recommend keeping hands away from faces, anything that's going to make your kid touch their face even more isn't a good idea.

For more information on how to create a DIY mask as per the CDC recomendations, click here.






News

I had heard about the wildly popular 10-step Korean skin care routine, but never considered it. I am a mom of three—the only thing in my life that I spend 10 steps on is getting my kids to bed at night. That, and I am really more of a wash-and-go kinda lady. I don't wear much makeup, never blow dry my hair and almost never have my nails done.

But a lesson I have learned in my life: When a stylish friend mentions that they are loving a new product or trend, pay attention.

So when my friend with the most gorgeous skin casually commented that he was using the 10-step Korean skin care, I not-so-casually decided to dive in and try it.

What I found was that I loved it 😍.

1. My skin has not looked this good in a long time.

I have sensitive combination skin that tends to look a bit dull, and I almost always have bags under my eyes from lack of sleep. After using this regiment for a few weeks, my face looks a lot brighter—dare I say even glowy at times—and, it's a lot easier to fake the "I got 8 hours of sleep last night" look.

2. It's not as time-consuming as I thought.

It turns out that you don't have to do all of the steps every day. For example, I only exfoliate a few times a week, and use a mask once a week. Most of the steps are quite fast!

3. It has become my self-care ritual.

This might be my favorite part. Right when I wake up, before the hectic time of the day, this routine forces me to take 3 to 5 minutes to myself—alone—taking care of me. I try to incorporate some deep breaths and mindfulness into the process, and it always elevates my mood. At bedtime, it is my wind-down. A chance to be nice to myself after spending a day (trying to be) nice to everyone else.

So, how in the world do you do the 10-step Korean skin care routine? Here's our step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Oil cleanser (Clean it zero)

Clean it zero

Different types of cleansers remove different things from your face. Starting with an oil cleanser helps to remove makeup, built-up oil and dead skin cells. I love this cleansing balm for this—it takes any makeup off completely, and doesn't burn my eyes at all, which happens with a lot of other products I've tried.

$17.70

 Step 2: Foam cleanser (Kiehl's ultra facial cleanser)

Kiehl's ultra facial cleanser

After an oil cleanser, water-based cleansers remove any remaining dirt and oil, helping your skin to be truly clean. Foam cleansers are great for fighting occasional breakouts, without drying out my skin. I love that it's formulated with squalane (that's filled with powerful anti-aging properties), apricot kernel oil, vitamin e and avocado oils that keep my face moisturized.

$21

Step 3: Exfoliate (Skinfood black sugar mask)

Skinfood black sugar mask

Exfoliating removes dead skin cells, leaving your skin looking brighter. It can also help with breakouts and it allows products to get deeper into your skin because those dead cells aren't in the way. The Skinfood Black Sugar Mask is grainy and awesome for eliminate blackheads and clogged pores.

$9.99

Step 4: Toner (Whamisa organic flower deep rich essence toner)

I had previously overlooked the power of adding a toner to my routine, but I am so glad I use it now. Toners balance the skin's pH, shrink pores, moisturize and help the products to absorb easier.

I chose Whamisa Organic Flowers Deep Rich Essence Toner based on the reviews, and it has not disappointed. It has a light fermented smell to it because it is made from fermented flowers, but my skin looks all dewy after I use it, and I have definitely noticed a difference in my pores.

$39.99

Step 5: Essence (Saturday Skin freeze frame beauty essence)

Saturday Skin freeze frame beauty essence

Soko Glam, a company dedicated to getting Korean skin care into the homes of women everywhere says that essence is the most essential step to skin care because it targets skin at the cellular level.

There are a ton of essences out there, so you'll have to spend some time looking for the one that meets your specific needs. Saturday Skin Freeze Frame Beauty Essence is super popular (and how cute is that bottle?).

$33

Step 6: Treatment (Bliss bright idea vitamin c + tri-peptide brightening serum)

Bliss bright idea vitamin c + tri-peptide brightening serum

Serums are also called treatments because they are meant to target a specific problem area. This vitamin C and tri-peptides duo works to boost skin's natural elasticity and defend from future free radical damage. YES to all of that. 🙌

$21.99

Step 7: Sheet mask (Missha super aqua snail hydro-gel mask)

Missha super aqua snail hydro-gel mask

This is the most time-consuming part of the routine (you'll leave this on for around 15 minutes, depending on the brand), but you only have to do it one or two times per week.

I usually do this on a Sunday night, after the kids are in bed as a way to really unwind. Since I am new to this, I started with these because it was so inexpensive. And I have to say, I am loving Missha's super aqua snail hydro-gel mask. It has snail extract, but it's not as gross as it sounds. It works hard to fight redness, dark and dull skin.It also wards off dryness which is great when the weather is super drying.

Pro-tip: DO NOT go into your kid's room, in the dark, with this mask on your face, unless you are ready to share your bed with a terrified toddler for the night.

$4.20

Step 8: Eye cream (Edible beauty gold rush eye balm)

Edible beauty gold rush eye balm

Next, you'll care for the delicate skin around your eyes. When you apply eye cream, always pat it on gently with your ring finger—never rub—in an effort to be as gentle as possible. This eye cream is a favorite because it hydrates and fights fine lines that are trying very hard to creep onto my face.

$65

Step 9: Moisturizer (Algenist regenerative anti-aging moisturizer)

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Moisturizer

The next step is applying a moisturizer to lock in the products and keep skin hydrated all day. Algenist regenerative anti-aging moisturizer is substantial enough to really hydrate my skin, but doesn't leave it greasy. I also love that the alguronic acid, combined with vitamin C helps smooth my overall skin texture.

$94.00

Step 10: Sunscreen (Bare Republic mineral SPF 70 face sunscreen lotion)

Mineral SPF 70 face sunscreen lotion

Last, but absolutely positively not least, is sunscreen. Applying sunscreen to your face every day is the number one way to prevent signs of aging (and of course, keep your skin healthy). In an effort to reduce steps, I started using this product and the sheer finish is enriched with antioxidant-rich hydrators that doesn't look chalky. I have been raving about it ever since.

$14.99

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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The world feels so heavy right now.

Moments throughout the day I feel like there's an elephant sitting on my chest. Pushing down, into my heart, breaking it piece by piece.

Like there's a water fountain behind my eyes. Forcing water out of my face in the form of tears rolling down my cheeks.

Like there's a ticker in my mind wondering when the next freak out will come. Counting down the seconds to panic...

What will be next?

This weekend, I was scrolling through social media when I saw my sister tagged me in a Tiger King meme that made me laugh so hard I nearly peed myself.

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And then I laughed some more. Thinking of how ridiculous that show is and how ridiculous life feels right now. Like how my 2-year-old keeps running around without her diaper on and how Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Airheads have basically become a food group for me at this point.

Because there are no rules anymore. There's very little structure. Routine? Yeahhh, that's pretty much gone, too.

And I need to laugh about that.

Because if I don't laugh, I might break.

And I can't break.

So I'm laughing. (Right now, anyway.)

This time of the coronavirus will remind me of a lot of sadness—sadness I don't even want to get into right now. But it will also remind me of happy things and silly things. Ridiculous things and outrageous things.

Like, it will remind me not only of Tiger King and eating more candy than I did that really successful Halloween in sixth grade, but also of making homemade pasta together as a family while my husband and I snuck pieces of the dough and our children got themselves covered in so much flour they looked like the guy from the movie Powder.

It'll remind me of TikTok and learning the "I'm a Savage" dance in the bathroom at 2 am because I couldn't sleep (true story, because… well, I am in fact a savage).

It'll remind me of diving so hardcore into the Upper East Side world of Gossip Girl because after finishing Tiger King, I needed to be transported to another world that is not the strange new one I am currently living in 24/7.

It'll remind me of, quite possibly my most outrageous online shopping purchase to date—an inflatable hot tub. (Here's to $100—and free shipping!—attempting to buy me a sliver of happiness.)

It'll remind me of rolling my eyes at my husband while I listen to my kindergartener tell her teacher and classmates how she's been "playing with makeup and sleeping a lot" during her Zoom call.

It'll remind me of the stress I felt, then giggled at while scheduling more virtual meetings and appointments for my 4-year-old than I ever have as a work-from-home mom. "Sorry, they can't take your FaceTime at 11 am because of her livestream zoo visit. How's noon for you?"

It'll remind me of commiserating with my cousin all the way in Ireland—about all of the same things because we're basically in the same exact situation as each other no matter the time or professional or lifestyle differences.

It'll remind me of chatting with one of my siblings in the Houseparty app then all of our other siblings descending into the call one by one to just shoot the breeze for the five hundredth time in one day. To talk about nothing, and do nothing—together.

It'll remind me of trying to watch Palm Sunday mass online with our kids while the picture is sideways on the TV because we can't get the iPhone mirroring app to work correctly, two children are half-naked, one child is loudly chomping on Pirates Booty and I'm sipping coffee on the couch in my pajamas.

It'll remind me of my husband's panicked face when my 2-year-old bursts into our "office" (bedroom) chanting "Frozen 2! Frozen 2!" during a team call that he was not muted on.

It'll remind me of tagging each other in and out of our work days like a blurry relay race, shuffling laptops and keyboards every which way, inside and outside, in this room then that room, saying, "You good?" before we make coffee to chug and take our turn to get quiet, child-free work done.

It'll remind me of our kindergartener losing her second tooth and rummaging through the house for cash—because we never have any on hand—and celebrating when we finally found a dollar to leave(!), which we then forgot to leave(!), and ultimately had to do some backtracking and CIA level recon to salvage the situation.

It'll remind me of tortilla chips and queso being considered an acceptable lunch for myself. Of my new hobby that is baking bread and then eating the whole loaf. Of friends driving by with signs, saying hi from the road. Of YouTube art videos for kids being considered "art class." Of the constant wonder how we can still be generating laundry when we all seem to be wearing the same exact clothes every day like we're Doug Funny.

Of weirdness. Of sadness. Of togetherness. Of happiness. Of wild worry and love and insanity, all rolled into one.

Of a strange time in history that we'll tell our grandchildren about.

The tough time in our lives where—a convict who really loved tigers, a boatload of candy (and, okay, other groceries, too) delivered by the great and essential postal and delivery workers, choreographed dance videos on an app called TikTok, funny memes of the cluster that is working from home/caring for children/homeschooling/cooking/cleaning, and healthcare worker superheroes—got us through.

Because we will get through this. And a little laughter will help. 💓

Life
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