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7 good news stories making us smile this week

There is still so much good in the world, mama.

7 good news stories making us smile this week
LEAP OF DANCE ACADEMY INSTAGRAM

The start of 2020 so far has been nothing short of a whirlwind, and families everywhere are gaining a new perspective on what is important in life: Each other.

Right now the news is an important source of information that can help protect our loved ones, but it can be hard to read too many news stories about the many problems we all face without seeing at least a few that reaffirm people and goodness.

We can honor what we have endured this year and carry hope for the future by recognizing the good things that are happening in a world dominated by "bad news" headlines.

Here are 7 "good news" stories keeping our hearts full this summer:

11-year-old boy gets scholarship after video of him dancing in the rain goes viral

Anthony Mmesoma Madu, an 11-year-old ballet dancer from Nigeria, was just offered a scholarship to one of the most distinguished ballet schools in the world after this video of him dancing in the rain went viral.

"A friend who lives in the UK sent me the video," Cynthia Harvey, the artistic director of the ABT Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School of Dance in New York told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Within a day, I was trying to find him."

Within two days she had tracked him down and offered him a full scholarship to ABT's virtual Young Dancer Summer Workshop, a three-week intensive program, and she also offered his ballet teacher at Leap of Dance Academy in Nigeria a spot in the National Training Curriculum. Leap of Dance Academy doesn't have a dedicated indoor dance spot, so Anthony and his classmates often practice outdoors.

The 11-year-old is pretty pumped about going viral and busting stereotypes.

"When people see ballet they think it is only for girls," he said. "How I want them to see me is when I am dancing, they know that there is a male ballet dancer."

😍

These 3 sisters gave birth on the same day, in the same hospital 

These three sisters truly had a miracle birth as they all had their babies on the same day.

On July 3, sisters Daneesha Haynes, Ariel Williams and Ashley Haynes gave birth to their babies at Ohio Health Mansfield Hospital. Babies Emrie, Adrian and Sincere came into the world in the span of a couple of hours.

As if these women's sisterly connection isn't already strong enough, the sisters had a running joke that whoever gave birth first gets a free meal. Congrats to these three strong mamas who really put family first!

Ryan Reynolds helped reunite this woman with the teddy bear that holds her mom's voice 

As reported by CNN, a teddy bear containing a late mother's voice was recently returned to a daughter in Vancouver.

Mara Soriano, who lost her mother after a battle with cancer in 2019, received the bear as a gift from her mom and was devastated when it was stolen from her U-Haul.

After reaching out on social media for help, the search caught the attention of big names like Ryan Reynolds, TV personality George Stromboulupous, and Kraft Peanut Butter. The trio eventually joined forces to create a $15,000 reward for the return of the bear.

On July 29th, the beat was returned to Soriano without a scratch.

"Every time I look at that bear now it's just a reminder that my mom really is with me always," said Soriano "that she'll always come back to me."

Viral photos from the Black Fatherhood Project show how strong Black fathers really are 

Photographer Naisha Bailey-Johnson is changing the way America sees Black dads and eviscerating damaging stereotypes with her beautiful art.

"I really want people to just view our community in a different way," she said. "I'm protesting the narrative with my artwork."

The collection is called the Black Fatherhood Project, and its purpose is to dismantle the negative stereotypes surrounding Black men—especially those who are fathers.

The Today Show interviewed the photographer, and she shared the importance of imagery through pictures to show the power and positivity in Black fatherhood.

"I just want to spread positivity," she said. "We deserve respect. Let's put that out into the atmosphere."

OB-GYN who delivered this mom also delivered her baby

On July 26th, 2020, Lauren Cortez gave birth to her son Logan with the help of her OB-GYN Dr. Bryan Cox.

Dr. Cox was the same doctor who helped Cortez's mother deliver her over 25 years ago. The spectacular moment was in no way a coincidence, with Cortez saying how she reached out to Cox to be her doctor after hearing the 5-star-reviews from her mother.

"My mom always spoke to me about how caring he was," Cortez told TODAY Parents. "He builds a really strong connection with you where you feel like you're just hanging out with a friend."

After snapping a memorable pic of the new mom and her doctor, the picture blew up on Twitter with over 767,000 likes.

Little girl goes viral after hearing for the first time

On August 2, a young girl could hear for the first time after being deaf since birth.

4-year-old Mavis Malone, who was born deaf as a result of a rare condition, received cochlear implants in August and has now gained her hearing.

ABC News captured the moment that young Mavis could finally hear her mother's voice and her reaction was tears of joy.

The successful surgery was a blessing for Mavis's parents, and now the family can bask in the newfound ability that their daughter has.

This nurse in Beirut comforting 3 babies after explosion is our new hero 

When photojournalist Bilal Jawich showed up at Lebanon's Al Roum hospital in the aftermath of a massive explosion that rocked the city, he found a hero in scrubs, holding three little babies.

She told him she'd been working in the maternity ward when the blast hit. She lost consciousness but when she regained it she just found herself carrying the three babies, like she'd saved them while on auto-pilot.

"I noticed the nurse's calm," Jawich told CNN, adding that there were injured people all around her.

"However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children," the experienced photojournalist explains. "People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task."

The babies and their moms are now recovering in other hospitals.

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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I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.


And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3

$35

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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What you need to know about President Trump's Supreme Court pick

The President has reportedly selected his third SCOTUS nominee.

President Donald Trump has chosen his third pick for the Supreme Court—and he picked a mom.

The New York Times reports President Trump is choosing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee. An official statement is scheduled for Saturday.

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