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What went viral this week: A mom's pre-birth selfie, a selfless dad + a helpful coronavirus comic

In a week filled with anxiety-inducing news about the spread of coronavirus, it's important to step away from the hard-hitting headlines for a bit and take a little time for some self-care. If you all do with that time is scroll through some feel-good stories from around the web—trust us, it'll still be worth it to clear your mind a bit.

Amazing and inspiring things are going on every day, from families expanding to moms sharing their hard-earned wisdom to lift up other moms and families, and they're all worth celebrating.

These are the stories that made us smile this week:

This awesome single dad went viral for adopting teen boy left at hospital 😭

A 13-year-old boy has found his forever home, thanks to a big-hearted foster dad. Good Morning America shared the story of Tony Mutabazi and his new dad Peter Mutabazi.

GMA says Tony had been in the foster care system since the age of two. Heartbreakingly, when he was just 11 years old, the family he was staying with at the time abandoned him at a hospital. Around that time, Peter got a call asking if he could take in Tony—an arrangement that was only supposed to last for a couple of days.

But when Peter heard what the boy had been through, the plan immediately changed. "By that time, I was crying. I thought, 'Who would do that?'" Mutabazi told GMA. "Once I knew the parents' rights were signed off and he had nowhere to go, I [knew] I had to take him."

Another big factor in that decision? Peter had once been a 10-year-old runaway in his native Uganda, and he knew what it was like to be in desperate need of a loving home. "For what someone did for me I wanted to do something for someone else," he told GMA.

The world definitely needs more Peters. Peter, you are total #dadgoals.

Quadruplet mom's before-and-after pregnancy photos go viral 

A New Jersey mom is going viral after sharing amazing pictures of her pregnancy journey, showcasing her quadruplet-filled belly side by side with her four little bundles of joy.

Lindsay Hay told TODAY Parents that the path to becoming a mom of five was a hard one, as she went through multiple miscarriages before getting pregnant with her quadruplets. Even then, her doctors urged her to consider a selective pregnancy reduction—which she refused.

She was able to carry the babies to 30 weeks and 4 days, and snapped the picture on the left capturing the size of her belly at that point. On the right, the babies at 30 weeks and 4 days old. Amazing how much things can change in about seven months, isn't it?

Hay says quads Caiden, Madison, Lucas and Grayson have all been thriving at home after their initial 45-day NICU stay. And it may surprise you to hear that Hay says parenting multiples isn't as chaotic as it's often portrayed. "We have our moments, but it's not as hard as people think it is," she told TODAY. "I don't stop, I'm always moving and I'm not sleeping the greatest, but TV makes it look so much more dramatic than it really is."

Artist's viral illustrations + comic explains coronavirus to kids

An artist just made explaining the coronavirus to children so much easier for parents. "Exploring the New Coronavirus, a Comic Just for Kids" is by Malaka Gharib, and parents can print it for free here.

The colorful booklet was created for NPR and is filled with adorable illustrations that explain the virus with age-appropriate facts and info that should soothe kids who are feeling fearful, and it's also based on info from health experts.

It explains that most cases of the virus among kids so far have been mild, with a super cute cartoon likening it to mild and spicy salsa to help little ones understand. It also reassures young readers that doctors and hospitals are closely tracking the virus, so even if someone they know comes down with it, there's a good chance they'll recover just fine.

Another adorable illustration walks kids through the step by step process of proper hand washing—one of the best possible protections from the virus. Perhaps most important of all, it reminds kids that if they're feeling confused or scared, they should never be afraid to talk to a trusted adult.

Mom's viral swimsuit picture is a celebration of post-baby bodies 

There might be a chance you've mourned the loss of your "pre-baby body" at some point, or have heard your mom friends do so. But mom Ashlie Molstad perfectly calls out the futility of doing so in her powerful post. She shared a snap of a new swimsuit she ordered online along with a picture of that same suit worn by a model. Molstad said at first she was disappointed by the way she looked in the one-piece and couldn't help but compare herself to the model.

But then she had a powerful realization.

"After you've had a kid, there is NO SUCH THING as a pre baby body," she wrote. "The body you have postpartum is post baby. And I don't think any of us would trade in our kiddo for the body we had before them, right?"

It's all about perspective, and Molstad's could be eye-opening for lots of moms. Instead of focusing on pounds and inches, Molstad wants more moms to start focusing on living. "Bodies change as we LIVE. And isn't that the miraculous thing about them?! The fact that we can grow, adapt, stretch, change.... in quite the same way WE do as we move through life? Who the hell wants to stay the same forever anyway?! Not me."

And for the record—we think Molstad looks amazing in the suit.

Teen goes viral as video captures a celebration of freedom from cancer 

A moment of triumph for an Ohio teen—19-year-old Matt Driscoll got to ring the bell at Akron Children's Hospital, and the sound just might give you goosebumps once you know what it signifies. The ringing of the bell ritual means that after three incredibly difficult years, Driscoll is now cancer-free.

He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when he was just a sophomore in high school, and went through round upon round of chemotherapy to get to where he is now.

The teen told Good Morning America that he was flashing back to all the trying moments he'd experienced in his cancer fight as he rang the bell. "To finally been done with it was overwhelming... that was, without a doubt, the happiest day of my life," he said.

14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall 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 outside-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.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden 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

Detective set

Plan Toys detective 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

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

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

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

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Micuna: Innovative and stylish baby gear that grows with them

Since 1973, Micuna has been perfecting the art of sustainably handcrafted baby furniture. Made from wood sourced from the north of Spain and Germany and manufactured in sustainable certified sawmill companies only, their modern and minimalist high chairs are perfect for families who don't want to sacrifice their aesthetic for function. What's more, they hold themselves to the strictest of European and American safety standards, resulting in only the best for parents and their littles.

Habbi Habbi: The easiest way to expose kids to a different language

Created by two best friends as an expression of their effort to be intentional parents, Habbi Habbi Reading Wand & Bilingual Books are the easiest way to start your kids bilingual learning without the screen. Their innovative and engaging play-based tool brings language to life through a tech-enabled wand and "tappable" books that give kids instant feedback, from vocabulary and phrases to musical tunes. The content is as intentional as the books are beautiful highlighting topics like emotions, female role models and diversity.

Countdown to Mama: 14 mama-tested, mama-approved presents to get excited about a new baby

Founded by a mama who came up the idea at the end of her own uncomfortable pregnancy, Countdown to Mama is the only advent calendar-style mama-to-be gift box out there. With a range of "niceties to necessities," she made it her mission to curate a collection of mama-loved products that thoughtfully usher her through the biggest transformation of her life.

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

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100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

From Adelia to Ziggy.

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


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