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Nintendo Switch is Back But Hurry!

If you’ve wanting to buy a Nintendo Switch, you better act fast. The popular console is back but hurry because they will sell out quick.

Best Buy and Toys R Us have restocked their shelves with the hugely popular gaming system. Amazon also has new stock as well, but you’ll have to be a Prime member.

But inventory is expected to be in short supply. The hybrid game console, which pivots between a big-screen TV and on-the-go portable, features a built-in 6.2-inch screen, a pop-out kickstand and wireless motion controllers.

It’s a hot ticket item, so get in your local Best Buy and Toys R Us stores fast. The new inventory goes on sale on the same day as new game Mario Kart 8 Deluxe launches.

Since the Switch launched on March 3, its sales have exceeded Nintendo’s own expectations. Nintendo reports that it has sold 2.74 million units in its first month compared with the 2 million the game maker predicted, which may explain why finding one has been so tough.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get my hands on a Nintendo NES!

 

 

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5 Reasons Why I Don’t Force My Kids to Share

This post originally appeared on CanadianLiving.com in 2013.

“Can you share your toy?” “Can you please take turns?” How often have you heard these phrases when your children are playing with other kids?

I was at the park the other day when my six-year-old son Daniel brought one of his toys from home to play with – a stuffy superhero that I had just bought for him. He had shared it with another boy but then wanted it back.

Should my son give the boy a longer turn with his toy? Or should he take the toy back, saying it belongs to him?  While one parent may say, “Now share your toy with the little boy,” I would allow my son to take his toy back when he wanted it back.

When is it okay not to share? Here are 5 reasons why your kids don’t always have to share.

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Force My Kids to Share

1. Young kids aren’t wired to understand sharing

We want our children to be polite, caring and kind especially around other kids. But little ones don’t quite understand the concept of sharing at a young age. When they are playing with a toy, they are all-consumed so when you take a toy away suddenly, that toddler is likely not going to be happy about it!

Kids under the age of three feel a strong sense of ownership when it comes to objects; they’re not developed enough to understand empathy. But don’t fret – when kids are three and four, they become aware that sharing is the right thing to do while 7 and 8 year olds will hand over to share without issue.

2. Some things are just too special to share

“I don’t like to share my Lego toys because they are really special to me and all of them were bought by my mom. They took a long time to put together,” my 8-year-old son Anthony tells me.  “But I don’t mind sharing my beach toys if I’m not using them.”

Try prying a teddy bear or a special toy from your child’s arms to share with another child – you’re just asking for a meltdown. One tip is to put away meaningful items before a play date.

“If there is something a child doesn’t want to share, that is fine – but you will save a lot of drama by putting it on Mom’s bed or in the closet for the time the other child is there,” says Dr. Deborah Gilboa, MD of www.AskDoctorG.com, a Family Physician and mom of four who provides practical, straight-forward advice with a twist of humor on her website

5 Reasons Why I Don’t Force My Kids to Share | amotherworld

3. Forcing kids to share isn’t cool

I don’t force my children to share their belongings because I want them to have ownership and responsibility for their belongings. If I’ve gone out somewhere and bring my tablet, laptop or phone with me, does that mean I should share it with another person? Of course not so we shouldn’t expect our children to easily hand over something valuable to another child either.

But I will encourage them and reinforce positive things about kindness in sharing with others – because it’s a nice thing to do, how fun it will be to play with the toy together, etc. You want your kids to share and play nicely with others because they want to, not because they are being forced or shamed to.

4. Setting boundaries with siblings is important

“In our house the rule is – if you love it enough to sleep with it you don’t have to share it the next day,” says Dr. Gilboa.  If your tween or teen has bought something with their own money, they don’t have to share it with their siblings she says.

“If you got it as a gift you should get some time to enjoy it before sharing, but whether or not it is eventually communal property is up to the family,” says Dr. Gilboa.  “We have given our older guys each a cubby – none of the other kids may take anything from there.”

5. Not everything should be shared

Food and snacks shouldn’t be shared and can be especially dangerous if other children have an allergy. At my sons’ school, students are not allowed to share food because of this simple reason.

Also when a child brings a bicycle or scooter to the park, it isn’t safe for other children to ride, especially without a proper helmet. Not to mention the last thing you’d want is to share a case of lice!

What are your thoughts?

 

Why are Fidget Cubes and Spinners so Popular?

My youngest is in Grade 4, in a split class with Grade 3s. He’s always been a super active child, moving non-stop from the moment he wakes up to the time he crashes in bed.

He is so physically active that even when he needs to sit, he is either shaking his leg, or fidgeting with something, or moving his entire body on the chair. It’s tough for him to sit still, especially in a classroom for six hours.

He tends to get restless, which is normal for kids his age! Kids need the space and time to run around and be active. Asking any active child to sit still for longer than an hour is difficult.

So there have been times during class that he has some difficulty keeping focused and still. He often gets distracted by the activity in the classroom, and other kids.

In mid-March, my son’s teacher told him he should get a fidget cube to help him with his fidgeting in class. We looked into it, and purchased a cube and a spinner from Amazon. Within a couple of days, my son was happily focused in class, taking his fidgeting out on these nifty devices.

Fast forward a month later and these fidget gadgets are everywhere! Like any “toy” trend, this one spread like wildfire. Now everyone has them – which is great, BUT… they aren’t a “toy” for some kids.

Some kids NEED to have fidget cubes and fidget spinners in class. Others simply don’t. I worry that the thing that was supposed to prevent distraction in the classroom is going to end up being the cause of it.

Will this new “trend” ruin it for the kids who will actually benefit from these fidget tools?

These fidget cubes and fidget spinners are really helpful for kids who are having trouble concentrating on a task. For some kids, they’ve become a toy rather than a tool for kids like mine, who need them in the classroom.

The fidget cube and fidget spinner have both been helpful in keeping my son focused in the classroom. He describes them as “satisfying” because of the various functions they have. They help him with distraction and he does fidget less in class.

I hope that they aren’t eventually banned from school classrooms because kids who have trouble focusing, and ADHD kids truly need these tools in order to function during the day.

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Pregnant Woman Says Smoking Marijuana Helped Her Nausea

Many pregnant women experience morning sickness, especially during the first few months of pregnancy. Usually, the nausea symptoms pass after the first trimester.

But for other women, morning sickness is a much more serious condition. Hyperemesis is a complication that can happen in some pregnancies where women can’t keep anything down. The constant vomiting can lead to dehydration, putting their health and that of the growing baby, at risk.

Melissa Vaughn, a Boston-area mom of two who had hyperemesis gravidarum, the same severe morning sickness that Kate Middleton experienced.  Melissa’s obstetrician prescribed medications that didn’t end up working.

In an article for Yahoo! Beauty, Vaughn said nothing she had tried had helped with her severe hyperemesis. She was vomiting constantly, losing 12 pounds in seven days.

“I couldn’t keep any food down,” she said. “I couldn’t keep any water down. I was totally incapacitated, in bed, unable to function.”

Vaughn’s husband Nick took 10 days off work to care for Melissa as well as their preschool-aged daughter.

“He was trying to push as many fluids into me as he could, but then I’d throw up,” she says. “I was waifish. My skin started losing its color; my cheeks were sinking in.”

Nick began reading online about the medical benefits of marijuana.

“I talked to my friend’s neighbour, who is a midwife, and she said that [marijuana] was the only thing that got her through her first trimester,” Melissa said.

“So I smoked a little bit of weed. I coughed, and the coughing made me throw up. But after that, the symptoms just disappeared. It was amazing.”

Eventually, Melissa turned to edibles – she baked small amounts of pot into brownies. She said it “saved my pregnancy, basically.”

She isn’t alone in the remedy. In a report published in JAMA in January, researchers at Columbia University found that 3.9 per cent of American women who are pregnant report marijuana use.

What do you think about pregnant women using cannabis as a remedy for morning sickness?

How to Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like macaroni and cheese! Forget buying from the box and learn how to make homemade macaroni and cheese from scratch. It’s very easy, and it’s creamy and cheesy!

If you want a creamier version, you can use cream instead of milk – but for a lighter version, use milk instead.

Here’s my recipe for homemade macaroni and cheese.

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

3 tbsp Butter
1/4 cup Flour
1 Bay leaf
3 cups Milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Dash each of sea salt, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (either old or white old)
2 cups elbow pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 cup bread crumbs

Method:

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Blend in flour and add bay leaf. Cook stirring for 30 seconds. Pour in 1 cup of the milk, whisking until mixture comes to a boil and becomes thick.

Pour in rest of milk in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until comes to a full boil. Reduce heat to low.

Stir in cheese until melted. Remove bay leaf and add mustard, salt and a pinch of cayenne and nutmeg (optional). Keep on low, stirring often.

Meanwhile, cook macaroni in a large pot of boiling water until cooked. Drain. Stir into cheese sauce until well-coated. Spoon into a buttered 2L deep casserole dish.

Melt butter and toss with bread crumbs and sprinkle over top of macaroni.

Bake in preheated oven at 350 F for 20 minutes or until top is slightly brown.

Enjoy!

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love

Looking to make some Easter treats for your kids this year? Here are 20 easy and delicious Easter treats kids will love!

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love

1.  Easter Treats {Kids Can Make}: Bunny Tails from kidsactivitiesblog.com

2. Bunny Butt Pudding Cups Easter Treats from ahelicoptermom.com

3.  Easter Rice Krispie Treats from hungryhappenings.com

4.  Reese’s Easter Bunnies from momontimeout.com20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love Reeses Easter Bunnies

5.  Carrot Grahams Easter Treat For Kids from aboutamom.com

6.  Easter Bunny Treat Bags from simplydesigning.porch.com

7.  Easy Rice Krispies Easter Nests from yummyhealthyeasy.com

8.  Salted Caramel Easter Popcorn from twopeasandtheirpod.com

9.  Kids Party Food: Easy Easter Cookies from spaceshipsandlaserbeams.com

10.  Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bark from abajillianrecipes.com

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bark

11.  Easter Saltine Toffee from twopeasandtheirpod.com

12.  Cocoa Krispies Easter Bunny Treats from hungryhappenings.com

13.  Sheep Easter Cupcakes from cincyshopper.com

14.  Easy Easter Cupcakes from sugarandsoul.co

15. Easter Party Plan And Recipes from courtneyssweets.com

16. Easter Treats: Mini Egg Donuts from itsasparklylife.com

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love Easter Mini Egg Donuts.jpg

17.  Speckled Egg Cupcakes from sweetestmenu.com

18.  Chocolate Birds’ Nests from bakingthegoods.com

19.  Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nest Cookies from chewoutloud.com

20.  Easter Marshmallow Krispy Treats from inspirationkitchen.com

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love

20 Easy and Delicious Easter Treats Kids Will Love

Two-Year-Old Schools Cashier With Her Doll of Choice

Does bribing work when it comes to your kids?

I remember trying everything to encourage my boys to “go potty”, including bribing coaxing them with the promise of a new toy.

Brandi Brenner promised to buy her 2-year-old daughter any present of her choice – the caveat? She’d have to have gone “poop on the potty” for a full month. Then, little Sophia would be treated to a toy during the family’s trip to Target.

Sophia excitedly picked out her “reward” – a doll.

“She kept going back to the doctor doll, because in her mind, she is already a doctor,” Benner said. “She loves giving checkups, and if you come in the house, she’ll tell you that’s the first thing you need.”

Sophia, who will be 3 in July, was so excited by her choice that she wouldn’t let go of her new doll until they reached the register to check out.

When Brandi, hubby Nick, and Sophia got to the register, the cashier asked if Sophia was going to a birthday party.

According to a Facebook post gone viral, the rude cashier continued and pointed to Sophia’s doll, asking if she bought it for a friend.

Nick and I told Sophia that after 1 whole month of going poop on the potty, she could pick out a special prize at…

Posted by Brandi Benner on Friday, March 31, 2017

 

“We both gave her a blank stare. She then pointed to the doll and asked Sophia if she picked her out for a friend. Sophia continued to stare blankly and I let the cashier know that she was a prize for Sophia being fully potty trained.”

“The woman gave me a puzzled look and turned to Sophia and asked, ‘Are you sure this is the doll you want, honey?’

Sophia finally found her voice and said, ‘Yes, please!’

The cashier replied, ‘But she doesn’t look like you. We have lots of other dolls that look more like you.’

“I immediately became angry, but before I could say anything, Sophia responded with, ‘Yes, she does. She’s a doctor like I’m a doctor. And I’m a pretty girl and she’s a pretty girl. See her pretty hair? And see her stethoscope?’

“Thankfully the cashier decided to drop the issue and just answer, ‘Oh, that’s nice.’”

“This experience just confirmed my belief that we aren’t born with the idea that color matters. Skin comes in different colors just like hair and eyes and every shade is beautiful.”

Benner posted an account of their experience Friday to her personal Facebook page and Instagram, where it then went viral. Most of the comments have been supportive messages from other mothers or people with similar experiences.

Research suggests that kids aren’t born with biases about race and gender. Kids of parents who have more diverse friends and live in a multi-racial environment show less racial bias than the children of parents who have less diverse friends and live in a mono-racial environment. This story is proof that racism is taught.

What do you think? The cashier was schooled by a two-year-old!

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like

The weather is getting warmer, and soon enough, we’ll be baring our skin for the latest spring summer fashion trends. Let’s be honest; there are some spring summer fashion trends that aren’t wearable. Here are some spring summer fashion trends we like, and will be wearing!

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like

Statement Sleeves

Off-the-shoulder tops were super trendy last summer, and this year is no different. Off the shoulder, one shoulder, cold shoulder, as well as bell sleeves and sleeve slits are all the rage.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like Sleeves

Backless Shoes

Backless loafers and slides aren’t going anywhere this year. Leave the office heels at home, and slide into a comfy pair of backless loafers or mules. The slip-ons can easily take you from work, to dinner with the family. I loved my ballet flats for the same reason, although I could get behind a pair of mules.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like Block Mules

Frills and ruffles

Everyday blouses are transformed with frills and ruffles transform, adding a touch of romance to an otherwise simple look. A few ruffles and frills add some gorgeous femininity to basics, like sweater sleeves, or skirt hems.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like Frills

Paperbag-Waist Pants

This runway trend is quite easy to pull off, and they’re comfortable. How to wear the baggy fit of the menswear-inspired pant may seem daunting, but the trick is to pair it with a fitted top, especially with a high-waisted variety, and one that shows some skin to balance the wide leg. Also, wear a high heel to add a feminine touch.

Neutral Tones

Black is a popular go-to neutral all winter long. But with spring here, it’s time to break out the lighter tones like khaki, and neutral tones.

Sheer

Add a little flirt to your style with a peek-a-boo sheer top. Layering isn’t for keeping warm, but adding a billowy element. A sheer blouse is a romantic way to show some skin this spring.

Cuffed/Boyfriend Jeans

Move over skinny jeans! The latest denim craze features a looser fit through, the leg and cuffed at the ankle.

If you’re not really into the full thick cuffed jeans trend but want a similar look, some premium denim brands are offering undone hems with darker coloured bottoms, creating a similar effect.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like cuffed jeans

Block Heels

Your feet will thank you! Alongside mules, block heels come in various styles; whether it’s a chunky boot with a summer dress, or heeled sandals, a block heel can dress up any outfit.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like Block Heels

Statement Earrings

The choker dominated for the past couple of years, but 2017 is all about bold statement earrings. I love the look of pulled-back hair, and huge dangling earrings.

Spring Summer Fashion Trends We Like | amotherworld.com

Students Need to Move Around More in Classrooms

“He has a hard time sitting still,” the teacher said, with a tone that I’ll never forget. It was a mix of disapproving, judgmental, and pity.

She was unforgiving, despite the fact that she was referring to my busy-bodied six-year-old. SIX.

“He’s an active little boy,” I replied, defensively. “I think it’s tough for any child that young to be expected to sit for long periods of time.”

She looked at me like I was medicated. Really? Some kids are super active and can’t sit still for more than 20 minutes at a time. No, they don’t have attention problems – they need to move around.

It seemed like common sense to me, but apparently the idea that kids needed time to run around and be physical wasn’t widely accepted – until now. Evidence is finally showing that brief activity breaks during the day helps children learn and be more attentive in class.

A growing number of programs designed to promote movement are being adopted in schools.

A study released in January by Lund University in Sweden shows that students, especially boys, who had daily physical education, did better in school.

“We need to recognize that children are movement-based,” said Brian Gatens, the superintendent of schools in Emerson, N.J. “In schools, we sometimes are pushing against human nature in asking them to sit still and be quiet all the time.”

“We fall into this trap that if kids are at their desks with their heads down and are silent and writing, we think they are learning,” Mr. Gatens added. “But what we have found is that the active time used to energize your brain makes all those still moments better,” or more productive.

2013 report from the Institute of Medicine concluded that children who are more active “show greater attention, have faster cognitive processing speed and perform better on standardized academic tests than children who are less active.”

Exercise helps kids achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, helps build and maintain strong, healthy muscles, bones and joints. But daily physical activity also helps the by stimulating more blood vessels in the brain to support more brain cells. Active kids also do pay more attention in class.

Children and adolescents age 6 and older need at least an hour a day of physical activity.

“Kids aren’t meant to sit still all day and take in information,” said Steve Boyle, one of the co-founders of the National Association of Physical Literacy, which aims to bring movement into schools. “Adults aren’t wired that way either.”

Across Massachusetts, teachers are adding different types of seating in classrooms, replacing many classroom chairs with exercise balls, standing desks, yoga mats, and plastic stools that wobble in all directions. Students seem more attentive, boosting productivity and creative thinking.

My fourth-grader’s teacher recommended my son purchase a “fidget toy”, to help keep his little fingers occupied and moving while completed in-class work. Rather than distracting his classmates, his fingers can manoeuver the small cube’s various mechanisms, helping him self-regulate. Fidget toys help with focus, attention, calming, and active listening.

Do you think classrooms are outdated? Should there be an increase in daily physical activity, and options for various seating in classrooms?

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is Everything

As our hockey season comes to an end, we’ll have more time on our hands. Keeping the boys entertained over March Break was a bit of a challenge, although they managed to stay active playing basketball at our local community centre, and getting together with friends.

We had an opportunity to try out the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 during the latter part of March Break. To say the boys were excited to get their hands on this powerful device is an understatement.

Keyboard or Tablet

The first thing the boys wanted to do with the Surface Pro 4 was watch their favourite YouTubers for new videos. We detached the keyboard so that they could place it on their laps as a tablet – love the versatility!

When it was my turn to use it for replying to emails, and logging into social media, I attached the keyboard. The soft-to-the-touch keyboard clicks easily and firmly into place, transforming the Surface Pro 4 tablet into a laptop in an instant.

The kickstand adjusts to any angle for a comfortable viewing experience in tablet mode or as a laptop, folding neatly out of the way when not needed.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Keyboard or Tablet

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Keyboard or Tablet

Camera and Video

The clear 12.3” PixelSense screen displays crisp text and colourful and razor-sharp images. The high contrast and low glare ensure a stunningly true-to-life viewing experience.

Stereo Dolby® audio speakers provide a premium soundtrack for when I want to listen to music.

I love that I can use the Surface Pro 4 for taking photos and video. The kickstand is like a built-in tripod! As a blogger, I absolutely love that I can use the front and back camera feature. I can use the full HD video with the 5MP front-facing camera, while the 8MP autofocus rear-facing camera takes crystal clear photos and 1080p video.

We tried out the rear-facing camera and the boys had this message:

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Camera and Video

Apps

Not sure where to find everything on the Surface Pro 4? Just ask Cortana! Cortana is your virtual assistant, helping you stay productive and organized throughout the day simply by typing a question or saying “Hey Cortana!”

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Cortana and Apps

Sketchpad and Notes

We also had a fun time drawing on the Sketchpad using the Surface Pen which attaches to the Surface Pro 4 like magnet. We had a blast drawing with the Surface Pen has 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity and an eraser on the other end, so we could colour as lightly or boldly as we wanted with the same effects as pencils, coloured pencils or markers on actual paper.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Sketch Pad

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 Sketch Pad

Powerful but Light

The Surface Pro 4 comes with 6th generation Intel processors; choose from the affordable Core m3 model which is for basic use, Core i5 option for gaming and photo editing to the mix, or the super powerful Core i7 CPU with up to 16GB of RAM. The battery delivers up to nine hours of video playback!

Made of magnesium alloy, the Surface Pro 4 is strong but lightweight. Its innovative design has the power of a laptop with the compact size and light weight of a tablet.

 

SAVE!

Now until March 31, save up to $200 on select Surface devices at microsoftstore.ca! Here are some of the current specials:

  • Save $200 on select Surface devices
  • Save up to $500 on select PCs
  • Save $50 on select Xbox One S consoles, plus get a free game
  • Save 50% on select Fitbit accessories

 

Shop online at microsoftstore.ca you will receive free 24/7 customer support, including online text chat, free standard shipping and free returns on every item, every day.

The Microsoft Store which features an assortment of best-in-class products, including Windows PCs, Surface devices, Xbox One consoles and games, phones and more. The Windows Apps store, within microsoftstore.ca, gives you access to thousands of apps to keep you productive, entertained, or informed.

Check out all of the March Break Deals on microsoftstore.ca!

Microsoft Surface Pro 4 | amotherworld | www.amotherworld.com

Disclosure: I’ve partnered with Microsoft Canada and have received compensation for my participation. As always, the opinions expressed here are my own.