Motherhood and Calling

      I’ve always struggled with understanding my purpose in life. For a very long time I felt without meaning until I met Jesus. The questions I had about life soon began to have answers and the big question of “What do I do with my life?” became clearer. Over the few years that I’ve been walking with Jesus, I have grown to love things that honestly, I didn’t care to much about before Him. When I began to understand the Christian faith and how it would change every area of my life, the word “Calling” was mentioned a lot. That word was just as confusing as the word “purpose”. If I don’t know what I’m called to do in life than what am I doing with my life? (my inner voice constantly asking this question) I still ask myself this question sometimes when I’m filled with doubt.  But over the years I’ve learned that as believer I have one call, to love God with all my heart, soul and mind, to serve him for all my days and to tell others the good news of Jesus. However, God gives us gifts and affections for things that lead us to either invest our time in or he uses them for different seasons in our life.

      I can’t recall the day I knew I wanted to work and serve young girls. I think that desire and vision grew over time. It grew from my own experiences as a young girl but also from interreacting with younger women. I’d like to say that God has allowed me to speak into the lives of women of whom some I’ve known for a season, others I’ve known for a while and some I just met for a moment. Each one of them were always drawn to me and every time I had a moment with them I felt so much joy. I enjoy hearing women share their stories and encouraging them. I enjoy it enough that it inspires me and makes me feel like finally I found my “calling”.

      I have two things that inspire me, my job and my son Calvin. This week I shared with someone why I’m not a stay at home mom, trust me I’ve thought about it. I went part time at work last year after having Calvin and I tried to budget however I could to be able to stay at home. But I didn’t feel that God wanted that for me in this season, he wanted me for something more. I didn’t desire enough to stay home; when I did desire too it came from fear. Fear of someone else caring for Calvin. Financially we also would have not been able to sustain our family and I missed being at work. Sometimes I wonder if maybe God has been keeping me from staying home in order to keep me from making my son an idol or perhaps its only to prepare me for what he has for me in the future. I will never know, but I do acknowledge that he has given me a heart for youth and women. I desire to help them grow, teach them and love them through every experience of life they go through. Most importantly I want them to know about God, the God that saved me of my own self.

    It’s been hard finding a balance between being a mom and my calling. I spend a lot of time at a high school working with youth and often that can be overwhelming. I find      myself a lot of times being too exhausted to even have the energy to play with Calvin. Weeks like these really make me ask God whether it’s worth being away from my him. But then I have weeks that are amazing, and I have a break through with a student or they ask me a question about God, that’s when I remember why I want to do this, whether it’s for a season or a life time. As a mom I fear that ministry would keep me away from Calvin and that he would resent me for it. Our family is all about ministry, (I did marry the guy that wants to be a Pastor. Ha!)

       My hope is to invite Calvin into what I love to do, and I have. I bring him Around my students, I’ve brought him to the times I’ve led devotionals for young girls and the girls I invest in get to spend time with him. That’s where I think I find balance, when both of the things that inspire me collide. I have the oppurtunity to disciple young people and also the responsibility to care for my son and his soul. Both equally important but I don’t believe I should neglect my responsibilities with my son and family over my calling. They are my first ministry, what good would it be to spend all my time working with youth and helping them grow, if my home is not growing?

       I pray that my time away from Calvin isn’t in vain, I hope that this season would be a time of growth for myself as a mom and a follower of Jesus. Nothing about your calling is easy, it’s sacrificial and takes time that often we don’t want to give up. Trust me, I would often much rather be with Calvin than at work, but this is the season God has called me too. I want to be able to use everything I do to honor him and to encourage others, it’s one of the reasons I started blogging. This season has brought me so much joy but also hard circumstance, praise God that he is faithful enough to walk us through them.

     My encouragement to you, whatever season God has called you too right now embrace it. You are in it for a reason, it serves a purpose whether you see it or not. Nothing about your calling right now should make you feel like you should be doing more. It’s about what are you doing with where you are right now?  If you’re a stay at home mom, you are doing something impactful and investing in your home and children. If you’re a working mom, you’re providing for your family while managing to serve and love them. If you’re a blogger, use your platform to honor God and allow your voice to be heard by others. Whatever you’re doing right now, is exactly what you should be doing.

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Smilingtreetoys (Review)

There’s just some baby things you never want to miss out on getting, baby blocks are one of them. There just so adorable and precious, they remind you of childhood. I knew that I wanted wood blocks even more Calvin was a thought. So I was supper excited when @smilingtreetoys ( https://www.instagram.com/smilingtreetoys) sent us over these custom-made blocks for Calvin. Their just so precious. He loves  playing with them and even loves it more when I stack them up so he  can push them down. He loves building stuff. Each block even has a letter of his name, so sweet is that! These blocks are beautifully made and add the perfect touch to any kids room. I uses them as decor for Calvin’s birthday party.

They have so many custom-made pieces for you to choose from, teethers, puzzles, ornaments, wood trucks, building blocks and so much more. If your looking for the perfect shop to buy these things, defiantly get them from their company!

I’ll hold these pieces forever.

http://www.smilingtreetoys.com/

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https://smilingtreetoys.com/collections/block-sets/products/personalized-wooden-name-blocks

The Little Homies ( Review)

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Learning our A B C’s with A B to Jay- Z and numbers with 1 2 3 with the Notorious B.I.G. Man, these books are legendary! If you want to introduce your kids to hip hop and rap legends you want to check out @thelittlehomie_ 

As a bronx girl and a lover of music, I was so excited to read these books myself. Everything about them is so much fun. From the hip hop artist to the design of the books, you can’t help but love these them. I love introducing Calvin to new books, especially ones that enjoy. The Little Homies have a few books on their page but ” 1 2 3 with the Notorious B.I.G and ” A B to Jay -Z ” are their top books.

” 1 2 3 with the Notorious B.I.G. is packed full of our most loved Hip Hop, Rap and RnB artists from then and now, with plenty of tongue in cheek references that even the bigs are sure to get a giggle from”

These books definitely should have been part of my baby registry! How did I miss them! So don’t make the mistake I did and put them on your registry! I think you might enjoy them more than the kiddos!

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“If you’re having alphabet problems I feel bad for you son.” – Jay- Z 

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Be sure to follow them on instagram and check out their website https://thelittlehomie.com

The Muddy Puddles Project

Last week I decided that I needed a day to spend with Calvin. Being a full time worker and student has been very overwhelming to say the least. I’m either at work or anxiously at home waiting for him to go to bed so I can start homework. I feel like often I’m too tired to give him the energy he needs from me, he’s crawling, standing, grabbing everything insight and I’m just sitting on the couch trying to catch a breath of air to let go of the emotional load I carry from work often. A few weeks ago I was invited to an event taking place in “The Little Gym” which is located on the Upper West side. They were having an event to celebrate the the launch of Peppa’s Muddy Launch Party. But before I tell you about the party I have to tell you about the charity behind it called “Muddy Puddles Project” 

The Muddy Puddles Project is a celebration of children and childhood, it is the shift towards letting go of the everyday stress and finding the fun in all the messy things.

( Lord knows I needed to hear the story behind this project. I’m always freaking out over messes! Just keeping it real with y’all. )

” It was inspired by Ty Campbell, a little boy who absolutely LOVED Peppa Pig and dreamed of jumping in muddy puddles just like her when his cancer was cured.  The project embodies the act of kids being kids in honor of those who can’t. Ty passed away back in 2012 and he is finally free to jump on muddy puddles and be a kid.

At its core, The Muddy Puddles Project is a vehicle to remind parents to stop sweating the small stuff; but it is also a fundraising platform for the Ty Louis Campbell (TLC) Foundation in support of childhood cancer research.  In 2017, The Muddy Puddles Project became the official charity partner of Peppa Pig, enabling the nonprofit to meet more families, far and wide, and raise awareness for childhood cancer.” ( Taken from their website)

At the event we got to meet Ty’s mother, what a brave woman she is and I admired her courage to start something so amazing that speaks so profoundly to parents. I’m constantly complaining about Calvin’s messes or avoiding putting food in front of him so he won’t through it everywhere. And here I was being told to embrace those messes because the reality is that many children don’t even have the chance to be just kids. I think as a new parent I’m learning about picking my battles wisely. Do I really want to stress over peas being all over the floor? or the fact that Calvin got his shirt dirty? When I get the chance to watch my son be a kid, make messes, laugh, jump, cry and give me a million kisses throughout the day.

This event reminded me why I needed this day with him, yes I love my job and I’m enjoying school but I want to take in every part of Calvin for as long as I can. I don’t want to waste my time with him stressing over things that I can’t control without controlling him. I want him to be a kid for as long as he can and I want to enjoy it.

So if your like me, stop sweating the small things, let your children make a mess. Join them in the mess and enjoy it.

These are a few pictures I took of the day, we also got a really cool gift bag filled with goodies.

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Also about “The Little Gym” 

“The Little Gym is the world’s premier enrichment and physical development center for children ages 4 months through 12 years. Programs offer children a Springboard to Life’s Adventures by using movement-based learning and imaginative play to help build the confidence and skills needed at each stage of childhood.” Be sure to check out their website for more info.

Bookroo (Review)

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@bookroo_love has sent us another box of books and we are loving it. The month of September introduced us to the books “ Skip Hop: My backpack”, “Arf! Buzz! Cluck! A Rather Noisy Alphabet” and ” Peekaboo! On the farm”. Our favorite is “Peekaboo! On the Farm”, Calvin loves playing peekaboo with us. It’s our go to game when we want to keep him entertained. #parenting The animals are hiding their faces and when you open the flap… PEEKABOO! it’s a CHICKEN! ha! I love that each book is filled with colors and very detailed. I enjoyed that two of this months books had surprise flaps, those kinds of books were my favorite growing up because you never knew what you find under it.

 Bookroo is a subscription for kids that helps them fall in love with reading by combining the excitement of opening gifts with discovery of new, treasured books. Bookroo offers three types of boxes, board book (ages 0-3), picture books (ages 2-6) and chapter books (ages 7-10). Every month is a new surprise for books!

Every month you can look forward to a new theme. I truly believe this box is worth the subscription, I hope that Calvin loves reading as much as our family loves book! His book shelves are filled with books and we’re glad some of them come from Bookroo.

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USE THE DISCOUNT CODE : ROSDALY FOR 15% OFF YOUR FIRST BOX 

New favorites delivered monthly!

10 Places you want to visit with children in NYC

Few weeks ago I asked My instagram mamas and friends for suggestions on topics they would like for me to talk about on the blog. I got so many topics to talk about! Of course I needed to start with activities for kids in NYC.

 As a city mama, one of the things I’ve enjoyed most is finding activities to do with Calvin in the city. This summer I spent taking Calvin around the city and researching places that would be perfect for mommy and me or family dates. Before I share with you some activities for kids, you must google “ Mommypoppins”. This website is filled with  so many children activities in the city. I love that they have outings that fit different ages of children. If you’re looking for stuff to do alone with your baby or your family you’ll want check out https://mommypoppins.com. You can find information on events happening all over the city. I was able to enroll Calvin into swimming classes this summer because of this website. So bookmark this website if you haven’t already.

Here are my top ten activities and places to go to with your children.

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  1. The NYC Public Library – NYC   

Price: Free 

Ages: Different classes for all age groups

If you didn’t know, public libraries offer free mommy/daddy and me classes. The classes are about an hour and consist of storytelling, sing along, and play time. This summer Calvin and I attended our first class and we loved it. He got to watch someone read out loud a story with a puppet and enjoy some time interacting with other babies.I really loved being able to meet other moms in the neighborhood. If you’re a stay at home mom and your mornings are free I suggest hitting your nearby public library. You can search the times and locations on https://www.nypl.org.

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  1. Mini Land Play – Queens, NYC

Price weekdays unlimited play $12

Weekends 2 hours limited $15 ( one child + adult)

This place,WOW! I went to many places this summer but this one was my favorite. It’s a indoor playground for babies and toddlers between the ages of  0 -5 years old. The whole place is covered with foam and mats to protect the kids from getting hurt. That’s a plus for me! They have slides, sensory areas, dolphin rides and a ball pit play area. This place does an amazing job serving parents. They’re clean and even provide a changing area for parents to change their babies. This is a MUST GO TO PLACE!

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  1. Pop Art Museums – NYC

              Price: Vary

This summer/ Fall I took Calvin to three pop art exhibits. They were so much fun for all of us. I think pop art exhibits are amazing for children because they get to use their sensory skills, interact with other people, take fun pictures and enjoy some family time.  They have so many colors, objects to see and sounds to hear. Calvin really enjoyed them and he behaved so well at all of them. I got some amazing shots with him that I will treasure forever. So for the Colorfactory is our favorite exhibit by far.

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  1. Ride a Carousel  

 SeaGlass Carousel,  Jane’s Carousel-  Dumbo, NYC

Price: $4 – $5

While taking our family pictures in Dumbo, we got to ride the Jane Carousel for the first time. The view from the carousel is just beautiful, the Brooklyn bridge and skyline make the ride just perfect.  If you’re in Brooklyn during sunset and need something to do, take a ride on the carousel or maybe walk the Brooklyn Bridge. The Seaglass Carousel is also another famous carousel located at Battery Park. 

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  1. Museums – Children’s Museum of Manhattan – NY

Price : Vary

CMOM-  Children and Adults $14

Children under 1 year free.

Museums are such fun places to visit in the city. If you enjoy art and history you want to spend some time visiting the museums located in every borough. Most museums are family friendly but if you’re looking for a specific museum that caters to children, the Children’s Museum of Manhattan is the place you want to go. This place has many exhibitions and it’s perfect for crawling infants, toddlers and older children. If you have a library card you can actually visit any museum for free by signing up through Culture Pass. Use the link below. 

https://culturepassnyc.quipugroup.net/?NYPL

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  1. Governors Island – NYC

The perfect place to take a ferry ride too.  This is my favorite place to go to during the summer. So much history and activities for families to enjoy together. Once you get to the island you can rent a bike and ride around. You can either get a single, double or family bike. Around the island you’ll find a lot of art and projects created by talented artist. You can even have lunch at the vendors located on the island! How great is that!  I love their Columbian spot. Arepas are my favorite. This summer Calvin spent a lot of time at their sprinklers and hanging on the hammock. The view is also just amazing, such a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the summer breeze.

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  1. Bronx Zoo – Bronx, NY

Price: Adults: $36.95

Child 3-12: $26.95

Children 2 & under: free

Wednesdays: Free for everyone – donation base

Growing up in the Bronx and living near the Bronx Zoo was one of my highlights of living in the boogie down Bronx. The Bronx Zoo is the biggest zoo in the city and they always have different exhibits for you to enjoy. I’ve been waiting to take Calvin till he’s able to walk in order for him to enjoy the children’s zoo. This section of the zoo allows children to pet and feed the animals. I’m pretty excited to take him and watch his reaction when he sees the animals. You definitely need a day just for this zoo, you want to take your time and wear comfy shoes and bring a lot snacks. ( The food can be a little expensive)

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  1. Botanical Garden – Bronx, NY

Adults: $28

Students (with valid ID): $25

Children (2–12): $12

Children under 2: Free

“The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum, a major educational institution, and a renowned plant research and conservation organization. Founded in 1891 and now a National Historic Landmark, it is one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens, as well as by the scope and excellence of its multidisciplinary exhibitions and programs.” If you enjoy nature and want to expose your children to different plants and flowers this is a great place to have a family date. I brought Calvin here on a mommy date with other mom friends, we strolled around and had a bite to eat at their cafe. Pretty relaxing outing. 

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  1. Mommy and me Classes – NYC

Mommy and me classes can be found all over the city. As I mentioned before the  “Mommy Poppins” website can help you find classes in your area or around the city. This summer Calvin took swimming classes at 92Y. Ruben and I took turns each week swimming with him. These kinds of classes allow you to bond with your babies and also give you the space to meet other parents. There is something special about doing something with other people who are in the same stage of life as you are, so go make new friends and mingle with other moms.

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10.  Highline – Lower West Side

Ruben and I love the Highline. We had our second date here while we were dating. In honor of Calvin’s 1st birthday we decided to come downtown and spend some time at the Highline. This place is amazing during sunset, the view is beyond beautiful. They have benches and small vendors to buy treats from. A big perk about coming to this area is the Chelsea Market. This place has shops and so many small restaurants to enjoy. We made sure to have lunch and dinner there. My favorite food spot is “ Los Tacos No.1”, this spot has the best tacos hands down! Best believe you will be waiting on a line just to order, they’re that great!  

I hope these places catch your eye and you decide to pay them a visit. Here is a link to other things you can do in the city! https://mommypoppins.com/ny-kids/100-things-to-do-with-your-kids-in-ny-before-they-grow-up

What’s your favorite place to take you kids?

love,

transparentcitymama

Hooray Heroes (Review)

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    oh wubbanub, how much Calvin loves you! If you haven’t heard of this pacifier, it’s a must buy. @wubbanub should be on the top of your list for your baby registry. We’ve had to buy two of them because Calvin uses it so much. I’ve tired buying him other paci’s and even shared about how he flings his pacifier for fun anywhere he goes!, which can be gross especially because he bites all parts of it. Yuck! Anyways, I’ve tired to take away his wubbanub but he won’t take any other paci, deep down I love it for two reason: keeps him calm outside and it’s part of him, it’s his Hobbes. Eventually we will have to put it away and saying goodbye to it will be hard for us then it will be for him I think.

http://www.hoorayheores.com/

@hoorayheroes gave me the opportunity to personalize a book for Calvin and it’s perfect!! They have so many books you can personalize for your kids, who doesn’t love a story about themselves?  I really loved doing this book for him.  On their website you get to customize the book by using traits of your kid and adding them to the character. You can choose their gender, skin color, eye color, and even their hair style. I really loved the fact that he’s gonna see a little brown boy that looks like him in this book. Theres not many of them! It definitely will make saying goodbye to our paci Hobbes easier and sweet!

http://www.hoorayheroes.com/

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These are some of the things that  make this book wonderful:
” For our youngest audience: 
This book’s short and simple story makes it easy for the little ones to understand. Happy reading!” 
” My first ABCs
Toddlers are inquisitive little sponges. While your little one is saying farewell to her binky, they’ll say “Hi!” to the alphabet. ” 

So check out @hoorayheroes 

You can use my code ROSDALY15 for 15% off on all of their books!