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!

<a href=”https://shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=1068525&u=1826122&m=66323&urllink=&afftrack=”>Bookroo’s Junior Box</a>

https://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=40&u=1826122&m=47


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!


One year later…#Nicumom

September was #Nicuawareness month and also Calvin’s first birthday. I spent a lot of time reflecting on his birth story. Since it’s been a year, I felt like I could share a few things about my experience as a NICU mom. For a first time mom, I often wish this wouldn’t be my pregnancy story. But it was and it was painful. So here is a bit of my story with Calvin.

   I had a few people ask about whether we had planned to get pregnant and the answer is no, we didn’t. It was a rough season for us in our marriage and getting pregnant was the last thing I thought could occur. But God thought otherwise. Each time we got new pictures of Calvin reality would hit us, we were about to be parents no matter the condition of our marriage and the bigger reality was that God was in control of it all. Watching each sonogram reminded me that God was knitting Calvin in my womb and did not require my help. He just required that I trust him. He had planned this moment even before I was born and He had planned for Calvin to be born for this exact season whether we were ready or not. I’d like to think now that God’s plan was perfect, I had it wrong when I thought that Calvin would be the joy we needed for our marriage because what God was going to teach us was that we needed Him more than ever. Our joy alone could only come from Him and only He could heal what sin had broken.

“Perhaps you were born for such a time as this.” – Esther 4:14

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Part Two

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During my 18 week appointment, I really got to see Calvin’s growth. We got a perfect heartbeat and even got to see a little hand. What was such a beautiful moment quickly got tainted by fear. The sonogram technician finished taking a look at Calvin and said: “ your cervix is a little short, I’m gonna run this by the doctor”. I could feel that that wasn’t good. The doctor shared that my cervix was a lot shorter and I was at high risk of going into preterm labor. I’m not sure I really understood what she meant and I didn’t know what questions to ask. So when I got home I did the one thing I was told not to do ever, I Googled. I started googling what it meant to have a short cervix, reading about moms that had miscarriages later in their pregnancies and some said that their babies were born too early so they had to stay in the NICU for a while. I could feel my heart fill with fears of that being my case. I had this whole thing planned out and right now it wasn’t going according to my plan. I became frustrated and upset. I wasn’t understanding why things weren’t going my way. For six weeks I would have to get checked and be on a treatment to make sure my cervix was growing instead of shortening. Those weeks were the most miserable weeks of my life but I did get to see Calvin every-time, which gave me something to look forward too. At the end of those weeks, the doctor would determine if I would need to get stitched or continue the treatment hoping that I would make it. Eventually, my cervix grew enough and everything seemed clear. I mean she even said it “ if you were to go into early labor, it definitely wouldn’t be because of your cervix”. Welp, at 33 weeks I began having contractions and I was definitely going into labor.

During this time I felt like God was going to allow this pregnancy to play out the way He wanted it too and this is where I couldn’t say that no matter what happens He was still good.

But God is still good no matter how I feel towards Him, my affections for him at the moment don’t change who He really is good.

Part Three

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      At this point we had spent two days in the hospital, I was monitored all day and given shots in order to delay my contractions but nothing was stopping them. Calvin was coming and I was under extreme distress. The doctors really encouraged that I take the epidural in order to be able to have a vaginal birth. The hours before the delivery time were a little crazy, my body was exhausted, I couldn’t eat food and I was connected to so many wires that I could barely move. Right before giving birth, there was only one nurse helping between two delivery rooms and the doctor had only a few mins to deliver Calvin and move on to the next room.

After my water broke and my cervix dilated from 3 cm, 5 cm and quickly to 9 cm, at this point it was time. The doctor put on her gloves and she said “ it’s gonna be okay, you’ll do great. When I say push, you push and hold. Push and hold.” Those 15 minutes felt like hours, the doctor was cheering me on the whole time, my mom was a hot mess and my husband, he was recording, crying and talking a lot. Lol

But then we heard him. We heard his cry for the first time. That’s the moment when you feel like the whole world stops, what was once growing in you was now physically here. Calvin was slimy and dirty, his shiny black hair filled his head and back and everything about him was wrinkly; he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. This was truly love at first sight. I got the chance to hold him and tell him how much he was loved over and over.

Finally, the anticipation was over, he had arrived. We got our first family picture but just as quick as that shot was over, Calvin would be taken away to be cared for at the NICU. That night there was no private room available for Ruben to stay with me. So I stayed alone sharing a room with a mama that had her baby. This would be the loneliest night of my life, still a year later that night leaves a sting.

All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God! Thank him to his face! For his anger is for a moment, but across a lifetime there is only love. The nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter. Psalm 30:5.

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 After a week I was done. I didn’t want to talk to God, I was bitter and honestly, I didn’t want to hear that “ God had a purpose for this” because what I was feeling was abandoned and unloved by Him. I remember Ruben once saying to me “ I know this sucks, it hurts and it feels unfair, but we need to find things to be grateful for so that we can survive this.”.

And there were things to be grateful for:

•Calvin’s condition wasn’t so complicated. He just simply was early.
•We were never, ever alone at the hospital, people stopped by to bring us food and keep us company.
•We were learning to care for Calvin from the nurses who were attending us.
•Our home was not set up for Calvin yet, so this gave us time to prepare for our little boy.

 

We had things to be grateful for and I was not seeing them in midst of our pain. No matter how angry I was with God at that moment, He made sure to remind me that He was near. He is always near to the broken in spirit.

For my amiga Roberta, I thank her being a warrior mom and giving me strength during this season. Her story and her son’s Kayden’s life will always remind me that God listens to our prayers. He knew I needed someone that could say “ I know boo, I know how it feels”. He is a God of miracles. #nicumomstrong.

Part Four

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I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to perfectly describe my experience in the NICU, But if I can sum up the way I felt after being cared for by the wonderful staff who helped us at every step of the way- it would be “hopeful”.Everyone is hopeful that each baby there would eventually be healthy enough to go home. Because the reality is- not every baby that is in the NICU will make it back home.

I can describe the sounds you hear: Tons of monitors going off, babies and parents crying, doctors whispering, families talking. For me, the monitors were what broke the silence of being with Calvin, and scared me the most. You just never know which monitor is going off and even when you’re embracing your newborn baby, you can’t help but worry about what those beeping monitors mean- both for your child, and the other babies. I think if you stay at the NICU long enough, after you leave, it feels like you’ve developed PTSD. Even after coming home, I could still hear them.

I spent two weeks in the NICU traveling back and forth- early morning to past midnight. Some days I just sat in front of Calvin’s incubator weeping, and other days I was given the opportunity to hold him for hours. When I wasn’t with him, I was in a room pumping to get at least one or two ounces of milk. Calvin struggled to eat, which is why he needed a feeding tube. He wouldn’t latch on to my breast, and my milk supply was so low that it wasn’t enough to feed him all day. That was depressing and exhausting.

But out of all those things, the hardest part was going home empty-handed.

That’s what breaks you…

     I think that even a year later it still hurts, but I have hope. So, Nicu mama I’m praying for you. May strength and comfort be upon you. May your baby keep fighting and may you not lose hope, be hopeful. 

Love,

Transparent City Mama


Family Time at The Color factory

Now this, this is a place you won’t ever regret visiting but will regret missing. This weekend we had a family date at one of the most popular pop art exhibits in the city, @colorfactory.

Here’s some info about the exhibit: ( info from their website)

Color Factory is a collaborative interactive exhibit that debuted in San Francisco in August 2017. What was intended as a month-long run unexpectedly flourished as a celebration of color and creativity that lasted for another eight sold-out months.

In August 2018, a whole new palette came to New York City in SoHo’s Hudson Square neighborhood. In 20,000 square feet, we feature brand-new participatory installations of colors we’ve collected around the city— hues that invite curiosity, discovery and play. Some of our favorite artists, creatives, designers, and makers are teaming up with us to tell their unique color stories and engage all of your senses in unexpected ways.

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Ruben and I were amazed at how amazing this exhibit was, it was filled with color, treats, fun rooms to interact with each other and lots of cameras to take pictures together. I think it’s been a while since we went to a place where all three of us enjoyed each other and had fun. This place was super family friendly and allowed Calvin to explore. I love taking him to places that help his sensory development.

These are a few things you should know about this exhibit;

  • The tickets are $38 each… yes, I know it seems like a lot but trust me it was worth every dollar. Also, if you have children age two and under, they’re free.
  • Once your tour beings, you are taken to a room to watch an intro video and then taken to another room to register on an iPad. The reason for this is because you are given a card that will be used in order to store any pictures you take around the exhibit.
  • Which leads me to the MOST amazing part about this exhibit, each room is like a Photo Booth! How dope is that! We loved the fact that all three of us got to take pictures, and Ruben didn’t have to be my camera guy for the day! lol
  • You also get so many treats, like pins, macaroons, ice cream, a visitors gift and a color factory map that tells you about so many art designs around the city.
  • And they have the largest ball pit area in the city!

This is my favorite pop art exhibit by far, so glad we made this a family date. If you’re looking for something to do in the next two weeks do yourself a favor and check out the @colorfactory! You can get tickets till October. 14th.

Here are some of our pictures, enjoy!

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Baby Tush – Eliandalibaby (Review)

    I’m super excited to share with you one of my favorite ( also Calvin’s daycare fave ) baby product! This tush swiper is by @eliandalibaby! They created a diaper cream applicator that fits all diaper cream tubes! How amazing is that!

So why buy a diaper swiper? Well, did you wash your hands before applying diaper cream over your babies booty or after? Or do you have a hard time getting the residue off your fingers ?… this is why! I’m all about products that make my life easy! I’ve been using a tush swiper since Calvin was a baby. It’s easy to use and makes taking care of diaper rashes so much easier. I love that this swiper can go anywhere with you.

This product also prevents cross-contamination from hands, especially with Calvin being at a daycare this is important to me. It’s also easy to use clean, you can wipe it off with a wet towel or sterilize it. They have two different colors, blue and orange. The price is $14.49 on Amazon, which includes the applicator top and the adaptor to fit different diaper creams. This is definitely a baby must have!

So, mommy to be, a tush swiper is a must! Check them out!! @eliandalibaby .

 

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www.bit.ly/tushswiper