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    Motherhood, Pregnancy

    Transforming a Bronx Bedroom into your dream Nursery

    As I prepare to celebrate Calvin’s 3rd birthday this Wednesday, I can’t help but remember what the days looked like leading up to his birth. Our one-bedroom Bronx apartment was a small and mess, we also had celebrated our baby shower days before giving birth. Everything was everywhere! The crib wasn’t built and whatever vision I had in mind for a nursery quickly faded for two reasons, Calvin was seven weeks early and our apartment was way too small to dream big.

    Photographer: https://www.instagram.com/bee.serene/

    This second time around being blessed with a full-term pregnancy and also spending a lot of time at home, I let my heart guide my creativity. If there’s one thing I’ve been fighting off these last few months, it’s been discouragement of any kind.

    After losing one of our best friends, I entered into a place of mourning and I found myself needing an escape. So I began looking for inspiration on nursery’s and a painted sun caught my attention. It warmed my heart and was a sweet reminder of the ray of sunshine our friend Ada was. I haven’t been able to fully connect with our second son and transforming our bedroom gave me a chance to connect with him. The details of this nursery have brought my heart so much joy and hope. I’m sure my son will display it.

    Room Details: Baby moblie, DockaTOT, Babyletto Crib,

    Here is the reveal of our small section nursery. Although we live in a two-bedroom, we wanted the baby to stay with us. So we got some paint and divided a small space of it so it’s just for the baby. I also want to encourage any mama that is a one-bedroom apartment. Please don’t let your bedroom discourage you from being creative with your space. I hear so many stories of mamas feeling guilty over not having a “perfect nursery” or a spare room for their baby, I want you to know your baby doesn’t care about that. You are their first home and nursery.

    Details: Wood Camera, Hamilton Frame, Acrylic Floating Wall 

    I picked out pieces for the baby that I love. I love taking pictures and Hamilton. My favorite song is ” Dear Theodosia”, I dedicated that song to Calvin before he was born. I had my husband print some of the lyrics on these wooden frames from Society.6, I hope to read them to the boys one day.

    Details: New York Banner, Wall Wooden Rack, Acrylic Shelf

    Room Details: Rocking Chair, Diaper Pail,

    Room Detail: Cube Storage, Fawn Design Bag, Curtain’s

    I love everything about this section. I wanted the colors to go with the ones we’re using for Calvin’s big boy room. We’re reusing the crib we got for Calvin, it’s really cute and it’s held on for three years. This time around we will be using cube storage bins to store the baby’s clothes. We wanted to save money and we honestly don’t need much storage for the baby. The most expensive piece we got was the rocking chair. I would never pay what I did for this chair, but it’s so comfy and eventually, we want it for our living room.

    Details: Family Poster, Wood Hanger

    Room Detail: Gathre Changing Pad, Wipes & Diaper Holder, Letter sign, Wood toy, Ikea Drawer, Wooden Shelves

    This other side is our changing area. I just wanted some selves and a poster. I was looking through the society.6 website and I came across this poster of a family of four and bought it right away. I love line art, I actually have a tattoo of Calvin and I, in this style. I’m ready to get another one that represents the bond that I have with this new baby.

    This is our latest sonogram, baby boy has chubby cheeks and he’s weighing already 6lb and 10oz. I can’t wait to squeeze him and see if he looks anything like his dad.

    These are some shots from our family maternity shoot, I love just how well our photographer captured the room and these moments with Calvin. It’s crazy to think that soon my heart will beat in two little bodies. I’m scared but very excited to live life as a mom of two boys.

    I can’t wait to finally take pictures with the baby in his area and enjoy all of him here in our home.

    Mental Health, Motherhood

    Take a Moment Mama

    Between preparing for labor or getting the kids ready to start remote learning/ school, it can feel like each minute of your time is occupied with something else other than just you. The quiet moments that we desire often seem hard to find and the plan you made to catch a breath outside has become the last thing on your list; since it takes almost forever to leave the house with any child.

    However taking a moment looks like for you, just take time to take it. I know it often seems impossible but it’s so necessary. Taking a moment for you doesn’t mean you have to leave the kids behind, you may just consider your self-care time a time where you just hang with the kids, soaking up all of them. 

    So here are a few tips for taking a moment: 

    – Breathe, before you pick up your phone or check off the first task on your to-do list… time a few mins to be in silence. 

    – Plan a time in the day or week where you focus on one thing that brings you joy. 

    -Remember to slow down, what will get done… will get done. 

    – Ask for help, how can someone else help you this week ? 

    – When the kids are in bed and the house is quiet… stop scrolling. Netflix has tons of great shows. 

    – Take a moment to remember just how beautiful and spectacular you are. You kill it everyday without a break.


    Book Recommendation

    If you’re a new mom… nope if you’re a mom I would recommend you get this book. I got it about a year ago and it always encourages and helps me understand some of my thoughts as a mom. Being a mom can feel overwhelming sometimes and it’s okay to say that out loud. I feel like sometimes we feel so much shame for thinking half of the things we think about. During my postpartum, I struggled a lot with feeling joy in being a mom and I was very anxious all the time about something happening to my son. I often wished I would have voiced half of the things I was thinking without feeling like someone would judge me. In this book, you’ll find all those thoughts you hide from other moms but also the ones you feel scared about saying out loud to yourself. Remember you were you before being a mom, think of who you were, and take care of her.

    Motherhood

    My Journey; #worldbreastfeedingweek

            It’s been 4 months now, Calvin has been growing beautifully and gaining weight. He’s exploring more foods and his high chair never fails to be covered in crumbs and tiny fingerprints of leftover avocado. It’s been 4 months since I stopped pumping. My breastfeeding journey wasn’t easy, it’s one of those mother things I wish could have been different for me. But eventually I acknowledged my reality and after 7 months of pumping I transitioned out. I’d like to say that I became more emotional and physically health. But every so often that little lie in my head sneaks up.. ” you should have tried harder”. While Ruben and I were away on vacation we had a moment where we realized we were running out of formula and that was a big issue. We were in a different country and Calvin can’t just take any formula. And as I stood alone in the kitchen area staring at that almost empty can of formula I said to myself, ” if only I was breastfeeding, this would be much easier”. That’s the first time in a while that I felt like a failure, but if I’m honest I feel that way every time Calvin is pulling on my shirt and someone say ” you want boob ? “ or “oh he must be hungry” and I hear those words and dismiss them with a quick ” Yup” and smile. With this week being #worldbreastfeedingweek I’m sure I’m not the only mother watching all those beautiful mamas displaying their proud pictures of themselves feeding their baby! It’s a beautiful sight and one that many probably wish they could have. I’m sure I’m not the only mother struggling to believe that their decision to stop breastfeeding, never breastfeed or not be able to breastfeed makes them feel less of a mother. But my value as a mother or woman is not determined whether I was sucessful at breastfeeding or not. It does not determine my love for my son or whether I am fit to make good choices for him.

    I think very often women (mothers) believe this lie that their journey has to be the same as every mother that meets the “standard” of a good mother, but what really is a ” good” mother ? Or what gives a woman more value than another woman ? I don’t think anything from this world can determine my value as a mother, my value alone comes from Jesus. I am worthy to be a mother because he saw fit that I would be Calvin’s mom. That my decision for not pumping anymore does not determine my love for him. I am a mother of great value and I consider myself to be a great mother because that’s who I believe I am. 

    To the mama struggling this week looking at all the wonderful breastfeeding photos, your journey is just as beautiful as any other mom. Whatever your breastfeeding story is doesn’t define how great of a mother you are or how much you love you kids.

    I shared my journey 4 months ago, every time I need some encouragement I read it. 

    IMG_4192“I’ve been exclusively pumping and supplementing with formula for 7 months now This whole breastfeeding experience has been such a struggle. I remember after giving birth having to pump consistently so that I could bring milk back to Calvin at the NICU. Every drop was celebrated there. While pregnant all I ever heard was how formula shouldn’t be my first option ever. ( never tell any mom this please, it’s often the only option for many women for multiple reasons) The first time the NICU doctor asked me permission to give Calvin formula since my milk wasn’t coming down quick enough I refused it because of all these formula comments, two days later he asked me again hoping for a yes just so they wouldn’t continue pinching Calvin with needles to give him IV and it took that to get me to say yes. I felt shame that I wasn’t producing enough and just kept thinking about other people’s opinions. But my case was different, every baby is different. Then I remember latching Calvin to my boob and crying of the pain, every time I tried I cried. It was until he was two months when he had surgery that the surgeon made me aware that he was tongue tie and that was the reason it’s been so painful. So we clipped his tie and guess what? He wouldn’t latch and my supplies continued to be low. So I bought lactation pills, cookies, teas, oatmeal, pumped non stop and no matter what my milk still what’s enough. Calvin was growing and I wasn’t meeting his milk needs. Honestly, if I didn’t believe in the benefits of Breastmilk and Calvin wouldn’t have been premature, I don’t think I would have tried this hard for this long. So many times I tried to give up, I was emotional and exhausted, I felt like I failed Calvin as a mom. But man, I’ve had one heck of a team cheering me on, my husband, family, C.J’s pediatrician and mommy friends. I am so thankful for them. Calvin is finally eating well and I’m back at my normal routine, which means I can’t spend much time pumping anymore. So this month we are saying goodbye to Mr. Pump and embracing this new way of feeding. “
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    To the new mama struggling with breastfeeding, you are a supermama no matter how you feed your baby. 

    love, 

    Transparent city mama

    Reviews

    Traveling with a Baby

    IMG_1005This past week our family took a trip to Punta Cana, DR. It was our first family trip with Calvin and I was a bit nervous about bringing a baby on a plane. I think as a parent you start imagining all the things that can go wrong, I mean who really wants to be on a quiet plane and have their baby screaming and crying? No one. lol, So my first tip is, book an early flight. Most babies take naps early in the morning and the hope is that the motion of the plane would make them sleepy. When booking your flight I would suggest getting a seat near the aisle, it gives you easy access to the bathroom just in case the baby needs a diaper change. During check-in time you should also note that you are allowed a carry on and a diaper bag. If you decide to take your stroller on your trip, your stroller is to be checked in but you will not be charged. We checked in one luggage and our Grand DockAtot ( We did have to pay for this because it’s a sleeper and big.) If you own the Deluxe size, you can just take it as carry on.

       So how should you carry baby on a flight? One of my mommy friend’s suggested I use my Ergobaby carrier, it’s more comfortable and better support and you want to get rid of as much baggage as possible. I packed our stroller, my Wildbird sling, and the Ergobaby just for different options to carry Calvin around.

       Our flight was at 7:45am, as soon as the plane took off Calvin went right to sleep. He goes to sleep pretty fast with any motion, his reaction was funny. It looked like he got scared and pulled close to my chest and forced himself to sleep! Ruben and I were dying laughing. Here are a few things I thought were a must for the flight.

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    Blanket ( #target ), Paci ( #wubbaNub ), Noise blocker headphones ( #Banz ), Security Blanket. 

    A blanket can be useful because of the temperature on the plane, I didn’t dress Calvin in a long sleeve onesie since our flight would be short and our destination was hot, so I figured a blanket was needed. I brought along his favorite comfort blanket and his WubbaNub. (He loves it! I’ve tried so many pacifiers and he won’t take none. ) The Banz noise blocked headphones, I love them but Calvin hates them. lol, I love them because they do block out noises and help babies sleep in loud places. Calvin would keep them on when he was much smaller, now, not so much. If you do have a smaller baby I would suggest investing in a pair. I took Calvin to a concert with these headphones and they were everything.

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    Skip Hop ( changer), Wipes ( Pampers) , Aveeno ( Sunscreen), Babyganics ( teething pods), Boon ( Health and Grooming Kit), Mustela ( Eczema Lotion) 

    For basic baby care products, I packed all of these. I really love the Skip Hop changer bag, we got it for our baby shower. It comes with pockets to store wipes, diapers, and baby bottom cream. The changing pad is also plastic and removable. I love that you can just take it with you without having to carry your diaper bag to the bathroom, especially on a plane.  I packed Tylenol, body and face sunscreen, baby bug spray, lotion, teething pods, our health and grooming bag, diapers and of course clothes. I packed around 8 items of clothes for 5 days.

    IMG_1024
    HappyBaby products can be bought at @Target

    FOOD! / snacks are very important. I tried to pack as much as I could. We brought a can of formula ( which did not end up being enough), and all of our HappyBaby snacks. I really love this company, they’re organic and they have so many different food products. I packed puffs and teether crackers, oatmeal cereal, and pouches. I’m not a fan of store baby food ( just my preference) I’ve been making Calvin’s puree food since he started solids. However, I would have been crazy to take frozen food with me, so I settled for their pouches. I really like that the pouch is clear so I can see what’s inside, they have so many different veggie and fruit combinations and they’re organic. If you looking for a great baby food company, I would recommend Happybaby.

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    Fisherprice ( game control), The first years ( cup stacks) , @Bookroo_love ( book), Fisherprice ( feet piano) 

    TOYS! Pack all of babies favorites. It’s like bringing a piece of home with them. These made our trip easier because we could entertain Calvin when we were at the beach/ pool or eating out. He loved playing at the beach with his cup stacks, we have so much fun putting them on his head. He giggles all the time trying to figure out what’s on his head.

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    Swinways ( Baby float) Amazon ( Gate Bag)

    These two items I would consider necessary, I bought this float for Calvin to protect him from the sun while being in the pool and also for his own safety. If you’re going on vacation and you will be going to the pool, you can always ask the hotel if they provide floats for babies/ kids. The gate bag was suggested by our friend, she shared that she experienced damages on her stroller when she checked it at the gate and lost parts of the stroller. I bought this bag on Amazon and it was really great. Our stroller still had some minor damages but it was in one piece.

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    DockATot is heaven sent

    If you didn’t know most hotels offer cribs for babies. So be sure to ask your hotel if they have cribs. I think choosing a family-friendly hotel is probably a great option for a family vacation. For our trip we brought our DockAtot Grand along, Calvin loves sleeping in it and its super comfy. Although our hotel provides a crib for us, he ended up sleeping with us in his DockAtot. The bed was actually big enough for us three for the first time. ha! The DockATot is a baby product that I love and if you’re traveling with a small baby I think it’s worth investing in especially if you are co-sleeping. It’s safe, comfortable and you can take it with you anywhere. I would also suggest getting a travel bag for it, I wish would have had one for this trip to avoid the headache of it getting damaged at check-in.  I’m so thankful they sent us over a travel bag for our next trip! Thanks, DockATot! ( sponsored) 

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    I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these tips and that your first trip with a baby is wonderful! If you have more tips, please be sure to leave a comment below and subscribe to my blog if you want to follow my journey!

    love,

    Transparent city mama.