I’ve been so excited for May! One, I have a lot to share and two, I wanted this month to be filled with excitement and encouragement. I haven’t been on here for a while but with good reason. I’ll share that later this month.
However, Mother’s Day is almost here ( May 10th) and it won’t be just any regular day. Chances are you’ll be celebrating at home and if it’s your first Mother’s Day, I hope it’s special.
I’ve created a gift guide of some of my favorite mama things and hopefully, you’ll share it with your lover to give him some ideas or maybe send a gift to a friend.
I love everything on here, either I’ve used it or it’s on my ” I want list “.
1. Made By Mary:I love custom jewelry and actually own three of their necklaces.
2. Keurig Machine: I’m not much of a coffee lover, but I know mamas love coffee. I found this cute coffee machine at target and the price seemed okay.
3. Agust & Amber: I own so many earrings from this brand. I just love everything about them and they’re homemade by a mama & daughter.
4. Wine Cup: Every mama needs this cup. Put your wine in there, take a sip and try to make it at home with the wild kids.
5. Fujifilm Cam: I love polaroid cameras! I use them for all special occasions.
6. Comfy Pajamas: Yup! We all need them! But this pair is my favorite! Plus it comes with a silk eye mask!
7. ￼Slippers: these should be officially fashionable mom slippers! How cute are they!
8. Beauty Kit : I saw this kit on the Target website and I just knew I needed to get it! I love that it has a mini facial roller. Plus, it’s $7.59!
9. Art Piece : I love decorating my home with prints! And this artist has a lot of heat on his website! Make sure to follow Art by Dario
10. Mug: You can never go wrong with getting a mom a mug. I personally love them.
11. Hair Dryer: This is one of my favorites! I use it all the time and get my hair straightened in less than 20mins. That’s probably including the number of times I have to keep my toddler out of the room. lol
12. Plant: I recently made my first plant purchase and I can’t tell you how excited I am. This shop has so many beauties and you can get them delivered to your home!
13. Book: Good Moms: this book is truly a gift for any mom. It’s filled with encouragement and support. It’s definitely a top choice for me.
14. Glow Mask: This mask just smells so good and my face feels fresh every-time.
As a city mom without a car, I’ve never really cared about a car seat. It’s one of those things that for someone without a car just doesn’t seem necessary. I travel by bus and train with Calvin, it’s our main line of transportation. However, the downside to that sometimes we take an Uber to get somewhere faster. I’ll admit, a car seat isn’t present most of the times and I’m always playing the worst scenarios in my head. What if a car hits this Uber? Or maybe another car cuts him off and he brakes really hard? Will I be fast enough to protect Calvin? The reality is, I won’t be. That’s the problem with not having a car seat. I always ask other moms how they travel with their baby if they don’t own a car or need to take a cab somewhere, they all said the same thing ” sometimes we have a car seat and other times we don’t”. So what car seat do you know is fit for you and which one does your toddler use? What about the safety laws in place for car seats in the city? Well, I did a little research with the help of Chicco and they sent us over one of their best car seats NextFit Zip Max Convertible Car Seat.
My first thought about the Nextfit Zip Max Convertible car seat was, ” wow, it’s super padded and comfy looking”. That’s the first thing I loved about it. I also loved that it’s a convertible car seat, which means you can use it from birth all the way until your toddler is 65 pounds. How amazing is that? Way to save yourself the trouble of buying multiple car seats. The NextFit Zip Max is designed for children between 4-50 pounds in rear-facing mode, 22-65 pounds in forward-facing mode, and up to 49 inches tall. Here are a few other things you should know about it:
25% more legroom* in rear-facing mode and extended calf support in forward-facing mode
9-position ReclineSure leveling system ( IT RECLINES! Which means babies head can always lay flat during sleep)
SuperCinch LATCH tightener
LockSure seat belt locking system
DuoGuard side-impact protection
Dual-density foam padding
Removable, full-body newborn positioner
Zip-and-wash seat pad and breathable 3D AirMesh backrest
9-position easy-adjust headrest
2 dishwasher-safe CupFolders
No-rethread harness w/ one-pull tightener
ComfortFlex waist belt
The car seat was so easy to install during some trips we’ve taken with friends and it was very comfortable for Calvin. As a toddler, he hates sitting down for a long period of time but with the car seat is managed to stay put with the help of some entertainment and sleep. I love how you can position the headrest to fit perfectly between the baby’s head and keep him or her safe in case of a car accident. The features of this car seat allow you to safely place baby in a car and also have some peace of mind. You’ll notice in one of the pictures that the seat has a scale which lets you know whether the seat is properly in place, how cool is that? This is a car seat you definitely want to invest in if you have a car. It’s perfect for any growing baby.
So now to my research on car safety in New York City, “The Empire State, under its NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law, requires children to be in an applicable child restraint system until age 8, specifically:”
Rear-facing car seat – required for children under age 2, unless the child reaches the maximum height and weight requirements of the seat;
Forward-facing car seat – required for children under age 4 and under 40 pounds;
Booster seat – required for children ages 4 to 8 or children under 4 and over 40 pounds;
Vehicle’s seat belt system – for children ages 8 through 16.
Starting in November 2019, the law states that all children under the age of 2 must use a rear-facing car seat. There are 2 types of rear-facing car seats: Infant Seats and Convertible/All-in-One Seats.
According to “Child Passenger Safety for Parents” It is recommended that infants and toddlers ride in a rear-facing seat until they reach the weight or height limit of the seat. Most children will outgrow a rear-facing infant seat before reaching their 2nd birthday. If the child has outgrown an infant seat, it is recommended that a larger, rear-facing Convertible or All-in-One car seat with higher rear-facing height and weight limits be used. These seats should be installed in the rear-facing position until the child reaches the rear-facing weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
Below I’ve shared some safety tips for you to keep in mind and here is a glimpse of Calvin in his new car seat!
Here are some tips I learned:
Tips for Parents/Caregivers:
Be sure your children are properly and safely restrained for every car ride, every time.
Get your car seat(s) inspected at a local fitting station or check event. Bring your child with you so that a certified technician can ensure that the car seat is appropriate and fitted correctly for your child.
Avoid buying used child safety seats. There is no guarantee for safety when purchasing a used car seat at a garage sale, flea market, or thrift store. These seats may be expired, have missing parts, be damaged, or may have been recalled. There is no way of knowing if these seats have been in a crash and if they had received damage that can’t be seen with the naked eye.
Stay focused on the road and your surroundings. Never drive distracted and never use your cell phone or any electronic device while driving. If there is an emergency, safely pull off the road or into a “Texting Zone” before using your device(s).
Drive sober. Never drive impaired by alcohol or drugs and discourage others from doing so.
Fun Fact: Did you know that car seats actually expire!
So make sure to check the expiration date on your car seat.
Hey mamas! As promised, I wanted to give you guys a list of things to do in the city this summer with your kiddos. I’ve found so many cool places you can attend whether through apps or simply attending for a reasonable price.
Children Museum of Manhattan & Brooklyn Children’s Museums
Both of these museums are amazing for kids. They have a water area where kids can play and splash. These museums are great for walking toddlers. They will have a lot of fun touching and running around.
Price: Manhattan – $15 per child and adult ( children under 1 free )
Brooklyn – $11 per child and adult.
Thursday’s and Sunday’s are donation base from 2-6 pm Thur & Sunday’s 4-7pm
Domino Park – Brooklyn NYC
This place is one of the best city parks. The park area is terrific for kids and they even have a water area where the kiddos can splash through. It’s the perfect place for a family outing.
City Tree House – Upper East Side (Use with Kidpass)
I love this place. So many different activities for kids to do and crawlers. Here a few things they have, water sections, treehouse, playroom, Art room, and soft playroom.
The original price for the open play is $30 ( 3 hours ), however, using the @kidpass you get a discount. I’ve shared my link below for you to get $20.
The Art Farm in the City – Upper East Side ( Use with Kidpass)
I discovered this place through the app @kidpassAnd surprise!!, it was one of the funniest and cutest places. The location is for open place and they have small sections for crafts and puzzles. But the best part is their section to pet animals! Yes, animals! Calvin had so much fun petting the rabbits, turtles and all the other creatures there.
Mini-Land Play – Queens, NYC
Price weekdays unlimited play $15
Weekends 2 hours limited $20 ( One Adult + Child)
It’s an 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 of serving parents. They’re clean and even provide a changing area for parents to change their babies.
Bronx Zoo – Bronx NY
Price: Adults: $39.95
Child 3-12: $29.95
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 and for this place… I may have to pay. As much as I would do Wednesdays for FREE, it’s summer and every summer program goes on a Wednesday! I’m not sure what it looks like going there in the summer with a toddler.
The petting zoo area 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 of snacks.
( The food can be a little expensive)
This place is just one ferry away. 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. Around the island, you’ll find a lot of art and projects created by talented artists. You can even have lunch at the vendors located on the island! How great is that! The view is also just amazing, such a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy the summer breeze.
Coney Island – Brooklyn, NY
This spring we took Calvin to Coney Island for the first time. He had a ball sitting on daddy’s shoulders and watching the rides. They have a small section for kid rides. It’s definitely worth taking a trip to the beach and hitting the fair.
Central Park – Manhattan, NY
I love Central Park! There are so many things you can do. Hit the kid’s playground on W 59 street or the great lawn for a picnic. Central Park always has events going on, either movie nights, festivals or activities.
Seaglass Carousel – Manhattan, NY
Who doesn’t love carousels? I’ve been obsessed with visiting this carousel since last year. It’s just too cool! I’ve been told that it’s even more beautiful during later hours. If you enjoy carousel’s and you’re hanging manhattan pass by.
I hope you get to enjoy these places in the city and if you pay them a visit, tag me on Instagram @transparentcitymama. Also, to get discounts on activities to do with your kids in the city use this link https://kidpass.com/join/rramirez1 to download the Kidpass app. You won’t regret.
During Mother’s Day weekend I wrestled with getting ready to go to my mother’s day brunch that my husband had planned for me. I spent two hours going back and forth between my room and closet, and two additional hours trying on clothes in front of the mirror and taking them right off. I could feel my mood beginning to change.
What about my body was affecting the way I was feeling? Why was I letting some baby weight get in the way of a day meant to celebrate me? I was becoming easily irritated, emotionally overwhelmed and the more I changed the more sensitive I became. My husband kept coming into the room wondering what was taking me so long. I don’t remember if he said anything but every time he made a remark about my outfit I felt as though it was negative- and that was enough to set me off and cause me to change.
On top of feeling insecure with my own thoughts, my mother came to visit and I nervously anticipated an insensitive remark from her about my body. She’d probably wonder if I’ve been wearing the underwear she gave me after I gave birth to keep my stomach from bloating or maybe I’ve lost myself in the transition to being a mother.
What I was staring at in the mirror were extra layers around my body that didn’t disappear after giving birth. My face looked more tired than ever, and my breasts are not what they used to be. For some reason, I felt more comfortable in my pregnancy body because I could hide behind the baby belly.
Like who would dare shame a pregnant woman? I could wear whatever I wanted and still feel beautiful. I could walk with confidence because life was growing in me and that ” glow ” that I had because “ I was having a boy” (according to “baby experts”) brought me more attention and compliments then the natural face I tend to wear. Of course, I would feel more beautiful in that skin then the one I’m in now!
The skin I’m in today is unfamiliar, unwanted, and unpretty. The clothes that once fit me feel strange to my body,- did they ever really fit? I can’t remember, I have forgotten what it feels like to wear anything that is fit for me.
As I wrestled with these thoughts, I was reminded of a few words I shared before about my postpartum body. “Nothing about my body is the same and it’s even more beautiful,” these are the words I’ve been lacking in speaking over my thoughts and heart every time I lose it in front of a mirror. Those are my words, the ones that remind me of the changes my life has experienced, and the beauty I hold before me, not only in my son but in the new me. The mother in me.
Has someone told you that you look beautiful lately? If they haven’t, I want to remind you that yes, nothing about your Postpartum body is familiar to you- and it’s even more beautiful now than ever before. Whether you’ve gained weight or lost weight, we’re so inclined to pay attention to the parts of us that we long to have again that we lose sight of the beauty before us. God says you are beautiful before his sight, no matter what sight you see before you. I hope that on days that we feel like crap; when our pants can’t seem to fit, and we feel unattractive that we would remember that we have not lost ourselves by being mothers. We’ve gained so much more than just weight, we’ve gained LIFE.
Thanks, @true&co for reminding me of my own words and building a community for women to embrace their bodies. This company has wonderful undergarments that I own like three of their bras.