Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Angry Birds Movie and Birds In Flight Show with KidzVuz

A couple weekends ago, the boys and I were invited to check out an advanced screening of The Angry Birds Movie and, as a long-time tried-and-true Angry Birds fan, Aiden couldn't be more excited. (I was just happy to see anything where Maya Rudolph does a voice-over because I think she's hilarious!)

In which excitement abounds. (Christmas. Circa 2012.)
Totally in his element. (Christmas. Circa 2012.)
Hosted by the awesome ladies of KidzVuz, the event not only entailed an advanced screening of The Angry Birds Movie, but also a trip to The Bronx Zoo for VIP seating of their Birds in Flight show.

That was equally as dope.

But first, the movie.

It's really a good film!

You know how sometimes there are kid movies that are kinda sorta really painful to watch as an adult? Well, this wasn't that. It was heartwarming and funny explores themes like working together, never giving up, and showing courage in the face of fear.

Beyond that, the movie was really funny. And not just "kid funny". There were puns and sarcasm and jokes that I'm pretty sure the kiddos in there didn't "get". But I got them. And I laughed. A lot.

After the movie, we headed up to the Bronx Zoo with other fellow NYC bloggers and their families. Aiden thought his day was made when he got to see The Angry Birds Movie, but then he got his whole entire life at the Birds in Flight Show.

You see, his class has been studying birds for the past couple of months and he's literally become obsessed with all things birds. Not only does he carry his binoculars everywhere "just in case" we go bird-watching, but he's become an expert on the fastest bird, slowest bird, the strongest bird, the most-friendly bird... okay, I made that up. But, still. You get my point.

And plus, I'm no expert on birds. But from what Aiden told me, there were Condors, Parakeets, Hawks, and Turkey Vultures. The birds were all showing off their natural flight behaviors and the presenter was showing off by teaching us all about their conservation needs.

The show will run on weekends from now through June 26th at the Bronx Zoo's Astor Court. If you've got a bird lover on your hands, definitely check it out. It's interactive, educational, and fun. And... you'll get major props from your bird lover!

August weighs almost as much as Aiden. #TheStruggle
Thanks so much to KidzVuz and Sony Pictures for hosting such a wonderful event. Aiden loved it, August loved hugging up on Nancy, and I loved having a family-friendly Saturday afternoon. Score!

{Disclaimer: I was invited to this event as media. Media attendees received a gift bag as well as transportation vouchers. All opinions expressed herein are my own.}

Thursday, May 19, 2016

New York Baby Show Favorite Picks

It's been a busy month here in NYC dealing with all things baby and baby gear. And I've been on a serious grind to chat with brand reps and find gear that's a perfect fit for Baby August, my NYC apartment, and most importantly, my lifestyle.

That's why I was looking forward to hitting up the 2016 New York Baby Show hosted by New York Family Magazine, a publication that I've not only worked with and have been featured in before, but one that I've always turned to for tips and tricks in surviving this motherhood journey.

photo via Momtrends 
The New York Baby Show had over 120 vendors with tables that were ready to let parents and parents-to-be know what's new with their products and brands. It's seriously one-stop shopping, which is pretty awesome. But truth be told: large events like this one almost always overwhelms me. Blame it on my inner introvert.

So I always head into these events with a game plan. I always think about what I'm going for, what goal I want to accomplish, which vendors/brands I want to see, and what do I want to learn. In this case, I had three things on my mind: baby gear, baby food, and something special for mothers.

I wanted to test out lightweight strollers since August will soon reach his half-birthday, be able to sit up, and a sistah could use a lighter stroller to get around NYC. I wanted to check out which organic baby food I could give August for when he is no longer an exclusively breastfeed baby. And I wanted to learn about something special for new mamas.

photo via Momtrends
Oh, and I wanted a place to rest, rejuvenate, and soak in all that I learn. (Again, blame it on my inner introvert.)

The Momtrends Blogger Lounge took care of the rest and relaxation part. It was such a great way for me (and other bloggers) to rest up, eat up (lunch was delish!), and chat-it-up. There were also chair massages and childcare, which is kinda like relaxation times ten. And if you were lucky, then you were able to truly enjoy the lounge experience while your five-month-old cuddled it up with Sherri. Thanks lady!

In no particular order, here are my favorite picks from the three categories that I wanted to check off my list:

photo via UPPAbaby website
Cruz-ing in Puerto Rico
snacking on-the-go... like a true NYer
UPPAbaby G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller 
I already have an UPPAbaby Cruz that I pretty much use everyday. It's comfortable for August, very compact, and runs super smooth. And... I love, love, love it. So I definitely wanted to check out the UPPAbaby G-Luxe Umbrella Stroller and give it a test run.

Just like the Cruz, the G-Luxe has a sun canopy, which is great for when baby wants to rest or for those extra sunshiny days. The stroller also features a 3-position, push button recline, a cup holder, double wheels, an adjustable footrest, and very comfy seat fabrics. It also folds pretty easily and doesn't take up that much space, which is a total win for me and my small NYC apartment. I'm in the market for an umbrella stroller and this baby is definitely a top contender!

Earth's Best Organic 
In just a few short weeks, Baby Delicious will be moving beyond breastmilk. (Side note: why is time moving so quickly?! Make it stop! Make... it... stop!) I'm not even gonna try to pretend like I'll be whipping up homemade organic baby food for him all the time... because I won't. (Such is life. Don't Judge Me.)

But... I am on the hunt to find him delicious food that's made from the very best ingredients, and Earth's Best seems like a really good option. They have a really impressive spread of organic baby food for infants who are ready to expand their palate. The Stage 1 food are single ingredient jars that are finely pureed and specifically designed for babies starting to eat solids.

I also like the infant puree pouches because it's a combo of organic ingredients, including fruit, veggies, and a grain. Of course, I'd offer each of these food separately (and wait three days in order to check for possible food allergies), but once August is ready to combine them, I'm all game!

Image via Noobie Box website
Image via Noobie Box website
Image via Noobie Box website

Noobie Box
This one is for the expectant and new NYC mamas out there -- a specially curated gift box of new-parent essentials and treats. The Noobie Box features high-quality products, valuable coupons, and important health information for first-time moms. And... it arrives right to your doorsteps as a complimentary treat. (Yep... you read that write! The Noobie Box for new and expectant first-time moms is completely free!)

And once you're hooked (because you will be), you can order subsequent boxes on their website.

Baby gear, baby food, and something special for us mamas? Mission accomplished! Thanks so much to New York Family for hosting such a great event and thank so much to Momtrends for the awesome Blogger Lounge!

{Disclaimer: I received complimentary tickets to this event as media. All opinions expressed herein are my own. Thank you for supporting Mommy Delicious.}

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Big City Moms 35th Biggest Baby Shower Fab Four Picks

I haven't been to a baby-related media event in, like, forever! Once I stopped using the lightweight stroller for Aiden (because his on-the-go mid-day naps became nonexistent), I figured we were out of the baby stage. And I've been declining offers to attend baby-related events ever since.

Until now.

photo via BCM website
With Baby August five-months-old, growing, blossoming, and interacting with his environment, I need to know what's what in the baby care department. And, since I've been out of the loop for the past four years or so, I need to play "catch up" in the baby gear department.

photo via BCM website
That's why I was excited to attend The Biggest Baby Shower hosted by Big City Moms. Not only was it a chance to chat with some of my NYC Blogger pals (hey Kristin!), but it was also a great way for me to see the latest and greatest in all things baby gear. In no particular order, here are my top faves:

photo via BCM website

Organics Happy Family
Their Clearly Crafted pouches of baby food?! I'm here for it! August will be turning six months soon and it'll be time for him to experience his first taste of solids, and I love the idea of buying baby food in packaging that's transparent. I got a taste of their Apples, Pumpkin, and Carrots, and it was kinda delicious for baby food! #ImJustSaying

As stated on their website, "It's premium organic foods that offers the best possible nutrition for growing babies." Can I get a "yum"?!

Baby Bjorn's High Chair
Okay... so I'm kind of obsessed with this here high chair! It's safe (the high chair makes it harder to stand up or push legs against a table and fall backwards), it has an ergonomic design (the curved backrest helps the little one to sit up and can be adjusted as the babe grows), it can be folded up and takes up minimal space (with a small NYC apartment, need I say more?!), and it's easy to clean (yes, I actually tested it out).

I've got to get my hands on it so August and I can give it a more in-depth review!

photo via BCM website

Baby Zen YoYo Stroller
A lightweight stroller that literally folds up into the size of a diaper bag?! Three words: Sign. Me. Up! Not only does it offer convenience for parents on-the-go, but it also offers loads of comfort for babies and toddlers. The stroller also offers a sun canopy, a curved handlebar for one-handed steering, and a shoulder strap for shoulder carrying. As August becomes more mobile, I'm going to need a lightweight stroller that folds up nicely and doesn't take up too my space in my small apartment that I can easily manage on the subway, and umm, the YoYo is  definitely a top contender!

By the way, Aiden got to test it out with Baby August in it and they both approve -- it was a very smooth ride!

photo via BCM website

Gift of Gab
Now, y'all know I couldn't do a round-up without including dope apparel for the babies, right?!

In true Mommy Delicious fashion, one of the first tables that the boys and I visited was Gift of Gab. Because, fashion... hello! Their pieces are hand painted and made with gluten-free non-toxic ink. And it's straight up dope. (I said that already. It's that dope!)

But Gift of Gab is more than just first-words apparel. Based in NYC and Long Island, they are a group of speech language pathologists that provides clients with home-based therapeutic treatment or the option of Telespeech from the comfort of their own home. They also provide screenings, evaluations, and consultations. Fashion and child-development... two things that are near and dear to me!

Thanks so much to Big City Moms for hosting the 35th Biggest Baby Shower! It was a huge success and I'm so happy that the boys and I got to check it out! Can't wait for the next one!

{Disclaimer: I received a ticket to this event in order to facilitate this review. Press attendees received a gift bag. All opinions expressed herein are my own.} 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This Is The Part About Parenting That I've Gotten Wrong

I didn't have much growing up.

Scratch that -- I didn't have any of my basic needs met when I needed them to be met. After my we (my mother, my two sisters, and I) got evicted from our apartment, we stayed in different shelters, roamed the streets, and, finally, one of my sisters and I ended up at my maternal grandmother's house, while my oldest sister ended up at a family friends' house.

I was five. And it would be years until we were all reunited.

I hated living with my grandmother. She was physically and emotionally abusive and downright mean. To this day, I'm convinced that she hated the burden of having to take care of me, and treated me like shit because of it.

After a couple years, my sister and I were removed and placed into a foster home. That was, quite literally, hell on Earth.

All the while, my mother continued to battle a drug addiction. And my father, well, he was long gone. (I don't remember if I knew this at the time, but he was serving a very long prison sentence.)

Growing up, I never quite felt like I had any of my basic needs met. I never quite felt like I had any of my emotional needs met. I never quite felt like I was cared for, protected, liked, loved. And I never felt like I was deserving.

All those thoughts and feelings were valid. They still are.

When Aiden was born, I vowed to change the narrative for him.

Aiden has the exact opposite life that I had. No, he doesn't have his other parent around consistently. But he has me. And I try to be as consistent with him as I can be. All of his basic needs are met on a daily basis. He has no idea what it's like to go hungry, to worry about where he's going to sleep at night, to worry about if he'll be safe or protected. That's a good thing. No kid should have to feel like that. Ever.

But beyond that.

Aiden has the exact opposite life that I had. His days after school are filled with a different extracurricular activity from chess to soccer to basketball to Tae Kwon Do. Saturdays are spent in swimming class. Summers are spent at summer camp and weekend trips exploring other cities. He gets to take several trips throughout the year -- both domestic and international. He gets to experience NYC and all the kid-friendly cultural things this city has to offer. He gets to go to dope media events because I have this blog. At home, he has an iPad and a Nintendo DS that he loves to play with. His toy bins are filled to the max with legos and costumes and cars and balls. So much so that they're practically overflowing. His library is so filled with so many books that I have to keep some in the closet and put them out on a rotating basis.

He has a good life.

We're not rich, but I make sure that he has a good life. I make sure that he feels cared for, protected, liked, loved... deserving.

And herein lies the issue.

He feels so deserving that he has a sense of entitlement when it comes to a lot of things. He feels like he's entitled to take vacations, like he's entitled to have extracurricular activities, like he's entitled to go to basketball clinic, like he's entitled to toys and gadgets and technology.

And this is the part about parenting that I've gotten wrong.

It's been a hard year for him -- I've been very transparent about that. But the village and I put some plans in place for him and he's gotten a lot better. Thank you Jesus!

But, over the past two weeks, he's been in this downward spiral. (To say that I'm beyond frustrated is an understatement.)

It all started when he took on of his friend's Pokemon cards without asking. And then refused to give it back when his teacher asked him to return it. (I feel my blood pressure rising all over again just from typing this.) Of course he knows what stealing is and that stealing is wrong, but here's the thing: he took the card because he wanted it, because he felt entitled to have it.

Of course, we had a conversation about stealing and what happens when people commit crimes. And y'all know I gave it to him straight -- no chaser -- right? And then I took all of his 200+ Pokemon cards away from him. (I have plans to give them away to other kids.)

But that's not what's really bothering me. Kids make mistakes. Kids do things that they aren't supposed to do and we're here to help them with it -- it's called "Life".

The part that's bothering me is that I've helped in creating this sense of entitlement. I've been so caught up in making sure that his life is better than the one I had growing up that I've forgotten to let him know that he does not deserve anything "extra" -- he has to work for it!

This is the part about parenting that I've gotten wrong.

And so now I need to get it right. I need to teach him that the world doesn't owe him anything, that he doesn't deserve anything beyond his basic needs being met, that he's not the center of the universe and there are other people around him with thoughts and feelings and needs. Now I need to teach him that his words and actions have an effect on other people.

Because what the world does not need more of is a self-centered, grown man who can't do anything for himself, but still feels like he's owed the world.

This is that part about parenting that I will learn how to get right.

Monday, May 9, 2016

August Kingston, 5 Months Old

I say this all the time, and with every passing month, I feel it more and more: in motherhood, the days are long, but the months and years a short. They fly by!

August turned five months over the weekend and we're celebrating a few of his "firsts". Like his first plane ride, his first time in the pool, his first time in ocean water (beach life is the best life!), and his his first time rolling over from his tummy to his back.

While I'm happy that he's exclusively breastfeeding and it's going well, I kinda can't wait till he turns six months so that I won't feel guilty if we end up supplementing with formula. I'd really like to continue breastfeeding till he's a year, but the way my schedule at my job is set up....

Sigh. It kinda sucks for breastfeeding because I don't have the time that I need to pump at work. (Or should I say that I don't take the time that I need.) Luckily, I have a good freezer stash, but, umm, it's kinda dwindling.

I'm trying to slowly replace the baggies that I've already used, but I'm not trying to stress over it because, umm, who needs another stressor in life, right?

August is definitely more alert and more in-tune with his surroundings. He's awake for much longer periods (little dude hates long naps!) and he definitely wants to be an active participant in pretty much everything. Because of this, we have him out and about more. Brunch events, trips to Puerto Rico (more on that in another post), live performances -- it's all fair game!

It's so great to see his little budding personality.

Poolside in Puerto Rico
Bello Mania at The New Victory Theater
chasing waterfalls in PR
August likes:

  • Pulling down his activity mat
  • Loud giggles and belly laughs, especially when Aiden is pretending to fall down
  • Whenever Aiden does something funny 
  • Rolling from one end of the living room to the other -- this kid's got places to go, yo!
  • Kicking his legs and waving his arms in excitement
  • Chewing on everything -- I think he's teething
  • Laughing whenever he sees the branches/leaves on trees blowing in the wind
  • Playing with his feet, which includes putting it in his mouth 
August hates:
  • Unexpected loud noises (blame it on Aiden, not me)
  • The wind blowing in his face (it's totally fine when the wind is blowing trees though)
  • When people don't talk back to him when he's trying to "talk" to you (ask me how I know)

It was clear that it was time to get him a new toy when, one day, I turned around and saw him do this with his activity mat:

I mean, really August?! Really?!
So... behold the Rainforest Jumperoo:

So you just gonna fall asleep in that thing, aren't ya?
Also, don't mind the dirty clothes in the background.
So. Much. Cuteness. 
Thanks for the fly outfit Zutano!
Can I just bottle this stage up forever?! 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Products Galore with New Moms Babbleboxx

I have to admit: there was a time not too long ago when I didn't "get" subscription boxes. Like, I couldn't understand why anyone would want a whole bunch of random samples in a box. But then I ordered a subscription ox full of self-care goodies (thanks Tara!) and I was hooked! It was like everything that I needed to increase my relaxation factor by, like, 100% was delivered right to my doorstep. Literally. 

And then I fell in love.

And now I can't get enough of subscription boxes.

So when I heard about a subscription box specifically for new moms, I was excited to see what it was all about.
products galore!
I mean, one of my biggest struggles ever since I found out that I was getting ready to welcome Baby Delicious into this world was figuring out which products work best. With Aiden and August being eight years apart, I'm just out of the loop on all things baby products. (Related: Products and brands in the baby department have changed. A lot.) And, let's just say I need all the help I can get.

Enter New Moms Babbleboxx.

What I love so much about New Moms Babbleboxx is that it not only contain products for Baby August, but that it also has some pretty awesome things in it for me.

Like the Mustela Maternity Stretch Marks Prevention Cream. The cream is specially formulated to reduce the appearance of stretch marks for new and expecting mothers. It's non-greasy and fast absorbing and -- bonus! -- it didn't rub off on any of my blouses or dresses when I put it on. Score! (Bonus: You can receive 20% off your entire purchase until May 15th using the code MustelaBabbleBox. Double Score!)

Or... like the Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant Clean & Fresh Toothpaste. If you want a toothpaste that'll start whitening immediately and freshen your breath with a surge of cool spearmint, then this toothpaste is the way to go!

Or... like the Fujifilm Instax. It's definitely one of my favorite products in the entire box. I mean, who doesn't want to take more pictures of their adorable baby?! I love that it allows you to photograph all the cuteness and get the pictures immediately with the INSTAX Mini 70. A major plus?! The pictures come out incredibly sharp! A another plus? There's a "selfie mode" that automatically adjusts settings for the perfect mommy and baby selfies.

otherwise known as cuteness wrapped in a Gerber bib
But New Moms Babbleboxx doesn't just cater to new moms. There are goodies for the baby as well.

Like Gerber's Childrenswear. I always say that babies can never have enough onesies. They are literally the perfect garment for layering or for pairing with baby skinny jeans (another obsession of mine). They are available in short sleeve and long sleeve lengths, and the ribbed openings are designed to perfectly fit baby's legs and provide freedom of movement all day long.

Or... like the Boudreaux Butt Paste. Truth be told: I heard so much about this popular diaper rash cream, but was reluctant to try it since I've been in love with another ointment since Aiden was a baby. But after using the butt paste for a few days, I can definitely say that I'm hooked. Not only is it free of parabens, preservatives, dyes and phthalates, but it also provides relief from the very first use. And, whether your little one needs the original formula, maximum strength formula, or all natural formula, it can be used with every diaper change.

Or... Sesame Street Naturals. If you're looking for bubble bath, a gentle cleanser, or a multi-purpose balm, then you must check out these products. They are derived from plant-based ingredients. They also shea butter and aloe for extra moisturizing benefits. It's perfect for August's delicate skin and leaves him fresh and snuggly. Even more so than he already is.

Okay. So you've heard it all. I'm totally feeling the products that arrived in my New Moms Babbleboxx and I'm totally jumping on the subscription box bandwagon.

Even more so than I already have.

{Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Babbleboxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media. Thank you for supporting Mommy Delicious.}


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