Thursday, April 28, 2011

New bed time book(Adults only)

There is a new bed time book that will be coming out later this year and unlike other bed time books this one if only for adults, the title is Go the F**ck to Sleep. Adam Mansbach, the author, wrote it when he was feeling frustrated, exhausted and some way or another inspire while trying to put his 2 year old daughter to bed.
We've been there before trying to get a child to sleep and they insist they need something or "forgot" to do something and find just about any excuse to not go to bed and drive you crazy in the process.
As a parent I know for a fact that I've just wanted to tell my daughter to just go the f**k to sleep so this book is probably going serve as a breath of fresh comical air for parents. Since the book isn't out yet you can pre-order it on Amazon.

Thank you for reading :)
Don't forget my other blog about me trying something new everyday for a year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Extra Curricular Actvities

Extra Curricular activities are an important part of life for parents and children a like.
Extra curricular can be a time for you as a parent to sit back and relax for an hour while your child dances, draws, plays a sport or whatever activity they, and you, choose.

Through this activities children can learn:

  •  how to be part of a team
  •  how to follow directions, 
  • discipline
Some reasons to get your child into something when they are younger are:
  • You can try different things to get their "thing"
  • Help them make other friends outside of school or daycare
  • You can meet parents with similar interest and morals for their child(ren)
  • Places sometimes offer combo classes which is basically a 2 for 1
    • which can save you money and gives you more relaxing time


Putting your child in an extra curricular activity at a young age can also help them in the future. If your child learns from a young age the importance of their activity they maybe less likely to participate in negative and risky behaviors. You could also look at the extra curricular as an investment. Since everything that we do for our children is to better their lives and future paying for an activity now could save you big money in the future in the way of your child earning a scholarship.


YES its true activities cost extra money but are worth it.
Remember if you have money for candy, beer and /or cigarettes give these vices up before you completely rule out activities for your child.
Then you both win will in the long run; you and your child get healthier and your child is having fun!

If activities are truly out of your budget you can:

  • Try to arrange a neighborhood "league"
    • Talk to parents in the neighborhood about getting together and doing this
    • If you are interested in earning an extra income you can try to turn it into a small business for you
  • Take advantage of trail classes
    • a lot of places offer trial classes so take as many as you want!
    • this is especially helpful for families with multiple children
  • Try looking up recreation/ community centers
    • they sometimes offer free activities or have them at a big discounted rate
  • Volunteer
    • try and see if you volunteer if the activity can be discounted or comped for your child.



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Help

Help. One of the things that I am just now willing and still learning to accept and ask for. I'm very hesitant to ask for help because I think it makes me look weak and because some people like to throw things in your face.
I would first like to say that people that really care about you and your future wouldn't bring up help that they have given you.
Secondly, asking for help can make you stronger than you could ever imagine.
As a teen mother I feel that I have to show the world how great of a mother I am and can be. This is what provided my drive for a long time. However, some where down the line I realized: "Who cares what other people think about me, as a mother or at all." The only people I have to please are my child and myself. I say this because so long as I know these two things are taken care of my family will be pleased with me and acknowledge the things I have accomplished.
Being that I am a teen mom I never wanted to ask for help or accept it because I wanted to say I did "it" with no ones help, but then I realized even grown women with degrees and careers ask for help, so why shouldn't I? One thing to remember is that the world will talk about teenage moms and how horrible they are from now until forever. Who cares? Don't let the stares of unbelievably rude comments get you down. Those people don't know you, where you come from and most importantly where you are going.
With out help I wouldn't be living in NYC for free, not having to worry about a job, spending time with the most important person in my life, my daughter, and getting ready to attend one of the best business schools in the country. With out help my daughter would have went with out diapers and food sometimes. When you think about it help is the only way anyone gets to where they want to be in life.
Help is what is going to take your and your child's/ children life to the next level so you don't have to struggle and neither do they.
Life is easier when you open yourself up to help. Help can be asking for money/things, time or a friend to just talk to and let know how you feel. If you're with someone that you trust and even if they are the sole bread winner of the family, ask them for help. Help with watching the kid(s) so you can do something for and/ or by yourself for a while, because being a mom is a tiring job.
You can have someone watch your child while you attend a class or a simple trip to the grocery store.
Help is something we can all give and receive, if you're open to it.
So try it. Like I said I'm new at this new help thing, but receiving help feels great and knowing that you can help others is even better.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Rugrats!

I just finished watching the Rugrats Go Wild with Leilani and nephew an I must say cartoons/ shows that "we" used to watch are sooooo much better than the ones out today.

Its important to remember that what your children see is what they can possibly reenact. Don't get me wrong my daughter and nephew have caught a scene of Family Guy more than once, ( I know, I know that's really bad...lol) but I try to monitor what my daughter watches as much as possible. An while it felt great to watch The Rugrats again it felt even better to watch it as an adult and a parent and see that the cartoon is really about enjoying life, family and friends. Concepts I'm sure we all what our children to be aware of and take part in.


Some other positive shows I remember watching as a child that I wouldn't mind Leilani watching are:
* my daughter watches the shows and/or has books about them.

I'm sure there are a bunch more but its way too late to be blogging and trying to remember old shows and watch my grammar all at the same time! :)
Just remember only give your kids the best! From education to food and everything in between.
Good Night !

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day can help your house

In honor of Earth Day the kids and I stayed inside...? I know not really Earthy but hey it was way too cold to do anything else and they wanted to stay in. Plus the weekend is already BOOKED with adventures to be explored.

Although we did stay inside I did once again explain to the kids the importance of taking care of our environment; from our homes to the environment at large and everything in it. I showed the kids The Wild Thornberrys the old Nickelodeon show about a girl whose family travels the world filming animals and she has the ability to talk to them. They loved it and it showed them these animals in action.

As parents our jobs are to raise smart, caring children that are aware of their surroundings. Teaching your child about the Earth can be fun and rewarding for the rest of their lives.
I personally believe that we, as humans, don't realize how much pressure we put on the planet and how easy it is to be "green."

I taught Leilani and nephew a while ago the impacts of throwing garbage on the ground both at home an outside. I explained to them that if they threw/throw garbage on the ground animals can eat it, become sick and/or die and that as humans it our job to care about our world around us. I told them that planet Earth is home to all animals and that just like they(the kids) wouldn't want people to throw garbage on them its important that we dont do it to animals.

Central Park
I was shocked how quick they picked up the concept and how it carried over to the house. 


Instead of throwing paper or other misellanious pieces of garbage on the ground they put them in the garbage. This helped then want to clean up after themselves.
The next thing that I taught the kids about was turning the water off as they brush their teeth and taking showers instead of baths. I told them that fish and other water animals live in water and need as much water as they can get. Likewise taking baths is both time consuming and waste alot of water.Both of these things help the planet but your pocket as well. These little changes can lower your light and water bill! :)
Other changes you can make are paper over plastic. This can help your pocket as well because some grocery stores take up to ten cents off your bill for each paper bag you use. Paper bags are also easier to store in the kitchen instead of the usual mess of platic bags under your sink! That we ALL have.
If you are really feeling Green you can bring your own bag. A great idea is going to the craft store and decorating your own tote bag, this can be a parent child project as well :) The only problem I have with bringing my own bag is, bringing my own bag...lol
I know it sounds ridiculous but its true :)

Another ways to get in the spirit of going Green is reading them books about Earth day with their favorite characters ,which can picked up at your local book store for as little as $3 dollars. Or you and your child can plant some flowers. If they see you care and so does their favorite character then they want to care too! :)
Thanks for reading once again and if you have any Green ideas share :)


 Dont forget my other blog :) http://myfirstyearnyc.blogspot.com/
I also got a Twittwer (Just today), not really sure how to work it yet... lol but you can look me up or help me with pointers on what to do. Lol Have a great day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Flying kites

Today I took my daughter and nephew to fly kites in Central Park.
The fact that the weather was windy made today the day for such an occasion.

This was the first time we all flew kites in NYC and rode of the Central Park Carousel.

This got me thinking about the importance of giving your child your undivided attention at least once a day. All though some of us spend the whole day with our children and some of us work the majority of the day. Its important to sit down with our child(ren) and give them the thing the desire the most in this world, our attention.
It can be the first thing you do in the morning, if you are fortunate enough to wake up with your child, you could climb into their bed and cuddle them for a while and wake them up slowly. This also a great way to start the day. This way when you have to run all your errands: do laundry, clean and cook, you know that you gave your child your attention first thing in the morning. You can also let it be the last thing you do before you go to bed. Reading your child(ren) a bed time story has so many benefits its almost silly not to.
The benefits of reading to your child are but not limited to:
  • You get to spend time with you child
  • They learn the importance of reading
  • Can help them develop their vocabulary
  • Help them use pictures to help develop/read the story
  •  Help you relax because lets face it after a long day you don't want to play tag, you would rather lay in bed
  • Can teach them about all the wonderful things in the world
  • Help ease the EPIC bed time battle, if your child has a book to look forward to then they may not fight you as much
Personally I use bed time stories for all of the above but also as a way to bribe my daughter into getting into bed earlier. I tell her, for example, if she goes to bed at 8pm she gets 4 books, if its 9pm she gets 1 and 10pm means no book, this way she wants to go to bed earlier for her books.
Having sit down "formal" dinners or breakfast can help you spend time together and you can talk to your child about their day and sit at the same time.
Just always keep in mind that the one thing you don't get back in life is time. This is your time to spend as much time as you can with your child because in a few years you're going to be the annoying, embarrassing parent ;) So take advantage while they still think you're the coolest, most interesting person in the planet.
Kites!

Carousel Ride

Remember to value all things in life :)
Thank you for reading!
Remember you're awesome!
Check out my other blog: http://myfirstyearnyc.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

School!

I am SO excited!! I just found out that I got into one of the best business schools in the country and my top choice, Baruch College!!!
I am so happy and proud of myself. I'm not an emotional person but when I found out I started crying and shaking!

This is the first time I applied to a university in my life and I got in.
I became emotional because its like all things in my life are coming together!
Getting an education is one of the most important things to me in life as it should be to everyone. Especially young mothers. Education is the key to life and can open so many doors for an individual and help you form relationships that can last a life time and change your life forever.
My daughter walked into the room and asked me why I was so excited. I replied that I had just found out I got into college and that our lives are going to be better and change because of this. Of course she simply replied: "Okay" and walked away.
Me getting into Baruch also puts my daughter in a better school district, a part of NYC that has more job opportunities for me as a student an I'll be around more after school activities for the both of us!
Getting and completing an education, an I don't only mean your standard 2 or 4 year college, is so important and vital for future success and the over all well being of your child.
There are so many girls that once they become pregnant drop out of school and never go back. I think this is very sad and unfortunate. The sad reality is that most teen moms are single parents either form the beginning of their pregnancy or some where down the line. And being a single, uneducated parent is nothing that anybody desires to be or become. Even teen moms that are with someone whether its the father of the child(ren) or someone else, should also consider going back to school as VITAL. Being a full time parent is a hard job!!! Sometimes you want time for yourself, to socialize with people your age and do something that you enjoy. School, again which ever form it maybe, can give this to you this as well as a degree and a great sense of self accomplishment.  Being a parent is the most challenging and rewarding things in life so, if you can raise a child at such a young age, you can do anything.
All in all I'm am so excited and proud of myself!!
Thank you again for reading, an if any of you have questions about where to start, how it is to be a mom in school or anything else you can email me at: Gmalone410@gmail.com
Don't forget to check out my other about my daily adventures :) http://myfirstyearnyc.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Home Made Pizza

Tonight was the first time I made home made pizza from "scratch."
Yesterday when we went grocery shopping I saw pizza dough and all the ingredients to make pizza. I went ahead and bought all of the ingredients: multi-grain dough, pizza sauce, shredded cheese and pepperoni.
Once again I didn't let them know what we were going to make a pizza because it was a SURPRISE!
But once I told them  they were excited!

We began flattening the pizza dough which is A LOT harder than it seems I mean a lot...lol.
Then we piled the toppings on and put the pizzas in the oven after we of course made smiley faces with the olives that they wanted to add :)
Like always every opportunity is a learning one. So I explained to the children where pizza originated from and told them a bit about Italy and the culture.
It only took about 15-20 minutes for the pizza to be done at 375 degrees. I then let the pizza cool down and cut it into pieces. While I did this I showed the kids some pictures of Italy and showed them what continent Italy is in.
I didn't eat that much because I had a great work out earlier and didn't want to ruin it. ( I know I sound ridiculous, but hey summers around the corner)
I will definitely be making home made pizza again and try different combination's.
We used aluminum cookie sheets which actually worked out better because we ate off of them and it saved me from having to clean dishes and clean-up was a breeze.
I think that I want to try and have my daughter cook with me more often it gives us more time to bond, and helps her improve her motor skills and its FUN!
Maybe next time you want a pizza night try making a pizza with your family.
Its a great way to spend time together after a long day, easy clean up, can make for a great impromptu learning lesson and its WAY cheaper than a ordered pizza. The whole project cost me $15 dollars including the cookie sheets and I still have enough ingredients left over to make another one! Plus there was no wait or trying to decipher what the "specials" are, because they always say them so darn fast.
Making the pizza is also healthier because you can customize and choose healthier ingredients for you and your child. The dough we used was multi-grain, the pizza sauce was organic and there was no added oil! I also think that your child will enjoy eating something that he or she knows they made all by themselves! Some ideas you can try are:
  • Breaking the dough up so each person can make their own custom pizza
    • this is great for picky eaters or sharing the different varieties
  • Have your child count or add the pepperonis as they put them on for a quick math lesson
  • Make pizza when you teach your child about Italian culture
  • With the left overs you can make pizza  rolls the next day or use it in your favorite dish

Little Chefs adding their cheese

Always time for a quick hug and love

Before the oven


enjoying the fruits of our labor
 All in all the pizza making was fun and rewarding!
Try it out and let me know how it goes:)
Thank you again for reading and don't forget to check out my other blog: http://myfirstyearnyc.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 18, 2011

Zoo Day!!

Today I took Leilani and Damien to the Central Park Zoo. This was the first time that my nephew went as well as the first time that we went to the children's "zoo," which is basically a feeding and petting zoo.
I don't really do petting zoos because I think they are horribly disgusting.

PENGUINS
In true Gloria spirit I didn't tell the kids where we where going [because everything is better as a surprise!!]. We arrived at the zoo and saw the Sea Lions and Monkeys right away then we saw the tropical animals. Inside the tropical section of the zoo there were lots of birds, which I'm terrified of, snakes, frogs, mongoose and one they were especially excited about, BATS!! My nephew's favorite book is Stellaluna so he was very excited to see bats in action. We then saw a Panda, Polar Bear, a Sea Otter. Then we saw a Snow Leopard that had just killed a squirrel so the zoo keepers removed him from view. It was pretty awesome actually because the squirrel was still in the Snow Leopards mouth and face it it's more exciting to see zoo animals doing what they are naturally built to do instead of lay under a tree all day.
One thing I like to do is turn everything into a learning experience so whenever we saw a new animal I would tell the children facts about the animal's habitat, diet and life. Then when we walk from one animal to another I would "quiz" them about the animals we have seen. The snow leopard helped me really teach the circle of life ;).
The last few animals we saw were penguins which the children and I were very excited to see, because they are just so full of life and attitude!

Next we went to the petting zoo where the kids fed and pet a sheep, goat, alpaca and some other sheep/goat-esk animal. Leilani was a bit afraid to feed the animals but Damien dove right in, as usual. Leilani finally fed and pet the animals but then said she wanted to leave and wash her hands because the animal got her hand all dirty! We washed our hands and left the petting zoo.

Petting the animals





Feeding the animals

Upon leaving the zoo there are always face painters and balloons. So I got both of the kids a balloon and their faces painted, which they loved! We then walked over the Whole Foods and grocery shopped.

Spider Man and Spider Girl



Check out my other blog: http://myfirstyearnyc.blogspot.com/
Thank you for reading!

The Arts and Culture

It is important to introduce children to different forms of art at a young age.
The arts make children exercise their brain by providing them with different ways of thinking.
One of the sole purposes of the arts is to look at something: a performer, picture, statue or listen to poetry and think outside of the norm and to truly look at the image.

The arts help both adults and children learn about other cultures.
Since moving to New York City Leilani has been introduced briefly to all types of new cultures,
street artist, Tibetan monks, and Jewish folk dancing just to name a few.

I'm always on the look out for a culture enriching experience for my family. By experiencing the arts of a different/ new culture you can tell what the culture is/was going through, their customs, what they view as beauty and so many other things.
A man singing Ray Charles's Hit the Road Jack outside the Guggenheim 

Tibetan Monks and a snow lion at the American Museum of Natural History


video
Above is a video of the Monks at the museum during a performance my daughter and I watched.

Some ideas to introduce your child or yourself to new cultures:
  • Museums are often times a very culture enriching place to go.
  • Books about different cultures or books for children that show a child from a different culture doing everyday things.
    • This will help your child see that all people are different but have can be the same and differ at the same time.
    • This can also help your child raise questions that they may have not had the option to ask otherwise
  • Videos online, however these can be misleading if from the wrong source so be sure to check its a reputable source.
  • Movies, personally I don't really like Disney movies but since this is what most children watch you can explain through the movie that people come from all over the world and have their own set of values, customs and beliefs.
    • You can take it a step further and cook foods from the culture, dress up, or have your child draw a picture.
    • You can also find other movies that are more culturally enriching for your child and you!
Remember to try and be as UNbaised as possible when it comes to life but also when it comes to introducing your child to new concept and something as sensitive as culture.
One of my many pictures from Spain

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bowl Bath

After a long day out with the kids we finally went home, ate dinner and began the bed time ritual. I put my daughter in the shower as usual however, shortly after my daughter called me into the bathroom. She told me that water wasn't getting any hotter and it was cold. I felt the water I realized that it was true, the water was ice cold. Being that my daughter and nephew had been in the park all day they desperately needed a bath. I reverted back to my "roots". I went into the kitchen warmed up some water on the stove diluted it with some of the cold water from the faucet and washed my daughter and nephew out of a kitchen mixing bowl. My daughter thought it was pretty funny as did my nephew.
I realized that the kids have never had to do anything like this before. Were as other children from all corners of the world were used to bowl baths and sadly enough some had never even had a bath. This got me thinking about the difference in societies for children. In the Dominican Republic the water and the electricity comes and goes as it pleases. Often times there is a shut off time for the water. That means no coming in at whatever time of night and taking a nice shower, let alone a warm one. In the Dominican Republic you can often times buckets of water in the shower. This is done so there is water through the night as well as bathing water. So bucket/bowl baths aren't that strange for some of my very own cousins, in fact its normal. Then here is my daughter and nephew in New York City finding the bowl bath both comical and strange.
Its funny how culture stays with you and how even though my parents moved to the States when I was one year old I sill have some of the cultural experiences or ways 20 years later and that these can be passed down to my daughter and nephew intentionally and unintentionally.

I love you

My daughter and I have been blessed enough to have my nephew and her best friend, Damien, to stay with us for a month in NYC. Damien is 4 years old and a huge ball of love.
Leilani, my daughter, and him had been together since they were both in the womb. However, they separated last year in November when my daughter and I moved to NYC. My sister and I would talk over the phone about how much the kids missed one another and we agreed to have Damien come stay with us in NYC for a month.
So far in the first week that he has been here I have learned a lot more about my daughter. I have learned/ confirmed that she is a very territorial and jealous child. My nephew and his mother, my sister, tell each other that they love each other at every waking moment of their lives. Being that this is the first time that he has been away from his mother for a prolonged period of time I want to try and give him as much love and support that he needs and deserves.
Since he is use to telling his mother he loves her all day my nephew tells me a countless amount of times that he loves me. My daughter would stand by and watch and listen to this exchange of: "I love you." Finally my daughter tells me: "You don't like me anymore, only Damien." My first reaction was to laugh, however I realized that she was vocalizing this to me because it was how she felt and something she had been thinking about for a moment before she said it. I explained to my daughter that I loved both of them and that Damien misses his mommy and he needs to be cuddled and be told that he is loved just like any other human being. My daughter understood, either by choice or just to get me to stop talking.
Then later on that night I began to think: "Do I tell her I love her enough?" My daughter knows that shes loved, we call one another our best friends, ask each other if our outfits match and do everything together, but is that enough or as powerful as hearing :I love you?
I know that all parents and children alike are different but was it out of pure jealousy that she said that or was it out of " Mommy doesn't tell me that often she loves me so why is she doing it with him?"
I realized a few things when my daughter said the above statement to me.
  • I wasn't giving her enough attention
  • I possibly don't vocalize how much I love her enough
  • She doesn't like the idea of sharing me with another person, even if it is her best friend.
  • And she gets jealous quick.
  • I need to make more her and mommy time
Later on during the week at dinner. My daughter insisted that she wanted to sit in my lap and eat dinner with me. One plate, one chair but two forks. I found it silly and entertained her idea for a minute but soon told her it wouldn't work and she had to eat her own dinner in her own chair with her own plate. She agreed and then later on that night I layed in bed with her for a little while and told her how much I loved her. And at that very moment I realized I do tell her I love her. Both vocally and physically.

We have our own way of saying I love you with out always saying it and that perfectly okay :)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

My First Post

My name is Gloria Malone I just turned 21, my daughter, Leilani, is 5 years old and we live in New York City.
This blog is about mine and my daughters experiences and adventures in New York City.
We used to live in Florida but after life confirmed with me, in not so subtle ways, that Florida was not the state for me we moved to New York City.
Since moving to New York City life has been so much better. My daughter and I are spending a lot of quality time together, I am learning a lot about myself as a person and a mother, and learning and always adjusting my parenting methods. My daughter is learning that family comes in all different shapes, sizes and colors, how to use the subway and all people are different and beautiful even if they aren't so nice.
My daughter is loving the city and everything it has to offer as am I.