My family and I are usually on the hunt searching for the best museum, zoo or local Los Angeles kid friendly activity. But as it goes our most favorite past time is visiting our local park, laying out our large blanket and exploring the beauty right in our own backyard. With so much happening on our end with the lost of a dear family member, traveling for work events and preparing for my two oldest to start “big kid school” anything outside of our current daily routine has been placed on the back-burner. Basically more of a hustle bustle type of life lately. With that said, today we decided to get out and get exploring. There’s nothing like laying out on the grass, feeling the wind of your face and hearing the laughter coming from the playground as your children play. One of the many perks of our local park is their nature center. Birds, a possum, deer and snakes it’s definitely a fun extra to visiting the park.
Here are a few pictures from our fun and local day out and about. Looking at these pictures I CANNOT believe how BIG my babies are!!
Ohh and fun fact… here is a list of my park my haves:- Mexican Blanket – Melissa and Doug Beach Toys – Ergobaby Diaperbag Backpack – Evenflo Stroller – Ergobaby Adapt Carrier – Kleen Kanteen Sports Cups
Thank you to Evenflo for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.
I’ve been rocking with Ergobaby for a long time. About 6 years to be exact. I was gifted my first Ergo carrier when JJ, my oldest was a few weeks old dealing with colic. My dear friend’s little boy also had colic and she informed me that her Ergo was literally a Godsend. Little did I know this carrier would change my life in more ways than just allowing a tired mama the ability to get back to my daily routines and my baby a little comfort.
Fast forward 6 years, 3 kids and numerous daily outings as a family of 5. What remained is my love and connection to Ergobaby. As my children grow my dedication to this company has shifted a bit.
Last month I shared my current goals. One of those goals was to become a babywearing educator. Working as a Brand Ambassador with Ergobaby truly propelled me to become a babywearing educator. I was already familiar with SSC (soft structured carriers) like Ergobaby but also wanted the opportunity to share other options with parents like wraps, ring slings and much more. With that said I began searching for a course or program to become a certified babywearing educator. I came across The Center for Babywearing Studies (CBWS) after being referred from the best educators in the business.
It’s been awhile since I shared by personal dreams and goals with you guys. This year has been full of growth, change, challenge and reflection. I’ve grown so much as a mother and wife but more than anything as a WOMAN! My goals are clearer than ever. I am more inspired, driven and committed to my personal growth than I ever would’ve imagined. You see… when you go through something devastating there’s that moment which you reflect and have an opportunity to change or accept. I’ve never been much of an accepter so my reflection was driven on CHANGE. How can I be a vessel of CHANGE? How can I INSPIRE WOMAN in my own community? How can HELP the community I’m most familiar with, the community of motherhood?
All those questions lead back to being a mother. I want to stay in my community of motherhood. This is where I flourish, where I am most comfortable, where I connect the most and feel I have the opportunity to help and grow within myself. This is when I came to the conclusion that I want to become a IBCLC. That means International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Not only did I breastfeed my babies longterm I felt a strong connection with mothers who both struggle with breastfeeding and those that do not have the knowledge or support to breastfeed. Of course I want to reach all mothers but I definitely will be staring with those within my own community.
Did you know, “For years it’s been shown that black women are less likely to initiate breastfeeding than other races. From 2000 to 2008, only 58.9 percent of black women initiated breastfeeding compared to the 75.2 percent of white women and 80 percent of Hispanics, according to the latest data from the CDC. As Black Breastfeeding Week notes on its site, there’s also some suggestion that increased breastfeeding could help lower infant mortality rates. This is why Brandy Sellers from Not So Private Parts and myself hosted the Black Breastfeeding Week event. It was to show that we are here! That we do matter! And that more needs to be done.
With all that said it brings me to my next goal. Concurrently while pursuing my IBCLC certification I will also be training to become a Certified Babywearing Expert. Much before working with Ergobaby I was in love with babywearing. I babywore all my kids and still wear Jameson. It has always been something close to my heart that I believe is so important for baby and mom in the early years. I am so excited to learn, grow and share all the knowledge I gain through this journey. I will keep you all updated here on the blog and also over on my Instagram with the hashtag #kellysnewjourney. Please send all your good vibes as this mama needs all the best wishes and I pursue my dreams.
My position with Ergobaby currently requires me to travel occasionally for events. I absolutely love exploring new towns and cities, especially the ones I would never think to travel to before it became a work obligation. To date Ergo has sent me to Utah and Colorado. Both states had unbelievable food! You can read about my Utah experience here.
For my Colorado trip I had the pleasure of bringing my husband Jason with me . This was our first trip without the kids and although we missed them it was a nice break from our normal routine. In between my work schedule we had tons of fun doing simple things like going to the movies, going out for food and exploring downtown. Here are a few pictures of our visit.
“We noticed that as breastfeeding promotion increased, the face of it was still very white and every year we’re still having more research come out showing that there’s a disparity in support for breastfeeding for black women,” Sangodele-Ayoka said. The CDC suggested in 2013 that black moms may need more targeted and direct support so that they can not only initiate but also continue breastfeeding.”
Aren’t those statistics mind blowing? As an African American woman myself I never realized how privileged I was to have so much breastfeeding knowledge and support during my nursing years with the kids. I am proud to say that I successfully nursed 3 babies all close to the age of 2. I did it because I simply knew the importance and had tons of women around me encouraging and supporting my decision.
Did those boobs get your attention? If so that’s exactly what we had in mind. We wanted to get your attention so that we can share some disturbing info along with why we think it’s important to have this event and more than anything share the importance of #blackbreastfeedingweek.
Did you know, according to the CDC “Black infants consistently had the lowest rates of breastfeeding initiation and duration across all study years. Black mothers may need more, targeted support to start and continue breastfeeding.”
I am so excited and honored to partner with these amazing women and brands who selflessly will be donating their time and wisdom to help bridge the gap between the black community and breastfeeding. If you are local and can come out I highly recommend you attend, learn, share, uplift, promote and encourage each other as women and more than anything as mothers. As mothers we have a community within itself. And when you become part of any community you have a duty to help those around you.
“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.”
“Everything happens for a reason, even when we are not wise enough to see it. When there is no struggle, there is no strength.”
This year has been about balance. Something so new to me. For the past 5 years I’ve been a stay-at-home working mama running my own business. I’ve learned to balance but balance within my own home. Balance for me meant responding to emails, hiring employees, fulfilling orders, hiding in the closet to take conference calls and doing all of this while balancing a baby on my back in an Ergo carrier and my two other babies holding each hand. I’ve been lucky enough to bring my babies to work everyday.
Well all of this changed the beginning of this year. We were hit with some major cut-backs at my husband’s job and my business took a huge loss when a big named company came into the eco-friendly and organic product market. Basically this meant it was time for me to start looking for a job. I knew I wanted to work for a company that I believed in. The thing about it is once you work for yourself and put all that passion into your dream it’s hard to work for a company that you aren’t equally passionate about. I was blessed beyond measure to be interviewed for a position with Ergobaby. I’ve been a long time fan of Ergo’s actually for about 5 years. JJ had colic for the first 2 months and my Ergo carrier was the only thing that brought him some comfort.
Long story short I got hired as their Lead Brand Ambassador. Basically my job is to help coordinate events and implement a system of organization to help make sure the logistics of the events run smoothly. I absolutely LOVE my job. I LOVE my co-workers. I LOVE everything about Ergobaby! What is represents, how it treats it’s employees and the mission behind the brand.