We flew into New York City on a red eye flight this morning, all six of us. I packed for almost two days straight prior to leaving and still managed to leave Zoe’s socks behind. I mean, how does one forget socks? Traveling with four children is a level of intensity that even I was surprised at.

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Justin and I chose the divide and conquer route on the plane. He took the boys, three across towards the back of the plane and I opted for more leg room in the bulkhead with Zoe and Evvie. By the time we reunited on the other side of the country, we were all full of excitement and butterflies and the sweet oblivion of happy exhaustion.

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I had wanted to see the skyline of the city while driving in from the airport, but we all were asleep by the time we got to the hotel. The day was spent visiting old playgrounds and having dinner at our favorite restaurant, each one of us sharing our memories of times and places from a life that feels so far away yet almost like we never left. I can’t quite describe what it feels like to be back here with my children, it’s as whole as our family has felt since we moved to California. Maybe it’s because we’re all practically sleeping on top of each other in this little hotel room, or because none of us has any other obligations presently, but I think this is what vacation is supposed to feel like. I have everything I need right here-that is a feeling to recognize and cherish whenever and wherever, and to seek it out actively.

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We walked all around the neighborhood by our hotel today in our old stomping grounds, the kids on their scooters and Evvie tied on tightly to my chest. We talked the entire day in-between activities, on practically zero sleep. That’s New York City for you, though. It’s the heartbeat and adrenaline under your feet when you could swear you had none in your bones.

I don’t know how I ever left, but I’m glad I can still come back with all of my city kids and it’s just the same.

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Happy Travelers

by Jessica Shyba on November 24, 2014

in Adventures in NYC

Momma's Gone City

I never thought I’d get used to living without a car. About six months after we moved to New York City, I was trudging through the wind, ice, and rain with two kids and three bags of groceries crammed into our double stroller and I realized that I had finally gotten to the point of acceptance. I no longer had a trunk to store our groceries, or a quick and safe haven from the elements when getting to the doctor’s office and other errands. I also no longer had a safe(ish) place to put my children while getting to and from anywhere in a somewhat timely manner.

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I was terrified of walking with both of my very young children out in the middle of the city, and they’re little legs got so tired, so fast. The following spring, we bought Jack a Mini Micro scooter and a helmet just like his buddies had in his preschool class had and we began to find the answers to a few of our problems. Jack loved every minute of his newfound freedom, and I got to test the waters of allowing him to ride along side the stoller while out and about in the city. It was challenging for both of us, but I realized quickly that we were also building trust in each other by extending his boundaries of freedom. Zoe and Beau both began riding at around the age of two, and while we had some more issues with listening, they also picked up on on our rules quickly. We began to find not only efficient but also an incredibly fun means of travel to and from school, the doctor’s office and other errands.

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Now that we live in Santa Cruz, our lifestyle is incredibly different, but they still love to ride their Mini Micro and Maxi Micro scooters to and from school. Beau is riding the Mini Micro 3in1, which offers 3 rides for 3 ages – at age 1 its a ride-on with seat, at age 2 it’s a Mini with O-bar, and at age 3 the T-Bar turns it into a Mini Micro scooter. Jack and Zoe ride the Maxi-Micro, which is the highest rated scooter for both transport AND fun.The Maxi rides smoothly like the Micro but with the curve and carve of a skateboard. Not to mention, each part is replaceable for those that are harder on their scooters (like my boys). Zoe and Beau picked up on riding very quickly, and turned normal routines that I’d often get push back from if they have to ride in the stroller or car into a fun incentive; If I allowed them to ride their scooters, they were happy and willing. This was one of my first dances with boundaries with them, and being that the consequences were dire, I was incredibly strict. If they pushed the limits even remotely, they had to ride in the stroller without question.

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Watching them gain confidence within themselves as well as me made for hugely successful lessons for both of us. With the Micro scooters for adults as well, all of us can make a family outing of riding scooters along West Cliff in Santa Cruz; it is peaceful, fun and great exercise, and something we can all enjoy together-the kids love seeing us do things that they do, too. We’ll be bringing these scooters on our trip to New York City next week, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have this option when I know they won’t want to walk extensively. Happy, tired kids means a happy family.

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Happy to offer 20% off ofMicro Kickboard Scooters for those on your gifting list, valid from November 15th through December 1st.

Thank you to Micro Kickboard for sponsoring this post, and thank you for reading!

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Rain Dance

November 23, 2014

There are a handful of memories that I have from my childhood that I hold on to. Some of them, my favorite memories, are random and otherwise insignificant; A day at the movies with my mom and sister, an evening catching fire flies with my cousins in our front yard, and one with just my […]

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Traveling in their Comfort Zone

November 21, 2014

We’re getting ready to embark on a fairly long trip to New York City with all of the kids during the holidays. I’ve been flying by myself with two to three kids for years now, and consider myself something of an expert. Except that any parent knows they can be an expert for about five […]

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The Storyteller

November 20, 2014

Today when Zoe jumped in the car at school pickup, she launched into a story practically gasping for air in between details. Her little mouth is clearly working much slower than her brain would like, but the words just trickle off of her tounge without barely waiting for the rest of her to catch up. […]

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Healthy Lifestyles, Coast to Coast

November 20, 2014

Growing up in the Bay Area, we have had ample access to everything that California is known for: Nature, beautiful weather, and amazing produce. Many of our most successful restaurants boast farm to table cuisines, and the farmer’s markets are practically bursting with some of the most wonderful fruits and vegetables. One of our favorite […]

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Little Sister

November 18, 2014

10 weeks is such a sweet spot. Evangeline is really coming into her own lately, and each day I’m emerging more from that newborn fade. I want to gush all over the place. She is a joy. She’s already so opinionated, sensitive, hilarious, remarkable, feisty. Maybe it’s because she’s my fourth, but every day I […]

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Rhythm and Water

November 17, 2014

For whatever reason, Justin and I have lived near water together throughout our marriage. The two of us grew up about 20 minutes south of where we live in Santa Cruz, and spent some of our most formative years playing in the same sand that our children do now. When he was accepted to dental […]

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Memories and Milk Mustaches

November 14, 2014

One of the stories that I hear frequently from my husband’s parents tells of a very young Justin getting up by himself in the morning, pouring himself a bowl of Cheerios and milk and turning on the giant television before anyone else is awake. I love the story more each time they tell it, because […]

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Reestablishing the Village

November 13, 2014

Last year around this time, I was in Guatemala. The families we visited had nothing but each other. The chickens ran through their dirt floored living rooms where the children played, huge smiles spread wide across their little faces. The women, draped in long skirts, wraps in their hair, dirty aprons tied around them tight, […]

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