Playful in New York City

by Jessica Shyba on February 16, 2014

in California,City Life,Lifestyle,Parenting

I get asked all the time if I miss New York City. Our move from one of the largest cities in the world to a cozy beach town on the opposite coast was pretty drastic, especially in terms of culture shock. The truth is that I do miss living in New York City-but most of the things I miss about it don’t really involve the kids. Aside from walking through Central Park, grabbing last minute hot-dog-cart dinners and touring the many incredible museums with them, I don’t miss parenting in Manhattan. It was challenging at times, but what an absolutely amazing and incredible experience. I’m grateful for what we had there and the lessons that living in an urban area taught us.

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It feels like in the past six months since we’ve left, I’ve watched my three children blossom into the lighthearted, energetic and playful kids they are. While those characteristics were also present when we lived in the city, confining those tendencies to the inside of our building hallways and the 750 square foot apartment that we lived in together challenged both them and me. Traveling anywhere was always stressful given the traffic and crowds, and I’ve since watched myself relax in my parenting and overly cautious nature.

On any given afternoon, my children are outside playing with friends and a dozen or so amazing neighbors and their kids. They’re shooting baskets in the regulation size basketball hoop that Jack got for Christmas, but has been casually donated to our neighborhood. They’re riding bikes or scooters or playing dolls at each other’s houses. Even our dog and “indoor city cat”, Theo and Charlie, are on patrol for us each time we’re out, as though it’s their obligation to protect us. As a child myself, I always wanted to live around kids and be able to casually go play whenever I wanted. Though it was probably more likely when I was growing up, we’ve somehow won a golden ticket into a safe and monitored neighborhood where the vibe is almost totally carefree (for the kids, anyway).

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It’s true. Life is really, really good in California.

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I miss living in New York City for very personal and selfish reasons. The city motivates me, the energy and opportunity that drips from the frozen ledges of skyscrapers fully enveloped me and changed my soul forever. I am a work at home mom, and to be able to easily separate the two while not really separating anything was absolutely a perk for me living in Manhattan. I could attend events while the kids were at school and then crab a hot coco and talk about their days after the final bell rang.

In the following days and months, I have lots of business travel planned-and even a few trips to New York City. It appears as though I’m getting to experience the best of both worlds, as I get to pursue my career dreams and goals as well as living in paradise and being a full-time mother. Travel isn’t easy and certainly not ideal but I am absolutely grateful for the opportunities, and even more thrilled to be working with brands that my family and I love that bolster and brighten our lives in various different ways.

This week, I’m in New York City for several reasons. I’m proud to announce my partnership with Razor Worldwide as a Razor Playful Mom and I’ll be with them at the Toy Fair today and tomorrow.

Razor’s products have sealed our name in neighborhood fame as the Family With The Best Toys. The Crazy Cart- which incidentally won the Outdoor Toy of the Year award at the 14th annual Toy Industry Association’s Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards ceremony last night- is one of our favorites-even Justin and I ride it around occasionally. I very rarely feel like a child anymore, but the laugher that comes from deep in my gut when riding the Crazy Cart is unlike anything I’ve felt since I was very young… And I’m with my children, on their level. It’s a gift, really.

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I’m really excited to be apart of the Razor Worldwide team, to say the least. Playing with our kids, and playing outdoors is such an important part of childhood and even parenthood and I’m thrilled to help champion that.

If you’re interested, I’m co-hosting a Twitter Party with Razor and Adam Cohen on Monday Feburary 17th 2014 at 1:00pm EST, and we’ll be giving away a prize every 6 minutes. You can participate by using the hashtag #RazorRiders and follow @RazorWorldwide @DaDaRocks and @MommasGoneCity. Prizes include: Crazy Cart ($399), PowerRider 360 ($179.99), Rift scooter, Kuties character scooter, Monster scooter, Zombie scooter, Twisti toddler ride-on, California Longboard scooter, E100 electric scooter and a E200 electric scooter.

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I landed in New York City last night after an 18 hour day of travel. There was snow on the ground and that unmistakable feeling of excitement and urgency in the air. I’ve been consumed with heartache over missing my family and leaving them for a few days, but they’ll be with my family the entire time I’m gone and having a blast no doubt.

Certainly there’ll be no shortage of love and cuddles. I received this photo in a text last night from my husband:

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Thank goodness for technology.

It feels pretty amazing to be here and reconnecting with my friend and peers, and working on me. More soon from the big city of dreams!

(I was not compensated for this post.)

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda February 16, 2014 at 5:10 pm

My friend Dawn, who we all lost to melanoma last year, introduced us to Razor 360s. We have two, plus three scooters. The joy they bring us and the connection they offer to Dawn have made Razor a cherished part of our family. Love that you are working with them!

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Lorette Lavine February 16, 2014 at 6:48 pm

Enjoy…

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Traci February 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Those little vehicles look like so much fun! I haven’t seen anything quite like them. And the picture, the picture! I was already saying “awww” and then I saw the little doll tucked behind your pup’s arm and I completely melted.

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K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy February 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm

I’m glad to hear that life is going fantastic in California. I have definitely been able to tell the difference that this move has had on you and your family. There’s nothing like having space to enjoy being a family without having to be confined to small or indoor spaces or the anxiety.

And seeing how the kids have bonded with Theo melts my heart and takes me back to days when I had a dog. They are truly man’s best friend. Enjoy your time in New York and safe travels back to Cali!

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chrissy February 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm

That picture with your daughter cuddled up with the dog is the cutest picture ever!! How sweet!

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Kat February 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Funnest brand ambassadorship EVER! How cool! And I love that you’ve been able to give your kids the experience of living in new environments. I’m sure there are pros and cons to both, but home is where the heart is. Your family seems to thrive regardless!

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Sheena February 25, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Thanks for playing with us, Jessica! It’s so great to see you and your family enjoying the California lifestyle.

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vesna djuric February 26, 2014 at 2:42 am

I love that stroller your husband is pushing through the streets of NYC in the first pic…may I ask the brand?! Thanks in advance!

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Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered) February 26, 2014 at 5:59 pm

Congrats on the ambassador-ship! (Word?)

Glad your trip went well, I’m reading your posts backwards. Anyway, I get it, I think for us I can try to imagine living in NY with my family for a window of time, but I also think that being in NC makes it different. So I am glad you’re happy back in California. You’ve got the best of all the worlds!

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Barbara Teller February 27, 2014 at 1:13 am

The photos of the kids with ALL of the neighborhood kids reminds me of a move we made 18+ years ago. We only spent a year and a half there. But the kids and I made lifelong friends. It was such a fabulous experience for them to be with so many different kids-ages and backgrounds. For me as a mom, it was heaven to trust the environment and people for my kids to be free to play.
I thank you for your photos- it’s a reminder to me of what it was like and yet, how fast it goes…

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Hilary March 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings about leaving New York and taking the leap to cross the country. Experiences like that will remain with you and your family for a lifetime! And now you get to have an entirely different but equally as fun experience in California. I look forward to seeing your continued posts on the easy-going California lifestyle!

@shopwhiteplum

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