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Morning Musings: Coltrane Curtis

When you’re pregnant, the prospect of raising kids in New York City can seem daunting. And it’s true that without a little support (or a lot, depending on the day), we might not be able to make it happen. Urban parenting is often a team sport, and we owe endless gratitude to our nannies, teachers, dog-walkers and even the owner of our local bodega. But there’s one guy who rises above the rest, and makes all the difference day in and day out: dear old dad. We’re lucky enough to have met some pretty great dads in our travels, and Coltrane Curtis is one of them. Most know Coltrane as the intrepid founder of brand-solutions agency Team Epiphany, whose impressive roster of clients includes Nike and Cadillac. Some recognize him from his days as an MTV Style VJ, and others remember him as a former streetwear editor and brand executive. But Coltrane’s latest role as Ellington’s Dad is clearly the one he is the most passionate about, and one that’s earning him a pretty significant fanbase of its own. Tune into Coltrane’s popular Instagram feed and you’ll see why: Ellington is not only adorable, but he’s pretty much the best dressed guy we’ve ever seen in New York City. Adults included. Ellington’s epic closet dispels the myth that there’s no fashion out there for little boys, and he’s got a street style that is all his own. His wardrobe is a combination of the coolest kids’ brands out there, mixed with some drool-worthy “investment” pieces -- think En Noir leather pants or a Stella McCartney military style jacket. As a recovering sneaker addict, Coltrane has passed down the footwear baton to Ellington as well; he bought nearly 100 pairs of shoes -- including plenty of deadstock styles -- before his son was even born, in a range of sizes up to 11. Add that to all the mini kicks Coltrane just can’t help himself from buying -- Nike, of course, as well as AKID and Mark McNairy to name a few -- and Ellington now has nearly 200 pairs. Ellington’s got even more fashion options in his future; Coltrane and wife Lisa Chu (along with some friends at The Foundation showroom) currently have their own boys fashion line in the works. A recent visit to Coltrane’s Tribeca apartment revealed that Ellington is as sweet as he is stylish, and that his parents are as down-to-earth as they are cool. They are truly a family that makes raising kids in New York City seem not only manageable, but like it's the only natural place to do it in the whole world. “We love living in New York. Most people think life has to stop when you have a kid, but we had Ellington at Mr. Chow’s in a bassinet at 3 months,” says Coltrane. “Parenting is about sacrifice, but since having Ellington, I’m actually way cooler.” Below, find out how Coltrane and his family’s day begins...and then read on for details about the most enviable little closet you’ll ever see. 6:30am - Ellington wakes up. Neither Lisa nor myself is a morning person, so whoever can get up goes and gets him.   7:00am - We hang out and play in the living room. We're into puzzles right now. I can usually fit in a few minutes of SportsCenter to find out what happened in the game after I fell asleep last night. 7:45am - I start making breakfast for Ellington, which is usually an assortment of different options – right now it’s sausage, waffles, eggs with cheese, some type of berry and a green juice. 8:15am - Lisa feeds Ellington. During that time I’m getting dressed, and after Ellington eats, I dress him. 8:45am - We’re normally out the door around this time. We drop Ellington off at school and then head to the office together. FASHION FRENZY Five favorite boys brands: NUNUNU BABY - I’m a fan of their pants, especially the harem style. Nico Nico - I love their fleece – the sweats and hoodies. Ruff & Huddle - Their outerwear is great. Bit’z Kids - Hands-down, the best bang for your buck. Trico Field - The priciest of the five, but an amazing product. Go-to Spring Look: Street corner Ralph Lauren: sweats meet prep. Craziest clothing: En Noir leather pants; Stella McCartney military band-inspired outfit; Trico Field vests; Moncler outerwear Shoes on regular rotation: Nike – SC Trainers; Jordan – 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s; AKID – Jasper boots Most expensive pair: Mark McNairy Oxfords Most collectible: Jordan 2’s, 3’s and 5’s Pair you are most excited about getting him into: Definitely the Jordan 2 High’s. These are my favorite shoe of all time. HIS favorite pair: AKID Boots. He has a different theme for each different color. The red are his ‘Fire Boots.’ Blue are his ‘PoPo Boots.’ And gold are ‘Olympic.’ Photography by Sarina Cass of Red Anchor Photo.

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With two babies in tow, getting out the door often becomes doubly challenging. From the extra things to carry to the extra space needed in your backseat, it can be easy to feel daunted at the prospect of a day out. But before you resign yourself to life indoors, try incorporating these five genius products from Nuna to get you and the littles out the door. (Because Vitamin D is important, mama!)

1. A brilliant double stroller

You've got more to carry—and this stroller gets it. The DEMI™ grow stroller from Nuna easily converts from a single ride to a double stroller thanks to a few easy-to-install accessories. And with 23 potential configurations, you're ready to hit the road no matter what life throws at you.

DEMI™ grow stroller
$799.95, Nuna


2. A light car seat

Lugging a heavy car seat is the last thing a mama of two needs to have on her hands. Instead, pick up the PIPA™ lite, a safe, svelte design that weighs in at just 5.3 pounds (not counting the canopy or insert)—that's less than the average newborn! When you need to transition from car to stroller, this little beauty works seamlessly with Nuna's DEMI™ grow.

PIPA™ lite car seat
$349.95, Nuna


3. A super safe car seat base

The thing new moms of multiples really need to get out the door? A little peace of mind. The PIPA™ base features a steel stability leg for maximum security that helps to minimize forward rotation during impact by up to 90% (compared to non-stability leg systems) and 5-second installation for busy mamas.

PIPA™ base
(included with purchase of PIPA™ series car seat or) Nuna, $159.95


4. A diaper bag you want to carry

It's hard to find an accessory that's as stylish as it is functional. But the Nuna diaper bag pulls out all the stops with a sleek design that perfectly conceals a deceptively roomy interior (that safely stores everything from extra diapers to your laptop!). And with three ways to wear it, even Dad will want to take this one to the park.

Diaper bag
$179.95, Nuna


5. A crib that travels

Getting a new baby on a nap schedule—while still getting out of the house—is hard. But with the SENA™ aire mini, you can have a crib ready no matter where your day takes you. It folds down and pops up easily for sleepovers at grandma's or unexpected naps at your friend's house, and the 360-degree ventilation ensures a comfortable sleep.

SENA aire mini
$199.95, Nuna


With 5 essentials that are as flexible as you need to be, the only thing we're left asking is, where are you going to go, mama?

This article was sponsored by Nuna. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Baby stuff comes in such cute prints these days. Gone are the days when everything was pink and blue and covered in ducks or teddy bears. Today's baby gear features stylish prints that appeal to mom.

That's why it's totally understandable how a mama could mistake a car seat cover for a cute midi skirt. It happened to Lori Farrell, and when she shared her mishap on Facebook she went viral before she was even home from work. Fellow moms can totally see the humor in Farrell's mishap, and thankfully, so can she.

As for how a car seat cover could be mistaken for a skirt—it's pretty simple, Farrell tells Motherly.

"A friend of mine had given me a huge lot of baby stuff, from clothes to baby carriers to a rocker and blankets and when I pulled it out I was not sure what it was," she explains. "I debated it but washed it anyway then decided because of the way it pulled on the side it must be a maternity skirt."

Farrell still wasn't 100% sure if she was right by the time she headed out the door to work, but she rocked the ambiguous attire anyway.

"When I got to work I googled the brand and realized not only do they not sell clothing but it was a car seat cover."

The brand, Itzy Ritzy, finds the whole thing pretty funny too, sharing Farell's viral moment to its official Instagram.

It may be a car seat cover, but that print looks really good on this mama.

And if you want to copy Farell's style, the Itzy Ritzy 4-in-1 Nursing Cover, Car Seat Cover, Shopping Cart Cover and Infinity Scarf (and skirt!) is available on Amazon for $24.94.

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy.You've got this.

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Daycare for infants is expensive across the country, and California has one of the worst states for parents seeking care for a baby. Putting an infant in daycare in California costs $2,914 more than in-state tuition for four years of college, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Paying north of $1,000 for daycare each month is an incredible burden, especially on single-parent families. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines affordable childcare as costing no more than 10% of a family's income—by that definition, less than 29% of families in California can afford infant care. Some single parents spend half their income on day care. It is an incredible burden on working parents.

But that burden may soon get lighter. CBS Sacramento reports California may put between $25 and $35 million into child care programs to make day care more affordable for parents with kids under 3 years old.

Assembly Bill 452, introduced this week, could see $10 million dollars funneled into Early Head Start (which currently gets no money from the state but does get federal funding) and tens of millions more would be spent on childcare for kids under three.

The bill seeks to rectify a broken childcare system. Right now, only about 14% of eligible infants and toddlers are enrolled in subsidized programs in California, and in 2017, only 7% of eligible children younger than three years of age accessed Early Head Start.

An influx of between $25 to $35 million dollars could see more spaces open up for kids under three, as Bill 452, if passed, would see the creation of "grants to develop childcare facilities that serve children from birth to three years of age."

This piece of proposed legislation comes weeks after California's governor announced an ambitious plan for paid parental leave, and as another bill, AB 123, seeks to strengthen the state's pre-kindergarten program.

Right now, it is difficult for some working parents to make a life in California, but by investing in families, the state's lawmakers could change that and change California's future for the better.

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When a mama gets married, in most cases she wants her children to be part of her big day. Photographers are used to hearing bride-to-be moms request lots of pictures of their big day, but when wedding photographer Laura Schaefer of Fire and Gold Photography heard her client Dalton Mort planned to wear her 2-year-old daughter Ellora instead of a veil, she was thrilled.

A fellow mama who understands the benefits of baby-wearing, Schaefer was keen to capture the photos Mort requested. "When I asked Dalton about what some of her 'must get' shots would be for her wedding, she specifically asked for ones of her wearing Ellie, kneeling and praying in the church before the tabernacle," Schaefer tells Motherly.

She got those shots and so many more, and now Mort's toddler-wearing wedding day pics are going viral.

"Dalton wore Ellie down the aisle and nursed her to sleep during the readings," Schaefer wrote on her blog, explaining that Ellie then slept through the whole wedding mass.

"As a fellow mother of an active toddler, this is a HUGE win! Dalton told me after that she was SO grateful that Ellie slept the whole time because she was able to focus and really pray through the Mass," Schaefer explains.

Dalton was able to concentrate on her wedding day because she made her baby girl a part of it (and that obviously tired Ellie right out).

Ellie was part of the commitment and family Dalton if forging with her husband, Jimmy Joe. "There is no better behaved toddler than a sleeping toddler, and she was still involved, even though I ended up unwrapping her to nurse her. I held her in my arms while my husband and I said our vows. It was really special for us," Dalton told POPSUGAR.

This is a wedding trend we are totally here for!

Congrats to Dalton and Jimmy Joe (and to Ellie)! 🎉

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The internet is freaking out about how Peppa Pig is changing the way toddlers speak, but parents don't need to be too worried.

As Romper first reported, plenty of American parents have noticed that preschoolers are picking up a bit of a British accent thanks to Peppa. Romper's Janet Manley calls it "the Peppa effect," noting that her daughter started calling her "Mummy" after an in-flight Peppa marathon.

Plenty of other parents report sharing Manley's experience, but the British accent is not likely to stick, experts say.

Toronto-based speech and language pathologist Melissa James says this isn't a new thing—kids have always been testing out the accents they hear on TV and in the real world, long before Peppa oinked her way into our Netflix queues.

"Kids have this amazing ability to pick up language," James told Global News. "Their brains are ripe for the learning of language and it's a special window of opportunity that adults don't possess."

Global News reports that back in the day there were concerns about Dora The Explorer potentially teaching kids Spanish words before the kids had learned the English counterparts, and over in the U.K., parents have noticed British babies picking up American accents from TV, too.

But it's not a bad thing, James explains. When an American adult hears "Mummy" their brain translates it to "Mommy," but little kids don't yet make as concrete a connection. "When a child, two, three or four, is watching a show with a British accent and hears [words] for the first time, they are mapping out the speech and sound for that word in the British way."

So if your baby is oinking at you, calling you "Mummy" or testing out a new pronunciation of "toh-mah-toe," know that this is totally natural, and they're not going to end up with a life-long British pig accent.

As Dr, Susannah Levi, associate professor of communicative sciences and disorders at New York University, tells The Guardian, "it's really unlikely that they'd be acquiring an entire second dialect from just watching a TV show."

It sure is cute though.

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