The last double stroller I will ever buy....I swear!

I have now purchased 5 (yes, 5!) double strollers. I realize this qualifies me for some sort of stroller-addiction support group. I wish I could say that I'm one of those people paid to test out different double strollers and that after a week test-driving each one around town, I get to write a concise little blurb about its features, pros, cons, etc. and then give it a little star rating. But sadly, I am not. I have purchased 5 different double strollers, all hoping one will be better than the next. First, it was the Peg Perego Twin Aria.

I bought this one when Emerson was a baby. I thought she and Ava would ride side by side nicely. We would ride through stores while Ava smiled lovingly at her sleeping baby sister next to her. It was such a beautiful image in my head. The only problem was that a two year-old bouncing up and down and screaming on one side, makes it very hard for an infant to take a nap quietly on the other. Also, I couldn't get it through a single doorway.

When Ava was a little older, I decided we needed a sit-n-stand stroller!

Emerson could sit in the front and Ava could either sit on the back, or hop on if she got tired. I somehow forgot in the purchasing of this stroller, that Ava wasn't the kind of child you let stand on the back or sit if she got tired. She was more of the 'keep buckled in a 73-point harness' kind of child. The back of the sit-n-stand did have a strap, but it took her about 20 seconds to figure out how to Houdini herself out of it.

When Declan was born, I decided we needed a Graco Quattro Tour something-or-other.

It was this monstrosity of a stroller. The one pictured above is this year's model. The 2009 model was twice as big, I swear! It's a tandem stroller, so it did fit through most doorways. But it was really big and heavy folded up, making it almost impossible to get in and out of my car. It was nice in that, Emerson could be buckled up front and Declan's infant car seat could strap in the back.

When Finlay was born, we needed to have the entire 3rd row in the car up, so I was no longer able to fit this giant stroller in my car. When I saw that Babies R Us was having a trade-in-stroller event, I decided to trade it in on the new Sit-n-Stand. It was just like the old one, except the back part could also be an actual seat. Since they are only 18 months apart, Declan was definitely not ready to stand on the back, without being strapped in.

This stroller was great, with the exception of the fact that it will not fit in my car behind the 3rd row. So it has to ride shotgun. This is fine unless 1. My husband and I want to go somewhere together or 2. I have to park next to another vehicle in the parking lot or 3. Even though when I parked, there was no one next to me and I could open the door all the way, when I return to my car, a car has parked so close, that I cannot manage to get the stroller back in the car.

So, Friday after reading a bunch of reviews and test-driving it through the store, I bought this guy:

So far, so good! It folds up small enough to get it in the back of my car, it's lightweight, but not flimsy and Declan can't figure out how to get out of it! It has underneath storage and little pockets in the back for keys, wallet, phone, etc.. It steers great, fits through a standard doorway, and is easy to fold up. It has sun canopies and came with a rain cover. It wouldn't have worked as well for an infant, but now that Finlay is older, it's perfect! She and Declan rode side by side today with no problems! They even shared part of a sugar cookie! It doesn't have cup holders for the driver or any kind of tray for the occupants, but I consider it fitting in my car to be a much more important attribute than cup holders! Plus, I'm sure I can buy a cup holder attachment and probably MacGyver something out of a bungee cord and a snack trap for the kids!

So hopefully, this will be THE one! I try not to think about the fact that for all the money I have spent on 5 strollers, I could have been on Pimp my Stroller and had Exhibit custom make me a double Bugaboo with iPod speakers and a juice box fridge!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


C'mon, Irene!

In case you've been living under a rock, there's a hurricane affecting much of the east coast. I'm not really one to give in to all the hoopla. I haven't nailed plywood to anything. I haven't filled my bathtub with water. I don't have cases of batteries and canned goods on hand. I figure if we have milk and diapers, we can make it work.

While everyone was raiding the grocery store this morning for water and batteries, we were hosting Ava's birthday party at the local bouncy house place. I was worried that the storm was going to force us to cancel leaving us with a heartbroken little birthday girl, but everyone came out and I think Ava had fun! Jay and I stayed up super late last night working on the favors. Not being a fan of crappy made-in-China goody bag favors, I made all the girls CDs full of some of Ava's favorite songs. I made little CD cases tied with handwritten notes thanking them for coming. I was really pleased with how they turned out! And then I witnessed this conversation go down at the party:

Mean girl (pointing to CDs): "What the heck are those? Where are the goody bags?"
Ava: "We don't have goody bags, we made CDs"
Mean girl: "Why did you make CDs?!"
Ava looks at me, looks at mean girl, eyes well up with tears
Mean girl: "What's on the CDs?"
Ava: "just some songs I like"
Mean girl: "Oh.... Well is there at least some Selena Gomez?"

This is when I stepped in, told the girl that I had made the CDs, that I had put on some good songs and that NO, there was no Selena Gomez. Seriously? I had no idea mean girls started so young! WTF! I have never wanted to slap someone so much in my life! This little seven year old made me, for a split second, question my choice in favors! And I'm 31! I can't even imagine what it was doing to Ava! But Ava is a tough cookie, she didn't let that tear welling up in her eyes fall. She didn't give that girl the satisfaction. She just walked away and started handing CDs out to the other more appreciative guests. I was so proud of her!

So now that the party is over, we are all hunkered down here, waiting out the storm. So far, we still have power. Which is awesome! We still do not have Internet due to a storm earlier in the week. The Verizon man was due to come out tomorrow, but due to the hurricane, he called today to reschedule. He said he could come out on the 30th instead, September 30th. After a rather humorous conversation between said Verizon man and my husband, we may be switching service providers!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


it's like three of my favorite things had a baby

What do you get when you mix bright colors, bicycles and a Target collaboration? You get this guy:

It's the new Missoni for Target bicycle available September 13th for $399. I'm seriously in love with it. It's so pretty, I don't know if I want to actually ride it or I just want to hang it in my house somewhere . They also have 399 other items coming to Target stores nationwide, but I only have eyes for this guy. For now.

The only problem...

with trying to write a blog about life with four kids is that life with four kids makes it hard to write a blog. So here I am, over a month since my last post. I don't even know where to start. We took all the kids to Mexico. Our trip was kind of like childbirth. I'm glad I did it, but I'm glad it's over. Then we celebrated our sweet Finlay's first birthday. So bittersweet! Every day I find myself torn between being excited for her and all of her new milestones and being sad that it means the end of her being a baby. Jay and I also got to take a little trip sans kiddos. Jay had to go to Vegas last week for work and I was able to join him for a few nights. The kids were split evenly between grandparents and a good time was had by all. Now we are in the midst of back-to-school chaos and Ava's 7th birthday which has inexplicably become 5 days away.

To fully recap the last 38 days (since I last blogged), here is a photo summary:

Finlay's 1st plane ride

Emerson's 1st plane ride

trying to entertain Declan on the plane (i.e. stuff with snacks)

Towel Art

Dec took up ping pong

But found it exhausting

Big fans of Zacharitas (Mexican Frosted Flakes)

funny faces

1st Shirley Temple

1st taco

Emerson being serenaded

tan baby

this picture made the whole trip worth it

so well-behaved on the flight home

1st swing ride

the most serious anyone has ever looked on a swing

that's more like it

finlay and feet

"all the sprinkel babies"

standing up

still just 2 teeth

last picky sticky picture

dessert table at the party (minus the 2 pink lemonade mini bundt cakes that Declan swiped)

party food

1st bow

yes, we match. no, it was not planned.

1st cupcake

1st time I've been anywhere that required a hand stamp in 8 years

Vegas room dance party

Don't judge. We don't get out much!