Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday shmooze-day

First ever post from my laptop... for reals. We got a new power cord and Jim is going to get a new battery and all of a sudden my 2008 macbook will be brandnew'ish. Woot woot.
Hmm so let's see what there is to update the world on--
Hadley: Since she took her first chain of steps last week, our girl has literally taken off!  She will walk confidently down the sidewalk by herself {totally taking breaks to pull flowers out of my planters} and even walking down the hallway in the house and through the kitchen. Our lady has seriously grown into a full blown toddler with places to go (by herself) and LOTS of things to do!
State Fair: Jim and I went to the great Minnesota Get Together last Friday [8.24.12] and it was AMAZING as always-- at least I thought so! We had beergaritas, cheese curds, asian fusion pulled pork tacos, lamb fries (testicles!!) and churros. We also picked up two awesome quilts and a sock monkey winter hat for the kiddo since she was home with her auntie playing instead of sweating it out with us in the crowds.
New car: Working out beautifully and so much more comfy/easy to travel in compared to the coupe. Loving it.
My family: I love my family dearly and I know that everyone's family is complex but seriously I am so utterly frustrated by the lack of communication. For me to find out through a text message that I don't get the opportunity to say goodbye to my sister for who knows how long after she had just been gone for over six weeks is really tough. Wait tough doesn't describe it which = the frustration. Boo {and hiss}.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

NEW Car!

This has been a big week as far as our automobiles go. We traded in the 2-door car that I got after college for another sporty SUV (that's luxurious too! spoiled? maybe...) so now we have practical cars for Minnesota!
I made sure to get some pics of us with our car before it left us. AND I had to add some pics of Hadley blowing bubbles with grandma and grandpa.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fun at the lake and zoo

We went to the lake to play tennis and see my family yesterday. Hadley loved the rope swing in the backyard and playing with her GiGi.
Today we went to the Como zoo with friends and it was a fun time for all of us. Especially when Jim and Hadley got to see the bison! ;)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kenmore washer on it's way

Tomorrow we will have a new Kenmore washer delivered since our old machine broke for good on Saturday. Not much else to report-- Hadley is still working on walking!

Monday, August 13, 2012

In full bloom.

My backyard trough planter is looking amazing :) hopefully it lasts another 2 months before it gets too cold for big blooms!
Last night we had my sister Taylor and her bf from Boston over for dinner with my parents. It was fun but Hadley was pretty shy... that was funny. Hadley's GiGi {my mom} brought her a tea set and she's already been having a lot of fun with it-- so cute!
Saturday was interesting. Jim put out mice poison around our garage and Lucy ended up eating some accidentally. Immediate trip to the vet to pump it out of her tummy :( AND our washing machine bit the dust. Double bummer day for us plus Jim's parents had Harley trouble on a day trip so it was not a great day for many of us.
We have done lots of walking {holding one hand OR one finger haha!} and Hadley is doing great and gaining confidence. She will stand for a few minutes at a time unassisted but only outside. She especially loves the feel of the wind in her hair when we are outside working on standing and walking. It's so cute and Hadley is just a dream-- I know she's mine so I should be in love but seriously she is such a good little girl and she just keeps getting better every day somehow. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

First Steps

Yesterday, 8/9/12, was the big day that Hadley took her first set of four independent steps!! My momma heart nearly burst with happiness and pride.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dog sitting.

Today, my parents dropped off their 3 dogs.... this means that I currently have 5 dogs in our sweet little house plus two babies {during the day} and it's a tight fit! Jim is working late tonight so it's been a tough, LONG day.
In the last week, Hadley has gotten much more confident in her walking [which = pushing around walker toys] she's nearly jogging behind them down the hallway. :)
Today also marks the day that the top two first year molars popped so she has been a trooper! Tooth count is up to TWELVE and I'm so proud ;) obviously!

Britax B-Ready Double REVIEW

We have owned and loved a handful of different premium strollers- an UppaBaby Vista 2011, a Baby Jogger City Select 2012 and now a Britax B-Ready 2012... wow that's a lot of trial and error. ;) If you're not interested in my intensive review of loves, hates and the in-betweens of these baby rides, please feel free to skip. ;)
With just one child {and no fear of price tags} the UppaBaby Vista would be my definite number one choice hands down! It's seriously a great quality ride for baby and a great value if you use all of the included accessories (especially the bassinet which I've heard many people don't get to use). The only "problem" came when I needed a second seat for the baby that I babysit. The smaller second seat for the Vista {their rumble seat} was only suitable for an older child because it has no recline and it sat really close to the main seat. We went to a local boutique to try the second seat and Hadley despised being in the rumble seat {she's usually such a happy rider} so I knew it wasn't meant to be. Hadley is my spoiled love bug! :) Who could blame her though since the main seat is amazing... After 10 happy months of happy ownership, we decided to go ahead and trade-in for a City Select.
The Baby Jogger City Select is also a very nice stroller {and we crazy love their City Mini stroller for travel}. The City Select is a full-sized tandem stroller with the option of using as a single or with two full-sized seats or with an infant car seat or a bassinet, etc, in a ton of different combinations. For my 'tester' kiddos who are 13 months apart, I thought the City Select would be just what we needed. It did work out well for us but the high price and overall length of the stroller were drawbacks since we only need the double 50% of the time and we were already spoiled by the supreme maneuverability of both the UppaBaby Vista and the Baby Jogger City Mini. The seats of the City Select weren't as configurable for a 16 month old and a 3.5 month old as I had hoped. The City Select was a front runner for me when researching because of its many configuration options BUT with one seat needing to be completely reclined to accommodate the little guy (the seats are billed as being for 6 months up but baby boy is BIG so he fit easily at 10 weeks), Hadley's seat had only had a few options. The distance between the seats wasn't my favorite since they honestly were really close together. My opinion is that this is an ideal ride for twins and a good (but not perfect) option for kids close in age. The length of the City Select made me feel as though I was pushing a traditional tandem stroller {think Graco Duo Glider} which was just not quite what I had hoped for.
Enter stage left:: the Britax B-Ready! I found out about the Britax Free Ride event and was immediately jealous of how great the price was in comparison to the City Select-- for the City Select, with all of the options that we had already added we were at a total of $762 {second seat, car seat adaptor, snack tray}. During the Britax Free Ride event you can score the B-Ready AND a second seat (or infant seat or bassinet) for $399 with a 20% off Buy Buy Baby coupon. Thankfully, I could still return the City Select to Buy Buy Baby where I'd purchased it back in late June and pick up the B-Ready with the free second seat-- easy as pie!
We've only had it for 5 days and I already LOVE it since it combines all the things I adored about our UppaBaby Vista as a single but it's better suited for two kids full time or as needed. The B-Ready has an amazing lower seat that is actually ideal for your smaller kiddo since it reclines to 4 positions (upright to completely flat for newborns). The lower position can also accept infant car seats which is amazing AND the stroller's push feels like a single even when fully loaded (just like the UppaBaby Vista and not at all like the long chassis of the City Select.... hated how long that one felt when pushing it even in single mode). Every other option that we've owned or tried has had the bigger kid defaulted to the lower seat which just is not what we're interested in.
Yesterday, we took both kiddos to a doctor appointment for Hadley and it worked amazingly well! My friend's little boy that I babysit was so happy the entire time in the lower seat (reclined, as he's 3.5 months) PLUS the diaper bag fits super easily in the basket with the roomy upper seat for our 16 month old. The fact that it folds up as compactly as the UppaBaby Vista WITH the second seat attached made me so very happy and satisfied! :)
Other details:
I got the silver/lightish blue color of the B-Ready as It was close to the Light blue Cole Vista color that I had loved having. The second seat I got (free!) is in black since I like that it blends with the black back fabric of the main seat and the black plastic pieces of the frame if that makes sense. *I love the "look" of the UppaBaby rumble seat and it's only in black so I knew that it would be visually good for me although Britax has matching second seats for each of it's available seat colors. The additional accessories I would still like to eventually add would be the Britax stroller organizer and the two adapter pieces to allow the Chicco Keyfit 30 to fit in the bottom slot.
Overall, if you are in the market for a full size luxury type stroller than can convert to a fully functional yet not enormous double when needed, I would highly recommend the Britax B-Ready. Please leave a comment or send me a message if you have any questions. :)

Image 1- The B-Ready folded with second seat attached fits into our compact car's (3-series coupe) trunk with lots of room. It is exactly the same size folded in the trunk as the single UppaBaby Vista in the same area.
Image 2- Our silver B-Ready with attached black second seat. Love it.
***Update*** We were really happy with the B-Ready until both Hadley and little Corbin decided that it was so uncool to be in the bottom seat. The B-Ready was returned to BuyBuyBaby and we are back to the City Select! We bought a used Baby Jogger City Select and all was right in the kingdom once again. :) For now at least! Turns out, the B-Ready is great for small infants but once they want to see stuff, the City Select's stadium seating totally wins.