Friday, 30 September 2011

Strollers, Prams, Pushchairs, Buggies!

We now have two children and we own 6 strollers. Somehow I just don't think that is an appropriate ratio. I promised I would write this post on how we got ourselves in this situation so that maybe someone reading this post could avoid some of the mistakes we made along the way. First I will give you the chronological story along with a running tab....this makes me nervous because I have never done the running total yet.

Before Owen was born my wonderful friends and family threw us some amazing baby showers. We received our first of many strollers. Of course it was the stroller which accompanied the travel system with the carseat....because of course you need the stroller which is part of the travel system right? Price $389.

Then we also received a single umbrella stroller which is a must have because it is so portable and easy for travel. Price (original $29.99) but we got it on sale for $19.99!!

After Owen was a couple months old I decided to run a half marathon so the purchase of a single jogging stroller was necessary...hmm. I have always been a cost conscious shopper so in my purchases I tend to gravitate toward the cheaper or mid range models. We purchased the baby jogger, price $139. I must say that I loved this stroller...for the price it was a great jogger...especially when compared to it's more expensive counterparts! I also loved the tray on the front, this often doubled as a highchair when we went out and kept Owen happy with cheerios when I would go for a run.

Then when Owen was about 10 months old we found out we were having another baby! When you have children this close in age (18 months apart) you find that you will need a double stroller!! I decided to wait until Lucy was born to decide what to do about a double....especially since there were rumblings we might be relocating to London. So when Lucy was a couple months old and we knew we were moving to London we made our first double stroller purchase. I decided that we needed a stroller which was compatible with our infant carseat since this is where Lucy spent most of her time when we were out...and of course there were only a couple which were compatible! We purchased the Chicco Double, price $240 (original $299, but of course I had a coupon for 20% off).

One of my neighbors was selling her double umbrella stroller at the time we were getting ready to move so I thought this might come in handy in the airports and when lucy got old enough to sit without the carseat. It was also very compact and great for travel. So I made another double purchase complete with foot muffs and rain cover.  Price $175.

So if you have lost count this is 5 stroller purchases and 2 children. This brings us to London. We brought the Chicco Double, the Mclaren Double and the single umbrella to London with us. We only have a small room for all 5! We quickly realized that the Chicco Double barely fit in the "lift" in our building and was just too large and cumbersome to navigate the streets and stores in this city. We also have a set of 4 steps at the front of our building to navigate. We thought to ourselves...isn't it great we brought our second double with us...the nice "compact" Mclaren. We quickly learned that this stroller absolutely just plain did not fit in the lift at all! The fact that mama did not have a car in this new city and this was my primary mode of transportation for a year lead us to the unavoidable decision to purchase a new double stroller which "worked" for our current situation. I finally decided to break out the big guns and get a good more expensive stroller which would make my life easy. After some research and some careful measurements...."measure once" we decided on the phil and teds double! Price £328 for stroller, £63 for doubles kit, £21.95 for rain cover, £85 for foot muffs...grand total of £497.95, conversion to US$ was $846!  Love the exchange rate!

So long story short. We now own 6 strollers, the first 5 were a total of $963 and the LAST....and I mean LAST stroller was almost as much as the first 5! If I had to go back and start from scratch knowing what I know now I would get the following items, because what I have realized is that you do need more than just one...but you don't need 6!

I would get the following:

1) Single Umbrella
We use this one often to run just one child somewhere. We didn't spend a lot of money on it so I don't worry about leaving it unattended.

2) Phil and Teds
I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stroller! It is the size of a single stroller so it navigates in stores, buses, subway, etc. easily. It is easily converted to a double when a second child arrives, there are so many configurations for infant and toddler, baby and toddler, and it even has an attachment you can buy to adapt to your infant car seat....while still carrying your toddler. The best part is also a jogger, you can lock the front wheel and I have run with it and it is just as good as my single baby jogger. My only complaint is that you have to remove the double seat on the bottom to fold it.

3) Mclaren Double
This is an optional purchase, we use this one when we are traveling because it folds nicely and is compact.

This would've cut our stroller purchases in half.  Oh well Live and Learn.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Willette Photo Class - week 1

This week I began a 3 week photo class called "Family Joy" featured on Willette Designs.  The first week's assignment was several pictures of your immediate family.  It was learning how to use the remote shutter release, thinking of "family photos" in different ways/configurations, and just practicing some new techniques in photoshop.  Here was what week 1 yielded from my assignment...enjoy!

Family Portrait.

Portraits in Primrose Park.  Owen is loving this!

Getting ready for some Sunday American Football!!  Drew and I got a sitter and got to go out to an American Sports Bar to watch the Eagles take on the Giants.  We won't talk about the outcome!

Friday, 23 September 2011

In the Night Garden Live!

I decided to take Owen to see his first live show. He has been watching this British TV show called "In the Night Garden," which is just as creepy as can be....but he loves it! We left Lucy with the nanny and took off on our adventure.  Lucy and I have been getting a lot of one-on-one time together while Owen has been in school so Owen was due for some. We rode the big red "BUS" to the show.

Disclaimer:  All of these photos were taken with my blackberry phone so the quality wasn't the best.  We weren't allowed to bring cameras into the theatre.

Owen when he saw the red bus arrive!

Sitting on the big red bus.

His snack before the show.

Owen hugging Igglepiggle at the mall before the show.

Owen and Igglepiggle!

The light wand I had to buy or the entire hour would've been miserable.  They really stick it to the parents....once one kid had one....everyone in the place had to have one.

Igglepiggle Live and in person!

Owen did really well and sat on my lap mesmerised for the entire 50 minute show!  We had a great day out.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Weekend Activities!

(Owen 2 Years, Lucy 10 Months)

Lucy, Owen and I went on some adventures of our own this weekend.  I have been wanting to check out the local farmers market for awhile now so we headed there bundled for winter!  Bought some great brie and local tomatoes.  Owen enjoyed a grilled ham and brie sandwich for lunch and even ate several of the tomatoes.  He also ate salmon for dinner that night which really surprised me...maybe he is starting to branch out.  The salmon was not in nugget form either!

What weekend is not complete without a trip to the playground!

.....and just some messing around in the house!  Owen and Lucy are really starting to play more together and I just love watching them interact.

Bed Head!

Owen you are not supposed to be doing that and you know it!

Who will be our little laxer??

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