Monday, September 8, 2014

Seeking Stroller Advice

Starting at the beginning of October, I'll be watching two of my former co-workers' daughters when they go back to work.  So, I'll be home 5 days a week with 3 children under 2.  Well, I guess technically, at first, it will be 3 children under 1.  Needless to say, I think a sturdy double stroller will be an order if I ever hope to get out of the house this school year.  I've done more stroller research than I care to admit and I'm still unsure what kind to get.  Whether we buy used or new, this will probably be our biggest "for baby" purchase and I'm hoping we can make the "right" purchase the first time.

Sooo, anyone who's reading this blog and can chime in with some stroller recommendations, I'd really appreciate it!  My husband would too...the word stroller is currently outlawed from our dinner time conversations : - )

Here's our situation/preferences:

  1. We're leaning towards a side by side rather than a tandem stroller because both girls will only be 3 months when I start watching them and I need to be able to take them out right away.  Tandems seem to require that at least one child be able to sit completely upright unless you snap the car seat into the stroller.  I'm dealing with 3 different infant car seats and finding a stroller that accommodates different types seems tricky.  Also, from the testing I've done in stores, tandems seem harder for me to maneuver.  Especially when I'll be wearing the third child.   
  2. The seats need to recline a lot. The girls will be tiny.  I don't want them in forced sitting positions with their chins on their chests.  I know most strollers say that you shouldn't use them before 6 months unless you're using a carrier but I'm not taking them out for an all-terrain jog.  I just want them to be comfortable when we're strolling around the neighborhood.  That being said, it would be nice if the seats adjust easily because Alcuin hates being reclined.  
  3. Good sunshade is a must.  We live in Phoenix.  Need I say more?
  4. It doesn't have to be a jogger, but I'd like it to be.  Adam and I are surprised by how much we've been walking/running/hiking since we've moved to AZ.  I walk/run almost everyday and we probably go on a hike twice a month at least.  The trails here are rocky so I'd like wheels that can take that.  
  5. It has to fit in the car.  Obviously, if we're hiking with Alcuin on the weekends.  Or if I ever needed to take all three kids out somewhere (probably never.)  We have a Pontiac Vibe with a hatchback.  
  6. We're not (too) afraid of the price tag.  We understand that even if we buy a used stroller, we'll be shelling out the big bucks.  But I'd rather have a solid stroller that I can hold onto for a while rather than a cheap one that constantly needs parts fixed or that we have to upgrade after 1 or 2 years.  
So, if you have a stroller to recommend, please do!  And if there's something you think that I'm not taking into consideration, I'd be happy to know that too.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Our Visit to PA

We spent the end of June and all of July in Pennsylvania.  It was wonderful.  Besides PA being much less hot (and much more green) than Phoenix, we got to visit with both of our families for several days, took a 4 day trip to Pittsburgh to visit college friends and Alcuin's godparents as well as a few day excursions to see friends in other parts of the state.

Alcuin loved spending time with his grandparents and Adam and I loved the babysitting that the grandparents so eagerly offered : - )  We got to go on 3 dates in the month of July!  I think that fulfills our date quota for the rest of the year...Alcuin also got to spend time with his 2 cousins (ages 5 and 2) and 3 god-siblings (ages 3, 1.5, and 3 mo.) and man, does he love being with other kids!  It's amazing how much happier and less needy he is with other little ones around.  They don't even need to play with him, he just likes to watch them in constant motion.  Alcuin doesn't seem like a Mama's boy (yet!); he exhibits no stranger danger but he HATES being by himself.  One of my biggest frustrations right now is that he seems to need my attention EVERY waking moment of his day.  But at least I can pass him off to anyone without a fuss.  Like today, he played with one of the hygienists for an hour during my dentist appointment.  And then fell asleep in her arms.  The problem is, there isn't usually anyone else during the day until Adam comes home at 5.  I think baby boy needs a puppy so he can chase someone else around the house besides me.

Here are a few pictures from our PA trip:

He loved his oldest cousin, Jaxsen, and Jaxsen was really gentle with him.  He could make Alcuin laugh hysterically just by looking at him.
Hanging with Linus and Dominic and Gregory (below) during our trip to Pittsburgh.
This was the only picture where all three were even close to looking at the camera.  Sorry Gregory!
While in my hometown, we visited some of my favorite childhood haunts such as Merrymead Farm and Friendlys.
With my sister, Emily, at Friendlys.  We used to come here all the time as kids with my grandparents.  The waiter might have smirked at me when I ordered that cone-head sundae.
I love this picture of Alcuin and my dad.
This was taken a few days ago, back in AZ, on Alcuin's 9 month birthday.  I can't believe how big he's getting.  He looks less like a baby and more like a little boy every day. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Please pray for our priests.

Last Wednesday night, there was a break in at our parish.  One of our priests was killed, the other seriously injured.  As of yesterday, he is in critical but stable condition.  We appreciate your prayers for both of them as well as for the people of our parish and for those who committed this grievous crime. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Quick Update

Well, we've moved but we won't have the Internet until the end of the summer for various reasons. I'm back to haunting coffee shops for an hour or two while Adam hangs with Alcuin.  Since I don't have too much time, here are a few pictures I snapped of Alcuin and the new place:

Half of our new backyard

One messy house
One messy baby room
One sitting babe in need of haircut
One sitting babe post haircut
Same sitting babe in front of kitchen mirror. 
I'm hoping to update more soon.  We'll be in PA in July and we're super excited to see everyone.  Until then..God Bless and Happy Summer!  For those who don't live in Phoenix, that is. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

0 1/2 Years With Alcuin Charles

Alcuin turned 6 months old yesterday; wow how time flies!  During his well baby check up, he weighed in at 15 lbs, 3 oz (quite a load to cart around).  New accomplishments include chilling in the exersaucer, sitting (sort of), sitting in a highchair at restaurants (all fun and games until you bang your chin on the table), and sampling a few solid foods. 

Here are Alcuin's opinions on the solid foods he's had to date:
  1. Piece of banana:  "Fun to squish, nowhere near my mouth, please!"
  2. Mashed banana:  "Who'd eat this when you can fling it on the floor?"
  3. McDonald's french fry:  "This is more fun to suck on than my pacifier..."
  4. Pink plastic spoon from Yogurtland:  "Nom, nom, nom!"
Makes an argument for baby-led weaning.

In other news, we got the keys to our new place last Thursday and we officially move in May 17th!  We're excited for Alcuin to have his own bedroom and right now I'm contemplating making it rather, um, Montessori-inspired?!  We'll see how it goes and I'll certainly post pictures of the process. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Alleluia, He has risen!

Happy Easter, everyone!
We hope everyone had a blessed Easter Sunday.  Ours was very joyful.  A friend of ours was received into the church and Adam was his sponsor.  I made it to sunrise service for the first time in 10+ years? of the unexpected joys of being up with a happy baby at 5:30 am.

Two of our friends got engaged yesterday afternoon despite the groom-to-be losing the engagement ring at Easter vigil the night before.  True story.  It must have fallen out of his pocket at mass but he didn't realize it until he had dropped his lady off at her house after the vigil.  So he returned to the church and combed the parking lot with a flashlight in the wee early hours of Easter morning.  No ring.  So he frantically called the priest as soon as the sun came up and asked if it was in the church.The priest searched the church.  Ring found!  Unfortunately, this was after he proposed.  But I think this story indicates that he will be a devoted husband and she a very gracious wife.  We couldn't be happier for them.  And, of course, they now have the best engagement story to share at parties.

On a side note, one of the two Easter parties we attended yesterday had an Easter egg hunt for grown-ups.  Guess what was inside those eggs?  Little bottles of LIQUOR.  Now those were some eggs worth finding.

Alcuin, while lacking the cognitive maturity and necessary mobility for Easter egg hunts did take delight in his Easter basket (though probably not as much delight as Mommy did in making it for him).  Among a few other treats, he got a wooden rattle that he finds absolutely hilarious though this picture doesn't exactly capture his joy:

His grandma also got him some baby musical instruments which he finds thoroughly entertaining.  The kid does love to shake, rattle, and roll.  But mostly just rattle.  It's adorable but when we start to hear those instruments 24/7 the plan is to ship him off to grandma's.  Instruments and all.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Day with the Pink Panda

Today was spent with a pink panda.  Specifically, this pink panda:

If you're anything like my husband, you're asking: "What the heck is that?"  That is Pink Panda, Alcuin's nebulizer and my new best friend.  Seriously, it feels like I sat with this plastic animal ALL DAY LONG. 

Alcuin's had a mild fever and a nasty cough since last week.  Yesterday I did the typical first-time-parent freakout and took him to the pediatrician.  Because my baby's cough could have been life threatening, ya know?  It wasn't.  But the doctor did recommend a breathing treatment.  "Isn't that a bit excessive?"  I thought to myself.  "What happened to the good old days when you tell me to stick him in the bathroom with hot water running and rub Vicks on his feet?"  Turns out I was wrong.  Nothing stops Alcuin's wheezing like this panda does.  I LOVE IT.

Alcuin loves it too.  The little albuterol addict.  
 So that was my day.  Sitting with this bear, dancing in a steamy bathroom with my little man, and of course, the Vicks.  Now the whole bedroom smells like Vicks.  Adam already hates the white noise machine; I can't imagine he's going to be thrilled about the fumes.  And speaking of Adam, tomorrow we will have dinner together for the first time in a week!  Not exaggerating.  That's what happens when your husband coaches track, acts in the school play and agrees to be someone's sponsor for RCIA.  He's a popular guy and I'm proud of him.  He called tonight from RCIA practice to tell me how excited he is that we will have dinner together tomorrow.  Aww.

But seriously, he needs to come home now.  So I can stop staring at this pink bear and talk to an actual person. 

You probably thought this post was going to be way more exciting than it actually was.  I thought so too when I started writing it.  My apologies.  I'm off to sleep in my vapor-filled bedroom. Goodnight :-)