Friday, July 30, 2010

a really great day

Lucky Ducks you are! Two blogs in one night. ;o)

While getting the new stroller was a highlight of the day, it wasn't the only one, and I wanted to take a second just to jot down some memories.

It actually started last night. I stayed up too late - like till 4:30am late. Why? Well, I had an extra glass of wine that made me not so sleepy. I ended up talking to Billie Jo for several hours while she drove back to Portland from Eugene. Next thing I know, it's 4:30 and I'm tired.

So, needless to say, this morning came a little too early for my liking. It was also a little too bright. But, it's not like I had the option of just going back to sleep. Kyle needed to get to work and Abby needed tending to. So, I thought that maybe if I just acted like I was awake, I could trick myself.

I got up, showered, dressed, took Kyle to work, and stole Abby away to Target with me. Oh, Target.

First things first - I needed coffee. So, Abs and I shared some lemon pound cake and I sipped on some caffine for breakfast. Both were delicious. After that, we strolled around the store and found the big 75% off toy sale. I was very excited to see that they had several nice toys that are perfect for Abby's age and interest marked down. So, I got her several things that we're going to keep until her birthday. Things that were $20 were marked down to $4.25! In all, I got about $68 worth of toys for a whopping $16 bucks. I cannot tell you how good that felt. It made me giddy.

So, we spent some more time at Target looking for other deals and got some other stuff too. Abby was decently behaved. She often tries to stand up in carts now. At first, I would just tell her to sit down, and she would. Then, I had to make her sit down. But, now - she's really good about locking her knees and not going back down and if you do make her - she just screams. So, what to do? I decided that if she refused to sit, I'd refuse to move. So, our trip took a little longer since we had several standing breaks where she just wanted to stand. The cute thing is that most of the time, she would stand up, and lean on me to give me a hug for 30 seconds or so, and then sit back down. So, while I certainly don't want to reinforce standing in the cart - it was nice to get so many hugs. She's got my number, huh? ;o)

Anyway, we finished our shopping and Abby won a bag of popcorn as a treat for being pretty good (plus it was snack time). Apparently, popcorn is magic. She happily snacked on that stuff until we got home - and that included another detour to the grocery store. Magic, I tell you.

Well, my Target spoils had me in a giddy mood still when we got home. I fed Abs and played with her and put her to nap. As soon as I came downstairs, the stroller was delivered. I seriously felt like it was Christmas morning. So, I spent nap time putting the stroller together and playing with it. Abs slept late and I eventually had to wake her up around 4:30. We took a quick test run and went to get Kyle from work.

Once we all got home, it was time to start dinner. I decided to try something different. I'd never done it before, but we made an italian sausage/pepper/onion sub thing. I sauteed the peppers and onions with portobello mushrooms and added the sausage. Toasted the subs (which was really just a french loaf cut in half), added provolone and seasonings and broiled it for a few minutes. Topped it off with some italian dressing and called it dinner. They turned out better than I expected, so that was another good note for the day. :)

After dinner, we decided to make a quick run to the post office to mail off some stuff I had forgotten about. Of course, we took the new stroller and the three of us enjoyed an early evening stroll. It was nice. I mean, the weather was perfect and everything.

To top off the day, we decided to stop for an ice cream treat on the way home. Is there a better way to end a day than a chocolate malt? I didn't think so. What a great day.

We put Abs to bed and cleaned up the house and now I'm here blogging. I just wanted to remember today. It was a really nice day, and to think I nearly started it in a bad mood - what a waste that would have been. ;)

my groovy joovy

Yesterday morning, Kyle and I found ourselves talking about jogging strollers (again). We'd researched them a lot a few months ago but just never found anything that felt right and I had decided that I probably wouldn't use it. But, recently, I've felt more and more like I would not only use it, but use it often if I had one. So, Kyle gave me his blessing to look at them again.

After a few hours of internet research, I'd made up my mind. I decided I wanted a Joovy Zoom 360. This particular stroller wasn't on our radar before - I believe it's relatively new, but after reading review after review after review and discovering that they were all overwhelmingly positive, I got up the courage to order one.

I ordered mine from I wanted the blue one, but it also comes in black and red. On the stroller was listed at $199.99. Now, that's a lot of money. Especially for somebody who thinks any clothing over $5 or $10 is too extravagant for her. BUT. If you've ever researched joggers, you know that anything under $200 is considered affordable. I mean, sure, if I had an extra $500-600 lying around, I'd probably just go buy myself a BOB (a higher end and very popular stroller) and not bat an eye. But, no can do. We wanted to keep our budget under $200 for sure. I found a promo code "10percent" and saved $20 off my total. Shipping is free AND (here's the best part) it is next day shipping! So. My grand total was $179.99 and I got it 26 hours after I ordered it. Sweet!

I'm not a reviewer. I'm not trying to get all technical about anything, but I thought I'd give a little bit of a closer look into this stroller. One, because it's kinda new. And two, I would have found more pictures helpful when I was searching. If you want to read about the technical aspects of the stroller, go here. Here are a few of the features I liked about this stroller.

1) Aesthetics, I know looks shouldn't matter, but they do of course, and I like the look of this stroller. :)

2) The weight limit! This stroller is built for kids up to 75lbs - which means I can jog with Abs until about 5th grade. Most strollers are built for kids up to 40-50 lbs, so this one exceeded my expectations.

3) The sunshade - the Zoom comes with a fantastic sunshade that can come out in 3 different lengths. When pulled out all the way, the baby's face is fully protected from the sun. The top of the sunshade has a generous window with a flap that rolls back so that the parent can keep an eye on things below.

4) the storage. The parent tray is a soft tray that straps to the handles. I don't know if this would bother some people, but I kinda like it. It means that I can put my keys in the pocket and there's no rattling. The cupholder pockets and zipper pocket are generous. My tall smartwater bottle fit fine in the cupholder and I fit my wallet, keys, camera, and phone in the zipper pocket without issue.

There's also mesh pockets on the back of the seat should you like to use them as well/instead.

This stroller doesn't come with a snack bar for the kiddos - something I had originally wanted. But, these mesh pockets serve a similar purpose. On our test run, Abby was able to enjoy her bag of popcorn (without spilling it) and drink her water with ease. There are pockets for the kiddo on both sides.

and of course, the underneath storage. There is plenty of space for stuff down there and it's open and easily accessible. I also like that the storage area comes with built in velcro straps meant to hold the (included) air pump so that you can always have it with you.

5) The ride. I read a ton of reviews before reading them and I actually had to go search for negative ones. Everybody liked the ride, and while I'm no expert, I can't complain. The Zoom has a swivel front wheel that can be locked in for jogging. We tried both.

I found that jogging with the swivel wheel was fine - I wasn't going quickly or far, but for a brisk walk/ short run it was at least a smooth ride and very easy to handle. When I locked the wheel into lock mode, the whole stroller tended to veer to the right. This was more noticeable if I was walking with the locked wheel than jogging - but it was noticeable while jogging too.

I had read that other people had the same problem. Supposedly, tightening the wheel screw can fix the problem. I haven't attempted it, but probably will eventually. Overall, the ride was very smooth and enjoyable. The swivel wheel option means we can use this stroller on shopping trips or other more leisurely activities - and knowing how much we love the Freedom Trail - I'm excited to get good use out of the stroller for everyday trips as well.


lots of reflective stitching built in for those dusk and night jogs

6) folding. Folding is easy. Behind the footrest is a wire. You pull the wire while pressing another lever and the whole stroller collapses effortlessly. You do need two hands to do it, so keep that in mind, but it is not difficult to do.

I had no problem fitting the stroller in our trunk, although I have a small SUV, so I'm unsure how the stroller would fit in a smaller car. The wheels pop off easily for smaller storage if needed. In this picture, the stroller is laying on top of our umbrella stroller - thus the awkward angle. So, I'd have room for both of those strollers and a full grocery trip still.

7) The details. I mentioned before that the stroller came with an air pump, which is a nice addition. It also comes with a full rain cover and, of course, the parent tray. The stroller took me, maybe, 15 minutes to put together, and most of that was unpacking. It was very simple. And I like simple.

The only other complaint I read about this stroller was that the handle bar is not adjustable. I'm not sure how this would affect people who are overly tall or abnormally short - but I'm 5' 3" and was comfortable. My husband who is 5' 10" ish was fine as well. I read reviews that people 6' were also comfortable, but still, something to keep in mind. Also, there is no hand brake if that's on your must-have list. There is a wrist strap that you can wear to make sure no run-away stroller incidents occur.

So, here's to the beginning of what I hope is a long and beautiful relationship. I'm excited to get out and get moving with the little one in tow. I'll let you know if anything crazy happens, but from our experiences today playing and prodding this thing - we would definitely recommend it for somebody looking for a nice stroller on a budget. :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

world cup 2030

Abby, if you grow up to be a soccer champ, your daddy probably wouldn't mind.
Just thought I'd let you know.
just in case.

here are a few shots of you showing off your fancy footwork. ;)

....or maybe you'll be the keeper.

world cup 2030?

well, you're cute either way. :)

You Capture - Play

Play? Seriously? Every picture I take falls into this category I think. Not to mention that we just got back from our vacation, so I have all of those pictures too. Sigh. How to pick just a few?

I love this theme. Here are few pictures from this last week that capture some our time spent playing. Enjoy.

I guess we'll start big. Abby's first trip to Disney.
We had a blast - we played hard all day long

and on the other vacation days - we played on the beach.
she ran for what seemed like miles. :)

But then there is the everyday kind of play
like tea parties and tutus

and of course, going to the park to swing

and slide :)
(...and slide, and slide, and slide...)

and this last one goes out to Beth, who loves ice cream as much as we do.

We play a lot around here, as I'm sure most of you do - go see the other playful pictures by checking out Beth's site today. :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

everyday stuff

As Abs and I are both shaking off the last bits of this cold, we've had a few laid back days which has been nice. I love summer vacation. I just thought I'd throw a few pictures up to document a few things.

I like this picture because despite her (obviously) runny nose and the fact that she is hoarse and sick still in her PJs - nothing is going to stop her from putting on her jewelry and dancing.

by the way, these crazy bandz were a disney/airplane intervention
- they work, too. She loves em. Isn't that weird?

Yesterday, we went to pick up Kyle from work and the weather was so perfect. About 85 degrees and no humidity. We ended up walking around the city a bit and grabbing dinner out just so we could be outside longer. While at dinner, I caught Abs giving me this new face she does. It cracks me up, mostly because I know she's totally imitating a face I give her all the time.
doesn't she look so grown up?

Abby got a whole sundae as part of her meal - we tried to get her to eat some, she took one bite before she refused to get close to it again, but I got this picture that looks like she's totally about to dig in. :)

This morning, we just went to the park. Abby is getting to be so independent. I no longer have to follow her around on to every piece of equipment, she can climb and slide all on her own now.
but she still likes the swings the best

Sadly, we had our first sign of aggression at the park too. Abby was sitting on a step, and I suppose she thought this made her queen of the step because the next thing I know, a little girl is trying to climb by her and Abby reached out and pushed her a little - not really enough for the girl to notice, but Abby was visibly angry at her. I redirected Abby and all was well. But, later, she was sitting on the same step again and her bridge-troll side came out again when a little boy tried to pass her - she grabbed at his leg and was opened her mouth to bite him! I stopped her before she could, but it was so odd. I know she doesn't get to spend a lot of time with other kids, but it's just weird to see her aggressive out of the blue like that. Anyway, we left the park after that with due admonishment to the wee one.

I have a feeling that our terrible twos are juuust around the corner.

Luckily, 98% of the time, she's still sweet. :)

so, nothing big to report - just a little bit of our everyday stuff. Of course, these days are what build the years, so I'm glad to document them too. :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hi Blog!

Hi! Remember me? Has this been my longest blog hiatus ever? It sure feels like it.

We didn't have internet on our vacation until the last day or so, and I couldn't even blog or facebook on my phone for the most part - so we were cut off from updating everyone on our day to day activities. And so, now, here I am 12 days later and I don't know where to start.

Overall, vacation was great. I took something like 1600 pictures and pared them down to 200 good ones and shared 100 on facebook, and picked 20 of my favorites to share here.

We very much enjoyed spending time with Kyle's parents and sister on the beach. Abs had fun swimming in the pool and in the ocean. She wasn't so thrilled with the sand at first, but after a little while, she got the hang of it and stopped having to wash her hands every time a single piece of sand touched her (she's a very clean child.)

Unlike last year when she could barely sit on her own - this year she was able to interact with the beach and ocean. She learned a lot of new vocabulary, she learned to dig in the sand, stomp sand castles, and search for shells. We learned how to throw shells and seaweed back into the ocean. She learned how to squat down in the surf and jump up when the waves came. She learned that she could run along the beach for as long as she wanted - and she loved it.

I was happy that we were able to avoid sunburns the whole trip. I mean, I had her pretty well greased up with high SPF sunscreen, hats, and coverups - but still - she's so pale...I was worried. But, we all made it home burn free. Yay!

Of course, there was also Disney - which is a whole post in itself. Abby was sick on Disney day. :( She woke up with a low fever and a cold, but she was SUCH a trooper. Despite being sick, hot, over stimulated, nap deprived and kept up 5/6 hours Past her bedtime - she never once melted down or really even cried. She had a really good time most of the day. We all did. We felt blessed that things went so well. Of course, it was utterly exhausting, but fun exhausting. I can't believe I have a kid and that she's already been to Disney. crazy. Sometimes I think this parent thing Never sinks in.

I will try to update more over the next few days, but Abby gave me her cold and I've been dragging a little since we got back. I will, however, update before the next 12 days passes. ;)

Until then, enjoy the pictures (I downloaded these from facebook and then uploaded them again since the originals are on Kyle's computer - so I apologize for the low quality)

Also, most of you are on facebook already, but for those who may not be - here are the rest of the pictures from there should you want to see them:

first popcicle

gotta play somewhere...


being a little dainty about the sand ;)

classic. first trip to Disney

riding the magic carpet ride with auntie kikki

her model pose

fresh watermelon seaside, yum.

she has my hair.

stomping sand castles