Week in Review/ 2

This week was our new normal and we all survived. I think.

The Boys

E is doing well at his new school, and learning a lot! One afternoon he started talking to me about India, South America, islands, and oceans. I’ve also noticed he’s become more orderly, pushing his chair in when he gets up from the table and much more likely to put something away when he’s done using it. I regret not switching him to a Montessori sooner!

After too many rough mornings getting out the door, I nixed screen time during the week. Typically, he’s played games on daddy’s phone in the morning and then watched a few episodes of something after school. That’s more screen time than I’m comfortable with as it is, and it was obvious to me that it was really impacting his behavior. So we went cold-turkey and it’s been fine. He still asks (sometimes multiple times) to watch TV after school, but doesn’t argue when I say no. Instead, we read a lot of books (usually the same one over and over, which drives me a bit bananas since we have easily 300 picture books) and he helps with L (E loves to spray water on the cloth wipes for diaper changes, and also likes to wipe the “poo poo” off of the baby). We also do something one-on-one once L goes down for a nap (whenever he decides that is).

When we have some time just the two of us, we’ve been doing craft projects like I mentioned last week, or sticker activity books. E is OBSESSED with sticker activity books, and they are actually a little bit hard to find. My godmother gave him one over the Christmas break that was right up his alley (I’ve already forgotten the theme of it, but I think it was farm animals?). Turns out it was from the Target dollar spot, and I was happy to find 3 more besides the one he already did. He whips through them really fast, so I’m glad they were just $1. We did two this week, plus a Kumon Science sticker activity book. The science book is similar to the Kumon Step-by-Step sticker books (Trains, Planes and More / At the Zoo) I found about a year ago that he loved. He had no interest in the pages that were matching games or mazes, but fortunately, the book is mostly sticker pages (with a few coloring pages that he did want to complete). I wish there were more of these because I’d probably buy them, even though they are a little expensive considering how fast he goes through them.

E also had his four-year-old well check this week and it was kind of hilarious how uncooperative he was. The nurse only managed to get his weight, not his height, and he had no interest in participating in the hearing or vision tests. Despite the obstinance, he was given a clean bill of health.

L is still obsessed with his shark toy and gnawing on his hands. He seems to have fallen into a routine for nighttime sleep, at least. He will go down between 7 and 8, depending on when he woke up from his last nap. If I dream feed him before I go to bed between 10 and 11, he will typically sleep til 4 or 5, and then until 7 or so. Still working on daytime sleep, but I think getting a consistent nap routine down will help.

The Peaceful Preschool

I gave E the “A” page to watercolor one day after school and he promptly flipped it over and did a wonderful watercolor on the back. ha! I still want to continue doing activities based on this curriculum but am working on figuring out exactly what that looks like. I had other stuff planned for this week that didn’t happen for various reasons (mostly time).

Exercise

Finally! I made it to Stroller Strides Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. My muscles were screaming but it felt good. The baby usually fell asleep within the first 10 minutes of class if he wasn’t already asleep, which was awesome because he hates the car seat and I was worried he would scream the whole time I was trying to work out. I had planned to go to yoga on Saturday but didn’t make it; I think I just have to give up on any group exercise that isn’t first thing in the morning. It’s too hard to get out of the house at a specific time after that.

The Artist’s Way

I read the chapter. I did Morning Pages 4 out of 7 days. I did zero of the tasks, even though a few of them sounded fun. I did not go on an Artist Date. I’m tempted to call it quits because if I’m not doing the tasks and I really doing The Artist’s Way? But I think I’m going to keep going.

Reading/Watching/Listening

I finished Dan Rather’s What Unites Us. It was nice to read something that acknowledged the dumpster fire that is the current political climate in our country while still striking an uplifting tone.

I started Simplicity Parenting, which I’ve been meaning to read for literally years. We definitely need to do some simplifying around here and I’m hoping I’ll come away with some inspiration for making this a more child-centered home.

We watched the first episode of David Letterman’s new show on Netflix, and it was good. If you’re missing Obama, it’s a must-watch.

Other Stuff

My postpartum doula came Friday morning which is always so helpful. L is a bit of a Velcro baby (thankfully he doesn’t seem to mind if I’m not the one holding him), but between the two of us we were able to get so much done. Of course, by this evening (Sunday), I was feeling completely disorganized again.

I’ve been slowly cleaning out the closet in the nursery, which still had a bunch of E’s stuff (mostly outgrown clothes). I also organized and bagged up all of my maternity clothes and everything L has outgrown (how is that possible?). Most of it is going to my birth center’s swap in a couple of weeks. I’m thrilled to be getting this stuff out of my house.

We went to Ikea on Sunday (I hate that store) and bought two Kallax units and a bunch of baskets for the play room. I can’t wait to get that assembled and begin the great toy purge of 2018.

Food

I did a small Sunday meal prep with mixed results. I made two batches of muffins, one for E and one for me. I didn’t care for mine and he didn’t seem crazy about his, either. I also made roasted sweet potato, chickpea and kale salad bowls with more success.

Monday- Husband had a work thing and I ate leftovers

Tuesday- taco bowls (ground turkey, lettuce, Spanish rice, avocado, corn; normally I add pico, too, but I forgot it at the store)

Wednesday- Thai slaw with shredded chicken

Thursday- Husband had a work thing, I had take out

Friday- chicken tortilla soup, sort of I started with this recipe from Dinner: A Love Story, but didn’t want to bother frying up tortillas, I didn’t have a jalapeno, and I can’t have any of the fun toppings like sour cream and cheese. I cooked the garlic and onion and added the tomato paste, then added 4 cups of chicken broth (5 seemed like more than we would need), some frozen corn (because it was looking like very sad soup), and about 2.5 cups of shredded chicken that was already in the fridge. We had avocado on top and it was not bad and probably the easiest dinner I made all week.

Saturday- sushi

Sunday- chicken and veggie stir fry with ginger maple sauce

The Week Ahead

Honestly, I don’t even know.

Week in Review/ 1

This week was cabin fever and settling into new routines.

The Boys

E started at his new preschool this week. He’s doing well there, but I’m trying to be sensitive to how big of an adjustment this is for him.

At home, we tried to combat cabin fever by doing art projects. As a kid, I was obsessed with Klutz Jr. books. I haven’t seen those around in several years, but I recently spied some Klutz Jr. kits at Target. E loves a good project (and I love that he loves them), so I snapped one up. This week he made a blue goat from the egg carton animal kit, plus a cat and dog from the pom-pom animal kit. He also painted and decorated three wooden race cars from a kit we got at the craft store.

L also had a big week. He reached a very important milestone: grasping toys! So far he only seems interested in that one toy. He tries to mouth it, which can’t taste that great because it’s knit. I’ve tried to get him interested in Sophie or Gertie, but no luck yet.

He’s sleeping decently at night. Usually, I get a 5-6 hour stretch, and he’ll eat quickly and go right back to sleep. Which is awesome, of course, but I desperately need him to get on some sort of schedule during the day, for my own sanity.

The Peaceful Preschool

I started The Peaceful Preschool curriculum with E this week, really just as a way to make sure he’s getting one-on-one time with me. We started with the Letter A unit. We read How to Make an Apple Pie and See The World (which was new to us and we both really enjoyed!) and E did the A letter identification worksheet from Over the Big Moon. My plan is to do two weeks per letter, so we’ll do some more ‘A’ related stuff this week.

Exercise

I exercised zero times, so obviously off to a great start towards my goal of 218 workouts. In my defense, I did make it out to a yoga class on Wednesday only to find out it had been canceled (more than a little annoying). Planning to be better this week!

The Artist’s Way

I managed all 7 days of Morning Pages, although some days were a little short. I had a hard time doing the exercises at the end of the chapter, both for lack of time and most didn’t feel relevant to me. I also fell short on my Artist’s Date, although I did spend about 20 minutes with The Big Book of Drawing. 20 minutes while the baby naps is about all I’ve got right now.

Reading/Watching/Listening

I finished David Lebovitz’s L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home. It was just okay. The story felt a little dragged out (lots of hinting of what was the come for like 75% of the book, so the ending fell a little flat for me), but it was still interesting (I had no idea the French loved paperwork that much!).

I started Dan Rather’s What Unites Us and I’m enjoying it so far. Predictably, he’s making excellent points about the importance of a free press in regards to protecting our democracy.

I also finished off season 2 of The Crown. That show. So good. The Crown: The Official Companion, Volume 1 is on my TBR list and I’ll probably do a rewatch after I read it.

My husband and I went to see I, Tonya for our first post-baby date night. Great movie, but not one that’s going to make you feel good.

Food

Anytime I’m really struggling to keep my life together, it’s pretty obvious when you look at what we had for dinner.

Monday- Thai Peanut Vegetable Rice Bowl. This was good but not enough protein for either of us so next time I’d add chicken. The sauce makes A TON (planning on using the leftovers this week), but is the best peanut sauce I’ve made so far.

Tuesday- Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl. I’ve made this a couple of times now, I’ve been doubling the chickpeas and it’s just fine without the sauce.

Wednesday- take out

Thursday- take out

Friday- spaghetti with meatballs and marinara, green beans. E is a picky eater but I can usually get him to eat these meatballs. This time he ate one bite, spit out the second, and refused the rest. Next time I’ll leave out the basil in the meatballs and the red pepper flakes in the sauce to see if it makes a difference.

Saturday- date night at Alamo Drafthouse

Sunday- possibly chicken patties, possibly leftovers

The Week Ahead

Hopefully it’s smoother and more productive!

2018 Goals + One Little Word

My One Little World for 2018 is gentle.

I need to be gentle with myself as I recover from pregnancy. I need to be a gentle mama to my boys. I need to set gentle goals because however much I want to accomplish, I’m in a season of life that doesn’t allow for much accomplishing.

And so, my gentle goals:

1. Complete The Artist’s Way. I’m in a Facebook group that’s starting the book on January 1. I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to keep up. I like doing Morning Pages but it is a time commitment and that’s hard with a newborn who’s not yet on a predictable schedule.

2. Workout 218 times. I shamelessly stole this from Rebecca. I worked out like, 5 times total in 2017 (thanks, pregnancy).  I felt really strong before I got pregnant and I really want to get back to that place. So, I’m hoping to fit in as many Stroller Strides and yoga classes as possible. I’m most motivated to work out in group fitness settings, but if I need to squeeze in some at home workouts, I might learn to use the water rower.

3. Read 52 books. I have no idea how many books I read last year. It’s been awhile since I tracked them effectively. I have a giant TBR pile in my head.

4. Write in the margins. I want to declare some awesome writing goal, like write 52 essays! write a book! But let’s be realistic. I read this blog post a few days ago and it really hit home. There’s still time, and for now, I can write in the in-between.

5. Go to the beach as many times as possible. Always.

6. Figure out what’s next. Do I want to go back to freelance writing? Use my library degree? Something else entirely? I want to have some sort of career for myself beyond raising my boys, I’m just not sure what it is. I hope to figure it out this year.

7. Complete The Peaceful Preschool curriculum with E. He’s in a Montessori preschool 5 days a week, so I’m not using this as a curriculum, per se, but more as a way to be intentional about one-on-one time with him and reinforcing what he’s learning at school. Plus, we may homeschool in the future, so this is a way for me to test the waters in a very low-key way.

Adios, 2017

It’s been my experience that some years are just a lot harder than others. 2017 was a hard year for me. It wasn’t that anything particularly awful happened (and in fact, many wonderful things happened), there were just a number of things that were hard. Because life is like that sometimes. Fortunately, it’s also been my experience that hard years are usually followed by years where life flows a lot smoother.

For most of 2017, I was pregnant (and while I’m lucky enough to get pregnant easily, I do not have easy pregnancies) and parenting a spirited three-year-old (if you haven’t been around one lately, three-year-olds are not known for being agreeable). My husband had recently taken a new job and worked a lot, including several business trips. I felt disconnected from friends and without a community. In the midst of being miserably pregnant, E had his tonsils and adenoids removed. The end of the year brought a hard labor to close out a hard pregnancy. The euphoria of welcoming my second little boy was closely followed by a long road to post-partum healing (including spending Thanksgiving night in the ER).

My One Little Word for 2017 was true. My intention was to focus on what was fundamentally true for me and my family versus what I believed or felt like I needed to prioritize based on the values of… literally anyone else. As usual, I didn’t do such a great job keeping up with the monthly prompts to make my word visible, but 2017 was perhaps the first year (in 4 years or so of choosing a word) that I really felt the impact of a word.

In early January, I checked Sabrina Ward Harrison’s website to see if she was hosting any retreats this year. I’ve adored her since I was 15 and read an interview with her in JUMP magazine. I’ve paged through Spilling Open many, many times. She’s hosted numerous retreats over the years (including one in Italy, I believe), and I’ve never been able to attend for various reasons. This year, before I was tethered to a nursing infant again, seemed like the perfect opportunity. The workshop was called “True Living Experience,” so it was basically meant to be.

That weekend in Madison was truly one of the highlights of my year (and possibly my life!). First of all, how often do you get to meet someone you’ve admired for close to two decades and have them surpass all of your expectations of who they as a human being? Sabrina is truly warmth and light and magic and if you ever have the opportunity to spend a weekend making art on the floor with her, you should seize it.

Secondly, it was great to just be me for a weekend. Not necessarily a wife and a mom. I didn’t have to worry about anyone’s needs except my own. It was also one of the few times I felt healthy during my whole pregnancy. I walked a ton (my pelvic girdle pain mysteriously and wonderfully disappeared that weekend). I ate somewhat normally. I had more energy than I’d had in months! I loved being surrounded by other creative souls. It was just plain good.

Coffee + Crumbs’ Year of Creativity was another highlight. Writing is my truth, and while pregnancy has a way of sapping my creativity, I did manage to write a few things I’m proud of (before not writing for most of the year). I hope to come back to some of the YOC materials in 2018, because I know there’s a lot of untapped inspiration there.

I maintained my Starbucks Gold Card status.

And, we went to the beach a couple of times before our beloved Port Aransas was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Harvey.

I’ve done my usual year-end navel-gazing (as much as I can manage with a newborn and a 4-year-old). I’m waiting for my Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter to arrive from Germany so I can revamp my notebook system. My 2018 Hobonichi Techo Cousin, Powersheets, and Your Best Year are neatly stacked next to me.

2018, I’m ready.

Peaceful Transition: My Plan for the First Forty Days Post-Partum

I’m now 27 weeks pregnant, which means it’s time to get serious about getting ready for baby and the post-partum transition. And while it’s likely that I won’t deliver until close to my due date (or even after!), I like to have everything mostly done by 37 weeks, just in case. Plus, in my experience, those last 3 weeks while you’re lugging around a fully formed human being are not a time you feel like busting through a to do list.

So for your benefit (especially if you’re a first-time mom!) as much as my own, here’s my official getting ready list, thoughtfully divided into categories. I’m preparing for a vaginal delivery in a birth center (which means no drugs and heading home 6-8 hours after birth), but most of this list should be applicable regardless of what type of birth you think you’re having or end up having.

Physical

Last time, I don’t think I spent enough time thinking about my own physical comfort after delivery. Not making that mistake again! Even though I had the best possible outcome on the sliding scale of delivery experiences (relatively short labor + vaginal delivery + no tearing), child birth is never going to be pretty.

Obviously, there’s bleeding. Last time I used disposable pads, which I hate. They feel and smell gross, and they contribute to landfills. I especially don’t like the idea of chemicals in such a delicate area after a traumatic event! So this time I’m going to stock up on Lunapads Performa Maxis. 5 should be enough since I can toss them in the wash with the cloth diapers every night. I’m also going to get a few more pairs of my fave Dear Kate undies as back up and to wear solo as the bleeding lightens up. After my first baby, I really wished I had some chux pads on hand to protect my bed for the first day or two. I’m planning to get a couple reusable chux pads; I can put one on my bed preemptively in case my water does break in the middle of the night (not likely), and they’ll come in handy down the road for potty training.

Other necessities:

I’m also planning to treat myself to a couple new sets of loungewear and maybe a pretty kimono robe. It’ll be nice to feel a tiny bit pulled together!


 

I also need to stock up on breastfeeding essentials. Years ago, I posted about a nursing basket I gave to a friend having a second baby. It’s by far the most popular post on my blog, and that’s probably because breastfeeding, especially with a newborn, is serious business. I already have the two items I’ll probably need the most: my Boppy and my 40 oz Hydro Flask. And I’m sure I’ll be referring back to my copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.

This time I have the benefit of knowing my own personal challenges in regards to nursing (I tend to get clogged ducts, among other issues), so I can prepare accordingly. I plan to start taking Lecithin after delivery to prevent plugged ducts, and drinking Mother’s Milk tea to help my milk come in (I didn’t have supply issues with my first, but drinking this before pumping made a big difference). A midwife mentioned that routinely using a warm compress might prevent plugged ducts, too, so the Lansinoh TheraPearl hot/cold packs will be nice to have.

Also on my list:



Mental

Post-partum hormones are bananas, and pregnancy hormones aren’t that great, either. With my oldest, I didn’t start feeling like myself again until a month or so after he weaned– at 12 months. So I potentially have another long road of feeling “off” ahead of me. Of course, the hardest period is the first few days and weeks after baby is born. I’m hoping that with a little effort on my part, I can make the transition easier on myself.

  • Having my placenta encapsulated. I did this with my oldest, and could definitely tell when I had to forgotten to take them. Potential placebo effect? Absolutely. But for $200 I don’t really care.
  • Making our bedroom super cozy and functional. In The First Forty Days, Heng Ou calls this “creating your nest.” I spent a lot of time snuggling my newborn in bed, and I absolutely plan to do that again. Knowing I’ll be spending so much time in bed makes me want to make sure our bedroom is a pleasant place to spend a good chunk of time. Since we had E, we’ve upgraded our bed to a super comfy Tuft & Needle mattress (it was our Christmas present to ourselves this year and we’re still giving ourselves pats on the back for it), and added a TV (I love watching TV in bed and I don’t care how bad it is for my sleep– which has been awful since I was a little kid, so I’m not really making it any worse). I still need to order and install blackout curtains (and get rid of the ugly window treatment that came with the house!) and new bedside lamps. I also want to add a bunch of plants (particularly some low-maintenance air plants) and an essential oil diffuser.  Function wise, Baby has a lovely vintage Jenny Lind cradle I scored from our birth center’s Facebook group. I’m planning to add a lambskin to make it extra cozy. And I’ll set up a diaper changing station on top of our dresser. I’m actually looking forward to holing up as much as possible the first six weeks!
  • Anticipating a hard time. Journaling has always been my anchor during rough times. With that in mind, I recently worked through Esme Wang’s gorgeous e-course, Rawness of Remembering. Much of it won’t be applicable until I’m actually in that rough time, but I’ve picked up a few good tips and rituals (being Catholic, I felt particularly drawn to her suggested practice of praying the examen, a Jesuit prayer, at the end of every day), and I like knowing I have the course material to return to at any time. Another great resource is her (free!) e-book, Productivity Journaling with Limitations. I recently purchased my first Hobonichi because I was so enamored with her morning ritual. I’m also going to make sure my nightstand is stocked with things I enjoy doing: plenty of reading material, an easy knitting project or maybe an embroidery project (I’m loving Sarah K. Benning’s patterns), a coloring book and colored pencils (I picked up a copy of Moods in Motion, a postpartum coloring book, at a maternal mental health conference a few months ago), and obviously, my notebooks.


Environmental

We have some big home projects to tackle before Baby arrives; we’re getting new carpet installed on our stairs and replacing the flooring throughout the second floor. Thankfully, the wheels are already in motion for this and we’re leaving the hard work to qualified professionals. Once that’s complete, we can work on getting Kiddo #1 set up in his new big boy bedroom and playroom. The nursery just needs a few small tweaks to get it ready for Kiddo #2, so I’m not too concerned about that (mostly setting up the crib again, patching some holes from a curtain installation gone awry, etc.). And I’m going to have the house cleaned from top to bottom (I think my days of trying to keep up with the housework myself are behind me, at least for now). I’ve also been decluttering and reorganizing as much as possible, which feels great and will make room for all the extra “stuff” a new family member will bring.

The other big task in this category is stocking the freezer and pantry. I think I did a pretty good job of this the first time around, and it was oddly satisfying, so I’m looking forward to tackling it again. This time, The First Forty Days will be an invaluable resource. I have a feeling I will be particularly depleted after this pregnancy (while I’ve done a decent job taking methyl folate, I haven’t been taking a multi-vitamin prenatal, although I really need to try again now that nausea seems to finally be in the past). I’m planning to make and freeze the following soups from the book:

  • Quinoa, Lentils & Greens
  • Creamy Kabocha & Red Lentil
  • Seasonal Greens

Plus the Oats & Chia Congee.

I’ve also been thinking about my favorite freezer-friendly meals that I can make in advance, like the turkey bolognese and turkey chili from Dinner: A Love Story. Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up post on what I actually end up making and freezing.

I think that covers it! Easy-peasy, right? Currently, my plan is to work on house prep and freezer/pantry stocking in August and September, then do an online shopping spree of anything we need (baby will need some clothes, and I’d like some new muslin blankets) in late September/ early October when I’m feeling truly miserable.

33 / a to-do list

Today I turn 33. It’s a confusing number because obviously, I’m 33; I’m a mom, but also, I don’t feel all that different than I did in college. Which was getting to be awhile ago. But I don’t believe in alternative facts, so it must be true. I’m 33.

I’ve always liked that my birthday falls more or less mid-year. It’s an excellent excuse to re-evaluate and set new goals. And so,

Things To Do at 33

  • Write snail mail
  • Write a list of 100 dreams
  • Write a book
  • Write blog posts
  • Continue writing in notebooks
  • Just write
  • Continue learning how to be a better daughter, friend, wife & mother
  • Fill a sketchbook
  • Drink more water
  • Stretch
  • Pray
  • Be gentle

Should keep me busy.

What I’m Teaching my Son in the Wake of Last Night’s Election

At 3, my son is too young to be cognizant of what happened yesterday. I’m glad. It means he hasn’t internalized the fear mongering and vitriol that dominated this election cycle. It means there’s still hope.

I went to bed with a heavy heart last night, truly believing that regardless of the outcome of the election, there would be no real winners. Ours is a broken nation, and there’s a lot of work to do.

Waking up to the sound of the baby monitor early this morning, I remembered: I am a mother. I am raising the next generation. I have never been an incredibly political person, but I can be part of this solution. If there’s one thing in this life I can control, it’s how I raise my son and what I’m teaching him.

So while I’m teaching him the alphabet and how to brush his teeth, and, I hope to God, some manners, I’m teaching him some other things, too.

image-1

Read the rest over at Red Tricycle

 

BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller Review

I recently upgraded our stroller and since E and I are both thoroughly obsessed with it, I thought I would share our BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller review.

2016 BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

When E was about 4 months old, I hastily purchased a jogging stroller from a consignment store. The snap-and-go stroller wasn’t cutting it for walks around the neighborhood, but since that was all I saw myself doing with it, I didn’t put too much research into the purchase.

Less than a month later, I joined Stroller Strides. We ended up using that pre-owned stroller a lot, and I kinda regretted not buying something a little nicer from the beginning.

Fast forward 18 months. When I was attending instructor training in San Antonio, Farel (FIT4MOM’s Global Fitness Director) mentioned a new Stroller Strides BOB was on the horizon– and it had an adjustable handlebar. As a much-shorter-than-average person (I’m 5′), I was instantly sold. I’m not ashamed to say that I became a little bit obsessed with this stroller. I stalked amazon weekly, waiting for it to be released.

Finally, on September 14th: there it was. I quickly added it to my cart, then camped out by the front door. When it finally arrived, I took a selfie on the porch like a totally normal person:

2016 BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

Unboxing the BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

E and I made an unboxing video for your viewing pleasure:

BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller Features & Specs

Per bobgear.com, the 2016 Stroller Strides edition has the following features:

  • Comes with a Stroller Strides fitness classes coupon (valid in US only) and a Stroller Strides Fitness Kit by BOB, including a handlebar console, Stroller Strides exercise manual and SPRI® fitness resistance bands.
  • This product comes with a coupon for a free week of Stroller Strides classes by Fit4Mom. Find classes near you at fit4mom.com.
  • Swiveling-locking front wheel swivels to maneuver tight turns with ease or locks forward for increased stability when jogging or on rough terrain.
  • Adjustable padded handlebar offers 9 positions to create the perfect fit for parents of all heights.
  • State-of-the-art adjustable suspension system offers 3 inches of travel and 2 stages of weight support for an ultra-smooth ride.
  • Easy 2-step fold for convenient transportation and storage
  • Travel system-ready when using the BOB Infant Car Seat Adapter (sold separately). Pair with a BOB B-Safe 35 Infant Car Seat by Britax or with other major brand car seats.
  • Air-filled tires on high-impact polymer wheels make for a smooth ride whether on-road or off-road.
  • One-hand recline adjustment lets you quickly lay the seat back with the simple squeeze of a button.
  • Fully upright seating position so your child can see the world on all your adventures.
  • Extra-large low boy cargo basket provides 15% more storage space so you can take everything you need when you’re on the go.
  • Ultra-padded seat with ventilation and a five-point harness keeps your child comfortable and secure.
  • Integrated pockets store snacks, drinks, and other necessities.
  • Extra-large UPF 50+ canopy shields your child from sun and weather.  Includes a large viewing window so you can keep a watchful eye.
  • Enhanced quick-release design makes it easy to securely attach both the front and back wheels.
  • Easy-remove wheels allow the stroller to become more compact for easy storage in tight spaces.
  • Adjustable front wheel tracking helps correct alignment with a simple twist of the knob.
  • Foot-activated parking brake secures stroller in the stopped position.
  • Wrist strap provides safety while running and includes a buckle to lock the stroller closed when folded.

Feature- and spec-wise, the BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller is the same as the BOB 2016 Revolution Flex. The main difference is that the Stroller Strides edition features the FIT4MOM logo and is only available in blue. The Stroller Strides edition also includes a handlebar console, SPRI fitness bands, a Stroller Strides exercise manual, plus a coupon for a free week of Stroller Strides classes. The bands are a must-have if you want to work out on your own with your baby (I would also suggest a copy of Liza Druxman’s Lean Mommy to supplement the included exercise manual), and nice-to-have if you’re planning to join a Stroller Strides franchise, because bands do wear out, break, and otherwise get lost– you’ll need replacements eventually).

BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller Review

A few weeks into owning the stroller and with several classes under our belt (both with me as an instructor and as a regular ol’ client), I can say with certainty that the BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller is worth every single penny.

Comparing this stroller to my previous stroller, the tires are larger, so it’s much easier to run with. I love that I can adjust the handlebar to a height that’s comfortable for me. The 5-point harness is far more secure than our old stroller, too, which gives me peace of mind when I’m running with E in the stroller (accidents do happen, which is why it’s so important for kiddos to be properly buckled in during class).

The included handlebar console has a zippered compartment and a beverage holder. It is, unfortunately, too small for my 40 oz Hydro Flask, but a standard water bottle would fit just fine. I usually stick my phone in the beverage holder and use the zippered compartment for E’s many snacks (snacks are crucial for getting through a workout with a toddler).

2016 BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

The cargo basket is roomy enough to fit my mat, bands, Hydro Flask, and anything else we need for work out. There’s also a pocket on the back of the seat that’s perfect for storing anything you want to get to quickly, plus interior pockets for kiddos to stash toys and snacks.

2016 BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

I’m going to assume the padded seat is comfortable because, like I mentioned, E is obsessed with the new stroller. He insists on riding in it when we go check the mail, a journey he’s been walking for since he was 18 months old. The fact that an almost-3-year-old who’d rather be running and jumping is begging to get in a stroller and ride is pretty telling.

BOB Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller

The sun shade is extra-large and almost completely shades E when he’s sitting in the stroller. This is great from a sun-protection standpoint and also for stroller naps. The seat is super easy to recline, too.

All in all, this stroller did not disappoint and was worth the wait. I hope this BOB 2016 Stroller Strides Fitness Stroller review was helpful if you’re in the market for a jogging stroller. It’s  a must-have for moms looking to work out with their babies (check out the duallie model if you have 2 kiddos). Check out FIT4MOM to find Stroller Strides classes near you.


(This was not a paid review, obvi. I’m just completely smitten with my new stroller and Stroller Strides.)

On Achieving Iced Coffee Perfection

I love coffee. Kinda. It’s probably more accurate to say I like coffee-flavored milk. Which is where my Starbucks Gold Card comes in. Nothing I make at home tastes quite as good as what I can get for $5 at the drive-thru.

Until today.

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Over the weekend, I devoured Jenny Rosenstrach’s new book, How to Celebrate Everything. It’s every bit as good as Dinner: A Love Story and Dinner: The Playbook. When I came to her husband’s method for making iced coffee concentrate in a french press, I immediately added it to my food prep list for the week, even though I was a little skeptical. I’ve tried to make cold brew in the french press before and haven’t been wowed by the results. But if there’s any food writer I trust, it’s Jenny. She’s yet to steer me wrong.

Incidentally, also on my food prep list this week was PSL syrup after hearing Kelsey mention it on a recent Coffee + Crumbs podcast.

After I got E in bed for his post-lunch siesta, I filled a mason jar 3/4 full of ice, added the cold brew concentrate and milk in a 1:1 ratio, and topped it off with 2 Tbsp. of the PSL syrup and 2 Tbsp. of half and half.

Y’all. It was perfect. Plus, cheaper and probably healthier than my beloved Starbucks.

Iced coffee perfection achieved.

pumpkin spice iced coffee

 

The Week in Review

The last week of summer, and it was kind of a long one. We had our first (and probably not last) visit to Kiddie Acres, a vintage amusement park in North Austin that couldn’t be more perfect for the preschool crowd. There was also preschool open house, art class at Imagine That, a few Stroller Strides classes, and E’s first gymnastics class (definitely underestimated the parent participation portion of that…).

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Eating

turkey bolognese / BLT Salad this is literally my favorite thing right now; some of the measurements are missing but the non-obvious ones are 2 Tbsp vinegar and 2 Tbsp olive oil / lemon bars

Playing

E is loving the batch of cloud dough I made

Reading

She Poured Out Her Heart by Jean Thompson for book club; it was really slow to start. I’m about halfway and am now invested in the story, but still not sure how much I actually like it.

Making 

A knit snake, still, after having to rip it back due to my inability to read patterns

Writing

Nothing worth noting, though I have a bunch of drafts I’m looking forward to working on this week.

Watching

We watched The Big Short (streaming on Netflix) and I finally understand the 2008 housing crisis / I’m newly converted to bullet journaling and digging Lune de Papier on YouTube / and Claire Marshall never disappoints

Listening

The new Bon Iver singles / podcasts from Freelance Writers Den

The week ahead

So looking forward to having a full day tomorrow (yay 3 day weekends) to grocery shop and (hopefully) get the house back in order while we gear up for a week spent settling into a new fall routine. Our weekly routine was completely tossed up in the air last week, but the change of pace + new schedule is definitely welcome.