Buying the Pram/Stroller

We snuck away this week for a fly by visit to see my Mum, and her family. It was lovely to catch up with everyone, and to update them on how we’re progressing. Everyone was really excited for us, which was lovely, and the boy/girl guessing game has begun. I must say, being told “it’s definitely a girl”, because “the bump is spread all around the sides” (i.e. my waist is now nonexistent) is going to take some getting used to. I had to work pretty hard at not being offended by that one! On the plus side, my lovely mother offered to buy us a pram. Whoo hoo! Mr Nester and I have been in serious discussions about this purchase for months, and we’ve tried out way too many styles, brands and price ranges at baby stores in this time. My original “must have” list was:

  • sturdy/stable – able to be taken wherever, so I don’t have to worry if it’s suitable
  • 4 wheels – I know there are many who swear by the 3 wheelers, but Mr Nester and I didn’t like the “tip” effect of the single wheel at the front, and regardless of the title “jogger”, unless you get a very specific athletic-designed pram, they’re not designed for jogging
  • lay flat option – I didn’t want to be forking out extra cash for the bassinet attachment, when it would only be used for a few months
  • forward and rear facing – an important one. My aim with this was to get a pram that was as customisable as possible to deal with all different stages of baby’s life
  • a big basket – a bit of a luxury request, I envision I’ll be shopping a bit with this pram, and I don’t fancy trying to steer a pram and a trolley at the same time!
  • Sturdy tires – obvious, but I don’t want one cracking (plastic) or going flat (rubber) in the middle of a walk
  • colour – another luxury, but I want to be able to identify my pram in a pack!
  • a big canopy – Grub is due in November, so early use is going to be in the peak of summer.
  • easy fold up – we have a decent sized car, so size isn’t too much of an issue, but I didn’t want a fiddly, multi-step folding system
  • additional seat capacity – so that if we have another baby at some point, the pram will adjust to suit our needs.

Not picky then, am I? As you can imagine with this list, it took some time to find prams that suited our budget (under $1,000), and met our needs. I was willing to bend on some of these, but the pram would have to impress me. *a note here – this is not a sponsored post, these are just my opinions and musings* Our shortlist was:

  • Steelcraft Strider Plus or Compact
  • Valco Rebel Q Air
  • Uppababy Alta or Vista
  • Baby Jogger City Select

These are those prams, in order:

Strider Compact

Rebel Q Air

Uppababy Alta

City Select

Now, as you can see, these all look really rather similar. They are. There are pros of one, cons of the other, and some we just didn’t like when we tried them out. To run through our feelings on these quickly, I’ve summarised below:

  1. Steelcraft Strider Compact: We loved, loved, loved this one. Almost everything was exactly as we were after, including foam filled wheels in the 2015 edition. Our only annoyance was that the seat didn’t lay flat. It had absolutely everything else. I was dubious about the Compact over the Plus model, but after seeing the sizes side by side (the Compact is 7cm narrower), it really did make a difference.
  2. Valco Rebel Q Air: I was sold on the Rebel Q from the beginning, after reading about it and researching it online. Again, it had pretty much everything on my list, including the ability to lay the seat completely flat. Mr Nester and I checked it out in store, pretty much expecting to walk away with one, and, well, I wasn’t that enamoured. While it had everything we were after, the folding mechanism was fiddly, and I kept catching my hand in it. The shade cover came up at the back when I pulled the front forward, which was really annoying. The different seat positions didn’t seem to click well into place, and the peekaboo window (who’d have thought that was a consideration?) was a very noisy velcro. I so wanted this pram to be the one, but unfortunately for us it wasn’t.
  3. Uppababy Alta (or Cruz in the US): This one was a surprise – we saw it at the doctor’s a couple of weeks ago, and it wowed both Mr Nester and I straight away. It seemed to have everything we were after, looked light, easy to manoeuvre, and was an awesome colour. I immediately went home and looked it up, and it does look fantastic. Again, it ticks most of the boxes, however the one flaw was that the Alta is only a single pram. No way of adding a second seat. For that, you need the Vista, and with a retail price of about $1500, it was well out of our range. I was a bit gutted by this one.
  4. Baby Jogger City Select: This one has been winning all the awards this year, and last year. It’s a hot favourite at the moment, and I can understand why. It again ticks most of the boxes, with the exception of the lay flat seat. My issue with the City Select is firstly the price ($800+, depending on where you buy), and secondly the brake. You’d think that would be fairly straightforward, especially in an award-winning pram, but it’s the only one I’ve seen that is a hand brake, and not a foot brake. It also requires a couple of steps to lock or unlock, which for some reason just annoyed the hell out of me! Once again my big hands kept getting caught, so this one was also crossed off the list.

In the end, it was a tough decision, but we chose the Strider Compact. It really was everything we were after, and even after putting it through its paces at the store, both Mr Nester and I were impressed with it. The bonus with this one was that a friend is giving us a capsule for the car, and it’s compatible with this pram. That means that the issue of the lie-flat seat is now not an issue, and so the Strider ticks all the boxes. Which is why I just ordered one. In the most delicious teal colour. I can’t wait!

The winner…the Strider Compact!

Jane xx

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Pregnancy Week 18

Week: 18

Baby: yet another not particularly good looking vegetable – a sweet potato. At least it has “sweet” in its name!

What I’m cooking: A little eavesdropper! Grub can hear much better this week, and his/her immune system is developing. Get back, germs!

Main symptom: a serious case of the can’t-be-fuckeds. I just can’t find any motivation to do anything this week. I think with winter in full swing, my body has decided that hibernation is my best bet. I agree, body, but my job doesn’t. So on we trudge.

What’s on this week: The last week of work before a 2 week break, which I am hanging for (see above). I’ve also increased my yoga uptake this week, using the iPad. Bloody hell are my arms/legs/all other muscles known to man sore!

Week 18 comp

I’m a bit whingy this week. Can you tell? Usually I try to give the upbeat rundown of the usual suspects above, but this week I just can’t find the energy to give even the tiniest of fucks (that just autocorrected to “ducks”, which is much cuter). I am almost literally dragging myself through the days, and with the winter solstice just passed, it doesn’t help that I’m leaving the house in the dark, and returning in the dark. Every fibre of my being is telling me to sleeeeeeeep, which could be a sign of another onset of a Grub growth spurt, or it could just be my winter slothiness. No way to tell.

On the upside, I’m very, very close to a two week break, and a short visit to see some family should be a great way to start the unwinding. These two weeks coming have a lot more going on than the past few – I have another massage (excitement already building!), our 20 week scan, and another hospital visit, this time with an obstetrician. Fingers crossed all looks good.

In terms of symptoms this week, the big one has been nose bleeds. I’ve read that you can get more of these due to the increase in blood vessels, which causes the ones in your nostrils to swell (yum…), but until now it’s only been a bit of red colour if I blew my nose. This week, I’ve had a bloody nose all week, with a proper blood nose on Friday. It seems to have cleared up for now, but I’m keeping an eye on it. Not a big fan of bleeding anywhere, but the nose is just annoying.

My fatigue levels have been in the extreme this week, but again I’m putting that down to just being exceedingly busy at work, and dragging myself to this break. Poor Mr Nester has been doing pretty much everything this week, with me collapsed on the couch, bleating apologetically. I’m hoping the break gives me an energy boost, otherwise the next 4 months are going to be tough!

For now, I just have to make it through this week, and then off into sleep-in land! I’d better make the most of it, as I think my sleep-ins are numbered…

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 17

Week: 17

Baby: An onion – not quite as yummy as the last few weeks, but guaranteed I’ll be eating a lot of Grub this week…sorry Grub!

What I’m cooking: A big ol’ baby! For the first time, Grub is now bigger than the placenta (its evil twin). The brain is also now communicating with the muscles a lot more, which means more concentrated kicks to my tender areas…

Main symptom: Emotions! I’ve always been a bit of a robot where weepiness is concerned, but I’ve been crying at anything that pulls on the heartstrings this week, and when I’m not crying, I’m in a ridiculously good mood. Gooooo preggo hormones!

What’s on this week: Still counting down until the holidays, and this week is the biggie for getting work done. Not a lot of baby related stuff, just lots of regular adult crap.

Week 17 comp

Thankfully this week that flu seems to have started to make its evil way back to germ town, and no longer resides in my chest, head, throat and nose. One of the big symptoms of pregnancy is a constantly stuffy nose (due to increased blood flow, which in turn makes the nose blood vessels swell), and this coupled with a real cold has been no fun at all. I’m coming out of the haze now, and I’m very much hoping that I’ve now had my cold of the year – the rest can bugger off, please.

I was off to prenatal yoga again this week, which was again a great way to unwind, stretch out some sore muscles, and realise how weak my thigh muscles are. A lot of prenatal yoga is to do with breathing, but also with strengthening the muscles that you’re going to need in labour. Apparently squats are vital (I’ll report back on that in 6 months), and my poor legs haven’t been subjected to a squat in quite some time. Cue lots of wobbles from my side of the room as my legs spasmed frantically under the strain of doing any exercise. I’m planning to do a lot more so I can wow the instructor next time. That said, that ice-cream over there does look good…

The other excellent part of prenatal yoga is the breathing exercises. Sure, we do the deep breathing, yoga style, but this week we also looked at making noises as a focusing technique. Basically this involved a roomful of very rounded women making “shhhhh” noises for half an hour. Surprisingly, I found it helped quite a bit, especially when I wanted to give up on the stretch that was making me shake like a jelly. You “shhh” or hum on the exhale, and it helps in relaxing as well as focusing.

I’ve found a video on the “humming bee breath”, but I can’t find anything on the “shhhh” breath (although there’s a few references to it if you have a look at vinyasa flow yoga). Have a look below (we didn’t put our fingers in our ears!)

I’ve just realised I’ve spent pretty much this entire post on yoga – can you tell I’ve had an exciting week?

I’ve also done a bit more shopping this week, as the end of financial year sales are on. I’m still holding out on the big items, but I’ve read amazing things about Aden+Anais swaddle wraps, so I splashed out and bought a couple. Along with that, I got an “easy swaddle” from the same site, as I have a funny feeling it’s going to take me a few goes to get this swaddling this right…

the swaddle wraps

the “easy swaddle”

While I was there, I also grabbed some baby scratch mittens (they are impossible to find in chain stores!), and I also splashed out on this little item, as it was on sale today:

it’s. just. so. damn. CUTE!

So I may have gone slightly crazy this week with shopping. I’m dying to get the nursery together, and I have to wait until the holidays when Mr. Nester can help me get the sofa bed out and into the lounge room, before we can put the cot together and really start getting the design going. I want it now!

See you at Week 18 (in a day or so if I can get organised enough to post on time for once!),

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 16

Week: 16

Baby: An avocado! I had another moment this week where I realised I was eating my baby, mid mouthful. It’s these disturbing occurrences that make me consider finding non edible representations of Grub. Still, he/she was pretty yummy.

What I’m cooking: a wriggle pot! Baby is squirming away under all that fat/muscle/skin (mainly fat!), and is starting to practice grasping. I’ve felt a few squirms, either when I’m in the bath and everything’s floating, or if I’m lying on my stomach – Grub is not a fan of being squished!

Main symptom: A great big kick in the guts this week (not from Grub!) – I’ve been smashed with the cold that’s going around, and with this along with constant headaches, I’ve been a big ball of waaaah.

What’s on this week: a countdown to the holidays! This week is a big one at school, with mid year exams and report writing, so of course the perfect time for me to be sick as a dog. Playing catch up this weekend (on work as well as the blog), so I’m feeling a little frazzled.

Week 16 comp

My humble apologies at my uselessness in blogging this week, but I have had a good excuse – I’ve been in bed for pretty much the entire week. Apparently being pregnant is not at all helpful when you get the virus that’s been going around – I’ve had every symptom under the sun: sore throat, constant headaches, runny/stuffed nose, throaty cough, aching muscles, enormous fatigue. So basically I’ve been the life of the party this week. The added benefit is that I would normally smash anything like this with some cold and flu tablets, but I’m restricted to plain old paracetamol, and I feel guilty even taking that. Thankfully, my doc was lovely and gave me the whole week off (I had to force myself in one day to get everything organised), so I’ve been feeling sorry for rmyself at home for a week straight! Lucky ol’ Mr Nester.

I’ve been able to cope with most of the symptoms this week, apart from the headaches. I’m completely useless with a headache, and I also have the incredible ability to turn a normal, annoying headache into a full blown migraine, so I have been particularly down in the dumps this week. After reading all the natural remedies and giving them a go (apparently headaches are an enormously common second trimester symptom), and having none of them work, I bit the bullet and booked in for a massage yesterday. My masseuse started working on my back, and within about 30 seconds said “yep, I can see why you’ve been having pain, it’s nasty in here!”. After an hour on the table with her, I felt like a new person. And for the first time in three weeks, I woke up this morning without a headache. Hurray! So I’m feeling a lot more positive today than I’ve felt for the last little while.

Mr Nester and I have also been talking nursery design, which is crazy exciting. I’ve been posting on Pinterest like a mad thing (check me out here), but I thought I’d share a couple of nursery shots that I’m hoping to emulate:

IMG_0268

IMG_0269

IMG_0270

So as you can see we’re aiming for a nice neutral nursery, both in regards to gender and colour palette. We are planning to find out the sex of the baby (in almost 2 weeks! Eek!), but I’ve never been a fan of the pink/blue gender assignment, so we’ll be going natural/neutral with some pops of colour.

We’ve actually ordered the exact prints from the first image from the Animal Print Shop, because they are just too perfect for words. Also, as we’re renting, we’ll be looking into some wall decals instead of painting – the room is already a nice coffee colour (it’s actually the room I take my update pics in) so some coloured accents should set it off beautifully.

I missed yoga this week due to being sick, but I’ve booked myself in for next week, and I’m very much looking forward to the stretch session – my ab muscles are straining at the moment, so I’m guessing Operation: Bump is in progress!

Week 17 to follow in the next day or so, assuming I get my act in gear (unlikely…sorry!)

Jane xx

Reaching my limits

I was going to get so much done today. This is the first day of a long weekend, and I have tons of stuff I want to get done. Today, I was going to clean the house, do some yoga, get into my marking, sort through my non- maternity clothes and pack away the “definitely won’t fit anymore” ones, oh and make cordial. It was going to be a hell of a productive day. 
You know what I did today? Woke up, coughing. Got up at 11. Ate breakfast. Went back to bed at 12:30pm. Just woke up then. It’s 5:00pm. And I feel like shit. Today is not looking good for getting things done, and tomorrow’s not exactly going to be a whirlwind, going by how I’m feeling at the moment. 

 

What I hit today. (The brick wall, not the bench.)

 
I’ve realised today that I’m pregnant. I know, I sound extremely thick. But I think the reality is sinking in as to what exactly my body is doing at the moment. It’s like (geeky analogy coming) running the biggest couple of programs on my computer, while trying to open all the normal ones I usually use. Oh, and the computer has a virus (it’s me, I’m the computer. *cough cough*).
It’s one of those things, especially in this early part of the second trimester. I don’t really have much of a bump, I’m not getting many symptoms, so I’m just getting on with life as usual. Until my body hits its limit and goes

“Nuh uh. No you don’t. I’m done. I’m going to bed.” – my body

It’s made me realise that I really need to start slowing down, because this shit isn’t going to get easier. Sure, I’ll forget again and crash in a heap again in the not too distant future, but for this weekend, I’m not going to give myself a hard time for slowing down and looking after me. Grub and I both need it, I think. 

Jane xx

Pregnancy Week 15

Week: 15

Baby:  A pear – apparently we’re moving away from the spherical fruits now (although they come back with a vengeance later!), and moving into odd shaped ones. That’s ok, I’m a bit odd shaped at the moment too. 

What I’m cooking: A rapidly expanding bun! Grub is growing hair this week, and is apparently hiccuping, just like his/her Mummy right now. 

Main symptom: More headaches – fun! Also, thanks to the iron supplement, I’m finding myself a little, um, blocked. Trying to up the fibre intake to assist with this one.

What’s on this week: the 4 month mark! 16 weeks will mark the cross over into almost-half-way territory, which is equally exciting and terrifying (as so much of pregnancy seems to be!)

Week 15 comp

Well haven’t I been slack? I humbly apologise for my absence, unfortunately school is ramping up until the end of term/semester, so it’s guns blazing for the next few weeks, and thoughts of anything else seem laughable. 

On the plus side, I finally made it to a prenatal yoga class this week! It was lovely, and really very relaxing. Lots of chatting with other preggies, some gentle exercises (that still made my muscles shake like crazy!), lots of breathing, and that wonderful lying down bit at the end, in which I promptly fell asleep. Like I said, relaxing. I’ve vowed to go each week now, and try to do at least one session using my iPad at home as well. I’m trying out Beautiful Belly, which is a little buggy, but great when it works. That said, I was meant to do a workout tonight, and instead I ate spicy noodles. They were awesome. 

I’m starting to feel what I think might be baby movement – three times so far this week I’ve had this strong, rapid-fire muscle twitch down in my pelvis. It only lasts for 3 or 4 seconds, but it’s very different to anything else I’ve been feeling, and I’m wondering if this is perhaps the start of the kicking?? It’s very exciting, and I can’t wait to feel it and know it’s for real. 
What else? I’m back to cravings, this time it’s spicy stuff – I’m dousing my food in chilli, hot mustard, whatever I can find. The heartburn is building to match, but it’s worth it! Yum. 
Otherwise, business as usual. The bump seems to be more solid now, and I have fewer no-bump days, but I still don’t feel like I’m out and proud just yet. 
On the plus side, I’m apparently now going to be sharing my pregnancy with one Kim Kardashian (mega groan), why couldn’t it have been Emma Stone or Natalie Portman? Someone with the hint of a brain? Oh well. KK it is. 
See you again very soon for the 16 week update,
Jane xx