City Mini GT *Review

I’ve wanted this stroller since I started my baby registry in 2012 during my pregnancy with Sophia. I was a new mom and since it’s expensive, and I hadn’t really researched it a ton, I went with the Graco Trekko 3-Wheel Travel System. Wrong choice. It was huge, incredibly bulky and while it pushed like a dream, I could barely get it in and out of the car by myself. Then, it broke. Graco refunded my money, and I bought the same system again, in black this time. Then, it broke. Another refund, another purchase of yet again, a Graco stroller. I loved this stroller, and thought this was my end-all search. Wrong again. My love equaled Sophia’s hatred. I sold it recently, and we finally went ahead and purchased the Baby Jogger City Mini GT stroller in Black/Black.

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It’s beautiful. It’s compact.

The entire stroller liner and canopy can be removed and washed in the washing machine(?!). The handle bar is height-adjustable (GT version only) so it’s comfortable for both my husband and I to push. The harness is simple. It reclines nearly flat so napping is always an option. Mesh allows the breeze, but comes with a built-in weather cover in case it rains. The canopy is amazing – no other word can describe it, along with its two peek-a-boo windows. Your pedicure will never be ruined because the (GT version) comes equipped with a hand brake. Best part, it collapses in one motion. You pull a single handle and it folds/locks in seconds.

They’ve really thought of everything.

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The best part is that Sophia loves this stroller. It’s been a fight to get her into the lower-end jogger we have for walks, and it’s not pretty. This stroller gives us the ability to get outdoors + have fun doing it.  It’s also a dream to push. It has forever-air tires and won’t ever get a flat. They’re also quick-release, which allows you to make the stroller lighter or more compact if need be.

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I’d say the only con about the stroller would be the weight, but the GT tires are completely worth it. If someone stole it, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase another one immediately.

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The price may set many people off. I completely understand, as I didn’t purchase it for two years. However, Baby Jogger just did a logo change and slashed the prices on all 2013 models! I got this stroller for a steal, even cheaper than the original City Mini!

I haven’t purchased any Baby Jogger accessories for it yet. I only have the Choopie City Grips which are a MUST on every stroller I own now, and the Diono stroller console which I’ve had for over a year now. Both so affordable and something I use every day. I also had a pair of stroller hooks that I attached on the stroller mid-frame to hang the diaper bag so that it resolved the “tipping” issue that is heard of with the GT version.

 

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Do you have this stroller or a similar one? Do you love it?

Toddler Tantrums + Recipes

Oh toddlers. They’re funny little humans. Well, at least they think they’re funny.

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I mean, look at that face. There is no possible way that this cute little girl could throw a tantrum.

Lies. LIES. LIES.

I’m going to preface this by saying that Sophia’s tantrum spurts started almost overnight. I think that’s why the first tantrum came as such a shock to us. There are a lot of things that Sophia finds completely normal some days, such as drinking coffee creamer, standing on the dining room table, and painting the floor with the remnants of her morning milk cup. I can (sometimes) prevent a meltdown but other times, they’re inevitable.

One thing we’ve learned with Sophia is to not intervene if she gets upset, more specifically at night when she’s already in bed. It could be a bad dream, a thunderstorm, a lost-for-a-second bunny, teething pain, or gas. Unless she’s crying for a solid 3+ minutes, we physically cannot go in her room. She gets so much more upset if we go into her room and try to calm her down. It’s extremely frustrating at times, but it’s what works for her, so we make it work for us.

I’ve found that the redirect + ignore technique works for us at the moment. No, I don’t mean put her in the basement to cry it out. So during the day, I try to redirect as much as possible. Where is your bunny? Would you like a snack? Where’s your balloon? Do you want to color? Are you thirsty? One of these questions will usually follow up with a small “yes” and all is right with the world. When that doesn’t happen, I turn the shoulder. She realizes that I’m not bringing attention to her tantrum, and that when she shows me what she wants, or would like to do something, she can do it without a tantrum. It may not be the technique that works for every parent or child, but it works for us. Believe me – once you’re a parent and you find something that works, you stick with it. Don’t stray. It could cost you your sanity.

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So that’s where we are on tantrums. Fun stuff. Not.

On the recipe end, I did find this delicious recipe on Pinterest for Chicken Lozone. It’s delicious and it’s even better the next day.

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It’s so beautifully delicious. Incredibly fattening, but that’s okay. Because I said so.

On another incredibly random note, we got a new stroller! Yes, it’s like my 7th stroller. Judge away, I only own two now :D

Anyway, it’s beautiful, and Sophia finally doesn’t scream bloody murder when I throw the idea of going for a walk in her stroller around the neighborhood. She actually gets super excited, climbs into it herself(?!) and asks for an apple slice. Every. Single. Time.

It’s awesome, and well worth the money.

Annnndddd, I’m not going to tell you what it is because that would spoil my review on it for Monday’s blog post ;)

Sorry for the abrupt stopping of the blog posts, life happened. See you Monday – until then, we’ll be enjoying our smoothies.

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Playtex Straw Sippy Cup – Old vs. New

Sophia learned how to use a straw from a young age. She started with the normal spout sippy cups, but was more interested in using a straw. So, I got a couple straw cups, and the rest is history.

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(There are 4-5 more of these in the dishwasher)

Until they updated one of her favorites.

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Now I needed to give these a whirl, obviously, given my baby gear/item obsession. The two-pack I bought were on sale for $7, which is reasonable. When the cups are $9+ that’s when I look elsewhere, like Amazon or Marshalls. When I got them home, I realized we have one of the cups already, but in the older version. Same pattern, colors, everything. Just, newer.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A few immediate differences in the cup come from what you see before you even buy them in the store. It’s about the same height as the old cup, but skinnier. It’s also lighter, but almost looks more cheaply made? I guess we’ll see over time. The straw is longer, which is ideal since Sophia can never efficiently get every bit of water out of her cups. The sliding mechanism to close the straw is a bit different. Also, the straws are slightly different, as are how they connect inside the lids, shown below.

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(new straw – left / old straw – right)

So far, one main con I can see is how lightweight the cups are. Yes, it’s ideal, but not for a toddler. If you have a toddler, you know that they knock over everything. Most of her sippy cups get knocked over during meal time, but she barely tapped this one and it flew off her tray. Luckily, these cups are leak-proof (so far) and haven’t spilled a drop.

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(Old – left / new – right)

A major pro for me is the way the cup locks. HALLELUJAH THEY GOT THIS RIGHT. It (finally) doesn’t take excessive force and water exploding out of the straw to screw closed the lid. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened to me. So, in rebuttal to the old cup having a “leak proof” claim, it doesn’t leak when used, but totally leaks when you’re putting it together.

It’s still early in the testing process for us. I’ve hand washed them and they’ve washed well, but let’s be honest, these cups go right in the dishwasher. We use a little cage that came with our dishwasher for the straw parts, and we always use the sanitize setting on our dishwasher.

What’s your child’s favorite sippy cup? I’d love to go get 12 more to try ;)

Motherhood is Hard

Actually, it’s way harder than I thought it would be. Who knew?

Sophia has probably been the easiest baby and toddler on the planet. She’s pretty adaptable, and almost always well behaved. She’s pretty shy in certain situations, and is very clingy when she’s around strangers. I will never be mad at my daughter for not wanting to say hi to someone she doesn’t know. Isn’t that how kids get abducted nowadays?

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We attempted a one-day trip to Brooklyn over the weekend, and slightly failed. Usually our trips up north are an overnight-stay type of trip. We’ve never subjected her to more than 2 1/2 hours in the car at a time, except that one time it took us 4+ hours to get home from NJ and she was nursing newborn and slightly starving. For this trip, we were in the car at 10am and didn’t get to our destination until almost 2pm.

Needless to say, Sophia was not a fan.

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Screaming, kicking, dirty looks, and throwing of toys, food and drinks occurred. I wanted to turn around and go home. I feel like no trip is worth her unhappiness. (Also, I’m against drugging her with Benadryl, like many other moms recommended to me. It just doesn’t sit right with me.) Regardless, she was better once we got there, and even better once she had an entire plate of eggplant parmesan, ziti, penne vodka, lemon chicken, and salad in her belly. But now, it was 4pm. This little girl didn’t have a nap at all, besides a cat nap from screaming herself to sleep in the car.

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Sophia and I are the exact same person when it comes to tiredness and hunger. We get extremely angry, bratty, and unreasonable. Ask my husband, we are not fun to deal with. So that is totally me I see in her when she hits that brick wall of tiredness. In all of her almost year and a half in this world, I’ve never seen this girl throw a tantrum of this magnitude, in public no less. Let’s just say she’s got this whole toddler thing backwards. She’ll throw a tantrum at home, but in public? She’s an angel. It’s the weirdest thing ever, and I’m not sure how to deal with it sometimes.

That one day, that single day-trip, made me absolutely think twice about having another baby.

Over three hours later, we arrived home. [Insert completely happy child here]. Nothing but smiles and giggles on her end, and nothing but Tylenol PM and a bed on our end. It’s Monday and I’m still exhausted trying to remember the details from the day. Not to mention, Jason didn’t get home until 11:30pm Friday night, so we didn’t get off on the right foot to begin with.

That was a tough day. I’ll admit that. Sophia has been extremely tough to deal with these past few days, and I’m finding myself not being the calm, collected person that I usually am with her. I’m getting angry, shouting at her, and then I realize she doesn’t understand. I realize that her being upset is the only way to tell me what’s wrong. Me yelling at her doesn’t make anything better, and it makes me feel like a horrible mom. But this right here? This made me feel like I’m doing something right.

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It’s Simple

I remember when emptying the dishwasher took less than two minutes, and no one stole the spoons and hid them in their toy bins. When moving laundry from the washer to the dryer didn’t involve another person taking it back out of the dryer, and running down the hallway with it. The thought of going upstairs or into another room without strategically planning my moves so that no one cried. Those days when nothing had child locks on it, and I could open a cabinet door with just the slightest pull. Running to Target took 10 minutes, not an hour, and the only things in my hand were my wallet, keys and phone. I didn’t stress. I didn’t worry.  

I remember all of these things.

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But I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

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I love being a mom.

Our Everyday Routine

Routine is necessary during the week in our house when it’s just Sophia and I. Every now and then, she’ll sleep in the morning until 9:30 and throw the whole routine out of whack, but for the most part, she stays pretty on track. (Ha! I rhymed!) This routine helps ensure that both Sophia and I have a good day, and most importantly, that she stays happy. I’m a stay at home mom, so she doesn’t get the interaction that a toddler in daycare would get. We try to have 2 play dates per week, and then I try and leave the house at some point every day to either run errands or take her for a drive. She inherited my extreme cabin fever – I need to leave the house every day or I start to go a little crazy.

As for our routine, here it is!

  • We start our day anywhere between 7:30 – 8:30am (sometimes 9:30 when Sophia is feeling generous!) But usually around 8am is wakeup time.
  • Come downstairs.
  • Mommy gets coffee, Sophia gets milk, obviously.

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  • Play time for Sophia is usually from 8:30-9:30, and then she walks me to the kitchen, asks me to open the refrigerator door, and points to the eggs.
  • 9:30ish is breakfast which lately has been scrambled eggs + fruit.

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  • During her breakfast, I usually wash any dishes, load the dishwasher, and put a load of laundry in the washer.
  • 10-11am is more play time, but most importantly, Sofia the First is on.

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  • Around 11am, she wants more milk. So while she has milk, I take that time to go upstairs and get myself ready for the day. Most days, it takes about 15 minutes. I’m extremely grateful at how well she plays on her own. It definitely makes getting things done during the day much more manageable.
  • If we have errands to run, we’re usually out of the house by 11:30.  She understands when I ask her to get her shoes, and she sits on my lap. If I say we’re going out, she waves to the inside of the house and stands by the door.

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  • So usually 11:30-1:30ish is our “out of the house” time. I schedule all of our appointments, play dates and errands during this time slot. We usually come back before 1pm though, so we can have lunch at home, unless we eat lunch out on the rare occasion.
  • Anytime between 1-2pm, Sophia goes down for her 2 hour nap.

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  • FREEEEEEEEEDOMMMMM!!!!
  • Depending on the time she goes down, I usually have complete silence in the house until 3:30-4:30pm. It’s amazing.
  • Between 5-5:30pm, we have dinner. That can consist of anything, really. She pretty much eats anything. But as for order, we start with some sort of meat, and then head into veggies and then fruit to finish it off.
  • Jason gets home around 6pm usually, so Sophia has an extreme play/cuddle/tackle time session with daddy. 

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(She even needs to sit with him while he does homework, she’s a total daddy’s girl)

  • On the days that he has college classes at night, I take Sophia outside for a walk. Her favorite as of lately is to walk by herself, but when mommy needs exercise,  I put her in the jogger and we go for a run. Any amount of outside time makes her exhausted, win!

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  • 7pm rolls around and it’s time to get ready for bed. Some nights include a bath beforehand, but most nights, just pajamas and milk and I put her upstairs. This girl loves her crib. Once she’s in, she stands up and waves goodnight to me and shouts something along the lines of “see ya, love you” and she’s down for the count.

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(Drinking her milk, boss style)

And that’s our normal routine! When Jason is home on the weekends, it’s obviously a bit more loose because I have help.

What’s your every day routine?

“Just in Case”

When you have a newborn, and as a first time mom, you tend to pack everything and the kitchen sink in your diaper bag. But as they get older, usually around their first birthday, you tend to realize you don’t really need to carry all of that around. I did a diaper bag clean out, and removed everything I hadn’t used since the last time I loaded up the bag. Then I thought to myself – I could cut down carrying around even more stuff if I made a “just in case” bag, and kept it in the car. Bingo!

So I grabbed my Thirty One Zipper Pouch (mine is in the Lotsa Dots print) and started thinking of what I could put in there that would save me space in the diaper bag.

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The contents of this bag are:

  • 3 diapers
  • Wipes
  • A full outfit + socks
  • Aquaphor + Dr Smith’s sample size diaper cream
  • Dirty diaper disposable sack
  • Storage-size Ziploc bag for dirty clothes

 

The main thing that cleared a ton of space from the diaper bag was the clothes. Now I don’t have a 2 onesies, pants and socks taking up space. This works great for us because if there is anything that explosive that needs a new change of outfit, I wouldn’t be doing it in a JCPenney’s bathroom, we’d go back to the car. Also, since I don’t drive stick-shift, I’ll always have our truck, so not having the ‘just in case’ bag isn’t an issue. When my family was in town, I’d just move it to their car, along with her car seat (obviously) so they had it ‘just in case’.

**Along with this bag, I always keep two full size black towels and a hand towel (black to match the car interior) for help as well.**

Having this ‘just in case’ bag also let me switch to a smaller diaper bag. Right now we’re using a Coach messenger bag, previously I’ve used a Vera Bradley microfiber black diaper bag, and the Skip Hop Grand Central. Both of those now have more space than we need, so I went back to the Coach bag. Jason definitely prefers this diaper bag out of all of the ones we have, probably because it’s more manly, but it can also be worn cross body so you’re hands-free.

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And it helps that it’s red and black, his two favorite colors :) So that my friends is the ‘just in case’ bag, and a little on our diaper bag history.

 

What diaper bag do you carry? Is it too big/small? Perfect? Let me know!