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Life

LATELY

It’s Memorial Day weekend! My favorite. I love spring in the city, but I can’t wait to dip my toes in the frigid ocean, eat ice cream cones on the boardwalk, enjoy dinner and drinks on the deck and just hang out with family. Isla is beyond excited (she’s been wearing her puddle jumper for two days) and I have a feeling Theo is going to love the beach just as much as his big sister and mama. And I’m actually excited to wear a swimsuit for the first time since I hit puberty because I bought this one and it’s probably the most flattering suit I’ve ever owned. It’s going to be a great summer. I say this every summer, I know, but I’m serious!

Anyway, happy Memorial Day!

Just a few photos of life lately since things have been a little slow around here …Theo_SmilingIsla_PlantingTheo_Floor_Toys Theo_Phillies_Game_Yankee_Hat shared_room mothers day Pixar exhibit at the Franklin Institute

Kids

BRITAX B-READY DOUBLE STROLLER REVIEW

Britax B-Ready Double Stroller reviewRemember that time I was trying to decide between three double strollers I thought would work best for our life in the city? Well we picked one and after six months of using it I figured it’s a good time to let you know what we think. {Please note: We bought this stroller. Britax was not involved in this blog post or our purchase.} 

If you recall, the top three double strollers on my list were the Britax B-Ready, the Phil & Ted’s Navigator and the Baby Jogger City Select.

We ended up going with the Britax B-Ready with the second seat and we absolutely love it (as much as you can love a double stroller). Here are some random thoughts in no particular order …

1. Easy to Maneuver. It’s not exactly light, especially compared to our single stroller (the Britax B-Agile), but it’s on the lighter side compared to other doubles. That being said, it’s incredibly easy to maneuver. The weight doesn’t seem to affect my ability to push this puppy all over the city. And if I take Isla out of the bottom seat, I can easily lift it up the steps into our house and into all the local shops in our neighborhood with stoops/steps. Getting it into the trunk of the car is not fun though. It’s no impossible, but not fun. Luckily we rarely drive anywhere.

2. Compact. I wasn’t sure how Isla would feel about sitting below Theo, but the side-by-side stroller was not an option for us. For starters, I can’t imagine maneuvering a side-by-side through the city and in and out of doorways, but we also don’t have space for it in our narrow townhouse. I imagine the kids will eventually trade-off between the upper and lower seats, but for now both seem perfectly happy. Isla can climb in and out on her own and likes to reach up to tickle Theo’s feet, even though she can’t really reach. It is also longer than a single stroller but it still feels compact.

3. Lots of Configurations. There are a bunch of different positions for the seats. For the first four months we had Theo in the car seat in the top position. Easy peasy. Now he’s in the regular seat and we switch him around so sometimes he’s facing us and other times he’s facing out, depending on where we are.

4. Great Canopies. Lots of sun coverage.

5. Easily collapsible. It collapses easily with the second seat attached. This was key. The last thing we wanted was for a second seat to take up extra room in the car and in the house when collapsed.

6. Compatible with our Car Seat. We already have a Britax infant car seat (here’s the newer model of the one we have) so we didn’t need an adapter to attach it. Those things can get expensive so this was a selling point for us. It just snaps right in and pops back out.

7. Both Seats Recline. Isla doesn’t recline much, but it’s nice to have the option. Theo, on the other hand, can sit straight up when he wants to see the animals at the zoo, or lie back for a nap. And there are a few reclining positions to choose from.

8. The price is right. Double strollers can be incredibly expensive. Oh, who am I kidding? If you want to spend a million dollars on a stroller you could find a way. The B-Ready is affordable and worth every penny.

9. Limited Storage. The only place to store things is in the bin at Isla’s feet and she is having none of that. I tried to put a gallon of milk down there once on our way back from the grocery store and she kicked it so hard in anger I thought it was going to bust open. We use a carabiner to hang lighter things on the hand rail but for the most part I just carry a backpack.

10. Cup Holder is Lacking. We don’t use the cup holder that came with it. It doesn’t stay in place, is in the way and isn’t super functional. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s in Isla’s toy box somewhere. We use the Britax stroller organizer, which we’ve had since Isla was born. Love that thing. I mean really, really love it. Panic when I don’t have it attached.

Overall, the Britax B-Ready is a great double stroller. The upper/lower seat configuration is exactly what we needed for the city and though it’s a little heavy to lift, it’s incredibly easy to maneuver. We don’t really use it as a single stroller unless I’m taking Theo to the grocery store and storing the bags of groceries in Isla’s lower seat (that’s a bonus actually). We still have our Britax B-Agile for when one of us is going out with just one kid. While I don’t love having two strollers in the house, we aren’t quite ready to give up the single.

In the end, we’d highly recommend this stroller!

And now, who has a stroller board? I’m thinking about getting one for when Isla doesn’t want to sit or walk (or when her seat is filled with groceries) but I’d love your thoughts first.

Please also share your favorite strollers in the comments!

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Baby-Led Weaning

BABY-LED WEANING | THEO, PART I

Baby-led weaningWe started baby-led weaning with Theo a couple of weeks ago when he turned six months and it’s far less stressful the second time around. In case you don’t remember, didn’t care then or are new to my blog, Isla was a baby-led weaning champ when we did it with her, and Chris and I were a nervous wreck the entire time. The fear or choking is still there a little bit, but I feel more seasoned and a little more prepared for what’s to come. But that’s not to say the experience is the same. In fact, Theo is not the eater his sister was.

This time we made sure to introduce one new food every three days, instead of every day, to rule out allergies. Again, if you recall, we discovered Isla was allergic to egg after I gave her a meatball with egg in it at eight months and she broke out in hives. A subsequent allergy test confirmed the allergy and a follow-up test after she turned one found it had gone away already, which was a huge relief. The fear stayed with me though and I’m not taking any chances with Theo.

We started him off with avocado (sliced length-wise; thick enough to grab), just like we did with Isla. The first day wasn’t very successful. He got the food to his mouth, smiled a few times and then sobbed uncontrollably. I made sure he had recently nursed so I don’t think he was hungry, I just think he was tired and frustrated that he couldn’t easily grasp the big chunk. After a very long nap the following day I nursed him and then offered the avocado again and he ate about two-thirds of it! He loved it and sat in the high chair for an hour playing, eating and laughing.

After avocado we tried banana (broken in half), then broccoli (steamed and served in large trees). Theo had zero interest in these. He ate a little bit of the banana, but for the most part just scolded me until I gave him more avocado. The broccoli was easy for him to hold and he gnawed on the trunks a little bit because I’m sure it felt good on his gums, but he wanted no part of the tree.

At the recommendation of our pediatrician we decided not wait on peanut butter (we introduced it to Isla at eight months). I put a tiny little bit on a spoon and let Theo feed it to himself, which he did with ease and a whole lot of excitement. In fact, he sobbed every time I took the spoon to reload it because he wanted more! We gave it to him for three days straight and watched him like a hawk, but no allergy. Yay!

Then onto strawberries (cut in half or given whole), another possible allergen, and just like that he found his favorite food. He stared at it and pushed it around his tray for about 30 minutes with very little interest, but when he finally got that first taste it was all over. Theo and strawberries. Separated at birth.

And finally, peaches (peeled and cut it in half or quarters), another favorite. He loves to suck the juice, just like Isla did.

All in all, I’d say it’s going well. I was a little surprised at how long it took Theo to get started each day, especially since he puts everything he finds into his mouth, but I’m thrilled he’s enjoying feeding himself and finding foods he likes. Isla devoured absolutely every single food we introduced to her so I was sort of expecting the same experience with Theo, but this just proves once again that no two kids are the same and that’s okay!

Next up: Sweet potatoes, steamed carrots, hummus and other seasonal fruits and veggies.

Now for the feedback. Are you doing / have you done baby-led weaning? Do you have questions or ideas? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!

For a look back at Isla’s baby-led weaning journey:
BLW week one | BLW part two | BLW part three | BLW part four | BLW part five | BLW part six | BLW: An overview | Final thoughts on BLW

Follow me on Instagram for more baby-led weaning updates.

[DISCLAIMER: This post is meant to provide useful tips about baby-led weaning. This is our family’s personal journey and is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor. I am NOT a doctor. I am a stay-at-home mom with a background in public relations so taking medical advice from me would be straight up crazy. Seriously. We’re exploring baby-led weaning in consultation with our pediatrician … every step of the way. You should do the same.]

Baby-led weaningBaby-led weaningBaby-led weaningBaby-led weaning Baby-led weaningBaby-led weaning : avocado

Kids

ONE-ON-ONE TIME

Roxy Theater Family MatineeOne of the hardest things about having a second child is making time for the first. As a stay-at-home mom I’m with both kids all the time so, naturally, they get lots of good mommy time all day long. But it’s easy to forget that one of those babies is used to being the only one and making time to spend with just her is incredibly important. Isla’s never had to share my attention before, and while she adores her brother and has done incredibly well with the transition (for the most part), I’ve been trying to set aside some time to spend with just her. Sure, I love our short walks to get coffee together while Theo stays with dad, but I was hoping to make time for something more.

I received an invite from the Philadelphia Film Society to take Isla to a kids’ movie during one of their family matinees and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon they show family friendly movies at The Roxy Theater at 20th and Sansom for $4 for parents and $1 for a child. You can’t beat that! When Isla and I went they were showing “The Lorax.” I wasn’t sure she would last through the whole movie, but I was excited since neither of us had seen it before. I think she was a little overwhelmed with the big screen at first, but she settled in and lasted through the whole thing! We shared Raisinetes and she cuddled on my lap for the entire second half. Afterward, she was so excited she repeatedly thanked the man selling tickets and candy and even told the neighbor kids “I fun movie!” when we saw them outside on our way home. It was super sweet and I’m so glad we were able to enjoy her first movie together and have a special girls’ day. There’s a showing of “An American Tail” coming up and I’m so tempted to take her again. That’s one of my all-time favorites.

I hope to do much more of this with both kids as they grow. Whether it’s a movie date, a trip to the park or lunch for two, I want them to always know how much I love being with them and how important they are to me. And I’d love for this one-on-one time to evolve and perhaps help keep the lines of communication open with our kids as they enter more challenging phases in their lives.

Roxy Theater Family MatineeRoxy Theater Family Matinee

Baby

SIX MONTHS

Theo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxWe’re already halfway through Theo’s first year and I can’t figure out how that happened. Time is passing me by and I’m freaking out a little. It feels like we just brought this cutie home, though I love him like he’s been mine for eternity. I guess that’s just how motherhood goes.

This giggly guy makes friends everywhere he goes using his perma-smile and I-only-have-eyes-for-you gaze that gets me every time. He’s both chatty and exceptionally observant. I predict he’ll be a good listener and incredibly thoughtful. He hasn’t quite mastered sitting up (though he’s close) but he’s a champion planker and has started rocking on all fours like he’s about to crawl. He’s getting better at napping and goes to bed at the same time as his sister every night (still in the same room!). Unfortunately, he’s not quite sleeping through the night, but thanks to some reflux medicine he’s down to only one middle-of-the-night feeding. Our sweet guy is a snuggler, loves trees, actually enjoys my singing and thinks his sister is the funniest person who ever lived. He prefers to be on his stomach most of the day (and now during the night) and if we turn around for even a second he’s across the room and rolling under the couch. He’s ticklish everywhere, loves chin kisses and chews everything he sees.

This month we’re going to spend some time with my mom, start baby-led weaning, learn to sit up, take the kids to their first Phillies game and take a bath in a real bathtub (once our renovation is complete!). Oh, and Theo’s going to sleep through the night. He swears.

Happy six months, crazy boy! We love you more than flowers love showers.

(Theo at five monthsfour monthsthree monthstwo monthsone month and his birth story)Theo Six MonthsTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightboxTheo Six MonthsTheo Six Months | Little Lovely Company lightbox