2 Month Update (Ivor Alan)

My handsome little dude is 2 months old already! :insert comment about how fast time is going by::

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He’s growing nicely- 23.25 inches long, 11lbs 15oz.

He’s super smiley these days- especially when he sees his mama!

Speaking of “mama”….most of his cries start with the letter “M”….making it sound like “Maaaaaa ….maaaaaaa”. He’s done it since he was born. I love it. Breaks my heart though. Same with his little squeaky/whimpering cries…I can’t really describe it better than that. But it’s adorable.

He’s quite the little flirt- already super expressive like his sister was. He looks at me with a sparkle in his eye, raises one eyebrow and smiles at me. And that dimple? Yeah…I’m in trouble. A charmer like his daddy (those darn Ivor Griffiths boys…)

What we call him: bubba, bub, buddy, little dude, Ivor Alan (original, I know), hunk-a-munkin (Ivor calls Gwen love-a-munkin so I came up with hunk-a-munkin for little Ivor).

He chats a bit more now too. Coo-ing and ahh-ing. Here’s a video my dad took while he was here for a visit. They had a little chat, he tried to jump¬†over my shoulder, and then he spits-up down my arm, naturally:

Happy 2 months little dude!

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16 month update (Gwen)

I don’t give very many official updates on Gwen anymore but every once in awhile I just have to write down the things she does. Because she’s awesome. And I want to remember it.

Shoulder shrugging. Recent development. Sometimes it’s a double shoulder shrug, conveying¬†something like¬†“whatever…it’s cool…nbd mom”. Other times it’s a single shoulder shrug, shoulder touching her chin, with a sneaky smile¬†like, “yeah…I’m cute…and I’m going to get away with whatever I just did that you may or may not know about.”

Being in the water. She’s always loved bath time, but swimming in pools and rivers is not quite the same thing. I was nervous about how she’d like it, but she loves it.!¬†After being in the River for awhile last week she decided she had no fear, and actually tried swimming away from me! What?! No. Not yet grasshopper.

Kissing her brother unprompted and going over to him whenever he’s crying. She won’t say “baby” or even attempt to say “Ivor”….instead she calls him “Da-Da”. Not to be confused “DAA–EEEYYY” (which is “daddy”, she just doesn’t pronounce the 2nd d sound).

The facial expressions. A new one every day. Lord help me when she starts talking in real words and sentences. The girl has things on her mind and opinions to express!

Sitting in her chair and crossing her feet while she “reads” to herself. Books are her favorite.

Running. She gets her little arms going, leans forward ever so slightly and it’s the cutest sight ever. Until she crashes into you and her very hard head hits your shin, because¬†she doesn’t have enough control to stop herself in time. Ow.

She’s growing up and developing a little personality that challenges and inspires me. She is fierce. She is passionate. She is full of life and energy. She is my Gwendolyn and I love her so!

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1-Month Update (little Ivor)

I blinked and he’s a month old now. Seems like just yesterday I was going for walks every day trying to induce labor, thinking I’d be pregnant forever. Never mind that I didn’t even make it to my due date. For women who go past your due date, I don’t know how you stay sane! Anyway, here we are now with 4 weeks and change under our belt (and I’ve only gone for 1 walk…meh, I’ll get my groove back eventually).

I’m happy to report that we’re finally getting more sleep at night. Week 2 to 3 was by far the hardest- the worst sleeping nights of my life. He was “cluster feeding” for hours. Only taking 5-10 min breaks. I’d nurse him, he’d appear to have fallen asleep, so I’d put him down and then 5-10 mins later….”waaaaaaaaaaaa FEED ME AGAIN NOW!!”. It was not a good time. I envied my toddler who sleeps 12 hours a night. I wanted to crawl into her crib and hide. But thankfully things have¬†been much better this past week. Only waking once or twice throughout the night. Hooray! Here’s hoping this is the new normal.

He’s growing well and gaining weight (9lbs 10oz, 22inches long at his checkup on Monday). He’s starting to be a tad more interactive- looking at us and smirking/smiling. Making a few other sounds, other than crying. He’s quite the little snuggler- loves burying his face on me whenever I’m holding him.

I’m still learning how to manage our home while caring for 2 kiddos.¬†It will be much easier once the little man has a more consistent schedule. For now I’m just winging it and taking advantage of nap times/quiet playtime to get stuff done.¬†Sometime soon I’d like to¬†add “getting out of the house more often” to our routine. I’m determined to actually attend a playgroup on a somewhat regular basis. I want the kids to have friends. (And¬†it couldn’t hurt to have more of them myself). Adult conversation, with people other than my husband. Necessary.

Anyway, happy 1-month to the¬†little dude! I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring ūüôā

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And coming soon, my daughter is getting older and cuter and smarter every day. I can’t seem to slow down time and keep her my tiny baby anymore. Waaaa ūüôĀ

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Embracing the Crazy

Today was the doctor’s appointment. Gwen’s 15-month checkup and Ivor’s 1-month. Big Ivor was at work. So I was on my own with both kids. It started off well:

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Look at her, sitting there all happy and content eating her snack during her brother’s part of the visit.

I wish I could say she stayed this happy the whole time.

Once the doc left the room after Ivor’s exam and I started getting his clothes back on, Gwen¬†decided to hop off the chair and start exploring the office.

Sigh.

Then when the doc came back in for Gwen’s portion of the visit, little Ivor started¬†screaming his head off. So first I tried rocking his carseat with my foot, while trying to hold Gwen still and keep her from opening drawers, pulling things off shelves, etc. all while¬†attempting to listen to what the doc was saying. He still screamed. She still squirmed. So then I decided to pick him up and hold him while the doctor examined Gwen.¬†She¬†was less than cooperative for most of her exam. Swatting away the doctor’s hand, thrashing her body all around, screaming. Especially when she got her shots.¬†¬†I had switched out little Ivor for Gwen at that point, so he was back in his carseat screaming, and she was in my arms screaming, while the nurse poked her with a needle.

Then I got them both strapped into the double stroller and out we rolled through the lobby, with every eye on us. Thankfully it’s a pediatric doctor’s office, so everyone there was a parent and “got it”. Still couldn’t help but feel like quite the spectacle though lol.

All that to say, it didn’t upset me or stress me out (surprisingly). Was it fun? No. Would I want to do it¬†again? No. But we survived. And I don’t have unrealistic expectations of a toddler and a newborn in a doctor’s office getting poked and prodded.

The scene in that office is my life now. Sure, it’s a little crazy. But instead of fighting it or letting it ruin my day, I’m embracing it! We have lots of great moments (yesterday’s church outing, for example, couldn’t have gone smoother!) Right now they’re both content and quiet, allowing me to write this post.

Gwen has started *attempting* to say “I love you” (after you say it first). And little¬†Ivor has started smiling at us.

As someone recently said in a comment on a friend’s facebook page about having kids, “yes, my hands are full, but my heart is fuller.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

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2 Weeks, No Sleep

I had forgotten certain things about having a newborn/baby. Yes, Gwen is still my baby…but she’s more of a toddler now. And her¬†toddler activities and the whole pregnancy thing made¬†the last year a blur. So as I’ve been spending the past few nights awake with a tiny human feeding off of me ALL NIGHT, wondering what in the world was going on…it became clear and I remembered those pesky things called…growth spurts. Brief periods of time during a baby’s first year that they act like they’re STARVING and need to eat 24/7. Growing is a good thing. Meeting milestones is a good thing. I get that this needs to happen and the result is good. But for a nursing mama it’s kind of an exhausting process. As my toddler and my husband snooze away at 3am, I’m awake…sitting up in bed with a baby on my boob. Hoping that maybe THIS time when I lay him back down he’ll actually sleep for longer than 1 hour. A solid hour is all I ask for at 3am. Is it too much to ask?

Sigh.

It goes by quickly. It goes by quickly.

Fortunately at his 2-week check up this morning it was confirmed that he has indeed grown. He’s up to 8 1/2 lbs now and 21 1/4 inches long. His head is bigger too. Always reassuring. I’ll be taking BOTH kids in for a check-up in about 2 weeks. It will be Gwen’s 15-month and Ivor’s 1-month. It will likely be the first time taking them somewhere by myself too as that day is also (big) Ivor’s first day back to work. Waa. Pray for me.

Aside from the lack of sleep, we are doing well. He’s such a sweet, handsome little guy. He loves to cuddle and poop in clean diapers 2.5 seconds after I put them¬†on him. When he’s awake, he’s very alert and looks all around and studies faces and objects. He makes lots of funny faces and noises (grunts and squeaks). He doesn’t seem to be phased at all by his sister’s loudness. Speaking of, Gwen has started giving him kisses! I melt.

Also, I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has brought a meal to us. We appreciate it SO much! I especially love when these meals include cookies…and wine. Seriously, it’s the best ever. THANK YOU ūüôā

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A Week In

Well, we’re a week and 2 days in to our new crazy life. Things have been going well for the most part but I thought I’d mention a few highlights (and lowlights). Cause let’s be honest….the first week home with a newborn is rough.

Highlight:

Getting to go home the day after giving birth. Because he came early in the morning my doctor said I could leave the next day if I felt up to it. And because of the super fast delivery, it didn’t take much of a toll on my body (5 mins of pushing compared to 2 hours really does make a difference!), so physically the recovery has been much better this time around.

Lowlight:

While Gwen was really excited to meet her brother, she wasn’t feeling well at all. She had her first fever EVER the night we got home from the hospital. Thankfully I was able to get it down really quickly but she was still miserable and full of snot and it took awhile for her to fall asleep. I think it might’ve been¬†teething related. In any case, the fever never¬†came back and she’s fine now thankfully. But it wasn’t the most ideal “welcome home” scenario!

Lowlight:

No sleep that first night. None. Zero. And I was already sleep deprived at that point since my babies like to send me to the hospital in the middle of the night when they decide they’re ready to enter the world. It was a very rough night. He nursed, seemed to fall asleep and be content, but then when I laid him down he’d scream and want to nurse again. All. Night. Thoughts of “I’m never doing this again, this is the last baby, I’m done” were going through my head all night. All I wanted in the world was sleep. And there was no sleep. I’m sure I went through the same thing in the early days with Gwen. It’s amazing how much you “forget” (even though it was just last year lol). Eventually, the good memories outweigh the bad/frustrating days and it gets easier.

One more lowlight, that leads to a highlight:

In those first few days I had a really hard time emotionally not being able to give Gwen the attention I used to give her. SHE seemed fine, and not jealous or anything. But it made ME¬†really sad. The baby blues and sleep deprivation made it worse I think. Thankfully now that my hormones are back to normal (for the most part) and I’m getting more sleep, I’m dealing with it much better. It was just hard for me at first to let other people take care of her, or have her needs come 2nd to the baby. And for the majority of our interactions to consist of telling her “no!” and ¬†trying to keep¬†her from hurting her brother. Again, now that I’m feeling more human and normal, It’s gotten better. I’ve really made an effort to do more with her when I can and that’s helped. When little Ivor is sleeping, I’ll play with her. Or I’ll put her down for her nap, or make her lunch etc.

Highlight:

Because of the above, not getting as much attention from me, Gwen¬†has really bonded with her daddy. The two of them have become best buds and that makes me so happy to see. She loves sitting on his lap and reading with him, “working out” together (he taught her to do push-ups, sit-ups and squats lol), kicking a ball around, etc. They are adorable together. It’s definitely a blessing to have him home so they can spend this¬†time together. It will be a very sad day when he goes back to work ūüôĀ

So that’s just a quick glimpse of how our first week home has been. All things considered, we’re doing pretty well. The first week(s) with Gwen were a lot more difficult…because we didn’t have a clue what we were doing (and we had some crazy circumstances that added to the difficulty).

Anyway, that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with a side-by-side comparison photo of Gwen and Ivor Alan at 1 week old. I do think he has more of my features (dark eyes, darker skin coloring, dark hair etc.). Gwen had lighter skin, lighter/bluer eyes and lighter hair. What do you think?

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Boy, That Escalated Quickly- a birth story :)

The much anticipated birth story of our 2nd blessing- Ivor Alan Griffiths.

It began on Sunday, June 1st, when I woke up and started getting ready for church. Super mild braxton hicks contractions started happening. It wasn’t anything different than what I had been feeling for the past 2 months or so. Noticeable “practice contractions” as they’re described. Not the least bit painful, just noticeable. The only difference this time was the frequency. Up until then¬†I had only felt about 2-3 each day. But now they were coming about 2-3 every hour. So I just began keeping track of them to see how long they lasted and how frequently they were coming. About 10-15 mins apart, lasting about 1 min each. But they weren’t getting any stronger or lasting longer so I just¬†went about my day as usual. We went to the grocery store after church, ate lunch, watched some TV, took Gwen for a walk, cooked dinner, etc.

And right¬†around dinner time is when I noticed a difference in the strength of these “practice” contractions. They were definitely stronger than before. They got my attention and made me have to close my eyes and breathe through most of them. Still easily managed, but just required some focus. From about 6pm-10pm I kept track of them. They were coming a little more frequently now, about 7-10 mins apart. Still lasting about 1-1:30 mins each. Since this had been going on all day, and there was a noticeable change in strength, we decided it was probably time to call my doctor. The call was made around 10pm I believe. She said to give it another hour and if the contractions remained the same, or started coming more frequently, to go ahead and get to the hospital. She knew that I wanted to do as much of the laboring on my own as possible, without any meds, so she was comfortable having me wait a bit longer and labor more at home. If I definitely planned on getting an epidural, she would’ve had me come in right then.

So we double-checked the hospital bag, threw in some last minute things. Ivor decided to shave, only to have his razor die about 10 seconds in, so he looked fantastic ūüėČ We were both¬†kind of giddy at this point, realizing this was probably it. Part of me still didn’t want to¬†get my hopes up though because I didn’t want to get sent home for “false labor”. Not sure why it takes me awhile to believe I’m actually in labor. Even with Gwen, when my WATER BROKE to start labor, I wasn’t convinced until we got to the hospital and they told me “yes, you’re in real labor”. Anyway, Ivor charged his razor and was able to finish his shave. Meanwhile I kept track of the contractions. They started out great- the same frequency and strength as before (which would mean we were going to the hospital). But¬†then toward the end of that hour window we were given, they started to vary, getting farther apart. Sigh. It was almost midnight at this point and I was sleepy. Ivor had already started drifting off. I figured if I was¬†to get any rest at all, I should try then. See if I could sleep through these contractions. And I did sleep…for about 2 hours. Until the contractions woke me up. Another increase in strength. Definitely could not ignore these! I woke Ivor up and told him we needed to leave right away. And off we went.

We checked in at the hospital at 3:20am on 6/2. I got set up for “labor evaluation” and my nurse checked me. I was 5-6cm dilated and completely effaced. She felt the “bulging water bag” and predicted it would break soon. Labor evaluation complete: this was the real thing. That’s when Ivor sent out the initial messages¬†to family and close friends that the little man was on his way!

I was still managing contractions well on my own and the baby was doing¬†great. So we did some walking around the halls, which definitely helped move things along…as the contractions¬†came way more frequently whenever I did so. My OB arrived to check on me around 6:30am. She asked if I wanted her to break my water bag, since it hadn’t yet broken on its own, to help speed things up…but she warned¬†me that contractions¬†would get more intense and there might not be time for an epidural (or I’d have very little time to make a decision on that). I decided to just let her do it. ¬†“The sooner this is all over, the better. I want this little guy out,” I thought. So she checked me and I was now 7-8cm dilated. I was so happy!¬†We were almost there. She said she’d check back in with me in an hour and that there would be a good chance I’d be ready to push then.

In the meantime, they wanted to monitor the baby so I was sitting in bed and didn’t really notice the contractions getting “way more intense” like I was told they would. So when my doctor came back in and I said things still kinda felt the same, she told me to get up and move around, which I apparently could’ve been doing anyway because the cords I was hooked up to for monitoring stretch pretty far. Wish I would’ve noticed that.

So, here’s where Ron Burgundy comes in.

When I got out of bed and started moving around the room, things got out of hand quickly. The¬†contractions quadrupled in intensity and I started to feel nauseated, and overheated, like I might pass out. Transition. After about 4-5 of them I made Ivor get the nurse back in the room. She tried talking to me to see how I wanted to get through this¬†final stage, not knowing how quickly this stage was going to go. Do you want to go in the shower and sit on the birthing ball, take Fentanyl (the pain med that “takes the edge off”), etc? But the epidural was for sure out of the question at this point. No time. And as she was trying to talk to me, we kept getting interrupted by contractions coming one right after the other. At some point I said “get me the fentanyl now”.¬†

And probably a minute later, “I need to push”. So much for the fentanyl idea. No time for that either.

Then everyone was suddenly in the room rushing for delivery, getting me into a better pushing position.

And I’m screaming in agony, feeling as though death were imminent.

I remember them telling me to grab my legs, tuck my¬†chin and push with the next contraction. But in that moment, that was a ridiculous request and I couldn’t imagine being able to do such a thing. Doing anything other than lying there screaming in pain was impossible.

But then the impossible happened. I listened and did what they said. And in about 2 pushes, in 2 mins, he was out and in my arms at 7:55am.

The total time from “I need to push” to “look at your baby!”….5 mins tops?

That’s basically how everyone in the room felt lol. We all just looked around at each other like “well that just happened!”. By the way, my poor nurse had just started her shift when I was transitioning. Our introduction was basically “I’ll take that fentanyl now—wait, I need to push”, aaaaand “here’s your baby!”

I couldn’t believe that happened. I still can’t. Giving birth without any pain meds was¬†something I always wished I could do, but never thought possible. ¬†I always knew I’d give in at some point. I’m a pansy. And I did give in…remember when I asked for the Fentanyl about 1 min before saying I need to push? Yeah. And I certainly didn’t expect to push him out so quickly either. Birth is a crazy thing. So unpredictable. But I am so thankful for such a positive experience with a great support team- my doctor and the nurses¬†were¬†amazing, as was my husband. He’s just as vocal, if not more-so, than the nurses lol. Hearing his voice the whole time and his encouragement meant so much to me and helped me get through that. When I said “I can’t”, he said “yes you can”. And I believed him. He’s an amazing husband.

And the result of this crazy, beautiful, whirlwind of a story…our baby boy:

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He is so precious and we are so in love with him already. He’s soft and warm and cuddly. I had missed having a little newborn ūüôā I didn’t miss the being up all night thing. No, not so much. But I know how quickly time passes and before I know it, he’ll be a toddler causing trouble with his big sister.

I can’t believe we’re a family of 4.¬†We are so blessed. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us and wished us well and encouraged us.¬†Please don’t stop doing that! We’ll need it now more than ever as life with “2 under 2” begins. I’m sure it will make for very entertaining blog posts, so stay tuned ūüôā

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Things to Remember

I just wanted to jot down a few things Gwen is doing that I find cute/amusing/etc.¬†I’m not doing the monthly updates with her anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t occasionally mention the crazy things she does. Because I want to remember stuff. I have a feeling once her brother shows up, another fast-forward button is going to be pressed, time will fly and I won’t stop to appreciate the little things she does¬†or I’ll just plain forget them (or when they happened). I already can’t remember when exactly she started crawling, for example. But I’m fairly certain I mentioned it in a post somewhere…so I can always look it up ūüôā

Moving on!

*Walking- pretty big milestone, sure. But along with that came something pretty darn adorable. Ivor started it with her one night- asking her to hold his hand and walk down the hall with him, over to the stairs, to go up to bed. Now whenever it’s bedtime (or even nap time), I’ll¬†ask her “are you ready to go upstairs for nap/bedtime?”….then she’ll grab my¬†hand and start leading me¬†down the hallway. Even CUTER though is when Ivor and I are both home, she’ll grab BOTH¬†of our hands and want to walk with both of us. I can’t even stand how adorable that is.

*I taught her “cheers” recently (when you clink your drinking glass together with someone), and now she wants to do it all the time. Several times in a row (once is not enough for her, she thinks it’s hilarious). She, with her sippy cup of milk, and me with my mug of coffee. It’s a special thing we do in the¬†morning.

*She likes to pick up trash/crumbs off the floor and hand it to me. I suppose I should be thankful she’s not eating it. But it makes me feel like I never vacuum. I swear I do! lol….but ya know….she makes messes faster than I can clean them up.

*Dancing- happening more frequently these days. The girl loves a good beat. She’ll stop whatever she’s doing when she hears music to get her groove on.¬†Be it the “Go Go Go Go, on an adventure” song from The Cat and The Hat show on PBS Kids, the current pop hit on the radio, or any of Daddy’s songs…she loves it all!

And we just love the little person she is becoming…

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Pregnancy Update- 34 Weeks!

How far along? 34 weeks
Total weight gain/loss: almost 30 lbs
Maternity Clothes? of course
Stretch marks? Nope
Sleep: constantly interrupted by the need to pee
Best moment this week:  I ate entire pint of ice cream in one sitting, cookies-n-cream, but it was organic so that makes it okay, right?
Miss Anything? being comfortable
Movement?¬†oh yes, he is quite the active little bugger like his sister was….he’s also positioned with his feet ready to kick me in the ribs whenever he feels like it (which is often)…and like his sister, it’s always on the right side…
Food Cravings? ALL THE SWEET THINGS. (nothing changed here)
Anything making you queasy or sick? meh, not really anymore
Have you started to show? Only getting bigger at this point
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Labor Signs?¬†Braxton hicks ¬†(practice contractions)…especially on days when I’m really active and not drinking enough water
Belly button in or out?¬†Oh it’s out there now
Wedding rings off or on?  Still on!
Happy or Moody most of the time?¬†I think I’m happy most of the time lately, but it wouldn’t take much to set me off
Wisdom:¬†Seeing your husband as a daddy is extremely attractive. I learned¬†this¬†when Gwen was first born but it only gets better, the other night he tucked in a stuffed bunny and I tell you that¬†man has never been more sexy (maybe those are the pregnancy hormones talking….moving on!)
Looking forward to:¬†¬†Having the little man on the outside of my body. Pregnancy is beautiful and amazing, but there comes a point when¬†you’re just ready to have your normal body back and be¬†holding him in your arms instead…and I’m pretty close to that point.

 

Accomplishments

If you happen to read my facebook statuses, you’ll probably already know that the stomach bug hit our home a few days ago. The day I posted “Vomit“, I vomited, several hours later. Then the next morning, my brother-in-law (who lives with us right now) also vomited. My husband is the only one who somehow managed to escape the vomit. He felt pretty miserable though so we can still say it hit him.

So that sparked in me a desire to go on a mad cleaning spree and also get some things on our to-do list accomplished this weekend. We have an actual Google “to-do” list I made, as well as a “things-we-need-to-buy-for-Ivor-Alan” list. I’m happy to say that we can now cross a few of those things off! I was never much of a list person…until I became a mom. Now I have lists. Kids change things.

Anyway- we got the crib and the double stroller this weekend. I also got some curtains for the baby’s room. Mostly because their room is the only room in house that gets a ton of sun and it really gets hot in there late in the day. So I got some “blackout” energy efficient curtains. Let’s hope they work! But if not, curtains make a room look more home-y and cozy so it’s still nice to have. And they were cheap. Walmart ftw! Also from Walmart, a crib for under $200…convertible…with great reviews…and it’s Graco…name-brand ūüėČ Ain’t no shame in shopping at Walmart, especially when you can do it online and not have to be in the actual store lol.

About the double-stroller. Cause who would’ve ever thought I’d be purchasing a double-stroller?! Crazy. After talking to other moms and researching a bunch, we decided on the Contours Options LT Tandem Stroller:

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In that wonderful gender neutral (but leaning more towards masculine) color. Really it was the only color Buy Buy Baby had in stock…and that’s where I had a coupon. So we weren’t complaining! I’ll write a review after actually using it in a few months. But here’s what we were looking for a DS (double stroller): 1. compact when folded so it can fit in the back of our Prius. 2. Compatible with our infant carseat. ¬†3. Not insanely expensive. Those were the 3 must haves. This stroller meets all those requirements. Though I have to say, when open, this thing is a beast…NOT compact while open. Just when folded up for storage, which is the most important thing for us. Reviews say that it’s surprisingly easy to maneuver though. I’m sure it just takes a bit of getting used to the length. Like when you’ve been driving a car for several years and then get an SUV or (gasp) a Mini-van. It takes a bit of time to get used to the longer vehicle. Anyway… other features that we like about this stroller: massive storage basket, stands up on it’s own when folded, lightweight, and there are 6 different seating positions for the babies (6!). The parent cup-holder is apparently flimsy but I’ll just get one of those universal cup-holders to attach. ¬†No big deal.

Next things to buy: bigger diaper bag, a few more cloth diapers, a crib mattress, and some other little things. But I feel better now that the big purchases are out of the way.

8 weeks left, here we go!