ashwagandha thyroid

June 2017

Why is June so busy? One of the more notable events of the first few days of June was an info meeting for parents at Soren’s kindergarten. How are we already there?! I didn’t take any pics, but if I did it might have been of me getting a little teary as I walked into the school.

Also, Shaw at almost 19 months:

On Saturday, another round of headshots with my Boston Moms Blog ladies (photos courtesy the lovely Jennifer).

Next we were off to the Greek Festival in Arlington, which we biked to. Our first ride with Soren on the trailer bike behind me and Shaw in the trailer behind Tim!

We ate souvlaki and bounce housed it up all afternoon long.

We made some progress on our “yard.”

On the first Sunday in June Soren gave his first talk!

We had a few minutes to kill after church since Tim was still at church in another building in the stake, so we walked up to the temple to run around.

That week Shaw had a mishap with the floor. He and Soren were running around — lots of laughter — until they smacked into each other and Shaw’s chin hit the wood floor. Not too much blood, and he was fine after a few minutes of crying, but we decided the gash was big enough to merit a visit to the ER. Tim and I went back and forth for far too long about which of us should take him in. Mom guilt got the best of me, so I took him in. I was nervous after the trauma of the experience with Soren. Fortunately, this time was somewhat better. I hated the doctor who did Soren’s, but I loved this doctor. And instead of being there until 11 p.m., we were out by 9 p.m. this time. He ended up with eight stitches! The best part was when I almost passed out. I was doing fine and was even watching her stitch it up and asking questions (the little chunks of fat that were coming out of his chin were fascinating), but then after awhile I started feeling really hot and a little lightheaded. So the doctor told the nurse tech guy (who was holding Shaw’s head) to call for a nurse to bring me juice and come hold Shaw’s hands down (since I had been doing that). Suddenly, all these people came rushing into the room — turns out he had pushed the “code” button. Embarrassing for me! I kept my head down for a few minutes then was fine. I asked the doc how often the dads come in versus the moms, and she estimated 75% moms. She said the dads are usually the ones who get queasy or pass out.

The doctor assured me Shaw would sleep really well that night since he would be exhausted from the whole experience. Joke was on us — he ended up in our bed after waking up crying a few times. Traumatic night, for sure! The next day’s naps were no better. Cuddles with Tim during morning nap, sleeping in bed with mama during afternoon nap.

On Friday the kids and I spent the morning at Drumlin Farm, complete with a hay ride.

 

This is the photo that should earn me “Worst Mom of the Year.” Shaw was climbing up the slippery water/sand chutes like a maniac, and I was videoing him instead of bringing him down to safe ground. Then he slipped and knocked his chin against the metal. The chin that had just received eight stitches. It split right open. I called the doc to see if we really needed to go through the same miserable stitches experience again, and they said yes. Thanks to Shaw’s drool-y nature, the original stitches had dissolved quite prematurely. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it again if it was mainly for cosmetic reasons, so we brought Shaw home for a nap and decided to wait it out. By evening time we decided we should probably do something about it. But maybe not another traumatic experience (and another $100). So we brought him to see a guy in our church who happens to be an ER doc. He used some steri strips (and some super glue) and sent us on our way. Oh, and you know how I thought I was recording a video the whole time I should’ve been protecting my baby’s precious chin from another fall? Turns out I wasn’t even videoing, I was holding up my phone in photo mode like a total dummy.

Sometimes Soren and Tim bike to the pond to have snacks and read Tin Tin.

I fell in love with my back yard after seeing this babies pop up outta nowhere.

We went to an event at one of our old favorite libraries in Boston, mostly for the free Ben & Jerry’s and the concert with one of Soren’s favorite kid bands. He’s totally geeking out here talking to Karen K (of Karen K and the Jitterbugs).

Soren had his last day of preschool in June. The final day was a family party, and my contribution for the breakfast was one million mini muffins. Is this muffin pan the best or what?

Face painting, bounce house, balloons, games, the works.

Soren + teachers.

After almost a year of being closed, our neighborhood park finally opened and is better than ever!

It was set to open on Saturday, but when the construction workers began tearing down the temporary fence on Friday afternoon, we all broke in.

The next day we got started on our garden. Lots of weeds to take care of!

Look at that beautifully weeded plot. Too bad the soil was such poor quality.

Then Soren and I headed to the Feast of the East — the biggest event of the year in our neighborhood. We joined the parade and walked next to a dog-walking organization — Soren and I somehow ended up walking one of the dogs during the parade!

Tim and Shaw came to join after naps — Shaw is obsessed with the crosswalk flags and will NOT cross the street without one.

After the feast we went back to the garden for more work.

On Sunday morning I was in charge of early morning duty with Shaw. Off to the park we went.

To Shaw’s delight, we saw lots of wildlife on our neighborhood adventure — squirrels, baby bunnies, and a snapping turtle!

Then Tim took the boys to Gloucester for a walk along the Ocean Lawn.

In mid-June we got to see the tall ships docked in Boston — first time they’ve been here since 2000 (and Boston is the only U.S. city that got to see them this year).

True love.

Our friend Jana invited us over for a playdate one day. Trains, chicken nuggets for lunch, and a tire swing!

First backyard raspberry of the year!

Just a regular day around the house — hard hat, necklaces, lei, Home Depot apron, Superman cape, and backpack on, with paint stirrer in hand.

Falling in love with my backyard a little more every time a new flower blooms!

Who doesn’t love a trip to the hardware store?

At the end of June I finally became a biking mom. I can’t figure out why I didn’t start sooner. On our first day we rode to Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, the library, and Otto in a fraction of the time it would’ve taken us to walk. I’m hooked!

Free delivery by these two.

We finally finished planting at the end of the month!

May 2017

Tim started the month with trips to New York, Austin, and Chicago, so the boys and I found our own fun. One rainy day we went to Imagine for hours of indoor play with no mess for me to clean up.

“Tim – we luv u so mch.”

Soren decided he’d like to start wearing bow ties to school. No complaints from me!

Had to document the day Soren read an “Old Navy” tag and realized it’s not actually called “Old Maybe” like the thought.

On my birthday Tim took the boys to the waterfront for visits to the Fire Museum and the ICA. Fine by me!

Some art project or another at the ICA.

I spent my day at Brimfield, where I got this cute whale belt buckle, among other small gems.

On the day after Mother’s Day, I had to laugh at the contrast from the day before. One day we’re pampered and praised, the next day we’re swimming in laundry, food spills, dirty dishes, and crayon on the walls.

Soren and his BFF had a sweet goodbye as her family prepped to leave for China for the summer.

Shaw’s favorite spot in the library.

I love when Tim whisks the kids away for a morning of hiking.

Tim gets to take the kids to church on his own some Sundays when I need travel around to different congregations in our stake. Sometimes the kids actually keep each other entertained during sacrament meeting!

Shaw boy had his first real illness! He was SO lethargic, so we had lots of snuggle time while he dozed on and off. He made it to 18 months without ever having baby Tylenol!

Only 4 years old, but he lost his first tooth! He had a hard time figuring out which smile would show the gap best.

My dear friend Marci came to Boston with her husband for a conference, so we got to catch up one Saturday. We hadn’t seen each other in 10 years! We visited SOWA, tried lots of food trucks, walked through the Common and the Public Garden, and rode the swan boats.

Boston Common all decked out for Memorial Day.

Soren and I rode the carousel and topped off our day with a to-die-for ice cream/cookie sandwich.

Soren snapped this photo of me. I don’t think he meant to make it a chest shot, but I liked the way he captured my title.

Sunday morning family hike.

After 9 months in our house we decided it was time to tackle the front “yard.” It seemed easier to start from scratch, so we went from this…

to this!

UppaBaby has my heart, and I loved taking my old, beat up stroller in for a free tune up. They gave me some spiffy new wheels and a new handle bar, then cleaned the whole thing up. Good as new (almost)!

April 2017

We kicked off our April with a general conference weekend. I can’t say the kids were this attentive the entire time, but we had a solid start!

I’ve never taken the kids to Ben & Jerry’s free cone day for fear of the lines, but it turns out it was a breeze. We got a miracle parking spot in Harvard Square, and we didn’t have to wait for our ice cream! Totally worth it. (I even tried to share my ice cream with Shaw — I figured at 18 months he at least deserved a taste. But he was NOT interested.)

Tim’s parents came to town for a few days. Drumlin Farm is always extra fun with friends.

Cambridge Common in coats.

We cleared some space in our backyard for a trampoline, which meant we had to pull out the weird metal pole that was cemented into the ground. Only took three guys and a handful of kids.

Middlesex Fells fun.

This is typical Shaw — covered in dirt, making a grumpy face.

How cute are these two BFFs? Reading in their recliners like an elderly couple.

We went to our traditional Good Friday egg hunt with friends in Cambridge.

Soren’s first year in the older kids division!

I love this scene — cuddles and books.

Our church also had an Easter egg hunt. Never gets old.

Happy Easter from the great-grandparents. Nothing like a solid chocolate bunny.

Marathon Monday!

We had an MFA membership for a year, and it wasn’t until our last visit that we discovered the courtyard.

Saturday morning park renovations.

We drove to New York to find my parents along the Appalachian Trail. They’re thru-hiking all summer, so we had to catch them when they were ready for a weekend break. The trail goes through a small zoo, complete with a Walt Whitman statue.

In the weeks leading up to our visit with the hikers, Tim talked nonstop about taking them to a Chinese buffet, since that was what thru hikers were supposed to do. It ended up being a most fascinating people-watching experience.

We met up with the Laidlaw-Morrises at a cute goat farm in Poughkeepsie. Soren decorated one of the farm cats with dandelions.

This is how we drove around all weekend. “We shoulda gotten a minivan!” Tim says.

March 2017

Our Austin fun continued with a visit to the wildlife rescue zoo.

Shaw and Charlotte had a few brief moments as friends.

We took a hike to beautiful Hamilton Pool — picture-perfect setting!

Lots of rock throwing/skipping.

Camilla arranged a babysitter, so we had an actual date night complete with dinner and a show (The Second City).

Felt pretty strange to stay out past midnight!

Made it through another flight. Soren and I played some games and read a lotta books.

Shaw did some sleeping and some screaming (probably… I can’t actually remember).

While we waited for our luggage in Boston we noticed a group of guys who looked like they might be from some kinda sports team. I spied enough to figure out that they were the Harlem Globetrotters (saw the logos on their bags). I pulled up some YouTube videos to show Soren what they were all about. With some prodding, Soren approached a couple of them to ask if that’s who they were. He showed them the videos and they confirmed it was them! They gave Soren some souvenir sweatbands.

My parents arrived the day we got home from Texas. Pappy completed some house projects while Grandmama wooed Shaw.

Pappy spoiled Soren with more than one pizza lunch after preschool.

A fellow parent sent me this pic from preschool one morning…

Toddlers are the weirdest.

Trash day. Never gets old.

We went to the diner one Saturday morning for brunch. Obviously the whipped cream is the best part.

When quiet time turns into nap time.

I started hosting an open house-style family history night once a month for anyone to come work on their family history. Ellen Patton (photographer of this shot) dubbed it “family history cafe.”

Sometimes Tim takes pictures of the food he makes.

Always plenty of scooters at the library.

This is where homeless people live. Not sure why my people are up there.

Always fun to see pics of what goes on in Primary at church.

This was the first day Shaw ever wore shoes — in his whole almost-17 months. Finally walking!

Sometimes on Fridays I’m completely burned out. So Tim comes to my rescue and sends me out the door with instructions to take care of myself. On this Friday afternoon I bought a new throw pillow, enjoyed the best sandwich (and cookies) at Flour, and caught up on work.

February 2017

Hasn’t been a super snowy winter — yet. Soren must not remember what 108″ feels like, because he called this 1″ storm “the funnest snow day” he’s ever had.

I forget, but the video above might have been taken on the same day I was verbally assaulted on the bus by a crazy woman. Her opinion was that my stroller was too big and was inconveniencing other riders. (The bus was nearly empty.) At first I ignored her, since I was quite sure she wasn’t one to be open to having her mind changed. But then I decided I didn’t want to sit back while she criticized by beloved stroller. So I politely assured her my stroller was ideal for hauling groceries and navigating Boston’s bumpy sidewalks. But she insisted it was just wrong of me to use such a stroller. Eventually the bus driver chimed in and told the woman to stop harassing me. I made sure to call a “Have a nice day!” as she exited the bus.

We headed to Drumlin Farm one warm day in February. Still some snow on the ground, but mostly squishy mud! It had been pajama day at school, so we turned it into pajama day at the farm.

Now this snow is more like it! Thank you to all the neighbors who shovel a wide enough path for my stroller! Nothing gets my blood boiling like poorly shoveled walks. I may have called the non-emergency dispatch line to report a business or two that hadn’t shoveled very well. Felt vindicated when I saw a business owner out re-shoveling later that day.

A snapshot of our fancy and romantic Valentine’s dinner. I’m wearing a stained sweatshirt, Soren is reading at the table, Shaw is probably throwing pad Thai all over the restaurant. Just another day!

Kids are the weirdest. For a few days I kept finding letters in cups of water. Who knows why!

We recently discovered Mucky Kids open studio in Cambridge and could not love it more. All the art projects you can imagine, and I don’t have to initiate or clean up a thing! Liz is the most calm and patient teacher/artist.

Two boys, one canvas.

We went to a movie! It was the first time we’d seen a movie together in FIVE years. We were a little late to leave the house, so we ran to the theater (like actually ran on our feet). Running and seeing a movie — two things Tim dreams of us doing together!

Tim’s grandparents sent Soren a card with money enclosed for a family ice cream trip. Perfect!

Boys’ day out — a train ride to Harvard Square, plus the Harvard Natural History Museum.

Scooting through Harvard Yard.

My two favorite monkeys.

The MFA is always our favorite vacation week spot. On this day we sketched ducks (a la the Make Way for Ducklings exhibit), did a family art tour, and watched a great puppet show.

Then we traded in our snow boots for cowboy boots. Time for the annual Texas trip! This year was extra special since Tim came along.

Plenty of livestock…

Front row seats for the pig races!

This little petting zoo was the weirdest. All the animals — and people — simply roam free. Soren is boxed in here by a llama and a couple sheep.

I’m still surprised he wasn’t freaked out by being face to face with these guys.

Next up, bumper cars (and selfies).

Soren’s face in the video below is pretty much my favorite thing in the world.

And then a family ferris wheel ride! We were able to squeeze both adults and all five kids in one car. I love this sisters pic!

Ferris wheel selfie — everyone made it into the shot except for nervous Faye.

Evidence of a day well spent — five snoozers!

Sunshine, a huge backyard, and plenty of dirt and buckets. We love suburban vacations!

We went to a Mexican market in San Antonio then stumbled upon a fun dance performance.

I don’t even know what this was about.

Total dad move — pushing a low stroller through fountains, completely soaking baby’s bottom half.

Shaw made himself right at home in Camilla’s house in Austin.

What a fun neighborhood hike!

Soren insisted on carrying this stupid giant rock on our hike back up to the car. Slowest pace ever.

Austin truly is as weird and quirky as everyone says. See if you can find Soren in this graffiti park!

That’s Tim waving from way up top (with Shaw and Soren).

Christmas card photo?

Pizza/park night.

January 2017

Started the new year in VA with the fam. Soren helped Pappy with a few outdoor projects, including filling in holes in the driveway. (They also looked under a manhole cover, made a wrecking ball with Truman, watched a hibernating turtle, and more. I love my kid roaming free in the backyard and woods with Pappy as his guide!)

Back in Boston… I asked Soren one morning what he wanted to do while I showered. He said he’d like to copy words out of a book. Fine by me!

Still not walking, but definitely climbing!

One afternoon Soren told me, “Look, Mom! It’s Martin Luther King, Jr.! He has light skin, and he tells all the light skin people they can use the drinking fountain!” I think there MIGHT have been some confusion after a week of MLK talk at preschool. I think we cleared things up, but I’m not entirely sure!

Sometimes things get very quiet when Soren and Ophelia are playing. I usually find them both reading — sometimes this will go on for 30 minutes.

We had an errand to run at the mall, which is pretty unheard of in our family. I don’t know if Shaw had ever been in a mall before in his life. And Soren’s mind was blown when I showed him the LEGO store.

We spent a frigid afternoon at the Stone Zoo. Pretty close views of this cute black bear!

I loved taking my little people to the Boston Women’s March. It was a perfectly beautiful and warm day (following the very dreary inauguration day).

I’ve been printing photos and finding art for my new picture ledges. I ordered this one from the lovely Leslie Graff, and I LOVE it.

We went to a Harvard hockey game for my Bosto-versary. (Thanks, Harvard, for the free tix.) The Zamboni love is still strong.

And, of course, a Boston-themed treat for the special day. We usually favor Modern Pastry, but sometimes you just need a florentine!

December 2016

Soren has gotten pretty friendly with our new Alexa (Tim’s birthday present). His top requests are Thomas and Friends, alt-J, the Black Keys, and Raffi.

Christmas fudge!

Nothing like a little 4-year-old independence.

Morningtime contemplation on the balance bike.

Like pretty much every year, I scrambled and scheduled some super last-minute photos for our holiday card. The good thing about this method is that you don’t have time to shop for new clothes or think too carefully about outfits — low stress! This one was the winner. (We love Lindsey Hansen.)

This was the back of our holiday postcard.

Our photo shoot started with a trash truck. Last year we had construction equipment in the background of a couple of photos, so we figured this year we’d feature a trash truck.

Soren doesn’t always make a big show with his emotions. But sitting in a trash truck’s cab might have been a life highlight.

Setting up the shot.

Can you tell we were freezing without our coats?

Soren’s solos — pose was his choice.

Shaw wasn’t as in to the solo poses.

Or maybe he just wasn’t into any poses.

How great is this? We’ve got one kid who’s terrified and another who’s telling Santa he knows he’s not real.

Having a nice little chat about whether Santa is real.

Raise the roof for IKEA! All the baskets and lamps and plants you can handle.

Soren and I had the best day date. After listening to the Nutcracker Suite for weeks, I bought tickets for the two of us to see the “Urban Nutcracker” — complete with hip hop, classical ballet, swing, and flamenco dancing.

After the show, we took a snowy walk to Copley Square to read books at the library.

Next stop: Eataly for lunch. Pizza slices as big as your head!

Tim and Shaw came to meet up with us for the evening. We wandered around the winter market at Government Center then walked to the lights at Faneuil Hall. Final stop was hot chocolate and a giant cookie at Ghirardelli!

If you want the BEST church activity in the world, it’s the $1 white board from the dollar store. This thing never gets old!

Primary shenanigans.

Then we were off to our Christmas travels — first Missouri, then Virginia.

We cut down a tree!

These two!

I love when someone else pushes my kid on the swings! Thank you, Uncle Ben!

Thanks to an unofficial private lesson from a Layton family friend, Soren loved his first ice skating experience. (He went again in Virginia later — without a teacher — and it was not so great.)

Zamboni fascination.

These kids could watch a zamboni for hours.

Another first for Soren — bowling!

Shaw loved it, too.

Not the greatest team of bowlers.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is seeing the trains at the U.S. Botanic Garden in DC — I think we’ve been every year of Soren’s life!

The theme this year was national parks and national historic landmarks. One of the best we’ve seen!

Can I live here please?

Sneaky smile at a certain Grandmama hiding beneath the stairs.

Two babies feeling very possessive of their Pappy.

Soren joined his cousins and watched his very first movie! Made it to age 4 without seeing a movie… what kind of mother am I? Jungle Book for the win.

Every grandkid spends time playing in Pappy’s truck. Wonder if Shaw was the first to bite the steering wheel?

November 2016

November began with a Boston Moms Blog event at Costco. I was there to help with the event, but I brought along my trusty sidekicks — Soren and Shauna.

Cuddle time with Grandmama.

Sleeper boys.

Could New England be any more perfect in the fall?

Spy Pond sunset.

Just holding hands with my scooting sweetie.

Election day — a day full of so much hope and excitement. Until night came and the world fell apart.

Shaw’s first birthday!

Soren spent a few days with the class “pet.”

Still obsessed with my new wallpaper! Perfect view from the tub.

Spent a Saturday on the Greenway, participating in a “free play” event. Here is one of Soren’s creations.

I had church-cleaning duty one night. Found this toy in one of the toilets. What in the world?! I’m pretty sure it was our toy, too — what are the chances?

Soren and I went to the Burlington Hanna Andersson grand opening as part of a partnership with Boston Moms Blog. I enjoyed the gift card, he enjoyed the cupcakes.

Thanksgiving in New York! Always a good trip. On Thanksgiving morning we wandered around Prospect Park.

Colors to rival New England’s!

More playground fun, this time Manhattan-style.

And then, Crif Dogs to satisfy Tim’s crush on Anthony Bourdain.

Snuck into an abandoned train car.

Everything’s better with friends!

Can someone please find me a teeny tiny play structure like this in Boston? I’d never seen one before this one, but it was pure magic for a non-walker.

October 2016

Started the month with General Conference. Our bowls were a hit! Super proud of myself for thinking ahead and putting the healthy snacks with the frequently used words (grapes for Jesus!).

Mount Auburn is a dream in the fall. Even better with friends.

Soren and Blake, sittin’ in a tree.

A bunch of Tim’s BYU buddies came over for dinner one night. Boys + Duplos = party time.

Autumn walks.

The firefighter costume got a lot of mileage again this year.

While Tim was in Germany for work, BFF Camilla came to town to whip my house into shape. Despite my hesitations, she pulled this mirror out of my wall.

What are we doing?!

We spent some time on the Greenway one afternoon with dinner from Boston Public Market.

Soren serenaded as we ate.

The fire department hosted a fun event one Saturday. Soren’s livin’ the dream here.

If Tim has to leave me for a week, the least he can do is bring European treats.

One evening Tim took the kids to Spy Pond, where they stumbled upon some excitement. A car had accidentally driven into the pond, so there were firetrucks and emergency vehicles galore.

Soren wanted to stay to the bitter end.

We ventured to Hartford for the open house of the new LDS temple. Shaw got stuck under a bench.

Forever family.

After the open house we went to a pumpkin patch for apple cider and hay jumping.

Shaw LOVES to play in or near the fridge. He’ll take any cast-offs he can find.

Boston Public Market wins for best giant pumpkins.

Shaw and I had our fair share of breastfeeding challenges (I blame him). We were so grateful for all the donor breastmilk he enjoyed! (I learned after I took this picture that you shouldn’t keep breastmilk on the door of the freezer. Just a heads up for anyone else who keeps a freezer full!)

Only got the kite stuck three times before we learned our lesson.

It’s a glorious day when a bunch of 4-year-olds can play independently and without conflict.

One of the worst nights of our lives to date. Soren tripped/slipped on the stairs and bashed his head. Of course it happened right before bedtime. We thought about trying to get by with just a band-aid, but the idea of a huge scar for life pushed me to the ER.

This was pre-stitches, when he was enjoying the attention of all the nurses who couldn’t get over his cuteness.

A few days later, Soren got into a little trouble during quiet time. Train stuck in the hair!

Massage night is the best night.

Wilson Farm disappointed us this year — no pumpkin wall! But those cider donuts will keep us coming back for life.

Shaw farm ice cream for my Shaw boy.

Halloween in our neighborhood is a little… crazy.

The sugar witch wins again! No candy for Soren, just Legos.

5 Fab Features on the 2017 Britax B-Ready Stroller

Some families have multiple cars. Others have a ton of strollers. That’s us — the stroller depot.

img_20161005_183537-1

Here we have an Uppababy Vista, a Britax B-Ready, a Baby Trend jogging stroller, a Schwinn bike trailer that morphs into a double jogger, and a neighbor’s stroller.

Living in the great city of Boston means I don’t need to use my car much. My stroller, on the other hand, sees VERY heavy use — multiple times a day, in all sorts of weather, and through varied terrain. Year round, we walk to preschool and back. We walk to the library. We walk to the grocery store. We walk to the playground, the post office, the bakery, the drug store.

So I need a stroller that fits my walking-centered lifestyle. The Uppababy Vista has been an absolute dream. But at the hefty price of $850, it’s simply not practical for most people (I purchased mine gently used — so at a steep discount!). That’s where the Britax B-Ready comes in!

2017-b-ready-black-fr-300rgb

Britax generously sent me a fancy new 2017 B-Ready stroller to test out and provide feedback on. And I’ve been pretty pleased with it. In many ways, it meets my snooty stroller standards. It really only falls short in a few aspects. Here are my five favorite features so far:

1. It’s super versatile

I’m a huge believer in the power of talking to your baby, so I like lots of face-to-face time with my kids. I love a stroller that has the option of turning the child’s seat toward the parent or caregiver. The B-Ready has that — and more. It’s super adaptable. It boasts 12 seating options that allow you to configure your kids in a variety of ways — a bassinet or a car seat for an infant, two carseats for baby twins, a single seat that faces parent or faces outward, two regular seats facing front or facing each other, and so on.

img_20161004_155746

The conversations flow freely when we’re facing each other!

2. It has a GIANT storage basket

My under-stroller storage basket sees all kinds of action. It carries dozens of library books at a time. It carries backpacks — mine and my kid’s. And it carries pumpkins and watermelon home from the produce shop. It carries collected rocks and sticks, giant containers of bubbles, and picnic blankets plus food for a lunch at the park. So I need my storage basket to be big and sturdy. The Britax B-Ready nailed this one. The storage space is enormous, and the material is really easy to clean (it’s not unusual for me to find a very old and very mashed-up banana at the bottom of my stroller basket!).

3. It’s sleep-friendly and sun-friendly

Sometimes you need a stroller nap, you know? And sometimes it’s really sunny. Four-position recline and super oversized canopy to the rescue! Both seats recline to multiple positions, which is really accommodating for various nap needs. And the sun shade is fantastic in its size and design. You can pull it down all the way for complete shade and a dark space for a nap, or leave it halfway closed for regular sun blockage. There’s even a bonus sun visor that pops out for that last bit of sunlight that might sneak in. Also, on the top of the canopy there’s a mesh viewing window that stays closed with a magnet — no noisy velcro to wake the sleeping baby! The mesh is also great for breathability — and for playing peekaboo!

4. It looks sleek

Excuse my vanity, but I like a good-looking stroller. The dark frame and modern look are right up my alley.

Britax B-Ready

My 4-year-old is no longer a stroller rider. But he obliged for a moment so I could test run the two-seat configuration!

5. The little details add up

The B-Ready has a few nice little details that I wouldn’t have thought of but that come in SO handy. The red and green indicators on the parking brake, for example — so great to see instantly if the stroller is locked. And the back of the seat offers a nice-sized pocket, where I usually toss my keys and phone, lest they become buried in the bottom basket. I can’t say that about my Uppababy!

To be fully honest, though, I better note the few things I found lacking in the B-Ready:

1. This thing is HEAVY

It’s big. It’s bulky. And it’s super heavy. I recently got a new car with a large trunk, and the B-Ready barely fits. With the second seat on, I bet it wouldn’t have fit in the trunk of my Honda Civic. The specs say it’s three pounds heavier than my Uppababy. And its folded length is a whopping 42″; the Uppababy folds to just 33″ tall. The folded height is quite a bit different as well — 19″ for the B-Ready, just 15″ for the Vista. So you can see how the B-Ready would dominate your trunk.

2. The frame doesn’t feel quite as sturdy as I’d like

We wandered around Mount Auburn Cemetery a few days ago, and we wandered off the main roads on a few occasions. I was surprised that on a few hills and sloping, bumpy paths, I had to keep the stroller from tipping to the side. With as heavy as the stroller is, I wish it were a little sturdier and bottom-heavy. Also, I’m pretty rough on my strollers — I bounce them up and down stairs, I hop up and down curbs, etc. And the B-Ready just doesn’t handle like the Uppababy does.

3. The handle, though adjustable, isn’t telescoping

The B-Ready’s handle adjusts up and down, but a telescoping handle would better accommodate people of varying heights. I’m 5’4″ and my husband is 6’3″, so we need very different handle heights!

4. The seat is oddly far from the parent

With my Uppababy, I can easily peek through the mesh window while I’m walking to see what baby is up to. When he’s forward facing, he likes to look up at me every now and then to say hi — it’s sweet. With the B-Ready, the seat is too far forward to make this happen. If he looks up, he can’t see me. And if I want to look at him, I have to stop the stroller and really lean over to get a glimpse at his cute head.