Monthly Archives: January 2012

First Anniversary

My husband and I’s first anniversary is exactly 2 weeks away and I am starting to panic. Before I got pregnant, we hadn’t exactly discussed getting married. I mean, both of us sort of assumed that was coming I think, but he hadn’t formally proposed and I was careful never to have that “when are you going to marry me?” conversation with him. I knew it would come when it came.

Once I discovered I was pregnant, that discussion happened, and it was awkward. He insisted that we get married and that we do it before the boys were born. I told him I was very uncomfortable with the idea that he was marrying me because I was pregnant. He said he wasn’t. It was awkward. Did I say that already?

He assured me that he’d been working towards asking me. He is the sort of person who needed to have the honeymoon planned before he could even pop the question and he had actually been working on that! So we agreed that we would get married. Still, he proposed in a wonderful way, and tried to make it as romantic and spontaneous as possible. He went to my mother (who didn’t know I was pregnant) and asked for her blessing. He picked out a ring he thought I would love. He arranged for us and his mother, my mother, and my mom’s partner to go to dinner together, during which he pulled out the box, made a speech, and formally asked me to marry him. It was all supposed to be a surprise, but it’s hard to surprise me. I acted very surprised. Our mothers literally wept with joy.

We put off setting a date and planning the wedding because my pregnancy was going so badly and we were just consumed by that. In January, however, we knew we’d better get moving. I was willing to go to the courthouse, but he wanted a real wedding, in the church, with his family and friends there. We planned a lovely wedding in only 6 weeks and truly I don’t know how we did it. OW put a tremendous amount of effort into it. I had no idea a nice wedding could be so important to a man! We even had a little honeymoon on the beach in South Florida, in the town I lived in for years and years. I was on semi-bedrest so I mostly sat in the living room of our suite and looked at the beach, but it was beautiful and relaxing. Sadly, his plan for a honeymoon in New Zealand has been put on indefinite hold.

So now it’s a year later. I can’t believe it’s been a year already and I wish we could have a celebration befitting a first anniversary. A romantic weekend getaway in the same boutique hotel where we spent our honeymoon would be perfect. A close second would be a few days in the mountains of North Carolina.

I’m afraid what we will actually do is call my mother-in-law at the last minute and have dinner at a decent restaurant where you don’t need a reservation, then rush home because we know the babies won’t go down for their grandma and will likely be screaming. I don’t really have the time or energy to c0me up with the sort of creative, romantic gift I would have pre-twins. I’m even at a loss for ideas for a non-romantic, non-creative gift.

What I’m most nervous about is that OW will do something really thoughtful for me and I will have crap for him. It’s causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. Taking care of the boys is just so all-consuming. Do you have any easy-to-execute ideas for me?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

The Ride of Our Lives

There is a post I need to finish writing. It’s the most difficult and soul-baring one I’ve done. I feel stuck, and haven’t been able to finish it yet. The crazy thing is that I have felt I couldn’t write another post until I finish that one. I know in my head that that’s silly. I guess I feel like I shouldn’t post anything that feels frivolous when I have this giant weight sitting on my chest. When I finally do post it, I imagine some people might shrug their shoulders and think, “Is this what she’s been on about? Puh-leese.” And I do understand that there are things that loom much larger in my head than what is probably reasonable.

So that’s quite a teaser, eh? In the meantime, I’m going to get over the posting block and just post. So there giant-looming-sitting-on-my-chest-thing!

One of my recent Facebook status updates was: Boom! Got my Cadillac!

Most people who know me knew exactly what that meant. I had the stroller of my dreams in my hot little hands.

Strollers.

There are 15 opinions for every 10 strollers. This seems particularly true for strollers built for two.

When I was pregnant I bought a used Graco Duoglider with two matching infant car seats for $125. The stroller alone, new, is about $150, and is a popular, relatively budget-friendly option.

I was excited about it because it seemed just perfect. Snap the car seats on when they are little and then use it as a regular stroller later. I’d heard that a tandem was a little hard to maneuver and turn, but figured a side-by-side would be all sorts of trouble in store aisles and so forth. As it turned out, the Graco is heavy and you have to disassemble part of it in order to fold it up. Then you have to put those pieces back on in order to use the feature that allows you to snap the car seats on it. Ugh.

Then I heard good things about the Snap-n-Go by Baby Trend. It is basically a frame onto which you can snap infant car seats. The double only weighs about 15 pounds and you don’t have to take anything off to fold it up. I bought one used for $30.  I have loved that thing. It has been one of the best purchases I’ve made. In fact, nine  months later I’m still using it, though not as much as before. The boys are at a point where they want to sit up and see what’s going on.

I decided it was time to start using the Graco but discovered pretty quickly that the Graco is a beast. I need both hands to push and steer it and it has a huge turning radius. I thought the slim width would make it easy to get through doors, but the darn thing is so long that getting a door open and getting through without someone getting bruised up is just about impossible! Oh – and try getting through a door-then-door situation. It’s also truly designed only for smooth, paved surfaces. It does not do very well over grass and certainly can’t handle unpaved trails.

I knew I needed something different and fell into the black hole of stroller reviews. Good grief. People seem to have a love/hate relationship with their strollers and if one person tells you that the Bob Jogger is the best out there, the next person will tell you it’s a piece of crap. After reading lots and lots and lots of opinions and test driving a few at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby, I fell in love with the Bumbleride Indie Twin.

Oh, My Precious, My Precious!

Inflated tires and a suspension system for a smooth ride even over gravel, tree roots, mulch etc. Huge canopies for true coverage. Independently reclining seats that slide, so you can have them at any angle. Adjustable height handle so Tall Me won’t kick the back of the stroller while pushing it. Front tires that swivel, allowing it to turn on a dime. The ability to lock the front tires for jogging or rough trail usage. Adjustable foot rests. 29 inches wide, so it will fit through any standard doorway and aisles that are wide enough for wheelchairs (which all aisles should be, by the way). Yeh, it’s 34 pounds – as heavy as the Graco, but other than that there is no comparison.

The downside? It’s a $700 stroller. Gulp.

I felt like I couldn’t justify $700 for a stroller, even though OW told me to buy it if I wanted it (he’s so sweet like that). But I just couldn’t do it. I started stalking Craig’s List, but they hardly ever come up, so I didn’t hold out much hope. Then I saw one… I emailed immediately but someone had already snatched it up. I was despondent. Why so much emotion over a damn stroller? Still, I checked CL every day, hoping against hope that I’d find another one.

And then it happened.

A gorgeous, seagrass green 2009 model (yes, these strollers have model years) for $300. My hands were sweating as I emailed the owner. I tried to play it cool. When I went to meet her, I looked it over carefully and turned up my nose a bit as I touched this and that. She casually mentioned that she had the rain cover, foot muffs and liners, and matching diaper bag. Those items didn’t come with that model and together cost about $200.  I almost fainted. The thing was in wonderful condition. I took a deep breath and offered her $250. Her eyes got big and she said she really was firm at $300 and that these often sell for $400. I sniffed and said I’d found them for less than what she was asking but just hadn’t gotten to them first. The truth was that I would have bought it even if she’d upped the price to $350 right there in the parking lot, but I sighed and said, “Well, ok, I’ll take it.”

Am I a bitch or what? I handed her the cash and loaded everything up into my van. As I drove away, I looked in the rear view mirror to make sure she wasn’t behind me, and then I did a goofy little chair dance and giggled wildly all the way home.

Oh the things that make me happy now that I’m a mom of young’ns again.

And yes, I LOVE my Bumbleride.

Next up: A fabulous Ju Ju Be, Petunia Picklebottom, or CoCaLo Couture diaper bag. Craig’s List, I’m watching you!

 

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.