Saturday, 1 October 2016

Britax B-Ready Stroller Review

*Sponsored Post*

This week I was asked to participate in a Blogger event through a partnership with Britax and Boston Moms Blog. Britax is showcasing their new B-Ready Stroller and gave me one to review. Thanks Britax!

The 2017 B-Ready is basically a frame that the car seat / stroller seat / bassinet and second seat can click onto in seemingly endless seating combinations (the website tells me there are 12 combos).

I got to choose an attachment to try out as well and I went with the second seat (no I'm not pregnant) but after seeing the other options I kinda also wanna get the cup holder, child tray (so that W can scatter cheerios along the street as we walk) and the rain cover. Not that I'm greedy or anything.

Anyway, the stroller.

In all honesty it took me a little while to warm up to. Its versatility also means that it's bigger than our other stroller and takes up a good chunk of my little car's trunk space. Also the many options mean there are a lot of buttons / levers to learn about in order to collapse or reposition it (once you know, it's super easy, but I guess I'm a slow learner). However, the more I use it, the more I'm loving it. Here are some of my favorite things:

Maneuverability: the two wheels at the front (rather than just one) make it easy to steer, even with a car-seat containing a hefty sleeping toddler attached. I can barely move our other stroller with the car-seat attached these days, so that is awesome. I can also steer it one handed, leaving my other hand free to hold my phone or drink coffee. That is a major selling point for me - if I try that with our other stroller W ends up in the street. Oh and it has foam filled tires and suspension so W gets a smooth ride, which I don't care too much about except I expect it adds to ease of onehanded steering and coffee drinking.

Storage: Sometimes we walk to Trader Joes rather than drive so that I can get some 'exercise' and he can get fresh air and shout at squirrels. I then forget I have the stroller, buy way too much and W rides home wedged between bottles of milk and boxes of cereal. No More! This stroller has tons of storage. It also serves as a great cat bed (just be sure to remove cat before heading outside).

Second Seat: When we got our first stroller I really didn't think about needing to one day push two children around. And maybe W will have a personality transplant and one day become a child I can trust to walk sedately beside me rather than running through traffic to the nearest body of water. But assuming he doesn't and assuming we do have another child in the next few years, having a two-seater stroller that is slimline enough to fit on our meagre sidewalks is fantastic.

Compatibility: It's compatible with our existing Britax car-seat, which is a major plus.

Recline: It's so easy to adjust the recline on this and the options mean that when he wants to shout at squirrels he can sit up really straight and when he falls asleep I can easily and smoothly tilt him back without risking waking him. And if he's ever in a funny mood and wants to look at me rather than squirrels, the seat can click on facing me instead.

Little details: There are small cool details that on their own aren't crazy amazing but add up to make the stroller extra parent friendly. I love that the 'viewing window' on the sunshade (no idea what it's actually called but the thing you peak through to check if they've finally fallen asleep) fastens with a magnet rather than scratchy wake-up-the-baby and catch-all-fluff-ever velcro. And the foot brake is color coded so you can tell with a glance if it's on or not. Also the handle bar is adjustable, which I haven't needed to use yet but if I suddenly get short then that'd be handy.

So to sum up, the B-Ready stroller won me over. It isn't super compact or particularly lightweight and it takes a while to learn which button followed by which lever to push and pull. But its other features (one handed pushability! easy-smooth-recline! 12 seating configurations! cat storage!) are so parent friendly and it's so adaptable that the pluses outweigh the negatives. Good work, Britax (and thanks for the stroller!).

Thursday, 31 March 2016

A Year of Breastfeeding

Writing for Boston Moms Blog
"Your whole adult life, your small but reasonably symmetrical breasts have served you well — in that they've existed and...
Posted by Boston Moms Blog on Thursday, March 31, 2016

Monday, 29 February 2016

A year of you

Dear Bubbaloo, 

You have now so thoroughly taken over my life that I struggle to remember the time before you. This is probably a good thing. In the weeks after your birth, while marveling at your crumpled tinyness, the way your snorted and snuffled through the days, I also mourned the loss of sleep - how once I was able to sleep for 10 whole hours, waking only when the cat burrowed into the covers and curled himself into the crook of my leg. But gradually I accepted that this new reality, the one with you, does not contain ten hour stretches of sleep. I've moved on. Reframed my expectations. I've also accepted that my food will always be slightly cold and that, while I've never really been well groomed, clean clothes and brushed hair is the best I can hope for and some days even that is a pipe dream. 

I knew I would love you, bub. But I don't think I knew how much more I would smile. Or that I have an extraordinary capacity to be ridiculously silly, if it'll make you laugh or keep you from crying. I didn't know that it's possible to be so bored I feel I might ossify while simultaneously feeling joy and wonderment at the very existence of you. 

And while there are days when being home with you is hard - days where I count the minutes until your Dad gets home and where I pour myself wine at 4.55pm because waiting until 5pm seems far too long - I've also never felt so useful. Being the person you need - the person you want most of all - is this incredible honour, even though sometimes I want to shut myself in a cupboard in the basement just to give myself some timeout from the noise and touch and everything that is being a Mum. 

I am managing, so far, to keep my anxieties in check. When we go to the indoor play area and you put everything in your mouth, I resist the urge to spray you with disinfectant. I didn't bat that child with a cold sore away from you when she asked if you'd like to play. I just gently moved you a few feet further back. And when you found the cat vomit before me and decided to eat it, I didn't give you ipecac or call poison control or euthanize the cat. So I think I'm doing pretty well, don't you? 

Before you were born, I'd willfully ignored the fact that love this large comes with a side helping of terror. And now you're here and the terror has made its camp within me and I can make it work, I think. It's all worth the way when you first wake up you start talking before your eyes are fully open, and the way you think everything (the cat, my head, the toilet seat) is a drum and how you seem intent on determining the edibility of everything by eating everything (although actually if you want to start screening out the cat vomit and other gross or poisonous substances, that'd be fine). I love that your first word is Hi, and that you say it to everybody and manage to light up the grumpiest of faces. I love that you have fantastic taste in books and that you dance whenever there's a hint of music and that you're always so happy to see your Daddy. The terror is welcome because with it comes you, and I wouldn't be without even the screamiest second of you.  

A year, a whole year, of you becoming you. Of me becoming a new version of me. Of us becoming us. 

Now just learn to flipping sleep, OK?