Wednesday, May 14, 2014


First of all, if you're going to read this post, the brand Chicco is pronounced 'key-co'.  Please don't say it wrong or you're going to annoy me!

Seven years ago, we went to Babies R Us in Grand Rapids to make a pretty big decision on a pretty major purchase: a car seat carrier/stroller set.  We didn't know what we were doing.  We were prepared to spend a pretty penny at a time when we considered ourselves to broke (Ha!  We had double incomes, we weren't broke, we were rich!).  We even brought a support system of 3 of our closest friends.  This was unintentional as they had zero kids themselves but we were on our way out to dinner and a movie (see, we were rich!)  The three of them meandered around this gigantic baby store oohing and ahhing over everything and we actually had to drag them out of the store once we had made our purchase 10 minutes later.  Ok, that is a lie.

And we started to compare and test.  We carried the carriers.  Like we reeeeeally carried them.  We carried them with our hands, then with our elbows.  We carried them on our elbows until they were sore and we compared those times with those of other carriers.  We pretended to lift them into a vehicle.  We practiced getting them in and out of the car seat base.  We rolled it on the ground as if we had gotten in an accident.  We adjusted the straps to make sure that any size baby we would have would fit in the thing.  And then we test drove strollers.  We pushed stroller after stroller after stroller.  We pushed the stroller really fast in case we'd ever have to run with it.  We made an obstacle course out of other strollers in which we wove in and out and around and up and over to make sure we could turn on a dime with the stroller.  We pushed them back and forth to test their alignment.  We trampled over car seat bases to test the suspension.  Jordan jumped on the footrest to check the suspension (this is the truth!)  We folded and unfolded the strollers and lifted them up to mini-van hatch height.  We reclined the seats, buckled and unbuckled the buckles.  We overlooked nothing.  We investigated every option and made sure of all the color options they came in.  We somewhat compared prices but, you know, money wasn't really an issue for this!

Our support team was very helpful in trying to appear interested!

And finally, almost an hour and a half later, we made our decision.  We were going to be the owners of a Chicco carrier, base, and stroller.

Did we make the right decision?  Absolutely!  Four babies later (and therefore, four very messy toddlers later) the thing still corners like it's on rails.  It's been pooped on, peed on, spit up on but it still shines up like new.  And we've been able to cram all of our 4 kids on it at the same time in one shape or form.
It was one of our best purchases ever!  And I'd say our Chicco was pretty proud to be along for the ride: Florida, Chicago (many a time), through caves in Kentucky, Cumberland Falls, Silver Lake, antique flea markets, camping, the Atlanta Zoo, the Creation Museum, Jellystone Park, so many memories.

Jordan brought it up to me one night: 'We don't need this anymore do we?'  And we shared a sentimental moment together: when and how we made the purchase, the precious times in which Jordan would install the base and carrier which meant a child would be coming home from the hospital in it soon, carefully unbuckling our sleeping babes from the comfort of the carrier.  But we have a little umbrella stroller and a jogger to carry our last child that's at the toddler age now.  Our babies aren't babies anymore.  Seven years later and it's time to say goodbye.

So thank you and farewell, Chicco!  You have always been a part of our family....
(but now we are going to try to sell you and recoup some of our money!)


Wow.  It has taken me way too long to write an update on my baby!  Poor fourth child!  So what's new with little Em?

She is 18 months old.  Wait, what??!  I cannot believe that she's that old already!!  She just had a doctor's appointment: she is 23.5 lbs (75th percentile), 31in tall (25th), and her head is 45cm (25th).  I think that's officially the first time I've ever mentioned the weights and heights of my children.  I kind of don't really care as long as it's not an issue.  Emmy grew a lot since her last check-up but she's still on the shorter side.

And just this week, she has said so many words for the first time!  I just adore this stage when they start talking.  She knows a lot of signs too and actually uses them still even if she can say the words, too.  She's a great sleeper and napper.  There are many days where I actually wake her up from her nap.  Emmy's a girly-girl.  She dances and sings all of the time.  She knows a lot of Disney songs and 'Jesus Loves Me.'  She loves playing with her babies.  It amazes me how natural it comes to her to just mother.  She's a goof ball and anything I play with her that makes her laugh is a favorite (peek-a-boo, hit-the-ditch) and she knows how to act like an animal when she plays with Natalie.  And she loves books and getting read to.  She'll still cuddle up by me which is such a gift!  We both seem content for me to pretend that she's more of a baby than what she actually is!

Emma and Charlie are best buddies.  Emmy will call out 'guys' when she wakes up.  And many times, Charlie races me to get Emmy out of bed and she's always happy to see him.  She reaches way over the crib and Charlie reaches way up;  her legs about go over her head like she's about to do a backwards somersault and Charlie about falls backward but they pull it off.  And every time Charlie tells her that she's getting heavy!  They walk out of the bedroom holding hands!  It took awhile for me to catch him in the act of getting her out of bed.  She would just appear and we didn't ever know how they possibly could have pulled it off!  It's talent!

Emma (yeah, we call her Emma a lot and it confuses people but it's our nickname for her!) loves to go outside and points out the window all day long if we're stuck inside.  And anywhere the kids are, that's where she is.  Which means that when the kids take off to ride their bikes, she is running into the road.  I think I will be doing a lot of chasing this summer!

And her absolute most favorite thing to do is to take BATHS!  She loves bath time!  She's the cleanest kid you've ever met!  She lays on her back with her ears in the water for a whole minute or more.  And if she gets in with Charlie when the water is a bit deeper, she floats!  I'm sure it helps that she's in the 75th percentile in buoyancy (I guess it was helpful for me to share her stats!).  On Easter Sunday morning, she was lucky enough to take 3 baths.  The first was planned and after she was dried and diapered, she hopped in with Charlie.  I dried and diapered her and this time I dressed her and just that fast, she jumped in Charlie's bath again!

So many times I go in to kiss Emmy while she's asleep at night and I just thank God again and again that he blessed us with her.  We thought that it would be best for us to have only 3 kids.  And that would have probably been easier.  But I'm so thankful that God's will was for us to have a fourth!  She is a delight!