Our Morning Ritual
I wake up to the sound of my 4-month-old, Luca, squealing from his crib next to our bed. I try not to move, in hopes he won't see me so I can fall back asleep. He spots me, we lock eyes and a huge gummy grin spreads across his face. And so it begins. I grab him, change his very full diaper and squeeze back into my bed that my husband, Micah, and our 3-year-old son, Avery, are hogging. It's time to breastfeed.
I roll out of bed, pass off the children to Micah and go for a quick run. When we had our first baby, I learned that I need to work out first thing in the morning for my own sanity. Knowing that I started my day doing something for "me" makes a huge difference in my attitude.
Micah heads to work. I take a deep breath and get to momming. After I get the kids dressed, I shower and get ready for the day. Since I promised Avery a trip to the park before school, I decide to put the baby down for his morning nap, 'cause there's zero chance I'm getting the three-ring-circus out the door before nap time. Luca loves snuggling up in his bassinet, and I manage to convince Avery to play with his trains while I sneak off to the shower.
Out the Door
We make it out of the house! This is always a bit of an adventure, especially since we live in a second-floor walkup raised off the street by another set of stairs. Because I put Luca down in the bassinet, I can easily carry the Bugaboo frame down the stairs and then carefully carry down the bassinet while Luca sleeps inside. With another stroller, I would have to pull it down the stairs and would definitely wake the baby. Having the Cameleon3 Elements makes it so easy to safely keep my little one sleeping at home or on the go.
Let's Do This!
Since my oldest has tons of energy, I flip up the the ride-on our Bugaboo stroller's comfort wheeled board and let him walk alongside the stroller. The board is great for having a single stroller that essentially functions like a double for an older child. Avery can walk when he has the energy, and the comfort wheeled board easily flips up and down whenever we need to use it.
We bring a sand bucket for him to collect things along the way. He loves picking up twigs, rocks and leaves along the sidewalk. I've fully embraced my "boy mom" status and his love for dirt. I grab coffee and we head a couple blocks over to the closest park.
Park It Here
At the park, we play "firetruck," taking turns fighting fires on the playground. One thing I've found makes a huge difference in Avery's behavior since having the new baby is making sure he gets quality mommy time without his brother every day. Having the baby sleeping in the bassinet next to the playground allows me to keep an ear out for him while I get some quality one-on-one play time with Avery, even if that means running around like a crazy person putting out pretend fires. I use the awesome canopy on the bassinet (seriously, the canopy is huge!) to make sure the baby is completely out of the sun so he can sleep well outside.
The baby wakes up, and I breastfeed him at the park while Avery plays.
We leave the park and head over to Whole Foods to grab something to make for lunch because I haven't gone grocery shopping yet this week, and most of the food in our fridge is now worthy of a middle-school science fair project.
At this point, Avery is exhausted and needs a snack, so I pull down the comfort wheeled board and pop on the seat. He sits and happily inhales the bagel with cream cheese I packed for his snack and sips on the water in "his" cup holder that I thought I bought for myself!
One of the great things about the Bugaboo Cameleon3 Elements is that it's a statement piece because of its river-stone shade inspired by nature. Even if you look like a hot mess, passersby will compliment you on the stroller. It makes you feel put together when you are rocking a messy bun, yoga pants and feeling like a zombie!
We stop at Whole Foods, pick up some turkey, cheese, tortillas and oranges. I put the groceries in the generous underseat basket of the stroller and head home. After his snack, Avery has more energy but the grocery store is a 20-minute walk home. He wants to walk. I want him to sit and ride. We compromise, and I remove the seat and let him "skateboard" home standing on the comfort wheeled board. It works out because he ends up making silly faces at his brother, keeping them both happily entertained.
I debated getting a double stroller, but I've been really happy with the Cameleon3 Elements and comfort wheeled board combo. It allows me to have the freedom of a single stroller but also gives my oldest the ability to sit and ride, stand and ride or walk alongside the stroller. And anyone with a "threenager" knows that giving them choices to help them feel in control makes life way easier.
Pack Up the Car
After we've eaten our turkey quesadillas and oranges for lunch, it's time to change clothes and get ready for Avery to go to preschool. After several attempts to get Avery to put his shorts on the right way, I give up and just let him wear them backwards. #chooseyourbattles
I then get the kids and the stroller into the car. I make sure to bring the car seat adapter since I know the baby will (fingers crossed) fall asleep for his midday nap on the way to school. Having the stroller and the car seat adapter makes it really easy for me to pop him in and out of the car. I love how easily the stroller fits into the trunk of my Subaru.
Since Avery's preschool is only three hours long, I usually use that time to run errands, write, return emails and phone calls—or maybe even get a workout in.
Tummy Time at the Park
After dropping Avery off at school and making a Target run, I set up camp at a park by the school, breastfeed and then write while Luca gets some tummy time in. I like to bring the bassinet in case the ground is a little wet or I can't find the coveted sunny-shady spot. I like to sit in the sun but need to keep Luca in the shade, so having the option of popping him into the bassinet makes that easy.
Pick up Avery from school.
Pull over to the side of the road to feed the baby because he is screaming bloody murder. I put on an audiobook to keep Avery entertained. Finally, Luca falls asleep in the car. By the time I get home, both kids are asleep so I take advantage of the quiet time and sit in the parked car for longer than I care to admit.
Bath Time and Goodnight!
Once we get home, I immediately put Avery in the bath because he is filthy from school. I let the baby chill on the bath mat while his brother bathes. The process takes longer than it should, but we end up with one clean child in PJs.
Make breakfast for dinner because I just don't have the energy to cook for real—eggs, turkey bacon and toast it is. Marathon breastfeed the baby while Avery eats. Watch my food get cold.
Clean-up time! Ask Avery to help clean up 5,465 times. Clean up all his toys while he picks up one truck.