Thursday, April 26, 2007

Baby Trend stroller review 10 years later

When I was pregnant with my third child I needed to purchase a double stroller. Mind you, I had already been through about 4 other strollers in the 5 years since my first child was born(Graco, Fisher Price, Kolcraft). So I read a lot of reviews and opinions on the web and decided on a Baby Trend double stroller. It was very highly recommended and very lightweight. It was a major investment for me at the time, I think around $185.

Well, I'm here to tell you, 10 years later, this stroller is still going strong. The fabric of the seat and the canopies is totally removable and machine washable. It's very easy to push, even on the soccer fields. Both seats recline. It's incredibly light, weighing less than my 13 month old son. I've relocated to Texas and back with it. It has been handled by countless baggage handlers in airports all over the country. One of the rear wheels had a problem back in 2000 but the company hooked me up with a brand new set for around $16. The storage baskets underneath are long gone. Some of the straps are starting to show the very first signs of dry rot and the navy fabric is faded somewhat but I'm not ready to part with it.

If you are in the market for a stroller, Family of Nine very strongly recommends you take a serious look at Baby Trend.

Bonus Food

There is a McDonalds in the downtown area of our city. Often after church on Wednesday night we drive by for a quick bite. Last night we went for the second time in April. They have a slam dunk meal for $5.99. You get 20 nuggets and two large fries. This is a nice snack for us to share. Last night for the second time this month they gave us extra food. The girl in the drive through handed me the bag, commenting that it was very full. I pulled away not thinking too much. Then realized there were 4 boxes of 10 nuggets each in the bag. 4x10=40, not 20. I hope this girl was just being careless and that it's not a reflection on the math they are teaching her in our city schools.
On our other visit in April, I ordered a fish sandwich, sandwich only no fries. We also had an order for an extra value meal and a happy meal. Well, we got up to the drive through and were told to pull ahead because the fries weren't done. The happy meal was handed to us because there were enough fries for that one. We pulled ahead and when the fries came out, there were 2 big and one small. We were only owed one big.
Bonus food is always appreciated.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

George's First Easter Egg Hunt

We went to an Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday put on by our parks department. It was in the skating rink. There is no ice at this time so there was a carpet down. They spread straw over a large area and then scattered the eggs on and under the straw.

Kids went by age to find the plastic eggs. Most eggs had candy inside, Tootsie Rolls, Hershey Kisses, and Nestle eggs, and other small candies. A few eggs had papers inside that could be turned in for a "prize."

Luke has won numerous prizes in his egg-hunting career but this hunt was for 3rd grade and younger so Luke and Nathan had to watch and cheer for their siblings.

George was in the first group, ages 2 and under. He wasn't sure what he was supposed to do, but neither were most of the other kids his age, so there was no real disadvantage. George got a dozen or so eggs and put them in his pretty yellow basket.

The next group was preschoolers. Amazingly we have no children at this age!

After that came the kindergarteners and first graders. Rachel was ready, hoping to fill her pillowcase with plastic eggs. She gathered as fast as she could, and when they were all popped open, she had found 2 "medium basket" certificates!

Brooke and Jacob teamed together in the final group, 2nd and 3rd graders. The plan was for Jacob to hold the pillowcase open and Brooke to grab the eggs, but neither let go of the pillowcase and they quickly resembled an entrant in a 3-legged race. Nonetheless, they got a good quantity of eggs and found 2 "jelly bean tube" certificates.

As is customary at local park events, we saw Brad from the Tuesday night running group, who was there with his girls, Jamie and Brooke, as well as his wife, sister, and several other family members.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Busy Friday

Dad had a holiday from his day job but it was still a very busy Friday for the Family Of 9. The main task of the day was a bedroom swap. Emma moved downstairs into the extra bedroom. Meanwhile Brook & Rachel moved out of the extra bedroom and into the room Emma left. (This room had been Rachel's, then Emma's, and now is shared by Brooke & Rachel.)

This was a difficult job as we moved stuff out of both rooms, and cleaned them well, before moving anything back in so we had 2 bedrooms worth of stuff piled in the living room and family room for most of the day. Emma plans to paint her room in a few weeks so much of her stuff is still in the living room.

Meanwhile, Mom had a doctor appointment and needed to do some shopping, so Dad fixed lunch for the kids, while supervising the moves and carrying most of the bigger stuff. We had Ramen noodles, chicken nuggets, curly fries, jello beans, with a few leftovers mixed in.

Then around 5 Dad went to his pizza delivery job and Emma went with her father to the Detroit Cobras concert. Shortly, the rest of the family followed Dad to his pizzeria for dinner but Dad was so busy making deliveries that he didn't even get to stop to see them.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Science Center Visit

Our family took a visit to the Great Lakes Science Center on Saturday. We had a annual pass that we had gotten last spring in time to see the Grossology exhibit, and it was expiring on Saturday, the last day of March.

Our first stop was the Baseball As America exhibit. This is a traveling exhibit on loan from Cooperstown. It has alot of old relics and memorabilia. Some of the Indians items were caps worn by Len Barker and Dennis Eckersly for their perfect game and no hitter (respectively), shoes worn by Kenny Lofton in the 1995 World Series, Sandy Alomar's bat from the All-Star game a few years ago when he homered and was the MVP, several Bob Feller items, and more.

This exhibit didn't really have much to do with science but there was a cool hands on exhibit that showed how various pitches are gripped. (pictured right with Phil Neikro)

There was also a speed-pitch area and a baseball video game on Xbox 360 that the boys tried.

And there was a computer that you could look up info and see video and photos of Hall Of Famers. The kids had fun looking up our distant cousin, a famous baseball executive.

After that we toured the rest of the Science Center. George, Brooke, and Jacob spent most of their time at the Polymer Fun House which has a fun ball pit where you can use various means to lift the balls to a holding area above and then push a lever to dump them all down again.

Victoria, Nathan and Luke watched the Omnimax movie on Hurricane Katrina.

Rachel enjoyed the hang-gliding simulation. And we did various other favorites including the swinging pendulum / spiro-graph, the reflex test, the skateboard balance test, the Great Lakes puzzle map, and the build-it-yourself foam arch. Everybody also enjoyed an electrical device that made their hair stand up!

The Science Center pass was a great value for our family even though we had a busy year and did not use it as much as we could have.