Pushchair Review: Maxi-Cosi Adorra

There’s a pattern to my poverty: the poorer I get, the more random competitions I enter in the vague hope that somehow, I might win myself a little treat. I never usually do.

So it was an absolutely fabulous surprise to get a call from Pushchair Expert a few weeks back: I’d only gone and won a brand new Maxi-Cosi pushchair! I was pretty gobsmacked – talk about a treat. And I know, I know, I’m the one who bangs on about babywearing all the time. It’s true: I am indeed a big fan of carrying my baby rather than pushing him round in a pram. But as a family, we’ve still always used the pushchair a lot. Neither my husband nor I can drive: on occasions where we need to be out for a long time, or we have to go a long way, or have to do a big shop, we do resort to Ted’s wheels. And if we knew if we ever happen to have another baby, we’d definitely need to get a new pram – the one we’ve had since Ted was born is battered beyond recognition. So we were absolutely delighted to accept this beautiful new Adorra pushchair from Maxi-Cosi, and now we’ve had it just over a week, I thought I’d do a little review.

First Impressions

I saw the delivery driver coming from the living room window, and I practically bit his hand off signing for my glorious new treat.

The pushchair arrived in a surprisingly small box – that picture is misleading, makes it look enormous! I could easily heft it into the house by myself. My mum was visiting at the time, and we were going to take Ted out for a walk. Perfect! It only took a couple of minutes for my husband and I to extricate the entire pushchair apparatus from the box and put it together, mostly without having to resort to the instructions – just a matter of sliding the wheels into place, and clipping the hood onto the main frame.

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Happy World Book Day!

Today is World Book Day – time to celebrate books and reading and the joy they bring.

I’m sure to many parents this is just another groan in the school calendar – another costume to create, or dig out an old one and tenuously link it to a book. I’m not there yet – Ted’s not even at nursery yet, so no costume needed (though you just know I’d turn him into a teeny tiny Teddy Lupin, multicoloured hair and all). But if it ever stops snowing, I’m taking him to World Book Day events at our local library and bookshop anyway.

That’s a point: there’s bound to be plenty of parents out there who have constructed painstakingly detailed costumes only to be faced with a snow day. Does this mean we can have another World Book Day to celebrate their efforts? I’m up for it.

It’s so important to instill a love of reading. So, so important. To just hit the tip of the iceberg of benefits, it makes you live longer.

(graphic from the National Literacy Trust)

If there’s one thing I hate to hear, it’s “books are boring”. See also: “I’d rather watch the film”. Ugh. It makes me cringe and rage in equal measure.

Simply put, books have shaped my life, and have played a huge part in defining who I am today.

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The Babywearing Adventures: Part 3

Last time I talked about the absolutely fabulous Close Caboo Lite – my first real excursion into babywearing. Now we’re getting to just over a year ago…

The Close Caboo was a success in so many ways. I absolutely loved it, and so did Ted. But there was one person in our house who didn’t.

My husband.

Kev wanted to carry Teddy too – he was the first one of us to manage to successfully navigate the Aldi Carrier of Doom, after all. And anyone with eyes could see how happy Ted was in the Caboo.

But it wasn’t for Kev. He didn’t like the fact it needed to be tied, and felt insecure without buckles to fall back on. Of course, at this point, with Ted around three months old, I was still having many a middle-of-the-night online shopping session (my delight when I got a nearly-new Jumperoo on eBay for twenty quid woke the sleeping baby). I was straight online to research my fingers off.

Kev was working in a coffee shop at the time, and a couple came in with a baby in a carrier – he told me it had looked so comfortable, and the woman doing the carrying had managed to flip it on and off so easily, he had to ask what it was. And funnily enough, it was the same carrier I’d been looking at myself.

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The Babywearing Adventures: Part 2

Last time I talked about my experiences with the awful Aldi sling that pops up in their baby events: now, I’m going to actually start talking about some good slings! My first properly positive babywearing experiences.

I’d come to the conclusion: I want to wear my baby, and I don’t want to do it in this.

Even though Teddy was always a pretty good sleeper, I was not – I spent a large percentage of every night until he was approximately five months old, insomniacally browsing eBay and Mumsnet and researching every baby product under the sun. That included slings, and after lots and lots of reading, I decided on…

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The Babywearing Adventures: Part 1

I swore I would never be one of ‘those’ people.

I’m hardly what you’d call an earth mother. I stopped breastfeeding after less than two weeks, and I’ve never been averse to frisbeeing the odd biscuit towards Teddy’s face to keep him quiet. When I weaned him, I used puree pouches when we were out and about to save time. I’d sooner eat my own left leg than use cloth nappies.

When I was pregnant, I thought that attitude would translate entirely to ‘babywearing’. I even scoffed at the word. Hippy-dippy claptrap, I thought. Why give it a fancy title? It’s just wrapping your baby up in a complicated piece of material and thinking you’re it.

We decided we’d get some kind of baby carrier – just a cheap one, but definitely a structured one with plenty of reassuring buckles, clips, velcro, whatever it took to keep the baby firmly strapped on. I wasn’t really keen on the idea at all, but having to rely on public transport to get around, and our local train station being up four flights of stairs with no lift, I thought it could come in useful.

The first time I bit the bullet and strapped Ted in, he was about two weeks old. And I’ve not really looked back since. Over a few posts, I’m going to discuss my adventures in babywearing – I’m going to review a few different slings and carriers, and explain just how they’ve made my life so much easier since I became a mother.

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A Week In The Life: Part 3

Just a quick little post today: Ted and I are heading up to visit my mum tomorrow and even though I’ve been packing things particularly astutely for the past few days, I still need to spend my last half hour before bed scurrying round and shoving more and more Calpol into the bags, ‘just in case’.

Yes, Teddy is teething.

And we both, potentially, have a cold.

This week may not go quite to plan.

Ted usually sleeps really well, but we’ve had a few broken nights this week. Mostly just the occasional wail, easily settled, but we had a whopper on Friday night. He went to bed absolutely angelically… then woke up for the day at a quarter to midnight. He screamed and cried for the entire time Kev tried to get him to go back to sleep… then when he gave up, was chipper as anything and played merrily until sometime around 3am, when In The Night Garden won out and he dropped off again.

Those two little front teeth are still bravely working their way out, and I think we hit a breakthrough today; there seems to be so much more to the pair of tiny chompers than there was a few days ago. Hopefully it was just a horrible little push they were doing, combined with him learning to high five and do ‘ta’ keeping his synapses working long into the night.

But there’s a lot of sniffling and sneezing going on in this house tonight, and I fear the nights ahead. Note to self: pack Olbas oil. And Snufflebabe. And buy ALL the tissues.

It’s been a nice week, this week, teeth and snuffles aside. We’ve been to a couple of baby groups, me and Ted, plus we’ve had a couple of playdates with Ted’s baby friends. We had a lovely time visiting Ted’s mate Sebastian, who so far is one of the few babies he actually interacts with rather than sodding off into the corner to play by himself.

I say this, but I’m basing this mostly on the fact that Ted decided to pat Sebastian on the head while he was in his highchair the other day. Sadly, Ted was holding a handful of fish pie at the time so poor Sebastian got a bit of a potatoey shampooing, but it’s progress.

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Such pals.

We also had Ted’s nine month check with the health visitor, which was not very exciting as she just went down a big checklist of ‘things babies could possibly do’ and Ted checked off as ‘yes’ to every one of them except being able to suck his own toes. He’s always had a bit too much belly in the way to manage that (just like his mama, some might say). She also informed us that he now weighs just under twenty four pounds, perfectly following his curve on the graph (on the 91st centile, eep). Such a model child.

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I repeat. Model child.

I did a bit of a culinary triumph this week too – I made spaghetti bolognese! I know, I know, that’s probably the number one easy student meal that everyone in the world can cook. Yet somehow I’ve always had other people cook it for me before – I’ve always been the mistress of the roast dinner instead. But for once, I actually cooked it myself… and let Ted have some.

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Teeny tiny bolognese

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SPAGHETTI COMA

I’m going to leave things there before I get into more repetitive rambles about baby groups and bookshops, but I should have more interesting goings on to report after we get back from our adventure at my mum’s. Ted’s so excited to finally meet his Nana Julie and Poppy Andrew!

A Week In The Life: Part 2

Ooh, look at me actually sticking to a blogging-resolution for a second week running!

First of all – massive congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Buchberger! My dear friend Monica got married this week in a gorgeous fairytale German castle – I wish I could have been there but finances couldn’t stretch to it, sadly. It looks like they had an amazing day and I wish them the greatest of happily ever afters.

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Me and Monica in the German sunshine a year ago

Right, onto my life. Well… not a lot has gone on this week, to be honest.

Teddy and I are turning into a right pair of creatures of habit. Same pattern of baby groups, coffees (for me, not Ted, though he has a good go at getting the cup out of my hand), and tearing round the house on a mission to get every single cupboard bare by the end of the week (Ted, not me).

This past week marked the end of Camp NaNoWriMo for 2017. And, um, I failed.

I know. I failed a NaNoWriMo. First time for everything, I suppose. I’m not counting November 2016 – I never started. Bit busy having a baby on November 1st, you see. I was determined to make up for it by doing Camp, which I very rarely do. I thought “Oh, this’ll be fine. Ted naps. He sleeps through the night. Plenty of time to do some writing.”

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Look at that shameful stats graph.

I could make plenty of excuses. I’m not inspired while Ted’s asleep. I went back to work and that took a lot out of me. I have to use the time while Ted’s sleeping to clean the house and do other things.

All valid-ish, I suppose.

But in reality, I was just too lazy. When Ted’s asleep – like when I do most of my blogging, I wrote most of this post in my local Starbucks – I want to chill out. I started writing a new book; I was too lazy to put the effort into properly establishing the characters. I went back to an old one; I was too lazy to get back into my main character’s head and sort out her problems. I tried another old one; I was too lazy to deal with the two main characters and their romantic entanglements and unrequited love situation.

I only managed 15,494 words in the end. I’ve never dipped below the 50,000 word mark before, even in 2011 when I wrote over 10,000 words in about four hours on the last night.

Maybe by the time proper NaNoWriMo comes around in November I’ll be a bit more disciplined. Though I’m not going to count on it; we’re in Disneyland Paris for the first three days, for Ted’s birthday. Not exactly a NaNoWriMo-friendly environment!

Anyway, in other news, Ted turned nine months old – I’ve done a whole blog post about his various triumphs and increasing big-boy-ness. He really is speeding towards toddlerhood; he even did some standing unsupported the other day. Admittedly, he didn’t know he was doing it – he was very distracted by some singing at the Waterstones baby group. But I was very proud anyway.

He’s been doing a bit more ‘walking’, too. He’s been walking while holding things for ages, pretty much since he started crawling at about six months old. He used to like holding out his hands so I’d grab them, and he’d toddle along towards me. But since he decided he’s a fully independent grown-up baby, he’s refused to do that. If it wasn’t his precious VTech walker, he wouldn’t walk across the floor, only holding onto the sofa or shelves (or the wall, or the door, or a table…) but this week we hit some kind of breakthrough. He’ll walk holding my hands, or Kev’s hands… as long as he’s going away from us. Which leads to a very inelegant shuffle from me as he powers along on his little legs.

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Here’s a picture of my wonderfully daft child playing with a spoon and a candle. Because apparently they make the most beautiful music together. I would like to point out I did not give him either of those objects. Niffler.

Other than that… I shall freely admit that the high point of my week was Game of Thrones. Yes, every week I get up at two o’clock in the morning and watch it ‘live’, as it were – streamed at the same time as in the US at any rate. Don’t worry, I’m not going to start spoiling things all over the place, considering it’s literally just started its normal-time stream here in the UK but… wow. Just wow. It’s not really a Game of Thrones spoiler to say that there’s a battle scene, but it was a bloody immense battle scene. And one of my favourite characters (hint: not Robson) had a major part in it.

Oh, it was glorious.

Usually the big awe-inspiring moments of Game of Thrones tend to come in the penultimate episode of each season, with the last episode reserved for mopping up. I can’t wait to see what those episodes hold this season, if that was only episode four.

Anyway, that was my not-so-exciting week. Hopefully this coming week will be a bit more lively – we’ve got a few things planned, including – drumroll, please – Ted’s nine month check-up with the health visitor! Told you it was going to be thrilling. I bet you’re all on the edge of your seats.