Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer

Ideal summer for me.

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 6/20/2016 | Summer]

Spiders on windows
Pesky flies in the kitchen
This is summer to me.

Sleeping in later
Is a myth with a toddler
This is summer to me.

Red, chaffed, chubby thighs
Too-easily sunburned skin
This is summer to me.

Parties on my block
Obnoxious noise in the streets
This is summer to me.

Half-filled kiddie pools
And mosquito bites galore
This is summer to me.

Blasting the cool air
Binge-watching Netflix online
Ideal summer for me.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/10/2016 | The Perfect Storm

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/10/2016 | Sudden Shifts

“You’re at the beach with some friends and/or family, enjoying the sun, nibbling on some watermelon. All of a sudden, within seconds, the weather shifts and hail starts descending from the sky. Write a post about what happens next.”

Liam! Nooo!” I shrieked, as my one-year old son dropped a fistful of wet sand into my head. I pulled out my ponytail and shook my hair violently, trying to disperse the itchy particles from my scalp. My little terror smiled brightly, turned on his heel, and took off in the opposite direction toward his father, who was doubled over with laughter.

I rolled my eyes, giving up on my hair, and leaned back into my lime green beach chair. My eyes adjusted to the shade provided by my comically large beach umbrella, and I sighed in defeat. I looked over at my husband and son, who were happily attempting to build a sand castle, with little success. Life with a one-year old, never a dull moment. I smiled, and turned my head to survey the rest of the beach. Families and groups of friends, both big and small, were scattered across the vast, sandy beach, frolicking beneath the warm, July sun. It was the third day that week that we had spent the day at the beach, as the weather had been perfect, and despite having to dig out sand from every nook and cranny of my body, and having a slightly pink complexion, I was definitely not tired of it yet.

Is it supposed to rain today?” I heard my husband’s voice, and turned my head lazily to face him.

No, I think it’s supposed to be sunny the rest of the week. Why?” I asked him, sitting up in my chair to embrace my tiny toddler, who was now climbing into my lap.

He made a confused “hmm” noise, and turned away from me, staring out toward the water. I suddenly became aware that the sun was no longer shining brightly down on the beach, replaced by the shadows of storm clouds, dancing across the sand. A chill entered the air, and I wrapped my beach towel around my son and myself. Kyle turned to me, opening his mouth to speak, when suddenly, something heavy landed on top of my umbrella, startling us.

What the hell was that?” I asked, picking Liam up tilting my umbrella to investigate. A large ball of ice slid down my umbrella, and landed with a thud in the sand. Confused, I looked up into the sky, now dark with storm clouds, and shivered. Was that hail? Was it hailing? How? I heard a loud curse from behind me, and turned to see Kyle bending down to pick up another large ball of ice from the sand, while rubbing his head gingerly.

My eyes widened as he presented a baseball-sized piece of hail to me, and we stood there speechless. All around us, concerned voices, as well as cries of surprise, rang out, and families and friends ran to gather their belongings. Without another word, we quickly packed up our chairs, towels, and other beach accessories, and ran as fast as we could toward the parking lot. I held my umbrella over heads as best as I could, nearly tripping several times.

This is crazy!” Kyle shouted, but it was still hard to hear him by my side over the roar of hail falling around us.

We got to our car and quickly barricaded ourselves inside. The pounding of hail rang loudly in our ears, and I was surprised to discover that my tiny toddler was remaining calm, and seemed to be amused by the balls of ice raining from the sky. We sat in silence (well, not really), and watched hoards of people as they dove into their cars in desperation. I couldn’t help it, and I began to laugh at the bizarre shift in the weather. I turned to Kyle, and saw the intensity melt from his face, and he too began laughing, reaching for my hand, and squeezing gently.

He started the car, and we followed the herd of other vehicles to the main road. Less than a mile later, the sky opened up, and the sun made a welcome appearance. We drove home with smiles on our faces, both ignoring the fact that the outside of our vehicle now likely resembled the craterous surface of the moon. I glanced in the rear-view mirror at my son, now sleeping soundly in his car seat, and sighed contently. We drove home in a happy silence, hearing only the sound of our tires crushing the occasional ice ball on the road. What a beautiful day.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

UPDATE: Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector Review

Hello, friends! A little while ago, I did a first impression review of the Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, which I received for Christmas, and now that I’ve had a chance to really give it some good use, I thought I would update you guys. In my previous post, which you can read here, I gave the stroller protector a good review, but had to make note that I had a hard time putting it on my Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, despite it being universal, and it looked a bit goofy. Well, after being told that I had been putting it on wrong, I tried putting it on properly… and that made a crazy huge difference!

On the left is the before picture, on the first day that I tried it out. I hadn’t put the protector on properly, and instead of putting the push bar through the corresponding opening, I just tucked it all into itself, making it look baggy and ill-fitting all around. The one on the right is the after picture, what it looks like now, put on properly. I love it even more now that I did on the first day, and I loved it a bunch even then!

Obviously, I don’t have much else to add, I just wanted to let you all know that it is just as great put on properly as it was put on slightly wrong. The weather has been hovering in the mid-high 30’s lately, so we’ve been trying to get out as much as possible. Just today, the sandwich artist who made my sandwich at Subway, as well as the expectant mother in line behind me, both complimented the protector, and were shocked to learn that it wasn’t part of the stroller. That’s how good it looks! We walked to Dollar General, and as we were leaving, two older women also complimented us, and thought that it was just a fancy stroller! We love it, and have been getting a lot of use out of it already. Even with the weather being in the 30’s, I only have to dress Liam in his lighter winter coat, and a pair of mittens (his fingers get cold easily, but he is still toasty inside his protector), which he usually takes off on his own.

In conclusion, we love our Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, and highly recommend it to everyone! I can’t wait to see how it performs once it gets warmer.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan

First Impressions Review | Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector

Hello, friends! Today I thought I would share with you my first impressions of the Comfy Baby Universal Insulated Stroller Weather Protector, which I got for Christmas! I’ve been having a hard time getting outside for walks since the weather has gotten cold and gloomy lately, and finally got around to trying it out today, since it was a balmy 42 degrees outside!

81iCodITDxL._SY355_

I had a hard time finding an all-weather protector (wind, rain, snow, etc.) for my Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Stroller, and the choices on Amazon were very limited. I stumbled across this one, and was attracted by the word “Universal” in the product name. The description says that it is compatible with all deluxe umbrella, full size strollers and all single jogger style strollers, and after reading through the comments and questions sections, I found out that it does supposedly work with the Graco jogging strollers. I was so excited!

Unfortunately, my excitement dissipated a bit when I opened the box today, to find that there were no instructions of any sort. After wrestling it onto my stroller, it just… didn’t… look right. There are little straps with hooks on the ends to help keep everything tight and in place, and I had NO idea where to put them. I decided to take the term “universal” with a grain of salt, because while it does cover all these strollers that it lists, it may not cover them well. Or attractively.

I searched around online for any kind of written or recorded instructions, for really any kind of stroller type, to help, but only found one video on YouTube, which was incredibly unhelpful. But, after making it look somewhat right, I went out with the kiddo to give it a test before we ran out of daylight.

12512031_10205583797533768_1495774111_n

At the time that this is being written, I now know that I did not put it on properly. At all. But like the title says, this was my first, uneducated impression of the product. With that being said, I actually do really like it! It was around 40 degrees throughout most of our walk, and I didn’t need to put a hat or gloves on Liam while he was inside. He stayed REALLY warm!

I really like that there are three options for the front covering as well. There is the thin mesh, which helps provide a bit of coverage from the sun (and bugs!), and is very breathable. There is also a plastic “window”, which consists of 4 panels total, and provides wrinkle-free viewing for your little one, and protection from all of the elements, while remaining breathable thanks to tiny holes in the sides of the cover. And finally, there is a cover that you can pull down to provide relief from the blinding sun, which is super convenient when your little one falls asleep during a walk or jog.

12540244_10205583793173659_1973057986_n

This may look a bit weird, but that’s because I put the cover on wrong entirely, but, there is also a neat little carrying pouch that hangs down beneath your push bar for extra storage! Neat! The entire cover is made of a waterproof material that is light enough to be easy to use and does not add to the weight of the stroller, but is heavy enough to not budge in the wind. It covers the entire seat area, which is super convenient if you have a little one who likes to throw snacks and toys out of the stroller. I didn’t have to stop a single time to pick up Liam’s toy keys! There are also those four straps with hooks to help keep it all tight.

So, final impressions for my first impression… I like it a lot. I feel like I will love it when I use it again, and actually use it correctly. So, if you’re trying to stay active during the cold months, or the hot months, or during an apocalyptic Asian lady beetle invasion, then I highly recommend this cover! And before I forget, yes, it does come in other colors… I just don’t know how you get them. But I have seen a bright pink one!

I will probably write up an update, including good pictures, when I use it again… correctly.

Thanks for reading!

Jan