Three Line Tales | Polar Vortex

Three Line Tales: Week 157

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Photo by Clever Visuals via Unsplash.

The Polar Vortex brought the type of cold that instantly freezes your membranes, and makes your lungs sting.
The type of cold that makes your bones and joints ache, even when inside the walls of your own home.
Whole towns shut down for 48 hours, and life stood frozen, when the Polar Vortex came blowing in.

#3LineTales

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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Dream Journal 12/29/15

(I’ve been meaning to write out several entries from my dream journal, and finally have time to do it. Here is the first.)

Present day.

I am sitting in a large, beautiful living room with my two sister-in-laws, Kristen and Kelsie. I don’t know whose house we are in, but it is massive, and beautifully decorated. There is a large television mounted on the wall, complete with several, large speakers splayed around it. We are all sprawled out on a cream colored sectional couch, watching some kind of romantic comedy that I’m fairly certain does now exist. We are drinking red wine from colorfully painted wine glasses.

An actor comes on the screen, and Kelsie exclaims, “I loved him in Jurassic World, he is so hot!” Kristen agrees with her.

I ask them who he played in the movie, because I don’t recognize his face. They inform me, in unison, that it is Chris Pratt, and I laugh. The actor on the screen is at least 50 years old, and looks nothing like Chris Pratt. I know makeup can do wonders, but there is no way that it is him.

I tell them this, and they get upset, insisting profusely that is it definitely Chris Pratt. I frown, realizing that they are not joking. I pull up imdb.com on my phone and type in the name of the movie, which I can’t recall, other than the word “Indigo“. The name of the actor is Christopher Plant. Not Pratt. I show my phone to them, and Kelsie pushes it away, insisting that the site it wrong.

I frown, and look back up at the screen. The actor has now aged at least 15 years, and is sporting much thinner, grayer hair, and liver spots on his head and hands. I point enthusiastically at the screen, desperately trying to show them that this actor is not Chris Pratt. They start to get upset, and Kristen takes out her phone to check for herself.

Kelsie pauses the movie, and opens a browser screen on the TV (which is apparently a futuristic smart TV), and scrolls through the cast list for the movie. They both see that the actor’s name is Christoper Plant, and get even angrier, arguing that the sites all have him listed wrong.

Kelsie plays the movie, and the male actor has now aged another 10 years. His hair is white and wiry, and he has deep wrinkles in his face. One of his eyes is milky white.

Kristen says something along the lines of, “You can not tell me that he doesn’t look like Chris Pratt!” Kelsie nods. I just stare at them with my mouth open, completely frustrated.

Kristen shakes her head and gets up to check whatever is cooking in the oven, and Kelsie mumbles grumpily under her breath about me being ignorant. I am upset, and grab my whine, retreating to the balcony off of the large living room.

I can see snow on the ground and trees, but it doesn’t seem cold. I am wearing just a red and white, striped t-shirt and black yoga pants, and don’t seem to be bothered. The house in on a large hill or mountain, overlooking the city, which is lit up like a Christmas tree, with lights twinkling for miles in various colors. It is beautiful.

I take a large gulp of my wine, finishing the glass, and return to the living room, where Kristen and Kelsie have turned off the movie, and are now decorating a very large, white tree, which wasn’t there when I walked outside. I offer to help them, and they ignore me, only acknowledging that I spoke with sideways glances. I shrug, sit down on the sectional, and begin scrolling through the guide to find something to watch. I can hear them whispering behind me incoherently, and I start laughing.

Kelsie drops a large, green ornament on the ground, shattering it, just as the phone starts ringing in the kitchen. She swears loudly, and stares at me, as if blaming me. I look away to Kristen, who is giving me the same stare. I get up to answer the phone.

And then I woke up.

Take A walk With Jan #5

I’m sticking true to my word, guys! I promise! It was a balmy 51 degrees outside this afternoon when Liam woke up from his nap, so we went on another walk!

I won’t bore you with all the details, as it was pretty uneventful, aside from a stop at Dollar General to get a bulb syringe for kiddo’s stuffy nose, and an annoying teenage boy catcalling some high school girls. However, I did want to share a few pictures from our stop at the park! We go to the park each time we go for a walk. Half of the time, we only walk through, but sometimes we like to sit on the benches and rest, or use the baby swings. Well, when we went today, we discovered that they had already taken all of the swings down for the winter! I was so disappointed, but then I realized that Liam is 10.5 months old, and he had never been on the actual playground.

So we decided to have some fun!

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He had a blast. We played on the tinier of the two playgrounds, which contains three different slides, climbing bars, a merry-go-round, and various other playground things. He had never been on a slide before today, so I decided to take it slow, and let him sit at the top of the middle slide (I was inches away). He seemed to like it, so I grabbed his little hands and pulled him slowly forward. He immediately started squealing with delight. After a few more trips down (one of which was on my lap), we moved to one of the curved slides, which he liked even more.

After several trips down the slide, we headed over to the merry-go-round, where I sat him on my lap, and I slowly turned us with my feet. He wasn’t as audible with his enjoyment, but he had a smile the entire time. I, on the other hand, became quite nauseous, so we had to stop.

Finally, we climbed up onto one of the playground platforms, where we sat and played with the spinning learning panel, and he practiced climbing up and down the little step to the next platform. It was so much fun.

On our way home, we were approached by a teenage girl who was walking her gorgeous Syberian husky through the park. She complimented Liam on his red, plaid hat, and asked if we wanted to pet her dog, who was a very patient, female puppy. Liam LOVES dogs, and she assured me that this dog gets along well with her two younger siblings, so I let him reach out of his stroller to pet the dog on her back, and she was so good! He was absolutely elated. We said goodbye to the girl and her beautiful dog, and continued on our way home, a bit more hurriedly, as it was nearly 4:30, and the sun was setting.

Winter is crazy, man!

I’ve been looking into getting an insulated weather shield for our Graco SnugRide Click Connect 35 Infant Stroller, so that we can continue our walks even when it gets really cold. It has been tricky, since our jogger is pretty large, but I did find this one on Amazon, which claims to be universal. The comments confirm that it should fit our stroller! I’m trying to convince Kyle to buy it for me for Christmas.

Fingers crossed!

I hope you all had a fantastic day. Thanks for reading!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #4

The weather has gotten chilly, and December has finally arrived! I’ve been neglecting our outdoor time lately, mostly due to the fact that I don’t own a winter coat, and the temperatures have gotten frigid. However, this entire week is supposed to be in the 50’s, so I am going to try to get as much time outside as possible, even if it means layering myself with sweatshirts!

It was a big cloudy today, but not overly cold or windy, so we decided to go for our usual 2 mile walk to Dollar General and back, which takes roughly an hour and 15 minutes, if we decide to take the long way through the park. I bundled Liam up in a long-sleeve, a thermal onesie, jeans, thick socks, his new C9 jacket (which match his sneakers!), a red flannel hat, and red mittens. He was SO happy to be back outside again! Between the teething, and his stuffy, drippy baby nose, I think we were both going a little nuts being inside all the time!

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Look at that happy boy!

We left right after Liam woke up from his nap, around 3:00, and ran into crowds of high school students, who were just getting out of school (we live on the same street as the high school). I couldn’t help but laugh at the girl that passed us… not a single pair of jeans in the bunch. Leggings, leggings, leggings. They all looked the same. It was funny. What the hell happened to PANTS?

I decided to go through the park, since it had been a while since we walked through, and Liam always laughs when the squirrels run up the trees. I also decided that I was going to attempt to jog the full length of the road the runs behind the park. Bad idea. My legs are killing me.

We walked around Dollar General for about 10 minutes, but I only had $4 to spend, so I ended up only buying a can of sweet potatoes, and two 100-calorie candy bars. I made some pretty awful diet choices today.

Today’s walk was uneventful, and pleasant. On our way home, we admired the houses that were already adorned with Christmas decorations, though… some were… interesting… to look at.

Funny enough, these two houses were across the street from each other. Festive neighborhood rivals? I don’t know. They could definitely give Kyle’s mom’s decorations a run for their money though.

We went back through the park on our way back, and I attempted jogging again. Bad idea. Lungs were on fire. Nope nope nope.

And then we were home, snuggling on the couch, walking Johnny Test on Netflix. Then Liam fell down and hit his mouth on the coffee table. There was blood. It was an interesting day.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Jan