2019 | A Pretty Penny

UPPAbaby VISTA Stroller Review...

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. All opinions are 100% mine.
I have been looking forward to this post and have been so excited to finally share it! I have teamed up with UPPAbaby to share my review on the UPPAbaby VISTA stroller! I am so excited to share my experience using it, what I love about it, and how I like the color! I wanted to use it for a couple months and really get the hang of it before I published this blog post so I can give you my informed opinion!
First off, when we were looking for a stroller to register for, we asked for advice from all outlets. We researched, Googled, posted on Instagram and Facebook, and asked specialists at the baby stores. Everyone ALWAYS recommended the UPPAbaby VISTA. We were told it was an amazing stroller, with amazing storage, and that it was the perfect stroller to grow with. Let me tell you, the UPPAbaby VISTA did not disappoint! I instantly fell in love with it when we tried it out, due to how much storage there was, the way everything was compatible, and the range of colors. 

The UPPAbaby VISTA is so user friendly and convenient for parents. All of the UPPAbaby products in the VISTA line are compatible with each other. The Bassinet, cars eat, and Toddler seat all hook onto the stroller without any adapters. They are easy to take on and off, and I love that you can face all three either towards you, or facing away.

We decided on the color GREGORY (which is a grey color) for our stroller, and the color JAKE (black) for our MESA car seat. When we first got it and put it together my immediate thought was how nice and luxurious it looked and felt. I love the brown leather handles and the silver frame. 

The stroller itself is SO light. It makes it easy to pack in and out of the car when I'm running errands which is a definitely plus for parents! PRO: I love how the stroller stands up on its own when folded up! 
Let's talk about the MESA car seat. We decided on the color JAKE, which is black, and I have loved it! I have loved how easy it is to snap into the car seat base, and how easy it snaps onto the stroller. I am a huge fan of convenience! Carrying around the car seat is not as bad as you think. I am still building up my mom muscles, but the car seat is not super heavy, so it isn't bad to carry around if you aren't able to take your stroller.

The only downside to the MESA car seat is I wish the canopy extended a little more. I wish there was a little more of an extension to add a little more shade for Rowan when it is bright out. Other than that we have loved the MESA car seat!
The UPPAbaby VISTA comes with a Bassinet when you purchase the stroller. For me it was a huge selling point! I love the way it looks and how much wiggle room there is for Rowan to sprawl out when we have her in it.

I have used the Bassinet a lot since we have gotten the stroller. I take frequent walks with Rowan and always put her in the Bassinet. There is so much room and it is comfortable for longer periods of time. She loves the freedom to move around and always falls right to sleep on our walks. Since it has been getting a little colder I snuggle her in a blanket and make sure to zip up the Bassinet cover to provide extra warmth and protection.

A few things I love about the Bassinet:
1) There is a vent on the bottom of the Bassinet to provide air flow. We used that a ton during the summer when it would get hot! It would cool her down while she was in it. It also is perfect to open if they are sleeping overnight in the Bassinet. 
2) The canopy of the Bassinet opens in the back to allow extra air flow. So great for the hot months!
3) The hidden canopy within the Bassinet comes down so far! It also has UPF 50 so it can protect Rowan from the sun while we are on our walks!
The UPPAbaby VISTA stroller has been an absolute dream since we have gotten it! When we go to the mall, Target, or the store for a quick shopping trip we don't even grab a cart. There is so much room in the undercarriage that we usually just put our bags or groceries in there! 

We love everything about this stroller! The color is absolutely gorgeous and it hides dirty spots well! We haven't needed to clean it yet, or even gotten it dirty, but I love that it won't show as much. 

Colin is so proud of this stroller and it is his favorite "baby product" we have by a landslide! Every time we are with friends or family he tells them all about the stroller and takes the time to show them all the features. It is definitely the Cadillac of strollers.  

We love it how it is, but we did end up purchasing a couple additions for the stroller. We bought adapters for when we need to add a second seat. We also ended up buying a Carry-All stroller organizer for the front that is big enough to hold my Hydroflask! I love having it on the handles when I go for walks so it can hold my Hydroflask, keys, and phone so I can listen to Crime Junkie with ease!

I hope you enjoyed my UPPAbaby VISTA stroller review! We absolutely love this stroller and would recommend it a million times over! We are so glad we got it and are so excited to grow with it!



Why We Love The mamaRoo...

This post is in collaboration with 4moms, but all opinions are my own.
Before we had Rowan we did a lot of research on which items and products were the best and most recommended! The 4moms mamaRoo was one of the most recommended from friends and baby sites! Now that we have got to use it for the past couple months I can definitely see why!
There are so many reasons that make the mamaRoo the ideal baby product, but I am going to tell you a few of our favorites!

First off, we LOVE that you can control the mamaRoo from your phone via bluetooth. Before Rowan was even born, we downloaded the app and set it up. it is so user-friendly and easy to use! Sometimes when we grab Rowan out of the mamaRoo we forget to turn it off, so it makes it so convenient to turn it on and off from our phones. As well as change the settings and sounds.

We also love that there are so many different settings you can use! There are 5 different motions it can do, and the speed an go up to 5. Rowans favorites are Car Ride or Tree Swing. She could sit there for hours being rocked while she stares at the black and white mobile! She absolutely loves being fixated on those while she just kicks and kicks. She is getting so alert and loves looking at movement and shapes lately, so it has been perfect! The mobile has 3 balls and is actually reversible and removable. 1 is a rattle, 1 has crinkle paper, and the other has a mirror. They are also brightly colored!
There are also 4 different sounds you can turn on: rain, fan, ocean and heartbeat (The sound level can also go up to 5). It is perfect if your baby is a fan of white noise. Rowan loves the fan and it seems to instantly calm her. One setting we haven't used on the sound is the AUX port. You can plug in your phone and play your own sounds or music while your baby is rocking in the mamaRoo. I think it is a great idea! Rowan loves the song 'Thunder' by Imagine Dragons, so I'm sure she would be crazy happy if we hooked up our phones and played that while she was in the mamaRoo.

We have been putting Rowan in the mamaRoo ever since she came home from the hospital. We keep it in our living room and it is so perfect when we need to wash some bottles, unload the dishwasher, or straighten up. She loves being rocked and it keeps her entertained for periods of time. We did have the newborn insert, which was so cute and incredibly soft! (We ended up getting the limited edition Little Lunar insert) She has since outgrown it, which I can't even believe, but it was amazing to keep her snug and secure while strapped in.

I'll be honest, when we were registering and I saw that the mamaRoo was over $200 I thought, "do we really need it?" I know I got this through a collaboration, but if I didn't I would definitely spend the money on the mamaRoo. To me it would be worth EVERY PENNY! There are so many times that Row has been so tired, cranky, or crying and no matter of holding or us rocking her calms her down. But the moment we put her in the mamaRoo, she instantly calms down and stares at the mobile. It deserves an award in my book for helping parents! The mamaRoo has been a lifesaver for us and I can't recommended it enough for parents with little ones!



Rowan's Birth Story...

Birth Photos: Ashley Alexis Photo / Birth Video: Tell The Birds

Rowan Anderson joined our little family on August 6, 2019 at 2:33 pm. She weighed 7lbs 7 oz and was 19.5 inches long. She is the perfect addition to our family and is just a bundle of joy. I have been so excited to share her birth story because it was such an incredible experience. I have never loved someone so instantaneously, but we couldn't imagine life without her!


So if you can remember at 33 weeks we had our preterm labor scare. After we got everything under control I was put on bedrest, but my doctor was convinced that she would end up coming early, and so were we. Once I hit 37 weeks we were ready for her, but she decided to stay put! So after weeks of being dilated to a 5, then being dilated to a 6 we ended up scheduling an induction date for August 6, 2019. My doctor didn't want to run the risk of me dilating further, but we had to wait until I was 39 weeks. 

So she told us to call early the morning of our induction date to see when they wanted us to come in. The night before Colin and I went on our very "last date" just the two of us. After we spent time at home and made sure everything was going to be ready for the next day. I took a sleeping pill because I knew I was going to be too nervous and excited to sleep! Just like Christmas...We both ended up sleeping horribly and were up at 5:00 am to get things ready. 

I knew I was going to be at the hospital all day so I got up, got showered and got semi ready. I called the hospital at 5:30 am. They said the night before had been busy so they would call us when they were ready. Colin ended up calling a half hour early because he was so dang excited. They told us to come in at 8:00 am to have baby girl! 
Walking into the hospital knowing you were going to have a baby was such a crazy experience. We were going to finally get to use our carseat, see what she looked like, and experience all the new parent things. Not to mention give birth...

Once we got to our room and got settled, they hooked me up to all the monitors and kept in contact with my doctor. Since I was already dilated to a 6, she wanted to break my water to help speed things along. I absolutely wanted an epidural, so they paged the anesthesiologist to come get things set up. I figure if you can make birth as painless as possible, that is the way I want to do it!
I'll be honest, I was nervous to give birth, but getting the epidural was the part I was most nervous for. I HATE needles and almost pass out when I get an IV, so I was stressing over the epidural. Once he got there I sat on the bed hunched over my belly (while Colin is holding my hands in front of me), and was ready to get it over with. It did sting a bit when he numbed the area for the needle, but what really got me was when he had to put the epidural catheter in. The bed was elevated slightly, so it made my spine tilt. When he put the catheter in it was pushing on bundles of nerves which was painful. It took him 3 try's to get it in the right place. 

Once it was in I was sweating and my muscles were tense and cramped all over. My neck muscles were actually so tense that it made my voice sound hoarse for the rest of the day. Even though I had a rough go with the epidural, once it was in it was HEAVEN. I did not feel one single contraction! Hallelujah.
After I was good and numb my doctor came in to break my water. She checked my cervix and I was still dilated to a 6, so she broke my water, and what an interesting experience while being numb. Lots of fluid and it was very warm. (Sorry for the TMI, but I figure I want to remember all the details.) After she was finished I was started on Pitocin and left to chill!
Shortly after our parents started to show up, as well as our photographer and videographer. Now all we had to do was wait! Labor with an epidural is a lot more calm that I imaged it would be. Of course the movies make it dramatic, but I honestly drank water/juice, chatted with my family and rested because I was super tired. Colin also kept track of all the guesses from friends and family. We had a running competition on our white board to see who was going to be closest on weight, and time of birth.
Over the coarse of the morning they kept checking to see how dilated I was. Once I was dilated to an 8 at around 12:00 pm, they had me put this peanut ball in-between my legs while I laid on my side to help dilate me further. Let me tell you, when you are numb from the stomach down you can't turn over, lift your legs...NOTHING. So Colin and our nurse had to help roll me onto my side, lift my legs and get me situated. Then they had to move me to the other side and do the whole process over again. It was quite comical, and definitely a sensation I won't forget!

After sitting with the peanut ball for about an hour, they came to see if I had dilated any further. Surprisingly I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push! Cue the nerves and adrenaline! BUT...they had me do some practice pushes and I was so numb I couldn't tell if I was pushing or not. So they decided to wait a half hour until 1:30 pm to let me epidural wear off a little so I could feel myself pushing. 
Once my epidural had worn off just enough that I could feel the pressure of the contractions and they said I was ready, it was a whirlwind of commotion. Tables were moved and prepped, nurses came in to get ready for baby, my legs were hoisted into position, and it was time to start pushing!
I was super nervous and Colin knew it. This was our first baby and I had no idea what birth was like. I had never seen a birth or personally experienced a birth, so I didn't quite know what to expect. Every birth is different. It could be easy, it could be hard, or there could be complications. Colin made sure to hold my hand when I wasn't pushing, and he kept cracking jokes to ease my nerves. He honestly made it a million times better. The perfect partner.
They would have me push in sets of 3 counting down from 10 seconds. It was so hard and I wasn't sure how much progress I was making, but I sure didn't want that mirror (haha). I kept crying in-between pushes because 1) my hormones and emotions were running high, and 2) they kept saying, "Oh we can see her head! She has a ton of hair!"

Pushing was also pretty silent. No screams or yelling like the movies. Just my silent pushes and encouragement from Colin, my doctor and the nurses. 

I started pushing at 1:45 pm and by 45 minutes later her head was half way out. Once we reached this point I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable because we let my epidural wear off a little before pushing. The epidural was still flowing, but at a lower dose. I told them I was starting to feel it, but they said, "She is literally almost here, so if I could wait for a couple more pushes she will be here, then we will get you more." So I pushed 3 more times and she was here at 2:33 pm!
I thought she would all come out at once and start crying, but I delivered her head (no crying yet), then delivered her shoulders. That was definitely the most uncomfortable part, but there was something really neat about feeling her being delivered. It was a very special moment and I was glad the epidural was worn off enough for me to feel it. Once her shoulders were out, so was she and there was her first cry. Hearing her cry for the first time made the water works flow. She was here and she was real and crying! I never knew you could love a tiny person so much just by hearing them cry.
They placed her on my chest in a blanket and through all the tears I got to see my daughter for the first time. After carrying her for 9 months I honestly couldn't believe she was already here! We were so ready to meet her, but it was such a surreal moment.

I was honestly a little nervous about this part too. I get grossed out by needles, blood and the like. So I was a little nervous for how I was going to react when they placed her on my without wiping her off. I am here to tell you that if you are nervous or worried about the same thing, that in the moment it doesn't matter. That baby becomes the center of your universe and all you can think about is how perfect they are and how much you love them. (but they did wipe her off pretty good with the blanket before taking her to get measured and weighed.)
Just when I thought I couldn't love Colin anymore, we became parents. Seeing him be emotional and see how happy and proud he was made my heart swell. We have done and experienced so many fun and amazing things over the past 6 years, but this is by far my favorite. I am so glad we got these first moments captured. They are so special and bring back all the memories of that day.
After a few moments of bliss looking at our beautiful little girl, they took her to get weighed and measured. Of course she cried the entire time, but newborn cries are so cute and so sad at the same time. I was happy to hear her cry to know that her lungs are working and she is okay.
Colin brought her back over and we did skin to skin for the first time. Oh, it was heaven. Having her sweet little body against mine for the first time was oh so special. It was amazing to have her in my arms instead of kicking me from the inside. I looked down and she was wide awake and those bright eyes were looking everywhere. She was so alert and looking up at me. I was just trying to soak in every single moment!

We all laughed because after being on my chest for only a couple minutes she was flipping the bird. Colin had to snap a quick picture and we joked she was mad that we evicted her from her warm home.
After some blissful moments of skin to skin she started sucking on her hand which was adorable! Honestly, everything she did, and still does, is adorable. So we got her to latch and took a swing at breastfeeding for the first time. It is amazing what their little bodies go through, and what their instincts are programed to do. The fact that they know how to breastfeed already is incredible. I was so glad I got to share this special little moment with my girl.
We spent the rest of the day resting, relaxing and staring at our perfect little newborn. We were obsessed from the moment we laid eyes on her. We were in the hospital for a couple days and couldn't decide on a name...well I couldn't decide. I had a favorite name while being pregnant and Colin's favorite name was Rowan the whole time I was pregnant. I was convinced she was going to be what I wanted, but then she was born, and she didn't look like what I wanted to name her.
We had a list of names and were constantly going over it. We would call her one name for a couple hours, then another name when the first one wouldn't fit. The second day Colin said, let's call her Rowan today. I didn't want to essentially "give in" and name her what he wanted. Even though at a time I was obsessed with the name, and was ultimately the one who added it to our list of baby names. So we ended up calling her Rowan for most of the second day we were there.
By the third day we were prepping to go home and were in crunch time to pick a name. Colin really wanted Rowan, and I was still on the fence. I was a little sad to give up my favorite name for another, because I had been thinking about the name the whole time I was pregnant. But ultimately I couldn't deny that she looked like a Rowan. So I shed a couple tears and we wrote Rowan Anderson on all the forms and sent them away. It was official, she was now our little baby Row, and has been ever since. 

Ever since we came home she definitely has fit her name, and has been the sweetest little babe. She is full of smiles and has been since we were in the hospital (mostly while she is dreaming), and she is such a relaxed baby. She only fusses when she is hungry, tired, or needs a diaper. Otherwise she is asleep or wide awake and so alert. 

We love you Row. Thanks for choosing us to be your parents.