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Baby Jogger City Mini Review

17 May
Baby Jogger Mini Check Mate
I was thinking, because of the success of the Valco Latitude on my last trip to court, I would take it’s Doppleganger to court this next time. And the success of the new Baby Jogger City Mini has been nothing short of amazing. http://babyjogger.com/cityminimain.htm People love the Mini’s light weight, huge canopy, and amazingly easy fold. The wheels are by no means all-terrain, but they do perform better outdoors than your average umbrella stroller. I like it’s versatility. Because of the deep recline, you can put a very young baby in it. And since the seat is quite large, it can hold a pre-schooler. I have tried it out with both sizes. And you can still push it one-handed with a heavier child.As you can see, the under basket is pretty small. But there is another large net pocket on the back. To recline it, you just squeeze that clip that’s holding the strap, and slide the seat down.Now a very cool feature is that when it is in full recline, you can unroll the back fabric, to reveal “voila”! the large net back vent. Great feature for air circulation on a hot day. You can see from both the back and the front how deep the recline goes. Now here is why I am going to court again. I was taking the original Stroller Prince to his first day of Chess. He was so excited! It was early in the morning and the street was deserted. I saw my neighbor walking from the front of the school. He told me to drive around to the back, because it would be closer to the class. Big mistake. I drove up to the stop sign. On one side, there is an apartment building. On the other, the street was closed due to construction, and there was a big sign that said “Closed to through traffic.” I glanced over at all the pavers and bull-dozers. And the next thing I know, a motorcycle cop sprang from behind the apartment building. I was happy I hadn’t done anything wrong. Or had I? He was red lighting me! I pull over, and he asks for my license. “I’m sorry. ” I tell him. “I was rushing to get my daughter to school, and to take my son to his chess class. I had their backpacks and I was carrying the baby and I had no hands left for my purse. It has my license and insurance card in it. I’ll just run home and get it.” “Step out of the car please”, he says sternly. “The law says every time you go out on the highway, you have to have your license.” “But”, I say, “I’m not on the highway. I am just on a little old neighborhood street. I’m two blocks away from home!” Now he starts running a background check on me. “Mom, I’m gonna’ be late! I’m gonna’ be embarrassed!” SP yells. “Could I please just bring him to class?” I ask. “You could follow me.” “You’re not going anywhere, but he can go”, motorcycle cop says. “You mean let him walk four blocks by himself? Do you think that’s safe? ” “I don’t care” motorcycle cop says. OK, now I am getting mad. My son is crying, my baby is crying, and I am being held against my will. “Well, you SHOULD care!” I tell him. You took an oath to ‘protect and serve.’ You are neither protecting me, nor serving me. No wonder there are so many burglaries in my neighborhood. You are too busy hiding behind buildings and trapping school parents, because that is easy! Easy and lucrative. We don’t shoot you, and we pay our fines.” Now he is getting mad, too. “You know I could arrest you”, he says. “What for, for telling the truth”? I say. “You have an illegal sticker on your car. Take it off”, he says. Now, the sticker he is pointing to is mandatory for my area. It allows you to park on the street. I try and explain that. “Nope, never seen it. Take it off”, he says. “You REALLY aren’t from around these parts, are you son?” I said. “AGH”! He waves his hand at me, jumps on his bike and takes off. But not before issuing me a bunch of tickets, including failure to come to a complete stop, no proof of license, no insurance, etc. As he leaves, he drives down the street that says “No vehicles allowed.” I drop my son off at his class, go home and grab my purse, and come back. There he is, hiding behind the apartment building, waiting to trap another suburban mom.” “Hi there”, I said. He jumped. “Here’s my license and registration and proof of insurance”, I say, handing it to him. “I don’t want that. It’s too late” he says. “You know”, I say. “This is all so uneccessary. There is no through traffic here! If I really didn’t stop long enough, as you say, you could have issued me a warning. You could have shown a little compassion fo a mom juggling three kids, trying to get them all fed and dressed and off to school on time. We are all just human, doing the best we can. I’m sure that you didn’t mean to go down that street that is closed to through vehicles.” ‘WHAT?!!!” He says. “Are you accusing ME of breaking the law?” “I didn’t say that”, I said. “I’m just saying we all make mistakes.” “AHHH”, he says, waving his hand at me again, and driving off. So once again, I have to post another thousand dollar bail.


Baby Jogger Mini Stats:
Weight: 16.5 pounds
Folded: 24″ x 29″ x 8″
Width: 24″
Length: 34″
Handle height: 41″
Seat Width: 13.5″
Seat Depth: 9″
Seat to Canopy: 23.5″
Seat back: 21.5″
Drop to Footrest: 9″
Comparison of Mini to Zapp
Since both of these strollers are very hot right now in the lightweight category, I wanted to do a “mini” comparison. The measurements on these two are remarkably similar, as you can see from the stats. The biggest difference is in the length. As you can see, the Zapp has a much shorter wheel base. The handle height is shorter, too. The Zapp is a pound heavier, and has no recline. Whereas you saw how far back you could recline the Mini’s seat.The Zapp’s seat back and seat to canopy is about a half inch taller. Both have very wide seats, but the Zapp’s is an inch bigger at it’s widest part, then tapers down by the hips. It has an inch shorter drop to footrest.Both of these are on the wide side, at 24″. especially for a lightweight. However, a 3-wheeler must have a wider rear stance than a 4-wheeler, for stability. OK, neither are technically 3-wheelers, but that is kind of their design. You can see how the Zapp can fold in smaller, with it’s tripod legs that tuck in underneath the seat. Both have superb maneuverability.

Quinny Buzz Review

17 May

Halloween Buzz

Halloween is such a fun time to pick a stroller. Of course, as with all holidays, the colors have to be right. In the past, I have chosen an orange Quinny Zapp, an orange Phil & Ted’s E3, a black Micralite Fast Fold, etc. This year I have a little baby, so I wanted a stroller that faced me. I also wanted one that could sail over any bumps or cracks with ease. It’s dark, there’s a lot going on, and I don’t want to have to watch where I am going. So the perfect choice is the new gold and brown Quinny 4-wheel Buzz!
Quinny 4 Buzz

When I tested it on the SQ Obstacle Course, the performance was stellar. The four wheels make it much more A/T than the prior 3-wheel version. More stable, too. I really like it.


It’s a good thing, because this year, we had a lot of chasing around to do. Chasing a Star Wars Clone Trooper and Supergirl, that is. When it comes to kids and candy, speed is of the essence. It’s kind of funny to see them running from door to door, as fast as they can, trying to hit as many houses as possible before everyone runs out of candy.

And this year, we all did. There were so many ghosts, goblins, princesses, clowns, Hannah Montanas and Barack Obamas out trick or treating this year. They started early, and they continued until late. For hours our sidewalks were packed. I mean shouder to shlouder, rush hour on the subway in NYC packed. The wide base did make it hard to weave through the crowd. Although, as tight as it was, even my Shanghai Tang Mac Quest would have had problems. And it is the width that makes it so stable, so therein lies the trade-off. I do wish it had a bigger basket. Though it wasn’t something I needed on this night. You can get the optional “Buzz box” for more storage.

This stroller is extremely comfy. Look at the cozy footmuff, and the thick neoprene seat padding.


A wonderful thing about the 2009 Buzz is that it comes with an additional seat, a “toddler seat”. Not quite so plush, so there is more room for a bigger child’s shoulders and hips. In addition, it comes with a raincover, and mosquito net. To complete the set, is the fabulous carrycot. SP 2.0 naps in this every day. It has the same soft, terrycloth-type lining as the footmuff. He loves to snuggle in to it. All in all, this is a great choice of a pram that can get you from newborn to toddler; even a pre-schooler.

Anyway, despite our best efforts, the Pumpkin, the Buzz, and I lost our Clone Trooper and Supergirl. Well not lost in a bad sense. The Clone Trooper ran into Commander Cody and Obi-Wan, and wanted to navigate the Halloween galaxy with them. And Supergirl stumbled across several classmates having a silly string war. So she was off to fly with them.

The Pumpkin, the Buzz and I attempted to do a few houses on our own. But that was mostly met with scorn. “He’s too young for candy! That is really for you, isn’t it! You are going to eat the candy!” Well, duh.

But all was not lost. My friend was playing “Twas’ the Nightmare before Christmas” with a movie projector on a big screen. On her front lawn! We slowly strolled our way through the mob, past three haunted houses, down the hill and one block over. And there it was, Jack in the sleigh! The party had begun. 

 Quinny 4 Buzz


Quinny 4-wheel Buzz Stats:
Weight: 31 pounds
Width: 25.5″
Length: 29″
Handle height: 39″-43″
Seat Width: 12″ (baby seat, toddler seat is wider)
Seat Depth: 9″-17″ (footrest extended)

Seat to Canopy: 24″
Seat back: 20″
Drop to Footrest: 9″

Mutsy Slider Review

17 May

Mutsy in Malibu and the Mansion

Summer was here, and we were invited to a party at a house in Malibu. Hmmm, now, who to take. It must be elegant but hip, cutting edge but classic. It must have nice summer beach colors. It must have a bassinette, (so SP 2.0 could have a nice nap), and it must be able to traverse the sand. Tall order, but…I had the perfect candidate. The Mutsy Slider!

 SALE Mutsy Slider 

As I predicted, the Slider was a real attention-getter. People flocked around it, asking me questions. Particularly the pregnant types, and the husbands thereof. Having the bassintte at the party was a great idea. SP 2.0 was overwhelmed a few times, from getting passed around by strangers. When I placed him in it, he calmed down right away. I think he felt safe. And the bouncy suspension was amazing. I just pushed down the handle a bit, and it’s like the thing was on springs!
I also liked how high up it sat. Nearly as tall as the Stokke Xplory. Great for the sand. Or for the snow, slush, unpaved roads, tree roots, etc. How often do you find such shimmery beauty, and rugged functionality, in the same package? (Gee, that sounded like a new car ad.)
Now one thing I *didn’t* think about, was how many steps there are to get up to a Malibu beach house. For this particular one, to have the breathtaking overhang view of the sea, there were a lot. And at 29 pounds, (that’s with the bassinette. It’s 25 with the seat.) hauling the Slider up them was no easy feat. Of course, it would have been easier if I did what the manufacturer recommends, which is to break it down into two pieces (very easy. The top half of the stroller just pops right off!) I was looking forward to using it again that next week-end. This time, it was at a party in a mansion in Beverly Hills. I had been there before, so I knew it was relatively flat. Now this particular mansion once belonged to a very famous TV star. Even though she has long since moved, it is still on the “Maps of the Stars Homes” tour bus route. We had to park on the street, because there were ponies in the driveway of the mansion. The minute we got out of the car, the tour buses appeared. And all the tourists were snapping pictures. Not of us, but, of the Slider! The Slider was a celebrity, haha!Well, I was a bit wrong about the flat part. At least in the back yard. This is a historic BH home. And there were brick steps that went up, and brick steps that went down, and brick steps that went up, and brick steps that went down. And yes, I meant to repeat that, because they kept repeating. And narrow, all of those walkways were NARROW. Despite it’s fabulous manueverability, the Slider’s 26′ width meant the wheels kept getting hung up on the bricks. I guess that is the way they built ’em back in the roaring ’20’s. Well it was almost perfect. The best laid plans of mice and men…
Inside the party, the Slider continued to turn heads. My friend’s mom said it reminded her of a pram she bought 57 years ago, which they had paid $10 for! Her husband asked, “How much does that one go for, about $50?” “Well no,” I said. “It’s a bit more. Actually”, I tell him, “A lot of strollers are running up around a thousand dollars now”. “A thousand dollas!” exclaims his wife, the one who bought the $10 stroller 57 years ago. “That’s the price of a CAR!” “When mom, when?” shouts out one daughter. “And she has a bunch of strollers, hundreds”, says my friend. “HUNDREDS???” says her sister-in-law. “Have you been on Ripley’s Believe it or not?” And she’s laughing her head off. “No”, says my friend. “But she has been in the NY Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, the CBS Early Show, the Today Show…” “But what about Good Morning America?” says her mom. “Have you been on Good Morning America? That’s my favorite!” Now the sister in law, who has been sitting there thinking, says “Now WHY do you have so many strollers? I had one Maclaren for every kid, and that was good enough!” “Well”, I say, “How many pairs of shoes do you have? How many bags?” (She is very well-dressed.) “But that’s different”, she says. “Not to her!” says my friend. She has a stroller to match every outfit, a stroller to match every bag, a stroller for every holiday.” “And what do you DO with all these strollers?” demands the SIL. “I run them on the Strollerqueen Obstacle Course, up and down hills , one -handed, with a cup of coffe in the other” I say. At this point, the sister across the table spits out HER coffee, she is laughing so hard. “AHHH,” says the SIL, waving her hand at me, “You’re just nuts!” Now the mother chimes in again. “Stop talking and go to the gym!” she says. You all need to go to the gym and work out!” With that command,the daughters, granddaughters, and sisters-in-law dutifully stand up to go, pushing their chairs back under the table. “See”, I said to the SIL, “If you had a jogging stroller, you could just take a good run instead”.

iCandy Cherry Review

17 May

The Hair Tourniquet and the Red Hot Cherry

I wanted to use the iCandy Cherry. But all I had left of it was this:
It was the first ride for Lucky Padraig/AKA Strollerprince 2.0. I had gotten used to it, and in my post-partum state, wasn’t keen to fool with something else. This is what it looked like before. Nice, no? Had all the accoutrements …carrycot, parasol, rain cover, footmuff…

But really, I had no choice but to use another stroller. And this is why.

The original Strollerprince was returning from a play date. As I went to answer the door, I noticed something askew. And that was, a hair wrapped around the tiny toe of newborn SP 2.0. Of course I tried to pull it off. And when I did, it snapped, and whipped tightly around the joint. As I carried him down to answer the door, I noticed it was beginning to swell. My friends were, of course, very concerned. But competent people that they are, they were convinced they could remove the torturous hair. They went to the car, and returned with a tweezers, and a large magnifying glass equipped with a light. (What kind of people carries that in their car? Yeah, those types.) Anyway, they approached the task with a methodical seriousness, turning the toe, discussing the best approach. Then the husband drove up. And he got in on the discussion. And the toe continued to swell. Gently, very gently, they attempted to extricate the poor little toe from the death grip of the hair. And more it swelled. Now a few neighbors had joined in the discussion, offering their suggestions. Talking, talking, talking. And the toe resembled a purple mushroom. At this point, I felt a heat rise up within me. I grabbed Lucky Padraig, and ran. Over my shoulder, I yelled that they could continue their talking, or they could meet me at the hospital emergency room. Because that is where I was heading.

I’m sure I fairly flew there. I was now being propelled by panic. I drove right up to the door. I was lucky there were no other cars. I jumped out and ran in the door. Again I was lucky, because a doctor spotted me rushing in. I guess he figured a panic stricken mom running with a baby couldn’t be good. He grabbed me and pulled me straight into the operating room, no admissions, no paperwork. He took one look at SP 2.0 and said “What you have here is a hair tourniquet. (Yes, this is an actual medical diagnosis. It is also known as a “toe tourniquet.”) And if we don’t remove it, he will lose his toe.” I was lucky there were no other patients there at the time, so he could spend all his time with us. And I was lucky that, despite the fact that it was a holiday, and the doctor had waist length hair, beads, and cut-offs, he was a great doctor. At least the nurses seemed to think so. Judging by the numbers that kept coming in, flirting, giggling, and gazing at him adoringly.

In any case, he cut. Lucky Padraig screamed like he never has, before or since. And we waited. Waited to see if he got it. Hair tourniquets are a diabolical thing. The hair is so fine that you can’t see it, when it wraps around a tiny toe joint. Yet it is so strong, it has a “cheese wire” affect. Yes, the soft baby skin is the cheese, ugh.
Now while we were waiting, the husband showed up with the original Strollerprince, who is now more interested in Star Wars than strollers. As he sat there bored, he remembered something. And that was, that he had left his light sabers in Mommy’s car. Ah ha! Something to do, something to play with! But, Mommy was worried, and he didn’t want to bother her. He knew the answer! He could get the keys himself, and open the car. He had seen Mommy and Daddy do it hundreds of times. How hard could it be? And with Mommy so busy with the baby, she wouldn’t notice if he snuck them out of her purse….

So he did, and he was triumphant. In the meantime, SP 2.0’s toe was much worse. The cutting had not helped. “Unfortunately”, said Dr. long hair Fabio, “we are going to have to use the scalpel, and cut to the bone.” Ugh. And so he did. And then Lucky Padraig screamed even louder than ever. And still we saw no hair. However, as the minutes slowly ticked by, the swelling began to go down. It was still purple, but losing the mushroom effect. Success! And then we were discharged to go home. His toe was fine, and all’s well that ends well.
Except….in the morning, I went out to my car to return to the hospital for a re-check. This time I wanted to use the iCandy Cherry. So I opened the back, and ………it was…….empty. Where the Cherry normally slept, there was….nothing. It is a horrible feeling to go for your beloved stroller, only to find it gone. Who had her? Where was she? How in the world…..And then SP sheepishly confessed, that he “sneaked my keys out of my purse.” “I knew how to unlock the car, but I didn’t know how to lock it back up”, he said.

So that is the story of the Hair Tourniquet, and the Red Hot Cherry. I did drive around for a few days, calling her name….scouring Craig’s List, Ebay, and the classifieds for hot goods, even hitting up a few garage sales to see if we could find her, and bring her home. Yes that is how much we loved her, and that is how much we missed her. If you get one yourself, you will see. 

 Did I ever get her back? That is a story for another day. Because now it is time, dear citizens of Strollerland, to tell you the tale of the i’coo Targo and the contrarian librarian.

ICandy Cherry Stats:
Weight: (w/seat) 24.5 pounds
with bassinette: 27 pounds
Folded: 23.5 x 34.5 x 14
Width: 23″
Length: 29.5
Height: 40″
Seat Width: 12″
Seat Depth: 10″
Seat Height: 20″
Seat to Canopy: 24″
Drop to Footrest: 8″
Bassinette: 32.5 x 12.5 x 8.5