Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Contours® Optima™ Tandem Stroller Review

Having twins means having a double stroller. In the past year, we have had two different double strollers and now we have a THIRD, thanks to Kolcraft® and Contours®!  Why so many strollers?? Well, each stroller is completely different in the function it serves. The first stroller we purchased was a side-by-side umbrella stroller. We knew when we purchased it, it would not be a stroller that we could use immediately, because it did not offer the ability to use with infant carriers. 
However, it was a "great deal" (from a friend) and we couldn't pass it up.
The second stroller was a baby shower gift and was a tandem/front-back stroller that matched our infant carriers and allowed them to pop-in and out of the car straight into the stroller with ease. It was a great concept and we did enjoy the stroller, but as the boys out grew the infant seats, the stroller didn't seem to meet our needs anymore. 
So, in search of the perfect stroller, I came across the Contours® Optima  tandem stroller.
The Contours® Optima  tandem Stroller offers a new approach to tandem/front-back strollers. It has SIX different seating positions: children can both face parent, face forward, back-to-back, face each other (my favorite) or if only one child is with you, the back seat can be removed altogether and you have extra storage space in the basket below-perfect for shopping.


Although it appears to have lots of parts, assembly was a breeze! While we were getting the pieces out of the box, I commented on the super cool fabric on the seats and how comfortable it looked, while my husband commented on how awesome the rear tires were! They are actually pretty great- they are never-flat wheels-but honestly, that's not the first thing I noticed about the stroller!! 
It's pretty... I see pretty, he sees function!

My husband is usually the one who assembles everything, but this time I insisted on putting it together.. and timing it! He read the directions as I pieced it together.. took exactly 10 minutes and was very easy to do. 


The babies were napping during stroller assembly, but as soon as they woke up, we took them for a spin in the new ride! 
There is a huge difference in the visibility they have compared to our other tandem/front-back stroller. I always felt bad putting the babies in the other stroller because I felt like the baby in the back seat really couldn't see out and was constantly having to lean around the front seat to see. 
The Contours® Optima  tandem Stroller has stadium seating allowing the baby in the back to sit a little higher than the one in the front,which allows them to see out better...and with so many different positioning options, we can reposition the seat to suit them best. 
Forward Facing/Stadium Seating design




 I really like that they can be turned to face each other 

 Back-to-back



OR both turn to see me while I'm pushing the stroller. 


The seats also recline independently which is very convenient for small babies or for older children who might fall asleep during their stroll.  


Seats are equipped with 5-point safety harness that are adjustable to accommodate a growing child as well as a padded infant headrest and strap sleeves for added comfort. 


Additionally, the seats will be able to carry a child up to 40 lbs per seat; 80 lbs total. 
Definitely a plus when looking for a stroller that will grow with your child. 


Another feature is the full canopy. The canopies are adjustable in height, can be raised or lowered from 23" to 27", and provides an excellent amount of shade to keep each child covered. A peek-a-boo window on each canopy allows you to keep an eye on your little ones. 

The Optima  also comes 4 cupholders, 2 for kids, 2 for parents! The cupholders are sturdy and are easily removed for cleaning! The cupholders for the kids also pivot for easy access by the child! Between the handle of the stroller there are 2 adult cupholders as well as a storage area which is perfect for paci's, keys, phone or other smaller items needed on your outing. 

There is a LARGE storage bin under the seats. It is the length of the stroller and provides so much space that even my over-sized backpack for the twins fits with ease and there is PLENTY of left over storage space for other items!

Storage Space with a Single  Rider
To fold stroller, it has two red grips/triggers on the handle that you move in an upward motion while stepping down on the back of the basket. The stroller fold quickly and easily. It has a manual latch that keeps the stroller in the folded position. You do have to remove one of the seats for folding but it can rest back in the stroller after its folded to minimize the space it requires to transport/store the stroller. Of the 3 strollers we have, this isn't the easiest stroller to close, but it isn't the hardest either!  Convenient Free-Stand allows the stroller to stand upright while it is folded and from this position is easier for me to pick-up to put in the car. It is also lightweight, weighing in at only 36.8 lbs. 


Another really awesome perk of the Optima ... it comes with an Infant Carseat Attachment! Say you don't have twin toddlers but still need a double stroller... one of the bigger seats pops right out and the attachment slides in place. Yes, it is that easy!
Infant Attachment
If you are expecting twins, or have twin infants, another infant attachment can be purchased on Kolcraft's website for only $29.99. 
Click here for a list of infant seat brands that can be used with the Optima Infant Carrier adapter.  


Safety, comfort and versatility must have been at the forefront of Contours® mind when developing the Optima tandem stroller and it shows! 
Please visit Kolcraft today to purchase your stroller for only $299.99!
*This stroller comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty.





Monday, July 23, 2012

Programs for Multiples

If you notice, there is a new "tab", Programs for Multiples... It is a list of fabulous companies that offer deals to families with multiple births! Hope it helps! Let me know if you come across other companies and I'll add them to the list!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Happy First Birthday, Parker & Hayes!


Can it really be possible that it has been one whole year since we welcomed Parker & Hayes into this world? I can't believe it! It has been the most exciting, precious, wonderful and rewarding year of my life! At times, it has also been exhausting and overwhelming. Imagine...new mom & dad, learning to take care of not just one, but two newborns at the exact same time. Learning to juggle feedings with two newborns, learning two different babies and their cries and needs and personalities,  keeping two newborns on the same schedule, changing double the diapers, double the linens on the cribs, washing double (ok, this might be more than double) the laundry, carrying two baby carriers, packing a diaper bag for two babies, and the list goes on.. It's tiring just trying to recall all of that, but there are a couple of amazing traits that I seem to possess since becoming a mom... AMNESIA & A FORGIVING HEART! You complete forget, or forgive, all of the sleepless nights, 3am feedings, the crying/screaming, the poopy diapers, pee-soaked sheets that require changing in  the middle of the night, the spitting-up on your clean shirt as you are walking out the door... I haven't really figured out if it is amnesia from lack of sleep, or if its the forgiving heart as you look at your little one(s) precious smile?? Maybe it's a combination of both, but either way, I'm thankful! I'm thankful for the TWO precious little boys that I lost sleep over waaaay before they came along, the ones that I laid awake at night praying for their being. I'm thankful that our faithful Lord blessed me with them and entrusted them to me as their mom. I'm thankful that they were born healthy and perfect. I'm thankful that they were not identical, as that might have been the straw that broke this camel's back..lol. I'm thankful for TWO babies with completely different personalities that keep me laughing and guessing for what each day will hold. I'm thankful for the sleepless nights that we had with them when they were first born, as this was our "bonding time". I'm thankful for my husband, who has worked so hard to be able to allow me to stay home and not miss a single minute of our little guys lives. I am thankful that I can say it has been a year and not only did we survive with twins, we THRIVED! For all of this, I am THANKFUL!

Now, let's CELEBRATE!!
I had someone say to me, while I was planning the boys' first birthday party, "I've never understood why the first birthday party is such a big deal. The kid never remembers it." I just kindly said, "I don't know"... but truth is.. I know. I know why I wanted our boys to have a celebration that they will never remember. I wanted to celebrate the wonderful blessings that are Parker & Hayes. The two precious babies that our family and friends helped us pray for before our pregnancy, during our pregnancy, and haven't stopped since they were born. I wanted to celebrate their lives. I want them to look back at pictures of their FIRST birthday and see how many people love them and how important they are to all of us. With over 50 people attending the party, there was not one person there who hasn't played a significant role in loving our boys this first year. Jay and I know how very blessed we are to have so many people love and care about boys and for that, we are thankful. So, judge, if you will, but this is how we celebrated our sweet boys first year!

We started off their birthday by singing Happy Birthday to them while they were still in their cribs, then we opened a package from MawMaw and PawPaw that they has shipped a week before to be opened "as soon as they wake up." This is what what inside...




Daddy's special birthday message for his boys on the driveway.


We had breakfast at Poppa and Beama's house.. Birthday Cake Batter Pancakes made by their Daddy, complete with sprinkles and candles!



So after breakfast, playtime and a nap.. we headed out to have a special treat (for them)... McDonald's... Where they shared a Happy Meal and each had their own teeny, tiny ice cream cone.


They had so much fun!
Their day wasn't complete, just yet.. Aunt Allison, Aunt Ashley, Uncle Olly, Beama and Poppa continued the fun with us and we took the boys to see the fish in the Aquarium and to eat dinner. The boys were worn out and fell sound asleep in the car on the way home. What a way to spend their first birthday-day. 

That Saturday, we continued the festivities with their First Birthday Party for family and friends! This was such a fantastic day! Thank you so much to all of our guests that helped make their day so special! 




 














































































 Barefeet Photography by Laci captured such wonderful memories for us!
Cakes by pastrynpink.com, aka me, P&H's mom!



Happy Birthday, Parker & Hayes! You are so loved!
Love always,
Momma and Daddy