Sunday, February 16, 2014

My Stroller Obsession (or how my husband is awesome!)

Strollers are big in our little world.

I don't go anywhere in the car with the kids by myself.  The possibility of Mae eloping while I'm trying to get Patrick into his car seat, at least while Patrick is too little to stay put himself, is too great.

As a result, when there isn't a foot of snow on the ground, we walk a lot.  During the last year it wasn't unusual for us to walk three miles one direction and then three miles home to go to a place we wanted to visit.  We went on these same walks throughout my pregnancy with Patch (at least when I wasn't on at-home-bed-rest for that month) and I'm hoping to pick them up again as soon as the snow melts and the temperature decides to rise above freezing.

It's good for the kids to get out of the house and they even take turns walking.  I'll bring the monkey leash for Mae and a carrier for Patrick when he needs a change in location (or a nap) and Sadie would usually walk three or four miles before becoming so tired she'd perch by her sister's feet while Mae would try to dislodge her every chance she got.

Maggie was not impressed
with the sit and stand.
But with two toddlers who will definitely need a place to ride for long walks, and another on the way, I began to dream of a new stroller.  As the dream (and online dream shopping) went on I imagined a quad stroller, where a tired Sadie could join her siblings instead of complaining that she was exhausted for the final mile of the walk, stretching out the last steps with sighs and claims that she can't go another step.

Yet the market for quad strollers is somewhat lacking.  Most of the strollers have itty bitty wheels and weigh a little over 60 lbs.  While I can imagine a 60 lb stroller with great big wheels (tires) it was hard to imagine how the little plastic ones would hold up, especially in our pot holed city where many of the sidewalks (like the one we live on) have roots pushing up through the pavement that I was somewhat skeptical those wheels could overcome.  Plus, I'd be adding at least 110 lbs of kid to the mix (adding up their combined weights from their last doctors appointments).  That's 170 lbs of kid and stroller.

I needed tires.

And then someone on the blog Facebook page suggested the Runabout (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and provided a link to a review.

This one tried to tip over
if the ground wasn't
perfectly level (side to side).
I'd seen them before in stroller search results, but I didn't usually pause to look at them more closely.  They aren't cute.  They aren't pretty.  They're about as practical and utilitarian looking as a stroller can be.

Then I read the review.  The stroller was ten years old, held 4 kids, was easy to push and could turn with one hand.

I had to have it.

For about ten seconds.  Then reality sunk in. I knew that I'd raised my eyebrows over the cost of those strollers in the past when I'd breezed past them on Amazon and they are not cheap.  They are most definitely not in price range, or even in my dream-maybe-I-can-convince-Paul-if-we-sell-our-double-BOB-on-facebook price range.

Today we walked and walked and walked around a local mall after Mass but before the stores opened, to keep the kids from going stir crazy.  They enjoyed the malls stroller cars and as we walked back out to our car I suggested to Paul that we drive by the local second hand baby shop.  I remembered they'd had a big not-cute stroller and I knew that it hadn't been twelve hundred plus dollars.

I popped out, raced up to the window and stared.  There it was.  A three seat Runabout.

Of course the single BOB was a favorite...
We could do three seat, I quickly justified the idea to myself.  The baby will be in a carrier for month anyway.  And we'd use it this summer.  And by the time the baby is riding in it Sadie will be able to walk even further and Mae will probably be wanting to walk even more too.  They can take turns!  And the baby will obviously be in the carrier a lot for the entire first year!

My plan was perfect.  I returned to the car and told Paul that I needed the stroller.  I could not live without it.  It would be a literal "push" present.

He saw the crazy look in my eyes and told me to stay in the car while he went in and bought it, but told me we wouldn't be hauling it home today with all the kids and that he'd come back later in the week to pick it up.  I hemmed and hawed over going in and finally sank back in the seat to wait for him to return.

He was gone for a long, long time.  Much longer than it takes to purchase a stroller in a not all that busy shop.  I waited.  And waited. What was going on?  Had he gotten lost in there.

And it'll be nice only packing
along one stroller for outings!
A while later he returned and proudly handed me the receipt.  "You got it!"  I said with relief.

"Do you see the price?"  He asked.  I had.  It was a fraction of the price that it retails at.  It was $100 less than the original second hand list price in the window.

"You negotiated?"  He answered happily that he had.  Negotiations has to be one of the most valuable classes that he's taken in law school (at least from the point of view of his wife). "That's why you didn't want me to come in? Because you knew I'd be like 'my dream stroller' and ruin your plans?"

And that is how the perfect stroller at the perfect price become our new mode of getting around town when the snow finally melts this spring.  I can hardly wait now!  The babies will be stir crazy no more!


  1. Oh awesome! I know a lot of twin mamas who use that stroller and love it - ours is so so so heavy (and not a runabout, just a regular double jogger) and it would be so nice to have something bigger because the older kids definitely complain and decide they need to sit on the front of the stroller after about half a mile...

    Regarding car seats, can you wear Patrick on your back while you buckle Mae in and then put him in his seat? I obviously don't know your car layout, but it's just a thought - I know how impossible it is to get kids in the car on their own, my 3 & 4-year-old are good walking to the car on their own, but trying to get the 15-month-old twins into their seats on my own? Brutal...

  2. Cool stroller!! Yay for negotiations!

    As far as gettng all the kids into the van, can you put them all in, close the door and then turn around and buckle everyone up. I used to do that with our minivan when it pouring rain or something and I didn't want to leave the doors open while buckling everyone.

  3. Oh wow! This is GREAT!!! I cannot believe this fortuitous coincidence! I had read your Facebook post and saw the suggestion for the Runabout, and then saw the price! Yeow! I was astounded, and thought, well, THAT'S not going to happen. But now, it has! So, so glad for you! And that husband of yours! He's a keeper! So glad you shared this happy occurrence with us. Makes me smile.
    God Bless. ~ Bonnie

  4. Will you rent him out for my consignment store trips!? :) Awesome deal on the stroller!

  5. One thing you could do on longer walks is get Sadie a tricycle or maybe even a two-wheeler with training wheels and let her pedal alongside as you walk the other three in the stroller. Just a suggestion.... :-)
    God Bless. ~ Bonnie


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