Happy Halloween from Happily Hello

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween from the Haegg's! 

Our little strong man is ready to celebrate!

And yes... Drawing a mustache on a toddler is every bit as difficult as you imagine.

Inglesina Zuma High Chair Review

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Like most of our baby items... I replaced most of what I received for our shower within the first 6 months of Roman being born. I didn't know what I wanted or all the cool products available. It was overwhelming, I was tired (and busy working) and didn't know all the research that should have been done.

We started out with the Space Saver high chair by Fisher Price. I thought I wanted something small and compact. It sucked. The quality was poor, I HATED the design, and it was very inconvenient to only have 3 of our 4 dinette seats available. Did I mention it was an eye sore AND by 6 months Roman already felt squeezed into it. I did a TON of research. A modern design was at the top of my list but the ability to be compact for storage and easy to clean were also important. 

Inglesina has an excellent reputation with strollers but this was their first high chair. I also considered the Bloom Fresco high chair and Boon Flair high chair. 

The Bloom aesthetically is beautiful but beauty comes with a hefty price tag (starting at $450.00) that I wasn't sure was justified. It also had mixed reviews, a few of which saying that their little ones fingers almost got caught in the tray hinge. The Boon Flair ($230.00) also has a cool design but the tray is much smaller than most. I am not sure if this really matters for us now, but at the time i wasn't sure how I felt about it. I also hated its base. 

The Inglesina Zuma is reasonably priced ($279.00) and also has a similar, pod-like design as the Fresco. I also love the color options for the Zuma and it had great reviews. 

I have lots of love for this product and my only concerns I believe are solved in Inglesina's smaller high chair, the Club which I've never tried out. Call me a baby product whore, but this high chair is even more beautiful in person.

We started using this high chair when Roman was 6 months old. He was still a little baby in my eyes. This high chair was so cozy for him. The plush, washable seat cover comes in a variety of colors. We purchased the white base and cream cover. The cover is easy to remove for washing which is great while they are so small and rarely make messes. I also LOVED this high chair while he was so small because it was cozy enough for him to fall asleep after meal time and I could easily recline the seat back to almost turn it into a cradle. Every. Moms. Dream. 

The tray is actually a double tray. There is a smaller tray which clicks into the larger one making it impossible for Roman to remove. This was great until I washed it in the dishwasher (which it is safe for) and it warped slightly now making it very easy for Roman to snap off. I only use the main tray now which is perfectly fine since meal time is so messy anyways. 

Two hands are required to fully remove the tray but what I really love about this high chair is you never have to remove the tray! There is a lever in the front of the tray which allows you to pull it out (with one hand) and you gain a few more inches to slide baby in and out. The tray doesn't adjust right up to Roman so a lot of food slides through, but this really isn't a big deal. 

Roman is finally starting to fill this chair out. For more petite babies it would be nice if there were an additional insert you could purchase to lift them up and push them closer to the tray, though receiving blankets would work just as well.

Now that Roman is larger and feeding himself, I no longer use the seat padding. It gets WAY too messy to wash between every meal time. What is great through, is that the seat actually has double padding on the back and seat bottom in the same interchangeable colors so the seat is still very comfortable. The bottom cushion gets filthy and it is rather difficult to remove with tons of crevices below for food to go. I wish it had a smooth bottom like the club has so that it could wipe clean more easily.

Another great feature is the telescope adjustable height of this high chair..... You can put the seat all the way down which we've used when we had parties and people are sitting on the living room floor. It also adjusts all way up which I will do if I am standing and feeding him while cooking dinner. There are 8 heights to match any table height. You could just remove the tray and push them right up to the table if you want.

The Zuma high chair has a 5 point harness that no toddler could ever break out of. We actually don't use the shoulder harnesses any longer as they were getting really funky and are really hard to remove to clean. We just tucked them behind the back cushion. This is another feature on the Club which I like because it comes standard with a 3 point harness. 

One of my favorite features is how easy and compact this high chair folds up for storage. Two steps and it becomes a tiny package to stow away. 

The seat adjusts to three positions with a simple lever on the back. 

Overall I am really happy with this purchase. It looks great in our kitchen and is rather simple to clean. Every evening I take a toothpick to some of the seams just because caked on food grosses me out. The white also doesn't stain which surprised me because we eat a TON of pasta. 

This high chair is great for any age. If you already have a toddler, I would probably go with the club high chair just because it looks even easier to clean. We also are using the recline less and less often now that he is a one year old. 

Inglesina did a great job transitioning over from their tried and true product line of strollers to high chairs. This high chair was introduced a few years ago and every year they come out with new features and colors. Eventually, (maybe next baby) I would love to try out the Inglesina Club high chair. If you are in the market for new high chair, I would absolutely add the Inglesina Zuma to your wish list. 

You can check out all of their amazing products HERE

Monday, Monday

Monday, October 28, 2013

Until having Roman I've always worked.... Since I was 17. Mondays were alway bleh, so as soon as the babe was born and we got into routine... Mondays became a no housework day and we spend a good portion of it out of the house doing something... Anything.

This Monday we spent the morning at Homegoods and ikea which are dangerously located right next to each other. I'm scoping out some ideas for our family room / kitchen because they are in need of an update. We also hit 100 miles in the Origami.... Seems like something worth celebrating. 

In Homegoods, Roman worked on his Christmas list.... The giant blue bear was a hit. 

And I am totally digging this gold mirror. Please excuse my gypsy outfit. It finally cooled down in Pittsburgh and this is the coziest sweater ever! It gets worn a good several times a week. 

I am loving this tv console in ikea. I am embarrassed to admit my style is totally ikea-esk anymore. Completely opposite what we did the first time around. 

To top off our Monday morning, Roman fell asleep midway through ikea (never fails - thanks 4moms!) so I got to take my time milling around and even got to eat a huge plate of their Swedish meatballs. 

We finished our morning at the Market District. For whatever reason, EVERYONE kept calling him a girl today?! Poor guy. 

Tomorrow we have some Halloween activities planned so laundry and cleaning are going to need to wait until Wednesday.... Darn. Then we always start our weekends on Fridays... I'm such an amazing housewife, but look how sweet this boy is...

Meet our golden child...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

bet you expected a post about Roman... 

We had a great weekend traveling back to my hometown to celebrate my moms birthday. The weekend included Michael and I's first date post baby (yup, 13 months to be exact.) It was so great. The weekend also included my dads famous egg breakfast, another yummy dinner out and cake, lots of cake. But the weekend started off rocky..... Literally. 

4 years ago.... A friend found a dog on the side of a highway. He lived in Columbus which is a two hour drive from Pittsburgh and jokingly asked if we wanted it. We were newly engaged, in a brand new house, planning a destination wedding. Of course it was the perfect timing for a dog. (Insert sarcasm.) After work that evening, we made a quick trip to Target for a few dog essentials then drove (more like 4 hours) through a tsunami for our "free" dog. He was so cute, and sweet and though he was infested with fleas and worms and missing huge patches of hair.... We fell in love. 

We arrived back home to around 3am and had to give him a quick bath outside to get some of the bugs off of him before bringing him inside. 

He was such a good, even tempered dog but every time we put him in the crate, we would walk back in the room and he would be out.... With the door still locked.... 

Then THIS happened.... 

I was almost positive our basement had exploded when I came home at lunch to let him out. 

Michael got his first lesson in drywall repair...

Then the next day... Again

Honestly I was so attached to him by this point but Michael, not so much. 

Long story short, this happened a lot over the next few months until finally Rocky won his way upstairs while we were at work and on a daily dose of Prozac. Literally. Don't judge, this boy lives like a king but needs something to take the edge off. Michael and Rocky made up.... He shares a queen bed with us and steals any and all bread in the house, hiding what he can't finish in the couch cushions. There are too many Rocky stories for one post. Honestly. But his most important trait is how good he is to Roman. He loves the kid, and is so gentle, patient and protective. It fills our heart with such joy. 

So why this long post about our first born? Well, Friday I went shopping only to return to an empty house. At first I thought Rocky was stolen? Then the worst thoughts went through my head that Rocky was hurt or worse, dead. I called my husband at work crying to come home because I couldn't bare to find him alone... I searched the house and finally heard a sound in the hall bath. 

I opened the door to find this...

Apparently, Rocky was going through the bath room garbage can and managed to close himself in the dark. Obviously, I can assume he freaked out or our bathroom walls spontaneously combusted. 

Michael and I were just so relieved he was okay. Our house would be so empty without our little clown. 

Michael is excellent at repairing drywall by this point and I am ready for a new bathroom color anyway. Apparently Rocky is too. 

Hope all of your weekends started off a little less rocky... (Har, har, har) 

Here are some of my favorite Rocky pictures from over the years....

Little Boy Style

Thursday, October 24, 2013

At our 20 week ultrasound when the technician told us we were having a boy, I cried... Not necessarily the good tears. Are you sure? 

Don't get me wrong.... A healthy baby was leaps and bounds most important but I was convinced we were having a girl. I don't watch sports, and I bought WAY too many little girl items in the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy because I WAS having a girl! 

Looking back now, I can add that to my very long list of being thankful for unanswered prayers. I LOVE being a boy mom... Especially to my little guy. I wouldn't trade him and his already stinky little boy traits for anything in the world. 

I was then facing a new challenge, what is he going to wear?! Girl clothes are rather easy, it's all cute! But boys, eh not so much. I don't really like the matchy matchy sets and I definitely don't like baby bow ties. I just don't. Though I am sure some people look at Romans outfits and think I dress him like a clown... But I just can't get enough of the moccasins, printed leggings and hippy shirts. 

At the objection of most family and friends we are in the process of growing Romans hair out with no end in sight. I just love longish hair on little baby boys!!! 

Here are a few of my very favorite items for little gentlemen... 

Top Left: Baby gap sweater, Target jeans, Baby Gap slip on tennis shoes
Top Right: Baby Gap sweater, Old Navy jeans, Chuck Taylor tennis shoes
Bottom Left: Zara baby sweater, Salt City Emporium leggings, Freshly Picked moccs
Bottom Right: Baby Gap sweater one piece, Target boots

Here is Roman in some of our favorites...

We are finally getting to the point where I like how he looks in jeans but he is a little husky (92% in weight) and he just doesn't like them.

Freshly Picked Moccs are my most favorite baby item ever. They are perfect for when they are learning to walk. The leather protects their little feet but is so soft and allows them to move. They also stay on their feet well. When you flip them over after some use, they have a sweet little keepsake of their footprint. I bought the first pair thinking "just this once" then found myself ordering every size since. I plan on framing them each in little shadow boxes in our bedroom so you can see the sweet little print on the bottom. 

What do you like to dress your little men in the most?? 

Maclaren Techno xt Review

I love reading product reviews and won't buy anything without first reading what others think. I am the first of my girlfriends to have a baby so I have to rely heavily on blogs and youtube testimonials on what gets the thumb up approval. 

Before purchasing the Maclaren Techno xt, I went through 3 other strollers.... In 6 months. By that point I knew what I wanted in a stroller much better than I did when registering. 

Here was my must have list:
- Lightweight
- Compact fold
- Comfortable padded seat
- Full recline
- Awesome accessories (weather cover, cup holder, footmuff) 
- Large basket
- Adjustable handles 
- Sleek design
- Smaller footprint 
- Black color option 

I knew the Maclaren brand is huge in Europe and is a little more luxury as far as umbrella strollers go. I was a little iffy to go with them since they had a major product recall a few years ago. After doing a lot of research and going back and forth between a few other luxury brands (Bugaboo Bee and the 4moms Origami being the front runners) I decided to take the plunge because the Techno just had too many features I couldn't resist and most importantly because they fixed the issue that was recalled years earlier. 

I received the Maclaren Volo as a shower gift and loved the weight and design but it was missing a lot of features I needed. After looking on their super user friendly website, I narrowed down that the Techno xt would be best for us. It's a full function umbrella stroller which can be used from birth (comes with infant insert) to 55lbs. Though I would probably never use from birth, it is nice for when they are still small but graduate from their infant carrier. 

The stroller is rather lightweight at 15.8Lbs which is important since we do plan on traveling with Roman soon.  

It has a huge canopy as you can see, a clear pull out sun visor then another zip open panel. There is also a small clear window on the back so you can peek in. The back panel has two nice pockets. You can use one of them to store your included rain cover. The handles are also adjustable which is great if you are taller or have a long stride such as myself. They are also wrapped in rubber making them much easier to clean than foam wrapped handles.

All Maclaren strollers have a 5 point harness which are impossible for toddlers to break out of. (You need to press on both sides of the silver Maclaren button. The straps are black and are very easy to wipe clean which I love, BUT they are nearly impossible to adjust. It takes forever and you have to do it when baby isn't in the seat. 

The Techno also has a great, one handed recline. It will lay completely flat (hence why it is approved from birth.) you can also lock the footrest straight out so smaller babies legs won't dangle. 

There is always going to be give and take with an umbrella stroller. The basket is decent sized for an umbrella stroller but tiny in comparison to normal strollers. I think I've used it maybe once at a farmers market. Obviously, if the stroller is fully reclined it is inaccessible. 

The brakes are very easy to use. Just a simple push down or lift up and can be used with flip flops. 

We have used this stroller a lot, on all different kinds of surfaces. The wheels are 6.5" and I've had no issues pushing in grass, gravel, or any other surface we've come along during our outings.

The best part about this stroller is its maneuverability. You can fit between any isle and you never feel in the way in crowds. It also folds to fit in the trunk of my Kia Sorrento with no issue at all. Tons of space to spare.

There are some really cool accessories that are available for all of the Maclaren products. All of their strollers come with a rain cover which I thought was a little useless until we got stuck at the outlets in the rain. It was a life saver. It also secures tightly so a toddler can't pull it off.

The cup holder was not included but I purchased because I rarely go anywhere without coffee. There are also color kits available and the main item on my wish list... The footmuff!! This is going to be cruitial in the winter and I CAN NOT WAIT until it is back in stock online. 

Overall the Maclaren Techno xt is great! It's easy to maneuver in tight spots, and works great on all sorts of surfaces. One downfall is Roman doesn't normally sleep in this stroller. We can be out all day and he can be exhausted and he will fight sleep. I think that even as great as the tires are, the shock absorbency just can not compare to that of larger strollers. And though the price is a little steep for an umbrella stroller ($350.00), it is worth every penny. It is a completely full function stroller and is one you could use in practically every situation for every stage of your child's life. That is pretty good. We are always on the go and I try to carry the least amount of stuff with us as possible. This stroller definitely fits our lifestyle great.

The Maclaren Techno is available online HERE.

I hope this helps some mommas out who are looking for a great umbrella stroller for their busy lifestyle. 

Next up for review... The 4moms origami...


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