Monday, January 13, 2014

"In the mountains there are only two grades: you can either do it or you can't." ~Rusty Baille

Happy New Year, compadres! I hope your January is starting off lovely, albeit cold for most of you I expect. It was quite frigid here as well last week and I'm hoping that doesn't repeat any time soon! It was rough getting back into the work routine after almost three weeks off. Besides the holidays, it was nice spending more time with the toddler and hubby, as well as getting some projects completed around the house (perhaps you'll hear more about those later).

I'm feeling excited for many things in 2014 - one of which is more time outdoors hiking and camping! I had hoped to take Rory on her first camping trip this past year, but alas we had so many other travel plans that we couldn't work it in. I only managed one afternoon of hiking and it was NOT all that enjoyable. At 11 months, Rory was still small enough to be in a carrier, not walking yet, etc. The only one I had that would work, however, was our Baby Bjorn. I love that carrier but she was just starting to get a little big (mostly because I'm so short that her legs constantly hit my knees and legs and makes walking difficult). The strain on my back was too much and going uphill was impossible with her legs hitting mine. I had to lift the carrier up and hold her in order to go uphill.

It's hard to tell here but I'm lifting her up a little since it's a slight uphill grade.

So I was determined that for this year, we would save up and buy a backpack carrier meant for hiking. I read the many reviews out there, the list of top carriers, etc. But what I really wanted to do was try one on. Considering my height and my husband's height (there's about a foot difference between us), I wanted to make sure it was easily adjustable for both of us. Last December, I finally got my chance when we were waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory and popped into REI for some window shopping. They happened to have two carriers in stock (Deuter Kid Comfort I and II) and I finally got my chance! This also easily narrowed our options down.

Note: There is no child in it right now. But it's so comfortable!
The Kid Comfort II felt more comfortable and had better back support than the I, so that was hands down my choice. But I didn't want to pay $240. Ouch. So we opted to check around, look online, and if the opportunity arose to get a cheaper one, we would. Or we would wait a while before buying.

Dec. 26: The After Christmas Sales come to the rescue! A few days after trying the carrier on, I was searching online for cheaper ones. I came across the site which supposedly had a few in stock for about $180 plus shipping. Unfortunately, they seemed to be out-of-stock at the time, so no luck. But I signed up for their email news and coupons because why not? I already get a bunch of junk mail, so what's another to the list?

The morning after Christmas, they sent me an email with a 20% coupon off any items (both from their regular site and the outlet store) PLUS free shipping. For the heck of it, I checked their inventory and they had ONE left in the outlet store online. Woke hubby from his nap to double-check and BAM! Scored this carrier for only $140 total. I'm totally happy with that deal. And now I'm dying for warmer weather so I can take her out in it. We did a few dry runs in the house to get it adjusted and see if she liked it. All she wants to do now is ride in it and of course go outside. The toddler is ready for the outdoors and so am I!

And speaking of deals, I've had some major luck lately. Last month I scored this Dora organizer brand new, in box, at Babies R Us, for only $6 and change (instead of the listed $45).
And then just today at Sam's Club, I noticed they had a few of these plastic shopping carts (again, new, in box), for only $7.51 instead of $35. Seriously. We bought it and will be holding onto it for her 2nd birthday. Now if my luck can just keep working out since it's time to look into summer vacation plans!

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