Saturday, April 04, 2009

favorite thing friday

Over the past few years, I have come to the conclusion that you can do anything with children if you: 1) Have the right attitude, and 2) Have the right gear.

Having the right "gear" is where having a good stroller fits in.

If someone were to ask me what is the single most critical piece of equipment we have owned in the first five years of our children's lives, without a doubt, absolutely positively unequivocally, I would respond our strollers.

But not just any strollers.

Our BOB strollers.

BOB stands for Beast Of Burden. And the first time I saw these rugged strollers, I knew that they could withstand the test of time. I knew that they could withstand our always-on-the-go lifestyle.

Almost five years later, they have exceeded my high expectations. These strollers have been used almost every single day for the past four and a half years, and although the foam handlebar wrap shows slight signs of wear, the frames are just as strong now as when we bought them new. Their durability and awesome construction continues to amaze me.

Currently in our BOB stroller fleet, we have two duallies and a single. We own the Duallie Sport Utility and the Sport Utility Single. On loan from our neighbor, is the Duallie Revolution so that Charlie and I can push all four children in two double strollers when we go on training runs for our marathon.

As much as I love our Sport Utility models, if the Revolution would have been available in 2004, we would have opted for that model over the Sport Utility. Having used both models, I prefer the option of a front swivel wheel and the recessed rear wheels that allow you to fit through a standard doorway, without removing the tires. Unfortunately, those two features are not present on the Sport Utility model, however, I still believe that our strollers, sans these improvements, are among the best on the market.

For both of our strollers, we purchased a handlebar console that is affixed to the back handlebar with velcro straps and has two cup holders and a small zippered pocket. In our opinion, this is a critical piece of equipment with the stroller, because there is otherwise, no convenient place to store water bottles, or secure place to hold your keys or your cell phone. And although we never owned one, both stroller models come with an after market Infant Car Seat Adapter that can be purchased separately and allows you to snap your infant carseat in to the stroller.

There are so many strollers on the market. There are so many choices to make. But there are very few strollers that can hold your child from the time they are a tiny newborn infant in a baby carrier, up until they weigh 70 pounds. There are very few strollers that are so durable that they will last the entire time your child needs a stroller - and then - can be turned around and used by other families, just as reliably.

What I love about these strollers, other than their extreme durability, rip-stop fabric, ample storage room, rear shock suspension, five-point harness, reclining seat, excellent sun coverage, ease of folding, and extreme durability, is their extreme durability. These strollers have carted our children and gear from coast-to-coast 10 times.

And were instrumental in transporting children and gear during our three week, seven-thousand-zig-zagged-continental adventure.

Infact, we reduced what we could bring in our vehicle on the Mother-of-All Roadtrips, solely so we would have adequate space to fit at least one of our BOB strollers.

These strollers have held our tiny newborn babies.

And have allowed my husband and I to get out for walks every single day for the past four and a half years. And counting.

These strollers helped me get in shape following the birth of our triplets.

And again, following the birth of our singleton.

Heck. I could write poetry about my love of the BOB strollers.

BOB, Oh BOB, Oh how I love thee...

My love is so great, like the sun and the sea.

Your strong and sturdy design helped teach our babies to cruise ...

And served as a stable cot for a weary child's snooze.

They held our toddlers secure when we had outside work to do...

And kept kiddos perched high in public restrooms so they couldn't touch things that are ... ew!

They've gone fishing...

Hot tubbing...

And been pushed in many a road race ...

When seats are reclined, they well support a baby's drowsy face.

They've been snacked in ...

And shopped in...

And walked in galore...

They've been pushed all around the grounds at Asheville's mighty Biltmore.

They've been to duck ponds...

Amusement parks...

And held children of all sizes ...

They've been on the Pacific and Atlantic and witnessed magnificent sun rises.

They've been through National Cemeteries ...

Tolerated canceled flights and a shutdown airport at Dallas Fort Worth...

And seen aircraft carriers in San Diego's harbor take up a gargantuan berth.

They've served as our sag wagon...

Been to the zoo with Deana's boys Zach and Zane ...

And was rapidly pushed out of the wild when a squirrel drove our children insane.

We love our BOB strollers we love them you see...

We love them so much we now have three.

When I first started my effort at fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, I reached out to several companies to inquire on the potential of them offering sponsorship. One of the first companies that I reached out to, was none other than BOB.

With absolutely no hesitation, I told them straight up, that I would like to have them donate a brand new Duallie Revolution stroller that I could raffle off on my blog. If that wasn't feasible, I would settle for a Single Revolution.

When several days passed and I heard no response, I began to realize that my expectations might be a little high. When I started to hear back from every other company that I contacted with their regrets that they don't accept unsolicited requests for support, I doubted that I would ever hear anything from BOB. But then. Out of the blue, I received an e-mail.

BOB would be happy to sponsor me!!!

By offering a BOB Diaper Bag!!!

So, uh ... it's not a $570.00 Duallie Revolution.

Nor is it a $390.00 Single Revolution.

BUT, it is a $65.00 Diaper Bag that comes in a wide assortment of colors!!

The BOB Stroller Diaper Bag has zippered pockets, a key clip, a fleece lined pouch for your sun glasses, a cell phone pocket and easy to reach diaper pockets are great for whatever you have to bring with for a long run or just a walk around the park. It also comes with a 31" x 12" changing pad, shoulder strap and removable waterproof pouch with insulated bottle pocket. It comes in several different colors that match any jogging stroller in the BOB line, and works the same with either the Single or Duallie strollers.

Although I didn't think it was possible to love BOB any more than I do, seeing as they are the only company that are willing to offer something of monetary value for our fundraising efforts, that makes them uber-awesome in my book.

Tonight, I received an e-mail from Deana's husband, Jack. If you haven't been following Deana's story on CaringBridge, this past month has been extremely challenging. After Deana was told that the treatment she was receiving in California was not working, she was told that she might only have a few weeks left to live and needed to consider contacting Hospice.

Instead, Deana and Jack flew to Houston, Texas where Deana has been undergoing treatment at MD Anderson's Cancer Center. After several days when it appeared that her first round of treatment looked promising, Deana was released to recover in her hotel room. The first day out of the hospital, she collapsed. She was rushed back to the hospital where she was diagnosed with sepsis and later, pneumonia. Over the next few days, her health deteriorated. She was ultimately hooked up to a ventilator and was placed in to a medically-induced coma.

But Deana is amazing. And her family support structure is amazing. And the doctors and nurses at MD Anderson are amazing. And people around the world are praying for her. And over the past two weeks, Deana has made a comeback that is nothing short of a miracle. She is breathing room air, eating food, talking to friends, having video conferences with her children and has befriended over 120 people on Facebook.

Tonight, Jack sent out an e-mail that said Deana's bone marrow biopsy came back completely negative of any Burkitt's lymphoma cells.


Deana still requires treatment and will be starting another round of chemotherapy soon. But if not for the emerging research and development of cancer treatment - like the treatment Deana is receiving at MD Anderson - Deana would not here at this very moment in time. But she IS here, and she IS fighting hard and from all signs of it ... she IS winning.

Please consider that when you are debating whether or not you need yet another bag. Which is crazy because of course you need another bag!! And whether you have a BOB stroller or not, this diaper bag is very cool and would work well even if you don't need to tote around diapers. Personally, I could see using it to carry around my knitting supplies.

So, for a $5.00 donation to either Charlie, Margaret or my Team-In-Training website, you could be entered to win one of these bags, in your choice of color. AND? You will help get us one step closer to a cure.


I just checked Maggie's website to set up a link and she is now well over $5,000.00!!

So, please donate to either me or Charlie and please add in "BOB" next to your name.

That Margaret. She's smoking us both!

Please let me know if you'd be interested in entering for a chance to win a BOB stroller. And if so, a Single or Duallie? I'm thinking that I might use the first "payout" from my Amazon Store to buy a stroller that I'll put up as a giveaway. But seeing as my commission for the month of March is only $32.00, that contest might not happen for another year.

Oh, did I mention that if you follow the link to Amazon though my store - I get commission on any purchases that you make? Do you need a new big screen television? How about some socks??

(This is going to be the last time I ever write a blog post this long. Has anyone even made it this far??)


  1. My sister is pregnant with her first - the BOB is the stroller she chose. Glad to hear such a positive review. p.s. She ran the marathon your're running in San Diego a few years back. If this helps, she's ran several and said this one was the easiest and most fun! Good luck!

  2. I've never commented before but wanted to tell you I made it to the end! I enjoyed every photograph and word. I also have stroller love (Mountain Buggy urban double) and think you depicted yours beautifully ;)
    So happy to hear the positive news about Deana. The fundraising work you are doing is really inspirational.

  3. Yes, someone did make it all the way through ;)

  4. I could wax poetic about our BOB as well. I love that stroller so much. And I love it just a little bit more that the company is giving you a diaper bag to raffle off! Way to go!

  5. i couldn't hold back the tears when i read about your friend deana. i am so happy she is responding so well to her treatments. md anderson is a wonderful place. i will continue to keep her in my prayers.

    keep up your good work: training, fundraising, mothering, etc.

  6. Wow!! You are an amazing woman!! I am a fellow runner and you are an inspiration. My daughter works for team in training too. You can count me in for a donation soon as figure our how to do it!!

  7. Go, Deana, go!!

  8. It was a struggle, but I made it through! Naw, just kidden... I love your posts! Thought about Deana today during my 5K in Seal Beach... she pushed me to my best time ever! Yay! Go Deana!

  9. I could read forever about the BOB. Love it. For the first year home with my DD, I didn't do much except walk/stroll with her. Then I got on a running kick. So glad I have the BOB to help me run with my girl. We have the console thing too. What a pack saver. I might have to donate more than the other raffles just because that bag is just what we need.

  10. HEY!! I RAN THE COOPER RIVER BRIDGE RUN THIS MORNING!! In Charleston! (10k) Then Drove back home! 4 hours - highway to Simpsonville!

    Since "training" for this marathon I am now running a 14 minute mile intstead of the 11:30 - 12 minute mile that I have been running over the past year! I AM GETTING SLOWER! I didn't think that was possible... is.

    I ran 12 miles ON MY OWN Thursday Night and it took 2 hours 50 minutes!!

    Okay fine...enough of my pleading and I Know that it's Your blog but HEY!! People...Jen's followers... don't take me out of the "running" just yet! I'm slowing down with training!!!!!! & donations! ;-)

    Seroiously Jen, Next year -- you've got to join me in Charleston! It was a blast! Over 36,000 people running!!! SO much fun.

  11. LOL... I made it to the end! Keep talking... we'll keep reading!

  12. I can so clearly relate to how you feel about your strollers. Our BOB Duallie is a member of our family! We got it when our twins were 8 weeks old. Now that I'm training for a triathlon, the babies can train along with me while I run. I just need to find my running mojo....

    Also thrilled to see Deana's news!!!

    Amy C

  13. oops... About that last message......Gulp. (That's me swallowing a crow.) ;-)

    Just saw my race results from Charleston. My time was better than I thought - no more pity party. I ran an 11:28 minute mile and came in better than 1/2 of the 36,000 participants! With a finish of the top 10,000. (Pretty good I think considering - it was toe-to-toe through the entire race.)

    okay well... I must say I thought of Deana, my Dad and several others during the race!

    Seriously, you need to join me next year! It was fun. Always first weekend in April! So mark your calender. Marg.

  14. I made it to the end and enjoyed reading it all! I always do :)

  15. Jen you are amazing. Thank you for continuing to champion my cause. I love that you keep me in your daily thoughts & prayers & that you are working so hard to raise money for the lymphoma foundation.

    Bless you Jen. You are superwomen. I can't wait to go to the zoo together again one day.

    All my love-Deana

  16. I purchased a Revolution last fall and while I don't have the beautiful weather of Southern California to enjoy it in, it has done quite nicely in the suburbs of DC. I wrote my Ode to Bob a week later. I absolutely love it! I don't think my suburban demands necessarily warranted it, but I know that he will take me anywhere.

  17. Just so you know, I went to the BOB website and sent them a message.

    That is great about your friend.

    "I would like to point out to you that while I think that it is great that your company was willing to donate to TheAmazingTrips Cancer Fund, the author of that blog has convinced me that I need to go buy a BOB stroller. And I don't even have any kids.

    Give some sort of credit to that woman for being a ridiculous advocate of your product!

    Katie Berg
    Faithful AmazingTrips Reader
    Future Mother"

  18. Katie - Thanks for sending an e-mail in on my behalf!!

    That is hilarious. Even Charlie cracked up at the tag line in your signature, "Future Mother."

  19. I have a donation to make, but it's cash. Can you email me and tell me where to send it? I want a BOB bag even though I don't tote a stroller anymore. I still tote snacks; emergency clothes; baseball field mini-activities; etc.

  20. made it to the end. that was epic! :)

    I'm so glad to hear she's responding. Whew. Also happy to hear your dad is getting the care he needs.

  21. Oh, how I wish I had a BOB - but we can't fathom spending that kind of money on a stroller, no matter how good it is. Oh well, such is life.

    The picture of your oldest boy fishing while on the potty is priceless! I bet there are grown men who wish they could get away with that.

  22. AGREE!!!

    Check out my link:

  23. Are you able to FLY with your BOB? Can you fit it through the security check in the airport? If you could let me know, I would soooo appreciate it! We have a trip to COlorado in a few weeks and I'm debating whether we can take it?