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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mommy Soapbox: Booster Seats

Look at her fancy new ride! 🙂

A few weeks ago, I did a post on the new recommendations for children to remain rear facing until the age of 2. So, I figured I might as well step up and talk about boosters seats, since that is also a major issue for children in car safety.

First, let me say this: Just because a booster seat says that you can put your child in it at 30 pounds does not mean that you SHOULD. Big difference. There are lots of “readiness” requirements that your child should meet before you move from a five point harness (pictured with London above) to just using the seatbelt in a high back booster.

1. It is recommended that your child be at least 4 years old before they move to a high back booster using the seatbelt instead of a five point harness, and at least 40 pounds (NOT 30).

2. You child should stay in a harnessed car seat if, when falling asleep, they lean forward against the belt or slip to the side. Basically, if your child slips out of proper position at all while sleeping (meaning that the seat belt isn’t coming across his/her chest properly), then they need to be 5 point harnessed. Jackson just recently has been able to sleep while maintaining proper position, and he is almost 6. I mean, this just makes sense. If your child has slipped out of their seat belt and you get in an accident, that seat belt won’t work. While it may still restrain them from flying out windows, it may cause serious internal damage from the force of the belt against a sensitive area, such as the neck or abdomen.

To put it simply, you should not put your child in an unharnessed booster seat until they have outgrown the harness system in their current car seat, which is when the top of their shoulders are past the top level of the harness straps. Until then, they should remain in a 5 point harness, regardless of age or weight.

For those of you who claim that your child is too big for a harness system, check out this great option: The Graco Argos. It harnesses children up to 70 pounds. This one seat will take you all the way through; it harnesses until your child has outgrown the harness, then it transitions to a high back booster, then it transitions to a normal booster. It can hold your child until they are 120 pounds and until they reach the height requirement to ride boosterless, which is 4 ft 9 inches.

One more thing to check next time you harness your child: notice where the chest clip is on London. On her chest. Right where it is supposed to be. Make sure that the chest clip is on their chest, not their abdomen. The force of that clip on their bellies in an accident can cause serious internal injuries on a young child, so make sure it is correctly place on their body.

London loves her new seat!!! It is super comfortable, and was insanely easy to install.

Let’s just remember this: these recommendations aren’t meant to make our lives harder. They aren’t meant to tell you how to parent your children, to step on your toes, to delay “milestones”, nor create “mommy wars”. They are meant to protect our children in a time when we cannot: a car accident.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, ‘motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of children from ages 1 to 14.  About 50% of these deaths to children under 5 involved children that were unrestrained.  Of those that were restrained, misuse is reported in 80-95% of cases.  Injuries requiring hospitalization are even more common, and many involve the head, neck, and spine.  Some of these injuries are permanent.’

Here are some links to check out on your own:
http://www.nhtsa.gov/ChildSafety/step3

http://www.car-safety.org/faq.html#Q7

http://www.babycenter.com/404_when-should-my-child-switch-from-a-car-seat-to-a-booster-sea_1384636.bc

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Making Life Easier, Part II

I saw this on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and decided that I HAD to do it.

I’ve been planning our menu by the month for a long time now. I find it easier to do; that way I know we aren’t having the same thing every week, and I also can shop sales easier because I can see what I’m going to need in the next few weeks.

But this takes it to a whole new level.

This binder is a meal planner for the YEAR. Now, before you tune out, listen: you don’t have to plan your whole year in advance. It just has it available to you so you can easily sit down once a month, gather all your recipes and write down what you are planning on for that month.


Behind each month are weekly shopping lists, and then behind that are recipe cards for the dishes you are making. Once a month you gather everything, put it in your binder and that’s it! You don’t have to put the recipes in there that you have in books; just the ones you find online or have floating around on a card, that way its all in one place come dinner time.

Best yet? BOLD Turquoise (what an awesome blog name is that?) has this all as a FREE download. To read how to put your binder together and download her template, visit her blog!

Making Life Easier, Part I

Raise your hand if checklists make you happy.

I’m about to rock your world, then.

Background: I have a large house. I have a family room, a schoolroom/playroom, kitchen, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a loft. And 3 children that make is their MISSION to make it as messy as possible. When we hire housekeepers, it takes 2 women 4.5 hours to clean my house. That means it would take me 9.

Raise your hand if you have 9 hours to clean your house.

*crickets*

Enter this checklist! Now, does this list entail everything you possible need to do to make your house spotless? No. You won’t be scrubbing baseboards or cleaning blinds with this. This list is intended to help you get it to a manageable level. I suppose if you lived in a smaller home, this would be perfect for you to get everything you needed done! For me, it actually takes me closer to 2.5-3 hours to do everything on it. Plus, you end up with 2 clean loads of laundry! Hallelujah!

I do this on Friday, that way I can enjoy Saturday with my family instead of doing household chores. Sure, my children are running along behind me the whole time, but Fridays are cleaning days and I don’t feel bad about it. 🙂

So, if you’d like this list for yourself, check out Money Saving Mom for your free, downloadable checklist!

Letting go.


6 years ago, I remember walking into Babies R’ Us with an idea in my head of what I thought I would need for a newborn. My first newborn. While most of the things I selected didn’t help much (I seriously think there should be a mentoring program for new moms and those scanner guns…what first time mom KNOWS what they need?!?), this car seat was one of five things I actually used.
6 years ago, I received it as a gift at my shower. I cried. At the time, to say we were “financially strapped” would be an understatement. So to be gifted this thing that I needed for my child but couldn’t afford on my own was too much for my pregnant, hormonally-driven emotions to handle. Over 5 years, it brought these precious cherubs home with me:

So, today I am taking this car seat down to Babies R Us and trading it in. Two times a year, BRU hosts a ‘Trade It In’ event where you can take old baby gear and trade it in for a 25% off coupon towards a new item. London needs a new car seat, so I’m going to trade this in.

I really don’t know why I’m having such a hard time with it! I’m not a pack rat. I don’t hold on to things because “I might need them” or for memories, unless they are super special like coming-home outfits for newborns, etc. I think its hard because all three of my precious babies have walked through our door for the first time in this seat, snuggled up 6 lb balls of wonder and spit-up. I look at it, and I can remember each of those moments (minus London’s, thank to the haze and blackout memory loss due to postpartum depression). I have pictures of each one of them in the hospital, snuggled in their seats, ready to come home. Honestly, its been sitting in our garage for almost a year. Haven’t thought about it once until I decided to part with it.

I must let it go. I know that once its over, I won’t think about the seat again; I know I won’t wonder if I made the wrong choice and beat myself up for giving it away. It’s just a car seat…an old, dirty one at that. I will be bringing home a brand new, cheery, fun one home for my princess.

So, it begins. The slow, sometimes agonizing process of letting a life I’ve known for the past six years (babies! babies everywhere!) slip away. I’m excited for the new roads ahead, but I can’t help but have a little sorrow over my once-upon-a-time babies.