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Book Review – Charlie Brown

cbrownIn honor of the Peanuts teaser trailer’s release we have been exposing the boys to Snoopy and his friends. Three new Peanuts books cover great explorers, heroes and inventors.

What’s the Big Idea, Charlie Brown? focuses on the gang throwing a party to honor history’s greatest inventions. Of course while everyone comes up with a favorite, Charlie Brown has trouble since he can’t think of any big ideas. Don’t worry it works out (sort of) for him in the end.

Where Did You Go, Charlie Brown? deals with a day of adventuring by the Peanuts in the great outdoors. We learn about Lewis & Clark, Columbus and Neil Armstrong plus a female explorer. The book shies away from small pox and slavery, but keeps things more fun.

Who Cares, Charlie Brown? delves into civil and human rights told through the prism of a baseball game. Thankfully, Charlie Brown is manager so we don’t see him miss the ball. We learn about Martin Luthor King and Rosa Parks and that Charlie Brown doesn’t actually have to take the field to be a hero.

Each books features activity pages at the end.And yes the books maintain the traits we have come to expect from the Peanuts characters especially, Lucy and Peppermint Patty. (please note it is possible that since I have rediscovered these guys that Lucy may have borderline personality disorder).

Book Review – Rock & Roll Highway

9780805094732Occasionally, when in the car, I flip on the tunes and see if LTD digs the song. I have the station set to classics from the 60s,70s, and 80s. He requests the Beatles since it is one of the only bands he has heard and remembered, but I tell him that I can’t control the radio’s playlist. However, my quest to have the boys not listen to One Direction and Miley Cyrus now has a cool new book. Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story by his son Sebastian Robertson with illustrations by Adam Gustavson provides a great gateway to get LTD to listen to some cool tunes. The simple biography follows the Canadian musician and songwriter on his journey to legend. The tale features some really interesting tidbits that I had no idea about including how young he was when he started and his work with Bob Dylan. The highlight of the book was then showing clips of The Last Waltz to LTD so he could enjoy. Of course he enjoyed them for only so long before wanting to watch what we normally watch on youtube, which is Batman cartoons. The good news is that now when we listen to music in the car he asks, “is the Robber Robbyson?” instead of the Beatles. 

Father sings to his dying newborn son

Good luck not rolling a tear on this one. here.

Product Review – Play Mat Shirt

etsy2The Grandma got me something cool for the holidays but sometime there is a price to be paid for cool. She found a shirt on etsy that has a track for Matchbox cars on the back. Once you put it on you are forced to lie face down while the children drive on you. It is pretty cool and if you trick your brain enough it feels like a day at the spa with hot stone massage, however the price spoken of earlier involves the carpet not being vacuumed enough. This one of the products that I secretly hate because it falls into the category of “I should have thought of that.” 

Book Review – Alex’s Ten-Dollar Adventure

ATDA_webThe Nana used to tell me tales of getting money and her father making her put a little in the bank. I have tried to do the same with the boys, but since LTD isn’t getting an allowance yet we he isn’t quite ready for the big schmoola speech. However, he does go to the bank with me and has a limited understanding of the concept (Daddy, why don’t you just go to the bank? is said, every time he hears that I don’t’ have any money). Wendy Bailey’s new book Alex’s Ten-Dollar Adventure with illustrations by Ernie D’Elia is part of our financial education. The tale focuses on Alex receiving some cash for his upcoming birthday and wanting to buy a toy with it. However, on his way to the store he is exposed to the concept of the impulse buy. As with all Beyond the Car Seat book reviews I won’t spoil the ending but needless to say it involves his actual birthday (another extra thick birthday envelope) and a valuable lesson (pun intended). The story concludes with insturctiosn on how to make your own piggy bank out of a plastic bottle. Or you could return the bottle for a nickel but you wouldn’t have a place to put it.

This Worksite has had 0 Days Without Accident

HYL-75101-5When LTD was around two we were told to get ready for a lot of bumps and bruises. This was under the umbrella of boys will be boys. However, LTD never really did get all that banged up and he wasn’t very physical in a way that would even result in the scraps of youth (telling him to be quiet was a whole other issue). Where LTD failed BB has taken on the challenge. Not only does that kid get a ton of bumps, scraps and bruises, but he seems to group them in spurts. At school we are asked to sign the incident report on a semi-daily basis, however a few of them are because another “friend” was at fault. You have to love picking him up and told that one of his friends bit him. BB’s favorite place, it seems, to get a nice bump is on his forehead or temple as he clocks himself on a table because of his near constant motion. He doesn’t really get all that banged up in the house or I would bubble wrap everything. Thankfully he hasn’t had any serious or even band-aid worthy bump, but it is sad to see how quickly his running laughter can turn to tears. 

You Know You Want To Push It

skullbttonFor BB’s first real Halloween at The Mommy’s office he took to it like a pro. Wearing the same lion costume that LTD donned at that age he ran everywhere without fear of the dark corners. He kept holding his plastic pumpkin candy holder and kept putting treats in it with precision (even if he won’t eat any of it, #IWon’tChew). However, all the cool things at the office party including the balloon room and Halloween movies might as well been invisible. Why? Because the only thing that he cared about was pressing the button on a skeleton in a casket that lit up and played spooky music. The good news is that we now have the answer to the question, does a toddler ever get tired of pressing a button to make a skeleton light up? Happy Halloween!

Book Review – The Ghosts Go Haunting

ghostssssYou would think it was because of Halloween, but LTD really digs ghosts, monsters and the like throughout the year. The Ghosts Go Haunting satisfy’s his things that go bump in the night fix nicely. The tale, written by Helen Ketteman with illustrations by Adam Record features all manner of ghosts, goblins and mummies. The story focuses on an ever increasing number of spooky creatures haunting a school. The tune, which took me a long time to remember as it was one of those things I knew I knew but could not quite place, is The Ants Go Marching. The Ghosts go haunting one by one and so forth. The zombies go stumbling ten by ten is perhaps the best or section especially when sung out loud. I mean how many times during the week do you get to sing, brains, brains? The art is colorful and more silly than spooky which is important as lately, LTD has been biting off more than he can chew in the watch scary things department. It is a little unclear why the creatures are focusing their attention on a school, but LTD did enjoy the section where the principal freaks out.

Evenflo Recall

careseatEvenflo to expand harness buckle recall
Evenflo has recently expanded its recall to address a safety defect regarding harness buckles to now include the “Embrace 35” rear facing infant car seat. The defect can cause the harness buckles on these seats to become difficult or impossible to unlatch. A sticking or stuck harness buckle in a rear facing infant car seat poses a significant safety risk to the child in the event of a motor vehicle crash or any other emergency situation where the infant must be quickly removed from the car seat.
Evenflo’s recall expansion addresses more than 202,346 infant seat buckles in the Embrace 35 model manufactured between December 2011 and May 2013. Evenflo previously recalled more than 1.3 million convertible and booster car seats for the same safety defect.
What does this mean for me?
Letting parents, guardians, and caregivers know about this recall is crucial, and you’re a large part of that. Your spreading the word about the harness buckle safety defect to your followers can make the difference in a child’s life. If their car seat is affected by this recall, parents are encouraged to contact Evenflo to get the free replacement buckle as soon as possible. Follow these steps:
• Contact Evenflo for instructions on how to obtain a free remedy for your child safety seat;
• Always properly restrain infants and children in a car seat or booster until the child is big enough to wear a seat belt properly;
• Assess the operation of your child safety seat harness buckle;
• Consider acquiring or using an alternative car seat for transporting children until your Evenflo seat is fixed;
• Install the replacement buckle on your Evenflo seat as soon as you receive it.
• Register your child safety seat and file safety complaints with NHTSA at safercar.gov.
Over 7.4 million car seats have been recalled due to this harness buckle safety defect, including Graco and Baby Trend models. Share this with your followers and friends and encourage those affected by the recall to reach out to Evenflo.

You can read the full recall report on our website SaferCar.gov.

Book Review – And Two Boys Booed

judityhWhen you hear the words, by the author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, you take notice. I always wonder why Judith Viorst didn’t write more but than I realized it was none of my business. And Two Boys Booed is her brand new book with illustrations from Sophie Blackall and is very different from Alexander. The first thing you notice is that it is a flap book which makes for more direct reader involvement it also means I have to keep it away from BB for the immediate future (#onemanwreckingcrew). The tale centers around an boy (name unknown) as he prepares to sing in the school talent show. The other students each do their act and through repetitive phrases we see the boy totally ready to sing and completely without nerves. As with all Beyond the Car Seat reviews I will not spoil the ending except to say that his previous boasts that he was not nervous were not exactly on the money and kids do in fact boo (which I like because it is realistic) but I betray no confidence in concluding that it has a happy ending.