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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.

DIY All Hallows Eve

legosSince The Mommy is once again making an awesome costume for LTD, I thought this was interesting.

Jenna Fernandes, CEO of CareBooker.com, the “Open Table” of family and pet care services, offers ideas for parents to help kids make their own popular Halloween costumes.

From the scariest villain to a classic super hero, here are the top 5 DIY trends in Halloween costumes for 2014:

  1. Frozen: There should be no surprise here. The Disney movie captured the hearts of millions of kids (and adults!). With Elsa costumes flying off the shelf, you may need to act fast on securing your little one’s costume before they sell out. You can make your own making a cape out of magenta fabric, using a blue princess dress and finish by styling your child’s hair in braids.
  1.  Maleficent: Disney’s evil queens never go out of style, and Maleficent is the next character to add to the iconic list of costumes. This one is easy to put together if you can’t find it in the stores – look for a long black dress, black crown, and wings.
  1.  The Lego Movie: Think colorful handmade cardboard boxes – this is something kids can help to make their Lego costume their own. Plus, it’s a great group costume idea!
  1.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Not only is this nostalgic for parents, the new movie brought on a whole new generation of fans. Paint a disposable baking pan green for a makeshift shell and add a colored bandana around their head to complete the look.
  1. Spiderman/Captain America: Superheroes are a staple for any Halloween and this year is no exception.  Your little one wants to save the world – and this isn’t a bad thing! Here’s a tip – a lot of stores have Spiderman and Captain America Pajamas, so if you have young child that will be dressing up for Halloween, you may want to opt for the PJs rather than a full costume.  This keeps them warm and comfortable, and they will be ready for bed when you get home.

Product Review – Elektrokidz


We recently had BB evaluated based on our Pediatrician’s recommendation, but BB isn’t really delayed so the team told me they were not needed. However, the physical therapist commented on his high energy level and that we needed to keep him active. As we don’t have a lot of room in our condo it was time to boogie. Elektrokidz look like troll dolls from the fads of decades past, but no troll ever shook their money maker like these guys. They come in 6 different styles including silver and gold all with funky hair. When you crank up the tunes the little guys dance (or more accurately their hair dances) to the beat. No two dance alike and don’t get me started on what happens if their hair touches each other. I’m not sure how long these bad boys will hold BB’s attention but for now he is moving and grooving. 

What if

what ifLTD has developed a very specific set of questions that he asks frequently, I mean very frequently the questions are all different but they all begin the same. “What if…” It doesn’t stop ever. The topics range from the ridiculous to the theoretical possibilities. He focuses a lot of brain power on the morbid, what if that person was dead, what if their head fell off, what if they came back as a zombie? Truthfully, I have no problem with the creepy stuff, it is the mundane that I am losing patience with. What if the car won’t start? What if we didn’t pick up Mommy? I find myself answering and then going down a rabbit hole of scenarios and end with an exasperated, “then that would be our new life and we would deal with it.”Sadly, it has reached the point where my blood pressure rises when I hear any sentence that starts with the chilling phrase, what if?