The first time my husband and I installed a car seat (NINE years ago), it did not go well. He tried to install it while I impatiently kept asking, “Do you know what you’re doing? Are you sure you know what you are doing?”
He thought he did.
He did not.
We ended up driving an hour to a friend’s house in Connecticut and as we came around the final bend to their house, the car seat tipped way over – almost landing on its side. Oh my gosh. We sucked.
Thankfully, our friends were seasoned parents and taught us how to properly install a car seat that would be safe and not simulate an amusement park ride for our baby. And since then, we have had lots of experience installing car seats. Rick is a champ at it, while my strengths are more geared to assembling and disassembling a pack ‘n play in record time. I hope someday there will be a game show where we can showcase these talents.
Now when Britax asked me to review its Boulevard 70-G3 Convertible Car Seat, I immediately thought, “A CLEAN CAR SEAT!! YAHOO!! SEND IT MY WAY!!”
And I can officially report that it is indeed very clean. I mean, obviously not for long.
I liked the seat right away because it just looks super safe. In fact there is so much padding and protection, I was worried it would bother my twins but instead 3-year-old Harlowe described it as cozy. Here’s what else the twins had to say…
(To recap video: Harlowe likes the Britax Car Seat. Chase likes talking about poop. Baby Cash doesn’t talk.)
Another thing I like… all Britax seats have safety features that far exceed federal standards with serious side impact and head protection. Head injuries are the leading cause of vehicle crash-related deaths for children up to 12 years old so it’s vital to protect that precious cargo. Plus, the seat diverts crash forces away from your child and minimizes movement to keep them safe and in place.
I know sometimes people long for the good ole days when you threw your small children in the back of the station wagon and just let them fly with every turn. But I like to worry about things and a car seat like this makes me worry less.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Britax. The opinions and text are 100% mine.
We all flew North this weekend for a Bar Mitzvah.
I booked our flights and then found out Florida schools don’t get Columbus Day off which is crazy because in the spirit of patriotism, we really should honor the guy who thought he discovered America.
We usually fly Jet Blue but didn’t this time because the flight times didn’t work.
So if you ever look at your small children and think to yourself, “Hey, I don’t really need those TV screens and free snacks on the Jet Blue flight. I’ll fly any airline.” I’m here to tell you that oh my god, you do. You really do.
We always make an impact when we fly.
I had one guy say to me, “Look at you! Jesus.” Now the “Look at you” part could have meant, “Look at you hot sexy mama!” until he got to the “Jesus” part which seemed kind of judgy and mean.
But then another woman said to me, “I love your family. So cute. So many” which was a lot warmer and much appreciated.
As soon as we landed in NYC, Dylan shouted out, “My homeland!!” so maybe she doesn’t consider herself a Floridian yet.
Our flight was delayed because of bad weather which put us in Manhattan on the way to Philadelphia at rush hour with hungry children. Now usually Rick and I would be ridiculously hopeful and think, “Hey, we’ll just get to Philly speedy quick and eat there!” but thank god, a day of travel had worn down our optimism and we stopped for dinner at the Cowgirl Cafe in the West Village.
It was fun to be back in our old hood, and we even let this random woman hold Cash so we could eat.
Of course, we put an ankle monitor on him! Or maybe it was an ankle bracelet. I can’t remember. I was just so happy to be eating.
On the way out of town, I took a photo of the Freedom Tower which is really beautiful and impressive in person.
Then we went to my nephew Jake’s Bar Mitzvah the next day which was very fun.
In defense of Rick’s hair, it needs to be cut and there was a lot of moisture in the air. And in defense of Cash sleeping through the hora, he’s a baby.
Mostly, I spent my time trying to keep track of my children and listening to people tell my how great my dad is. I mean, people can not stop going on about the guy. How nice he is. How great he is with the kids. How much they love his track suits. I was exhausted from it so I asked my dad to be a little less awesome. He’s going to work on it.
Meanwhile, Cash slept and drooled on anyone he could. But I think his favorite might have been his Zaydie.
And we even got a family photo out of it all….
Next family photo, I am totally stealing Dylan’s red carpet pose.
Remember when I couldn’t remember to feed 4 month old Cash? I finally remembered! Okay, not so much “remembered” as “outsourced.”
I have all these children. Why wouldn’t I put them to work? Well, it all went very well. Cash loved his oatmeal. And the kids loved feeding it to him.
You know what I didn’t exactly love? That very night, Cash barely slept. He cried most of the night, writhing around in discomfort.
Turns out, we went a little heavy on the oatmeal.
So if you are ever feeding a baby solids for the first time…
1. Feed in the morning (we fed him just before bedtime).
2. Make the rice cereal or oatmeal very liquidy (we made it super, stick to your baby ribs thick).
3. Only give the baby a little (I’m not sure how much we shoveled into poor Cash – heck, I was in charge of the video).
4. Don’t ask a woman with 5 kids for advice on feeding or child rearing. See above for proof.
The other morning, we were attempting to get all five kids out the door. Rick froze for a minute, not sure what to tackle next.
I said to him, “All kids are dressed and sunscreened. Those two bags don’t go with us but we need the brown bag. Dylan is right there getting a drink of water. Summer is already in the car. I’m changing the baby. You take Chase and Harlowe to the bathroom and get on their shoes.”
With a refocused purpose, Rick got moving again.
Shortly after, Dylan said to me, “You know sometimes it seems like daddy doesn’t know what to do next.”
“Well, it is a lot to get this family anywhere. And Daddy and I have different skills. I’m just a little better at knowing everything we need to do before we leave the house. Daddy is better at other stuff and he takes care of those things.”
“Oh I get it,” Dylan said. “Like rhyming. He’s really good at rhyming.”
“Yes, daddy totally handles all the rhyming.”
By the way, when he isn’t rhyming, he’s doing the news. Here’s Rick’s most recent promo. After you watch it, you will think two things:
1. Damn you Rick and your super photogenic abilities.
2. Finally, Kelcey gets a little recognition for something other than breastfeeding at the grocery store.
There comes a point in the “move in” process where you sort of just give up and some of your boxes blend in to your everyday life. I mean, who needs an end table when you have a box sitting right there? I don’t know why Pottery Barn doesn’t showcase more cardboard furniture.
Our garage has been the epicenter of moving chaos and it was driving me nuts. We finally asked one of Rick’s aunts to come help us with the kids so we could try to plow through it and organize it. I basically put a moratorium on all spending (besides necessities like food, mortgage payments, candy and wine) until we cleaned it out.
And we did it. It took hours but we got it done. It was such a relief to walk through there and not being clobbered by a falling baby gate or gardening hoe. And no, I don’t garden.
I knew my kids were going to be very excited to see it all organized and get easy access to their bikes and scooters. As soon as they got home from school, I asked…
“So what do you think of the garage?”
“Did you do something to it?” asked Dylan.
Hmm… well, maybe she’s not my most observant kid.
I decided to focus on Summer. “Summer, do you love the garage now?”
“When are you going to clean it out?” she responded.
Okay. Surely, I could count on my 3-year-old twins.
“Do you guys like the garage?” I asked.
They both proceeded to tell me they did not want carrots with their dinner that night.
“Rick, the kids could care less about the garage. Doesn’t it make you happy to see it all neat and organized?”
“Honey, whatever makes you happy, makes me happy.” That is code for, “I really don’t give a shit. Please don’t make me clean out another room.”
So I finally turned to the man who would understand…
“Dad, how good does the garage look?”
“Terrific! I noticed it immediately,” he responded.
Now that’s the kind of support and encouragement I need.