What it’s REALLY like to Transition your Toddler from a Car Seat to a Booster Seat

As most of you know, my son recently turned 4 years old in June. After weeks and weeks of talking to my husband prior to his birthday about how big he is and how he is outgrowing his car seat, we decided to make the transition to a Booster Seat.

I know! Oh my gosh!

These days, you have to seriously consider every option when considering life changing decisions for your kids. Questions like; When you start solid foods? When to change their car seat? Should I let my son do karate? Is now, in line to check out, really the time to let my kid have a tantrum, or do I go straight to monster mom? Should I switch him to a booster seat?

Unfortunately, the world expects you to do what they want you to do. They want you to raise your children exactly the same way they raised theirs. The days of “Mom instinct” are gone!

So, of course, when considering to transition my son, I got major anxiety about it. But my son kept telling me, “Mom! It’s squishing me! Mom! My weenie hurts! Mom!” I felt so bad! I would loosen the straps to relieve some of the pressure, but then it was too loose for my comfort on his shoulders.

Finally, I said screw it! I looked at the height and weight of the seat he was in versus the booster I wanted to get. He met the requirements for the booster, even though he still met the requirements for the car seat too. I looked it up online and finally decided to ask his pediatrician when he went in for his 4-year wellness check up.

Check out my post about the MEAN kid! http://wp.me/p8aYjD-dz

What his pediatrician said surprised me!

He said, “Well, what do you think? What is your gut telling you?” I thought about that for a second. Part of me wanted to snap back with, “What the hell are the regulations?” But instead, I told him that I wanted to move him into a booster seat for ease and comfort.

So he told me to do it! He said, and I quote, “Mothers are starting to ignore their maternal instinct to do what is “right” by other moms. Don’t let society tell you how to raise your child.” He then went on to tell me that if he meets the requirements for the booster seat, then there must have been tests on that booster seat to make it safe for children of his age, height, and weight.

Well, that was good enough for me!

So we switched it, and about a month later I found this article about “When should my child switch from a car seat to a booster seat?” from Baby Center. This quote is from their article.

“You can safely switch your child to a booster seat if she’s at least 4 years old and she weighs 40 pounds or more or has grown too tall for her car seat (when her shoulders are higher than the top set of harness-strap slots in the car seat’s back).” -Stephanie Tombrello Child passenger safety specialist

That is exactly what happened to my son! He weighs about 40-42 lbs, his shoulders were right at the harness-strap slots, and he is 4 years old! Plus, he is a boy, and it was hurting his boy parts… That is reason enough for me. I want my son to be comfortable!

In conclusion…

I am not going to ask for your opinions on this because frankly, I am just going to follow my own instincts and ignore all of your suggestions anyway.

BUT, I do want to know, what are the funniest things your children have said to you! I want to write a post about the craziest things we hear come out of their tiny mouths.

My personal favorite is, “Mommy, why are people fat?

Super Spotlight, Rachel Wilser

“My toddler twins are some of the worst sleepers on the planet, and every few months hubs thinks he has a new plan to fix it. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work, and I end up 10 times more tired than before. -Rachel Wilser”

Friends, meet Rachel Wilser. She is an incredible mom of twins that you just HAVE to meet! Here is a little summary of her life, followed by a Q&A with cute pictures of said twins. I hope you enjoy!

Rachel Wilser's Twins

In any case, let me give you the brief summary of my life. The briefest summary is to say that I live the life of a vagabond. I grew up in the Midwest (which is why I love both beer and casseroles so much), and in my mid-twenties got an itch that if I didn’t do something dramatic with my life I might live forever in the same town. (Which sounded tragic at 25, but at 33 sounds delightful.) So I moved to DC. Where I knew exactly 3 people, and 2 of them lived with me.

I nannied, bartended, and scraped my way through my first year until I decided to go back to school for an M.Ed. I spent the next year student teaching and in grad school full time, but was able to finish my program in just a year. Then I got engaged that fall and married in 2012.

We lived a pretty unremarkable life–normal, slightly boring, but satisfying. The fall after I turned 30 the hubs convinced me it was time to attempt procreation, and after a few month my overachieving uterus produced not one, but two babies (yes, they’re twins, yes, they’re boys, yes, they’re identical). Shortly after our boys turned 1, the hubs called me from work one day and asked how I felt about moving to Germany. So now, we live in Germany with three toddlers–two humans, one canine.

What does M. Ed stand for? Can you elaborate?

Masters of Education; I attended a program at The George Washington University that was specifically geared towards preparing teachers for urban schools.What kind of puppy do you have? (Do you have any pictures?)

What kind of puppy do you have?

Sadie, Rachel Wilser's lab mix

Sadie is a lab mix; she’s a rescue, so we don’t know what her mix is, but we joke that it’s shark because she has a serious overbite!

Do you enjoy living in Germany? What is your favorite and least favorite part?

I do enjoy living in Germany; I’ve always considered myself independent and self-reliant, and I think that this experience is stretching those limits. My joke answer to my favorite part of living in Germany is that there’s never an inappropriate time to have a coffee or a beer. The real answer is that it’s so easy and affordable to do so much traveling; our boys will have full passports before they’re in kindergarten! My least favorite part is definitely the distance from family and close friends. I’m really close to my parents and brother, so only seeing them once a year is tricky. Luckily, it’s 2017 and I can FaceTime the crap out of them. =)

Your life sounds kind of crazy, how do you keep it together? Do you have any advice for moms around the world to help keep their cool?

Twin boys, playing

Confession time: I’m actually super old school, and am honestly the only person I know, besides my mom, who still uses a daily paper calendar. I don’t really count her, though, because she uses those super tiny ones that you just slid in your purse. Whereas mine is a little larger so that I can fit playdates, doctor’s appointments, deadlines, social commitments, etc. on it. It’s color coded because I’m into that. But seriously–when people ask me if we’re free to do something that’s the first place I look. It helps me stay balanced, organized, and prepared. My advice for moms is one of my favorite quotes: “Comparison is the thief of joy”. It’s easy to look at someone else and they think have more, but a) you have no idea if that’s true or not, and b) you’re doing great, too, mama! Just look around at all you have and find your joy in it.

Why did you start blogging, and what is your niche?

I started blogging because people always ask a ton of questions about twins, but it’s evolved slightly from there. I would say that my niche is family travel and raising multiples. It’s important to me that we’re still having fun, and didn’t end our previous lives to raise children.

Even for those who know you, what is something about you that usually surprises people when they find out?

This is totally random, but my parents (mostly just my mom) were really strict//vigilant about the shows and movies we watched as kids, so there are gobs of movies from the late 80s and early 90s that everyone talks about all the time that I still haven’t seen.

Smiling Twins, See Rachel's post!Alright, now you know the drill! Follow these links to get more from Rachel Wilser!

Blog: https://twokidsforthepriceofone.wordpress.com/
IG: https://www.instagram.com/rve0423/ (or @rve0423, whatever is easier)
Pinterest: These are just a few boards that I feel would be most relevant. https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/holidays-celebrate/
https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/tm/
https://www.pinterest.com/rve423/planes-trains-and-buses/

Super Spotlight, Gingy Love

Hello, Friends!

It has been quite a while since I posted a Super Spotlight! Today, I want to introduce you to, Meg Miller. She is the founder of Gingy Love. A blog about life and love. I’ve really enjoyed Meg’s blog, and I hope that after you get to know her here, you will check out her blog and fall in love too.

Meg from Gingy Love and her daughter.

Here is what Meg has to say!

My name is Megan, but I prefer Meg, I am a young mom, having my daughter Tinley at 23 but I look like I’m 16 so I constantly get stares still. I am also a fur momma to a Shih Tzu named Dean, after James Dean, and hopefully to a new puppy soon. I am married to my high school sweetheart (we met at 16) and we are stronger in our marriage today than in our whole relationship. We just bought our first home and plan on doing some minor remodeling projects.

By day I’m a bank teller and by night I’m a cupcake lady and blogger extraordinaire. Baking really helps me unwind but also allows me to be creative. Blogging lets me stretch my writing muscles since I did go to school for journalism and have my degree in English and Political Science. I put my career as a political journalist on the back burner to be a mom and right now I don’t think anyone would take that job. I enjoy my small town life and I am glad I’m raising my daughter here.

Gingy Love Family

Find more spotlights here, and hop over to my contact page if you or someone you know deserves to be spotlighted!

Super Spotlight, Lindsay Prieksat

Hello, world!

Lindsay P.

Let me introduce you to Lindsay Prieksat. I love meeting other women with the same name as me. Well, I don’t know if it is all in my head, or if we really are all wonderful and awesome! I asked Lindsay, the founder of Just Simply Happenstance, to give us a brief summary and answer a quick Q&A.

So, here’s a little bit of info about Lindsay:Just the Kids

I am a Mama to three cute littles! We have a four-year-old boy, and two baby girls: an 18-month-old and 4 months old. We have our hands full!
My husband and I are both active duty Nebraska Army National Guard. I have been a recruiter for just over five years and I love what I do.
I’ve been in the service for 12 years, and will definitely retire with it!

I started my lifestyle blog officially this year and named it, Just Simply Happenstance. I started blogging two years ago, but couldn’t narrow down anything about it, haha! It was taking me forever to figure out WORDPRESS, photography, what I wanted to write about, etc…Then once I went on my maternity leave with our last baby, Paisley, something just clicked. I felt like I had the need and want to blog. I fell in love with everything about it and suddenly had the confidence to do it! That’s why I went with, Just Simply Happenstance:) Took me a long time, but I made the dive and I’m so excited to continue this crazy journey.

I also do photography part time…when I have the time:)

Being a working mama who has her hands in about everything can be difficult at times, but I’m slowly figuring it out:) My husband is amazing and really helps around the house, so I am blessed to have that help.

Lindsay Prieksat

What made you want to join the National Guard?

I LOVE getting this question asked because the National Guard is my entire life!  Well, when I am not spending time with my hubby and our three crazy littles!  I joined the National Guard when I was just 18 years old and a Senior in High School. As we all know, we have no idea what we want to be at just 18 years old, but we think we do:)
Growing up in a small midwestern town, I have always had a love for our country in more ways than one. Showing pride and believing in our nation was instilled in me through the community, family, and friends.  I just knew I needed to give back in some way, and I fell in love with the mission of the National Guard!
However, I didn’t think it would turn into a career.  In fact, I thought I would get out of the service after doing my initial 6-year enlistment.  But, here I am 12 years later and a full-time recruiter for the organization.  I am so glad I took the plunge at such a young age as it has helped shape my life in such a positive way.

Is the National Guard how you met your husband?

Yes!  We met in 2009 in the Chemical Company and I am so thankful that we both landed in that unit together.  I am beyond blessed that somehow and someway we started dating. We have so much in common, including a love for our country.  The military is a huge part of our lives, and I love that we get to both share some of the same experiences.
It’s great having a spouse who actually knows what you are talking about in all aspects of my job. The military can get confusing at times with the customs and culture that we experience! Having a husband who is also a military member is extremely beneficial with communication for the both of us.

With your life so crazy busy you must have found some way to relax at the end of the day. What do you do to take care of yourself?Just the girls

I LOVE to workout.  Of course, it is difficult to squeeze in a workout, but when I do, it makes me feel so much better. I like doing just about anything active: running, walking, lifting weights, cardio, etc..However, I recently started taking a barre class that I really enjoy!  It’s such a stress reliever!  I’m also a big believer that you will be the best version of yourself when you are healthy and in shape. For me, I’m a much happier and confident individual when I feel good about my body.

You mentioned that your husband is a big help. Does he help cook? If so, what is your favorite thing he can prepare?

I can honestly say he does most of the cooking…score, right? He can cook just about anything, but I am in love with his love of the grill!  Our two older kids and I both love grilled meats and vegetables.  Some of our favorites are chicken and potatoes or pork chops and asparagus.  Our 4 year old just told us the other day that he only likes pork chops with black on them (from the grill). Looks like we must be doing something right! Haha!

What is something about you that always surprises people when they find out?

A lot of times people are surprised that I do photography part time.  I think mainly because I work for the Army National Guard and photography is so different than my full-time job!  It’s fun getting to photograph weddings and family sessions as I get to do something totally different. I’m very passionate about photography, and love being able to do it for more than just a hobby!

If you could spend the day with a famous figure, alive or dead, who would it be?LP Baby

I’m a huge Jackie O fan.  When I was in the fifth grade, I chose to dress up as her for a class activity, and I started admiring her from that point on.  She lived such an interesting and hidden life, and she has always been someone I have loved to learn about. And let’s be honest, her style and elegance was captivating:)

If you enjoyed getting to know Lindsay, then you should check her out her website and Instagram:

www.justsimplyhappenstance.com @lindsayprieksat
Precious moments

As you might have noticed; It’s not Sunday. When I was preparing this spotlight on Lindsay Prieksat I decided that Sundays were not the best days for spotlights. So I am changing the name to Super Spotlights! If you like it, let me know. If you think we should change it, put your suggestions in the comments. For now, you can still find all the spotlights here.

15 Names to Consider when Naming your Baby

There are hundreds and hundreds of blog posts out there about what you should name your baby.Henry and Homer

It’s a really big decision to make! I remember when I was trying to look up what to name my son, we were overwhelmed with the number of names there are out there. It was important to us that it was unique and special. We thought about family names, names without nicknames, names of famous people, etc.

One thing that helped us in picking a name was the yelling test.

Henry namesI like to make sure the name flows when I yell it. It just sounds nice, and let’s be honest, you will probably yell it a lot! Even though my kid is turning four in just a couple weeks! Oh. My. Gosh! I like to keep a running log of cool names. You know, just in case.. So instead of 50 most popular girl names, or 20 old Victorian names, or 100 names starting with the letter M; I am just going to give you a list of names that I like.

This list started when I found a name that I truly loved, and didn’t want to forget. I won’t tell you which one, but it was the name that started it all. Since then, I just started a list of interesting names that I have come across in my travels that are unique to me, but not totally off the wall!

So here it goes, in no specific order, here is a list of 15 baby GIRL names you should consider:

  1. Evee
  2. Caroline
  3. Amelia
  4. Audrey
  5. Sophie
  6. Elenore
  7. Hazel
  8. Shayne
  9. Raleigh
  10. Daisy
  11. Rose
  12. Ruby
  13. Penelope
  14. Margo
  15. Georgia

Now for the BOYS:

  1. Killean
  2. Montgomery
  3. Que
  4. Ender
  5. Hyrum
  6. Nikko
  7. Oliver
  8. Henry
  9. Monte
  10. Nicholas
  11. Kyler
  12. Rocky
  13. Finn
  14. Darlington
  15. Sebastion

Baby Feet

I hope you found this somewhat helpful! If you didn’t, well, I’m sorry. I hope you enjoyed some awesome throwback pictures of my little man. You might see a lot of those in the next couple weeks with his B-Day coming up! If you want to see more fun posts, check out my #realmomlife category!

Also, I would much appreciate it if you when to my Pinterest page and shared this pin!15 names

 

Sunday Spotlight, Jackie Hauer

HAPPY SUNDAY!

Welcome back my friends! Today I am so excited to tell you about another fellow blogger I have met. Her name is Jackie Hauer. Jackie is the creator and content curator of Haute Mess Life. When starting this process I got so excited when I started to get to know her better. Her website is so cute and exactly what I needed. She blogs about life, fitness, and style. She has a unique style that just draws me in. Here, why don’t you find out more for yourself.

Meet Jackie Hauer!

Haute Mess LifeI married my husband in 2005, a year and a half after we met at church. In 2007, we got pregnant with our first baby, who was born in July, more
than 12 weeks shy of his October due date. The pregnancy was tough, but it was nothing compared to the following 98 days in the NICU, with several surgeries and multiple close calls where we were told to round up the family to say their goodbyes. Thankfully, God had different plans and our boy made it. We were sent home with a long list of “he will never” statements, but armed with hope we set out to pray and work them away, one by one.
A year after that, we got pregnant with our second, and even though we had been assured that what happened with the first was not likely to reoccur, it did– so another hard pregnancy, with lots of Mess, miscarriage scares, and bed rest later, our second son was born.Boys will be boys
Flash forward to today,
we are raising 2 boys with a genetic condition who are also on the Autism spectrum, but are doing much better than any doctor could have imagined. They are all things wonderful, amazing, challenging, adorable, smart, strong-willed, and crazy rolled into one, and even though life is hard at times, I wouldn’t change any the wild ride they’ve taken us on or how we have been changed for the better as a result of being their parents.Family life
For the past 12 years I have owned and run an event planning company focused on weddings, which I launched in 2005. In addition to that, I recently launched a site aimed at women who are equal parts fashionista and train wreck, navigating life somewhere in between… balancing work demands, family life and relationships, while still trying to carve a little bit of time for self-care into their hectic days.
 Speaking of self-care, one of the things I write about is fitness, mainly because of my own health journey where I lost 130 pounds and went from a size 22 to a 4 in a year. I blogged about it here, if you want more info: http://www.hautemesslife.com/177-2/Weight loss
I hope you enjoyed meeting Jackie as much as I did! If you wish to know more about her, check out these links below! Want to read more spotlights? Click here! If YOU want to be spotlighted, click here.

Thank you, Lovelies!

10 MORE Reasons why I am Rocking Motherhood

Yes, you read that right. 10 MORE reasons!

If you are reading this and haven’t read my first post; 10 Reasons why I am Rocking Motherhood, then you need to click that link right now… When you are done, come back and enjoy 10 MORE reasons!

Rocking motherhood
Don’t mind my face. I like to partake in #nomakeupsaturdays

This week has been super crazy busy. Work was crazy and I have been busy every day after work. So I haven’t put much time into my blog this week. I don’t feel bad about it though. A lot of my time was spent Rocking Motherhood! Literally.

For example, today I took my son to an indoor bounce house park! It was a lot of fun! All of the pictures you will see in today’s posts are from that adventure.

Dino teethIt was just the two of us, and we went wild! There were a lot of bounce houses in there that “big” adults can’t go on. When I first asked if I can play with my son, the young teen at the counter didn’t even hesitate to say yes! I was so excited, I didn’t even read the rules. I was “too big” to play, but that girl didn’t know that! Bless her young heart. She made my day by inadvertently calling me skinny and letting me have one of the best days off with my kiddo. Thank you!

Close up

Now, why don’t we just dive in, shall we?

  1. I have full conversations with my son.
    1. Since day one, I have talked to my son about everything. I involve him in decisions, and I ask him complex questions. It’s important to me that he learns conversational skills.
  2. He gets a cookie when we go to the store.
    1. Our grocery store bakery gives out free cookies to young shoppers. It’s become sort of a tradition to get one every time they are available.
  3. I co-parent with my husband.
    1. My husband and I talk about every decision involving our son. When he asks for something, we make sure that both of us are on the same page. We are a team.
  4. I NEVER blame my husband or undermine his decisions.
    1. Sometimes we are not both around to discuss and coordinate our decisions. If for some reason I don’t agree with what my husband has settled on, I never undermine his decision by changing it or telling my son his dad was wrong. I support my husband, even if he is wrong. Ha!
  5. I teach my son manners.
    1. Not only Please and Thank you, but holding doors open, asking to be excused, and things like that.
  6. I use my shirt, his shirt, his dad’s shirt, any shirt to wipe his nose.
    1. Sometimes you don’t have a tissue around. That doesn’t mean I am going to let my son walk around with boogers on his face!
  7. I make my son clean up his toys.
    1. He hates it, but some day he will be thankful that I taught him to respect his things and pick up after himself.
  8. It’s not ALWAYS on the Disney Channel.
    1. My son likes to watch things on channels like Animal Planet, History, Discover, etc. I want him to know that there are more things to watch than Disney.
  9. A lot of the time it’s on the Disney Channel.
    1. But let’s be honest, Disney is life! So yes, we watch a lot of the Disney Channel in this house!
  10. We teach him about sports.
    1. Not all sports. Just the most important ones. Like Baseball, Football, and NASCAR. You know, the important ones, lol!

King of the world

Now real quick, since this weekend is Mother’s Day; and since I am obviously a mother… I thought that instead of a Sunday Spotlight, I would post this today. I love posts like this one! Do you?

So, no Sunday Spotlight post this week, but we will pick back up next week!

Tell me YOUR greatest accomplishment this past week!