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June 13, 2011


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You could just not go anywhere! That's my current plan since I can't muster up the energy to figure out which carseat is "best". I think it's a sound one.

That's a good looking family you've got there! (Seriously, you are ROCKING the pregnancy gorgeousness in a big way.) We also have a Marathon and, while we aren't facing anything even close to the Jenga game that is 3 kids in car seats, I cannot give it up. It won't fit in Marcus's truck and I had a similar freak out over the booster-ish seat we bought that was "good enough." Sure, it was fine in the aisles of Target, but when we installed it and put OUR CHILD in it? No, ma'am. I might have sold some stuff on Craigslist to fund another Britax...

Congrats on your raise! You are so good at financial planning. It restores my hope for our generation. ;)

I too had mini (or major) freak outs over the safety of car seats. I searched high and low until I could find a booster for Maggie that HAD a 5 point harness because let's face it - she's THREE and one little should belt just ain't gonna do it! I think I am the only mom in the daycare parking lot who still straps in her 3 (almost 4) year old unlike the other parents who let their kids simply use the shoulder belt but I just don't think it's enough right now.

Just a few more weeks and we will get to see pictures of your new little bundle o'baby boy!!!

With all due respect to the things that are important to you, I just can't get that worked up about car seats. My 3 year old could get in a car accident and be killed, even if he is in a car seat. He could fall down the stairs, he could be burned on the oven, he could fall off the playground equipment. Every single part of life is a risk, and I can't personally go through my life stressing about it. I'd go crazy.

That said, we all have to make the best decisions for our own families, so good for you for making the best decision for Kara that you can.

Hi Rachel - I agree that every part of life has its risks and that no good can come of stressing over every single thing. I also don't expect every parent to worry about the exact same things I do, so I would never judge anyone for using a booster in this scenario. But with Kara's age and the fact that we do a lot of highway driving, this car seat move was a big deal to us, and since I talked about it at length a few months back, I wanted to share the latest update with my readers.

Again, I wasn't trying to judge anyone with this entry. We should all make the choices for our families that best align with our priorities, no matter what the issue, and acknowledge that those priorities will be different for everyone.

I am glad you're keeping Kara out of a booster. I know a couple three kid families who got new carseats (radians!) instead of a new car and it really seems like the best solution. Parenting - not as cheap as the pamphlet promised, eh?!

And I agree with Jen - you look fantastic. I think this is your best looking (or best photographed!) pregnancy:)

This has been a huge issue for us as well because at almost 6 Rowan STILL does not meet the requirements for a booster and in MN you can get a HEFTY fine for putting a child under 4 in a booster even if they do meet the requirements so both kids are in giant carseats for the foreseeable future, that leave no room for anyone else {let alone a place for a 3rd baby bucket when that time comes around}. So instead of being smart like you guys and buying slimmer seats we went ahead and got a new vehicle. I'm guessing the bright, new, shininess of it is going to wear off in about 4 weeks when the 1st payment is due :).

My girl is 4 and I'm still not comfortable with the idea of her not being harnessed. We have the Graco Nautilus that keeps her in a five point harness up to 65 pounds. She knows no different, and I plan on keeping her harnessed as long as I safely can. I applaud you! There is no price no high for safety of your children.

I have been in a few car accidents and the thought of one of my grand babies being in a booster in an accident gives me a sick feeling.Back in the old days car seats were those little seats that fit over the front seat and had a play steering wheel attached. Can you imagine? I think you made the best choice. Our babies can never be too safe. You have a beautiful family. It just seems like yesterday that we were waiting to hear the news of your firstborn.

Holy crap, this post brought back some memories! Not the jigsaw puzzle of three carseats by any means, but the total freakout about carseat safety...when pregnant with my daughter, I began researching carseat brands and styles and nearly had a mental/emotional breakdown over all the options and choices. I was so confused and overwhelmed, but through luck and Babies R Us gift cards, we landed on a well-rated Graco infant seat system. ....And then I had another meltdown a couple weeks before the baby was born because our older car did not have the "latch" system and I was convinced that regular seatbelts were never going to be secure enough, and I was dooming my newborn to a horrible highway death. But there was no way we could afford a new car at that time, so after much triple-checking, professional verifying, and hoping for the best, we went forth with Graco and conquered.

When it came time a year later or so to get the larger carseat, cue another research-driven meltdown. I forget the brand we ended up with (not britax but similar in style and also well rated for safety) but we had some difficulty initially positioning it correctly in our small car and getting the belts to adjust properly, and so I turned into a neurotic mess yet again. With great patience, my hubby persevered until we got it set up correctly and securely. And now, despite the fact that our little one is 5 and a half, I am keeping her in that thing until she is ready for college, if I can. OK maybe not quite that long but it is rated to 80 pounds and 4 feet (adjustable belt slots and sliding head rest component). Other parents having long ago switched to booster seats give me strange looks but I just don't care. That extra sturdy and appropriate-fitting 5-point harness gives me a heck of a lot of peace of mind, and honestly for her size right now she is more comfortable in it than the boosters (which she has ridden in occasionally when traveling with my brother's family). She likes the extra leg support which keeps her feet from falling asleep on long trips, and the head rest keeps her from brutal cases of taco neck if she needs a wee nap on the road to Vegas ;)

Anyway, all that boring retrospection to simply say that I TOTALLY get where you are coming from and wholeheartedly agree that you should do whatever you feel is best to ensure not only all the kids' safety but your peace of mind as well. Some day in the future when you are driving around in a sexy little minivan, this will all be a memory you and Luke can recall with a laugh ;)

I am more worried about you counting on money you don't yet have and have no guarantee that you'll get. If this economy has taught us nothing it is that we should live within the means we have today and plan like we won't have it tomorrow. When(if) the extra does come, it's exactly that, extra. I am not downing you, I have just seen a lot of people use the same language only to over extend themselves and get disappointed. You two have a unique ability to pull through so I know that no matter what happens you'll be ok. I have this kind of money planning conversation with myself at times and I keep having t remind myself that I have to live as though my current situation will not change for the better until it does and then I'll adjust my budget accordingly. Nothing wrong with being hopeful for the future just don't forget to stay grounded.

@Youngin - I appreciate the sentiment of your comment, but frankly, I can't help but take offense by the implication that Luke and I are acting irresponsibly financially as we plan for our future. If we weren't already "being grounded," we would have already bought a car, crossed our fingers, and hoped for the best. Instead, we are holding off until we have the appropriate funds in place to do so, which includes us diligently paying off our credit card debt like we have been doing since October. This debt will be gone by spring because we are arranging our finances to make that happen. The federal and state refunds will be there because of how we manage our taxes. And while the raise isn't a guarantee, it is more than likely given my consistently high performance at work. (Also within my control.) We also have the Outlander to offer as a trade-in, which will reduce the cost as well (which I actually forgot to mention in this entry). Taking the probable future into account is not the same as "over extending ourselves."

That said, if the time comes and the money is not there (or enough) to buy a car, we will not buy a car and leave the monthly payment up to fate. We will figure something else out. I believe that, too.

I'm sure your intent wasn't to sound condescending; my intent isn't to attack your point of view. I know that you have commented on my blog before, so I assume you've been following for at least a little while. I think that's what is most disheartening about your advice. Luke and I have been busting our tails for months to live within our means and pay off our debt, and I have shared that journey in great detail, so it should be evident to anyone who has been reading for any length of time that we do not make financial decisions lightly or commit ourselves to expenses before we are able to confidently sustain them long term. Our "unique ability to pull through" isn't due to happy accidents or random strokes of luck but our willingness to buckle down when times get tough. That is exactly how we will get through the car scenario, whatever the outcome.

Again, I can appreciate the sentiment behind your comment, and the last thing I want to do is come across as defensive. But money management is a topic that is very personal to me, and I can't help but think the tone of this comment was out of place with everything I have shared over the last year.

If I could, I would "like" your last comment Bree!

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