Brain Dump

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I really want to make this 5 Ingredient Meatless Monday dish from Carrots N Cake.


The most amazing blackout curtains ever are on sale for 50% off.  I just bought a set for our bedroom (we already have them in Henry’s room). SUPER EXCITED.


I have a car seat question… Henry (who is 2 in a few weeks) is still rear-facing.  Wahoo!  (The AAP recommends you rear-face until 2 years.)  I was thinking about flipping him around because I know he’d enjoy it a lot more, and we have a lot of tantrums over getting into the car… But I guess I’m scared to flip because rear-facing is so much safer.  Do any parents have any thoughts on this?  When did you flip?

ages_stages2 ol

Peter Hollens and his wife did a Phantom of the Opera medley!  My life is complete.


I recently discovered that Swim Bike Mom has a Facebook group called Tri-Fecta.  It’s really awesome, highly active, and involves tons of supportive women who are involved in triathlons.  Whether you’re a newbie or doing you’re second Ironman, I think you’d love this group if you love triathlons!


I wanted to share this oldie but goodie:  Cease Fire on the Mommy Wars.  Good food for thought.


And lastly – a quote of the day!


See you in a bit – I have a fun announcement about this weekend coming up.



  • Amanda May 14, 2014, 9:01 am

    “In Sweden, it is standard practice to keep their children rear-facing up to the age of 5, or as much as 55 lbs. From 1992 through June 1997, only 9 children properly restrained rear-facing died in motor vehicle crashes in Sweden, and all of these involved catastrophic crashes with severe intrusion and few other survivors.” – CPSafety website

    There are car seats that will work for rear-facing children for as long as possible. It would be safest for all of us to ride rear facing, but someone has to drive the car! Diono Radian is one brand of seat that will rear face as long as you want and will never have to buy another car seat again. I wish I knew that before buying our Britax Marathon 70.

    Keeping children rear facing is a real parenting choice, and that’s it. Again, it’s safer for all of us to ride rear facing, so parents need to decide if and when to turn their kids around. It’s purely a personal decision, beyond the law of keeping children rear facing until 1 year.

    • Katie May 14, 2014, 1:40 pm

      We have a Diono Radian for my daughter (a couple weeks younger than Henry- she’ll be 2 on July 1st) and love it. I can see she’ll easily be comfortable rear-facing past her 2nd birthday (which we plan to do). Though I will say, she doesn’t seem to mind rear facing at all since that’s all she knows. She’s been in friend’s cars with other kids forward facing and has no problem in her seat.

      • Vicki May 14, 2014, 4:17 pm

        We have the Diono Radiant as well and plan on practicing extended rear facing. Cora will be 2 July 13 we have another baby due in September. Once this baby outgrows the bucket seat we will be getting a new car so we can rear face two radians (it won’t work in our current car). Rear facing is 5x safer than forward facing. I’ve heard many parents say that after flipping their kids around, their kids stated that they preferred to rear face – it was more comfortable for them.

  • Charity May 14, 2014, 9:03 am

    We flipped Alexander before we really wanted at 20 months. We have had to lend our big car seat to grandparents because they have been looking after him 4 days a week in a different province. I will say putting him forward facing the seats fit in sooo much better ! When I put it in it doesn’t move an inch. Just put it in the center.

  • Marci May 14, 2014, 9:11 am

    he will probably like being forward facing! we turned logan around 20 months. he actually started talking and conversing a lot more in the car. maybe a coincidence. for summer, he will also not be as hot forward facing. many people do extended rear facing and it’s definitely a hot topic.

  • kelly May 14, 2014, 9:19 am

    We flipped my daughter after her 2 year check up confirmed she was finally 20lbs. We would have kept her rear facing longer, but i drive a ford focus and her seat just did not fit anymore if anyone wanted to sit in the seat in front of her..

  • Lindsay May 14, 2014, 9:22 am

    Due to safety reasons we plan on keeping both kids rear facing for as long as possible. Right now my hope is at least through 3 years of age. We haven’t had any troubles with rear facing with our almost 2 year old and I think that when we have #2 back there rear facing as well that it might help to prolong the rear facing.

  • Verna May 14, 2014, 9:22 am

    My 3 are 21 months apart and I turned them front facing right around the time the baby came. I thought it would be easier them if they could see the baby better and the baby might like have someone to look at. It’s worked well for us.

  • Hilary May 14, 2014, 9:31 am

    Love the quote! Charles Spurgeon is one of favorite pastors. I love his devotionals. A very wise man. 🙂

  • Tara May 14, 2014, 9:37 am

    With my first they hadn’t changed the recommendation to two years yet, so we switched him at 15 months and he loved it. He was getting really cramped rear-facing and getting him in was becoming a major struggle. Our second is 16 months and we are planning on keeping him rear-facing until 2. Our oldest is 4 in a few months and we’ll keep him in the 5-point harness, forward facing car seat as long as we can.

  • Mari May 14, 2014, 9:45 am

    Our son turns 2 in August, so I’m thinking about this too. We intentionally bought the Diono Radian RXT because it has extended rear-facing capability. A big part of me wants to turn him around at 2 because I know he’ll enjoy it more, but I know that it’s just so much safer for him to remain rear-facing as long as possible. So, despite the fact that I think it would be more fun for him to front-face, we won’t turn him around until required by the limits of our car seat (which I’m guessing won’t be until he’s 3 or 4). I’m glad that we spent extra money on the Radian because I know I’ll feel guilty about “wasting” the extra cash if we were to turn him before we need to (since that was the whole point of that purchase)! So I say rear-facing as long as your seat allows for it.

    • alan May 14, 2014, 11:04 am

      I am going to challenge your assertion that you “know” it’s so much safer to be rear facing. Though the AAP recommends it, do you have data that it is truly safer? I am a born skeptic anyway, but why is it so much safer to be rear facing? If the kid is big enough, why is not just as safe to be forward facing? (big enough….25 or 30 lbs?)

      • Caitlin May 14, 2014, 11:17 am

        Based on everything I read, it really is safer. I think it’s because of the spinal column. If you are traveling forward and the movement suddenly stops, your neck snaps forward unrestrained. If you were rear facing and had a car seat behind your neck, that wouldn’t happen. A lot of kids who die in car accidents while forward facing actually have internal spinal cord separation.

        • Lisa May 14, 2014, 11:04 pm

          Yes they are 75% more likely to have a spine and/or neck injury when forward facing. There are plenty of YouTube videos that will show u the difference between forward vs rear facing car seats during a crash test. Here is one link.

  • Rachel May 14, 2014, 9:57 am

    So the car seat thing. Nothing magical happens when your child turns 2; that is simply the AAP’s guideline. We switched both my kids before two bc they get carsick (less vomit clean up is always a win!). Switching Henry a month or two early won’t be a big deal, in my opinion.

    • Caitlin May 14, 2014, 10:11 am

      Oh my goodness. A carsick and puking toddler sounds terrible.

    • Kattrina May 14, 2014, 10:37 am

      When we had our car seat installed the EMT person at the fire house said that the reason they recommend rear-facing until 2 is because the bones are fully developed at that age. She said that prior to that the chest bones are still weak and developing and that when a child is in an accident and front-facing all of the pressure is on their chest, which could be crushed more easily. Rear-facing the pressure is on the back, which is stronger. She said at around 2 years old the bones of the chest are fully developed and can withstand more pressure. So, I would consider that something “magical” that happens at 2 – if she was telling the truth, I am not a doctor or anything so don’t actually know when bones become fully developed. Although I agree with the people above who say that is is ALWAYS safer to ride rear-facing.

      I grew up in the military and when we road on the military aircraft carriers we always sat backwards – the seats were rear-facing because it was safer in a crash. Obviously the average person doesn’t want to sit rear-facing on a plane (especially if they get motion-sickness like your children) so commercial airlines have us facing forward, but it is still safer to be rear-facing in all moving vehicles.

      That being said, my husband has been counting the months until my son turns 2 because he can’t wait until he can be turned around. I’d prefer to keep him rear-facing until he starts complaining, but we’ll see what happens. We still have a few months.

  • Jackie May 14, 2014, 9:57 am

    We flipped our son about a month after he turned 2. His legs were so long he was jammed up in the seat (and we have the Diono Radian). We tried to show him he could sit “indian style,” but he wouldn’t do it.

  • Ali May 14, 2014, 9:58 am

    Last week Consumer Reports came out with the c-section ratings at several hospitals in the US. Our local news station posted the link the article on their facebook page and the mommy wars began. It was crazy how much controversy on both sides there were and how mean people were. I also saw it on a blog yesterday where this particular mom got lots of mean comments because she put her baby in the infant carrier in the BOB stroller and went for a short run. We need to end the mommy wars.

    • Amanda May 14, 2014, 11:17 am

      I agree. If the information is out there that rear facing is the safest and parents still choose to forward face, so be it! No judgement necessary, either way. I see above that someone commented about their son’s legs being uncomfortable, and I realize this is a real concern because our children are real people with opinions that deserve to be heard. I personally feel for my child that safety is my #1 concern. My son’s legs hang over the side of his seat! I’m thankful children are agile 🙂 All this to say, I haven’t had serious issues keeping my child rear facing (though many protests getting in the car, but he’s going to have to get over it), so we’re just going with it. If he was complaining about his legs hurting, I would need to reconsider, even though I know he is safest rear facing. But then again, I would be safest rear facing too! This is a HOT button issue and some mommies are relentless about this topic. It does border mommy wars and parents should not judge each other. I cringe when I see arguments over this and other topics such as feeding an infant or sleeping training methods.

  • Whitney May 14, 2014, 10:15 am

    We had to flip our daughter to front facing at 13 months because she’s so big (size 2T already!) I still worry (she is 15 months now) that it’s not as safe, but I know having her legs all curled up pushed against the seat and pushing the weight limits of rear facing is even worse.

    Overall, I think she likes facing forward more – lots more to look at and she can see me in the drivers seat – and it’s fun that I can look at her at lights and stuff!

    • Helen May 14, 2014, 1:23 pm

      Legs are not a reason to stop rear facing. Children are very flexible and a broken leg is much better than a broken neck. Oiutfrowing the weight limit of a seat is reason to turn though, or seated height of the child past the height limit. But ‘they looked so uncomfortable with their legs curled up’ is not a valid reason.

    • amc May 15, 2014, 9:26 am

      I did the same thing Whitney. My guy has been forward facing for many months and he is SO MUCH happier. It’s nice to be able to count the trucks with him and talk about the colors we see.

      Glad to hear you and your daughter are happy!

  • Kathleen Ojo @ My Ojos May 14, 2014, 10:15 am

    My daughter will be 2 in July, and I’m going to keep her rear-facing until she absolutely won’t fit anymore! Luckily she’s on the shorter side, and doesn’t seem to mind facing backwards at all. The thought of turning her around kind of scares me… thinking of course about potential accidents, but also about the potential toys that could be thrown at my head while I’m driving. Yikes.

  • alan May 14, 2014, 11:01 am

    I have kids now 11 and 14, and we flipped them when they were 1 year old (recommendation not as stringent 10 years ago). I think it’s fine to flip Henry at this point. I think it’s more of a weight thing than an age recommendation–if he is over 25 lbs (which he looks to be), he should be able to be safe back there. (Of course, when I was growing up, we would all lie down in the back of a station wagon….yikes. Did you ever do that?)

  • Jill May 14, 2014, 11:05 am

    We switched our little man right after he turned 1. He is very tall and was already over 20 lbs. We have zero regrets, but I understand it’s a very divisive topic. Whatever you guys choose for Henry, it’ll be the right decision.

  • Traci May 14, 2014, 11:24 am

    Your brain is as random as mine! The recipe looks great, thanks for sharing the inspiration.

  • Caitlin May 14, 2014, 11:47 am

    We flipped my nephew when he was around 2…. He was so tall that being rear-facing was really uncomfortable (looking) and he wasn’t fitting in the car seat correctly- we flipped it and suddenly all was fine again! And truly much more fun… now he can point out all the tractors and truck that we pass when we’re driving!

  • Julie May 14, 2014, 11:59 am

    The recommendation was at age 1 when my daughter was little so that’s when I changed her. I’m really safety conscious so I wouldn’t be one to switch earlier than recommended. (I kept her in a booster seat foreva!) I can see where it would be a hard decision if he’s struggling w/ car rides. (I also can’t imagine them still being rear -facing at that age – seems like it would be awfully cramped for their legs, but I haven’t seen the new car seats enabling that position so it’s hard for me to visualize.) Good luck w/ whatever you decide!

  • Laura@SneakersandSpatulas May 14, 2014, 12:17 pm

    I’m in that tri group on FB and love it!

  • Peggi May 14, 2014, 1:07 pm

    The whole rear facing thing to me is just craziness. When my son was 1 we turned him forward because that was what was said was okay at the time. It was either 1 year of age or 20+ lbs. Now hearing all about having to wait 2 years to turn them blows my mind. It sure must be boring facing the back of a seat. I think you are fine to turn him around. All carseats nowadays consist of harnesses etc. He will be fine. What did people do years ago? Lukas is in a backless booster right now and he is 8. If he has to be 4′ 9″ before he can sit without it he may be 14!!! Lol, he is on the short side so he still probably has to grow 8 inches to be without a booster!!!! Just love your blog by the way!

  • Helen May 14, 2014, 1:30 pm

    My son is just 3.5 and even when he was an infant it wasn’t age 2 for FF. I want to say we turned him at around 15 months because he was just SO big it was very difficult to get him into his seat without banging either his head or mine on the door frame. My daughter is 15 months now but very petite and I plan to keep her RF until she outgrows the seat.

    I always figure that as long as the kid is within the law as far as even being in a seat then it is the parent’s decision. You also don’t have to spend a lot. The safest seat is one that is installed correctly and used correctly every time. I am so sad when I see pictures on Facebook with kiddos not buckled correctly. They may as well not even be buckled if you aren’t using it correctly. I never judge someone’s situation. Some kids are pukers or screamers and turning them around FF is often safer so the driver isn’t distracted.

  • Jenn May 14, 2014, 1:49 pm

    My kids are older (now 10 & 12 – how did that happen?), but the rule back then was they could be forward-facing at 1 year or 20 lbs. It was so much nicer to see their faces and interact more:)

  • Chelsea May 14, 2014, 2:43 pm

    I plan to keep my son rear facing for as long as possible, until the maximum weight and height limits of his seats. Although the official AAP recommendation is relatively new, car seat technicians have been recommending extended rear facing for many years. I went to a day long car seat training in 2007 as part on my job training as a social worker and we were told back then that it is safest to keep a child rear facing as long as the seat allows (and back then the maximums were not as high). To those claiming their child meets the minimum weight or height requirement to face forward and the sense that the child is “big enough” are missing the more important bone development and maturity. Just because your child weighs a bit more or is on the taller side, does not mean that their bones are as mature of those of an older child or adult. Internal decapitation is much more worrisome to me than a possible leg injury from rear facing (which are very unlikely as it is).

  • Hilary May 14, 2014, 4:09 pm

    Hi Caitlin
    I think I’m naturally skeptic about the ‘expert recommendations’ about things. Not because I think I’m an ‘expert’ but because so often these come from companies who stand to make a dollar and not just from the goodness of their hearts and concern for our children. ie car seat manufacturers. That being said, I have looked into the car seat thing since I have a very small 6 year old and a 3 year old. What I can never EVER find is what exactly is the difference between rear facing vs. front facing in terms of injury/ death. I have found repeatedly that rear facing is better. GOT IT. But by how much? Is it 1% safer? 50% safter? 200% safer?
    I have no idea. I switched both my girls around when they FINALLY outgrew their infant car seats (~18 mos). It made our lives so so so much nicer. They no longer had fits when we had to get them in the car and they didn’t scream (as much :). So, yes, I opted to take a chance on my kids’ safety. but it’s my CHOICE. That’s what freedom is about. Not having the govt. or other moms beat it down my throat. That being said, I get it why you want to keep your kid as safe as possible. It’s a tough decision. good luck!

  • Rebecca May 14, 2014, 4:56 pm

    My son just turned 3 and is still rear-facing. He still fits within the weight and height limits so he’s staying that way for now. I actually got out a measuring tape the other day to make sure he was still within the height limits. I am a nursing student and have done quite a bit of research on this topic. He would love to be turned around but his safety is more important.

  • C May 15, 2014, 3:44 am

    Interesting that it is 2 years in US. In my state in Australia it is 6 months (or by weight), although we are encouraged to go longer. It would be highly unusual for a child over 12 months to be rear facing. And our jurisdiction is considered a world leader in road safety, definitely strange. Makes me think the data must be inconclusive on the benefit of one over the other.

  • K May 15, 2014, 5:48 am

    Rear-facing at two is a good effort and if Henry is still happy enough and within the limits of his seat then I say him leave him that way!

    And a couple of links for those wanting info on extended rear-facing:

  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork May 15, 2014, 1:48 pm

    Love that picture of you with baby Henry! You look so happy!
    I totally agree with that quote. We’re always wanting more, but I often try to remind myself that people who don’t have as much as me envy what I have. It is enough.

  • Courtney May 15, 2014, 2:02 pm

    Thank you for posting about the facebook group! I’m so tired of joining groups that include zero conversation and simply people just posting their blog links every. day.

  • Carolina John May 15, 2014, 2:24 pm

    Blackout curtains are the best! We’ve used some for years.

  • Carolyn May 15, 2014, 10:39 pm

    My daughter is still rear facing at 2.5 years old and I plan to keep her that way as long as she fits in the height and weight limitations for her car seat. She has yet to express interest in facing forward, she has never complained about being uncomfortable while rear facing (and she is quite vocal and certainly would complain if she were uncomfortable) and she is easily able to converse with me while rear facing. For us, I see no reason to turn her around until I have to. She’s safer!

  • Karen May 16, 2014, 5:24 pm

    My understanding was that the child’s weight was more important than their age.

    I don’t think the recommendation was 2 years when my kids (now 10 and 12) were little. I’m pretty sure we turned them around when they were 1 year old, and both had reached an easy 24lbs by then too.

    I understand that rear-facing is safer, but I can NOT imagine where their little legs go? Once a child is tall enough that his legs hang over the edge of the car seat, I don’t imagine that it would be very comfy to be up against the back seat.


  • Autumn May 22, 2014, 3:09 pm

    Our boys’ legs were getting smushed rear-facing, so we turned them around forward-facing a little before they turned 2. Also, we did have some car-sickness on long trips, and that has not been a problem since turning them around. I agree with PP, less vomit = a good thing!

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