Monthly Archive:: December 2011

What Do You Want for Christmas?

(Or insert your holiday here ;)). I’m all about Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday and I love the colors and decorations. There’s just something about sparkly Christmas lights that brings out the kid in me! When I was a kid, I used to gather the JCPenney and Sears catalogs we got in the mail (gah, I’m dating myself here, aren’t I?) and circle all the toys I wanted. I never got them, probably because I have expensive taste, lol, but it was still fun to wish. I still have to make a list even now because my family wants me to. It can be hard sometimes for me to come up with gift lists, but I don’t want to get into the psychobabble about why I prefer to give rather than receive gifts :D.

Here’s my partial list in no particular order for this year. What are some things you have on your list?

  • Parents that will stop putting infant seats on the top of store carts.
    • And as a corollary, that said parents will stop unbuckling their infants when they do put them on top of store carts.
  • A Combi Coccoro (CCO): I borrowed one of these cute as a button convertibles and what fun! Carseats aren’t supposed to be *fun*, are they? This one is.
  • People that will fully stop at 4-way stop signs and red lights. I know it’s a stretch for some, given our fast-paced society that’s rush rush rush, but seriously. Come to a complete stop. It will not kill you to lose 2 seconds out of your life stopping, but it may kill me or the kid in the crosswalk if you don’t. And I *will* come back to haunt you.
  • That people will magically know how to drive in a roundabout (aka turning circle). Really, can you tell I have to drive through 4-way stops and roundabouts on a daily basis? :)

  • My kids will grow up to be self-sufficient, nice people who love their parents.
  • Oh oh oh! A pen tablet so I can Photoshop with precision.
  • Ah, yes, good photographic skills ;).
  • Parents won’t move their children to combination seats from infant seats.
  • Limencello. Mmmmmmm, yes, I discovered this in Italy last summer.
  • World peace, famine gone, yada yada yada. It goes without saying, really.
  • That all pairs of pants will come with spandex. And that I can find the perfect pair of jeans. With spandex in them.
  • An iPad 2 of my own so I can distort pictures. I love making blockheads, lol.

  • A personal chef. Truly, I can burn soup. Maybe I’ll wish for The Pioneer Woman. I can somewhat make her 16-minute meals in 25 minutes, lol.
  • The perfect booster seat. I’m still looking, though my dd and I are pretty happy with our Monterey base and olli. See the LATCH connection with these 2 seats? Exactly. Gotta be LATCH.

Oh my. This list got long. And when I started, I didn’t think I’d come up with much! Silly me. I should know better ;).

The Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety – CPS Heaven in Indiana?

Dorel Technical Center for Child Safety

Picture this.  A taste of what *I* imagine Heaven is like – in Columbus, Indiana!  Who knew?  It was certainly a surprise to me.  I mean, sure, I expected to like the place.  But I didn’t expect to LOVE it as much as I did.  And our tour guides were simply the best!  Thanks, guys.  We really appreciate everything you did for our benefit!

Backtracking a little bit – here’s the full story:

Getting to the ABC Expo in Louisville involved me flying in and out of Chicago.  Since Darren was making the trip by car, he was kind enough to offer me a ride.  We decided that since we had to drive past Dorel’s HQ in Columbus, that we would try to make an appointment to stop there on the way back.  We missed the big grand opening celebration of their new Technical Center for Child Safety back in September 2010, and we were eager to check the place out.

Canadian Complete Air 65 LX Convertible Unboxing!


I had a blog post all written up and ready to go, but I ended up having to rewrite it. It’s hard to put into words my feelings since I heard my friends, Jim and Jana, are closing their baby store. Retirement, they’re calling it. OK. It’s been a hard road to travel for them lately given the state of the economy and they deserve a break.

The idea of Dagerman’s Just for Kids not being there when I need to go try out a carseat is simply foreign. They always had the carseats that Babies R Us didn’t—Recaros, Sunshine Kids, Britax, etc. They had the unique HWH seats before anyone else in town. As far as I know, they’re still the only baby store in town carrying the Oobr and Orbit seats. Sure, these are really expensive seats, but where else in town could I go to actually touch one? Even before I had kids, I had heard their ads on the radio and occasionally saw them on TV. They’ve been in business for over 26 years! Jim Dagerman took over the business from his father—family-run and all that. And poof, it’s done. I know it’s a tough decision for them to make; it’s been a way of life for them for many years.

2012 Kia Sorento Review: Kids, Carseats and Safety

The 2012 Kia Sorento is a carryover from the all-new crossover SUV that debuted in 2011, but there are a few nice improvements.  Mainly, Kia has added an optional “GDI” direct fuel injection engine, increasing the power from 175HP to 191HP and increasing the fuel economy by a couple miles per gallon at the same time!  In front wheel drive trim, the new 4-cylinder engine delivers an impressive 22 city, 32 mpg highway and 25mpg overall based on EPA estimates!  The Sorento is a little roomier than its typical competition in the compact SUV class and almost as big as the smaller midsize SUVs.  Is that big enough for your family?  Read on!

I tested the EX AWD version with the Premium Package, including the third row seat, leather trim, power folding mirrors, power seats with memory, NAV with traffic, Infinity sound and a few other perks.  The downside of opting for AWD and/or the V6 engine is the lower fuel economy.  Mine was rated at 21/28/23 but managed only around 15-17mpg around town during my short time driving it.  Granted, this was for a very short number of miles in cold weather, based only on the trip computer.  Hardly scientific, I know.  If you get both the V6 and AWD, the price and fuel economy become similar to larger midsize SUVs.  For example, even with the 2.4 liter, 4-cylinder GDI engine, my AWD tester had a sticker price of $32,300.

Size is both a benefit and drawback of the Sorento.  The benefit is that the Sorento maneuvers around town and into parking spaces better than most midsize SUVs.  The price is right, too, so you get a little more space and an optional 3rd row of seating for no more money than most compact SUVs like Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V.  The drawback compared to midsize SUVs (like Buick Enclave or Honda Pilot) is that the shorter length comes right out of the legroom and cargo space in the 2nd and 3rd rows.  That means some seating compromises compared to midsize sport utes.


The second row of seating is barely larger than what you’d find in most compact cars.  There are shoulder belts and adjustable head restraints in all three seats, but no rear shoulder belts offer a height adjustment.