Author Archive

“Some words you never heard ‘less you come from down yonder”


I’ve lived in a lot of areas of the country and one of the most interesting things I’ve found about different regions isn’t the weather or the natural wonders. It’s the culture of language.  I have heard so many awesome things come out of people’s mouths that I really wish I had started a journal of it a long time ago.

My grandparents and great grandparents on both sides were German immigrants, transplanted into the Midwest. I distinctly remember some of the phrases my grandma had. I’m not sure if they were Midwest things or just a “crazy German grandma” thing but I’ve carried a lot of them with me. Bugs weren’t called bugs, they were called millers. I could scream as a spider the size of my head crawled in front of me and my grandma would tsk tsk me and say, “Oh that’s just a miller” and proceed to dump some unknown and probably toxic/illegal substance from a jug under the sink on it. If I was excited, I was “pooping purple stars”. Speaking of poop, if you had diarrhea, you had the skitters. If us kids were being rowdy, we had better calm down and behave or someone was gonna put a knot in our tail.

I’ve lived in the South for awhile now and I’ll tell you that this place doesn’t disappoint if you’re looking for colorful phrases. Obviously we all know about our hearts being blessed. If someone with a monogrammed bag and a Simply Southern t-shirt blesses your heart, you’ve probably done something stupid. I had a bad bout of vertigo a few years ago and was called “Cooter Brown” multiple times. I finally looked it up and apparently Cooter Brown was a fictitious guy who lived on the Mason Dixon line and was always drunk and stumbling around so he wouldn’t get drafted during the Civil War. So I guess when I’m dizzy I resemble a draft dodging drunk guy.

You’re as ugly as the day is long. Something crooked is cattywampus. Oh and farts are real popular around here. When we don’t get rain it’s as dry as a popcorn fart. The daughter of a patient of mine referred to her father with dementia as being confused as a fart in a fan factory. You stink? You could knock a fly off a gut wagon. Not sure what a gut wagon is but I guess I don’t wanna be on one.

Here in NC you don’t ask for a soda or a pop. You ask for a coke. Doesn’t mean you want a Coke. There’s a difference. Besides, it better be a Cheerwine you’re after or you’re a sinner.

I never cease to be entertained. It’s also funny to hear some phrases I grew up saying come out of other people’s mouths and know it’s not just something I made up as a kid. CarSeatBlog is read by people from all over so I’d love to hear some phrases popular in your area! Every region is so different so please share!


Sssssssssssspring and sssssssssssssssssummer ssssssssssssssssafety


I had this all written up and then realized there probably are people out there with some legit fears of snakes. So as a courtesy to those who don’t want any sort of snake talk/pictures/nonsense, I’m going to tell you this post contains all of the above. 🙂

The other day I was in the garage wrapping up an addition to the chicken coop. I was carrying a panel of wood across the driveway and sidewalk out to the side of the house when my bare (yes I know, I’m a cavewoman. I hate things on my feet) foot got tripped up under what I thought was the hose. I had finished watering our blueberry bushes prior to starting the coop panel and had left the hose laying across the sidewalk in true sloppy Alicia fashion. I let out a string of choice words because hey, it was naptime and I can say whatever the heck I want, and kicked the hose out of the way. Except what flew off to the side wasn’t the hose. It was a seemingly never ending length of snake. I proceeded to turn inside out and emit a sound I will never be able to reproduce again. When I recovered, I looked down to see what I was dealing with. A few feet away from me was a shiny black snake with telltale yellowish markings, looking at me like he was insulted. A king snake!

Doesn’t look like the hose but sure as heck felt like it!

Have you ever seen a king snake devour a copperhead? Of course you probably haven’t, but you’re missing out. Ya’ll, I was about to pour this guy a beer at this point and beg him to stay because we live in the South and copperheads this summer are no joke. We practically live outside, we live in a rural area, and have woods bordering our house where our kids play and have forts, walked paths, and other secret kid areas. My biggest fear is one of them stumbling upon a copperhead. So if this harmless 3.5 foot long guy wanted to hang out and eat my biggest fears, I would pay him to do it. Unfortunately he wasn’t impressed with being kicked and I haven’t seen him since.

Kinda guy you want hanging around. Unless you like venomous snakes and rodents.

Winter this past year was generally mild, and the snakes and bugs have been out full force. I haven’t seen so many snake bites in a long time. Our emergency rooms are full of people with unfortunate copperhead encounters. I’m not sure if it’s similar in other parts of the country but for those of you here in the South, you know what I’m talking about. 

So what can you do? Well obviously stay away from them and if you come across one, don’t try to scare it away. Just leave. Most snakes will flee when they hear you coming. That’s all pretty common sense because most of us (normal) people don’t go looking to snakes to trip on. Chances are, any snake you encounter is actually going to be harmless. Where I live, there are about 42 species of snakes and only 6 are venomous.  Here’s a few tips:

-Don’t be like me and walk around barefoot while building chicken coops. Wear closed toed shoes when walking through brushy areas especially.

-Look where you step. Not all snakes are brightly colored like my little friend. Most of them blend right in to the ground and are simply trying to stay hidden. If you step on them, they’re going to bite you simply out of fear. If you notice them before you step, you can move away and everyone’s life can go on. Don’t step where you can’t look first; walk around things instead of stepping over them.

-Keep your yard clean. Don’t like the idea of a snake infestation? Then keep your yard clear of debris, logs, branches, junk, etc. Snakes like to hide and if there’s nowhere to hide then they will probably keep moving on.

-Educate yourself and your kids. Knowledge is power. My kids can identify all venomous snakes in our area. They know they aren’t allowed to touch any snake, even if they know for a fact it’s a harmless rat snake, but I feel like it’s important for them to know what they see.

If you follow these tips, your chances of being bit are low. If you do manage to get bit, stay as still and calm as you can. Don’t apply a tourniquet or go old school and suck out venom.  Don’t decide it’s a good time to get drunk and tell your friends…alcohol and caffeine increase absorption rate of venom. Most importantly, don’t try to catch the snake! Leave it alone and get away. If it’s safe to snap a quick picture for identification then do so but don’t do it at the expense of your safety/time. A lot of the time complications from snake bites are actually from bacterial infections, not the venom itself but that doesn’t mean you can clean it up yourself and “wait and see”. Get yourself to an emergency room stat and get treatment. Chances are the snake was biting out of fear and not to kill, so the amount of venom received is low. If it turns out to be nonvenomous then everyone wins.

Harmless black snake on my mom’s house.

Sssso uh, I hear you guyssss have air conditioning in there…

Now that I’ve thoroughly skeeved you out, enjoy your summer! The more you know, the more you are armed to keep yourself safe. No need to walk around in fear of moving tube socks with eyes in your yard. Just treat them like that annoying neighbor- no eye contact, wide movements, and prevention, prevention, prevention! Ssssssssssssssssstay sssssssssssssssssssafe.

Evenflo SafeMax 3-in-1 Combination Carseat Review – Rollover Tested for Maximum Safety


I just wrapped up my review of the brand new Evenflo Spectrum Booster, and I had mentioned that it was rollover tested.  I recently had the privilege of being able to test out another new Evenflo seat, SafeMax 3-in-1 Combination Seat. This is a forward-facing only seat for kids 2+ that can also be used as a highback booster and eventually as a backless booster too. They call it a 3-in-1 product which can be a little misleading because many consumers think a 3-in-1 carseat always means Rear-Facing/Forward-Facing/Booster. However, in this case it means Forward-Facing/Highback Booster/Backless Booster. This is a Stage 3 carseat that is most appropriate for pre-school and school-aged children.

Evenflo SafeMax 3-in-1 Specs & Features:

  • 5-point harness: Forward-facing only for kids 22-65 lbs., at least 2 years old, height 28- 50″ tall (shoulders must be at or below top harness slots).
  • Booster mode with vehicle lap/shoulder belt: 40-120 lbs., at least 4 years old, height 44 – 57″ (top of ears must be below the top of the head support).
  • 4 harness height positions
  • 2 crotch strap/buckle positions
  • Height-adjustable head support
  • Rollover tested
  • Steel reinforced frame
  • Recline feature on base (reclined position required for kids under 40 lbs.)
  • Harness strap covers (required for kids under 40 lbs.)
  • Buckle Pockets keep harness out of the way while loading/unloading
  • Dual integrated cup holders
  • Basic, hook-style lower LATCH connectors (LATCH limit is 45 lbs.)
  • FAA approved for use in aircraft (with 5-pt harness)
  • 8 year lifespan before expiration

SafeMax 3-in-1 Measurements:

All the Specs! A Review of the Evenflo Spectrum 2-in-1 Booster


Evenflo Spectrum BoosterEvenflo has made safe, affordable carseats for decades, and they aren’t new to booster seats either. Spectrum is the newest member of the Evenflo family with some unique and innovate features. My first impression upon taking it out of the box was that it was very streamlined and modern looking. I know booster seats can be pretty run of the mill when it comes to looks, but Spectrum has some special touches that add to its unique appearance.

There is some assembly required when it comes out of the box but it isn’t difficult if you follow the directions in the manual. There are no tools (or screws) required and it doesn’t come in a million pieces like Ikea furniture. 

Spectrum is currently available at Target, Babies R Us, Amazon (coming soon) and directly from Evenflo. MSRP is $59.99.

Spectrum Specifications:

(say that 10 times fast!)

  • Weight 40 – 110 lbs.
  • Height 44 – 57”
  • 4 year age minimum. I got all nerdy over the spread in the manual regarding how to know if a child is appropriate to ride in a booster.

Evenflo - When to Put Your Child in a Booster Seat

  • Adjustable headrest with 8 height settings
  • Lyf+Guard side-impact protection technology in the head rest
  • Does not require a vehicle head restraint when used in high back mode
  • 6 year lifespan before expiration
  • Dual cupholders/snack trays
  • Machine washable cover that can also be thrown in the dryer!!