Monthly Archive:: September 2011

2011 Honda Odyssey Long Term Wrap (Part I)


The 2012s are coming and it’s time to complete our long term review.   Can’t find a 2011?  There’s not much new for 2012 on most trims, but the already-great-value EX trim is gaining some features including the multi information display and bluetooth HandsFreeLink and USB audio!

As for the Odyssey, what can I say that hasn’t already been said in my previews, in Kecia’s review, in one of my updates or on our forum?  It’s uber safe, ultra flexible and arguably the best family vehicle on the road if you often have 6, 7  or 8 passengers.  That’s high praise, but it is well deserved.  I’m going to leave the rest of our parting comments for my wife and daughter.  I do want to note that fuel economy was about 18-20mpg in the city and 24-26mpg on the highway over a few months and a few thousand miles.  I had only one real reliability issue.  The blind spot system went out a couple weeks ago with a dashboard warning.

My wife was going to write a paragraph as well, but it turned into its own blog that will now be Part II.  Until then, here are some thoughts from my daughter.

I thought the Honda Odyssey touring elite was amazing. Long car rides, like to Michigan weren’t boring. We all watched Star Wars instead of whining and constantly asking when we would get there. Also, if the movie was getting boring I could just put on the wireless headphones and listen to crystal clear radio. Now I bet youre wondering how were the radio and the movie playing at once. Well I’ll tell you. There were two different sets of speakers, the surround sound which plays the movie or the radio without needing headphones and of course the wireless headphones. These are all good things about the minivan but here’s one thing that annoyed me. The car only came with two sets of headphones so if three people wanted to listen to music and three people still wanted to watch the movie there would be no solution unless you were sitting in the back row. In the back row there is a plug to plug in headphones, there’s actually two headphone plugs. But if more than four people want to listen to music youre out of luck. Speaking of plugs also, in the back row there’s an AC plug. No not air conditioning and AC plug is pretty much a plug that you can find in any house. It’s the plug that lets you plug in your vacuum cleaners, or computer charger, but it’s not in your house it’s in the car. Overall I loved the Honda Odyssey touring elite it wasn’t like any other car I’ve been in, and it’s a lot of fun.

Speaking of that AC, it has a lot of uses.

A Glossary of Common Carseat Terms


How many times have you been looking at carseats and come across a word that you didn’t understand? In this specialized field, we have lots of terms that are important to you as a consumer and parent. Hopefully this list will make reading labels and manuals a bit easier! These terms apply to TYPICAL situations and are terms you’ll see mentioned often here on the blog; however, child passenger safety is a field of exceptions. Read your owners’ manuals for further clarification on your setup.

A Few Good Deals on Recommended Carseats and Amazon Lightning Deals!


It’s September.  Child Passenger Safety week and Super Safety Seat Check Saturday are coming up.  It’s Baby month at Amazon!  We do have to pay the bills, so here are a few links to some deals we found that are 25% to 30% below retail, with free shipping and free returns!

Safety 1st On Board 35 Air is $135.99 in Rio Grande

Britax Advocate 70 CS is $246.49 in Onyx

Combi Coccoro is $183.53 in Licorice

First Years True Fit is $138.54 in Casino

Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL is $219.27 in Petal

Britax Frontier 85 is $212.49 in Onyx

Graco Nautilus is $137.98 in Adventure

Clek Oobr is $206.51 in Shadow

Evenflo Big Kid Amp is $23.54 in Red

There are plenty of other good deals, but these stuck out as being big discounts off suggested retail price.  You can find our Recommended Car Seats list here!

Last, but not least, you can find Lightning Deals at the Amazon Baby store throughout the day today!  Big Discounts on various baby gear for a very limited time!  Coming up soon I see a Bob Revolution SE Stroller in Plum and a Ju Ju Be PackaBe Diaper Bag in Evening Vines.

Check out their Best Sellers, too.  Like the Thermos Foogo Food Jars for $14.98 in blue or pink!

Looking Back


Ah, the good ol’ days. Remember when phones had cords? When people used typewriters? When cartoons were almost solely for Saturday morning enjoyment? When kids bounced around unrestrained in cars…and it wasn’t considered illegal or even unsafe?

Times certainly have changed.

Parents reading this blog today probably spent a good chunk of their childhoods unrestrained, or at least under-restrained, in cars. Looking back it seems scary, but at the time, it’s just how things were.

I was born in the late 1970s, and my mom was actually quite progressive about keeping me safe. I almost always used a car seat (albeit a dinosaur by today’s standards) until I was 4 years old. In fact, I distinctly remember the afternoon when my mom was washing our Chevy Nova in the driveway and asked if I’d like to stop using my car seat. I agreed, and I felt so grown up that I insisted on sitting in the back seat (buckled up) as she pulled the car into the garage.

Today my mom admits that having me ride in the car seat was less about safety and more about helping me see out the window. Still, she took car safety seriously. She always wore her seatbelt and insisted that I do, too, even if I did “graduate” to the front seat as soon as I graduated from the child restraint. I did often wear the shoulder belt behind my back, but she always reminded me to keep the lap belt on my hips, not my tummy (something that was often easier said than done).

I also remember a time when my mom was transporting a group of kids to some sort of YMCA event. She told everyone to buckle up, and a girl (I didn’t know her, but for some reason I remember her name was Pam) said that she didn’t have to wear a seatbelt because she was 16. My mom replied “I’m a lot older than 16, and I have to wear a seatbelt, so you do, too. Buckle up.”

Like I said, buckling up might have meant a shoulder belt behind my back, or lying on the back seat with a lap belt “secured” loosely around my waist during a long road trip, but it was (slightly) better than nothing.

Then there were the times I wasn’t with my mom, like the time my grandparents took me on vacation to California (we lived in the midwest at the time) when I was 6.

The trip involved staying a few nights with some distant cousins who had a convertible jeep. The dad decided to take us out for a ride, so my grandpa sat in front and two older cousins and I sat in the back. By “back” I don’t mean the back seat. I’m pretty there was a back seat but we sat on the back sill and held onto the roll bar. I remember looking behind us as we sped down an iconic palm-tree-lined Southern California street…and feeling nothing but sheer terror. Even at 6, I knew that balancing on the edge of a fast-moving car was probably a stupid idea. Perhaps that’s where my interest in child passenger safety began.

What cringe-worthy moments do you remember about riding in the car as a kid? Did you have a car seat? Did you use seatbelts? Did you stand up in convertible cars? Did you narrowly escape harm because you were restrained, or despite being unrestrained? Did your experiences play a role in how you go about restraining your own kids?