Category Archives: Kid Stuff

Puzzle Pieces Everywhere

Puzzle pieces, artistic impression

Image via Wikipedia

So those of you that have young children can relate to this. How many times do you walk through a room and encounter random puzzle pieces lying around?  As we accumulate more puzzles, keeping them organized is a challenge.  The puzzle boxes are so big and bulky and take up so much space that you don’t want to keep them. And, even if you do keep them, after a couple of uses by a 2 year old boy, they are are demolished. The sides fold down and pieces start falling out in every direction.

A few years ago, I started keeping those heavy plastic zippered bags that sheets come in.  I just felt bad trowing them away because they were so substantial. I figured I could probably use them for something. Well, now I finally have a use for them.  Most of them have little slot in front where the product information was displayed.  I cut out a picture of the puzzle from the puzzle box, write the number of pieces in the puzzle, and insert it into the little pocket.  I find that these bags also work well for matching game cards and other small games that come with lots of pieces.

If you happen to have a few extra minutes available you can even mark the back of the puzzle pieces with a colored marker so that if you have a few puzzles out at a time it is easy to see which pieces belong in which bag.

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Filed under Junk that Falls Apart, Kid Stuff, Tip of the Week

Car Seats

Do you remember installing your first car seat? And how it took forever?

I remember it took 2 people about 2 hours on Thanksgiving Day.  Then I took it to the free local inspection facility and they said it still wasn’t fitted tightly enough.  Both the latch and seat belt method for car seats require that the seat be adjusted tightly enough that you can’t jiggle or move it in the seat after it’s installed.

After that I had this fear of removing the car seat and never being able to get it back in properly again. So we were chained to that car. Babysitters and other family members had to use our car if they wanted to take the baby out.

Someone had told me if you sit or kneel in the seat when you adjust it, it will fit tightly in the seat. Being the very skeptical person that I am,  I never tried it because 1.) I didn’t really believe that it would make a difference, and 2.) I thought climbing into a child-sized seat was just ridiculous. Then, one day, as I was getting ready to head out for Mommy and Me Yoga, I turned the key in the ignition and… nothing.  The car was dead.  Uhg. The class is only 1/2 hour long.  Even, if by some miraculous feat, it took me only 20 minutes to install the car seat in our other car that would be too long. But, I remembered this trick and figured I would give it a shot.

So, I popped the car seat out of the SUV and placed it into the sedan and hooked up the latches. Rather than sitting in the seat, I turned around and knelt in the seat facing the adjustable straps so that I could see what I was doing. Then I pulled the straps as tightly as I could.  Wow, it worked; a super tight fit and it only took about 5 minutes.  We even made it to class in time.

Yep it seems silly, but you are a lot heavier than a child and if you are sitting in the seat and adjust the seat to be tight using the weight of your body, it will be locked in tighter than you could ever imagine.  I don’t know why they don’t just recommend that in the instructions to begin with.  Which reminds me –  Discaimer: Don’t forget to read the instructions that came with your car seat to make sure all your belts are set at the correct height and the recline is set properly for your child BEFORE you install the seat.

Now I move the car seat around all the time.  I even installed one in my parents’ car so that my son could take a vacation away from mommy for a couple of days.  Both the car seat and the vacation worked out well.

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