Drive Safe

The following post Is sponsored by Graco. Thanks, Graco!
On Sunday we installed two new carseats a la "today, you are both two and will be riding like the big kids." Which is music to a toddlers ears.

At least to MY toddlers' ears. 
When we first took Archer home from the hospital, we were totally clueless as to whether or not we were restraining him correctly. (The nurses cannot assist you with this. At least not in our experience. Which I still think is insane but what do I know.)

I think that was the moment I realized we were on our own. Hal and I were screaming at each other and Archer was hysterical and the nurses were, like, "peace out, young idiots!" and we were like, "why are we such idiots? We are idiots! SAVE THE IDIOTS!" and then we drove home  at 15mph with the hazard lights blinking and me in the backseat and my arms like human seat belts over Archer.

Later that day Hal went to a local police station to have them re-install the carseat which was NOT installed correctly, even after all of that.


So. In light of my writing this post and our installing new seats for the girls, we decided to take a family trip down to our local Car Inspection Service LAPD station. Because kids love police stations and we're naive and thought we could just call and be like, "what's up? We're gonna stop by in the next hour or so, is that cool? And you can check our carseats to make sure they're properly installed? Great!"


That was not how the conversation went when I called. Apparently you have to make these kinds of appointments WAYYYYY in advance. The soonest we could come by to have carseats checked was October 16th.

"That's the very soonest?"



At which point the officer asked if I would like to speak to a Professional Carseat Installation Service which I had NO IDEA was a thing. And yes, I did want to speak to that service.

"Her name is Tamara."

"Solid. Tamaras are my favorite!"

"Oh... kay. Well, she can see you sooner, I bet."

So I called Tamara at Carseat Savvy LA and made an appointment for Monday at 11 at Traveling Tikes on Santa Monica where Tamara (typically!) spends Monday afternoons helping parents install their carseats. (She also does house calls all over LA. And she's amazing. Super cool and warm and wonderful and I got to meet one of her daughters as well and she was super cool and warm, too. GOOD PEEPS. More here on Tamara and Carseat Savvy LA.)

ED:  I had no idea that professional Car Seat Installation Services existed until Monday and maybe I'm the exception in this respect but my feeling is that MOST parents don't know that such services exist. According to Tamara there are only a handful in Los Angeles so I'm guessing there aren't many elsewhere but the point is, they exist! And they make house calls! Which I WISH I would have known about when Archer was first born ahem.

Anyway, Monday I went to see Tamara at Traveling Tikes and she checked out Bo and Revi's carseats and (go, Hal!) they were both installed correctly. Except they could have been "tighter" so Tamara showed me how to get your knee into the seat and really tighten.
She also told me that the head rests in the back seat needed to be higher so that if there was an accident, Archer and Fable's heads would have proper neck/head support. Roger that.
It took about fifteen minutes for Tamara to go over everything with me and afterward I felt a sense of community that I had not felt in a long time. Like, how awesome is this? That I can get on the phone and call the Sheriff's station and they can give me the information of a Professional Car Seat Installation Service and then BAM, I'm in a parking lot with this amazing woman whose job it is to help parents with their carseats and they're the people that you meeeet. each. dayyyyyyy. 

To be honest, had I not teamed up with Graco to write this post I don't think I would have taken the trip, spent the time to find out about Tamara and the service she offers. But it felt really good meeting with her. I felt a sense of relief and camaraderie I didn't expect driving away.

Anyway. Bo and Revi are officially two, forward facing, in newly (and expertly!) installed car seats.
photo photo-1
Thanks for the seats, Graco. And thanks for the assistance, Car Seat Savvy/Tamara!


In honor of National Child Passenger Safety Month, Graco will donate $1 to Safe Kids Worldwide for every Buckle Up for Safety pledge made, up to $10,000. Visit to pledge your commitment. You can also join me on the Graco Facebook page later today @ 5:00pm PST where I'll be hosting an hour long chat about carseats and car travel and anything else you want to chat about. 

In the meantime, I'd love to know if you've ever had your carseats checked. If so, where? What was the experience like? Where in your town/city/neighborhood do they check carseats?


P.S. Carseat boxes make for great clubhouse/coloring books. 
photo-8 photo-7 GGC