• #ad Anyone else have kiddos obsessed with music? I am so impressed with how well Ben is playing his @babyeinstein Magic Touch Piano! The sheets of music are color-coded, so he matches the notes on the cards to the keys on the piano and it is so cute! I never played an instrument, but Jason played in the marching band through college and both of our kids love playing with instruments. I can’t wait to see if they decide to pursue an instrument as they get older! You can find this cute little piano at our favorite place, @target. #ignitecuriosity #babyeinstein #benjaminp
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  • I can’t believe I’m officially in my third trimester for the (99.9% sure 😬) last time. It’s such a bittersweet feeling... getting so close to meeting the final member of our family, but to know I’ll never get to experience the joy of seeing the tiny heartbeat in the first ultrasound or feeling the sweet kicks (and punches and dolphin flips). Ice cream, sno cones and the AC are my best friends right now. It’s also crazy to me that I still have another season to go before we welcome this sweet baby at the end of Sept or early October! #photobyblaire •
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  • #ad When your mom spends too much time in @target so you just jam out while you’re waiting. I usually make them put back whatever toy they’ve latched onto in the store, but this @babyeinstein Magic Touch Piano is so cute! It doesn’t have any keys or buttons – they actually press the wood and it makes noise. Ben keeps saying “Please open mama?!” so I can’t wait to get it home and let him jam out there, you know, with the sound on the lowest setting. 😂😂 #ignitecuriosity #babyeinstein
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  • My favorite traditions at 28 weeks: sno cones + this stretchy dress. #photobyblaire •
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  • Happy Prime Day!! I’m so excited to be shopping all the deals today, how about you?? #ad Lucky for us, my fave @kindsnacks are on sale! You can stock up just in time for the craziness of back to school. This Caramel Almond and Sea Salt bar is sweet and salty with just 5g of sugar! It’s keeping me going while I shop all day. 😉 #kindcollective #bekindtoyourself #primeday #amazonprimeday
  • Blaire cleaned her room and made her bed today. I think it’s so cute when she makes her bed and carefully arranges her animals! She usually cleans her room once a week, Sunday is the perfect day to start fresh. The majority of her toys are in there, she gets them all set up how she wants and I just feel bad making her put them away! Do your kids pick up their toys every night? #happilytristahome
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  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
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  • messy house, no makeup, and a kid who doesn’t want to wake up from his late car nap... meaning bedtime will be difficult. But what’s so different about that?! 🤪☹️ When your kids come out of your bed for the 1937 time tonight, just know you’re not alone. #happilytristahome
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  • If you need me I’ll be here taking a nap. JK. I’ll be in the car, curled up with my maternity pillow eating milk duds... hopefully taking a nap at some point. And I already changed into a comfy tee and some shorts that won’t button for the 6 hour drive. 🤣🤣🤣 How’s your Monday going?
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  • this. kid. He just melts me with how freaking adorable he is. Then he will go and say something like “Mama I want my binky NOWWWW” and then I remember he’s just as crazy as he is cute. 😍😝 #benjaminp
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December 5, 2018

9 things to consider when buying a family car

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2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4There are so many nuances to buying a car for your family that I never had to think about when it was just me. I upgraded from my little compact car to my first “mom car” (a Honda Pilot) when Blaire was a month old. All I saw was more trunk space for the stroller. I also loved that it felt safer than my little car. It was higher off the ground and had AWD, which is important here for the midwest winters. 

We had that car for about 2.5 years before changing to a newer/different make and model of SUV. When buying the next SUV (our current one) we felt we had learned more about what we would need is a vechile as parents, ya know, since we had only been parents for a month when we bought the first one. Haha! In this vechile we really, really wanted captains chairs in the middle and needed to have air vents in the ceiling to reach babies in car seats. We also wanted (but didn’t HAVE to have) a DVD player. 

1| mini van or suv?
(For now) I’m an SUV mom. I was sure I’d never go to team mini van. But when I see the trunk space in a mini van and a mom who can effortlessly get her kids in and out of those sliding doors, it’s enough to make me reconsider. 

2| third row or no third row?
So if you’re an SUV mom with a family of 5 or less, you need to decide whether or not you want the third seat. Typically if you have a third row you’re going to have less trunk space. We have a third row and small cargo area. But I can work around it by having just one of the third row seats folded down (so I still have 2) back there. 

3| captain’s chairs or bench seat?
Captain’s chairs make it easier to access the back seat, and really if you have two kids in car seats, it’s a really tight squeeze for a person to sit in-between them. I also find captain’s chairs to be more comfortable, so if we have an extra adult, I like to move Blaire’s carseat to the third row and let them (or me!) have the captain’s chair rather. 

4| air vent placement in the back seat.
This is a game changer whether you live somewhere with extreme hot or cold temps. Our first SUV had air vents that came out of the center console. This meant a sweaty, angry rear-facing baby during the hot summer. We learned and a requirement for our next SUV was air vents in the ceiling, so the air will reach your kiddos whether they’re rear-facing or forward-facing. 

5| in-car wifi
Obviously not 100% necessary but definitely a lifesaver if you’re a family that spends a lot of time in the car. The package offered for our vehicle is unlimited for $20 each month. You can cancel at any time. There are also packages for just one day of wifi vs. buying for an entire month. 

6| is there an app?
I love the app that works with our SUV. I can remote start, unlock or lock from anywhere, which is nice because my key fob doesn’t always work from inside a store… and when it’s 105° or -25°, I want to be able to have had the car running before I put my kids inside. It also gives me diagnostics for my car. It tells me the air pressure for each tire, how much longer I have for oil life, lets me request roadside assistance, etc. 

7| safety features
Back up camera, exterior sensors, driving display, lane departure, etc. The list is endless. There are so many options that help make the time you spend on the road as safe as possible. I have to have a backup camera, it makes me feel so much more comfortable knowing I am constantly around small children. Driving display is super nice 

8| entertainment 
Are there multiple USB ports? A power outlet? DVD player? Are there headphones that work with the DVD player so you don’t have to listen to the DVD that’s playing (unless you want to! lol). 

9| leather seats
Two words: spilled. milk. Leather is much easier to clean than fabric (since you can just use a dry cloth to wipe up spills) and it is also more resistant to tears. 

While this list could go on and on, I’m no car expert. These are just the things I have found are important for my family when selecting our car. Lucky for you, Kelley Blue Book is the car expert. The Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2019 have just been released. If you aren’t familiar, this is the fifth year for these awards. Experts at KBB spend the year testing out makes/models and ranking them in 15 categories. 

2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4 Trunk Space 2016 GMC Acadia for a family of 4

Whether it’s compiling consumer reviews and ratings, or the super helpful 5-Year Cost to Own data (which includes depreciation, insurance, maintenance, financing, fuel, fees and taxes for new cars – seriously, the best information!), KBB does the tough work for you! 

Going through KBB’s list of 2019 winners I am torn between two, although they are both Hondas. The Honda Pilot was an amazing vehicle for us and had much better gas mileage than the one I have now and updated safety features, like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking. I would have no problem going back to one. And the other is the Honda Odyssey! Yes… a mini van! But I told you, when I see the trunk space in a mini van and a mom who can effortlessly get her kids in and out of those sliding doors, it makes me so jealous.

Did I forget anything on my list? What’s important to you in your family’s vehicle? 

  • Reply
    Carol Davis
    December 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Very informative as usual ! I’m sure this will help parents in their decision making a lot .of course the pictures are always fun to see too !

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