• This angel baby is the calm in the chaos over here. The other two are bouncing off the walls and she’s just so happy and sweet.
  • How is everyone doing? today was so rough. *this picture is not from today* Blaire and Ben wake up before Jason even leaves for work. They wake me and Sloane both up. It feels like I spend my whole day breaking up fights. And part of me feels like I can’t complain because I left my job to work from home (for myself) and be with my kids. But, I have to remind myself this is new for me. I haven’t been at home with three kids before. The schedules of a 6 year old, 3 year old and 5 month old are very different. From being in school for the past six-ish months, Blaire wants to constantly be learning. She wants me to be reading to her, doing crafts with her, etc. and that’s hard with a 5 month old attached to me and a 3 year old who can’t sit still. Anyone else who feels lost during this time, just know you’re not alone. But we can do it! I’m so hopeful nice weather is coming and that will make the days so much more bearable! Fingers crossed anyways. 🤞🏻 #happilytrista
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#socialdistancing #momentsofmine #momentslikethese #motherhoodunplugged #pickinguplitter #momof3 #momofthree
  • step 1: get your baby sleeping.
step 2: get yourself to stop staying up on your phone until midnight. [ad] It’s been over a month of using the @littleonesbabysleep program with little Sloaney girl here. She’s self-settling at bedtime and overnight, sleeping in her crib without being swaddled, and it’s glorious. I’m sharing all about our experience on the blog… and there just might be a discount code, too. #littleones #littleonessleep #littleonesbabysleep #happilytrista
  • our neighborhood has been posting different activities in our Facebook group. today was “chalk your walk”. So we drew all kinds of stuff on our driveway and sidewalk. I hope they bring a smile to someone when they’re out for a [cold] walk! #happilytrista
  • my baby boy is THREE! 3 years of Benjamin Robert. the perfect mix of sweet and sour. always kissing us, then jumping off the furniture and pulling Blaire’s hair 3 seconds later. •
#happilytrista #gobenitsyourbday #threeyesrsold #threenager #momentsinmotherhood #momentslikethese #motherhood #momof3 #momofthree
  • going through these photos from our session with @rachelclemphotography a few weeks ago and they are giving me all the feels. 🥰❤️ #happilytrista
•

#babywearing #babywear #wearallthebabies #mywildbird #babywearingmama #attachmentparenting #momentslikethese #momentsiwanttoremember #rainbowbaby #breastfeedingmom #breastfeeding #magicofchildhood #momentsiwanttoremember
  • thankful for baby wearing and breaks in the rain. 🌧 #happilytrista •

#babywearing #babywear #wearallthebabies #mywildbird #babywearingmama #attachmentparenting #momentslikethese #momentsiwanttoremember #rainbowbaby #breastfeedingmom #breastfeeding #magicofchildhood #momentsiwanttoremember
  • accurate depiction of life right now. 🤪 #happilytrista #socialdistancing
  • this photo was our workout for the day. 💪🏻 j/k. we got dressed in our green and went shamrock hunting around the neighborhood. we found lots in people’s windows, they had so much fun. it was less than 40° but sunny! ☀️ are you self distancing? how’s it going? #happilytrista #selfdistancing
  • we have to stay inside for how long? 😳how are you passing the time? and how’s the weather where you live? it’s a cool 30° here this morning. ❄️ #happilytrista #mywildbird #wearallthebabies
  • Don’t they look like they’re up to something? It’s 3-on-1, 10 hours per day for the next 5 days. 😅🤪 #happilytrista
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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  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Breastfeeding.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
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  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • 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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  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
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#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
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  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
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  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
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