We took advantage of some beautiful weather and the extra day off to get some stuff done this weekend.
Saturday morning, I couldn't have asked for better riding conditions. It was breezy and cooler than it's been in a while, so the horses were extra energetic. Chaka was quite full of himself, which can be a little worrisome with a bigger horse, but with a little pony it's usually just fun. (Dixon, the other pony in our group this week, was even more amped up, bucking and trying to bolt. Chaka only snorted and tossed his head and acted like he was maybe giving some consideration to the notion of thinking about trying to buck. Hehe.) Anyway, it was a good ride.
In the afternoon, we made a family activity out of doing some car maintenance.
I need to back up just a smidge. Earlier this week, I read an article about the AAP's (American Academy of Pediatrics) revised recommendations regarding car seat usage. The recommendation used to be: babies ride in rear-facing car seats until they are at least 1 year old and 20 pounds. (Had to be both; a 9 month old weighing 24 pounds or a 15 month old weighing 18 pounds would both still have to be rear-facing.) Recently, this has been changed to a minimum of 2 years old and 30 pounds, with the preference that kids stay facing backwards until they have reached the maximum weight allowed by the car seat. Some car seats nowadays are designed to be installed rear-facing until the kid is 40 pounds; ours goes up to 35. As Soren weighs 34 pounds, we thought we ought to consider turning his seat back around for the next month or so, just to be as safe as possible. Tom dug further into the research behind this recommendation and came to the conclusion that the data supported an increase in safety significant enough to warrant action on our parts. (The danger of being forward-facing too early comes from the fact that a kid's head is still disproportionately large, compared to an adult's, combined with the fact that their vertebrae remain largely cartilaginous until age 4. In the event of a head-on collision, the probability of internal decapitation is not small enough to ignore.)
Now, I don't plan on getting into any high speed front end collisions, but who does? We came to the conclusion that Soren's close enough to the car seat's maximum rear-facing weight limit that we could give it a shot turning him around, and if he pitched a major fit about it (he's been front-facing for over a year now, after all, and his legs are much longer than they used to be), then we could return to the status quo.
So, down to the car we went, all 4 of us. As tends to happen when small children are involved, our car has accumulated rather a lot of junk (spare clothes, garbage, food remnants, toys, etc.), so in addition to reinstalling Soren's car seat, we fully cleaned out the car and improved the organization by setting up a couple of bins in the trunk with a diaper changing kit and spare clothes. Also, Tom changed the wiper blades and Rain-Xed the windows, and we pulled out our disaster bag for an annual check and restocking. Soren sat in the passenger seat, and Eleri observed the goings on from the stroller. All in all, a productive afternoon; the car hasn't looked that clean and nice in months! Hehe.
Sunday was another gorgeous day. Not content to sit around indoors, we headed out to pick up some lunch to eat at the park. It was, obviously, our first outing since we'd turned around the lad's car seat, and though he now has to sit cross-legged, he doesn't seem to mind a bit. So that's good!
We ran a few errands both before and after lunch. We actually spent the better part of the day out and about, enjoying the cooler temperature. Soren had a nice romp on the playground, and the kids got to ride together again in the double-seater shopping cart at BJ's. They were intolerably cute, Eleri kicking her legs and beaming, Soren leaning over to give her spontaneous hugs or putting his hand on her shoulder. Gahhh, my heart, it melts.
Back at home, we started putting arrangements together for our October trip. (Side note: Holy crap, when did rental cars get to be so expensive?!) It's a load off my mind to have lodging and transportation arranged for at least the first part of our little vacation. It's going to be so great to visit everyone!
That was kind of it for Sunday. We were happy to have still one more weekend day awaiting us.