Bring It: MommyQ is Kicking NASCAR Butt

A few years ago, while preggo with my second kidlet, I became a NASCAR fan. Why? Well, my husband started attending races as a VIP guest through business connections. Attend one race in VIP style and you’re hooked for life. Needless to say, NASCAR chatter began to sneak into our daily conversations. I had two choices. One was to roll my eyes and scowl at him. Easy enough. The other was to give it a spin and see what all the fuss was about. As I sat in the stands at my first race in Watkins Glen – 7 months pregnant, by the way – I got it.

Fast forward to today and my exciting news! I am currently ranked in the TOP 1% of my NASCAR Fantasy League on ESPN. That’s right, folks. I am beating 150,000 other NASCAR fans playing fantasy racing. In my own league, I am ranked 1st. What does this mean? Let me tell you…

It means English majors are cool. It means moms are hip. It means girls are smart. It means a yuppie who likes Starbucks can be a serious NASCAR fan. It means all of those hours I spend listening to Dave Moody on SIRIUS 128 are paying off. It means running cross country in high school is not dorky.  Okay, well maybe it is. It means a Chevy is NOT better than a Benz. It means I am the new face of NASCAR. And yes, my dad can run faster than your dad.

Read more about my NASCAR posts because MommyQ is Motorsport Mommy!

Shining Through: Proving Autism Wrong at a NASCAR Race

As you know, MommyQ is a huge NASCAR fan and has been for many years. Oddly enough, I grew up in Virginia and had no interest in NASCAR whatsoever while living there. Now I’m practically a Texan and a NASCAR fan for about 3 years. My hubby & I headed to Texas Motor Speedway last weekend for the Samsung 500. Yeehaw! What started out as a rainy, cold, muddy mess turned out to be one of the best weekends ever.

We arrived hoping for sunshine, but spent the day in a gloomy, wet mess. We’ve seen races get rained out on television many times, but this was the first one we had to experience in person. Not fun! The worst part was the mudfest in the parking lot. We got stuck almost instantly, but thanks to pushes from a few fans (in exchange for beer) we got out and found a tiny slice of dry land. Anyway, we shopped for fan gear and ate corny dogs and then they called the race. The new start time was noon on Monday. Back to Austin…

During the 3-hour drive home on Sunday, we decided to come back the next day for the race and bring our kiddos. Our little ones are HUGE NASCAR fans and we thought it would be the ultimate surprise. As you may know, our oldest child is 5 and was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder a few years ago. What could make a NASCAR race difficult for an autistic child? They usually detest loud noises, they don’t do well in huge crowds, they become easily overstimulated in a stadium environment and so on. We discussed the potential issues and decided to give it a try anyway.  Three more hours in the car that may or may not be worth the effort.

To make a long story short, our kids were in shock & awe as soon as they heard the roar of the engines. We arrived a bit late, so the race was underway. In Dallas, you can hear the cars long before you can see them. With headphones on securely, we walked up the stadium steps and the look on my kid’s faces was a look I will always remember. Sheer joy! The youngest was a bit scared of the noise, even with headphones. But my oldest child defied every trait of autism and he was in heaven. He immediately started pointing to the cars as they flew by us at an amazing rate of speed and named the drivers.

We stood there for a moment, all of us trying to absorb the thrill and the magnitude of the race. We moved to our seats and my little distracted duck continued to point at each car until he had probably named them all about 10 times. Last year, this would not have happened. Last year it was hard to simply communicate, let alone attend an event this big and this loud with so many moving pieces. I’m not sure he would’ve understood where he was or made the connection or understood he was supposed to sit and watch. It would’ve been a three hour drive for a 10 minute stay.

Monday was special because we enjoyed a family pastime together as any normal family. We cheered when our drivers did well and cheered even louder when Jeff & Tony wrecked right in front us! We avoided the rain and enjoyed a beautiful cloudy day together, inhaling race fuel and cigarette smoke. Sounds gross, but it’s the smell that lets you know you’re a true fan. Best of all, two things were shining that day — the sun and my son.

Toddler Car Seats: Not Pretty, But Necessary

I won’t argue the harness vs. lap belt debate. Let’s just say I will keep my children strapped into a car seat for as long as possible. I would like to make them wear helmets or have a HANS Device too. Anyway, due to the size of these car seats, some parents just want a more streamline option. I do admit, the booster seats are prettier.

Let’s look at some of the toddler seats with 5-point harness systems:

orbit-toddlerOne of the bestsellers, according to BabyEarth, is the Orbit Baby Toddler seat. In fact, they are currently sold out. It’s sleek, sophisticated, safe and goes up to 50 pounds. Retails for $360 at BabyEarth.


Next on the list is the Graco Nautilus 3-in-1 Car Seat and it is a much better price. You can get all of the safety features minus some of the luxury, for about half the cost as this car seat retails for $160 at BabyEarth. It holds children up to 65 pounds.

recaroAnother good-looking, popular model is the Recaro Young Sport Car Seat. This is one is intended for toddlers, but as they grow into the 30-80 pound range, it is recommended that you use a lap belt. If you want to use the harness, it goes up to 40 pounds. You can find this beauty at BabyEarth for $249.

britax-frontierThe last one I’m going to mention is the Britax. You can’t do a list of car seats without mentioning them! This is a hulk of a car seat otherwise known as the Frontier. It is big! It weighs 23 pounds by itself!  But it also holds a child up to 80 pounds in the harness. You can use it as a booster too. Retails for $229 at BabyEarth.

Hollywood Baby Bump Radar: Baby Trend Predictions for 2009

Is Jennifer Aniston really pregnant? Who cares! Let’s talk about real baby bumps in Hollywood. Topping the list of celebrities with baby bumps are Rebecca Romijn, Julie Bowen, Ashlee Simpson and Niki Taylor.

Romijn, the gorgeous 36-year-old model/actress formerly married to Full House star, John Stamos, is expecting twins this winter with actor Jerry O’Connell. She told Page Six magazine, “I have not been without a bra this entire pregnancy. I refuse. I’m not taking any chances. I’m determined to keep the puppies up!” Poor sweet girl. Someone needs to tell this perfectly plump mom-to-be that breastfeeding, while great for the bambinos, is no friend to the breasts no matter how many miracles your Victoria’s Secret bra may perform. Get to know your new best friend, saline.

Bowen, best known for her roles on ‘Boston Legal’ and ‘Lost’ is expecting again according to People magazine. She had her first son, Oliver, in April 2007. I loved her recent guest appearance as Denise on BL last week. She’s quite the clever seductress. My advice in preparing for baby number two would be, buy a great tandem stroller (or tantrum stroller, as I call it) and prepare to meet your new mortal enemy, muffin top.

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Jessica Simpson’s little sis and wife to rocker Peter Wentz, is about to deliver any minute. Even as I type she could be in labor. Wow, that’s real news. The former jig-dancer would also like to make some big lifestyle changes, like becoming a vegetarian. Nope, scratch that – sorry, a Canadian?  “She’s hot all the time,” said Wentz on the Ryan Seacrest show last week. “She’s like ‘I wish I was in Canada right now.’ Our room temperature is set to, like, 34 degrees. It’s insane!” Eh?

Supermodel Niki Taylor and her NASCAR hubby, Burney Lamar, are expecting a baby in March 2009. Niki has 13-year-old twins, Jake and Hunter. Since Burney is a Nationwide driver, I can tell you a name he absolutely won’t choose for his new baby, Kyle. Here’s another one, Busch. I can also tell you they won’t be decorating the nursery with a M&M theme. Luckily for Burney, he joins Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon in the elite ‘drivers with hot wives club’ without even being a Sprint Cup driver. Now that’s a victory!

MommyQ’s Hollywood baby trend predictions for 2009? The Bugaboo will reclaim its spot as the number one stroller, bumping off the outta-this-world Orbit. Blessed babes will sleep in cribs that cost more than your summer wardrobe and celeb moms will continue to dress their little fashionistas in eco-wear, like this $92 Angel sweater and designer duds like these $195 Prada toddler shoes. Not to mention, Hollywood mamas will be out & about in $238 William Rast jeans, a size 25 please, only weeks after giving birth. Making you feel like wearing this.