A can of worms

I’ve definitely created a monster with the whole baby book thing. I’ve read so many, and continue to read as many as I can. Like I said before, I definitely won’t know what to *really* do or what works for our family until the little Nuggette makes her appearance, but in the meantime, I like to educate myself as much as possible.

First were the pre-conception and prepare my body for baby books

then the pregnancy books

and then the childcare books

and now I’m starting to think about the actual act of parenting. I’ll probably be reading until she’s in college 😉

Of course, we want our little girl to grow up to be kind, giving, smart and do what’s *right*, but besides obviously leading by example, what are some other parenting resources?

We already started to discuss the issue of punishment and teaching right from wrong, etc. What worked for me when I was younger was when my parents would take something away from me. Spanking only lasted a second –to which I would yell “that didn’t hurt!” and run away. What a little punk- but when my favorite toys were taken away from me (which later turned into having to miss plans with friends, cell phone or TV taken away), it taught me that my actions had consequences. I also discovered the “time out corner” from Supernanny.. does anyone else use that strategy?

I think that the types of books we read to our daughter will also help instill some positive messages with her. I found this one at Ventana yesterday- it will be awesome to read when she’s younger, and I LOVE the message.


1. Share the Good
2. Find What You Love
3. You are Filled with Love
4. Find a Quiet Place Inside
5. Make Today Great!
6. Change Your Thoughts to Good
7. Take Care of Yourself
8. Picture What You Want
9. Everyone Is Special, Especially You
10. Good Thoughts Give You Energy

It has a list of 10 different things to “let your greatness shine through”, including envisioning what you want to truly be and what your goals are, acting with kindness, giving to others,  loving yourself and making today great. All things that I truly believe in. I also like the fact that it deals with bullies by saying “you can’t control what others do or say.”

Do you know of any other children’s books with great messages, or parenting resources?

Parents, what’s your #1 parenting tip?

And, just for fun, here are 10 things to never say to a pregnant woman, from *this page*:

1) Any and all comments about how big she is. If you’re going to say anything about her appearance, it should be along the lines of, "Honey, you look gorgeous!" Don’t compliment her on her lack of weight gain either– err on the side of good manners and don’t comment on her size at all. Here are some of the rude comments pregnant women often hear about their weight:

  • "Oh my God, are you having twins?"
  • "You’re only seven months along? Geez!"
  • "Wow, that baby’s going to pop out at any minute!"
  • "You know, my sister only gained 20 pounds when she was pregnant."
  • "Oooo, your booty’s getting big!"

2) "Can I touch your belly?" Don’t even ask. The answer is NO. Since when did it become okay to touch strangers? If the pregnant woman is a close friend or relative, it may be appropriate to ask, but never touch without permission.

3) ‘Oh my God, you’re having another baby?" It doesn’t matter if this is baby #4 or baby #14. Congratulate her and keep the snarky comments to yourself.

4) Any and all unsolicited advice about baby names. If she asks you if you prefer Molly or Madeline, then tell her. If not, compliment her on her name choice (and if you hate it, smile and nod). All of the following comments are inappropriate:

  • "You’re naming her Molly? I prefer Madeline."
  • "Aiden? Wow, that’s such a trendy name."
  • "Arwyn? Well, that’s… different."
  • "Don’t you think you should name your son after your grandfather?"

5) "Are you going to get him circumcised?" This is only an appropriate question if you know the woman well. You wouldn’t ask a stranger about her husband’s genitalia. Why would you ask about her son’s?

6) "You’re not going to eat that, are you?" Let the lady eat her brownie in peace. And spare her lectures about the dangers of blue cheese or honey or fish or whatever it is that you heard on the news. She’s not a child, so don’t tell her what to eat.

7) "Did you use fertility drugs?" This is a question pregnant women get if they’re 42 or if they’re having multiples. If she wants to share this information with you, she will, but it’s not polite to ask people about the contents of their medicine cabinet. Besides, does it matter? However it happened, she’s pregnant.

8) "Was this an oops?" The only person who should be asking this question is an OB– or maybe a woman’s best friend or mother.

9) "So do you have hemorrhoids? Mine were just awful." Lots of pregnant women love to share details about their icky pregnancy symptoms, but many do not, especially with strangers. A simple, "How are you feeling?" is sufficient.

10) "So this is your first? Oh my God, with my first, I had horrible back labor for THIRTY hours, and then I needed a C-section and was in pain for WEEKS and the baby didn’t sleep through the night until she was two years old…" You get the idea. She’ll know soon enough what labor feels like, poor thing, so spare her the horror stories.

Read more at Suite101: Rude Comments about Pregnancy: 10 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman | Suite101.com

My personal fave: comments about how big she/her belly is. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “Wow, that’s going to be a big baby!” or “You’re so big! Not you, your belly.”……

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  1. Madeline - Greens and Jeans on September 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    The only punishment I really remember hating was when my brother and I would fight my mom would make us sit on the couch and hold hands until we could work out our problem and say “I’m sorry” (and actually mean it). It was pretty much the worst thing ever… but effective!

  2. Caitlin @ Cake with Love on September 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    I love reading ur blog, the family page is my favorite, we plan to get have our first child in the upcoming 2 years, and your sharing your experience is so cool, I feel more confident in my decision and definitely more excited! 🙂

  3. Kayla on September 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Great book, Gina! He has another one called “Unstoppable Me” and we actually used it at my job to design a college-positive activity book for elementary-school kids. 🙂

  4. Dynamics on September 13, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Two suggestions…Never, never put a TV in the bedroom. All it does is keep the child from interacting with the family. If possible, have dinner every night AT THE TABLE. I learn so much about my child’s day at the dinner table. You and the pilot appear to be such sweet people, i am sure it will all come natural to you as the baby gets older.

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

      that’s a great point. i had a tv growing up, but we decided no on that one for our kids. i don’t really want them watching a lot of tv anyway.
      LOVE the idea of dinner every night too. hopefully that one will be easy since we already do that

  5. Natasha on September 13, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    My best tip…Sit back and enjoy the ride. There is no “preparing” for a child…..and the best thing you can do is enjoy and love every minute of their life.

  6. Brigid on September 13, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’m childless but have worked with kids a lot and have two siblings who are almost young enough to be my own, if I had my own Lifetime movie :). Two books I adore are Judith Viorst’s “Rosie and Michael” (from the ’70s, I think), which is about friendship, and Jamie Lee Curtis’s books, which all about love and emotions and self-esteem. Great stuff!

    And my pieces of discipline advice from my own childhood and my childcare experience: 1. Consistency is key, as is making sure you and the pilot are on the same side (my parents took turns siding with me, which was not great); 2. Timeouts/quiet time are effective once the kids are old enough to reflect on the situation and/or just need to cool off (it was a lifesaver with my group of 6- and 7-year-old campers!); and 3. Use logical consequences.

  7. Sara on September 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    The ‘naughty step’. One minute for each year, and half years count.

    This technique works very well, because kids hate to be ignored while they are sitting there ‘thinking about what you did’. We even used this in Venice (lots of steps in Venice!) because Miss J kept running off at every opportunity and I was shit scared that she would either get kidnapped or fall in the water. We sat her down on a convenient step and she howled for two minutes at embarrassing volume.

    It worked though. ‘Stay where I can see you’ was the rule from that point. In Rome it was way too busy to enforce that rule and we resorted to ‘the reins’. Honestly, travelling with children is not really relaxing 😀

  8. Ali on September 13, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    My #1 parenting tip is prepare to change your way of thinking at the drop of a hat. What you think you will do may not be what you will do when the situation arises. Don’t judge other parenting as much as you want to 🙂

  9. Caroline Walberg on September 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

    My favorite ‘did they just say that” moment was when I told my old manager I was preggo. I was nervous to begin with to tell him and his response was, “No sh*t?”….classy.

    My best advice is to always go with your instinct, it is amazing what the “mom meter” will tell you to do or not do. I went to more Dr visits when other people or even my husband said just wait a day or so and she had an ear infection or something else.

    Kids, especially little, need routines and structure. It makes them feel secure and know what to expect.

    Essays, my parents made me write those too. They sucked but it was a great punishment and I always learned a lot.

    Mine is little and I only have one but my gf’s tell me the Love Language book for children is great. My friend has 3 and they all have a different love language that they respond to

    Teach them that they can always talk to God and He loves you.

    Reading stories to my little girl is one of my most favorite times in the world. You will LOVE it. You an the Pilot are going to be such phenomenal parents. I always thought it wa such a cliche but I truly agree, I never in my whole life thought I could love something SO much. We have more fun just watching her every little move.

  10. Mary on September 14, 2011 at 3:10 am

    I adore your blog. SO. MUCH. I just found it recently, and its wonderful.

    I dont have kids, BUT, a few months ago I was reading a book “The Temperament God Gave You” by Art Bennet, and I thought to myself: “When I have kids, I will re-read this book.”

    It talks about the different temperaments that people have, and focuses on problems and solutions between various temperament types. It looks at raising a certain kind of child, if you are a certain type of parent, and the various pitfalls etc. Its really cool 😉

  11. Katie on September 14, 2011 at 5:50 am

    You have to look at Giraffes Can’t Dance, it’s a great story ( with a rhyming cadence which makes it so fun to read aloud) about being unique despite what others might say about you. I’ve read it for 1 – 4 year olds. The same goes for Woolbur, (though this story is better for slightly older kids).



  12. beth on September 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I can’t believe people actually say those things to pregnant women. Wow.

    Thankfully, I’ve only had really sweet comments (“You look so beautiful” or “You’re glowing”), as well as comments from people saying that I don’t look that big yet. No awkward opinions or touching? I’ll take it!

  13. Morgan on September 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    Another thing not to say: “Oh, I went 3 weeks early!” when the pregnant woman is 5 days past her due date. At that point, you should be trying to make the overly pregnant woman feel better, and that is not how to do it!
    You look fabulous by the way! Such a cute bump!

  14. Kelly on September 15, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    My parents did a lot of great things I plan to emulate. They were consistent with everything: if they made a rule, we had to follow it, and if not there were consequences that were spelled out ahead of time and enforced each and every time. They also never allowed us kids to pit them against each other. If we asked permission to do something or some other parenting decision had to be made (like punishment for a big infraction of the rules), they would discuss it privately and tell us their answer together. They were a united front; neither one was the good guy or the bad guy, and we were not able to go ask Mom if we had already asked Dad and didn’t like the answer.

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