Blog Posts by ParentsConnect

  • Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Pregnant

    by Maureen Lipinski for ParentsConnect

    My son is at the height of his Terrible Twos, but it often seems like just yesterday that the test stick turned pink. During my pregnancy, I read every book, watched dozens of movies and scoured the Internet for information but there were still several things that surprised me. Here are the top things that I wish I knew before I got pregnant:

    • People will never hesitate to ask, "Was it planned?" I still have not figured out the appropriate answer to that question. I mean, it's either, "Yes. We had sex every day," or, "No! Can you believe the souvenir we brought back from Cancun?"
    • There's a good chance you'll get HUGE. I expected to gain weight-after all, I was pregnant. What I didn't expect was that I would blow right past "chubby," "big," and "massive" and head straight for "enormous."
    • Your ankles might resemble overstuffed sausages by the ninth month. It started out small-just a little puff here, a slight swelling there.
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  • If the Playground's So Dangerous, Don't Come!

    by Ian Landau for ParentsConnect

    Lately, my carefree journeys to the playground with my almost 2-year old son have taken a disturbing turn. No, he hasn't become alarmingly close with the creepy clown guy who makes balloon animals for kids in our park (though that would be cause for concern), and he's not hell-bent on getting a treat from the ice-cream truck that's perpetually parked just outside the gates. In fact, he's not the problem at all. It's the other parents that bother me, specifically the ones who complain that the playground is "dangerous."

    Are they serious?! One day I heard a mom telling another parent, "I really don't like coming here, 'cause it's so dangerous!" I looked around, worried that I'd missed some perilous corner of the tot lot. All I saw was a bouncy bridge, a couple of slides and some swings. Not what I'd call a minefield, by any stretch. At first I thought that this parent was just some wacko, but the mom she was talking to actually agreed with her that the

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  • Twillight-Inspired Baby Names

    You already know we're obsessed with baby names, but the secret's out: We're obsessed with everything Twilight, too - the books, the movies and OK, we'll admit it, the incredibly fine leading men! So in honor of the release of the third film, Eclipse, on June 30, we've got a roundup of our favorite Twilight names from the blockbuster series. Whether you're on Team Edward or Team Jacob, we hope you'll agree: These names are bloody good!

    1.Edward The name Edward is classic and timeless - perfect for a guy who's over 100 years old and immortal. It has a royal sound, which works well for Twilight's vampire prince, and its meaning - "protector" - is a spot-on fit for the guardian of an accident-prone girlfriend. Although Edward hasn't been a top name since the 1930s, Twilight (and Robert Pattinson) could bring it back from the dead.

    2.Bella Bella is Italian and Spanish for "beautiful," which makes this a no-brainer name choice for parents enraptured with lovely baby daughters. It's also a

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  • First-Time Parents Piss Me Off

    by Lisa Cope for ParentsConnect

    OK, I have the benefit of hindsight. I'll admit that off the bat. But I really can't stand first-time moms. It seems so anti-supportive, I know. I just think first-time moms should support each other and not expect us second-time moms (who, by the way, are truly sleep-deprived) to talk to them for a while. It's not their fault. It's just that first-time moms don't realize the luxury of taking care of only one child-especially a newborn.

    I was at the park, resplendent in my sweats and unwashed hair, juggling my infant and my 3-year old while a playgroup gathered next to our table. They were obviously first-time moms as evidenced by their clean and decidedly hip outfits, and the fact that they appeared to have showered. They had clearly read the instruction manuals on buying baby gear. They had it all-BabyBjörns, slings, high-end strollers, ERGO backpacks, diaper bags bursting with paraphernalia and (my favorite) a perfectly packed picnic lunch. They

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  • My Kid's First Words Were "Ralph Lauren"

    by Kate Tipton for ParentsConnect

    My son wore a $40 Polo onesie home from the hospital. It was excessive but so darn cute. Little did I know that it'd be the start of an obsession.

    Fast-forward nearly a decade and my son is still wearing brand-name clothing-pretty much exclusively. He doesn't know Calvin Klein from Kenneth Cole, but I do. And so I find myself buying the latest designer fashions in youth sizes. I just can't bear the thought of my kid going to school in Target jeans or, worse, Wal-Mart sneakers.

    It's not like I'm going into debt to keep my kid outfitted in name brands. We can afford the things I buy-he's got a college fund and we're rock-solid for retirement-but there is a little part of me that wonders if I should afford it. It occurs to me that our money could be better spent than on a $100 pair of Nikes he'll outgrow in three months.

    Got a parenting confession of your own? Spill it!

    Still, I feel like I'm somehow protecting him by buying him designer clothes. I

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  • I'm Disappointed that I'm Having a Boy

    by Kariann3 for ParentsConnect

    I have 2 children-a boy and a girl from a previous marriage. I am 19 weeks pregnant with my boyfriend's child. We just found out it's a boy.

    As I said, I have a boy and a girl and he has a son from his previous marriage. I knew what I was having in my previous pregnancies before it was confirmed. I thought this child was gonna be a girl, so did my boyfriend. But we were wrong!

    I feel disappointed. Even though my daughter is a lot more "work." I wanted to give my boyfriend a daughter instead of another son. What is wrong with me? Why can't I just be happy I am carrying a healthy baby? I felt so strongly it was a girl I am even doubting the ultrasound. Even though you can CLEARLY see a penis! Any advice?

    Were you disappointed about your baby's sex, too? Share your story now!

    More from ParentsConnect:

    I'm Scared of
    Becoming a Mom

    Can't Stand My Partner

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  • The Best & Worst Things About Pregnancy

    GettyGettyPregnancy definitely has its pros (not having to clean the litter box, guilt-free triple scoops) and its seriously sucky cons (morning sickness, stretch marks, LABOR!). But every pregnancy is different, and one gal's pregnancy perks are another's major pain! Some love rockin' the beach ball belly, others can't wait till it bounces off. Some get seriously gorgeous hair, others get, well, nipple hair! Love 'em or hate 'em, check out these first-person rants and raves for both sides of the pregnancy story!

    1. Pregnancy Boobs

    Hated 'em:
    I already have pretty big boobs, but pregnancy took them to a whole new level. They were too heavy for my regular bras, gave me backaches and were crazy sensitive. And I don't think any men looked me in the eye during a conversation for 10 whole months. Fun times.
    - jessicamcfad

    Loved 'em: For the first time in my life, I finally had big, bouncy, beautiful boobs. Pregnancy breasts were like a free boob job!!
    - mybabysmommy4eva

    GettyGetty2. Pregnancy Weight Gain

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  • Am I Turning My Kid into a Freak by Making Her Eat Organic?

    by Devad for ParentsConnect

    I'm one of those health-foodie weirdoes. I buy all organic for my kid, we use almond butter instead of peanut, maple syrup in lieu of sugar, brown rice instead of white. It's not really my fault. I was raised by the penultimate food weirdoes-macrobiotics-and it stuck.

    That's all fine now, but when I was in school, I hated opening my lunch box. I felt like a freak when the other kids looked at my strange lunch selections. Instead of the Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups everyone had, I had "fruit leather," a non-sugar version of the delectable kid snack that lived up to its moniker, i.e., it tasted like leather. No one wanted to "trade" food with me at lunch. Who would want to swap a Tollhouse cookie for a carob bar? Honestly, I think it scarred me a bit. I was instantly labeled "different" the minute someone peered at the contents of my lunch basket. (Nope, no cool superhero lunch pail for me. I had a basket a la Little House on the Prairie.)

    And now I worry

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  • Is My Smart Phone Addiction Affecting My Parenting?

    by Erin for ParentsConnect

    My name is Erin. And I'm addicted to CrackBerry.

    It's bad. I hear that little "tweet-tweet" go off and I drop everything to see what's up. I text at the gym. I email while I scramble eggs for my kids' breakfasts. I'm on the darn thing all the time. Last week, we went on vacation and my husband threatened to throw my BlackBerry in the ocean after I called the office from my beach blanket to check in.

    In my defense, I'm a work-from-home mom-so my kids are with me when I work, and my work comes with me on park outings and to play groups. It's often hard for me to separate work and family obligations when both are pressing and need my attention. Plus, confession #2 here: I'm a workaholic-(and a perfectionist); so putting aside a work question to deal with spilled apple juice is, well, hard.

    Still, I don't want to be that mom-the one who can't hang up the phone and be a parent. I want to be the mom that's out there playing tag at the park, the mom that dresses

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  • Naming Your Baby After a City: Cool or Kooky?

    GettyGettyUsing place names for baby names is currently as hot as the Sahara (or as cool as Aspen) with celebrities and regular folks alike. Parents are fans of city, country and other place names because they often sound unique or may have special significance. But please note: Just because you got pregnant while on honeymoon in Honolulu or you hail from Hoboken doesn't mean you have to holla! by giving that town name to your baby!

    Brooklyn Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham was in Brooklyn, New York, when she found out that she was expecting her first child, and that's how her and husband David Beckham's eldest son Brooklyn got his name. This name is hot right now for both boys and girls (and we prefer it immensely to another New York borough baby name chosen by Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz: Bronx).

    Shiloh Brad and Angelina named their second daughter Shiloh, a city in Israel during Biblical times, for its meaning, "peaceful one." Shiloh, Tennessee, was also the site of a decidedly non-peaceful

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