S: Melissa and Pete's Parenting Guide
FC: Melissa and Pete's Parenting Guide | advice with love From the "best parents in the world"
1: With much love from mom and pops May9, 2011
2: Dear Melissa and Pete, The child that you will soon welcome into your home will be blessed to have two wonderful parents with a loving extended family and circle of friends who will provide a nurturing foundation on which to flourish. Choosing to adopt a child offers many challenges and unforeseen joys. My siblings and I were among the lucky few to have been taken in by parents like you two. We are testaments to the remarkable power and lasting effects that a loving family can produce by being a family. Your child will be so fortunate to be surrounded by your love, strength of character, and sense of humor and adventure. The family you will create will be your legacy for generations to come. With Love From ~ Wanda, Colby, and Chelsea
3: The Stetsons
4: Dear Melissa and Pete, As for advice, I fear that I am not the best person to give it. I have been bumbling through single parenthood for the past three years, and have a beautiful daughter, but I think that I make more mistakes than not. Sophie is, however, the most wonderful thing that has ever happened in my life. When I get frustrated, or sad, or just plain overwhelmed, one look at her convinces me that it everything is worth it. I guess that is my advice - try to take all the ups and downs in a stride because, at the end of the day, whether you are facing a sleepless night, are covered in carrots, are removing Legos from the bottom of your foot, or are too worn out to contemplate putting the dishes in the dishwasher, you still have the absolute gift of a child. Each one is a true blessing (and I am not! religious).
5: In the less emotional realm, I would recommend that you ensure that you have a Moby Wrap, Baby Bjorn, and/or Ergo carriers because the "hold your baby close and still be hands-free" option is one of the best ever invented. You can do anything when your baby is in one of those things! Jess
6: Dear Melissa and Pete, MUST-HAVE GEAR: Small video camera to capture the memories Front pack and/or sling baby carrier Hiking backpack (get one where the child sits close to your back-- some sit too far out, hurts and is awkward) Chariot stroller/ski pulk/bike trailer (convertible) Jolly jumper (for leg strength training at an early age) Zip line (for arm and core strength) Strap-On Skis Books Pack n Play (3 uses in 1: Crib and playpen, then a time out spot for when older) Best Parenting Advice Book: 'How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk' by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
7: DON"T GET GEAR: Gas powered child ATV or snowmobile Wii or Playstation Baby learn to read videos Exersaucer or walker-- pretty much any baby furniture is out! No sugared processed "kid" foods Make sure infant formula isn't made with corn syrup (only a couple brands aren't) ADVICE: Don't give in to child's tantrum to save yourself public embarrassment Never lie about life, the world, anything; just gracefully leave out information that they aren't ready to handle. Trust is learned from parents first. It is said that parents tell their kids an average of 3000 white lies. I'd like to think we've said 0 because "vegetables really will make you grow up big and strong!" >>>>>
8: Have family rituals that they can look forward to and count on. Nightly rituals and monthly rituals and birthday rituals, etc. Don't EVER wake a sleeping child (or a sleeping adult!) Give gifts of your time together, not things. Don't step in to help him with a task until really necessary. Ignore him enough so he learns to entertain himself. Time out does work- it's parental consistency that is the problem. Give a choice to help the child have the illusion of control "Do you want to clean up the blocks or the Legos first?" or if that doesn't work, "Do you want to clean up or go to time out?" Children want boundaries and rules for a feeling of security. Don't say "no" unless you're ready to stick to that 'no.' (the same for "yes") Hug often.
9: That's all for now! For first-hand experience of the wonderful products of this advice, please visit our perfect parenting paradise in Winterport, ME anytime. We love you both and wish you much parenting fun! Love, Emily & Mark
10: Trust your instinct as Mom and Dad. Be present. Love and respect your child as the person she/he is. Take care, Kaerlig hilsen Jan og Marianne
11: To listen is the key, at all ages of the child ;-) Love, Laurel
12: My biggest piece of advice is to GET HELP if you need it, Melissa and Pete! We had HUGE behavior struggles with Henry and after asking many people (including numerous medical and parenting professionals) and being told, "He is just a boy." Or "Sounds like you have a bully on your hands." someone (www.heartmanity.com) finally HELPED!!! It turns out I was stringing him out too much and also he had sensory integration issues. Once we dealt with those, our lives took a 180 degree turn for the better. I cannot imagine what our lives would have been like if I had not asked for help once, twice, thrice...even after been told it was "normal." My heart told me it was not and my heart was correct.
13: I also strongly recommend figuring out what you have to do to breast feed. It is TOTALLY POSSIBLE for adoptive mothers to do it and even if it means a baby was on bottle and then moves to your breast, it will create bonding affects and cool things for you for ever. Now, that being said, if it does not work, it does not work... but I suggest looking into it. And... schedules. People talk about them being important and I thought I was above all that, but... that was the 1st problem I had to solve with Henry, the sensory integration issues were the second. I don't mean when they are wee babes, but as they get into toddler hood. We can talk more when your kiddo gets there. >>>>>>
14: We are so excited for you!!!! Love, Britta, Jon, Henry, and William
15: WHAT IS A PARENT? Someone who can maintain a sense of humor when the newborn screams three nights in a row at 3 AM after having been fed and cuddled from 1AM to 2:30AM. Someone who can love, love, love the baby and continue to love and cherish her/his mate. Someone who will act & talk the way they want their child to act and talk. Someone who encourages their child to do well and is still supportive when it is clear that their child will not always be a star. Good luck Melissa and Pete. The road is difficult but worth every minute!! Julie
16: To Melissa and Pete: Just a few words of "wisdom" although being a parent is learning something new every day, even 26 yrs later! One technique someone told me: if your baby has colic, (lets hope he or she doesn't!), put the baby in their seat and put the seat on the clothes dryer, the motion soothes them, and it worked! One "must have book," The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, still a favorite and remains on our bookshelf downstairs. If you don't have it, I will get it for you, it's a beautiful story. Know that you will always have our love and support. Your child will be blessed, no parents are more deserving than Melissa and Pete. With Love, Auntie Kay Kay and Uncle Johnny
17: PIC HERE | With Love, Auntie Kay Kay and Uncle Johnny
18: Dear Melissa and Pete, The love your parents have for you is strong and deep enough to capture moonbeams and hang them onto the brightest stars, the joy your parents have because you are their children is in such abundance that this joy could paint the most beautiful fall sunset, the pride your parents have for you could energize 100 people to scale the highest mountains in search of diamond shaped glistening snowflakes or rain drops. When that baby arrives your parents will still do all of the above because they love you, HOWEVER for that baby-their grandchild-those moonbeams will be turned into magical moments that only grandparents know about, that tremendous joy will be felt even deeper and will paint not only sunsets, but ocean waves and starry nights, storybook creatures and delightful adventures, and those diamond shaped snowflakes and raindrops-well . . .
19: They ALWAYS transform into so many hugs and kisses-many more than all the snow flakes and raindrops on those mountain peaks. So, that bond built between the grand-parents and the grandchild is totally special and beyond anything you both can imagine until you see the look (and probably a few tears) on your parents' faces. Enjoy the heart strings being tugged, it surely is so very precious. We feel such joyous anticipation. Love from Marty and Donna
20: The most important thing I think that you can give your child is the gift of your TIME !!! Time to do all the little things. Read a story, play a game, make cookies, toss a ball, take a walk, ride a bike, swim in the summer, sled in the winter and go apple picking in the fall. The wash, cleaning, cooking can always wait a bit, enjoy all the times because they grow up so very fast. Melissa and Pete, you are going to be terrific parents. My prayer is that it happens for you very soon. Marty
22: Melissa and Pete, We're sending our love and best wishes to both of you on the anxiously awaited arrival of your "Baby To Be." You will both make wonderful parents, and with all the love and support from your families, it will surely be a blessed event for all of you. We enjoy every minute we can with our dear little Grandchildren, and realize just how very special they are. We're thinking of you and hoping the Baby Stork will be arriving at your doorstep very soon :-) Love~Pam & Barry (aka:Mimi & PaPa)
24: FOR DIAPER RASH: We learned from a friend of a friend about using Maalox and Caldescene (available at most pharmacies I imagine) for diaper rash. This was after trying everything - including prescriptions - for very bad diaper rash on Meredith. The Maalox and Caldescene works like magic. A finger tip wet with Maalox on the affected area and a sprinkling of Caldescene will eliminate the worst diaper rash. Regular sprinkling of Caldescene should keep diaper rash away. FOR BEDTIME: Taking a page from real estate there are three factors which will teach your child to know when it's time to sleep; Routine, Routine, Routine. We always begin bedtime with a bath followed by books and cuddling. By the time we're done the girls know what to expect - a good night's sleep in their bed.
25: They get to the point that they get excited about bath and cuddle time. FOR YOURSELVES: I think the best advice that we received is to fit a baby into your life; not to create a life around your baby. If you want to go out for dinner and bring the baby you should do so - early and often. When they are small they will sleep through dinner in their car seat but being in public will acclimate them for their adventures later in childhood. Make sure that you still live your life the way you did before the baby - albeit with a few concessions for diapers, babysitting and strollers, etc. When it comes to little ones the best thing you can do for them, and for you, is to get them to sleep early. >>>>>
26: Little ones need to learn how to get to sleep on their own. If they are having trouble sleeping give them a few minutes of crying and gradually extend that time each night until they stop crying altogether. It feels lousy but in the long-term what you are teaching them is how to self-soothe. As Hollie always says, "you wouldn't want someone holding you when you go to sleep or fall asleep on top of anyone- why should they be any different?" Good luck and remember we're always a phone call, text or email away for more advice. Tom and Hollie
28: Pete and Melissa, We are absolutely certain that you will be wonderful and amazing parents--so our most important advice to you is trust yourselves as parents. (Sometimes, this is harder than it seems.) And trust your child, too. He or she will arrive in this world with his or her own personality and strengths and weaknesses (which are sometimes one and the same); resist the temptation to compare your child with others. We asked Oliver what makes a good family, and he, we think, sums it up best: "Be nice, kind, generous, and thoughtful," and "I love you can never ever ever EVER be told too many times." (He also said, "Feed your child breakfast every morning," but I think you probably already knew that!)
29: So much joy is coming your way. We wish you all the best. Love, Christiane & Dean
30: Dear Melissa and Pete, We are so excited for you to become parents. We know that your love for your baby will grow each and every day. In our first month of being parents we have learned a few key things. We hope that they will help you as you welcome your new little one into your family. 1. Always accept help- especially in the form of food and baby watching (so you can REST) 2. The first month of your lives with the baby is all about survival. Take everyone's advice with a smile and then DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU IN YOUR HOME! Whatever works for you IS what is BEST for you and your family.
31: 3. Everyone will tell you that you need to enjoy EVERY moment. Well sometimes its hard to do that in the first few months because you are so exhausted and you just can't figure out why the baby won't sleep or stop crying. During those moments, remember: "THIS TOO SHALL PASS". The bottom line is that you and Pete are going to be on the journey of a lifetime. You will have ups and downs but you will have this little miracle to love and help learn about the world. Be sure to share all of your passions with your child and they will grow up to be a wonderful person. We love you both! Kay, Scott, and Abbie Trafton >>>>
33: Dear Pete and Melissa, Congratulations on impending parenthood! I am so excited for you. Having only begun this journey three weeks ago, my advice is fairly limited. But I do feel confident in knowing that you will be terrific parents. All you need is a whole lot of love and I *know* that you both have tons of that to offer! Here are a few more practical/humorous tips: 1. If you have a boy, invest in a lot of baby washcloths! We use them on the changing table for every change to prevent surprise (wet) attacks. 2. Take time for yourself! Showers are a wonderful thing--as are grandmothers and fathers and bouncy chairs, for holding the baby while you take one! (We like this one: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4344772) >>>>>
34: 3. Baby Bargains and Baby 411 are both essential reference guides, in my opinion. 4. Don't take anything too seriously. If you end up letting baby sleep in your bed and vowed not to do that, don't worry. Enjoy your time with the newborn; you can't spoil him or her, and the best you can do is let him know that he is loved and he will trust you and be happy. Making promises to yourself about what you WILL or WON'T do (bed, pacifiers, etc) will only make you feel guilty and will not make your baby any happier! 5. Swaddling and "shhh-ing" really work! Buy the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. Or better yet, just borrow it. One viewing is all it should take! 6. Talk, sing, play, read and hug your baby, as much as you can! The newborn phase goes so quickly--I cannot believe my baby is 3 weeks old already. Take in and enjoy every moment, even the sleep-deprived grumpy ones, as those too shall pass.
35: Love, Sarah (and Ezra and Ilan)
36: Best advice for new parents? 1. It's a wild ride. Be sure to enjoy it, and most of all, remember to put your hands up for the big drops! 2. We highly recommend the middle name "Danger". 3. We're not sure how much our kids learned from us (by the time we find out, the damage will be done), but we sure learned a lot from them. 4. If you don't want the little f*%$er to have a potty mouth, stop cussing around them loooooong before they can speak. We learned the hard way that babies pick up their vocabulary starting at 6 months, not right when they start using it. Michael's first word was "banana"; the next day, he said: "Oh shit, dropped it!". It got worse from there in a hurry.
37: 5. Hope for a boy!! It's way easier (and a lot less rude) to fix a boy's poopy diaper than a girl's. 6. Hope for a girl!! They smell a lot better, and maintain that "new car" smell long after the warranty runs out. 7. Set your expectations low from the start. Really low. It's the only way you can really appreciate the "Art" they create in kindergarten. 8. Keep in mind as you raise the little darling that the qualities we admire in adults (tenacity, assertiveness, leadership, etc.) are things we really HATE to see in a two year old. Small consolation, right? 9. Don't be afraid to teach them the wrong animal sounds. "What's the doggie say, sweetie?"- "Quack!" They'll get you back for it one day, but it's worth it. >>>>>
38: 10. For new babies, remember that night time is when the world is dark and quiet. Don't be morons like we were and turn lights/tv on when the baby wakes up at 3AM. Duh! And a free bonus: Blue food = Green poop. There is no need to call the doctor. Most of all, have fun and enjoy this amazing little person who's about to wreck your life. Chris and Gina
39: The best advice I can give you is to enjoy the time you have, every minute is precious. Don't worry about keeping the house clean, just relax. Get lots of rest when you can. This means you rest when the child is napping. Don't try to clean, do the wash and everything else. Relax when you can until things smooth out. You will always have tomorrow to do the things you missed. Also let people help. Let them clean and shop for you so you can get some rest. Babies and young children are only young for a short time, so enjoy, You'll make great parents. Love and best wishes from Marie Olson-Badeau (three times a grandparent)
40: Dearest Melissa and Pete, Four children later (ages 25, 23, 20 and 15,) Ralph and I are still experiencing new situations everyday on how to "parent." My best advice to you, the new parents, is that there is no specific advice. You have to parent "on the fly," take each situation as it comes. What works for one child, does not make an impression on another. Go with your gut. You know much more than you think. You cannot love too much. You cannot have too much family time. You need to be consistent, never threaten and not carry through.
41: You cannot parent in anger. When I need to reprimand my kids, I've learned that it's best to talk to them as if you were talking to someone else's child. It will force you to be more thoughtful, more patient, the same way you would talk to a student who is misbehaving. You need a good sense of humor. You need to cherish each moment, as all your "seasoned parents" will tell you, it goes by fast. You should consider advice given to you by your parents... they definitely know a thing or two about raising children as they obviously did a great job with you. The best advice I received as a new parent was from one of my best friends growing up. He became a pediatric critical care doctor at the University of California San Franscisco hospital back in 1984. >>>>>>
42: Weeks after Andrew was born, we were told he might need skull-plate surgery. I called my friend and he told me "that I should never become unglued over something that is fixable". I have carried that advice in my heart and in my head for 24 years, and will continue to hear that message. Through the years of emergency room visits, broken bones and stitches, I have remained calm; understanding that these things are "fixable," unpleasant, but fixable. With great anticipation, and increasing joy in our hearts, we wait (patiently) to hear good news from Vermont. Much, much love from all the Cioffis: Ralph, Phyllis, Eric, Andrew, Ross and Kathryn
44: Dear Melissa and Pete, ADVICE FROM MOLLY * Remember to feed them milk * Remember to give them a nap * Put the baby in the stroller to give them a walk * Give them a tubby * Let them watch a movie at home * Take them to a movie theater * Do their diaper ADVICE FROM PARENTS * Although this may seem obvious a crying infant may be hungry * If you are covered in both poop and vomit at the same time, it's OK to take a minute to process the situation * A little TV time is OK. You're not bad people for taking a break * Hand me downs! Hand me downs! Hand me downs!
45: * Always get the race car shopping cart. * Always carry a juice box, Kleenex, and raisins * No car will ever be big enough again. * You are amazed at what can fit in a nose or ear * Getting to full potty use is like gaining 7 more hours a day and a $55,000 raise * There is such a thing as too quite. There is a mess occurring somewhere * Do not change your name to GOO GA. It will not get your baby to say your name first and it will stick with your for the rest of your life. Like it or not * The opinion of your pets will change from their perfect companion to the most annoying thing on the planet * Danger is a magnet: stairs, plugs, knives, humidifiers, doors, cabinets, pillows, blankets, food, water, air. * Infant massage class is a farce. Babies don't like massages. Get a massage yourself. >>>>>
46: * Sometimes ice cream is OK for dinner * Sometimes your better off not asking why they did something. * Everyone has advice no one has any answers * The Montshire museum is way better way to spend the day than you can imagine right now * As an adult you may finally get the point of Dr. Seuss and Conjunction Junction * Holidays are made of families and lies. "Santa" * If you think have time to scrap book You don't .. Scrap booking is for retired grandmas. Use snapfish * You will have a new group of friends completely based on your child's friends * NEVER have a birthday party at your own house. You don't have time to clean * If you think you were broke before, just wait for your price club diaper/formula trip * 4 hours of sleep a night is pretty good. >>>>>>
47: * Toys are overrated. Same effect from a box * Use grandparents as babysitters. * Try and actually have a night out as a couple * Baby Einstein fun for everyone * If you are cuddling with your baby and their eyes are watering they are in fact, pooping. DO NOT FREAK OUT. * Blue poop equals too many blueberries * Kids do not want to learn from parents. Don't take it personally. * Use peer pressure to your advantage * Storyland is your new must see vacation spot * Even if you don't agree with your spouse's decision on a topic you have to support it. Always have a unified front * If an obese, disabled or odd looking person in your vicinity be assured your child will draw attention to it. * It's OK to do absolutely nothing on the weekend * You thought you were happy without your child but you were wrong. >>>>>
48: Love, Mike and Christine | <<<<<<<
49: Dear Melissa and Pete, | I wish that I had some wonderful piece of advice but I have thought and thought and all that keeps running through my mind is that we all just muddle through the best that we can. What is it that holds it all together? I feel the common denominator is LOVE. Given enough of that, all else falls into place one way or another. And that your child will have in abundance. You have all of my best wishes as you wait expectantly for your child. Love, Joanne Powers
50: Dearest Melissa and Pete, Welcome to parenthood. Life's greatest, and most rewarding, adventure. As we reflect on our 32 years of parenting, we have decided on the following 10 "Things to Know" about being a parent. There is no training manual for this, life's most important occupation. It is truly "on the job training." There will be those who review, but few who could actually fire you! So here goes... 1. Rules- You need to have some, it is what is expected. You will like all of your rules, your child will like few yet he or she will know that they need them. Know that the rules change from day to day as you change and as your child changes. But always remember, there must be rules otherwise there would be nothing to "break!"
51: 2. Accept help- There are no "Mommy and Daddy Awards" presented at the end of your performance as this is one show that never ends, thank goodness. So when offered, and when needed, take help without guilt or compulsion to return. Believe us you will feel better at the end of the day. Oh, and that is why you have a family. 3. Date Night- No kids. Enough said. 4. Green eggs and ham, or grilled cheese- Kids do not suffer when occasionally there is only one food group on their plates. The most important thing is to eat together as often as possible. It matters. 5. Take time...for yourself- Be happy, be healthy, do things you enjoy doing, be interesting! Your child will want this for you and more importantly he or she will want if for themselves, happy parents. >>>>
52: 6. Give time- It is truly the best gift you can give your child, it always fits, and it does feel better to give than to receive. 7. Keep talking- Ah, the teenage years, lock jaw. Keep talking, through the good times and the bad. You will teach your child to tell time, he or she will understand what it means to arrive home at 3 a.m. Keep talking and they may even call you to let you know they will be late. 8. Be rich!!!!! Kids cost a lot of money!!!! NO! Be rich in memories, make one or two everyday. Your pockets will be full, as will your hearts. 9. Teenage bedrooms- Unless you actually need to sleep with them, close the door. Someday you will see your flooring again, and that is a sad day. And, you can hire exterminators- we know!
53: 10. On the days when you wonder if you will get through to the next, keep this in mind. Someday you will get to be grandparents, the best darn invention yet! There is nothing on earth more precious than that. With love and admiration, the future little "Fellow" is one lucky child. (You may need to remind him or her of that on a regular basis.) Debbie and Bob Pelkey
54: 1. Get "The baby Book", by Dr. Sears. I can't tell you how many times this book has helped us out from knowing which foods to feed at which age to understanding how much tylenol or motrin to give your little one when they are sick. We probably use it a few times a month as it covers the toddler years as well. 2. Try to write about your experience as parents, photograph, or video as much as you can. Hope and I keep a journal about Oliver and write down interesting things that he is doing every couple of weeks and we try to take videos of him when he is being really funny or doing something big like walking, etc. We found it helpful to keep photos organized by age as well so you can look back on it and see all the development from month to month. You may think you'll remember everything, but with all that goes on in life it is hard to firmly hold onto the memories if you don't have some kind of record of it.
55: 3. Your child will grow, eat, develop, talk, walk, everything else at his/her own pace. You may think they won't laugh or point or something, but trust me they will do it when they are ready. Don't worry if a book says "your child should be doing this or that" and your child isn't, they will. Same goes if you have a friend with kids who is doing something and your kid isn't, they will. They all just go at their own pace and will grow up to be wonderful. 4. As a continuation of point 3, DO WHAT YOU THINK IS BEST for your child. You know your child better than anyone else. You don't have to do the same parenting practices as what your friends/family/etc. do or did with their kids. All kids are different and you'll quickly see what your child likes and needs, so just do what works best, is comfortable, and you'll have a happy kid. >>>>
56: 5. Make sure both parents can do all the various parenting baby duties when they are alone. It really helps if both of you know how to put the child down for bed, how the child likes a bath, how much sauce they like with their pasta, which kind of juice they like best, what books they like to read, etc. This really makes things much easier too if one parent has to be at work late, gone for the weekend, or is sick in bed. We can't wait to meet the little one and see you guys! Love, Ryan, Hope, and Oliver
57: The best advice we could give to anyone starting a new family is not not listen to other people's advice, but rather follow their own instincts. You have both been raised by wonderful, loving families. They have outstanding morals, and huge hearts. How could you miss but to raise children that are only a reflection of yourselves. My other favorite was taught to me by my brilliant older sister, Sharon. That was "Favorite thing." At tuck-in time you make sure you ask what their favorite and least favorite thing was for that given day. That way you have a key to their emotions, and can unlock feelings of both things that make them happy or things that may have bothered them that day. It really was one of the best gifts we still share today. The gift of communication. (and... get a good lullaby tape for those long nights, we still remember the songs on Caitlyn's) You will make the bestest little family!! Love, Lisa, Steve and Caitlyn
58: Apart from having the opportunity of being the father of 2 beautiful daughters and the husband of a beautiful wife, the opportunity for me to give a little piece of advice to my favorite, oldest niece and her wonderful husband makes my soul smile. I've never claimed to be the best parent on the planet (if you by chance find that person get their address and phone #!), however I can say that waking up every morning and seeing the sparkles in my girls eyes makes me think I may be doing something right!
59: Enough about how great I am, now its advice time. It's been stated many times that being a parent is the hardest job anyone will ever experience. Personally I don't agree. I've found it to be the easiest, most fulfilling experience I will probably ever encounter. People make such a big deal preparing for your new life as a parent. Relax, it's easy. For me it only requires a few tools: AFFECTION, LOVE, HONESTY, LOTS OF HUGS, KISSES, PATIENCE, AND TRUST IN YOURSELVES THAT YOU ARE DOING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. For about a million years, nature has done a great job instinctively letting us parents know what we are doing right or wrong. Let nature take its course in this wonderful adventure. It's probably the best free guidance you can ask for! Finally, my last piece of advice: Whenever some loving person (like yours truly) offers to help out in any way TAKE THEM UP ON THEIR OFFER.
60: As beautiful as the unity is between the parents and the child, the unity of just the parents once in a while is essential! Well that's what I have to offer. Karla, I and the girls love you so much and we are so proud of you. Enjoy your new lives and your new “little life”. | Christian and Karla
61: My best advice to give to you is to always follow your instincts. Chances are if you feel like it is the right thing to do: it is. You two are amazing people who are going to be amazing parents. You will make mistakes, but you learn from them and move on, just like we teach our students to do. Now, for some of my minor, but may be considered major, discoveries along the way: 1) Marry a good man/woman: DONE-you have accomplished that! 2) Never say you will never do something..........you probably will. 3) Take the baby everywhere!!!!! Don't be afraid; it will help you and the baby adjust to a variety of places, noises, situations...... 4) Now, to contradict #3 a little, make sure you two spend time alone! It is so important to keep your marriage strong, honest, and romantic! 5) Find a babysitter (other than a grandparent-sorry grandparents) early on and try to make them "permanent"/regular.
62: Melissa, we have an abundance of very qualified caring middle schoolers, who are wonderful with children. You should start them early (Middle School) and have them come over on a regular basis, even if you are there, and most importantly pay them well. If they play with your children, and maybe even straighten up the house, they deserve a good rate. 6) Follow your instincts and trust yourselves. If you make a mistake the kid doesn't know, and chances are it wasn't that big of a deal. Finally, I am sure there are other pieces of advice I will think of later, but overall these are the things that stick out to me the most. You two are wonderful people, who have so much to offer a child. I am excited for you and here for you too! Love, Anne
63: My dear Melissa and Pete- In a very simple and short term parenting to me is LOVE. You both have been very fortunate to learn just what love and parenting truly means. Now that I have reached to double golden years, (almost), I can tell you when that precious baby is placed in your arms you will know what the word "parent" is all about. You don't need books and advice. Listen and love. They will tug at your heartstrings . Just reason - never in a hurry. >>>>>>
64: Support him or her, or them. in whatever path they travel. It may not be what you desire, but God gave each and every one of us our own minds and talents. I have always tried to keep family first and together. I know you will do the same. The bond you will share with the baby is the most spectacular feeling you will ever experience . The happiness this baby will bring to all of us cannot be explained. Yes, I am very proud of you because you are very special to me and for me to be a Great-Nana to your baby is one of the greatest gifts anyone can ever give to me. My dear ones- I will be with you always. All my best and love from your Nana's heart. PS- Nanu would be proud of his little "tiger."
65: Pete's Favorite Children's Books Make Way for Ducklings Blueberries for Sal One Morning in Maine Time of Wonder, Burt Dow Deep-Water Man, Lentil by Robert McCloskey The Story about Ping, Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack Katy and the Big Snow, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton >>>>>
66: >>>> Miss Rumphius, Island Boy, Eleanor by Barbara Cooney Emmett's Pig - by Mary Stolz and Garth Williams Doctor Rabbit by Jan Wahl, Pleasant Fieldmouse by Jan Wahl and Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak Andrew Henry's Meadow, The Summerfolk by Doris Burn Rabbit Hill, The Tough Winter by Lawson, Robert Goodnight Moon, The Little Island, Little Fur Family, Wait Till the Moon Is Full , Sneakers, the Seaside Cat by Margaret Wise Brown The Cricket in Times Square, Chester Cricket and His Friends, Tucker's Countryside, Harry Kitten and Tucker Mouse, Chester Cricket's Pigeon Ride, Chester Cricket's New Home by George Selden and Garth Williams
67: The Borrowers by Mary Norton Richard Scarry collection Mercer Mayer collection The Ramona Collection by Beverly Cleary The Berenstain Bears by Stan Berenstain The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg The New Way Things Work , Castle, Underground by David MacAulay The Story of Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan Minn of the Mississippi, Seabird , Paddle-To-The-Sea by Holling Clancy Holling Charlotte's Web by E. B. White and Garth Williams A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
68: Melissa and Pete- The two of you already possess all the qualities you need to be fantastic parents. The trick is to remember the important ones even on the days when the "wheels fall off." 1. Your Health is vitally important. Napping will become an acquired skill. Even chaos is easier to handle if you have had some rest. Take good care of yourselves, and each other.
69: 2. Play- Continue the activities you love: Riding, Skiing, biking.. Look for excuses to get outside with your little one. Make "play time" out of ordinary chores. Your wonderful sense of humor will be most valuable. 3. Time with Friends will be a treasure. Connection is key to being a sane parent. 4. Rely on your Family. We love to help and will be looking for opportunities to spend time with your child. 5. Gratitude- You are really good at appreciating the little things and you will nurture that in your little one. Take time to smell the roses. 6. Relationship- Enjoy time for just the two of you. Respect each other- remember the "Mrs. Barclay rule." Be on the same page. Consistency is key. >>>>
70: One of the best gifts a child can have is a happy Mom and Dad. We're always here for you and so looking forward to our new grandchild. With love, mom and dad