A long, long time ago, around the turn of the century, my now-husband proposed. It was wonderful, we were excited about getting married, yada yada yada. Then we realized we didnâ€™t know how to plan a wedding.
So what did I do? Since I am a giant dork, I trotted off to the bookstore. It was there that I picked up the first in a series of books that would help me in my quest to pretend to be an adult. The magic book? â€œBridal Bargainsâ€ by Denise and Alan Fields. Not only did this handy book help me save money, as the title indicates, but it told me what was important when choosing venues and vendors and all sorts of fabulous things.
Fast forward a few years to when I saw two lines on the olâ€™ pregnancy test. I, of course, didnâ€™t know the first thing about parenting, so what did I do? Headed to the bookstore, of course. I told you I was a dork. Imagine my glee when I discovered that the Fields had written another book, this one titled â€œBaby Bargains.â€ Their product reviews and advice on what is needed (car seat) and what is not (wipe warmer) were invaluable to me. The best part? The night I sat with â€œBaby Bargainsâ€ on my lap and Amazon user reviews on my computer screen for three hours crying because I could not figure out which of the 924 strollers to purchase, I finally emailed the Fields through their website, desperate for help. Sure enough, they quickly emailed me back and said â€œBuy this one.â€ Ok, thatâ€™s paraphrasing, but you get the idea. Since then Iâ€™ve emailed them more than once and theyâ€™ve always sent a very prompt and helpful response.
Then along comes Kateâ€¦ born without an instruction manual tied to her arm. Good thing Denise Fields paired up with pediatrician Dr. Ari Brown to write â€œBaby 411.â€ Everything you need to know about babies in paragraphs short enough for new mothers who, if they are like I was, have the attention span of a gnat. When to call the doctor, how to swaddle your baby tighter than a burrito, getting the baby to sleep â€“ this book has it all. Jenny and I both give “Baby 411” as a gift at every baby shower we attend. I often inscribe it with â€œThis book is the only reason Kate lived to be a year old. Enjoy.â€
An avid fan of these books (in case you couldnâ€™t tell), I waited with bated breath for â€œToddler Bargainsâ€ and â€œToddler 411â€ to come out. They didnâ€™t disappoint. I still refer to both of these frequently. Kate got sick once when we were on vacation, so I immediately called Jenny and had her read me what â€œToddler 411â€ had to say about fevers. Now I donâ€™t leave home without it.
If you donâ€™t have the complete set, click here to buy one of each. Seriously. Do no pass go, do not collect $200. Buy them now.
I just hope that they are busy working on â€œSchool Kid 411â€ and â€œTeenager 411â€ as we speak.