Crib notes: Nothing's mini about one mom's love for the van

March 5, 2012 at 5:03 PM ET

When your OB/GYN confirms for you that yes, you are indeed pregnant with your third child, she then gives you a handful of minivan brochures. Then, you cry, because it's happened, you've become a minivan mom. What station wagons were for our parents, minivans are for us. You're a mom now and that's how you ride. You've traded mini skirts in for a minivan and that's okay because your kids are worth it. However, one mom with two kids, knows she doesn't technically need a minivan, but oh, does she want one. While many minivan drivers crave a ride that's cute and red, preferably in a convertible, her heart desires sliding doors that will never ding the next car over in a parking lot. Her husband on the other hand, loves that their smallish car prohibits carpooling and feels that a minivan is the vehicular equivalent of waving the white flag. Do you roll in your van with pride or do you sport some other kind of mommymobile?

Related content: Minivans: the cool new ride? TODAY Moms readers weigh in

Pregnant gals, what you should expect is a bit of mean girls advice in your prenatal guide book
After years of cutting her classmates down to size, what's a mean girl to do once she graduates from high school? Why, get knocked up and then write a pregnancy advice book, of course. Nearly 30 years after it was first published, the mother of all pregnancy books, What to Expect When You're Expecting, is bigger and more popular than ever. Spawning spin-offs galore and soon, even a movie, the behemoth has guided 17 million women through nine months of gestation. It's a book that many love and many others love to hate. Aside from its strict dietary regimen, one mom complains that the whole tone of the book is nothing short of mean girls for the maternity ward. She believes that the advice, meant to be comforting and reassuring, actually induces neuroses and paranoia in expectant women. The author believes that What to Expect, along with its clique of hangers-on books, blogs and websites, all work to tell a mom that, no matter what she's doing, she's doing it wrong. She says that the thing it best prepares women for is the judgmental world women enter immediately upon birthing their first baby.

Goody bags: Love 'em or leave 'em?
Thanks for coming to my party. Here's a bag full of cheap, plastic crap to commemorate my big day. Half of it will be broken before you get home. The other half will wind up clogging your mom's vacuum cleaner next week. The infamous birthday party goody bag, they make kids grin uncontrollably, and their parents grimace. In most circles, it's a small bag filled with a few pieces of candy, some stickers, a temporary tattoo and a small, cheap toy. But, as with just about everything, other parents upping the party favor ante. Some extravagant types are doling out watches, tennis rackets, even American Girl dolls to their young, party guests. Hmm, how to snag an invite to one of those parties without having to reciprocate?...

The happiest place on earth made many unhappy with anti-obesity exhibit.
Woo hoo! It's almost spring break and you're taking the kids to Disney World. A little Magic Kingdom, a little Epcot, a little anti-obesity messaging... Wait, huh?! Well, we hope you didn't have your heart set on helping heroes Will Power and Calli Stenics defeat the world's evil-doers, Glutton and Lead Bottom on your trip to Orlando. Disney's pulled the plug on its latest exhibit, Habit Heroes, after just one month. We're not sure how much of it's because of the criticism the mouse got for stigmatizing his overweight visitors and how much of it's because kids just didn't enjoy playing arcade games where they whacked hot dogs with broccoli mallets. Many criticized this exhibit, saying kids don't need to be told to watch their weight while on what's supposed to be a fun, family vacation. Others have said that the message involved was negative, rather than inspirational and thus, not a positive message to be sending kids.

Jessica Simpson rumored to be expecting one baby and $30,000 worth of prizes.
Push presents -- while some people say a new baby is gift enough, others say that baby should come with some jewelry for a job well done. After all, dads get to love and cherish the new baby too, but without all of the hard work. Rumors abound that Jessica Simpson's fiancé has stocked up on $30,000 worth of jewelry for his famous baby mama's push present. While we'll likely never know if he's actually done it, he's said to have bought it from her favorite jeweler on the Italian island of Capri. Although it does seem to be an excessive amount to spend, it looks like that baby might be excessively large (though Jessica herself looks gorgeous), so maybe it all works out in the end. Did you get a push present? If so, did you opt for jewelry or something else?

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.