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Archive for May 22nd, 2008

I hate to admit this, but if something happened to the files on my computer, either through the hands of a hacker or through a computer virus, it would be a tragedy.

Yes, I’m that dependent on it.

But even people who use their PCs on a much more recreational level (read: are not borderline obsessive) need protection, too. Protection for their family photos, their documents… and, of course, for people who purchase things online, protection of their identities.

Luckily for all of us, there is Norton 360 Version 2.0 all-in-one security by Symantec.

This new version provides automated, comprehensive protection for your PC, your online activities and your important information in a single, easy to use solution.

Here are some of the awesome features:

* Defends your PC against a broad range of threats
* Safeguards against online identity theft
* Protects important files from loss
* Keeps your PC tuned up for peak performance
* Provides a hassle-free user experience
* Protects against the latest online threats
* One-click access to expert support right from your Norton 360 product
* 1 year protection for up to 3 PCs

In layman’s terms, Norton 360 Version 2.0 is peace of mind in a box. Peace of mind that is pretty darn simple to install (that’s an important part for me!).

And with all the things stored on our computers, peace of mind + simplicity when it comes to protection = fabulous in my book.

In the interest in full disclosure, this review item is courtesy of Mom Central. (Bloggers can sign up here to participate in product testing/writing reviews for Mom Central!)

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Last night my husband and I took my mother-in-law out for dinner. This was not how the evening was supposed to go… but that’s what I love about life, because the night turned into a lovely golden thread of beautiful memories for all of us.

Actually, my mother-in-law was scheduled for surgery this morning but plans changed when she was diagnosed yesterday with an infection. With a round of antibiotics, the surgery will be on again, probably next week. But of course she was very nervous, then frustrated, so my husband and I eased her angst by taking her out for her favorite dinner at a little gem of a place here in Rhode Island. Yes, the Alaskan King Crab Legs, sweet potato, spinach, and tons of bread and buttah (as she calls it) were just what the doctor ordered, and soon she was cracking up with laughter at my husbands’s jokes and antics. He knows just how to make anyone, especially his mom, feel bettah.

My mother-in-law is 89 years old. She drinks beer. Tells jokes. And still bakes treats for her kids, grandkids, and now great-grandkids. So I wasn’t surprised when she brought along a gift bag of her famous cinnamon twirls to drop off at Audrey’s home. Yes, she not only remembered Audrey’s birthday, but spent the day before her supposed-to-be surgery baking Audrey’s favorite cookies. She placed them into a Tupperware container that she remembered Audrey loving as a child, and birthday wrapped them in a beautiful presentation. But remember… this is all on top of being worried about the surgery that was canceled at the last minute.

But anyway… Flo got to talking about the baby shower that she “threw” for me when I was expecting Audrey, the shower that happened to be 30 years ago yesterday. Yes, the exact date as our little dinner last evening. She reminisced about what she baked that day, who was there, what I wore… and especially about how I carried things up and down the stairs that day as she warned me that I would be having that baby sooner than I should.

Well, she was correct. The shower was on May 21. Audrey was due June 26. I went into labor 30 years ago today, May 22.

I knew something was going on when I felt a whirlpool-like swish that woke me up from a sound sleep. I knew something was going on when I saw a little pinkish-ness on the morning toilet paper. So as soon as I arrived at school that morning (30 years ago today!), I rushed to our school nurse and told her of my “condition.” She smiled and said, “Honey, you’re in labor.”

“But I can’t be! The baby isn’t due for 5 more weeks!” I said. Well, cried.

So began my day. Me in total denial. But my denial was not something Audrey was considering, so at 10:00 am, as I stood up to teach a class, my water broke. I was so huge that I couldn’t see my legs and feet, so I asked my team-teacher if there was water… or blood… on the floor. She saw nothing, so I knew the liquid had to be clear. Thank God.

Thank God, too, that my husband and I taught at the same school, so I sent a student from my English department to the Math department to PLEASE get my husband.

My husband was there in a heartbeat and off we went to the hospital. I was admitted immediately. My husband made all the important calls. His mother said, “I told her not to be going up and down those stairs.” And we waited.

And waited.

But it seems that Audrey had changed her mind.

I had contractions all that day, 30 years ago today. But none so alarming that the baby seemed imminent.

At midnight my husband was sent home to rest up for the next day, when I would be induced further.

I remember staring at the night sky and the stars from my hospital window. I knew my little baby was a bit too early to be coming, but I prayed and prayed for a healthy baby. I thought of all the shower gifts that were piled into a corner of the un-prepared nursery. I thought of my dad who had died three years earlier, and who so wanted to be a grandpa. I knew he was smiling from above.

The next morning, May 23, was a spectacular warm and sunny May morning. And I labored that morning, that afternoon… until a cesarean delivery was “ordered.”

My husband was allowed into the delivery room with me… and I watched my husband’s eyes as he watched our baby be born into this glorious world. And at 5:53 pm our little girl made her beautiful appearance. She weighed 4 lbs. 9 oz. and measured 17 inches. She was the most beautiful baby. She was whisked away for all the necessary premie things… and I woke up a couple of hours later in recovery.

As I opened my eyes, our pediatrician was standing over my bed. He told me that my baby was perfect… and he wanted her name so the nurses could put it in big letters across her incubator.

That moment defined my baby girl. I had thought Allison Audrey was a lovely name. My husband LOVED Audrey Allison. And at that moment, I knew just how loving and special and perfect this daddy was for this perfect little baby girl.

I whispered, “Audrey Allison.”

Our Audrey Allison has always loved her name. And each time I say it, I think of my husband’s eyes as he watched her come into this world. His first daughter. His first little baby girl.

And I think of my mother-in-law… scolding me for walking up and down those steps on the day of my baby shower.

And guess what? She was still scolding me last night! Ah, yes… we had such a wonderful time talking and smiling and laughing and being scolded about those days when our precious little bundle of joy was making her way to us.

So Audrey… happy almost 30th. 30 years ago today I was thinking of my baby… you!

And thanks, Nana Flo… for all the wonderful memories of that special, special time.

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On turning 30…

Tomorrow I will be 30 years old.

30 years old.

I’ve never been one of those people who “dreads” certain ages. I have always embraced each birthday with a sense of excitement, contentment and gusto!

30 will be no different.

My 20’s have been good to me. 10 years of growing… learning… dreaming… reaching… loving and moving in a forward motion.

I met my husband at 20. Graduated from college at 21. Got married at 23. Had my first baby at 26. My next at 27. My next at 28. And conceived my next at 29.

I lived 7 of the past 10 years in New York City working for Donna Karan. I pursued a life-long dream to not only live in New York City, but “make it there”… just like Frank Sinatra sang. And I did, along with my husband. We were able to create a “perfect” little life for ourselves there. And it was wonderful.

I bought my first house in my 20’s. My first house. A place to call home and know that I won’t be handing in my keys at the end of my lease.

I wrote and published my first book, Preconception Plain & Simple. I started Pinks & Blues (soon-to-be named Mom Generations) with my mother and sister. And I’ve watched our business grow…

I have met more and more beautiful people. And have made more and more wonderful friends.

I have had the pleasure of getting to know my parents and grandmothers as an adult woman and mother. I have delighted in seeing my brothers become fathers. My sister meeting the love of her life. And my parents become grandparents.

I have lived. And I have loved in my 20’s.

I have my husband to thank for the deep love that I not only feel from him, but have for him.

And I never imagined 3 (almost 4) little men entering my life and changing it so profoundly.

Not all before I turned 30.

It’s quite amazing to me.

And so… as I embark on my 30’s tomorrow… I can’t help but think and smile about the next 10 years and what they will bring me.

Where will I be 10 years from now? Will there be more children? Will we still be living in this very home where I am typing away in at this very moment? Will the gray hairs eventually pop out? :)

This is the exciting part about life… and I’m excited and energized for the ride we call “our 30’s.”

- Audrey

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