Archive for April, 2007

My daughter Jane’s blogging friend Eve at Good Enough is having a husband haiku contest that I’d like to enter! Here’s mine about my husband, who I affectionately call “Honey-Boy Rocket!”

My hot movie star
Resembles Dustin Hoffman
He’s “honey” to me!


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Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing, inspired by People Magazine’s “Stars Without Makeup” feature, is having a Bloggers Without Makeup Contest now through May 4th.

The big rule of the contest is that you have to post a picture of yourself without makeup. Yikes!

I was able to find one of all three of us… I will post it below, along with another one of all three of us later that night (with makeup)!

Mom and Audrey – I’m doing this for the good of our fellow bloggers, so forgive me!!

OK, first without:

Now with:

OK, that wasn’t so bad… let’s see the rest of you join in!

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Today we moved my grandma into her new place.

She has been having some health problems for the past few months, and my mom recently had to make the decision to have her try out an Independent Living Community.

It’s not Assisted Living… she is completely living on her own, taking care of herself… but she has people overseeing her medication, making sure she’s getting to the dining room for her meals, and just generally more aware of her than in her previous apartment.

As I helped my grandma unpack her clothes, hang everything up in her closets, plug in her television and computer (yes, she uses the Internet!), set up her toiletries, and try to make herself feel at home, I realized that all of the worry and anticipation and concern I was feeling for her must have been exactly what my parents were feeling when they dropped me off at college.

Going somewhere new can be a scary thing. You’re forced to go outside of your comfort zone. You need to learn to adapt. You need to adjust.

I went off to college about 3 hours away from home. I had never before been away from home – or my parents – for more than a few days.

While most of the kids moving in to college with me on that Fall day in 1998 were waving good-bye to their parents with a sigh of relief, I was begging mine not to leave me.

I distinctly remember making them (along with my sister) stay over at their hotel one more night. I wasn’t quite ready to be alone yet.

And that’s how my grandma felt today. When it was time to go down to the dining room for lunch, I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t quite ready yet to be alone.

I knew that feeling. I’d felt that feeling.

Yes, there’s something to be said for letting people go off on their own and find their own strength.

But there’s also something to be said for easing someone into a transition with care and compassion.

So I stayed with my grandma for lunch. I sat with her and another lady and chatted about the weather, the news, history, the food, family… we ran the gamut of small talk.

And I could see my grandma loosen up as time went on.

So when I finally left her in her new room after lunch, I could see how much more relaxed she was.

In the parking lot I looked up to her window and saw her smiling and waving down at me.

I got home later to an email from her (see, I told you she uses the Internet!), saying, among other things, “After dinner, in the lobby, a woman was playing the piano. All the old songs I grew up with. Some of us were singing along. I enjoyed it so much.”

It made me feel so happy… just as I imagine my parents felt the first time I called them from college to say I had a great time with a new friend, or that I was excited to join a new club.

Moving can be a challenge. New things can be hard to get used to. And whether a family member is going off to college or moving to an Indepent Living Community, we want to know that they’re OK and adjusting well.

And sometimes the difference between a rough transition and a smooth transition is just an extra night at a hotel or a lunch companion and some small talk.

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I was chatting with a college friend last night on the phone…

She’s not married (yet!)…

No kids (yet!)…

Lives in NYC…

Works in the fashion industry and gets some AWESOME designer duds for free (or at least a very good discount!) once in awhile…

Lives in a beautiful high rise with a gym and pool in the building…

Oh – and doorman…

Dines out every night…

Or – at least orders in!…

Actually reads the NY Times…

Takes a cab to work…

And if she works late – gets a car service…

She sleeps late on weekends and workouts every night.

I almost have to repeat that just to make it sink in – she sleeps LATE on weekend and workouts EVERY night…


As my friend and I were chatting and she was getting “beeps” while we were talking about where people were meeting up that night… and she was putting on makeup while she was talking to me and trying to figure out what to wear…

I was being interrupted by a little man upstairs screaming “MOMMY – I’m wet!”… I had 2 storage containers in my living room filled with maternity clothes that will be put away for now… and I kept noticing while I was on the phone that my feet kept sticking to the ground in certain spots – hmmm… grape juice!?

It’s so funny that the “old” me is gone. Believe me… I’m still the lip-singing in the car… make me laugh so hard I WILL pee… can imitate people fairly well… definitely still care about what I wear and what kind of bag I carry…

But the “old” me… even though I’m 28 years old… she’s gone. She used to live in NYC, working for Donna Karan without kids. She used to take cars to work and run sample sales and workout every night. She used to do sushi and order in pizza or my favorite thai food! She used to go to Starbucks every morning for a large coffee and cinnamon scone. She used to read Vogue and Bride Magazine. She used to live in a high rise building and have an apartment which overlooked 58th street and Columbus Circle…

But me “now”… it’s a new version of me!

I’m still the same “old” Audrey… but, like I know now… just a luckier one!

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Today my Benjamin is 2 weeks and five days old.

Already he has changed. I would say he has probably gained about a pound and a half… and he is beginning to look more and more (with each passing day) just like his brothers – a perfect combination in fact!

As I look at my three boys… I can’t help but try and see into the future. It cracks me up to “see” these three (handsome!) men someday sitting around the dining room table telling me about their day. Okay – maybe I’m stretching it there – but I really do get such a “high” off of daydreaming about these 3 little boys turning into men. I see us laughing and joking… I see them making fun of me (as children do to their parents, let’s face it!)… I see them wrestling with each other… and them harrassing each other about girls they like and things that they do! I see homework thrown on the table and books piled high in their rooms. I see baseball gloves and football helmets and the occasional tennis ball I will trip over! I see laundry all over bedrooms and drawers half open.

And I honestly think – while I’m thinking ALL of this – I love this!

I don’t know if every mom does this… but I often wonder if one will be more shy… and who will it be? If one will be my “party animal”… and who will it be? If one will be a “ladies man”… and who will it be? Who will I “worry” the most about… who will be my little love bug…?? The list goes on and on.

I laugh to think that they will all be a grade apart from each other in school. And I even cringe at the same time!

I think about the women they will bring home. And I pray they marry women whom I absolutely adore… although, we all know (as moms) we can never guarantee that…! But I hope, and that hope will go a long way, right!?

And I think about what they will become. The friendships they will make. The bonds they will have as brothers. The women who may break their hearts. The hearts they may break. The songs we will dance to together… yes, as “crazy” as this sounds, I already have my wedding song picked out for them…

William – Ring of Fire
Alexander – Sweet Home Alabama
Benjamin – Possibly… The Riddle

And I think about how my relationship with them will be. I WANT to be their friend AND their mother. I want them to respect me and trust me and love me more than anything. I want them to know that I will always be in their court, no matter what. I want them to feel what I felt as a child growing up – that safety of unconditional love. The kind of love that never ever goes away… and you, the child, knows it.

And yes… all this goes through my mind… even as they are as young as 2 1/2, 1 1/2 and 2 weeks, 5 days old.

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A gift of love with Cutco

Tomorrow’s lucky dad pick on our Pinks & Blues website, www.pinksandblues.com, is the Cutco Spatula Spreader, a fine and handy-dandy utility knife that pretty much does it all. And it just so happens that I have a little story to go along with today’s “we use, we choose, we endorse!” product.

It is very true that my husband Barry and I use the Cutco Spatula Spreader so much that we need to have two of them in our kitchen. It spreads. It slices. It frosts. It folds. All perfectly, every time!

And although that Cutco Spreader may be our favorite utility knife of choice, it will take a lot of years for it to earn its place of honor among the rest of the Cutco knives, kitchen utensils, and steak knives that have been in my family for nearly 60 years.

Yes, 60 years. My Mom purchased her set of Cutco knives, kitchen utensils, and steak knives while she was a single, working woman and living at home in Brighton, Massachusetts. She doesn’t remember all the details, but she does remember a Cutco representative coming to her mother’s home, selling these exquisite knives. The funny thing is that my Mom did little (or no!) cooking or baking at that time… my grandmother did it all.

My Mom loved to wear pretty, fashionable clothes (she still does!), go to the shore on weekends with her sisters and friends, and most especially she loved to dance.

But those beautiful knives and utensils sparked an interest that could not be denied. My Mom remembers paying a few dollars a week for the knives and utensils until they were her very own. She didn’t have a hope chest, but she did have hope that she would someday meet the man of her dreams.

And one day she danced her way into the heart of a sailor stationed in the Boston area. They were married 8 months later with nothing but their young love, blessings from family and friends, and the Cutco knives and utensils!

1950 – Rita and Bill set out on a “forever guarantee!”

Three children came along pretty quickly, a son, then me, and another son. We traveled all over the United States to wherever my Dad was stationed. And wherever we went, I remember those Cutco knives and utensils in each kitchen. And although I didn’t mind moving so much, the Cutco certainly became the stabilizing factor in my life. Like Mom and Dad, the Cutco was there at every meal, every celebration, every event.

My Mom and Dad, like most people of their generation, took great pride in taking care of their possessions. “Things” meant something… and rarely was anything dispensable.

My Mom washed the Cutco carefully and always placed the utensils in their proper sleeves or containers. My Dad sharpened the Cutco knives with great precision before even thinking of carving into the holiday turkey or ham. And my Dad always created the most masterful mashed potatoes with the Cutco masher with its dazzling diamond shapes. I can still see the white feathery fluff of the potatoes and butter and milk as it folded through those little diamond cutouts.


And, oh yeah… my Mom did learn how to cook and bake and did so every day for decades! I particularly remember the Cutco serving spatula inching through the homemade cakes and frosting of every birthday cake in my life.

1971 – Note the ceremonial CUTCO serving spatula sticking from the cake!


When my Dad passed away and the kids left home, my Mom didn’t cook or bake as much, but her kitchen still had the familiar Cutco utensils and knives. But it wasn’t until my daughter Jane’s college boyfriend became a Cutco representative in the summer of 1998 that Cutco carved its way into my life again. He had been very well trained and informed about Cutco’s reputation and “forever guarantee,” but he was still more than a little surprised when I showed him my Mom’s collection of Cutco! Knowing what I know about Cutco, I bought several pieces (including my first Spatula Spreader). I love my Spreader and my knives.

But one of the greatest gifts and surprises of my life came this past Christmas when my Mom gave me her entire set of vintage Cutco knives, kitchen utility set, and steak knives. And with this gift came the original box (and original instructions!) that the Cutco Professional Honing Stone came in. I was mesmerized! Memories of my childhood and teenagehood would now be in MY kitchen each meal, each day.

Now each time I see my reflection in these knives and utensils, I see my Mom lighting my birthday candles. I see my Dad’s delightful face at Thanksgiving dinner. I see myself making happy memories for my family.

Who ever thought you’d get THAT kind of “forever guarantee”?

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OK… now that Benjamin has been home for 2 weeks… and we have been out and about and have had visitors stop by the house – I want to add my 10 more “silly” things that people feel they can (for some reason) pass on to my husband and I…

1.) “After 2 boys, did you want a GIRL?” (Thanks… here my beautiful son is, healthy and strong – which is all we wanted – and you’re actually asking me if I wanted him to be a girl… hmmm…)

2.) “So basically you haven’t drank for 3 years!?” (Which is hilarious b/c, well… one – I haven’t because I have been pregnant for nearly 3 years straight; but two, I wasn’t this big heavy drinker before – so when people ask me this… it’s almost in disbelief – like how did I make it THAT long!?)

3.) “Are the boys jealous yet?” (Yup… still have those relatives/friends that keep asking that… I can’t figure out if they want them to be, or if they just don’t know what else to say!)

4.) “Now when will you guys start trying again?” (Point blank, nobody’s business, right? I mean… come on, he’s 2 weeks old!)

5.) “Your other boys still have bottles even with the new baby home?” (Yes… and they are still in diapers and still can’t read yet… is that a major problem!? They are only 1 1/2 and 2 1/2. I can’t see them drinking bottles in college – well, I hope not!) 🙂

6.) “Is he sleeping through the night? Usually they say 3rd and 4th and so on babies sleep through the night early on.” (Ok, first – I am trying to always figure out who “they” are. And second, he’s a newborn – he definitely wakes up throughout the night… but we knew that going in!)

7.) “So you’re a baby machine, huh?” (This one is weird… I can’t figure this one out. I don’t think of myself as a machine. There are people who have 3, 4, 5, 6, etc…kids out there already. But… my husband and I have always dreamed of a large family, and having them close in age… but machine – I’m not sure I think of myself as that!)

8.) “Were they all planned?” (This one has to be the worst to be asked! All three of my boys were planned to a “T”… I mean, planned planned planned… but really – should anyone be asking this!?)

9.) “When will your sister have a baby?” (When she’s ready… when she’s ready.)

10.) “Ahhh… your on your way to having a real sports team.” (Which I’m sure ANY dad loves to hear… but… well, they can do what they want – right moms!?)

So there is my revised new list… and I have actually had ALL of these asked to me or told to me in the last 13 days!

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Manic Monday

Taxes, taxes, taxes. It’s that time of year!

This Manic Monday’s word is tax.

My husband Steve is very much on top of doing our taxes.

Or, I should say, he is very much on top of having our taxes done for us!

As long as we get our taxes filed on time, that’s all that matters to me. Well, it also matters that we actually get money back instead of having to pay.

Anyway, we had our appointment with our CPA way back in February… it seemed to me like it was very far in advance, but Tax Day seems to have creeped up on us quickly, so I’m glad we got it done sooner rather than later!

That’s why our taxes is one thing that Steve doesn’t leave up to me! I’m known to be a bit of a procrastinator, so he’s smart in this regard.

Last year we used our tax return money to get replacement windows in our house.

This year the money will probably go to leveling our backyard and laying down grass (and sadly, not a Louis Vuitton purse), since we had about 20 trees cut down last October and the process wreaked havoc on our beautiful lawn!

I’m going to lobby for Uncle Sam to change his “dependent” policy soon and allow us to claim our doggies are dependents.

I mean, they are our children, after all! We buy them food, toys, beds, medication… they certainly live with us (more like run the house!) and rely on us for their support.

Changes are always being made by the IRS to keep up with the changing “traditional family.”

Come on, Uncle Sam – keep up with the times and the growing number of doggy children!

I hope everyone gets their taxes done on time and gets lots of money back!

– Jane

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