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Archive for February, 2008

Two Virtual Little Strangers

Two “Little Strangers” came into my life with both the most extraordinary happiness, and the most grievous sadness, imaginable.

They are James and Jake, two little identical baby-angels who came into this world, and who left this world, on February 26, 2008.

And though I never saw them with my eyes, or kissed their tiny hands, James and Jake will live with me forever.

My journey with these baby-angels began with an email from James and Jake’s mom, Beth. In her email, Beth’s entry into our Virtual Baby Shower at Pinks & Blues, Beth’s words flowed with warmth and love for the identical twin boys she was carrying… and for her two older children, her husband, her mom and her family. I could feel the tapestry of their lives. I could see the colors and feel the beauty and delight. Words do that. Words are indeed lamps that light our paths… and Beth’s words were beacons of adventure and excitement and happiness for her young family and their little baby boys to come.

It used to be that women could sit on a front stoop and exchange words of some exciting news, ask advice, laugh at things that only women find amusing, or perhaps even commiserate about the vegetables that didn’t come up as good as expected, or exchange secrets that were guaranteed to be safe. Well, most of the time.

And there was a time when women spent hours on the phone talking about, oh, the same things I mentioned above.

But these women knew each other. They were friends, neighbors, sisters. Their conversations were both the laboratory and the workshop, working out things and ideas and sentiments that gently eased their days into nights, the days and nights into months and years. There was great comfort and camaraderie in these conversations.

Today, the stoop and the telephone have been replaced with the world wide web. Women still chat and exchange, but now with virtual strangers on things called “mommy blogs.” On these blogs, women exchange exciting news, laugh, commiserate and tell secrets. And I will emphasize, “laugh.” Women are funny. Women are fun. Women take the familiar of life and transform it to the remarkable. It’s what we do!

Friends are born on these blogs. And these friendships multiply joys. And this joy is what my daughters Audrey, Jane and I experience every day. Women being women sharing life with women. Just like our grandmothers on the stoop.

Virtual strangers whose words expand our own little universes while circling around us at the same time. So when I received the tragic news that Beth had lost her baby boys, my heart broke into a million pieces. I cried for Beth. I cried for the two little angel-babies who I knew only from the words of love from an extraordinary mommy.

So many of us cried.

Thousands of words of comfort and condolence and solace and prayer have flowed to Beth, her family, and her beautiful little boys.

Strangers in solidarity. Virtual friendships that hope to divide griefs.

James and Jake. Two Virtual Little Strangers who will live me, and with all of us, forever.

Two angel-babies who have changed our lives. Just the very reason I know them so well represents the infinite possibilities that life has to offer all of us.

I will think of James and Jake every day.

God bless them and their family.

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Here’s Audrey as a little 3-year-old girl…

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Tell us there’s not a strong family resemblance between her three boys and their mama!

William…

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Alexander…

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Benjamin…

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Watch Baby Boy #4 have dark hair and dark eyes!

Pinks & Blues Girls Blog is your Throwback Thursday Headquarters!

Join in on the Throwback Thursday fun! Sign Mr. Linky so others know you’ve participated and can check out your Throwback Thursday photos on your site, and don’t forget to leave a comment to let us know you participated!

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Actress Angela Kinsey of NBC’s hit show “The Office” graciously answered a few more of our burning questions!

We know you are itching for “The Office” to return with new episodes (we are, too!) And it’s wonderful to know that that time will come sooner rather than later (read on for more about that!).

Angela is the celebrity honoree for our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower!

We will shower her with over 70 amazing gifts from our wonderful Baby Shower sponsors – and another lucky mama-to-be to will win the exact same Baby Shower gifts that Angela will receive (worth over $2,000.00)! (Vote HERE for the winner!)

Read on for our full interview! (Our previous interview with Angela can be found HERE!)

Pinks & Blues: Are you excited to go back to work on “The Office” now that the writers’ strike is over?

Angela Kinsey: I can’t wait to go back to work! Our writers are there working away but the actors do not go back until early March.

P&B: We bet you’ll be pampered by the cast and crew!

Angela: I can tell you that our cast and crew are really like family. So I know I’ll be in good hands. ;)

P&B: Our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower (where one lucky mama-to-be winner will receive the same gifts as you!) got 552 entries. Let us tell you, there are some huge fans of yours! How ’bout a shout-out!?

Angela: Hello mamas-to-be! I am so excited that we get to share in this Virtual Baby Shower experience. I have to tell ya’ll that my good friend, Lisa Elkinton, is a vendor on this site (Tiptoe Bows) and I can’t wait for you to get her adorable flip flops. I just think that this whole thing is too much fun!

P&B: Can you pass along the best piece of advice that you have received as a mama-to-be?

Angela: The best piece of advice I’ve gotten… hmmm, well that is tough. I feel like I’ve gotten so much good advice. One of my friends told me to enjoy it all. The tired moments, the happy moments, all of it is a gift. :)

photo courtesy of teamsugar

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It’s great when they’re too little to fight it!

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We are heartbroken to tell you that Beth, one of our Virtual Baby Shower Finalists, needs your comfort and prayers.

Beth’s sister, Sarah, has updated Beth’s blog.

As a community of caring women, we at Pinks & Blues know that our readers would want to know this sad news.

Out of love and respect for Beth, her family and her angel babies, we will not be using an alternate for the Shower.

Our prayers and thoughts are with Beth and her family.

Audrey, Jane and Sharon

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rattle.jpgWe have posted the names and stories of our 10 Finalists in our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower. One of these lucky mamas-to-be will win the fabulous gift package of everything mama-baby-daddy that is imaginable… and our celebrity “The Office” mama-to-be Angela Kinsey will receive an identical gift package.

Our incredibly generous gift sponsors have made our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower so much fun to organize and plan, and Audrey, Jane and I thank each and every one of them with hearts so big! We will be posting photographs and descriptions of these oh-so-perfect gifts in the coming days.

And I want to take a few moments to thank each one of the 552 mamas-to-be, and friends and family members of the mamas-to-be, who entered our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower Contest. When I say that I wish each and every one of you could be a finalist, and winner, of our contest… I mean it with all my heart. This tribute is to each of you.

Each of you feels blessed in a way that makes you realize the meaning of the word “miracle.” This simple word resounded in story after story, page after page. Our panel of readers mentioned that to us time and time again… each baby is already recognized as a miracle. This miracle is bringing something of the divine right into your lives. In the midst of all the affairs of the world, your baby has captured his or her spot in our vast universe, and most especially, in your hearts. Your baby has brought you beauty and happiness that is almost unexplainable. Your baby has brought you a fortune that transcends any thought of money. Your baby is your great creation… your art, your novel, your music, your talents, your wisdom. Your baby is the center of your kingdom.

And then there is the love outside of that miracle. The love of your husbands, partners, surrogates. The love of your parents and grandparents. The love of your sisters and friends. The love of siblings, cousins, neighbors. The love for a virtual little stranger who will come into their arms, crawl at their feet, climb upon their laps… and give a zillion reasons why this love is so strong, so powerful, so precious, so amazing.

And the love that many, many of you mention… the love of God or a higher power. Your great faith has elevated your spirits and allowed the belief of your baby to become real, the proof of the hoped and prayed for. So many of you have never wavered in the belief of possibilities. You have embraced faith and now will embrace its rewards.

Enjoy the journey of your precious little miracle. Enjoy each moment. Find joy in each kick… and even each discomfort! We truly loved the story of your baby, and we hope that we will continue to hear from each of you as your pregnancy progresses. Mamas love to share the stories and the journeys of their babies… and we at Pinks & Blues love to hear them!

We can’t wait to see photos of their beautiful faces… and the stories to match! Thanks to each and every one of you!

- Sharon

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Yesterday we announced the names of the 10 finalists for the Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower.

Today we are sharing their stories!

Although the actual voting won’t start until Monday, February 25th, you can go over to our Virtual Baby Shower Voting site right now to get acquainted with the 10 finalists!

And remember, the voting will take place between Monday, February 25th and Thursday, March 6th.

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The day has come!

The 10 finalists for the Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower have been chosen.

With 552 entries(!), you can imagine how tough our panel of 10 had it. Let’s put it this way… we feel for the American Idol judges!

Between reading, deliberating and ultimately deciding on the finalists, there were plenty of tears, laughter, discussion… even frustration!

Each story touched our hearts in a different way, and we really wish we could have chosen all 552 entries. Honestly!

Each story was inspiring, and each baby is a miracle in the making.

OK, drumroll please…

Our lucky mamas-to-be, in no particular order are:

Amy, nominated by Megan
Andrea, nominated self
Jody, nominated by Heidi
Julie, nominated by Rachel and Laura
Katie, nominated by Kelli
Kerry, nominated by Ashley
Pam, nominated self
Rachel, nominated by Erin
Sally, nominated by her husband

There are first-time mamas, a military mama, a mama of multiples, mamas who have struggled to conceive, a mama who hasn’t been a mama-to-be in 13 years, mamas who have seen hardships. Mamas who were nominated by dear friends, sisters, husbands… and mamas who said, “I would love this!”

**All of the finalists have been notified, and we will be sharing their stories with you tomorrow here on our Pinks & Blues Blog, at which time you can begin deciding who to vote for. The voting will begin on Monday, February 25th and continue through Thursday, March 6th.**

The winner of the Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower gift package, as well as our celebrity honoree mama-to-be Angela Kinsey, will both receive gifts from these amazingly wonderful companies:

2 chix
787 Baby
ABCakes
aden + anais
AirCrib
Apples’n’Oranges
Baby Candy
Baby Cha-Cha Boutique
Bambina Ballerina (check out their special Pinks & Blues bow holder!)
Barefoot Books
Be So Beautiful Baby
Bella B Bodycare
b.glam baby
Blessed Nest
BlueZoo Boutique
BurpCatcher
For Your Bug-A-Boo
The Cubbyhole
Czela Bellies CesareanWear
DadGear
Deadly Girl Couture
Diaper Cakewalk
Doodlebug Prints
Dr. Moz
Emily Allyn
euro-baby
Hanes
HAPPYBABY
Happy Panda Baby
Haute Lunch
The Hole Thing
Hot Moms Club
ll Cocco di Mamma
In The Pink Designs
Jaime Zollars
Kidoinfo
Ladybugs and Lilypads
Liliputians NYC
Lil’ Sugarplum
Little Stork
Mabel’s Labels
Made by Angie
Made for Mommy
Mama Rose’s Naturals
Miss Priss Tutus
My Miracle Baby
Natural Pod
“The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler”
Posh Peacock
The Queen Bee Paper Company
Queenie by Design
Pixie Dust Décor
Rag & Bone
Resa Design
Robeez
Rock Star Moms
Secure2Me Blanket
Sherri Blum Designs
Skimbaco
SnappyBaby
Sofia Bean
Stacie Dale Designs
Strollometer
Sunflower Hill
Susan Brown’s Baby
Tatutina
Tiptoe Bows
Tots On-the-Go
Tubby Bundle
Violet Gumdrop
Welcome Baby

This includes a $600 Micralite Toro stroller, courtesy of Tots On-the-Go and euro-baby!

Congratulations to all mamas-to-be out there! A child is the best gift of all!

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The Phil&Teds Vibes have hit water and we can release their pictures! How cool are they!?

Remember, you have ten more days to enter to be among the FIRST to stroll your baby in the NEW Phil&Teds Vibe, courtesy of
Tots on-the-go!

And the winner will get to choose between either the red or the black Phil&Teds Vibe!

Decisions, decisions!

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ENTER TO WIN HERE!

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Corbin_park_trees_and_fogOK, February. I get it.

You suck.

You’re cold, rainy, windy, ugly, vile and mean.

And that’s on a good day.

I’m getting really tired of looking out my bedroom window every morning to be greeted with an unfriendly gray cloud cover.

Of having to wear 5 layers when I go outside just to be mildly comfortable.

Of hearing the weatherpeople say that we’re still going to have to wait awhile for the Spring weather (thanks for the reminder, guys).

Of dreading getting out of the shower to face the frigid air in the nude.

Of the bare trees.

I need the warm weather back.

The smell of grass being cut.

The desire to take a walk outside and not having to add one layer of clothing.

The sound of the lawn sprinklers.

The sight of families at the park.

There’s nothing like New England in the Spring and Summer. It’s breathtakingly beautiful.

I love living by the ocean. Spending the day at the beach. Being able to drive for three hours and hit four different states (the three-hour drive from Providence to Portland takes you through RI, MA, NH and ME. Strolling through the quaint New England towns.

I definitely don’t want to leave my home state. But I’m clearly one of those people who needs to live in Florida from January to April.

My job would allow me to telecommute like that. But my husband’s teaching job may make it a little tricky.

OK, there goes that dream. 

I guess Plan B would be one of those Seasonal Affective Disorder light therapy lamps.

Daylighth

On second thought, that seems a little weird.

I think I’ll just suck it up for 6 more weeks!

- Jane

Cross-posted at New England Mamas

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