Archive for March, 2008

In two days I’m heading down to New Jersey for Johnson & Johnson’s Camp Baby.

Kind of wishing J&J had decided to plop down their headquarters somewhere with weather more akin to, oh I don’t know, Bermuda… but I suppose New Brunswick, NJ will do.

I’m most excited about meeting some of the Mommy bloggers I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know through the written word over the past year or so.

(Oh yes, dinnah at the swanky restaurant, The Frog and the Peach, and having a wine social with Ted Allen from “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Top Chef” will be pretty cool, too.)

Now, I’m not going to even get into the whole PR/marketing fiasco that has erupted around Camp Baby here in the blogosphere. (Although, if one would like to read up on it, a simple Google search of – “camp baby” j&j – will do the trick.)

My whole cause for concern is this: I’m going to Camp Baby with a bunch of Mommy bloggers. And yet… I’m not a Mom.

So, this is what went down. When “we” at Pinks & Blues were invited to Camp Baby, we really were under the impression that “we” would all be going – Mom (a mom to 4, grandmother to 7, soon-to-be 9), Audrey (a mom to 3, soon-to-be 4) and me (my doggies are my babies, but I know that most people don’t consider them “kids”… for the record, though, I do.)

In fact, the original email we received regarding Camp Baby was addressed to the “Pinks & Blues Ladies” at our general P&B email address. But by the time we realized that each of us would need to be sent a separate email invite in order to register, and the invites were sent to Mom and Audrey, the event was full (we also didn’t realize that there was such a limited number of spaces).

And so it’s up to me, the married-but-childless one to represent Pinks & Blues at Camp Baby.

But before you brand me with a “C” for “Childless” a la Hester Prynne, I will tell you that I am about as close to being a Mom as someone who is not a Mom can get (follow that?).

Recently, my girl Melanie at SavvyAuntie introduced me to a word that sums me up perfectly.

I am a PANK.

Got that? I’m a Professional Auntie – No Kids.

I spend a lot of time with my 9 (soon-to-be 11) nieces and nephews. I am very, very close to them. And since I work with Audrey at Pinks & Blues (office space is currently Mom’s house), I am even lucky enough to see her three boys – my nephews – every day.

That means that every day I get to hug and kiss and tickle and chase my little nephews. I sit on the couch and read with them. I build towers and bridges out of blocks with them. I build wooden tracks and play trains with them. I make snacks for them. I hold them after their naps. I kiss their boo boos. I teach them how to be gentle with my doggies. I change their diapers. I color with them.

They know my “look” – the one that all parents have – the one that says, “Oh no you didn’t” or, better yet, “Oh no you don’t.”

As a PANK, you know what it’s like to find yourself in CVS with baby vomit down your sleeve, only to realize it’s there when you’re in line with 10 people behind you.

And let me tell you, as a PANK, you totally feel a sense of protection for your little ones. You don’t want them to ever know any sadness, hurt or pain.

When your sister points out the bully in your nephew’s preschool class, you suddenly find yourself giving some random 4-year-old the evil eye. (Or so I’ve heard. Oh no, I’ve never done anything like this. Never…)

As a PANK, you understand what your parents meant when they said, “No matter what, nothing can ever take away the amount of love I have for you.”

My nieces and nephews can be upset at me for telling them, “No.” They can glare at me, turn their backs to me, tell me they’re mad at me. Nothing will ever change the love I have in my heart for them.

As for when I’ll have two-legged kiddos of my own, I’m really not sure (Mom just loves that answer, by the way). Steve and I are still fairly newly married (just over 3 years) and between my doggies, my role as a PANK and building my business, I feel like my plate is already pretty full.

Of course, there’s always room for a little more, and when the time is right, I think we’ll know.

Luckily, I am literally surrounded by mama-to-be, mama, baby and kid products every day here at Pinks & Blues. So I know I’ll be prepared when the time comes.

So although at Camp Baby I won’t be able to contribute to the conversations about up-in-the-night feedings, child-induced lack of sleep, or when to wean a breastfeeding baby, I know I will be able to hold my own when it comes to gushing about “our” little ones.

Between being a PANK and a doggy mama, there’s always something for me to gush about.

I just hope I don’t stick out too much with my Scarlet Letter.

– Jane


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Sugar HIGH!


Today I went for my Glucose Test for this pregnancy.

Oh, my.

Even though I have had this test done 3 other times, I can never get used to the taste of that damn drink!

I cut it short this time… my time period to get this test done was between March 5th and April 1st. Considering I had the stomach flu last week, I held off.

(For the sake of the poor technician who may have had to clean up a mess after me!)

But. Ugh.

I still have that orangey-zangy-tangy taste in my mouth.

Yumma’. Yumma’.

ps – Birthday countdown week for Benjamin. Friday is the BIG day! My little guy will be turning 1!

– Audrey


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Last Friday I attended the funeral of a very good friend’s Mom, Mrs. Helen McGinn. Actually, my husband and our friend John have been friends since junior high school. I had only seen his Mrs. McGinn a handful of times at his wedding, or a celebration here and there.

But at Mrs. McGinn’s celebratory Mass, I got to know her in a very beautiful way.

Our friend John eulogized his Mom. He spoke eloquently of her 94 years on this earth. He told us of her great love for her family, her sons, her grandchildren and now great grandchildren.

And he told of her passions in life… her love of sports (particularly the Boston Red Sox!), her love of education (she left home in 1931 to attend college at the age of 16!), her passion for reading, her passion for her Church, her passion for fun and laughter and joy.

John spoke of her kindness, and her kindnesses. He told of her gentle discipline. Her great strength. And her positivity.

The congregation was rapt.

When we left the church, I asked my husband how he would describe his Mom’s passions. And I asked aloud, “How do I describe MY Mom’s passions?”

We talked and laughed over the things that we love about our Moms (my Mom is 83 and my mother-in-law is 89!) and the endearing things about them. We told funny stories and spoke of the hardships of women who came of age when they did. And yes, we laughed over the things that drive us crazy about them.

But describing their passions… at least from our perspectives, was wonderful.

And it got me thinking… how would my kids describe my passions?

Sometimes as moms, our personalities get lost for awhile. I see this sentiment over and over again on many blogs. We love our children, and that is our number one passion in life… but honestly, how are we seen by these very children?

And by the way, what color are your Mom’s eyes?

Let me know!

(And thank you, Mrs. McGinn, for making me think about our moms and the greatest love of all!)

– Sharon


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Freakin’ A!

I got it. Hook, line and sinker.

The stomach flu.

As much as I tried to run… I couldn’t hide.

Wasn’t I just saying that I was ready for all the bugs and colds and flus to be gone? Well, they stuck around.

First it was Alexander. Then Benjamin.

Then ME.

Ugh… it sucks.

I hate being sick as it is. Never mind with anything that has to do with stomach viruses. It’s that one thing that I just HATE.

Seriously, it’s the type of thing that if I was on a game show with my husband and the question came up, “What is one thing Audrey fears?” His response would be either rats or the stomach flu.

And when it hit me, it really hit me. The kind of “hit” where I couldn’t move off the couch. Literally.

To add insult to injury, the TV remote was across the living room Wednesday night, just sitting on my TV stand. And guess what was on TV? The Food Network. The freaking Food Network! Talk about the last thing you want to see when you’re sick… food!

Never mind that Paula Deen and Rachael Ray were cooking away with their BRIGHT smiles and little jokes. But I was too WEAK to move! I kept watching with eyes half shut… praying for commercials!

Today I’m feeling MUCH better. I am sorry to all mamas out there who have experienced morning sickness. I have been lucky enough with all of my pregnancies to never have any. And all I could think was, How the hell do women do this day in and day out their first 12 weeks… and some of you, throughout the whole pregnancy!? You are super-women to me. Seriously.

So now Alexander is back to normal.

Benjamin’s getting there.

And I’m back up, doing my thing. A little slower than usual… but doing it. If it wasn’t for my Henry, there’s no way anyone could have bribed me to drink fluids or eat anything Wednesday afternoon/night and Thursday morning. It kept me going, knowing that mama needed to stay hydrated for him!

So now… where the hell is April?

I’m sick of March. Sick of the pink eye. Sick of the head colds. Sick of the freaking stomach flu!

Winter, be gone already!

– Audrey


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Pajamas all day…

As a grandma, I say, “Why not just stay in pajamas all day?”

Not every day, mind you.

But definitely the days when the grandkiddies are sick.

Take this week, for example. Each of Audrey’s three little guys has been sick. And I’m talking the kind of sick that requires frequent changes of clothes. Yes, both ways.

So my solution is… pajamas. Most specifically, the sleepy suit with feet zip-up style. This way, an emergency change requires nothing but a quick zip off. Clean the necessary region. New undies or diaper. Quick-zip on with clean pajamas. For heaven’s sake, this way the mama (or grandmama!) doesn’t even need to be searching for socks.

The quick-zip on is especially important because we don’t want our little sick ones to be cold and shivery. And we don’t want lots of tossling while dressing. No, siree. This only causes more, well, emergencies.

After holding, rocking, bathing, soothing 3 little guys all week, I was even thinking of inventing a sleepy suit that looks like clothing. You know, a matching outfit. In my sleep-suit fashion-ation, I was thinking… the top would look like a casual shirt, the bottom would look like sweatpants, and the feet would look like socks. OK.

But it would be one zippered fleece masterpiece. And in my fleece world, I would market 3 to a package. One on, one on deck, and one in the laundry.

Ah… everyone would be happy. Comfortable. Clean.

Uh-oh. I just heard another little “explosion.” Let me go clean it up and I’ll get back to you!

– Sharon


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I bought labels for William last August.

Like a typical first-time-going-to-preschool parent, I brought William to his first day of school in September with everything labeled. (Hey, the handbook said to do this!)

Yes, I mean, everything. And I have continued to do so.

Well, it didn’t take long before the moms started asking me, “Where did you get those labels?”

Simple… at Mabel’s Labels!

This place is awesome! They have labels for EVERY item your child has… everything!

And TODAY they have a special going on… all orders placed at Mabel’s Labels between 12:00am and 11:59pm EDT on Thursday, March 27th will be shipped with a coupon for FREE Sticky Labels.


Check it out HERE!

– Audrey

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Me and William on the streets of NYC, August 2005. Alex was in my belly!

I have been pregnant 4 times.

The first 2 times I was pregnant in New York City. William and Alexander were (ahem) conceived there. I was pregnant for 9 months there. I delivered them both there. And I came home to my NYC apartment in Columbus Circle with them.

My next 2 pregnancies were Rhode Island pregnancies… and as you all know, I’ve got 2 1/2 more months to go with my 4th baby boy! Benjamin and Henry were (another, ahem) conceived here. I have been pregnant the whole time here. I delivered Benjamin in RI and plan to do the same with Henry. And I came home to my house in Rhode Island with Benjamin, and will do the same with Henry.

I was lying in bed last night around 2 a.m. SO HUNGRY, thinking, “If I were back in NY right now, I would call The Flame Restaurant and order a grilled cheese with bacon and tomatoes!”

Yes. It was 2 a.m. And if I were back in NYC, The Flame (this heavenly diner on 58th and 9th) would be open, with a full menu and full delivery.

It got me thinking…

And I came up with a little list of the biggest differences between my NYC pregnancies and my RI pregnancies:

1) As I stated above, yes… all-night diners with full menus and delivery. I can’t tell you how much I miss this luxury. Last night I ended up just drooling over the thought of a grilled cheese… and ended up eating Saltines instead.

2) The doormen at our building. I miss the days of having these men help me carry my bags to my apartment… even if I just had one small bag from the market. Now I pull into my driveway, bring what I can in and have my husband get his butt out there to haul in the rest of the bags!

3) Taxis. Yes, the days of no driving. As much as NYC cab drivers can scare the CRAP out of you with their in and out driving, stopping-and-going – and braking for nobody – there was something nice about going outside, lifting my hand, having a taxi pull up and bring me to wherever I needed to go.

4) In NYC I was within walking distance to my hospital, which I loved! I knew if there was ever an emergency, I could be there in minutes… or if I had a concern or a question, I had doctors at my disposal in minutes. For every 1st time pregnant mama, I’m sure you can understand, this was heaven for me when I was pregnant with William. They probably had radar on me towards the end of my pregnancy to know that I was coming!

5) The fastest manicure/pedicure in the world. There aren’t many things I pamper myself with while pregnant… especially now, chasing after 3 boys and going here and there, it’s all about the BOYS, not me. But my one guilty pleasure in NYC was a weekly manicure/pedicure. They would have me in and out of there in 30 minutes – no joke. And get this – it cost me $15! That was it. $15 for a manicure AND a pedicure… and they did an awesome job!

I do miss my NYC days sometimes… I absolutely do. But then I get my dose of reality. And I see my 3 boys. And I see them running and playing in our backyard. And I knew that if we stayed living in NYC we probably wouldn’t have had a 3rd baby, not to mention a 4th. And we never would have even consider having a 5th!

NYC was fantastic while I was there.

And RI has been absolutely amazing for our family.

There’s no right or wrong. One is not more perfect than the other.

But oh, I do wish I could call The Flame Restaurant this VERY second for a grilled cheese with bacon and tomatoes… have it delivered to my door… and have a tab set up.

Oh, yes. Right now, that would be very, very nice.

– Audrey

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