Archive for April, 2008

I had the opportunity to learn about Safe Kids while at Camp Baby earlier this month.

The mission of Safe Kids Worldwide is to prevent accidental childhood injury, a leading killer of children 14 and under, and has actually reduced the unintentional injury death rate for children within that age range by 45% over the past 20 years.

Founded in 1987 by Children’s National Medical Center, with support from Johnson & Johnson, the organization brings together health and safety experts, educators, corporations, foundations, governments and volunteers to educate and protect families.

This week, April 26th through May 4th, is National Safe Kids Week 2008. It includes research, advocacy for public policy initiatives, advertising, distribution of safety devices and grassroots events through hundreds of Safe Kids coalitions and chapters.

Safe Kids USA has developed a safety checklist on the top injury risks to children and the steps parents can take that will have a major impact in keeping their kids safe. This is an excellent resource to have and to refer to often:

1. Child passenger safety – I ensure that my children under age 13 are and under are properly secured in a back seat of a car for every ride.

2. Car seat selection – I make sure to keep my children in the right type of car seat or booster seat until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit them correctly.

3. Wheel safety – I make sure that my children wear a helmet and other protective gear every time they bike, skate, skateboard, or ride a scooter.

4. Pedestrian safety – I teach my children to cross streets at corners and look left, right and left again before crossing. I also make sure that children under age 10 always cross streets with an adult.

5. Water safety – I always keep my eyes on my children when they are playing in or near water.

6. Open water safety – I always make sure my children wear life jackets when riding on boats or playing in or near open bodies of water.

7. Fire safety and Poison prevention – I have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed on every level of my home and outside of every sleeping area. I change the batteries once a year, and test the alarm every month.

8. Suffocation prevention – I do not place blankets, pillows or other soft items in a baby’s crib. I keep small items such as toy parts, coins, buttons, and beads away from children under age three.

9. Poison prevention – I keep poisonous items, such as medicines and cleaners, locked away and out of reach of children.

10. Fall prevention – I do not let children play on stairs, furniture, balconies, roofs, or in driveways, streets or parking lots.

Help the Safe Kids cause on:

Other resources:
Join the Safe Kids monthly newsletter
Donate to Safe Kids

- Jane

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Ah, the Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower is no longer “virtual.” It is as real as real can be.

All of the gifts have been packed, and everything is out the door and in the mail!

Audrey, Jane and I had such a great time running this special baby shower. We met the most beautiful mamas-to-be. We made so many friends. And we’ve seen the most perfect baby, Mommy and Daddy “things” to come along, ever!

Words that come to mind… Fun. Functional. Personal. Lovely. Safe. Oh, so cute. Exquisite. Adorable. I want one!

Yes, 70 fabulously generous companies hand-picked the most perfect baby products and services to give to Angela Kinsey of The Office, and to Jody, the mama-to-be winner of our Pinks & Blues Virtual Baby Shower.

Here are some of the pictures we took as we prepared the packages…

Take another peek at the list of the companies who participated:

2 chix
787 Baby
aden + anais
Baby Candy
Baby Cha-Cha Boutique
Bambina Ballerina
Barefoot Books
Be So Beautiful Baby
Bella B Bodycare
b.glam baby
Blessed Nest
BlueZoo Boutique
The Cubbyhole
Czela Bellies CesareanWear
Deadly Girl Couture
Diaper Cakewalk
Doodlebug Prints
Dr. Moz
Emily Allyn
Essere Organics
For Your Bug-A-Boo
Happy Panda Baby
The Hole Thing
Hot Moms Club
ll Cocco di Mamma
In The Pink Designs
Jaime Zollars
Ladybugs and Lilypads
Liliputians NYC
Little Stork
Mabel’s Labels
Made by Angie
Made for Mommy
Mama Rose’s Naturals
Miss Priss Tutus
My Miracle Baby
Natural Pod
Olive Kids
“The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler”
Pixie Dust Décor
Posh Peacock
The Queen Bee Paper Company
Queenie by Design
Rag & Bone
Resa Design
Rock Star Moms
Secure2Me Blanket
Sherri Blum Designs
Sofia Bean
Stacie Dale Designs
Sunflower Hill
Susan Brown’s Baby
Tiptoe Bows
Tots On-the-Go
Violet Gumdrop
Welcome Baby

Thanks so very much to all who participated.

And to Angela and Jody… we can’t wait to see and hear your reactions to the “reality” of the Virtual Baby Shower!

- Sharon

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Kids and restaurants

I have no problems with kids in restaurants. In fact, I often took my kids to restaurants when they were kids. I am aware that it is certainly a learning experience for both parents and kids, and therefore (unless the kids are CRAZY wild) I have no problem with a little kid-noise in even the nicest places.

Through trial and error, my husband and I found the most kid-friendly ones. And our kids learned how to behave (“oh, behave baby!”) quite nicely… ordering with confidence, fun conversations (without me running around the kitchen), learning to respect others around them.

So I also have no problem taking my grandchildren to restaurants.

But I wonder why some restaurants seem to know so little about kids.

Take this afternoon, for example. Audrey, Jane and I took Audrey’s 3 little guys to a local family restaurant. You know, the kind that supplies crayons and menus to draw on. This place is also a very comfortable place for senior citizens who love to go out for lunch, and for teenagers who want to gossip over an ice cream sundae.

We were seated immediately. We ordered immediately. And we chatted while the 2 older kids got busy with their drawing and Audrey fed the littlest guy.

Soon the food arrived. The coffee arrived. The water was refilled. Extra pickles came. More napkins, please!

And all the while we waited for the chocolate shakes. I mean, we asked about them several times. The kids LOVE these shakes and don’t get them that often (yes, Mommy is really mean!).

Soon lunch was finished. Plates were collected. And still no shakes.

The waitress had every excuse in the waitress Bible for why the shakes were among the missing. “New help.” “Busy time of day.” “We’re training some new staff.” “Oh, you didn’t get them yet?”

And finally, “Do you still want them?”

Yes. To go.

Because now you’ve given the kids enough time after lunch to get antsy.

Not too antsy, but enough that Audrey did not want to stay one more minute.

So back to kids in restaurants. If it is a kid-friendly place, you love my business (ah, especially in this terrible economy), you want to stay viable to your customers… have a little bit of common sense.

Kids in restaurants are perfect… if the service is likewise.

- Sharon

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For today’s mama-find post I was fortunate enough to review the book Mothers Need Time-outs, Too by Susan Callahan, Anne Nolen and Katrin Schumann.

It changed my way of thinking. Completely.

I’m one of those women who really think they can “do it all.” I have tons of energy (even pregnant). My mind is always going with business things, family things, friend things, world things and home things. It’s just the way I am, always have been, always will be.

But after becoming a mother, one thing changed dramatically that even I didn’t “see.”

I wasn’t taking any time for ME. Really ME. Audrey things.

Yes, I guess I thought it was being selfish to do girlfriend things or go shopping (one of my passions) or going out to dinner with just Matt or working out in the evenings or… honestly, doing anything for myself or by myself.

I have not felt this tremendous VOID in my life in the past 3 1/2 years. Quite the contrary, I feel more full and satisfied and complete than ever before… but it wasn’t until I truly realized that I have STOPPED doing most of the things that I used to love doing before I became a mother – did my eyes open.

And wide.

So I have taken some “time-outs” this past 2 weeks. And I feel better than ever.

I have started swimming again. I went to the library last week – by myself – and lost myself for an hour in the books. I went out on a date with Matt and we laughed and joked all night – like we were this couple courting each other again! I even went shopping last night for some maternity clothes and started looking (gasp!) at the summer “regular” clothes.

These “time-outs” allowed me to rejuvenate myself. To be in a store without worrying about anything other than… dare I say it, myself!

This is a whole new world for me.

One that I intend to embrace. It will make me a better mother because I’m fulfilling needs and desires that I didn’t even know I craved.

Thank you Susan, Anne and Katrin.

It’s about time I had a good “time-out.”

What about you?!

- Audrey

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Maddie (right) and her cousin Taylor in pink at Auntie Janie’s wedding – 2004

Today my little granddaughter Madison turns 7.

She was born at 4:14 am on a beautiful April morning, and the first thing I remember after seeing her for the first time was the sun peeking through the pink ribbons of April morning sky.

Since then, Maddie has been pink all-the-way. Pink bedroom. Pink clothes. Pink hair accessories. Pink shoes.

Pink bathing suits. Pink towels. Pink stationery. Pink pens.

But I’ve noticed magical little changes over the past year.

Ah… enchanting shades of pink.

The rosy pink of flushed cheeks after cracking an unstoppable softball.

The tea rose pink of delightful conversation.

Blushing pink of talk of boys and the things boys do.

Carnation pink of father & daughter dances.

Hollywood cerise pink of Hannah Montana outfits.

Thulian, magenta and puce pinks of her color palette as she paints.

The pink-pink of ballet.

And even the shocking pink of a fashionista-in-the-making.

Watching a beautiful baby girl transform before my eyes into a lovely young lady is a miracle in itself. But watching the tiny pink rosebud become an entire bouquet of color is just beyond words.

Pink ribbons in an April sky. I can still see them.

Happy 7th Birthday, Maddie! I love you always…

Grandma Sharon

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Hello BOYS!

I had my 32 week check-up appointment today.

The nurse took a sonogram photo of Henry that is (ahem…) priceless.

And… well, absolutely confirms BOY.

That’s right- top left portion of the photo says it ALL (I zoomed in).

- Audrey

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Condoms and diapers…

Read Audrey’s post.

Feel her pain!

This is Part 2 of the Target story…

While Audrey was wrangling her car and shopping cart and kids around Target (and parking lot on the hill!) I was at a couple of meetings with Jane.

I called Audrey when the meetings were over to let her know that I could lend my hands for the rest of the afternoon while her husband is out of town. When I arrived at her home, she informed me that she had taken a little “field trip” to Target… but had forgotten the wet wipes.

OK. You can’t wipe a baby’s precious little bummie with paper towels… so into the car we packed the 3 boys, pregnant Audrey and me for another Target run.

When we got there, we parked in no man’s land (are people flooding to Target to clean out the sporting goods department because of the beautiful weather!?)… and headed in.

Kids in carts. Check.

Buckles buckled. Check.

Now… past the cleaning supplies. The cosmetics. Then the condoms.

Ah, then the wet wipes.

Hang on a minute!

Perhaps we should have stopped at condoms… then we wouldn’t be having the discussions of “Expectant Mothers and Mothers with Children” parking!

Ah, come on Target and all the places that Moms with kids frequent… don’t make them stop at the condom aisle!

I mean, what would we grandparents do?

- Sharon

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Let me set the scene.

Target. 12:30 pm.

My 3 sons 3 1/2 and under and my pregnant self.

I need diapers, wet wipes, baby food, paper towels, and dish detergent.

Sounds pretty easy. Right?

Well… it would have been if the parking lot wasn’t so full. I ended up parking (literally) 38 rows of cars back from the store entrance. And this parking lot is on a hill!

Is it too hard for Target (at least the 2 in RI) to have some spots reserved for “Expectant Mothers and Mothers with Children?”

I know my chances of getting one of these parking spots today would have been less than good, but come on… help a mama out!

Before the days of being pregnant again, it still would have been tough lugging the kids into the store from way back there in row 39!

And while I’m in the middle of my rant… why can’t every superstore in America, every mall, every pharmacy and every shopping center institute reserved parking spots for Mothers?

Is that really too much to ask?

Moms with kids are your consumers. I’m at these places a heck of a lot more often than my husband or my mother or my grandmother, I spend a great deal of money on family products… and I’m usually accompanied by (at the very least) one of my children.

If I hadn’t been in such a need for diapers, wipes and baby food – I would never have gone into Target today. The $142.68 that I spent would have been spent somewhere else. Believe me.

Come on… let’s get some signs up and ready to roll.

The economy may be suffering a bit… but babies. Babies will keep on coming. I assure you.

- Audrey

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This morning I was talking with my Mom and she was giving me a list of things that she needed taken care of. I wrote the quick list on a napkin and left it aside for later in the day.

Well, when Audrey and Jane saw the list, it was like they were interpreting a foreign language. We had a couple of chuckles over the words that most definitely separate generations, and here they are:

1. dungarees = translation: jeans
2. slacks = pants
3. housecoat = robe
4. tennis shoes = any and all athletic shoes
5. divan = couch
6. rouge = any and all blush products
7. cap = any and all hats
8. cardigan = any sweater
9. Sanka = decaf, and any brand of it!
10. Kotex = any and all feminine products

Thank goodness my Mom has a good sense of humor and will laugh when she reads this post.

And if there is one thing I am certain of… my grandchildren will be having a few laughs over some of my generation’s words too.

And guess what, Audrey and Jane. Yours too!

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It’s time to start potty training Alexander. He’s 2 1/2 years old.

It’s time!

When I tell you I need this little boy out of diapers before Henry comes in 8 weeks, I’m really telling you that I NEED him out of diapers.

Having him be fully potty trained by the end of summer would be wonderful.

Not to mention he can’t start pre-school in September if he is still wearing diapers.

Ahh… the pressure.

But the wonderful people at One Step Ahead are helping us out BIG TIME with some fantastic potty training products to make this adventure go as smoothly as possible.

So here we go.

And I’ve already learned a few things this time around… you know, since I’m not a “rookie” anymore.

(1) Alexander wants to be just like his big brother, so it’s been a little easier “convincing” Alexander to want to be potty trained. Plus, it’s always helpful having William tell him that, “you’re still a baby if you wear diapers, Alex.” Gotta love big brothers!

(2) However, Alexander does not want to use any of the things William used when he was potty trained. Oh, no. “That is not mine, that is William’s,” Alexander has been telling me when he sees the potty we used to train William.

(3) I’ve learned not to bribe. With William I feel like I promised him everything but the moon if he would go on the “big boy toilet.” It really got me nowhere.

(4) I’ve also learned not to go backwards. With William, once we started the potty training “thing” with him, I would go back and forth with the diapers. I would let him wear diapers when we were in the car, when we were out and about and when we were (honestly) anywhere but home. And I know it confused the heck out of him. When we finally “plunged” right in, that’s when he “got it.”

(5) There is not definite time frame. I know Alexander will get it when he gets it, and I’m not going to stress and worry about it. As I learned with William, it will happen. He won’t be 20 still wearing diapers (God, I hope not… that would be a little weird).

And thanks so much to my friends at One Step Ahead for sending me some fantastic products for Alexander to try as we tackle the world of Potty Training: the Contoured Cushie Step-up Potty, the Potty Watch, the Guide to Potty Training book by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Flushable Wipes Container, the Tinkle Targets and the Dri Nights Waterproof Mattress Protectors are all just so wonderful and have already been so very helpful in this adventure!

Here’s Alexander proudly learning how to use his Potty Watch. I’ve set to go off every 60 minutes, at which time I bring him to the potty and have him sit down, no matter if he has to go or not. Usually, of course, he finds he does.

I will update each week. With William I was able to have a glass of wine while we embarked on the Potty Training adventure. This time around, 7 months pregnant, it’s not an option! Help me.

- Audrey

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