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Our regular Mom Generations (formerly Pinks & Blues) readers will notice something different around the site.

First of all, we will no longer be updating the Pinks & Blues Girls blog – but don’t worry, we’re still blogging, and all our old posts can still be found here!

From here on out, we’re just going to be organizing our blogging differently… and each of our blogs will be separate:

Audrey can be found here, and she will continue to blog about being a girly-girl fashionista who moved from the big city back to suburbia to raise her 4 boys under 4 years old.

Jane can be found here, and she will continue to blog about life as a no-longer-a-newlywed dog mom who loves being an auntie and is learning to be more domesticated wife (because she wants to be).

Sharon can be found here, and she will continue to blog about life as a former teacher who is now a grandmother to 8 (soon-to-be 9) grandchildren 7 years old and under… and the joys and tips and secrets she has to share.

Also, you can find Mama Loves Giveaways, Smart Mama and Celebrity Scoop in their new locations by clicking the links.

Please update your feedreaders so you can (hopefully!) all enjoy our blogs from our new locations.

You may encounter some kinks as your navigate through the new site, so please just bear with us as everything is straightened out.

We will be having a GREAT contest soon to celebrate Mom Generations launch, so stay tuned!!

- Audrey, Jane and Sharon

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I remember so vividly bringing Audrey home from the hospital.

She had arrived six weeks before her due date (June 26, 1978… 30 years ago today!), on May 23. She spent a couple of days in the intensive care nursery, then graduated to the convalescent nursery, and then on to the regular nursery.

Audrey’s journey home took 12 days, but I was sent home on day 8. As you can imagine, going home without my baby was just so difficult. My husband and I drove to the hospital for each feeding during those 4 long days… so her homecoming was such a celebration of health and happiness.

As I walked into my kitchen with my bundle of joy, I sat down to feed her in her home for the first time. But all I could focus on were the dust bunnies dancing (no, mocking me) under the kitchen sink. We had one of those big basin sinks with the exposed plumbing underneath… and the dust bunnies were multiplying as I stared.

I remember bursting into tears. Not joyful tears of having my Audrey home. Not postpartum tears. But tears of doesn’t-my-husband-know-that-I-have-been-so-overwhelmed-with-missing-my-baby-and-recovering-from-my-c-section-that-he-should-have-known-enough-to-annihilate-the-dust-bunnies?

I knew I could care for my beautiful baby. I knew I could recover my health.

But those dust bunnies? Thinking of swiping them clean just pushed me over the edge.

So… ahem. I have been spending a lot of time at Audrey’s home helping with her boys. The older two are just about perfect with the baby, but a baby is a baby and he needs to be watched at all times. Benjamin is only 14 months old, so he needs supervision with kissing and caring. And Audrey is recovering from a c-section… besides having a husband, a home, and 4 boys under 4!

This is a message to Daddy… and all daddies out there. Here are 4 things to remember about new babies:

1. load the dishwasher, often
2. clear the counters, often
3. toss a load of clothing into the washing machine and dryer… and FOLD it
4. attack the dust bunnies

These “new baby” necessities will be remembered for years. I am going out on a limb here… but these 4 things are probably more appreciated than rest, food and changing diaper duties.

Clean goes a long, long way, Daddies!

(a note to Mommies… have I left anything out!?)

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Summer is officially here! While you’re taking a break from playing outside with the kids, be sure to check out these links from around the web:

  • From Dates to Diapers asks: Do you worry about your kiddos growing healthy bones and a healthy body? Enter to win a couple of the best products to keep your kids healthy – Staying Healthy
  • This Full House Reviews: Kit Kittredge – An American Girl Movie, the first feature film based on the hugely popular American Girl book series (she and her youngest daughter were invited to the New York City screening!) – Mom and Mini-me’s Most EXCELLENT Adventure!

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In the midst of baby central over here, I’d like to just give Boston area moms the heads-up on a campaign Mom Central is doing for American Standard.

They’ve created a site for Boston area moms to connect with each other about allergies and asthma, tips about keeping indoor air healthy while dealing with allergy season… and best of all, there is a chance to sign up to win an AccuClean whole home air filtration system.

They’re giving one away to a Mom living in the greater Boston area!

So if you live in the Boston area, check out the site HERE and sign up HERE.

Even if you don’t live in the Boston area, check out the site for the tips about allergies, asthma and keeping indoor air healthy!

(As most of you know, I recently began working as the Social Media Manager for Mom Central, so I’ll be sharing some of the exciting things going on there from time to time on my blog!)

And now for an adorable photo of Audrey and Henry, taken this morning:

- Jane

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The Bassinet Tradition

Today, Audrey referenced the “bassinet” in her post about getting ready for our little baby Henry.

The Bassinet.

The same Bassinet that Audrey’s father slept in when he was an infant.

Of all our family traditions, the Bassinet is the most special of all. And it began more than six decades ago with my mother-in-law, Florence.

By the start of 1946, Florence and Joseph Couto had been married for seven years, and still no baby. Now I must tell you here that Florence was born to be a mom. She was… and at 89, still is the most giving, caring, generous person I have ever known. Her two sisters were having baby upon baby, so Florence did shower all of her maternal-ness on her nieces and nephews, but she longed for her own bundle of joy.

And in fact, her older sister would find out that she was expecting her third child in October of ’46. Her younger sister would find out the she was expecting her second child in November of ’46.

Well, 1946 would turn a corner in the life of Flo and Joe. A little morning sickness and a positive pregnancy test would tell Flo that she too was expecting a baby… in December of ’46.

Can you say post -war babies!?

Of course, Florence was beyond joyful. She set about sewing and knitting and crocheting and preparing for this miracle that she had so longed for. And soon enough, a nephew arrived in October. A niece arrived in November.

And Stephen Couto arrived in December. All was right with the world. All was ready.

Except a bassinet. Florence had always admired and loved the white second-hand bassinet that her older sister had purchased for her first baby… and used for each baby. Florence had dreamed of her own child sleeping in that bassinet. But that would not happen because her baby nephew was using it.

So Florence set off to the same second-hand store where her sister had purchased her bassinet several years earlier… and there it was. An identical bassinet. The Bassinet that would start a long Couto family tradition.

That Bassinet was admired and loved by Florence, most especially while watching her own baby boy sleeping in it. But soon, Stephen would have to vacate the Bassinet… as Florence had the surprise of her life. Barry. My husband. Born 18 months later. Florence could not believe her blessings in having her two boys. Her Bassinet.

But wait. There’s more! There would be a third son, Richard, born two years later. Another baby for that precious Bassinet.

That would be it for Flo and Joe’s babies… but Florence wrapped and preserved that lovely Bassinet for another generation. Barry would be the one who listened to the stories, the traditions. And each of his children would sleep in that Bassinet. Keith. Adam. Audrey. Jane. Different ribbons, trimmings, bumpers and bows. Different skirts. Different colors. Each unique. Each touched by Nana Flo.

Each of Barry’s grandchildren has slept in the Bassinet. Taylor. Madison. Andrew. Jacob. William. Alexander. Benjamin. And when Henry arrives home… Henry will continue the tradition. Each touched by Great-Nana Flo.

My mother-in-law… Florence Couto… she has given our family more than a beautiful tradition of the Bassinet, always delivered with grand celebration to the home of the new baby. Florence has given us the tradition of the greatest love of all. Family.

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PR guru and all-around cool guy Peter Shankman wrote a post yesterday in which he gave advice to this year’s graduating class. And it got me thinking about my own experience as a high school graduate 10 years ago. Ten years ago TODAY, to be exact.

Wow. Ten years. Exactly 10 years ago today I said goodbye to the first (and most lengthy) phase of my education, grades K-12, high school diploma in hand.

And boy, was I ready to get out of there.

I thought about the future then, but on a much more short-term scale. At the time, graduating from college seemed light years away. Getting married, buying not one, but two houses, starting (and sticking to) a career… these things weren’t even on the radar.

And yet, these are some of the significant, life-changing things that these past ten years have brought.

It’s amazing how quickly time passes when you’re busy living life.

The high school years were not the best years of my life. At some points, they were downright horrible. Even back then, I remember thinking , “It has to get better than this.” Once I had that diploma in hand, I was ready to begin the next chapter of my life, leaving the rest behind. And I did.

I went off to college. I took 2 years off in between my sophomore and junior years. I transferred to Brown. I became an aunt. I became a first-time dog mom. I started dating the man who would become my husband. I graduated from college. I started my first real job. I bought my first house. I got married. I bought my second house. I helped start a company, Pinks & Blues and have watched it grow… so much so that we’re renaming and rebranding it as Mom Generations (like, soon!). I started a new job as the Social Media Manager at Mom Central.

All of these things – college, career, marriage, family – they were floating in my mind 10 years ago today as part of the future… but the way that they would be concretely reached within the decade could not have been determined. And I kind of like it that way.

Regrets? I don’t believe in them. Sure, sometimes I wonder how things would have turned out if I had done something differently. But there is no other place I would rather be in my life right now, so somehow everything turned out as it was supposed to.

In many ways, I am the same girl I was back on June 11, 1998. But time and experience has made me a bit more sure of myself. A bit more confident. A bit more assertive.

There are some things about that girl that I have held on to. Her penchant to root for the underdog. Her empathy for others.

Her excitement about the blank slate known as the future, just waiting to be filled with experience.

I didn’t attend my 10 year reunion last month. I felt no need to relive that uncertainty and insecurity that 10 years has taken me to the other side of. If someone had told me then that 10 years from now, things would be better, things would work out, things would be good (actually, maybe my parents did tell me that…!), I may not have completely believed them (or been listening).

But I do now. Because now I know.

- Jane


My senior portrait

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60.

Today, my best friend turns 60.

Barry. My boyfriend. My honey. My love.

The father of my children. The grandfather to my grandchildren.

60. Did I say 60?!

I met Barry when he was 26 years old. I thought he was a bit “old” because I was a mere 22. But it didn’t matter, because it was love at first sight.

I first fell in love with this hot guy (did I just say “hot guy”?) because he was the funniest guy I had ever met. All I did was laugh. Of course it didn’t hurt that he was pretty good-lookin’. We both also loved the Red Sox. We both loved the beach. We both loved to read. And did I mention that he was that perfect combination of intelligence and common sense. Barry could, and still can, figure out anything about anything.

Barry is a gift. He is a gift to everyone he meets. He is respected for his honesty. He is treasured for his ability to include everyone in his circle… there are no divisions or levels. His seemingly endless energy is a marvel. He honors people.

Barry writes poems. He sings (well, he tries). He loves to dance. He loves the Celtics (go, Celtics). He loves tennis. He loves golf. But most of all, Barry loves his family. This love is written on every crease in his face. In his smile. And in his voice.

Today, Barry turns 60. My “Rocket” turns 60. And that young guy who I fell in love with all those years ago… he just gets more perfect by the day. Thank God I didn’t let his age get in the way.

So I give a shout out to the world… HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY-BOY!

This world got a miracle the day you were born. June 11, 1948.

I love you into eternity.

-Sharon – Honey-Girl

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In the June/July issue of Cookie Magazine, the one with Liv Tyler on the cover, one of the features is called, 54 Things That Make a Dream Dad.

How could I not peruse this article? After all… I do think/feel/know that my husband is a “dream dad”… but would he measure up to the Cookie List?

He did. (Of course you did, honey!)

Here were some of my favorites on the list of 54… which make him even more of a “dream dad” in our house!

#7 – Gets in the pool with the kids – even when it’s 60 degrees and rainy.

Yes, honey… and you get your butt in the YMCA pool with the kids, even when the water is like about 50 degrees and you’re absolutely freezing!

#11 – Is not afraid to wipe an ass.

Enough said. With 3 little boys, 2 still in diapers… you have this done to an art form. And I will never forget that YOU actually taught me how to change my first diaper. Not that either one of us likes to change those “stinky butt” diapers, but you aren’t afraid to get in there!

#12 – He’s the fun one.

I love everything about you. Let that be stated. But, there is nothing like seeing you in the living room dancing, playing swords and Light Sabers, giving horsey rides, wrestling and just goofing around with the boys. Those are the moments that I love the best.

#15 – Knows there are few greater pleasures in life – after you’ve been home with the kids all day, unable to shower – than the evening cocktail.

Not that you have ever been the type of man that needs to go out with the “boys” every night… but you have always made it be known that your after-work-pleasures are being with your family. Regardless of what we are doing.

#22 – Knows how to immediately bring the kids to heel.

I don’t know if it’s your voice. Or the fact that you’re just “DAD”… but you have the gift. And I will say, without the slightest sense of hesitation, that I do not! :)

#23 – Can build a sand castle – the drippy kind with high towers, flags, a moat and a seashell cornice.

Alright… this may be a little of an exaggeration… but let’s just say, you’re one CREATIVE DAD! Not many can sew, craft, garden, cook, bake… and the list goes on. And yes, I said SEW!

#26 – Knows how you like your steak.

Extra, extra well-done. And you know how I take my coffee. Even though it’s different on hot days, cold days and on weekends. Weird, I know.

#30 – Responds, “Tied for first,” every time he’s asked by his children or wife whom he loves the most. Always.

William has started asking these kinds of questions… and yes, you are always the ever-diplomat!

#32 – Knows how to install a car seat.

AMEN! With 3 of them in our car, you have this down to a 5 second maneuver.

#33 – Strikes just the right balance between chivalrous and evolved, modern and classic.

Especially now… especially now! :)

#34 – Has achieved a measure of peace with the fact that his sex life will ever be like it was, but knows that it is not the same as it being over!

Ahem… we’ll leave this one to us, and us alone!

#45 – Does not gloat (too) overtly when the kids, for a time, like him more than the like you.

OK… you don’t gloat too much… !

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We would like to send a HUGE congratulations out to Sherri Blum Designs, one of our fabulous Virtual Baby Shower sponsors!

Sherri was recently asked by Jodie Sweetin (Stephanie Taylor on “Full House”) to help with the nursery decor for her new baby girl, Zoie.

AND… People Magazine’s latest cover story features Sweetin in her new role as a wife and doting mom after putting a rough patch behind her.

So, you can see some of the wonderful Sherri Blum Designs products in the latest issue of People right in Zoie’s nursery!

See more about which Sherri Blum Designs products are featured in Zoie’s nursery here!

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“I ate William.”

Yesterday morning I woke up very (very!) early to help out Audrey. Like 5:30 am early.

My husband had to whisper a couple of, “Come on, Honey!” to ease me out of my slumber, but once I was up… I was up. After all, I would be watching all 3 of Audrey’s boys for a couple of hours, so I needed to be fully awake.

Audrey’s husband Matthew had to be on the 6:45 am train to New York City. And Audrey had the first-appointment-of-the-morning 38-week check-up with her obstetrician. My husband was looking forward to driving Matthew to the train station, and then taking his very pregnant little girl out for breakfast before her appointment.

Audrey and her dad have many, many things in common… but a good breakfast is probably the most common denominator. I am not a breakfast person at all, so dealing with these two all my married and mommy life has been a challenge, to say the least. We joke in my family that Audrey and Dad are thinking about breakfast before dinner the night before is finished!

So this “date” was much anticipated by both of them. They had their favorite breakfast place all picked out days in advance. They knew what they would be ordering.

Now me? Give me a large black coffee and I’m good ’til lunch. So, of course, I had my husband drive to Dunkin’ Donuts on the way to Audrey’s home. And while there, I thought (much to Audrey’s dismay and disapproval… but hey, who was getting up at the crack of dawn for this babysitting gig!?), “A half dozen maple frosted donuts are just the treat Audrey’s boys will love me for.”

So we arrived with the donuts. I got the obligatory mommy eye-roll at the sight of the donut box. Instructions on all 3 boys. And off Audrey, Matthew and Dad went.

I took the lid off my coffee. Set up my laptop. Soaked in the early morning stillness. And waited for the sounds of my grandsons.

Audrey’s house is NEVER quiet, so I decided to do a little exploring. Up the stairs. Benjamin’s bedroom… ah, he was sound asleep in his crib, and I watched my little darling’s sweet breath move his blankets ever so slightly.

Then to Audrey and Matt’s bedroom, where Audrey had told me William would be… and there he was, snuggled in the center his mommy and daddy’s big bed.

On to Alexander’s room. I peeked in the door. I heard his precious little 2-year old voice, “Hi, Grandma.”

I whispered, “Hi, Honey-Bunny. How did you know it was Grandma?”

Ally stood up and said, “You walk different from Mommy and Daddy.”

I hugged him tightly and asked, “Do you want to come downstairs with me?”

“Yes,” he said. Then he squinted his eyes and asked, “Did you bring donuts?”

“Am I the biggest sucker in the whole world?” I answered.

He nodded. He knows.

So downstairs the two of us went, holding hands and whispering about the other boys sleeping.

He settled in at the kitchen table. I took out a plate. I ceremoniously placed the biggest donut on it. Ally was loving the attention. I delivered the donut… as if it were a feast for a king.

And we sat. And chatted. We chatted about the zoo. About his favorite animal book. About Star Wars, his newest interest.

Then he wrinkled his nose and announced, “Grandma. I ate William yesterday.”

Say what!?

Ally continued. “I ate William. Mommy and Daddy were mad.”

(Then the early morning haze parted and I remembered Audrey calling me the night before. We had talked about business. Had made plans for the morning. And she told me that Alexander had bitten William on the arm. He had never done this before, and we talked about biting.)

I looked at Ally’s innocent little face. I asked him, “Do you mean that you BIT William?”

He looked back at me. “No, Grandma. I ATE William. With my teeth.”

Well. It’s semantics. Ate. Bit.

Bit. Ate.

And I know I shouldn’t have smiled. But I couldn’t help it.

Ally smiled too. And we came to an agreement about how we should never “eat” our brothers. Or anyone else, for that matter.

Ally nodded.

Then he finished eating his maple frosted donut.

And I could have “eaten” him, with all his sweetness, right up!

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