Having “the conversation” with Lucy


I never thought I’d be writing about this on the blog.
When I started this thing eight years ago, Lucy was only two years-old.
And this year she started 5th grade!  Next year she’ll be in middle school!  I mean, she’s basically almost married and having kids of her own.
It’s almost like the old saying, the days are long; the years are short, isn’t even true any more.
Everything is just short; and passing quickly.

(Kindergarten •  Fifth Grade)

The conversations have changed from Why do we have STOP signs? to
Why did we have World War II?
Who should be President?
Why can’t we teleport?
Which cereal has the most folic acid?

I love it all.
Well most of it all.  It’s really fun to have more meaningful conversations and to see their minds expanding.
But as you remember from 4th and 5th grade, we’ve also entered the uncomfortable conversation stage…or rather, the need for conversations about our changing bodies, puberty, periods, all that good stuff.
I know.
It feels funny to write about this here on my blog.
And I had been dreading, dreading “the conversation” with Lucy.
Maybe you’ve been in the same boat?
HelloFlo, First Period Kits asked me to share our experience with you.

Because last year Lucy and I finally sat down and had a conversation.


And guess what?  It was no big deal.
Maybe because we didn’t make it a big deal?  I don’t know.  I’m definitely not an expert.
Before we talked I got opinions from a lot of friends—asking them how they talked to their children about puberty and sex and all that jazz.  I don’t think you can gather too much information on this topic.

And then we just had a casual, to-the-point conversation.
I didn’t want to make the discussion too big, or extravagant, like we were having a special night out to discuss something serious.  Because I want these topics to feel like something she can always talk to me about, no matter what is on her mind.  Time will only tell with that.
But I approached it somewhat scientific, talking about our bodies and why they change.  We spent a lot of time talking about hygiene and deodorant, bras, etc. before jumping into Periods and some basics about sex.
And that’s something I really love about the HelloFlo First Period Kit (available exclusively at Target).  Not only is it full of essentials for a changing body, but the first thing you see when you open the box are two little guide booklets—one “for girls” and a one “for parents”.

It immediately puts you at ease.   The cards have simple illustrations and give practical advice for having these very conversations, about puberty.  I really loved the tip about “avoiding eye contact” as you talk. Haah.
I had another friend mention that one as well. Of course it’s fine to have eye contact with your child.   But she said that some of her best conversations are while she and her daughter drive in the car because neither of them feel pressured or uncomfortable to look at each other while they share.


Also in the kit are a box of U by Kotex pads, which has crazy fast absorption to help stop leaks (and the pads come individually wrapped in cute little packages–I’m a sucker for cute packaging)  Then there’s some lotion and lip balm, a cute bracelet made by women in Costa Rica, some hairbands, tissues, and best of all….a little HelloFlo bag to hold the pads.  You’ll also find other kits, with other products on their site.


I had to laugh at the cute little bag…because I remembered this post back when Lucy was in Kindergarten.

She had had a few little accidents at school.   So I made her a bag to hold an extra pair of undies and shorts so she could more discreetly go the bathroom and change.


When Lucy and I first started talking about periods, I thought it would be fun to make a similar bag to hold hygiene products.  But then the HelloFlo kit came one with one!
And it’s pretty cute.


Definitely much smaller, and smarter than the huge “discrete” bag I made in kindergarten.


During our first conversation about puberty, I showed Lucy what a pad looks like, and what a tampon looks like.  But opening this kit was great because it brought up the topic again.  And once her school had given their own health/hygiene talk last year in 4th grade, she and I discussed it again.  I think that’s kind of the key– to bring it up every now and then.  So it’s not this big one-time discussion.  I asked her if the school covered the same things we had talked about.  She said yes.  And she said the students could ask questions.

So what was your question?
Well, I asked if you had to set your alarm to wake up in the middle of the night so you could change your pad?
Haha.  I love that Lucy.  I’m so glad she’s open to talking about this.
And I asked her permission to share these stories with you, and to take pics of her with the HelloFlo kit, and she said that would be fine.


These are definitely evolving topics over here.  But I’m glad we’ve broken the ice. 
If you’re ready to take the plunge I say go for it.  Gather advice, pick up a HelloFlo kit, and just start talking and being open about it.


My 12 favorite things to do in Palm Springs


I’m headed to Palm Springs again this weekend….for the annual girl’s trip with my sisters and cousins.  And as I say every year: I never posted the pics yet from last year!
Well that’s not entirely true.  I did post about the cute skirts we made last year.
But I realized that I never posted a follow-up to THIS post about the first house we occupied, and then unoccupied, and then ended up staying in this cool mid-century gem.
So here’s some eye candy to help you escape any mid-week angst.


This house was gorgeous and fun.  Of course the company is what makes it extra fun.
Some of you have asked about the rentals we stay in.
[And just for reference you can see other places we’ve stayed here, here, and here.]

My sister Camille, and sister-in-law Laura are the ones that organize the trip and do all the house-booking.  They typically use a site like Vacation Palm Springs, or other rental sites to look for homes that are large enough for a big group, with a pool, and with a fun style/vibe.  Cause it’s one thing to rent a house.  It’s another to have a lamp like this (scroll down to get the night-light view. ooo):


[my cousin Kam is gorgeous.  Her hair is a chameleon, and I can’t wait to see how it looks this time around.]


We’ve been doing these trips for three years now (this weekend will be trip #4).
All the sisters and cousins are invited.  And we try to keep at that—so the conversations stay within our comfort zone, if that makes sense.  Though in reality we’re just talking about diet coke and Thrifty ice cream.  And spending endless hours in the pool.


Our favorite things to do and eat in Palm Springs:

Bill’s Pizza – Omg. We went here two times last year and I need to do that again. My favorite is the white pizza.  But everything is fantastic.  The pizzas are personal size and this place is always written up on “best of” lists.

Sherman’s Deli – Awesome for breakfast or for treats any ti me of the day.

Las Casuelas Terraza Mexican restaurant – Try to eat outside for some music and dancing. Mmmm. Chips + Salsa + Soda.

Great Shakes – MUST DO.  Even if you do it for breakfast.

• Ride Bikes – our first house came with bikes, which was awesome. But you can rent bikes too.

• Check out famous houses — like Elvis’s honeymoon house.  We did that here.

• Check out the Saguaro Hotel – cutest hotel in Palm Springs.

• Ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway– I’m going to do a separate post on this because it’s awesome.  A great way to escape the desert heat!

• Walk by the Marilyn Monroe statue – Gotta do it once.  See pics here.

•  Stroll downtown.

• Go see a movie.

• Go to Target. Without kids. And buy whatever.

And that’s enough to get you started.
If you have fun tips and ideas, share them in the comments!


Palm Springs here we come!


the night of 50 selfies


This summer during our travels to California, my siblings and mom and I threw a 70th birthday party for my dad, which was so much fun!
And when Instax asked if I’d share about their cameras again with you (check my previous Guest Book Post here) I knew exactly what I wanted to do.  I brought the Instax camera to the party! and asked everyone to take pics so we could add them to the special book we would give him as a gift.
It was like the cherry on top to a totally fun celebration.

Oh I loved this party for my Dad.
I think everybody needs something like this at some point in their life.


In fact I almost started crying when later in the night my dad said that no one had ever really thrown him a real birthday party before.  That growing up, they always celebrated his birthday with a simple cake after dinner and gifts, which was great.  And he had a happy life.  But he’d never had anything like this, so he was really touched to have a giant organized party just for him.
Oh Billy Drew (that’s what my grandma always called him).

The party was definitely a group effort by all the 6 siblings, spouses, and my mom.
There were fun party colors and decor, old pics of my dad for the center pieces, a giant poster, yummy food, my brothers put together a slide show….it was a special night.
And each family was asked to come up with a song or skit or something to pay tribute to my Dad.


(my cute dad and mom, Bill and Cindy)

The skits ranged from a Boy Scout Court of Honor (with special merit badges and silly jabs), to funny song parodies (with my family dressed up as my dad in khakis and polo shirts), to a full Tupac California Love rap which was a quite impressive.  Oh, and a special Elvis number by my cousin who happens to totally look like Elvis.  Haah.
It was a great evening!

dancing1cheers-to-70-years-3 cheers-to-70-years-5(these last three photos, courtesy of Carrie Maxfield Photography.)

Toward the end of the night as everyone partied with cake and ice cream, I pulled out the Instax Mini 70 camera and walked around to snap photos of everyone who was there.
It was such a fun addition to the party!


We all had a blast taking instant photos of ourselves, watching them develop right there in front of us, and just enjoying the moment.


If you’ve never used one of these Instax cameras, you will love it.  They’re such a crowd pleaser, and they come in so many cute colors….which, you know, just makes them that much more fun.

And while I could have taken the pics of everyone, I love asking people to take selfies with the camera because it’s fun to watch them come alive with the camera.  Some people know the routine, and others totally come out of their shell.


…and give you some real gems.


And with this particular Instax mini 70, there’s an awesome selfie mirror on the front to help you all get into frame.  Seriously. It’s the best!


I’m not sure who loved it more?  The grandkids or the adults?
We all had so much fun!

For about an hour everyone kept finding me, asking if they could take a picture with the Instax camera.   And then we oooo-ed and ahhhh-ed as the photo developed.  Why does that never get old??  I guess we all like “magic”.

For a party this size with about 50 people, I would recommend 2 of the Double 10-packs of film so everyone gets into a pic.


Bring a sharpie so people can write a simple message on the edge of the photo. I love that aspect too. It’s like a note to your friend and snapshot of life, all wrapped into one.

Now the photos are all ready to go into the keepsake book, which also has drawings and letters from everyone in the family. I’ll probably tape them to cardstock (similar to what I did here).  And we’ll have all these fun selfies from the party to remember that special Happy 70th night.
Thank you Instax for making our event just that much more fun and unique!


Would you like to try out an Instax camera?

Just tell me in the comments — What is your favorite birthday memory?
And you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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