November 15, 2010

Silicon Valley Moms Group Acquired By Technorati Media

-5Reports of our demise, as the saying goes, were premature. The Silicon Valley Moms Group of sister sites is taking up residence in a new location. Look for that great timely, opinionated, poignant, and sometimes just plain funny parenting content you're used to seeing on this site over at The Women's Channel at Technorati. After 6 great years of blogging here, we've moved to a new home.


Jill Asher, Beth Blecherman & Tekla Nee

Co-Founders, Silicon Valley Moms Group

June 30, 2010

Fears of a Single Mom & Dating

Single MomIt's been over 7-years since I've last had a serious relationship, believe it or not. Wow....just writing that gave me that weird feeling in the pit of my stomach that everyone talks about when they experience a weird moment, or unsettling news comes to light. I've kept myself so busy during the past few years: finishing my B.A. degree, working full time, and spending every other single free moments with my little girl, refusing to let anyone take that time away from her. Dating was just something I had voluntarily put on hold. In other words, it was my own personal choice.

 For so many years, I felt it was my duty to do just this. After all she didn't ask to be born into a world where she'd be surrounded by kids her own age, that are being raised by both a mom and a dad. She'd know early on that she was different and I didn't want her feeling like she was any less loved.

So for the past few years, I've casually dated here and there but never let anything get too serious. I kept telling myself that my perfect soul mate and father figure for Isabella was out there somewhere, and that when we met I'd somehow know he was the one. I've heard those who have found true love describe that moment being a feeling of just "Knowing" they were meant to be with one another. That "Real Love" wasn't something you needed to go searching for. It was the part of life that usually found you when you least expected it. My only problem was expecting for this "perfect soul mate" to knock on my door during the many Friday and Saturday nights I spent at home watching life time movies, getting lost in my newest romance novel and daydreaming about my vision of my perfect life in a perfect world I hoped to be one day.

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Paper_waves_by_Gondorff Historically, summer has been a time of re-organization for me. As soon as the end-of-school craziness dies down and the longer, less demanding days of summer begin, I go into purge mode. There's something about the end of one school year and the anticipation of another that motivates me to clean out drawers and closets and prepare for the upcoming year. I find it really satisfying to shed the weight of the previous year and pave the way for a fresh start in September. Though somewhere down inside, I know that no amount of preparation will help me master all the details of mothering, I still spend an awfully large chunk of time trying. 

But this summer, it's going to be different. This year, instead of changing the way I go about things, I'm changing my expectations. Though I'll probably still go through some of the motions, like throwing away old papers, and stocking up on extra school supplies, I'll do so with the awareness that being truly organized is an illusion. When it comes right down to it, I've learned that all my busy work is really more like re-disorganization.

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Living Standards in Expensive New Jersey Made Worse by Poor Economy

Badeconomy I truly understand just how bad the economy is both globally and in the United States.  Personally I think things got worse for Americans already wallowing in credit card debt when recent government regulations to curb future problems went into effect.  I agree that something had to be done.  What I do not agree to is that credit card companies had the right to apply this to old debts when proper legislation could have grandfathered it in.  

In my area of the country where BENNIES rule from Memorial Day to Labor Day,  local residents not in the high income bracket are struggling to make ends meet.  They have had to make more and more discretionary cuts.  They don't want lose their homes and  be out on the streets homeless.

Dining out is rare. Traveling is on  the decline. Most home renovations have come to a halt.  Look at clothes fashion.  Lots of people are wearing things from the closet instead of splurging on new styles.  What Big Business has chosen to do or not is affecting us. Its concern to remain viable in the competitive marketplace is reasonable; however, some of its decisions are pushing Americans to the brink.

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June 29, 2010

Abortion and Graduation

I am sitting outside on our front porch, beside my husband, eating frozen yogurt out of the carton, impressed by the magic of fireflies rising and glowing in the dusk.  We watch our neighbors walk home from the high school graduation ceremony.  Though it's hot, dads are dressed in long sleeve shirts and ties.  The moms are in heels that catch in the cracks of the sidewalk.

In my mind, I am fast forwarding to this point in our future.  When it becomes real that Sophia is leaving us for whatever comes next.  I can feel the loss.  The pain.  I am bereft in this moment, watching these other parents make their way home from school with their children for the last time.  My toddler is upstairs, already tucked in for the night, a good sixteen years away from graduation.  But still, I mourn her eventual loss.

And though my husband and I have made the decision to not yet decide whether we will have a second child, I find myself wanting another.  A replacement child.  One that will fill the void I am feeling.  Occupy this empty womb, Sophia's empty room.  It's not so much that I want another child really, but I want to fill the absence of Sophia.  This hole that she'll leave in my life when she's gone.

I know this is not a good reason to have a child.

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A Sunny Outlook

Beach410 016 One of the biggest goals I have, since turning 30 (ahem) years ago is to live my life authentically. I know it sounds very hip and new agey but really, I'm not that cool. More likely I am just too tired or even lazy to keep up appearances. I am who I am and lately I realize life is easier to live that way.

Recently I shared a pretty big and not so pretty piece of who I am and used to be on my personal blog. I was driven to do this by my desire for authenticity. I realized I couldn't get online and share funny anecdotes every day without revealing the giant elephant in the web chat room. Now, I don't believe you have to give everything away online. Everyone has their right to boundaries. But what I write about is the real side of marriage and parenting and this was pretty real stuff for both. So, after a year of living it and never writing about it, it started to feel deceitful and ultimately I knew I couldn't continue on blogging without sharing this piece of me.

Here is the catch, what I share wasn't pretty and usually what I share is. I mean, I often write about the crazy and hectic and not-so-fun aspects of  being a modern wife and mom, but I do it with the lightness of perspective and acceptance. I also include a whole lot of positive spin about where and who I am. So, after a year of writing about how great my new town is, or how handsome my man is and then all of a sudden dumping my money woes on people, I worried that anyone who read my posts would think I was anything but authentic. And then wouldn't that be fabulous irony? In an effort to be completely real, I convince people I am a total fraud. Perfect.

Here's the truth:sometimes life sucks. Lately, through my own actions I had gotten myself to the bottom rung of life's ladder and will have to spend a while climbing back up. Here is my truth: I make a decision every day to focus on what is at the top of the ladder and all of the beauty on either side, rather than focus on my feet at the bottom and all the climbing I have yet to do. That is how I survive.

 Yes, like everyone else,  my life is far from perfect as I have plenty of struggles big and small. AND (Not but-see, that's purposeful too.) my life is also beautiful. I do love the town I live in. I do adore the man I chose to marry 12 years ago this month. I do have three amazing and hilarious children that I am fortunate enough to spend my days with. I do have fantastic mom friends that help get me through with a story and a bottle of wine. I do get to live at the beach. With all these dos in my life, it is hard to spend too much time on the don'ts. It isn't always easy. Some mornings I have to make a conscious decision to be happy. Yet, most days, no matter how big the pile of sh**  is, I can step right over it into my otherwise beautiful life. 

This is an original post for New Jersey Moms. Cristie can be found over sharing good and bad about her life at The Traveling Circus.

June 28, 2010

Leaving it Alone For Now

P1040517 Taking Tyler to a pediatric neurologist for an opinion on his Tourette's Syndrome and possible Obsessive Compulsive Disorder was one of the worst experiences I've had since Tyler was born.  For someone who is supposed to specialize in children, this neurologist had the worst bedside manner for both child and parent. He was extremely clinical in his conversations with us, he used words that I didn't understand, and my husband and I are pretty well researched in Tyler's conditions.  I could tell he scared Tyler too.We already know that Tyler has Tourette's so none of what he had to say about that came as a surprise. 

"Do you like puzzles, Tyler?"  Tyler nodded.  "Well why don't you see if you can put this one together?" We talked for a while and when Tyler finished the puzzle, the doctor asked him to bring it over to us. "Ah-ha, look at this, he's got OCD."  "I-I don't understand," I said.  "Look at the pattern he made.  No normal three-year-old can make this pattern if they didn't have OCD."  I was shocked at the way he had just diagnosed my son.  My son loves doing puzzles, and he has a subscription to a puzzle magazine where he does puzzles that are meant for older children.  

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June 25, 2010

Understanding The Shrew In The Store

Various 015 In prehistoric times before I had kids (now known as the BK era), I would see mothers, usually in grocery stores, yelling at their kids.  The women, faces pulsating red with rage, would be looking down into the faces of absolute cherubs who would either be  A)  sniffling, tears streaming from their eyes or B) looking bored as if a human wasn’t lashing into them with all the force of a maternal hurricane.  Other shoppers gave sympathetic nods to the children as if to say, “You poor thing!  I pity you for having such a shrew of a mother.”  Having been one of those judgmental bystanders, I know how easy it is to make assumptions as to who is bad (the mommy) and who is good (the innocents). 

Now that I am one of those shrews in the store, I know what’s behind the yelling.  Pick any or all of these scenarios:

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June 23, 2010

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok: A SV Moms Group Book Club

Transplanted from Hong Kong to New York City as a (very poor) young girl with her mother, Ah-Kim or Kimberley, struggled to make things better for her family, to learn English, to walk the line between traditional Chinese duties and the Americanized teenager she grew into. Join us today as we discuss the book Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok.

Girl in TranslationHere are what the SV Moms Group contributors ave to say today, all inspired by the book Girl in Translation:

Silicon Valley Moms Blog is hosting the book club discussion this month. Please leave a comment here to join in the discussion.

Past SV Moms Group Book Clubs have included:

Click here to read all about the SV Moms Group Book Club.

June 22, 2010

Barracuda Baby and the Carcinogens

Barracuda2006SRogerson1[1] My 6 month old daughter, whom I shall call Barracuda Baby, loves to bite anything she can get her little mouth around.

My finger, my nipple,

The tasty fat around my middle…

A teething toy, a stuffed animal...

A napkin or paper towel…

Her blanket and Thomas trains...

Little Tike airplanes… 


Every time she grabs up a toy (left next to her by an older brother) she not-so-gracefully navigates it to her tongue.  When I catch her in this act of natural baby behavior, a twinge of fear slowly creeps up my spine.  This mini-monster pauses for a moment at the nape of my neck and then slowly turns either to the right or left and begins its journey to my ear.  When it reaches the lobe, it climbs its tiny little body into my canal and whispers, oh so softly,

“Lead….Cadmium…. Phthalates… BPA.”

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June 21, 2010

I ♥Teachers

Last FrBigstock_Kickball_Game_966709iday was the annual 5th graders vs. teachers kickball game at my kids’ elementary school. It’s not advertised to the general parent population as an event that we are invited to watch, but I’ve still managed to see each of the games since my oldest child started kindergarten three years ago.

The kickball game is one of my favorite end-of-year activities and so when I went to pick up my daughter and her friend for our weekly lunch date and was greeted with wails of “We can’t miss the kickball game”, I quickly devised a plan. We ran to Subway for sandwiches and then drove back to school to watch the game while we ate in the car.

The kickball game is the traditional start to the whirlwind of activities that culminate in the fifth grade graduation ceremony on the last day of school. Most of the student body gathers on the wall beside the field to watch as the kids who have ruled the school take on the teachers/administrators who have reined them in. This year, as every year, there were roars of approval as one of the 4th grade teachers launched the ball into the adjacent parking lot, the librarian made an amazing catch, and the gym teacher was run down and tagged out at second. Allegiances wavered, a few were heckled and a good time was had by all. Too soon, the bell signaling the end of lunch rang and my lunch dates headed back in for the afternoon.

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June 18, 2010

RSVP For Goodness Sake!

Various 038 The other day I emailed Junior’s closest friends for his upcoming sleepover birthday party.  As much as I love parties and the joyful expression on my kids as they reach their much-anticipated special day, I am reminded of what I went through last year when I planned my son’s birthday party.

Junior had decided he wanted a birthday party for his 9th.  We had hoped this would be the year we just took a few of his really good friends to a minor-league (go Jackals!) baseball game or to the Funplex for some Magi-Quest magic wand thingy.  But no.  He wanted a party. 

Okay, the YMCA does some really fun parties.  He had had his there the previous year and our instructions to the coaches had been to “run the kids until they drop” with fatigue, that is.  ALL of the parents were on board with that.  We were doing the same thing this year.  Play, pizza, cake, and then run them again (with my husband acting as the post-meal coach).  The after-dinner play REALLY surprised the kids.  I guess they thought that the cake meant that the party was over.  They were so happy that they got more playtime!

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Summer’s Here & Quiet Is An Endangered Species

Various 032 Tomorrow is Diva’s last day of preschool until the fall.  That means any chance of my having quiet is in peril.  Not that I don’t love/cherish/need/have fun with my daughter.  She adds sparkle and insanity to my life.   She challenges me to come up with solutions for problems I could never have anticipated.  She makes me a better person.   It’s just that around her, quiet becomes an endangered species.  And her energy must be channeled toward good for the sake of humanity (and my relative sanity).


This is a sprite who is always skipping or running or doing – any adjective that ends with –ing.  If she’s not physically active, she’s whining, laughing, giggling, crying…you get my drift.  My daughter needs more stimulation than mom can often give otherwise she will FIND things to stimulate her.  Our town pool will provide most of the energy-release she needs as will the various  2-hour camps I’ve signed her up for.  So will The Tween, aka The Boy. 


He finishes school next week.  The constant pleas for playdates will hit a feverish pitch, especially since Little League is now over (thank goodness he’s signed up for soccer in the fall!).  He, too, will attend camp but I’ve built in a good amount of mother-son time in just for us.  With him, at least, I can get some peace (maybe).  It’s the combination of both kids together that challenges me.


The Tween was a mere three-year old when he looked at me one day, sighed, and said, “I wish I had a brother or sister.”  Bippity-boppity-boop!  Three years later, his sister arrived from China (although his desire for a sib was only one reason we adopted) and it was LOVE AT FIRST SITE!  He took one look at this joyous little girl, took the stroller away from me, and said, “Mom, she’s MINE now!” 


The love is still as intense as ever, as are the usual sibling squabbles…which happen lately on a minute-by-minute basis.  Keeping two such diverse beings is a challenge only magnified by their five year difference in ages.  He’s sweet enough to often do the limited act ivies she can do, but she is quite frustrated that she cannot do what a nine-year old can do.  My refereeing skills are getting quite a workout (a black and white striped shirt should be standard attire for most moms).


To get peace I’ll do what I need to do.  Sometimes they’ll watch television together.  At the pool they usually play well.  I’ll institute some reading time and get them each playdates.


And, I will lock myself in the bathroom more often than I choose to think about. 


This is an original NJ Moms Blog post.  Look for more from me at 

June 17, 2010

A Day At The Beach

Various 025 It’s going to be hot tomorrow, so Hubby says, “Let’s head to the Jersey shore.”  To many people, that may sound relaxing.  To a mom, it’s a cry to prepare for battle.

Dear, well-intentioned spouse will pack his bathing suit and towel along with directions to one of the many lovely shore points we have here in The Garden State.  He’ll figure out the best way to get us down there with the least amount of traffic.

I, however, am preparing the best, most painless way to mobilize the troops (aka, our children).  I’m figuring out which snacks to bring which will be nutritious without offending The Boy who doesn’t eat ANY fruits or vegetables.  I’m thinking about which toys we can bring that won’t weigh too much as we trek across sand and which we won’t get upset about should we misplace them.  And I’m packing:

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