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

July 06, 2010

5 Stages of Grief: Saying goodbye to SVMoms

1234043_75091592by Angela O.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Dr. Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief, a framework for helping patients with terminal illnesses understand the psychology of dealing with death. While coming to terms with the end of the Silicon Valley Mom’s Group isn’t even near the same ballpark, much less in it, by looking askance at this framework I thought maybe I could find a new way to process my feelings of grief and loss. (Lest you think I’m being mean, or that I’ve really gone off the deep end, the following psychological break-down is tongue-in-cheek.) It went something like this:

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July 05, 2010

Packing Up (for Vacation and) My SVMOMS Blogs

Luggage It's the end of an era - I'm packing up for vacation, and at the same time this is my last blog EVER as a contributing writer to the Silicon Valley Moms Blog.  It's not my last blog because I'm packing up and leaving the team.  Au contraire.  It's due to the startling announcement from the SVMOMS executive board that they have decided to "end this journey as a company and as a mom blogging community". 

When I received news from co-founder Jill, along with the rest of the writers for this wonderful national blog, I was startled.  I've enjoyed blogging for them for the past year and a half.  So much of my heart is poured into each entry; my blogs are pieces of my soul captured in writing.  Hearing this news is like a death - of everyone's heartfelt, amusing, entertaining, educational and sometimes bitter, but always honest essays about life as a parent.  It provides a release to put meaning to our lives in these regular blogs.  They are all tid bits about life, observations, memories.

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July 02, 2010

Family Vacation

Karianna_Spectrum_Disneyland It is hard to believe that school is but a memory. The temperatures have quickly elevated such that I lie on top of the bedspread instead of snuggled beneath the covers. My nightly ritual of watching dandy shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Wipeout with my kids is now done with the "big window" wide open, with the drapes pushed aside to allow maximum breeze. I sleep in. In fact, my husband will tell you that I sleep waaaaay in, now that I don't have to drive the kids to before-school Spanish lessons at 7:30am.

The one thing that isn't on our summer slate is a family vacation. Why? Well, we didn't procrastinate: the very same day school let out, we took off for the Mouse House. Sure, the kids were tired, but we all know that even the thought of vacation sends us all into alternating emotional states of panic, excitement, fear, and exhaustion. So why not just jump right in?

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July 01, 2010

I'm Not Dumb...I want Respect!

GodfatherII450-6931 I really, really wanted to have my last post at SV Moms be a super sugary sweet look back at my time here.  I was hoping to touch on the good, the bad and the ugly. I wanted to embrace, enjoy and feel the Mommy Blogger love I have sort of evaded my entire blogging career.  But, then the hand of, my right hand while I was watching The Daily Show I checked my blackberry and I read this article on Blogher.  These days, I do more reading and less commenting - but um, well I feel the need to comment on this one.  I sort of think this is my last swan song to everyone, you can all thank me (or stone me) later.

If you did click on over and read the Blogher post you might know where this is going, or if you are too lazy then let me help ya out and catch you up to speed.  Robert Pattinson of the Twilight series.....hold on I am blushing, and let me catch my breath and remind myself I am 40 and he is....ewwww, okay I am back.  While speaking to Entertainment Weekly for his upcoming Eclipse cover story, Robert Pattinson made a comment about Kristen Stewart’s comments last month, where she compared the paparazzi to rapists (totally gross statement, I agree - but not what I am here to discuss).  While Kristen saw the error in her statement and she even apologized for it, Edward, eek I mean Robert Pattinson made a statement about the comment; “That whole system of Internet journalists, where no one is called to account, is almost entirely about hate,” he said “All these people get away with doing it because they have no responsibility to anyone… there are so many little nerds behind their computers, on their little blogs.”

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June 30, 2010

Desperately teaching my kids how to lose

Big-prize-color Okay, how many of you have this problem? My kids HATE to lose! Mention any competitive game in which there's a winner or a loser and they run for the hills! Connect Four, Candyland, Wii... it matters not! My husband and I are devotees of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck's finding that you praise for effort, not results. It changed our parenting when we read the New York Magazine article. Praising for skill or innate ability only leads to fear of failure, and hence, actual failure. Praising fo effort leads to increased effort, and hence, eventual success. We actually practice what she preaches! You rarely catch us saying "Yay, you got so many blue ribbons"! We try to say, "Wow, you worked really hard"!

Obviously, nature sometimes doesn't want to conform to nurture. I tried to be supportive and encourage, but not "force" them into competitive situations. Well that's changing. The last straw came for me though when my 7-year old daughter accused her 5-year old cousin of cheating when the cousin beat her in a Wii game. My daughter claimed she wasn't ready and that her cousin started "early." Well, sorry honey, but you had to click the "A" button to start the game!

So here's my radical and probably controversial new approach... no, new edict! We must play a competitive game everyday, no exceptions, no complaints and no tears! I have my 7-year old and 4.5-year old go against each other... there will be a winner and a loser. The loser must say "congratulations" to the winner, and the winner must say "thanks, good game" to the loser. Until they can come up with their own gracious statements, they can stick to the script. I appraise both for their efforts and give them stickers in they were good sports. If there's any crying, whining or tantrums... they lose play privileges.

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Wanted: A Place to Blog With Moms

Url-typewriter The Silicon Valley Moms Group recently announced it will be closing its blogging doors at the end of July. A press release quotes SV Moms group founder Jill Asher as saying “considering the needs of our 400-strong writer group and those of our customers and advertisers, the business is not sustainable without additional financial support.” All 13 regional sites are affected.

To which I say: how sad!

I’ve been involved with the Silicon Valley Moms for two years now. In that time, I’ve enjoyed hearing the perspective of moms in Silicon Valley on topics such as local schools, competitive soccer, parenting, shopping, volunteering, traveling, health care, sex.

The collective blogging voice of this group was strong.

SV Moms provided a focal place for me to interact closely online and in real life with a great group of mom writers. Not only in Silicon Valley. I also met moms (some vitually, some in real life) from the Deep South Moms blog, LA Moms blog, Rocky Mountain moms blog, Chicago Moms blog, et al.

On top of all that, Silicon Valley Moms Group gave me a unique place to share my male perspective, letting me, a blogging single dad, write for the group.

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June 29, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

Friends The world has become a pretty small place and most of us move around a lot. We move away for school or a new job, and most people I know have friends across the country and around the globe. But even with cell phones and instant messages, email, Facebook and Twitter, I find it difficult to maintain close friendships with people who live far away.

I had a dear friend in business school. We had great times together, as roommates in New Haven and going to New York City whenever we could. After graduation, I moved back to L.A., he went to the city. I visited as often as I could, and he would come to California. But time passed. I met someone and so did he. I had kids and couldn’t just come visit for the weekend anymore. This was not a romantic relationship, so there was no break up, but just a gradual drifting apart. I still think about him often, but we aren’t really in touch any more.

Another friend of mine moved back to her home town of Albuquerque when her father was ill. As his health improved, rather than return to California, she and her family moved to Texas to follow a job and less expensive real estate. We were close almost from the day we met and I pictured us in the same town, taking our kids to the park together and having family barbecues. We do still talk and email, but it’s not like before. She has never met my kids, and I’ve met her daughter, going on four years old, just once.

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June 25, 2010

Happiness is a State, Not a Location

Photo_header We only lived in London for half a year, but I talk about it like we were there for half a lifetime. Consider yourself warned.

One day, I was living the cush life of a suburban housewife in Dallas, Texas. Both sides of the family within driving-distance, tons of friends, a house, two cars in the garage...  

Four weeks later, I was driving my husband to the airport so he could start his new job in Great Britain… because yes, that’s how much notice we had to sell the house, pack our stuff, and relocate our entire existence overseas.

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June 24, 2010

When it takes a long time to heal ...I wonder?

DSC_0166 When I was a kid and broke my arm while being chased on my tricycle, I never remembered thinking it would take a long time heal.  In fact I thought the cast was cool, even though I screamed bloody murder each time I was presented to the X-ray machine, or doctor, because there was some type of table to lay on.  I was only 4 or 5 years old at the time.  You must remember, some 45 years ago, hospitals were never kid friendly, nor did the instrumentation seem that fun either.  When I was in second grade, I kept hoping to get better from yellow jauntis, so I could return to class.  That took a few months at least, and then it was over.  Now as an adult I flip flop between "hurry up and fix it" and the patience and wisdom of avoiding surgery and exercising.  Dam I hate the practical part and being patient...but it is the wise thing to do.

Fast forward, to today, and I am three and a half years into rehabbing a ruptured disk.  My daughter was three when the incident happened.  She still remembered it, she said, "Mom you fell when playing basketball, I saw you through the window."  Yup that was how it happened, a slow "leaning tower of pizza tumble" and it felt like tissue paper tearing in my back.  Yes it was more painful after the

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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 below 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

Get With the Game, America!

Soccer-ball-1 The World Cup tournament has kicked off, and just like we did four years ago (and every four years before that), our family has been following the tournament closely, watching at least one match a day, following the other matches online, painstakingly writing each match's score on our World Cup poster and testing our knowledge of probability to the limits by figuring out possible outcomes for our favorite teams (if Brazil draws with Portugal and Ivory Coast beats North Korea by more than 2 points, can they get past the Group of Death?).  As always, there's no shortage of emotion at the World Cup -- this year's tournament is already full of surprises (Switzerland beat Spain!), disappointments (England hasn't won a match yet!), controversies (Why was that third US goal against Slovenia disallowed??) and scandals (Two words: French team).  The nicest surprise is how well Team USA is doing; no one thought they'd have a chance, but the team managed to hold England to a tie and came back from a 2-goal deficit to tie Slovenia in the most exciting match in the tournament so far. If they beat Algeria tomorrow they stand a good chance of moving on to the next round, and who knows how far they could go? 

If only the rest of the United States would notice.  When we turn the tv off and head out into the streets, the lack of interest in the world's most popular game could not be more apparent.  This stuff makes headlines in every other nation on earth, but around here World Cup stories get buried deep in the sports pages of newspapers, and our local TV news barely gives the tournament five minutes of air time, let alone gives it a regular spot. When Mia Hamm, Brandi Chastain and the rest of the US Women's Team won the Women's World Cup in 1999, I thought for sure that football would finally start gaining traction in the US, but I'm not sure I'm seeing it.

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Comp Soccer. It's Complicated.

IStock_000011596096XSmall Last winter, my husband took our son, Gobez, age 7, and daughter Didi, age 8, to try out for U9 competitive soccer. Both kids easily made their respective teams, and we committed them both -- and our family as a whole -- to a year-round program involving professional coaches, hours of practice, World Cup-worthy uniforms, weekend traveling tournaments, strained muscles, and a vocal collection of parents who really want the teams to win.

I feel like we have opened Pandora's box.

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June 18, 2010

Yes, the cyber playground has bullies - Teach kids cyber safety

 Cyber hate


Bullies exist in nearly every stage of life, with or without access to the Internet. I believe that having regular discussions with your children can be an opportunity to get closer to your child and help them navigate the choppy waters of life, especially now that we live in a digital world. There will always be people you don’t like or that don’t like you. The same applies to your children. There will always be bullies. The question is can you help your child/children identify a bully and be aware how not to do the same to someone else? I am happy to see that our public school embraces this topic. Earlier this year there was a very good assembly from a troop of two thespians that taught kids about passive and aggressive bullying. I attended, and I was impressed. I was able to discuss it later with my children and to help them spot when they were passively bulling one another.


I feel that there is just a lot of involved parenting that needs to take place. Kids need to know you care and that you are thinking through these issues amongst many others to help keep them safe. Bullies may prevail and find new ways to be difficult but hopefully you can find ways to instill in your child that they shouldn’t be victims.

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