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 01, 2010

My Bachelor

"Oh come on, look at this, this is not right".

Looking up I was horrified to see what had happened, Jack and his remote control finger flick habit had stumbled onto the Bachelorette. You look away for just one moment and worlds collide.

"Fiction. Not possible, where did they find all these guys so eager to be married?".

Agreed, in Jack's world there were no shortage of guys happily spending their days in a blissful bachelorhood stupor. Happy hours, drunken barbecues at Don's, last minute trips to New Orleans, his two day per weekend golf habit, combined with the two soon to be divorced dudes bunking on his couch, all compelling reasons to not find yourself as a contestant on the Bachelorette. That each one of his former bachelor loving friends is now married with kids, including my bachelor, was not given consideration.

Continue reading "My Bachelor" »

June 30, 2010

Half Day, No Way; Kindergarten Grows Up

One year ago when I was hunting for a half day kindergarten program there were none to be found. Having the youngest possible kindergartners to be, ones who had never been to preschool, I worried that a full day at school was going to be too much, too soon. Full day was pushing, making kindergarten more than I thought it was intended to be. Every school we considered was full day, and the experts told me I would regret doing anything less.

They were right. Six hours allowed for reading and writing, math and science, but also music and art, multi cultural studies, P.E. and thankfully, library. Once a week they had drama, there were field trips to the theatre, an edible garden and Chinatown, all of which would be eliminated in a half day class. Kindergarten would become an abbreviated period of basic learning without the enrichment available in a full day.

Continue reading "Half Day, No Way; Kindergarten Grows Up " »

June 29, 2010

Morton Grove Farmer's Market for Food and Fun

100_0442 When my husband lost his job last fall in the fall of 2008, he had a vague vision of becoming an organic farmer. I envisioned a new reality show on TLC based on his idea, "Little Jews on the Prairie." Alas we didn't get the show. Okay, we never even tried. His vision was outrageously impractical on so many levels, I could devote an entire blog to it.

But he did manage to get a little closer to the land while helping our community do the same. He helped found a Farmer's Market in north suburban Morton Grove. Working alongside a crack a committee of volunteers, he helped, helps, bring farm-fresh produce to our town every Saturday.

The market opened Memorial Day weekend and, rain aside, it's been great.

The market is as much about community as it is about food. With hundreds of village residents and those from nearby towns stopping in each week, it's a place to meet and greet, to gather with friends and neighbors.

At the market we not only pick up fresh veggies, but we run into family friends, my children's classmates, and even some of my former classmates (who have aged enough that I can call them old classmates). And beyond our seasonal picks, we enjoy fresh donuts from a local bakery, delicious chocolate covered frozen bananas, and other locally produced goodies.

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June 24, 2010

Books For Everyone

Books Reading makes me a better writer. Reading reinforces proper grammar, increases my vocabulary and makes me a much more interesting dinner party guest. Reading challenges me and makes my bag very heavy.

Not everyone agrees. Schools are closing libraries en lieu of media centers, or because there is no funding for books, or a librarian. We've spent the past year recreating our school library: painting the walls, ordering books, tearing up carpet, cataloging our collection and welcoming back the students who were turned away years ago when the library closed.

Some believe that funds could be better spent elsewhere, or that students who want to read can use the public library, or chose from books they have at home. The reality is that an urban school with a 60% low income population may not be drawing families who have personal libraries, or the time to spend at the public library. Children who spend afternoons at after school programs and don't arrive home until after 6:00 have little time to stop off at the library for a weeks worth of books. Providing access to quality reading material at a place where they spend six hours a day is vital to creating readers, a habit that will keep them learning for the rest of their lives.

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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

Leaving the Garden

My vision of the last day of school was much like my vision of the first: excited children, crying and unstable mother, happy teacher and a wonderful sense of accomplishment. Things are not always as I envision, Kate having spent the past two days on the sofa full of fever and ilk. Her last day of kindergarten was Monday, thankfully the day they "stepped up" to first grade. What she will remember is the incredible year where she learned to go to school, and not the dismal ending, which must be the silver lining to a truly dreary and unceremonious finale.

Continue reading "Leaving the Garden " »

June 18, 2010

PTOs Don't Scare Me Anymore

1182879_31407637 Almost four years ago, I walked into my very first PTO meeting, not knowing anyone - having been at the preschool for a day - and feeling really confused. I walked out not really sure of what had been accomplished in the meeting and still not really knowing many people, wondering if the PTO was a clique that I accidentally stumbled upon.

I've heard the same thing from many people I know. They don't get involved in the PTO at their school because it's all a clique that runs it. I have to admit that four years later, I have a very different perspective.

Continue reading "PTOs Don't Scare Me Anymore" »

Congratulations Graduate?

IMG_5547[1] I am officially the parent of a kindergarten graduate. At the graduation ceremony, several of the moms were there with Kleenex in hand, already breaking down in tears before the ceremony even started.

Wait. Back up. What?

Yep, the moms were in tears before the kindergarten graduation ceremony even started. And wait, I have a kindergarten graduate? Call, me Scrooge, but really... is this worthy of tears?  What are you going to do when they graduate from high school?  What will you do when they get married?  In my mind, I have a kid who finished just one of many years of schooling.

Continue reading "Congratulations Graduate? " »

Mom vs. World

Lucas cryToday's Red Eye had a fun little feature they called "Stroller Wars: Kids in public stir grand debate." The cartoon mom and non-mom duking it out on the front cover were cute enough. (Notice the mom in plain-jane proletariat clothing and the non-mom decked out in pearls and rosy lip gloss to match her blouse. And shoes!)

Because you, dear reader, are too busy enjoying Housewives of Orange County on Hulu or browsing online to upgrade your Bugaboo, I'll summarize the article for you: Kid-less Chicagoans are fed up with whiny, bratty children taking over their precious cafes and restaurants. Moms (including fellow bloggers) protest saying that taking kids out in public teaches them social skills and that even the most angelic can act out without warning (this I can attest to).

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June 17, 2010

Farewell to Facebook--for the Summer

Lockedlaptop  I deactivated my Facebook account this morning. It was bittersweet but strangely cathartic at the same time. I feel like I spend so much time purging the notification emails which of course strike a curiosity and then I'm back on, checking to see what others are up to.

My iPhone has made it way too easy (and no, I'm not giving it up!) to stay plugged in and I made the decision late last night that enough is enough.  Time to purge years of emails and go offline for awhile--maybe even just for the summer.

Now when I mean offline, I don't mean completely. I did delete 30000 "conversations" in my Gmail as well this morning and it really felt good! It's a little strange to open Outlook and there is only one item in my Inbox.Email is a form of communication between my son's Day Camp and his t-ball coach so I will check it regularly. 

I'm even tempted to do something a little crazy and get a typewriter so my kids and I can create stories and publish our own books--the old fashioned way---on paper without a monitor or the distraction of the internet.

But for now, I'm Facebook free and it will be an interesting experiment. Who knows what time I will have on my hands now to actually get some household projects done and maybe even purge my closets and drawers of years of paper and unused clothes and other such things.

Wish me luck--I'm going to need it!

This is an original Chicago Moms Blog Post.

June 16, 2010

Sillybands taught me a lesson on when to step in and when to step back...

049 Anyone with a child from the ages of 3-12 knows EXACTLY what Sillybandz are. On the off chance that you haven't been sucked into the latest fad of the year; briefly explained, they are little rubber bands that kids wear on their wrists. When removed, these colorful bracelets snap into an assortment of cool shapes. It's uncommon to see a group of children without bands covering their forearms in my town. Really, they're an adorable fad and I was happy to buy a couple of packets for my children to share. They divided up 2 packs of 20 between all 3 and each had several to wear and trade with their friends. My sons were mildly interested in them, but it was my 4 year old daughter who gleefully raced into our yard as soon as we got home to flaunt her precious bracelets. Each time she dashed back inside, she sported a different assortment from her many trades with the neighborhood girls.

"Remember," I cautioned, "only trade 1 for 1. Don't be taken advantage of!"

"Ok, Mommy! I'll be careful!" and off she went...

Continue reading "Sillybands taught me a lesson on when to step in and when to step back... " »

Parenting Deadline

Clock2504 As a writer, I justify my procrastination habit by claiming that I thrive under deadline pressure. But there is a pressing deadline looming large on my horizon that has me hyperventilating: my daughter is going off to college for the first time at the end of the summer. 

That's right, I have fewer than 12 weeks to cram in all the parenting that I haven't managed to do in the last 18 years. First step, making appointments to get her wisdom teeth out, see the pediatrician one last time, and four or five other doctor visits so she can avoid the campus health clinic for as long as possible. (Done.)

Next, we definitely need to work on laundry. I taught her twin brother how to do laundry when he made noises about not going to college, but she has benefitted from my laundry largess for far too long. Then we have to work on making plane, train and shuttle arrangements for trips to and from Massachusetts. We also need to cover how to pack a ridiculously large bedroom that she has never had to share so that it fits into a dorm room with at least one roommate. (Not done.)

Sure, we've repeatedly discussed boys, drinking, smoking, drugs, partying, safe sex, and safe internet practices (you did not just see me patting myself on the back). We've even talked about the relative dangers of getting involved with older men and the pitfalls of falling for your professors. But what about the more subtle lessons of protecting yourself from users, being generous without giving away your soul, being open to new relationships while keeping your heart reasonably safe from unscrupulous manipulators. (Not done.)

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June 15, 2010

Why am I Still Seeking Sleep?

Clock When our twin girls were first born, we didn't expect to sleep.  We knew we'd be up most of the time feeding, changing diapers, etc.  Once someone asked me how much sleep I had gotten the night before.  I hesitated and said, "About seven hours."  She said, "So why are you so tired?"  Well, I was still tired because it wasn't seven consecutive hours.  It was broken night of sleep -- one hour here and two hours there.  The sum total sounded better than it was.

Now our girls are six years old.  They go to bed about 8:00 p.m.  I try to get to bed within a couple of hours after that.  It sounds like I should be well-rested.  So, why am I still trying to get enough sleep?

My new sleep problem is my husband.  It's not the stereotypical snoring problem that keeps me awake.  It's his internal clock. 

He decided about a year ago that he wanted to get into the office earlier and get home earlier.  This has several advantages, especially for someone who takes the train.  The parking lot is pretty empty.  The trains are not packed.  He gets to work before most people, so he takes advantage of a little peace and quiet before the rest of the office arrives. He likes getting home earlier to spend a little more time with the girls each night.  It's all good during the week.

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