November 16, 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 05, 2010

Pack, Pack, Pack!


Packing. Ugh!

It's a big job, even if and maybe especially if one is not planning to take very much.

My husband, daughter and I are going to meet my family in Hawaii for a multi-family multi-generational vacation in honor of my parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

It should be easy for us to pack our tiny bathing suits, flip-flops and sun-dresses into rolling carry-on suitcases, except that we are taking a side trip to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park and the website says we need sturdy soled-shoes and long pants. We might visit the snow covered mountain, Mauna Kea, and on the way home we will spend several days in Seattle, which is famous for rain.  I think we need coats! How can we prepare for all that in carry-on luggage?

Another complication for us, since we are planning on carry-on luggage, and we're not allowed more than 3 oz of anything liquid-ish is this; how can I possibly get enough of our favorite brands of sunscreen to Hawaii. Do I buy it there? What if I can't find our favorite brands. We can't use just any sunscreen. I tried that once and My Kid had an allergic reaction that led her to the conclusion that she didn't like to swim in the ocean because the combination of sunscreen and salt water burned her skin.

Continue reading "Pack, Pack, Pack! " »

June 29, 2010

Kids and Knives

Wusthof Numerous parenting books recommend that the way to get children to expand their palate is to get them involved in cooking. The paradox is that the kids may be healthier, but they are also around dangerous sharp knives.

I have a bit of paranoia around sharp things. When I was a kid, my mother cut her finger very badly on our first Cuisinart food processor and I had to apply a tourniquet and call an ambulance when she slumped to the floor.  There was a lot of blood.

In college, I was slicing a bagel, into my hand (I know, a big no-no) and the bread knife slipped. The next day, when it was still gushing blood, I went to health services, where the doctor casually mentioned that next time I see bone, I might want to hightail it to the emergency room.  I still have a giant scar from the serrated edge on my middle finger.

So I tend to shudder when my kids pick up a knife, but I know that at some point, they will need to be able to cut with something sharper than safety scissors. I was particularly intrigued by the new Gourmet Spreader, a five inch knife with a serrated edge.

Continue reading "Kids and Knives" »

Summer Vacation: The Magazine Version

IMG_1393 The public schools are still in session, for just a few more sweltering days, and then summer vacation is upon us.  Like most of the families we know, we’ve sort of mapped out the summer: in July there is Oasis Central Park Day Camp, for Caleb; and Liam has a spot in the National Dance Institute summer program. (Getting him to agree to this program required one week of pricey soccer camp beforehand, but we're pretty sure he's going to love it. And if he doesn't? It's only a month!)  

August is Camp Grandma and horning in on the summer rentals of various friends (we’re great guests: we bring liquor and  food, clean up after ourselves, and never stay too long: we’re now accepting invitations through the end of August, so feel free to invite us to your house!)  Then there’s more soccer at the end of August while Mommy tries to get ready for her new job, which starts just after Labor Day, and that’s that. 

It’s not perhaps the most exciting summer plan we’ve ever had, but it’s been a long year and there are Big Changes brewing on the horizon for next year, so for this summer, we’re staying local. I’m one of those people who doesn’t do “spontaneous” very well and I like having all my ducks in a row (or rather, out of the house for most of the day, all week), plus we needed to buy tickets to Camp Grandma out there in flyover country.

But then the New York Magazine “Summer” issue arrived and it hit me: Our summer plans are the Most. Boring. Ever.

Continue reading "Summer Vacation: The Magazine Version " »

June 28, 2010

Stop Rushing

Bike_shop3 "If you love life, why are you rushing through it?" 

I strained to see, and then read aloud those words, appearing in the window of a new bike shop called, "Rolling Orange," that's just opened in our area of Brooklyn. The shop was drawing attention from myself, my husband and daughter, as well as a number of other patrons who sat across the street at an outdoor restaurant .

"Mama, we aren't rushing through life," my daughter said. 

"Well some days, yes, we are," I responded. "For instance, in the mornings when I'm constantly trying to rush us out of the door to make sure you get to school on time," I added. 

In my head, I tried not to remind myself that my daughter only had one day of kindergarten left to go, and that come September, I'd no longer be allowed to accompany her into her first grade class and spend an extra twenty minutes with her at school in the mornings. The year had flown by, and there was much rushing. Too much.

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June 27, 2010

Mommy, You Are So Disorganized

Picture 21  When my daughter was an infant/toddler, I was your typical Type-A mom. I had multiple bags neatly filled with wipes, Kleenex, Neosporin and band-aids, just so I would not run out and be left hanging if some boo-boo popped up.  And I used to fill in supplies every two weeks, that's how anal-retentive I was. 

Now that my daughter is seven, my helicopter mom days are over and I have retired to the benches, reading my paper, checking emails and talking to the other moms, all those activities I used to look on with envy in the early years.  Don't worry,  I would look up every few minutes just to make sure my daughter was doing okay, but I certainly did not run after her the way I used to. 

So when my helicopter mom days ended, I stopped carrying my first-aid bags around and winged it.  

Continue reading "Mommy, You Are So Disorganized " »

June 26, 2010

A Manhattan Bedroom

IMG_3840  There are some things only parents understand and there are some things only New Yorkers understand. And occasionally there are times when those two levels of understanding collide. Such is the case recently with our Manhattan apartment and my 7-month old baby who does not sleep through the night.
At my son’s 4-month well visit the doctor laughed out loud when my husband asked when we could start putting him to sleep in the same room as his toddler brother. She went on to advise that we not even bother trying to sleep training our baby until he was 6-months old since he was so small (less than 3 percentile on the growth chart). At that point the twice weekly 6 or 8 hour nighttime stretches disappeared. My body experienced new levels of exhaustion as I longed for a simple 4 hour stretch each night. I consulted with friends. I read the chapters on sleep in our baby books again and again. I reviewed the sleep books on our shelf. But there are no chapters or plans for families living in a two bedroom apartment with a toddler in one room and the baby in the parents’ room. Not to mention the neighbors upstairs who don’t want be up in the middle of the night listening to a crying baby anymore than we do. 

Continue reading "A Manhattan Bedroom" »

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 18, 2010

The New and Improved Tooth Fairy

Tooth fairy2 My daughter lost her first tooth today. This was particularly momentous for her because she was, as she put it, "the very, very last person in my whole class and the whole first grade to lose a tooth!"

This afternoon, as the tooth hung tenuously on, she explained to me what would happen tonight when the Tooth Fairy arrived. For those of you who last knew the Tooth Fairy in the 1970s and '80s, let me tell you she has changed a lot since those simpler times.

For instance, did you know that the Tooth Fairy is no longer an individual practitioner? That's right, the Tooth Fairy of today is a member of the Tooth Fairy Collective, and you never know which Tooth Fairy will visit you. For one tooth, you might get a quarter. For another, a book. And sometimes, you get the Tooth Fairy who leaves a piece of gum or candy, even though that doesn't really make sense since you'd think the Tooth Fairy would be all about dental health, working in the industry as she does.

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New York City Moms Blog - Brand/Blogger Symposium Event at Tribeca Cinemas

NYC On Sunday, May 16, 2010, SV Moms Group and BitDefender brought together 50 local New York City Moms Blog, New Jersey Moms Blog and Philadelphia Moms Blog bloggers and 20 sponsoring companies to our fourth Brand-Blogger Meet-up at the hip and cozy Tribeca Cinemas (yes, where the renowned Tribeca Cinemas Film Festival takes place each year). 20 sponsoring companies joined us for the day.  The intent of our meet-ups is to connect brands targeted to women with influential mom bloggers and to build community.

A huge thank you to our fantastic Co-Host sponsor, BitDefender who coordinated relaxing massages for our bloggers! And also to our Platinum sponsors Panasonic and Lifetime/AETN

Also attending as sponsors were: eBay Classifieds, WICKED the Musical, PopCap, Daymon Worldwide, Stonyfield, Mabels Lables, Cinnabon, iGo, Mobi Stories, Army of Women, Cirque du Soleil, Lawry's, Powerade Play, Taga, Busy Body Books, 23andMe, Yoplait Kids, JDub Records, and Easy Print Design. Thank you so much for participating and making this event possible.

NYC 2Check out photos from the event at the Flickr stream.

The day started with an open and honest two-hour discussion in the theater, led by SV Moms Group partners Jill Asher and Linsey Krolik and New York City Moms Blog blogger Beth Feldman, about how brands and bloggers are working together. We discussed the power of hyper-local blogging, social media tools and trends, and much more. 

 Following the two hour round-table discussion, the brands and bloggers moved into the restaurant/bar area of Tribeca Cinemas for drinks, food, and one-on-one networking. Here is what a few of our attendees had to share about their experiences meeting with brands, networking and catching up (IN REAL LIFE) with fellow SV Mom Group Bloggers in New York City.



Check out the recaps from the Silicon Valley, Los Angeles/Orange County and the Chicago Moms Blog Brand-Blogger Meet-ups too.

June 17, 2010

A Real Life, Like on TV

Breakfast My eleven-year old son has started to realize that we aren't living the kind of 'normal' life he sees on TV.

"Why don't we have a real life, like on TV?"  he'll say when I'm asking him what he wants for breakfast. And yes, he probably is aware of the irony of that question, but still, it's his belief that there's a right way for this family life to go, and his own family isn't doing it.

"What's for breakfast!" he asks, with enthusiasm, every morning as he comes downstairs.  As if the answer is going to be different from one day to the next.

"Cereal or waffles?" we answer.

Continue reading "A Real Life, Like on TV" »

June 16, 2010

The Late Pass

580773_dont_be_late I'm notoriously late in my personal life. Not on purpose, of course. Things just have a way of popping up that leave me running to whatever's next. I've been late for so long, that even when I'm on time or early, some people still blame me for being late. I'd actually meant to write this blog entry a number of months ago, but once again, I'm late.  And in the case of the story I'm about to tell, I'm totally in the wrong as well. 

My daughter is in kindergarten, and required to be at school by 8:35am. I work hard to try not to instill my bad habits in her, and so most of her first year at public school, we've gotten her up early, and made sure she made it to school on time. But one morning, finally, we were late. 

If you do come late to school, there's a table that's set up that you must pass by. And there's a woman that sits at the table who yells at anyone who passes after that time, "Late pass! Parents--come get your child a late pass before they go onto class! Kids may not go to class without a pass!" (This woman is also assigned to yell in similar fashion during the lunch hour to help keep the kids moving through like large herds of cattle.) I've referred to her as the "late pass lady." She looks tough. She sounds tough. She takes no prisoners. 

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June 15, 2010

My Kids Are Leaving Me: Sleepaway, Far Away

J0178629 In less than two weeks my kids are leaving for sleepaway camp.  They aren't nervous at all.  They are thrilled, excited, anxious to begin. I, on the other hand, am an emotional mess.

Suddenly, everything they do is for "the last time for a long time."  Like, the last time they'll take the bus to school, or order in Chinese for dinner, or whine about how there's no good Chinese food on the Upper West Side anymore. It all makes me misty eyed, or worse.  Yesterday, I burst into tears when someone asked me what the kids were doing this summer. And this morning, I woke up at 5am and went into the living room to look at their baby pictures.

I'm pathetic.

I went to sleepaway camp when I was their age - and loved it.  I went back year after year for ages. I still have camp friends that I treasure and adore. I know that my children will love camp as much as I did. They are going to make lifelong friends, enjoy the mountains, and a lake, and the camaraderie that's practically exclusive to being at camp. They'll make macrame bracelets, and pottery, and learn to waterski. They'll get ravaged by mosquitoes and  filthy beyond belief. They'll eat awful food. They'll love it.

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June 14, 2010

Wardrobe malfunction

Laundry room My daughter went to school embarrassed today and it's all because I did laundry.

I'm one of those lucky NYC people who actually has a washer and dryer in my house (hell, I'm lucky to have an actual house and not a cramped apartment).  You'd think that would be enough to ensure that we never have much dirty laundry lying around.  I mean, I've lived with every laundry situation from no machines to machines in the basement to lugging it to the laundromat to using a delivery wash-and-fold service.  I thought that once I had my own set-up I would be a laundry viking.  But instead, it's a crutch.  I find myself letting the laundry pile up, and then late at night I go through the piles and pull out only what everyone needs for the next day: underwear, shirts, pants, socks, maybe a Tae Kwon Do uniform. All in one load.

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