Thursday, July 31, 2008

Medical insurance woes got you down?

I can relate. Check out my post at Momformation.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Because I'm a product whore

Surprise package on my front stoop today. I thought it was a box from my BlogHer roommate who promised to send bits and pieces that my other roommate and I left scattered about our messy room. But no, it was from a PR firm.

Inside it were two bags of True North Nut Clusters. Honestly, I'd never heard of the brand prior to the note I received from the nice PR lady, but DH is nuts, I mean he likes nuts, so I jumped at the chance to try them. Plus, I'm trying to get him to pop in here every now and again.

I was excited to try the Pinch of Salt Fritos that were also in the box, even though I'm generally not up for spending my time writing reviews for inexpensive products I can easily pick up on my own. Low-salt Fritos! They've got less than 1/2 the sodium of normal Fritos, but all the crunch.

They're salty enough to be a satisfying salty snack and tasty enough that I had to remove them from my immediate area so as not to eat the whole bag. Now that's an endorsement. I give them 3 Crunches- they'll have to lose a little fat to make it to 4.

Hmm. They must be really new. Don't even see a pic on the website. No wait, they came out in April. But no mention or pic on the site? Look for Pinch of Salt Lays, Tostitos and Ruffles, too. I know I will. (Really, that why I accepted the free sample.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Something good comes out of Twitter!

It's only been a week and already something good is coming out of Twitter. I've joined the first-ever Tweightloss challenge.

Started by Audrey of MomGenerations, the challenge pits six teams of about 12 people each to reach weight loss goals without developing eating disorders and Internet addictions. Just kidding on those last parts. Anyway, we're already all addicted to the Web2.0 lifestyle- why else would we even be Tweeting?

My goal is to lose the 5-8 pounds that I've been talking about shedding for the last 5-8 years.

The group aspect is pretty motivating as I don't want to be the weak link on TeamStrong. Of course, none of these people actually know me IRL (In Real Life for you non-Internet addicts) so it'd be easy to lie, but how lame would that be?

I'm going to keep it real for my Tweeps (Twitter People). I even got on the treadmill today after a two-week hiatus.

I hear there will be prizes and everything, but the best prize of all will be fitting *comfortably* into a pair or two of old jeans and a welcome excuse to buy new ones.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Emerging from my black hole

You'd think I woud have added fresh content last week, it being the week after BlogHer and all. But, well, sometimes life gets in the way. And real-life trumps online life.

Monday, I was surrounded by post-BlogHer fog as thick as pea soup, but managed to get up a post at Momformation.

Tuesday I spent a looong morning at Children's Memorial Hospital, where Pikachu was having a radiofrequency ablation of an osteoid osteoma. He's doing fine now, thanks!

Pikachu was home with me all day Wednesday and Thursday which made it difficult to get work done. Granted it's fun work and not too taxing, reading blogs and contacting other bloggers in an attempt to connect them with excellent free review products. But when someone is in your face shouting, "Look. LOOK!" Especially when that someone is your adorable progeny who just had surgery the other day, interruptions are unavoidable.

Oh, and I haven't been sleeping well because of my herniated disc, and the other night when I was really dragging and looking forward to a good night of sleep, there was a midnight parade of little people in and out of my room that lasted for about three hours. It's odd because I only have two kids, but it seemed as though I had about five of them.

So on Friday morning after camp drop-off I got myself a full-caf beverage at Starbucks. Usually I'm a half-caf girl and know I know why. I was practically jumping out of my skin with jitters. I did get a lot of work done, though.

Following my new favorite quote, "Don't grumble. Plug on." I'll share my good news.

I was asked to be the "voice of mombloggers" to a group of brand managers in an upcoming presentation. Ironically, I'll be on a panel with a corporate exec. who's immersed in web2.0 technology and is also a mom with kids the same age as mine. *Note to marketers: moms with brilliant careers are still moms.* I think they realize that on some level, but this group wants to hear from a SAHM whose career is in toilet and has nothing left but her kids and her blogs. I resemble that remark.

I also got an invitation to write on a non-shilling, but "fun voice of something or other amidst the craziness of motherhood" corporate product blog. When I found out just a teensy bit more about the product sponsor of the blog (not the actual company), I wrote back asking if they had confused me with someone else and, holy Zeus, I think they had. Of course, the reply wasn't quite worded like that, so maybe I'm reading into it. I should learn to keep my mouth shut.

That was my week. The kids had an overnight at Grandma's last night and DH and I took the train(!) into the city for a dinner at Andalous. The we walked past the drunken hordes in Wrigleyville, feeling our age. Seriously. I fell asleep on the ride home. And we were on the CTA, people, not the Metra.

Things are looking up for this week, which is good because next week Smartypants is getting his adenoids removed.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Welcome to Hormone-colored Days

I want to welcome my new friends from BlogHer.

Hormone-colored Days is your basic mom blog. I go for honesty and wit without being offensive or snarky. Because I play nice.

In addition to typical mom stuff, I often write about the challenges of raising two highly gifted (okay, technically they are profoundly gifted--meaning they are "scary smart" but it feels obnoxious to use the PG term. How did they get so smart? Clearly I bred well.) Check out my gifted posts here and here.

These are some of my favorite posts.

I blog professionally, as in for pay, at BabyCenter.com's MOMformation blog. I also write for Chicago Moms Blog and take on freelance writing assignments. Here's a list of links to my published writing as well as media appearances (i.e. quoted in the popular press).

I Tweet, too.

And I do a bit of consulting to connect companies and PR folks with mom bloggers. I'm currently working with LeapFrog, helping them connect with bloggers to review their cool new products.

Rumor has it I cook the occasional family meal and even scrub the toilets once in a while.

Wanna subscribe to my feeds?

I'm all a-Twitter

Yep, I bit the bullet bullet and I'll never be able to get work done again. I signed on to Twitter. The Plurk thing wasn't working out. Twitter is where the action is.

Find me @KimMoldofsky


In less than 24 hours of Tweeting I'm having more fun, more friends and followers than my few weeks on Plurk. Like any good addict does, I'm encouraging you to join me. C'mon. All the cool kids are doing it.

Camp Baby Roundup

Here's what happening with my Camp Baby friends this week:

Mom's Favorite Stuff reviews photo gifts for every occasion.


Jane announces the winner of the Hottest Male Blogger contest!

DYMO-Mite! Leeanthro reviews the DYMO labelmaker and gives tips for getting organized (includes a giveaway).

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Love in an elevator

I'm at the St. Francis hotel in SF taking an early morning ride up the elevator after checking out the exhibitor set up. There's a guy in the elevator with me carrying a cardboard Starbucks-type drink tray with two coffees and a fruit salad.

"Looks like you're set," I say.

"Oh, I was sent to get this."

"I wish I had service like that," I continue. "Well, I guess at home I do."

By this time we reached his floor. He gets out of the elevator and totally checks me out from head to toe. "I hire out, you know."

Is this funny? This happened about 24 hours ago and I feel like I'm missing a detail or two. Whatever. I was up until about 1:00 PST last night. Me! My roommates even called looking for me. How sweet is that?

I was with the elevator guy, of course.

No, not really. I left the very LOUD BlogHer party after getting a bite to eat, deciding that I'd rather spend the time with my laptop than shouting at increasingly drunk people in an attempt to get to know them.

When I got back to my room I called Asha of Parent Hacks fame, and Andrea of Momformation fame. Asha and I headed across the street to a sushi boat restaurant (DH did you hear that...sushi boats!) and Andrea eventually joined us. We dished about blogs, kids, life. I had a great time talking it up with them. I'd met Andrea before, so I knew we'd hit it off, and Asha is just "good people." Way more fun than the big party IYAM.

In the most spontaneous thing I've done in, oh, three years, I headed to another party with Asha after the sushi boats, drank some bad flavored water and got a Kripsy Kreme doughnut to bring home in a Chinese take-out box. The breakfast of champions.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

World's oldest blogger dies

Have you ever noticed the feature articles in the obits often highlight men- doctors, lawyers, business leaders? Occasionally you'll read about a women in one of these fields, but often the articles about women praise their volunteer or philanthropic efforts. The stuff about being a wife and mother housewife doesn't make for tantalizing reading, I guess. (Momblogs, anyone?)

So I read this obit with an odd sense of satisfaction. You rock, granny! Make that rocked, sorry. The ultimate mom blogger- a 108 year-old great-grandmother from Australia recently passed away.

Can you imagine being born around the turn of the last century and ending your life as a blogger, communicating routinely with friends across the globe?

I'm off to check out her blog and plan to make a toast in her memory at BlogHer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Whose life is it, anyway?

Today I'm scheduled to talk with a reporter at MSNBC and last week I learned that a reporter from PBS New Hour would like to speak with me as well. Me? Yes, me! Hard to believe.


It's hard to believe many of the opportunities that have come my way through blogging and the friends I've made blogging.

I'm really just a tired mom blogging from her basement. A mom eager to see her kids off to the first day of camp during what is turning out to be a most (the most?) hectic summer ever. Ugh.

Speaking of blogging friends, or invisible friends as DH calls them, last Saturday I drove Meagan to the city to meet up with her partners in crime on the Mom Road Trip, Sarah and Devra. We hung out with Chicago Moms Blog friends MJ and Carrie. And I got to meet the totally impressive Jen, one of the newer CMB moms. (Not that MJ and Carrie aren't impressive, it's just that I'd met them previously.)

We were also joined by Kristen, whose link I'll have to add later when I dig out her card, and a friend of Devra's who popped into town.


We ate, drank, and dished on all things moms and blogs with a little Guy Kawasaki thrown in for good measure. Between Guy's party and the Silicon Valley Moms group events and swag bags (thanks, MJ!) and all the BlogHer happenings, I'm pretty psyched to head to San Francisco on Thursday.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Club Med

Originally posted at Chicago Moms Blog.

I'm spending my summer staycation at Club Med Chicago. That's Med as in Medicine. Yep, I'm lounging my sweet summer days away in hospitals and doctors' offices. Needless to say, at this Club Med I won't be splashing around in pristine waters, instead I’ll be drowning in medical bills.
Our Club Medicine adventures started the day my boys got out of school. DH spent that day at home lounging languishing on the couch, feverish and achy, not to mention barely lucid, which I learned when I called to tell him my car had been sideswiped in the school parking lot.
But that's for a future post. By the time the boys and I arrived home ready to begin summer break, DH could barely stand upright.

Though I’m not one to rush out to doctors, we called DH’s physician who advised us to head to the ER. DH summoned his strength for a much-needed shower while I pieced together childcare.
My father-in-law met us shortly after our arrival at the ER, leaving DH and I to experience our first childless evening at Club Medicine. To be fair, I somewhat enjoyed it. The room had a television and I joked around with the doctors and nurses who often seemed more interested in my hot little XO laptop than in my big, feverish husband. I helped myself to complimentary juice, tuna and turkey sandwiches, and cookies in the ER’s “guest room” and ate them shamelessly in front of DH, who would not have been allowed to partake in the fine, free cuisine even if he hadn't been in excruciating abdominal pain.

But he did get (okay, was required) to partake an entire bottle of barium in preparation for his CT scan. Then, after an X-ray and being prodded and poked by cute young residents of both genders, he was wheeled up to a luxury guest suite.

It was a semi-private room fitted with a built-in roommate suffering from a variety on noncontiguous ailments. The man had an awful and curious snore. Each time he exhaled it sounded like a dozen loud burps. Also there was an elderly woman on the floor who tried to escape, and a false fire alarm. So, yes, his stay was full of exotic adventures.

As I type, I’m in the waiting area of Children’s Memorial Hospital with my eight-year-old, who is awaiting his first MRI. The MRI results of will likely lead to another trip or two to Children’s later this summer.

Not to leave out my ten-year-old, next week we're headed to the allergist, which may lead us to cancel the boy's scheduled adenoidectomy, or maybe the visit will motivate us to send him for the sleep study I've been putting off.

As for me, my summer fun may come in the form of yet another shot in the spine to alleviate pain from a herniated disc. I may go under the knife, too. What the hell, now that we've met our $5,000 deductible, our health benefits will finally kick in and our summer at Club Medicine can really get rolling.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mom's day off. Yeah, right.

I was delighted when my MIL offered to watch my boys for the day. Little did I know this would be the day that I wound up going for yet another shot in my spine (epidural to relieve the increasing pain in my butt caused by a herniated disc. (Please let me be okay for BlogHer!)

I'm also trying to arrange a complicated flight for a business conference in Feb. I've got these vouchers to cash in and some are in DH's name and got make some related calls.

And I just heard from the body shop that my car will not be ready this afternoon as planned. Luckily, the insurance co. of the guy who hit me will cover a rental car, but that's another call and another errand I've got to make this afternoon, the afternoon I was planning on catching up on lots of work!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The family jewels are gone

Cross posted on Chicago Moms Blog.

As if my summer at Club Med wasn't exciting enough, my family returned home from watching the July 4 fireworks to find our home had been burglarized. The thief entered through an unlocked porch door. It was unlocked because the porch contains nothing of value- lots of stinky shoes and bathing suits and towels drip-drying on a rack- and we have a door with a deadbolt lock that leads into the main house. Only the burglar didn't pry open that door, instead he removed a screen and climbed into our house through a large window that connects the porch and the house.


Ironically, when he stepped into our house, his foot landed just inches from a copy of Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew. However, the thief didn't leave many clues behind. We didn't even realize our house had been burglarized until my ten-year-old attempted to fall sleep in DH's and my bed (a Friday night ritual) and asked why I left my jewelry on the bed.


Um, I didn't.

I asked son #2 if he'd been going through my stuff prior to our picnic.

Nope.


Then I noticed DH's bureau was wide open.


There was a quick shout across the house to DH. A moment of panic. And then I called 911 for the fifth time in almost as many weeks.


I was instructed to get my family out of the house ASAP in case the burglar was still in there. I suspect he was long gone, but who am I to challenge an operator who's surely heard it all?


So my boys, who were in their jammies, DH and I stood waiting out front for the police, whom we later learned got held up in post-fireworks traffic snarls. My freaked out boys were shivering partly out of fear and partly due to the fact that in summer their pajamas consist of a pair of boxer shorts.


"Maybe we should get the boys some clothes," suggested DH.


I grabbed a solid four-foot walking stick from our front stoop and loudly tromped into the house. If a burglar was in there, I was ready to kick his ass. Unless he had a gun, in which case, he might have killed me. But I didn't think of the gun scenario at the time, plus, we were pretty certain the house was empty.

We got clothes for the boys and called their grandparents (not the ones who rescued our kids during our ER visit in June, we like to spread the love) to pick them up for an impromptu sleepover. The cops came and stayed for two hours, taking pictures, asking questions, and dusting for prints. Our very own CSI: Chicago.

While the burglar didn't take everything. He did get some key piece. I overheard my older boy telling his friends the next day that the burglars stole about $1,000 in cash and $3,000 in jewelry. I don't know where he got these numbers. They are way off. Waaaay off.

Like he got maybe $80 in cash and, well, I don't know how much in jewelry because all of my "real stuff" has been inherited.


He took a ring with great sentimental value and, now that I think about it perhaps significant street value: a platinum and diamond cocktail ring from my Great Aunt Rose. Aunt Rose was the wild aunt who taught my brother and me games like blackjack and gin rummy and lived a glamorous life in Hollywood, serving as Jerry Lewis's assistant for many years.


My mom gave Aunt Rose's ring about a year ago. It was quite the bling ring, and though I'm not quite the bling gal, I like to think I was channeling her adventurour spirit the few times I wore it.


We didn't insure it because I knew it wasn't the kind of thing I'd replace (perhaps pure naivete), but I'm really sad when I think about it winding up in a pawn shop or simply being taken apart.


The thief may have also taken my wedding band. Years ago, my widower uncle passed on my aunt's gold wedding band and matching diamond-chipped anniversary. At the time, I was having health problems that swelled my fingers, making my wedding band tight and uncomfortable to wear, so I switched to wearing hers. I eventually switched back to my smaller, but nearly identical band, but as the swelling would come and go, so would the different rings. I'll have to assume that hers got stolen, not mine.

But regardless, the family jewels are gone. And it sucks.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Mom Road Trip: Astronaut diapers and Mountain Dew

Have you heard the news? My BlogHer roommates are taking the ultimate road trip!

Picture Thelma and Louise, except with four moms, one of whom is short and Jewish like me (Devra), no make that two of them (Aviva), the other looks kinda like the redhead from Sex and The City (Meagan) and Sarah...and then there's Jill, the fifth and bloggiest mom. Oops, I said four. Oh, never mind. It's nothing like Thelma and Louise anyway.

But these ladies will no doubt have an action-packed trip from Washington, DC to San Francisco, CA. Here's the first tip-off: they get to drive a cool new Chevy hybrid SUV with wireless internet access (le sigh). Even better, there will be no car seats, that is, no children in the car as they drive cross-country.

These women are bloggers, so rather than taking a "what happens in the car, stays in the car stance" they'll be blogging every wrong turn, spilled drink, hot construction worker and zany misadventure. Check 'em out at Momroadtrip.com.

I was just emailing Devra, one of the DC Metro Moms, about their timeline. A few blogfriends and I want to meet up with the Mom Trippers as they drive into the Windy City to pick up our blog sistah, Meagan.

I'm not quite clear on the timeline. My family just drove the Chicago-DC/DC-Chicago route and it was a long one. Of course we had plenty of rest stops along the way, but it seems to me Devra and Sarah want to make it here in record time. I suggested to Devra that her crew would do well to load up on astronaut diapers and Mountain Dew. (Or maybe Red Bull? I don't know from these newfangled "energy" drinks.)

As if subconsciously sensing the details of the Mom Road Trip, Asha posted this tip of the day over at Parent Hacks.

Follow along with them on the ride, and let's hope they pack their nifty new video cameras away once they get into our hotel room!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Friday, July 04, 2008

A series of unfortunate holiday events

I'm taking the day off. Please enjoy this story from July 4, 2006.

We had an Independence Day picnic with Guinness World Record holder Ivan Zoot and family. His wife Susan teased me that my family always brings odd, healthy items to our annual feast (I think I made quinoa salad last year or something), so this year I surprised her by bringing a variety of crap—including (drum roll) canned cheese! This quickly lost its novelty with the boys, but was not truly unfortunate.

No, the bad stuff happened after dinner. As I posed for a picture wearing the goofy “3D” glasses handed out by the Park District and my also goofy “Proud to be from this town” t-shirt, I removed my real and very necessary glasses and placed them DH’s lap. But then I had him stand up to take the picture and they fell to the ground and he crushed them.

I had an emergency back-up pair in the car; a pair from the late 1980s. Have you noticed the trend toward smaller frames since then?

Just as the last vestiges of sunlight disappeared and the fireworks were about to begin, Pikachu announced he felt like throwing up. I think his dinner consisted of potato chips, Lik-a-stick candy, apple pie, cookies, and canned cheese, so it was understandable.

We made our way through the crowd in the dark to a garbage can where we hunkered down for few minutes. After producing a large yawn, thankfully not of the Technicolor kind, he said the sick feeling went down his throat and was more in his tummy.

"I have to poop."

We made our way across the now even darker and more crowded field to the portable toilets. I wondered just how this was going to work, but at least we had our glow sticks to light up the port-o-potty or "Drop Zone" as these units were branded. I give users of these little huts the same advice they give tightrope walkers- it's fine as long as you don't look down. Turns out I didn't need my advice because the line was impossibly long over at the Drop Zone.

As I pondered our fate, DH came over and offered to whisk the littel guy home. His tummy was bothering him so much that he willingly gave up his chance to watch fireworks. Smartypants and I, along with our friends, oohed and ahhhed over the display. Actually, the adults did that and the boys kept a running commentary comparing the display to meteor showers and the like.

Unfortunately, Splinter missed the big show, but at least got to witness our own little Coke and Mentos explosions (yes, it really does work!!).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

For the love of wireless

The Geek Squad guy is in my basement and I'm upstairs blogging...live...online. Wa-hoo! It's the dawn of a new era and perhaps no small amount of Plurking.

Plurk is the up and coming microblogging platform. It will leave Twitter in its dust. Or not.

I haven't played around with it too much, but I'm "Moldy" if you want to follow my every move. Or friend me or even *gasp* "fan" me. Take a peek at my new Plurk Widget down on the right sidebar.

"Moldy?" You ask in disbelief. Apparently my last name is too complicated for many people to spell, my first name is too common, and my blog name is too long. So Moldy it is.

You'd think someone who Plurks might be able to figure out how to install her own wireless network, but, well, I'm full of contradictions.