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    Do you know where your family is?

    2009 - 08.26

    This is a compensated review from BlogHer and AT&T FamilyMap

    I was recently given an opportunity to check out a new program offered by AT&T Wireless cellphone service that allows you to register the cell phones in your family and from there, check on their whereabouts.  For those who have children with cellphones, this is a fantastic idea.  I try not to be a nervous parent, and I think most of the time, I do pretty good.  I don’t hover too much, I make practical judgments and I don’t take chances.  And as careful as I am, there are times that I need to let him and go and do things on his own.  School is obvious, but not as stress-inducing as it’s a walk to the corner to catch the bus and the school is barely a mile away.  But what about those times that he’s going on an outing with a friend and their family?  Or when we send him to Elko to stay with my in-laws as we often do when he has breaks from school?   Those times, it’s nice to know where he is.  And it’s nice to be able to know when he arrives at a destination too.  Basically, this service from AT&T Wireless gives a parent like me peace of mind.

    This brand new service is called AT&T FamilyMap.  And it is exactly what it says.  It’s a map of your family!  From your home computer or even your mobile phone (if you have web browser capabilities), you can log into your account and with the click of a button, check up on your family and see where they are with your own eyes.   Think of how handy this is when you call your teen aged daughter and she says she’s at the library but the FamilyMap tells you she’s at her boyfriend’s house instead!    But more than that, it eases a worried mind.

    The features here are truly nifty too!  You can set up schedules for the different phones in your family and it will automatically check on the location of that phone at the given time.  So if you need to know if your daughter made it to school or your son made it to soccer practice on time, you can with amazing ease.  You’ll be sent a text message to your phone with the status so you know right away.

    I’ve been playing around with this and have been very pleased!  In spite of my husband’s phone showing up as being in Florida for the first day (still not sure why that happened), it works perfectly, showing me when he gets to work, and even better, when he’s on his way home (I can’t be the only one who counts the minutes until their husband gets home at night, can I?).   I couldn’t locate my son’s phone at first until I found out that it had fallen behind his bed and the battery had run out.  One charge-up later, and I could see when he got to school and where he was playing down the street at a friend’s house, even!

    Need more information? To learn more, and sign up for a free, 30-day trial, check out the FamilyMap site. Free trials are AWESOME! Also, check out how the rest of the BlogHer Reviewers explored AT&T FamilyMap – you have 10 chances to win a $100 Visa gift card. You read that right… you can WIN. And you can win right here too!

    Because that’s the best news yet: there’s a contest! What do you need to do? To enter, just leave me a comment below and tell me how you keep your peace of mind – or you may leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. The contest will begin at 8/27/2009 and will end 9/20/2009. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.

    No duplicate comments.
    You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
    You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
    This giveaway is open to US-residents, aged 18 and older
    Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail.
    You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

    Your peace of mind can be regarding your family, as mine is, or it could be a strategy for keeping your cool at work, or dealing with difficult family members or anything else you can think of! Please no “scary” stories, just share the good stuff with us! What helps you get through the day, the tips and tricks for calm and serenity that work the best for you.

    What can you win? As I mentioned before, a $100 Visa gift card, to use however you’d like! In addition to peace of mind, who couldn’t use that? So don’t be shy, leave your comment below and enter today! This contest will be over September 20th, so don’t delay.

    Oh, and check out the official contest rules.  Good luck!

    ETA: Thank you to everyone who entered this contest!  I fired up random.org and their handy dandy number generator and the winner is comment #…. 7!  Lucky 7!  Congratulations, Bonnie!  I will be contacting you shortly for address information.  And again, thanks to everyone for chiming in, I really enjoyed reading all the responses!

    If it wasn’t for yogurt, this kid would starve

    2008 - 08.29

    I don’t know if you know about my middle child, Liam.  I’ve written about him exenstively over at my personal blog, ever since the day he was born.  He is, well, a shrimp.  Always has been.  Was born at 4lbs 15oz and seems content to remain on the petite side even now at 2 years old.  To make matters more stressful for a nervous mama, he’s a picky eater.

    Oh, did I say picky eater?  I meant the PICKIEST eater.  Ya’ll, this child didn’t even like baby food.  Not even the cereal.  He hated being fed anything with a spoon and we had to fast-track table food.  And even then, it’s been a constant challenge to find anything that he’s even remotely interested in putting in his mouth, much less swallowing.  Enter… Yoplait.

    If it weren’t for yogurt, I’m sure he would have starved to death by now.  There have been times in the last year that yogurt was the best source of protein and vitamins he would get in a day (besides milk, of course).  And God bless them, Yoplait makes it easy.  They have an entire line of kid-friendly yogurts.  From the big kid friendly Go-Gurt and Fizzix squeezable yogurts, to the almost-big kid friendly Trix yogurt (that comes in some pretty day-glo colors and interesting flavors) to the more baby-friendly Yoplait Kids, these guys have your bases covered.

    In the morning, when I know that feeding Liam breakfast is going to be a challenge, I like to take a Yoplait Kids smoothie and mix it in a sippy cup with milk.  He absolutely LOVES it and I can feel good, knowing he’s getting more than just the handful of cereal puffs or jelly-filled cereal bar for nutrition.  When we are going out to dinner and finding food for Liam is all but impossible, we think ahead and grab a tub of Yoplait Kids to take along with us and feed him there at the table.  It is quite seriously the only food he will allow us to spoon-feed him (besides ice cream, of course).  And now, as he’s getting older, we’re letting him experiment with his own spoon and while he does love to make a huge mess with it, he also EATS IT.  Which is is HUGE in my book.

    So beyond just RAVING about our experience with Yoplait’s kid products, I have some GREAT news for you!  Thanks to Yoplait, you can print out your very own $1.50 off coupon so you can go down and get the yogurt product of your own choosing for NEARLY free!  If you have a picky eater like me, this could be your saving grace!

    Also, thanks to the Parent Bloggers Network for providing me the opportunity to host a GIVEAWAY for you!  What will you get?  A coupon for a FREE Yoplait Kids product, a Yoplait soft-sided canvas cooler (awesome for picnics at the park!) and a My First Brain Quest flashcard game to play with your pre-schooler to help build their verbal skills.  All that for FREE!  (Can I say FREE! again?)  Just leave a comment here and I’ll let random.org pick a winner for us on Monday night after midnight.  I’ll announce the winner here on Tuesday.  So what are you waiting for?  Enter!

    Sorry, this constest is only open to US Residents!

    Updated: Thanks to everyone who entered!  Our lucky winner is Michelle!  Check back again soon as I’m sure to have another giveaway before you know it!

    Review & Giveaway: My Fruit Roll-Ups

    2008 - 06.04

    Edited to reveal the winner: Our winner is Judith G! She can design up her Fruit Roll Ups with cactus’ and butterflies and whatever she wants to do.  Thanks so much to EVERYONE for entering and stay tuned for future (awesome) giveaways!

    When I got the heads-up from the Parent Blogger’s Network about a new twist on an old, favorite snack, I had to see what the fuss was about. And the fuss is this: My Fruit Roll-Ups. You all remember Fruit Roll-Ups, right? Shoot, if you have school aged children, like I do, then you know them now.

    The new twist is pretty awesome: You can go on the My Fruit Roll-Ups site and design your own Fruit Roll-Up. No kidding! You can choose between text or graphics or a mix of both. The possibilities are, well, endless.

    The interface is very easy to work with, in fact, I’m sure a child could get on and design their own creation (under their parent’s supervision, of course). I was tempted to have my 8 year old son have a crack at it, but then I decided I wanted to make him a treat as a surprise. So I *ahem* got to play around with it.

    And if you get stuck? They give you “Design Suggestions” to help get you started. You know, for the “creatively impaired” (not that I am or anything… I just clicked on that to see what sort of stuff they had. Honest! *cough*).

    Seriously, though, it didn’t take long to come up with a design that I thought my son would love. He has a serious thing for space and planets right now and add in a little blurb about how much he rocks? Well, I was sure he’d be over the moon (pun intended).

    It’s a little on the pricey side if you’re just looking for an average snack. But you do get a case of 30 snacks and they would make fantastic party favors. And when you factor in what it must cost to print all these up separately, well, the price isn’t really that bad, is it? I think it’s pretty much worth it for my son to have a daily reminder in his lunch just how much his parents love him.

    The turn-around on these was great too. I just put in the order late last week and the box of Fruit Roll-Ups arrived yesterday. I opened it up and had to see what the design looked like. Despite Fruit Roll-Ups being just as difficult to unroll as I always remember, the design came out pretty much EXACTLY like I designed. Way cool.

    My Fruit Roll-Up

    Then I got to present it to my son (who had been intensely curious about them since they arrived on our doorstep). He pretty much couldn’t believe his eyes. “How did you do this??” he wanted to know. He was very impressed. After he gobbled it down, I asked him what he thought about his personalized treat. “They’re pretty much awesome,” was his answer. You can get a better endorsement than that from an 8 year old, I think. And I came out looking like Super Mom. I love it when that happens.

    Now, here’s the GOOD NEWS: You can look like Super Mom too! I have a code for a FREE case of these personalized My Fruit Roll-Ups available to one lucky commenter. All you have to do is visit the My Fruit Roll-Up site, design up your own fruity snack and then come back here and leave a comment telling me what design you’d like on your own My Fruit Roll-Up. It’s as easy as that. You have until Friday, June 6th at midnight (PDT) to enter. I’ll announce a winner (chosen at random) on Saturday, June 7th. Sound like a good deal? Here’s an even sweeter deal: you can earn EXTRA entries for mentioning this giveaway on your blog and adding this blog to your RSS feed reader. Just mention in your comment that you’ve done these things (or plan to do them) and I’ll credit you the extra entries. Sound awesome?

    This giveaway is open to U.S. addresses only. Sorry!

    Rating: ★★★★☆