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Who Says You Can’t Be a Geek, Mom, Blogger & Athlete?

As TechMama’s compatriot blogger and co-mom-geek, Beth invited me to blog here all about how I’m a semi-finalist in this awesome contest sponsored by Microsoft Office to win a trip to the Olympics. Needless to say, I’m really psyched.

It actually doesn’t end there – the grand prize includes a trip to the Consumer Electronics Show and a brand new laptop! You know I’ll be blogging about that too. But to win, I need votes. As many votes as possible. Every day. It’s easy to register and vote. Just go to OfficeWinterGames.com and I’m the last one on the list of women bloggers.

I first laced up ice skates at age five, and my parents tell me that the look on my face told them I was hooked. I never had Olympic aspirations – I knew I didn’t have that kind of talent – but I also never lost my love for skating. I kept at it, even after college, and I’m proud to say I’m a national adult figure skating medalist.

Meanwhile, I started using PCs in grade school, became a programmer, sysadmin and tech project manager and began writing about tech in the 90’s, usually using MS Word. I began blogging in 2003. I’ve been called an expert live blogger and tweeter on many occasions covering a wide range of events and topics. I started blogging about figure skating for BlogHer last year, and it’s been a lot of fun.

While I have never been able to attend an Olympics, I have watched every moment of Olympic figure skating since I can remember, and I’ve sat on the edge of my seat for hockey, speed skating and skiing as well. I will blog my tail off up hill both ways in the Canadian snow for Microsoft Office if I win this contest. Please help me get there!

 

10 Great iPhone Apps for Moms & Dads

TechMamas.com guest post by Sarah Granger who is my go-to/power user iPhone App mom. 

Other than the obvious apps that come with the iPhone that save us in daily life like SMS, e-mail, Calendar, Maps, Weather, iPhoto, etc., here are ten great iPhone applications to download from the App Store that have good uses for moms (and dads).

1. ICE – In Case of Emergency – important app for emergency contact info including doctors, allergies, medications, etc. for you and your kids.

2. WebMD Mobile – Allows for quick lookup of symptoms and helps to determine when children need to go to the doctor or the emergency room.

3. LocalPicks – Great ideas for restaurants when your kids are about to have a meltdown – you can find out what’s close, fast.

4. Light – Turn your iPhone into a light in the dark when kids are scared or if you need to find something, like car keys.

5. Scribble Lite – A fun program for the preschool and Kinder set, they can paint and draw from your iPhone.

6. Bubbles – For the little ones, this is a great way to pass the time – you or they make bubbles and pop them.

7. Facebook – Stay in touch with mom friends or cyberstalk your kids and their friends; also good for comic relief when you need a break.

8. Pandora – Builds custom radio stations for you based on your preferences: drown out the kids or make them think you’re cool.

9. iChalky – Hours of silly fun, stretching a little faux chalk-like hangman type character (and don’t forget to try inserting your kids’ faces).

10. SitOrSquat – Last, but certainly not least, this helps locate nearby restrooms and identifies whether they are clean, safe, etc.

Sarah Granger, tech mom of one, has written for the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, Bay Area Parent, Playborhood, techPresident and Digital Landing.

 

iPhones & Moms – A Surprisingly Good Mix, by Guest Blogger, Sarah Granger

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Everybody’s weighed in on the iPhone and its bells and whistles.  Most people were drooling for days, and we haven’t forgotten the lines wrapped around the Apple stores to grasp the first of the gadgets.  I wasn’t one of them.  I was too busy juggling parenting, working, blogging and everything else.  Then my existing phone-PDA combo suffered from an overheating episode, so as a loyal Mac user, I  decided to jump in the pool with other iPhone converts.

At first, I was impressed by how painless it was to get the phone working with AT&T.  Definite plus for busy moms.  Not so quick because the transfer of my number from Sprint PCS took about 24 hours, but at least I was able to start using some of the sleek features everybody was talking about.  I was blown away by the clarity of the images.  Then I began bickering about the things I  missed about my old phone.  (The iPhone is no Palm.)  But after spending a few days with the iPhone, I became comfortable with it and  blogged about the pros and cons.  Now, after using the iPhone for a few weeks, I’ve come to realize it’s an excellent tool for parents.

Looking at each feature from the main menu, here are some examples of how the iPhone can work well for active parents:

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