Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10 Ways to Stay Connected in '10

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Sprint

Everyone does a list at the end of the year, right? Resolutions. Things to Accomplish. Things Finished.

Here at the Hotfessional household, the five of us are scattered to the winds. One away at grad school, one at EMU as a Freshman, one a senior at WVU, Mr. Hot holding the fort with the pets at our house in Michigan, and me - working and living part-time in Chicago.

The older ones are fine. Mr. Hot and I are on the phone three or four times every day. The problem? The 18-year-old freshman, living alone for the first time. I know he doesn't think he needs his mom. As long as he has a supply of sports drink and a Subway Sandwiches gift card with an automatic refill, he's happy. I, however, don't believe that because he's off on his own that he's done hearing my nagging advice. So, this year, I'm going to make sure that we stay more in touch.

How? Well, that's where MY list comes in.


  1. Phone calls. I know he doesn't like talking to me while he's in his room with his roommate, but he has time between classes when he's out on campus walking around. Surely he'll think he looks cool (or at least like everyone else) if he keeps his phone plastered to his ear?

  2. Texts! I am hopelessly slow, but it's worth it to know how his Sociology test went.

  3. Video? Maybe. I'm not sure I really want to see the state of his dorm room via webcam, but to see his smile, I can overlook the dirty underwear on the floor.

  4. Instant Messaging worked for me and Mr. Hot when my phone wouldn't work while I traveled through India last month. Wonder if I can get the 18 year old to tell me his screen name.

  5. Good old fashioned written notes - tucked into a care package! Hey, I'll resort to paying postage for a dozen candy bars if it means I can nag encourage him to study!

  6. Smoke signals? I'm not sure they'll make it across Lake Michigan. Which way do the prevailing winds blow?

  7. Conference Calls! We can talk as a family with three-way calling! I can listen to Mr. Hot and our son argue just like they do when we're together! It'll be like being right there with them.

  8. Email works when I have specific questions. Questions like, "Do you need money?" ALWAYS get a response. It may only be a single-word answer, but if he types "yes", then I at least know he's alive.

  9. With a campus job, there's not an unlimited opportunity to come home on the weekends, but that doesn't mean that we can't get together for a meal at a nearby restaurant. Hugs make everything better!

  10. Phone calls. Oh, I know I already had this one on the list, but really, if you can't be there, the next best thing really is hearing a loved one's voice. Schedule the call. Make sure it happens. I'm thinking Tuesday night as he's finishing work and walking back to his dorm.

How to pay for the care package postage? For the gas money to get those hugs? Well, do I have a deal for you! You can:

Just tell me your best tips for keeping your family connected in the New Year.

Leave your tips as a comment or leave a link to your post on your own blog in the comments section. The contest will begin January 13, 2010 and will end February 9, 2010. (Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct.)

In fact, you have 9 chances to win $200 at the special offers page. Go see other great tips!

Check out the Family Connections Group at BlogHer.

======Don't forget to read the rules!======

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* 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
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* You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
* Please see the official rules here: Official rules

Now, how are you planning to stay connected in 2010?