macbook air

6 Things I Can Not Live Without

Essential Mom Things

My very favorite Art Blog for Kids, Artchoo!, posed this question with a link up and I longed to respond even though I am too late to link up.

Here’s mine:

1) Car pool

With over-scheduled kids comes logistical nightmares. 3 kids also mean that man-on-man is no longer an option. A car pool is essential.

acura mdx

2) Google Calendar

With said over-scheduling, the only way we’ve been able to keep track of who is going where and how to get there is Google Calendar. Ok, sometimes I screw up the date and then we show up for a birthday party that happened yesterday. Assuming low human error, the Google Calendar is flawless and the upside is sharing with other members of your family. My husband likes to color code events by person (which you can do if you assign a different gmail account to each member of your family) but I think that is overkill.

One caveat: shut down your iPhone when it fails to synch up with the Calendar and usually that does the trick.

google calendar

3) iPhone

I can’t live without my iPhone but somehow I never have my phone on me when I most need it. Like last Thursday’s soccer car pool in Cambridge at the Harvard Stadium. I didn’t know that the 7th grade boy had assumed I had abandoned him and gotten his own ride home. I searched for him for 4o minutes thinking he was still on the field. Oops, should have kept my iPhone in my pocket instead of the car!!! I have the old 3G iPhone but I’m fine with it!

iphone 3g

4) MacBook Air

I used to work in our basement home office which we affectionately dubbed “The Dungeon.” If I was down there too long, away from the kid fray, my husband and kids would be very upset. I’m not sure why but when I work in bed on the upstairs floor, they don’t seem to mind. Plus, working in bed beats working in a dungeon! This change of work environment is all due to my laptop. Now, if only there were a plug near the bed … but the 3 hour battery limitation means I have to take a break.

macbook air

5) Email

My kids barely read email and I know I am old-fashioned but I am still dependent on email. In fact, it takes me several hours a day to clear mine so it’s with mixed emotion that I add it to my list. Email falls into the category of Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It. I use gmail.



6) Car

It’s not just a transportation device, it is also a storage unit housing snacks, reusable bags, LapFit, water, blanket, doggy poo bags (thankfully clean), sunscreen, iPhone recharger, DVD used for hiding cash, change for parking, toilet paper (don’t ask), and collapsible chairs. And the 7 seats are indispensable for the aforesaid carpooling.

lapfit, lap fit

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. This is what made me laugh: “I know am old fashioned but I am still dependent on email.” You know you are part of a new generation when EMAIL is old-fashioned! LOL.
    What Do We Do All Day? recently posted…Looking for a Good Game for Your Kids?My Profile

    • Hi What Do We Do All Day?,
      I’ve heard for a few years that kids do not use email and, in fact, they are only on email to cater to an “adult.” At first I was like, “huh?! how can you not use email?” Now my kids are online and sure enough, they never use email. Only when I tell them I sent them a link or something. They seem fine with texting and Instragram to communicate. It’s weird for me. And, of course, they think email is ancient technology. It is funny, right? I remember when using email was a big deal because no one else had ventured on it and it was the newest thing. LOL! Ok, 20 years ago?!

    • Dee

      I thought the same thing!
      Dee recently posted…You are not alone!My Profile

  2. Catherine

    I have just discovered tasks on my Samsung since even the calendar on the fridge gets overlooked. They alert me with a buzz and an icon but sometimes the alert is too late so I’m going to set them super early. I’ll check out Google calendar too.
    Catherine recently posted…Roy KibblerMy Profile

  3. Jeanette from Artchoo

    First off, congrats on your move from the basement to your bed. That is just good stuff. Also, I am truly impressed that you actually clear out your email daily. I’m not going to admit how many emails I need t clear out.
    Jeanette from Artchoo recently posted…Chicago Toy and Game Fair: Part DeuxMy Profile

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Thank you! The move to bed as my home office was the best decision I made this year! However, I struggle to clear out my email every day. It’s depressing how many emails I get.

  4. Ann

    That is really smart to share a Google calendar with your fam! I am using Outlook on my computer and phone, works great but I never know my husbands schedule. He uses Google calendar. I should look into it.

    I like these link ups : )
    Ann recently posted…CowabungaMy Profile

    • Hi Ann,
      Sharing the calendar does really help and now I need to add my kids to it so they can keep track of when we have to leave for their activities so at least they can be ready to go.

  5. I LOVE Google Calendar. It keeps me sane. And I don’t have the syncing problem since I have an android smartphone.

    I also adore my minivan, phone, and then probably dishwasher and laundry machine. Now I need an automatic laundry folding and putting away machine. I get it washed, but folded and put away is a work in progress.
    maryanne recently posted…Exploring Geography: Kenya–Maasai people living in the Northern Rift ValleyMy Profile

  6. Nikki

    I am so glad that someone else can’t survive without their iPhone! I have discovered it is much easier to edit photos for my blog posts on the phone than it is on my laptop! Good list. Followed you on Twitter.

    • Hi Nikki,
      And to think I was so slow to get an iPhone (2 years ago for first time) and now I can’t live without it. Ah Steve Jobs. You are truly missed! I use it for photos too … so much easier for blogging b/c of the email feature! I can never seem to find the plug for the “real” camera! Thanks for the follow on Twitter. I’ll follow back!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…A Teacher Turned Author Inspires Writing SeedsMy Profile

  7. I would have to say: Iphone, ipad (listen to lectures on this when the kids are at sports/music lessons), MAC book pro and my ical as it syncs my schedule to all devices. How funny that it took me forever to get used to a digital calender. I just only stopped using a paper calender this past September. The consulting job I do at night has a button to sync the consults with my ical as well so I just click and then it is updated.

    I would also add my Bose noise canceling headphones. When I am working from home and the kids are home it drowns out the noise. If I play some jazz or blues, then it makes me more creative when I write 🙂

    I can’t believe the kids think email is old fashion… LOL I guess I will be old fashion for a little while longer.

    DrRajka recently posted…Sweet SpotMy Profile

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