Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Keeping in Touch

One of the hardest things for me {since becoming a mother} is that I wish my family lived closer so that they could spend more time with my son. I am SO blessed to have my little sister and husband's family nearby - but the rest of my immediate family lives in Montana and Wyoming {and I miss them like crazy}. These are some of my favorite ways to keep in touch:

1) Postagram App: This free app has been so awesome at keeping in touch with family! Grandparents LOVE printed photographs so much more than emails {or at least mine do}. This app allows you to send postcards straight from your iPhone/Android photo library or Instagram account for $.99. The app saves your addresses and CC information - making it a BREEZE to send photos often. My family loves getting little postcards in the mail...plus the photos pop out (and are on a nice/thick stock) making them easy to share on refrigerators, etc. The Sincerely Ink app is also wonderful (and free) and allows for a little more customization on your postcards for $1.99/each (great for Birthday and holiday wishes).

2) Recordable Storybooks: My mom sent our son one of these recordable storybooks from Hallmark and he ADORES it! I love that he can hear my sweet momma's voice at bedtime. This is such a wonderful gift from a long-distance grandparent  - and they have LOTS of books to choose from. The books are light activated...so be sure to read next to a lamp or under a light so that it can function properly.

3) Skype/iChat: Even if your parents/grandparents are not "up to speed" on the Internet/tech world. You have to convince them/teach them to use Skype and/or iChat. They will love being able to interact with your little ones and your little ones will LOVE it too! Even if they have older computers or don't have smart phones...you can buy a video camera separately for $15 that plugs into their USB port and download the Skype application for free. Make weekly Skype/iChat dates to make sure that they get on your busy calendar - it is SO worth it!

4) Instagram: If you are going to convince your family to try any social media...I would recommend Instagram. I love that its just pictures. No lengthy, annoying status updates...no nonsense. Just pictures with short/sweet captions. Plus, your parents/grandparents can set their accounts to be completely private (which might ease some of their paranoia about "The Unknown World Wide Web").

5) Care Packages: My Mom is SO good about sending sweet little care packages to our son. She finds fun little trinkets and snacks...and they bring a huge smile to B's face when he gets to open his fun surprises. These packages can be put together by grandparents/Aunts, etc. super inexpensively with toys from the Target dollar aisle, used book stores, etc. They don't need to be anything fancy! Just some fun trinkets to let them know that family is thinking of them. There is also this really cool company called Citrus Lane that will put the packages together for you based on the child's age for a $21/month subscription.

6) Credit Cards that earn airline miles: Find a credit card that earns airline miles to help make flight purchases more manageable. These cards tend to have HIGH interest rates, so be sure to be smart/savvy and pay off your balance monthly. Also make sure that the annual fees are not more than you would have spent annually on airline tickets {just be sure to read fine print}. But this can be a wonderful way to earn some miles while making purchases on gas, groceries, etc.

Any other tips for keeping in touch with out-of-town family!? I would love to hear from you!


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