Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grandma.app

Let me elaborate
I finally updated my website so I could integrate my blog into it. Now I can just tell people to go to 'themacmommy.com' and I don't have to worry about whether or not they'll remember the dot blogspot dot com part. The only thing I'll have to worry about is if they remember the 'the' part of the address.
(PITA, but macmommy.com is already registered so I had to put 'the' in front. Just in case you thought I was really that conceited.)

I've tried to lay out my home page as a sort of one-stop virtual business card. (Inspired by Dave Taylor, thank you Darling.) I'm still tweaking the rest of the site and pages, but the bulk of it is done. I'm pretty happy with the layout despite the fact that I barely know anything about building websites and that I made the whole thing in iWeb. On the blog I just kept tweaking numbers and code and previewing it till I figured out what changed what. My OCD must have kicked into overdrive and this probably explains why my eyes are so dry lately. I still wonder sometimes what would have happened had I studied web design in college instead of print graphics and advertising. Oh well. I'm having fun now and that's all that matters, right? There are lots of cool things I'd like my site to do, but this will suffice for now until I learn more. Baby steps. Goo goo ga ga.
(What baby ever says that anyhow? Just wondering.)

<--- You can use the page links on the left hand side of the page to explore other pages on my external website and social network.

It's always a work in progress because I love to tweak. It keeps my mind off of my allergies and gives me something to do (instead of cleaning the house) while potty training my son. (not that it hasn't been just so much fun hanging out stuck in my living room with a nekked kid running around who isn't me) Eventually I want to create a better page on my site to display some of my artwork and creative photography. I just have stupid links there for now. Don't click them. It's more of a reminder or placeholder for myself as to what I'd like to put there. I have all of my older photography all backed up on archive and I just have to dig it out and arrange it better. (An OCD attack for another time perhaps.)

I could never be a good scrapbooker. Thinking about it just makes me twitch.
And it's not like I don't have all the supplies sitting in my closet either just in case all the computers in our house ever break down and I have a nervous breakdown along with it.

I've also added some enhancements to my blog here. I hope you like them. You'll notice there are little icons after outgoing links. If you roll your cursor over those tiny icons, you'll get a preview of what the website looks like without even having to click over and leave the spot where you're currently reading. I find this helpful for those times when I may add a link that points to an image to illustrate some vague concept inside my head. Like this one.

I've also added a new commenting system called Disqus. Now you can leave me text comments as well as video. (go ahead, I double, dog dare ya!) If you don't have a Disqus account, you can still leave comments, but Disqus is pretty cool and free to sign up. So is seesmic. Just sayin. Sometimes it's a bit funky to be able to read everyone else's comments to each other — kinda like you're spying on them and reading their mail — but I suppose you could be all ninja about it and leave yourself annonymous or "unclaimed" somehow so no one would know it was you who talked about your mother-in-law out in the open. I'm looking forward to seeing comments using this new feature. I hope someone leaves me a video comment sometime. That would be a lot of fun. If I could get my friends and family on board with these free services, it would be a really great way to keep in touch through my blog. Ahh, the power of web 2.0 — if only I could get people to use it now! (Hint: the more people who participate with me on my blog, the more examples I'd have to show them.)

Thanks to help from friends on twitter, I FINALLY got the favicon thingee working on everything including my spot on the Alltop Moms page. (Tip: there are lots of awesome blogs on that page, so if you are looking for someone specifically, just press command-F and type in parts of their blog name and Firefox or Safari will highlight the link for you. If you want to search for me, for example, type 'the' 'mac' 'mommy' with spaces and it will take you right to it.) w00t! Thanks for all your help guys! You rawk! (and contribute to my OCD, thankyouverymuch)

The only time the favicon doesn't load is if you type the url into the browser. For example, if you type 'themacmommy.com' and load the pages, then the favicon doesn't load and the url locations don't change either. This has to do with the fact that I'm cheap/poor, take your pick a stubborn frugalista and trying to stretch the outer limits of free content hosting wherever I can. My blog is hosted for free here on Blogger. My website is hosted for free with Cox, my ISP. All of my photo and movie sharing needs are hosted for free with services like Picasa, YouTube and Vimeo. I've taken all of these free services and stitched them all together using a combination of embedded code and links on my blog and website; you know, "internet glue." Google is my favorite type of "internet glue."

So, to professional web designers, I'm sorry if all the under-stitching looks like crap, but the fact is, my 80-year old Nana who lives 3000 miles away — doesn't care. She just likes to click on stuff and I like to imagine the smile that melts across her face when she sees her great grandson in movies and pictures that she doesn't have to fumble with in her mail program. (So long as her Windows box loads the correct plugins - I keep my fingers crossed or walk her through it over the phone.)

I guess you could say that my grandmothers are my driving force when it comes to doing what I do online and how I create content using my Mac. My paternal grandmother, Nana, has a computer and is pretty savvy when it comes to being organized. She knows how to check her email and forward virus hoaxes, because she cares about me, ya know and respond to messages. She can navigate the web. She finds joy in simple things and that really inspires me. My maternal grandmother does not have a computer and is a traditional artist. (She would rather put ink to paper and I don't think she's ever even touched a mouse. She only knows of the mammal kind and would keep it as a pet if she could.) I respect her unwillingness to embrace technology and it challenges me that much more to find simple tools she might possibly consider. I get the creative influence from her. Both grandmothers are in their eighties so anything I create online or offline has to be easy to use.

My sole motivation for learning how to use iMovie is so I can someday create a collection of videos and make a DVD using iDVD to send to my grandmothers so she they watch it on their TVs. Now I just need to get my optical drive fixed and I can move forward with that project.

Every time I sign up for a new social networking service, I have my Nana and other family members in mind. I always wonder if it would be something they could use or would like. Most of the time, sadly, the answer is no for several complex reasons. I continue to look for ways in which families and friends can network and keep in touch using the web. Just a few days ago I walked my Dad through the installation and setup of a Skype account and the result was awesome and we had so much fun. (iChat is fun too, but has been having some quality issues lately.)

Most of my friends and family live on the other side of the country. The distance always keeps me reaching out to them in new ways.

So far, the best way I have found is to try it all out, use it for a while and then incorporate the best parts of it somehow into my online space in such a way that I can just email one simple link to a friend or family member. That's what I'm hoping to achieve with my website and blog and I hope it will inspire others.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Installed Disqus

Well, I think I installed Disqus, but I told it to apply to new posts since I didn't want to lose comments from prior posts or at least that's what it sounded like would happen. I'm a wuss, what else can I say. Maybe that cool chic Mattie will come back here and tell me if Disqus is working on my blog ;) and why do they call it Disqus with a 'q?' I guess Discuss was already taken or it was just a kewler name perhaps. hmmmm.

I'm still tinkering with the favicon image formats in my blogger code because it still looks like crap on alltop. Reminder to myself, right now I only have .ico and .png formats listed in the code. I removed the .gif and that didn't help so now I'm removing the .jpg format to see if it's the .png that alltop prefers. I also wonder if the order listed has anything to do with it. I have .ico listed first in the code because if I put anything else before it, my favicon has a little white border around it and it looks like crap in the new version of FireFox where the favicon is now on top of a silver background. Mozilla could have left that part alone in my opinion! Plus you can no longer click on the favicon to highlight the entire url address which is a trick I had been showing my clients in FF and Safari. I've now gotten trained to press command-L to highlight the url box and command-K for the search box, so I suppose it doesn't matter so much to me personally because I'm a quick key type of girl. For those who's muscle memory is trained to click the little ball or favicon, this will be hard to unlearn.

Anyhow, that's my current state of rants at the moment!

Now, blogger blog! I command you do add in Disqus commenting and obey the new template I just pasted in! Do it!! Listen to me!!

Comment Back

Just wondering something. When you leave comments on other people's blogs, do you expect people to comment back? If so, how do you prefer getting that comment delivered to you? I comment on lots of other people's blogs and I usually don't expect a comment back, but occasionally I do wonder what they thought of my comment. There have been some blogs I've visited that allow you to be notified when someone comments on your comment. Some I like, some are just annoying because then your inbox gets filled with a bunch of comments unrelated to my comment so I end up unsubscribing to that comment thread anyhow.

I'm going to try enabling a commenting service called Disqus and see how it goes. Let me know if you like this once I add it. I'd love to see some video comments too! (hint hint, no pressure or nuthin!)

Tweaking and Testing

ok, I think I've figured out how to get the favicon to show up for my blog and website. Now I'm trying to figure out how to get it to display properly on Alltop.com. Right now the favicon for my blog is showing up as a little black and white blob. I suspect it's because there was a .gif loaded into the code. It seemed as though it wasn't enough to have just a .ico in the code and I couldn't figure out why the icon wasn't displaying properly so I tried adding .gif, .png, and .jpg icon files to the code sourced from a place on my hosted webspace. Let's see if I can get this post to refresh the alltop.com page.

I'm also trying out a previewing service for links in my blog posts. This way, a reader can just hover over a link to see what it is before clicking on it to go there. Sometimes when I write, I like to add a link to a wiki entry or picture. I'm hoping this might be an enhancement and not a nuisance. The service is called snapshots. You can find out all about it by rolling over this link for snapshots. There are other features the service offers and I intend to experiment with it in the near future. I have a theory about archiving my blog that I want to try out involving linkbaits. I'm thinking this might be the tool for me, but we'll see. I'll explain this more in depth in another post when I document my ideas about archiving my blog and posts.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Hi, I'm a Mac

I was just reading some of the PPC Mac Owners Group comments over at MyAppleSpace where they had begun discussing their favorite PPC models. MyAppleSpace.com is a Ning group with around a thousand users now (and growing, hint, hint). It's just the kind of place I can really feel comfortable and ultra geeky and not worry what others will think of me. I think, or so they tell me over there, that I fit right in. If you're a Mac user and you haven't checked it out yet, you really should.

So, I was considering responding to one of the comments and sharing all the specs of my own machines and it got me thinking and even more excited about the upcoming announcements from Apple tomorrow on what could be new laptops in their product line. As I was drafting my post and sharing personal thoughts about my experiences, it made me nostalgic thinking about how far Apple has come in their development over the years. It's hard to believe that I've been a Mac user now for close to twenty years! (about 18 to be exact) Man, I feel old!

I can't wait to see what Steve will unveil tomorrow. I can't wait to twitter and chat and read live blogs about it all. There is much speculation about a significant price drop to new notebooks and I really hope it's true. Some of my friends and family members think I'm nuts for being so excited about this, but they just don't understand. Some people have cars and boats and other hobbies. This is mine. Maybe this will help you understand a little better.

Imagine if you will the droplet effect as we fade to black and white using a moiré pattern in 133 dpi.

I had been using Macs exclusively for commercial art in trade school since 1990 and continued to use them working in the field of advertising as a typesetter for a few years. Back then, the Shift key was your number one troubleshooting resource. Feeling unfulfilled as a pre-press technician, I decided to go back to school for my BFA so I could become a designer.

The first Mac I ever *bought* was in 1997 (I think). I was a communications design student at university and got sick of having to fight my way in to the Mac lab on campus each night to work on projects. I decided it was time to get my own Mac and spend my late nights at home instead of the lab. (Oddly enough, I believe I'm STILL paying off that Mac since it got financed in with the rest of my student loan debt.) Just the desktop alone cost $1900.00 back then through the university bookstore and that doesn't include the monitor, printer and UMAX scanner I purchased along with it. Oh, and also the RIP software I had to install so I could print postscript using an inkjet printer since I was developing some mad skillz at silhouetting objects in Photoshop and needed to be able to print EPS with clipping paths. Oh yeah, and also the design software: Quark XPress, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. I also bought Painter before Macromedia bought it.

I don't even want to know how much it all really cost me (including interest compounded).

I'll never forget that machine though. It was my baby. I knew all the sounds it made and could tell when there might be trouble or how long of a break I could take while waiting for it to boot up, connect and be ready to go. I got brave and upgraded the RAM and PCI slots myself to give it some USB ports. I remember one time I had an issue with the "personality card" and had to snap it back into place because the startup chime wasn't sounding. That case was NOT one of their better designs, I must say. The card would never stay in place. The modem also got fried at one point too. Good thing I finally got high speed internet via ethernet and didn't need it. To this day, the sounds of a fax machine make me cringe. Luckily I don't hear it very often anymore!

I suppose you're wondering what model it is? I'll give you a hint. Big, red, hairy monster.

Nope, not me after pulling another all-nighter.

Yep, it was a good ol' nicotine beige G3 266 Desktop. Code named: Gossamer. It had a 6GB HD, floppy and CD ROM drives but no built in Zip drive. I later regretted not getting that built in because I had to buy one separately later on since our art projects were getting larger and larger. When we needed to work during class, the lab's Macs had no Zip drives and it was at least helpful to bring your own — SCSI I should mention. No plug-n-play, nope...you had to shut it down, plug the damn thing in and boot it back up. I don't miss those days at all. I don't miss dealing with Extensions either even though I was quite a whiz at troubleshooting them 'back in the day.'

I upgraded it all the way up to OS X 10.2. It took me a while to switch over, but eventually I grew to love OS X. I was a die-hard Quark Xpress and OS 9.2.2 user. Maybe it's just the loyal Capricorn in me. I tried to hang onto this Mac as long as I could, but eventually the upgrades would cost almost as much as a new machine. When I upgraded to a new Mac, this one served for several more years as a scanning station since the new Mac didn't have SCSI to support my scanner. Eventually it became my Dad's first Mac. (Funny how parents of g33ks get their kids' hand-me-downs, huh?) (He now has a Mac Mini, but he's still using my old Monitor which I hope dies soon so he'll get a nice big flat screen for it. My Mom has a MacBook. They use their Macs to keep in touch with us since we live close to 3000 miles away.)

This PPC G3 now resides in my Dad's attic out in PA because I can not bear to throw it away. Someday I'll make a planter out of it or something, but I'll never part with it. There is even an LC575 up there keeping it company. One of these days I'll find something to do with them.

Some people collect stray cats. I collect stray Macs.

My next Mac was (and still is) a Quicksilver G4 800 MHz PPC. Despite using a MacBook Pro for my main machine now, the Quicksilver, in my opinion, was one of the best machines Apple ever made. My husband still uses this machine today and it still has the potential to be upgraded to run Leopard if I plunk in a new processor - which, someday when we have the money, I'll do. I bought this machine with my tax refund in 2001. I OWN it! I love being able to say that. Funny how this machine cost me $700 less than the first one and this one is paid off whereas the other one is lumped in with my college loan debt, sits in an attic and is not in use. I don't like being able to say that. :( At least my MacBook Pro has paid for itself with the consulting work I've done over the past year. I'm glad I can say I've paid for two out of the three I've purchased in the past decade. (The first was a bonus lesson in financing for educational expenses since I've put myself through college with little financial aid along the way and will probably be paying for it the rest of my life. Needless to say, I don't fancy designer clothing or accessories. I have my priorities.)

I still think the Quicksilver's hinged case design and grey plastic is the most efficient and beautiful desktop design. I like it even more than the silver aluminum, I must admit. I take pride in keeping this machine clean on the inside and outside. I love opening it up and looking around inside and dusting it out once in a while. The RAM is maxed out at 1GB and like I mentioned, it could still be upgraded to a higher processor to run Leopard. It's got a SCSI PCI card because it used to support that blasted old UMAX scanner too. I finally gave up on that damn thing and we got an HP all in one since my days of having to scan for pre-press are far and few in between now. I still have my Epson Photo Stylus 1200 printer. That printer hasn't been used in so long, poor thing. I'm not even sure the state of the drivers for it. I can't give up that hunk of plastic either because it got me through my portfolio nervous breakdown, I mean, class right before I graduated and earned my bachelor's degree. That printer, G3 and I went through many a long night together. We burned a lot of candles at both ends (along with cigarettes and soda pop - back then, but no longer, thank God!)

I think there are a lot of Mac users out there who are nostalgic about their machines and the memories and projects they've created with them. All of the creating, organizing, problem solving, learning, the "what do you mean I just lost the last hour's worth of work because I forgot to save?!!" "curse you %&#@ing bomb icon from hell!" I think many people have develop OCD and ticks because of it. Apple-S, Apple-S, Apple-S - it is your friend, right next to Apple-Z...they are bodily functions equivalent to blinking now – for me anyhow.

When the hard drive died in the Quicksilver G4 after 5 years of heavy use and barely ever being shut down, a friend came over and helped me replace it with one we pulled out of another machine scrapped for parts and not yet in use. Using my backup CDs, I was back up and running within 24 hours. Thing is, I still can't bear to part with the original hard drive, not only because I can still get it to boot up and connect externally with an IDE to USB converter, but because, well, I met my husband on that hard drive.

What?

Yeah, I met my husband — of now four happy years with one beautiful little Applet so far — online while using *that* machine with *that* hard drive. Some girls keep dried flowers in a box somewhere. Some girls keep their old Valentines in a box somewhere. I keep my old hard drive in a box somewhere. For me, there was something about the little Apple icon in his AIM avatar that turned me on. ;)

This Grrl has AOL chat transcripts saved in a folder containing love letters, poetry, emails and MP3s, PICTS and iTunes song lists. Even a QuickTime movie or two. (and they're all safely backed up for posterity.)

My old hard drive may be a hunk of metal and moving parts, but it's our little reminder of how far we've come in our relationship. From blinking cursors to beating hearts.

Ok, you can go puke now. It's ok. I know I'm a geek and I'm ok with that.

Anyhow, those are the two PPCs I've ever personally owned and interacted with in a loving manner. It's my story and I'm stickin to it!

We also have a Tangerine PPC G3 iMac with built in Airport that our son's uncle found and gave to us for his godson to play with. I have it all set up as a play toy for him in his bedroom. He loves it. He's only 2 and can already log into his own little account and play AlphaBaby by himself.

In addition to those three working Macs used in our home, we also have a couple of other legacy Machines laying around in the garage for parts. There is a Grape tray load iMac and something like an LC575 or close to it. It's fun to boot that thing up and watch the twisted After Dark screen savers.

Then there is my husband's "lab" at the high school where he teaches Physics. Wanna see some beige in action? He's got about 8 PPCs (and lower – Performas anyone?) networked, using parallel, to two printers. I don't think a single one of them is running anything beyond OS 8.1. Two of them have black and white screens. The kids only use them for graphical analysis where they graph data using Excel and print out their charts. My husband is the kind of teacher who still keeps several dictionaries throughout the classrooms, purposely uses big words and makes his kids "look it up" when they don't understand a certain word he says. He doesn't realize how much he's making these kids appreciate modern technology by keeping those old dinosaurs around, so it's our little secret. (Until he reads this. Hi Sweetie!)

One of these days, I'd like to put together the little old Grape slot-load iMac and set it up in his lab. The last modification I'd make to it though is I'd like to paint all the purple parts black so it not only like the more modern black and aluminum theme, but it will coordinate with his black slate table tops as well.

So, yeah, I guess you could say I'm a bit of an Apple fangirl because of the many fond memories I have of using Apple's PowerPC models (and earlier). I'll always be excited to partake in the progress of this revolutionary company as it's proven nothing but a worthy investment to me. While it's true both Mac and Windows' operating systems run on "PCs" using Intel as opposed to PowerPC processing, the difference is that the Windows PC is a more of a Public Computer than personal, while the Mac, to me, truly is and will always be the Powerful, Personable Computer.

Hi, I'm a Mac and I'm personable.

Geek cred to whoever can identify the Mac I'm sitting at in the yearbook photo above!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Why I Do What I Do

Three words: Margaret and Helen.
This is why I love technology and why I love doing what I do for part time work — IT Consulting. I have a small group of clients for whom I provide IT services. These range from supporting a small medical clinic, to teaching classes at a local school district for children and adults, to private citizens seeking some one-on-one in-home training for general or specific tasks.

IT Consulting is a broad term that includes a bunch of things technical, but to me, it means I help ordinary people, both young and wiser than me, with Information Technology. I tell them which button to press or which button to click (because there IS a difference) and how the whosawhatsit and why that thingamajig does that thing with the thing that tells the other thing to dial the phone number, sort of, and connect to that machine over there — through "the air" — even though you can't see it or hear it. If requested, I also attempt to explain, in plain English and with a bunch of metaphors and analogies they can relate to — why. I do this all while speaking clearly, slowly, and repeatedly if needed. (Being from the east, sometimes I tend to talk a little too quickly, but I'm working on this!) Most importantly, I try to be as honest and forthcoming as possible about why tech is what it is. If I don't know an answer, I try my best to find one for them. I show them how to modify the settings on their computers so they can enlarge the type and icons to make it easier to see and navigate. Much of what people learn, retain and produce is dependent on how comfortable they are with the tool they are using for the task.

My goal is to simplify complicated processes in the least amount of clicks.

Lucky for them, I'm just old enough to remember rotary telephones and vinyl records. I even know what a victrola is!
(See, I put a hyperlink there for the really young kids in case they're curious hoping linkbait will get them learned!)

This post was insprired by geechee_girl on twitter who linked to a post on Margaret and Helen's blog. I read it as well as the rest of the entire blog (finally! a blog that's more my speed! LOL). Political arguments aside, I was so enamored with Helen and Margaret that it reminded me why I do what I do and inspired me to write a little bit about it.

It's the individual house calls where I feel the most comfortable and have the most amount of fun. Just like their grandchildren who help them out, I too service "senior netizens" and show them how to use their computers. I've even made a mini-career out of it so far. It's a bit of a niche clientele.

I'm like the "rent-a-grandkid" I suppose. I'm the "kid" who comes over when their own kids or grandkids don't have the patience to teach them what they want to know.

Reading Margaret and Helen's blog was very refreshing to me. To think they are over eighty years young and so willing to emrace this technology known as blogging so they can communicate with one another across the country just warms my heart. What am awesome example of social networking this is. I hope more like them will blog about their opinions and life experiences. I think this country needs more of it at times like this. I think they call it wisdom.

They've actually been there and done that. We just make the T-shirts.

Right now, my clients are mostly interested in learning how to work with digital photos and word processing. They've got E-mail down and are still working on navigating the internet using web browsers and understanding what the individual parts are and do. Most of my clients travel frequently and too busy enjoying their retirement to sit very long in front of a computer, but I plan on introducing them more and more to social media tools and blogging resources like Ning, Alltop, Blogger or WordPress, just to quickly name a few.

I might just even have to introduce them to Margaret and Helen, too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boobs Are The Best

Even though it should be October every month, in my opinion, we have this one time in particular each year where this great month is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of all of the women in my family, my friends and all across the world, I'm going pink for the month of October. Will you join me?

Boobs aren't just neat to look at, they're important!
Breast health is very important, because my breasts are not only an important part of my body, they're an important part of my life. Now, more recently, they're an important part of my family's life since I've been nursing our young son. I don't know what I'd do if I ever lost them, but at times like this, it's comforting to know there is a growing network of people out there who would help me out if I needed it.

I love my boobs and what they mean to me and to everyone else!
They've been through some really tough times, but they've always been with me, leading me, out in front and by my side (well, you know how motherhood changes that a bit). My boobs really know the ups and downs in life. They've been through a lot. They have uplifted me and they have let me down. I've done the same for them in return. They have drawn attention to things that matter most to me in life. When I was a teen, they drew attention to boys — as well as girls. (This goes out to all the chics in the 5th grade who accused me of stuffing my bra and who cornered me in a bathroom stall to prove it. Ha ha on you!) When I became an adult, they showed me that life isn't always fair and sometimes your brain gets overlooked when the boobs get in the way. Sometimes, I swear, these girls have just had minds of their own. They're not easy to hide.

Lucky for me, in all the time that I've been breastfeeding my son, I've never been made to feel like I had to hide in a dark corner while nursing in private or in public, but it's a real shame that hasn't been the case for some women I know. I did have issues (long story for another time) when it came to working and pumping and I have left a job in order to care for my boobs though, because that's how important they are.

Boobs are the best!
Funny how when they're young,
the public can't get enough of 'em;
always wanting to see them squooshed
in bras and bikini tops on magazines pushed
bigger than life on the billboards,
everyone knows they feed the hoards.
Whether it's at a burger joint or a bistro,
Hooters and booties in the YouTube video
from a baby on it's mamma or a bottle from the tap,
there's something for everyone and for that we can all clap!
But when they're not as elastic,
We're compelled to replace 'em with plastic.
And when they are ill and we need to make a choice,
That's when we no longer rejoice
in the lace and the fills
where the cup runneth over till it spills
Let us not forget what is best
Check early, check often and get that test!
Love your self, love your mother
Help support one another
Remember the boobs, save the breast!

You can help for free, encourage awareness and donations. Click on the Go Pink image above or visit these fine links:

Susan G. Komen for the Cure


Pink for October.org

Pink your Twitter

Much thanks to Natalie, designer of the beautiful twitter patterns, for raising my awareness and helping to give me to tools to Go Pink!

I'm passing this on. Now it's your turn!

(Leave a comment if you decide to do this, I'd love to see your blog all decked out in pink.)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Eyes Have It

Just a quick update on Lucian's eye status. He needs glasses. Not the greatest news, but hey, it could be a whole lot worse. If this is the least of our problems, I'm grateful. The eye doctor said she wants to see him back in another 6 weeks to see how he's responding to this course of treatment for his strabismus.

So now we have to find a pair of glasses suitable for a 2-year old and try not to go bankrupt doing it. He tried on a couple of pair at the "boutique" across from the ophthalmologist's office. (I don't know what else to call it.) Those pair were around $300.00. Yikes!

I called my insurance company and they gave me some alternatives and a discount card I can use. So, I think we'll go with Oma tomorrow or sometime this weekend to pick some out for him.

Until then, here's a little sampling of some pics we took not long ago for your enjoyment.

Here is what he looks like wearing his Daddy's glasses:














And here is his best Elvis impersonation to date:

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Hardest Word

"I'm s-s-s-s-oree-ee da-d-dee," he said with tears streaming down his chin, snot swiped across his cheek, and in the most adorable whimper that nearly broke my heart.


We're trying to teach our very young son about right, wrong, consequences and rewards. It's not fun. Except for the rewards part. Which, right now is picking him up out of the pack-n-play where he's served his time-out, cuddling him and soothing his misery and reexplaining to him just what he did that was wrong and that even when he's bad, Mommy and Daddy still love him no matter what, but that being bad upsets us and the result is a time-out (or a swift smack on the hand if he did something dangerous).

Tonight's bad choice: spilling salt from a salt shaker all over the floor that we had just vacuumed. I don't think he really knew it was such a big deal but he knows now.

Teaching a child at this age to apologize is not easy. He's probably much too young to even comprehend the concept of feeling remorse, but I think it's important to introduce this to him early on. Too many children today, it seems, get to skip this part, but I won't have it.

As much as I dislike this part of the parenting experience, my favorite part is loving him and reassuring him that I love him no matter what. I love to snuggle him and console him. I love the part where he hugs me and says "I love you, Mommy," and then goes back to playing without holding a grudge.

Our son is blossoming and absorbing so much right now. I'm so very proud of him each and every day.

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