Goals Photography

April is Here

“The first of April is the we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

I planned no April Fools’ jokes. I fear, however, the gorgeous 80 degree weather with a lovely Spring breeze that we are experiencing today will be Mother Nature’s cruel joke against us. April is, of course, the cruelest month though, despite what T.S. Eliot wrote, January and February seem much more difficult for me. Today the sun is shining and I feel like a new person. A person soon to become one year older but a new person all the same. Ah, birthday month is upon us.

Despite my reservations about my upcoming birthday, I am delighted that it is April. The birds are chirping. The sky is blue. My apple tree is finally forming buds. My lilies sprouts continue to grow daily. The breeze is whipping the curtains. And later today, we’ll take another walk. We’ll eat dinner with the windows open, the screen door pulling the air through the house. We’ll breathe in the fresh air that evaded us all winter. Eventually, of course, it will rain again. But we have boots. And rain jackets.

My April desktop features our loves, old and new: taking walks with our new wagon.

April Desktop

(This month’s desktop came from Designer Digitals.)

I am also pleased to announce that I am on track with my Project 365. My March mosaic is finished.

March Mosaic

But I am also worried. There were a few pictures in March that were done as we entered that haunting eleventh hour and I realized that I had taken no green pictures. My theme for the month was green and despite having taken good, quality, artistic pictures on certain days, I found myself at 11:35 with no green pictures to show for all of my work. I am uncertain if I will do a theme this month though, again, it kept me on my toes. I’m hoping to avoid default pictures (using the only picture I took on a day) or eleventh hour “what can I find in my dark house that is okay to photograph” shots. We will see.

Book wise? I have read 15 books thus far. If I continue at this rate, I’ll be well over my goal of 50 books this year. My worry, of course, is that with the lovely weather we’re having, I’ll be outside chasing small children more than I will be cuddled up on the corner of the couch reading. April, however, is known for rain and the like so I imagine I should be able to stay on track. I have some interesting books lined up. I’m pleased with my progress thus far. The boys have added 25 books to their physical  library (though their list only shows 22; some aren’t available on Goodreads). And I just ordered eight more from Scholastic. What can I say? I can’t say no to a book purchase.

Weight wise, I have hit my first goal (10 pounds)! I am hoping to continue with the weight loss as I have something big planned for later this month. The goal I have in mind for April 24th is healthy and do-able but not at the current rate in which I have been losing weight. It also took me three months to make it this far so I won’t be absolutely devastated if I don’t hit my twenty-four day goal but, still, I’ll be kicking the workouts up a notch!

April will be a busy month for us. I’m learning to re-balance my time. My #momspotting gig has come to an end but I’m now a Contributing Editor for Mom Central on the Tech Blog. (My first two posts are up! Go see!) I have some interesting photography prospects going on as there are many newborns in my life right now. Add in Easter (and these cupcakes), the start of t-ball season, four other family birthdays, my birthday, rehearsals, the big thing at the end of the month (oh-so-secretive, no?) and the daily ins and outs of life and April seems to be overwhelmingly busy.

Overwhelmingly wonderful as well. Happy April!

Techie Talk

Parenting Better (or Worse) Through Technology

For the past few months, I’ve been participating in BlogHer’s Family Connections citizen journalism project as a Momspotter. Basically that means I tweet a few times a day with the #momspotting hashtag about how I use technology in my day-to-day parenting life. I’m sure you’ve seen me talk about everything from battery hogging handheld devices to the big search for our family desktop and that one time I was tweeting about Bejeweled Blitz in the preschool pickup line. (I love Bejeweled Blitz.) And so! Now I’m going to tell you a few things about me. Because this is my blog.

If you like the meme, feel free to do one yourself and leave a link in the comments or tweet it with the #momspotting hashtag. Or don’t do it. No pressure, I promise.

1.       Which expensive electronic device do you most often let your older children abuse or your baby drool on?

Our family desktop. Now, to be fair, it was purchased (just recently) with the knowledge that it would be used by the kids. But sometimes I do cringe when I walk in the room and they’re actively touching the computer screen with their grubby little fingers. What? They’re my kids. I can call their fingers grubby if I want to! I researched pretty darn hard and well (we went with HP… again) and feel kind of secure that they won’t totally trash it to smithereens. We do have rules. Of course, we also have a rule that they should use their inside voices. That works well. Not.

But he looks cute, doesn’t he?

Playing the Computer

Also? I now have the smallest computer screen (on my laptop) in the whole family.

2.       How many take-out restaurant numbers do you have programmed into your phone?

Two. Both are local pizza joints. Why only pizza? That’s the only take-out in our area. Welcome to Small Town, Ohio. Do I get bonus points for also having the library programmed in? I do? Sweet.

3.       How many hours of television do you so totally not let your kids watch a week?

I really hate this question. I don’t really know a daily, in-and-out total. I pay attention to what they watch. I make sure we’re doing other things. I observe their cues and schedule No-TV Days when they are needed. But do they watch more than the recommended none for LittleBrother’s age and two hours for BigBrother’s age? Yes and mostly. Don’t judge me. The Bible says not to. (Name the comedian.)

4.       Do you think people who say “we don’t watch television” at playdates but really mean “we just watch DVDs” are lying liars from Liarville?

Maybe. We do prefer DVD’s to television simply because of my background in working for television news. Commercials are evil. They are. You can argue it with me but the truth is that they are made with your/my child in mind and they do, in fact, want our kids to say, “Oh-em-gee, Mommy! I haftahavethatRIGHTNOW!” That said, DVD’s do count in screen time so those who think they’re not letting their kids watch “television” by going that route are slightly delusional. Or Lying McLiarpants from McLiarville.

5.       How many miles have you driven with your child and not one device of electronic entertainment in a single car trip?

Seven. It should have been six but have you ever driven two small children, by yourself? A bathroom break takes eons. Also, if the radio counts, then I’m out. And? I won’t be doing that again. That was silly.

6.       What’s your record for calls to the pediatrician or Ask-a-Nurse in a single day?

Three. To be fair, the first and second were because I accidentally hung up on the nurse when I hit a button with my chin. The third was to inform her that, yes, he did puke again. All over me. And that we would be coming in. With my laundry.

7.       What’s the sexiest thing your husband/partner could text you after a hard day?

Your wine is waiting. Or, your wine is waiting and the kids are asleep. Or, your wine is waiting and the kids are asleep and I bought us a hot tub and installed it while you were out and, you know, you look really sexy in that bathing suit of yours; I’ll be waiting. That said, the last option doesn’t fit in a text message so I can safely say that’s never going to happen.

8.       What’s your favorite iPad joke?

The iPad is not a joke. It is beautiful. Gorgeous. And luxurious. But, no, advertising, even in the form of press releases, has no affect on us, does it?

9.       What’s the dumbest parenting tool, gear, gadget or device you ever bought?

A potty with a foam seat ring. You know what happens with a foam seat ring? IT SOAKS UP THE URINE. Do you know what that smells like after a week or two? Also, add in the stroller that came with the “travel system” that we purchased for our first son (BigBrother). Not only was it too big and poorly made but we almost never used the thing.

10.   How many years will it take for your child to become more tech-savvy than you?

Have you met BigBrother? He’s working on it. It may be his life goal. Or, wait. His life goal right now is to be a Space Ranger. If he accomplishes that, I would say he’s more tech-savvy than me/us by far. That said, I’m pretty on top of things. I don’t want to think about having to ask them to fix my computer/TV/hover-craft. I’m the Mommy, dang it.

I encourage my readers not only to follow the #momspotting hashtag and join in the conversation but to visit the Family Connections forum. We’ve been having great conversations on everything from Facebook to how we can possibly have time to blog/tweet/etc if we’re actively parenting to making our marriages better… online. I have really enjoyed the give and take of information, ideas and laughter. You should join in. (Also, if you’re touched by adoption, stop in the adoption forum where I’ve been spear-heading some discussion.)

I’m working on this project through the end of March. If you have anything you’d like me to broach either on twitter or the Family Connections forum regarding technology and parenting, drop me a comment, email or tweet.