Wednesday, October 26, 2011

iTower Toppling

I succumbed to the i disease. Remember the iMark? It lasted a few months--I finally took it over in Oct 2010, and use it enough to love it. Mark really liked the idea of it, but decided he needed a pocket size--which took out the iPad campaign. SO he moved onto the iPhone crusade, which has--after a year of extreme persuasion--has born fruits for him. The 4s comes tomorrow (as long as I'm home to receive it, which is a 40% likelihood). The most ironic part of the whole thing is I received an iTouch last week for work. Sweet! I didn't even want one. But if I'm forced--I guess I can start making to do lists, and reading my scriptures electronically (so far the best part). Oh, and have a disguised video camera that Jackson isn't totally distracted by!

Hence the following footage of his mad skills in toy and tower toppling.

(using the iTouch--I like the sound a lot!)

(normal camera)--

Hopefully Jackson doesn't find where we stash our new technology and use his mad skills on them.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Cutting Edge

Aren't these things incredible?

The idea that 2 knives slicing next to each other could be that much more effective than one is amazing to me.

According to Wiki, Egyptians used a form of scissors back during their dynasty. But they were spring scissors. This picture exemplifies some spring scissors from the 2nd century.

Thank heavens they've come so far, because we've been using them a bit this week, and I'm pretty sure those springy things wouldn't have been much help.

I'm helping put on a halloween extravaganza for our church next weekend, and the gal in charge is going all out. In preparation, I got to cut the edges of orange and black crate paper. I was pretty shocked how spooky cut edges on crate paper look, but even more shocked by how efficient I got! Apparently folding the paper over on itself 4 times, and THEN cutting is the way to do it. Finished up the roll last night with only slight pain in my fingers :)

This little guy was the other victim of scissors. He was definitely getting a bit shaggy, so we took him to the basement with blessed Baby Einstein and snipped away.

I cannot believe how sharp those little guys are! Super scary to do any trimming near the ears--especially since it comes at the end of the attention span [note to self: trim ears at the beginning in the future]. But, with Mark's help we got this boy looking fresh and trimmed.



(Are you lovin the little hair stuck to the side of his cheek?)

And though scissors were not used, sharp twirling blades gave the same results after trimming the lawn today.

There's not much better than the look and smell of a freshly cut lawn. Although, I don't think I would ever want to wear it (can't believe Gap still had it on the shelves this past September!).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Train em' Young

I found a great article on chores with children in a magazine I had stashed down in the basement (it's amazing what a flood makes you go through!). It had some great pointers, like initially doing chores together, setting clear expectations, starting early, and being realistic.

Check and check. At least on the starting early and doing it together. Jackson LOVES chores. Pretty much Jackson loves attention, and if chores gets him attention he figures that's great! We'll have to work more on the independent completion of chores, but enthusiastic workers are almost always welcome.

Vacuuming is by far the favorite. Thankfully our vacuum actually sucks when the handle is 2 feet from the ground. He's pretty slow, but gets a part of the job done.

I doubt the thrill of helping Dad with anything will ever leave. Ikea could make their assembly a bit more kid friendly, but since that would likely drive up cost--we probably wouldn't buy it anyway. So he'll have to be satisfied with holding boards and handing over screws until he's a bit older.

Raking leaves is usually fun (as long as they're not wet). Jackson's a little bit better with a broom than a rake, but hey! He's probably about as effective as he'll be as a middle schooler.

I was mostly excited when he discovered the crunching sound the leaves made after all the hard work. (View that video here.)

Baking is probably his 2nd favorite thing to do. If he sees me pull out the measuring cups he'll get really excited and sit down in the middle of the kitchen floor expecting me to bring the bowl down to his height so he can pour the contents in. This picture was one of the luckier days I let him sit up on our ginormous stove to help out with pizza dough.

Stove top cooking is one thing he would love to help with, especially since I always seem to do it right when he desires full attention. Unfortunately, child safety standards are so high in this country, he doesn't get to help much. SO, we picked up this cute little thing (yay for east coast sidewalk charity), and plopped it in the middle of our living room.

Mark willfully agreed to it, but did remind me that we had a little boy. Thankfully the whole family has enjoyed it. Jackson gets a thrill out of cooking something for us to taste, but doesn't feel it's a good enough substitute for our special kitchen time at night. So it hasn't really helped the dinner situation, but it sure is funny when he smacks his lips after trying something he's cooked up, or brings over the spatula for us to taste his creative genius. Can't wait for this to be translated into real food. I'm shooting for age 10.

Jackson is also very good at unsetting the table and pulling all the clean silverware out of the holder. We'll be working on the reversal of those two in the next few weeks. Mark is also seriously considering dishes training--to help reduce the nightly burden. I have no doubt Jackson would love the training--not so sure of the efficacy. But hey. Train em' young.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Few Technicalities

Slight Technical Difficulties

# 1. The majority of times the camera is pulled out these days, Jackson instantly stops what he's doing, comes toward it and tries to push any buttons he can before I put it back up on the high shelf to pull out later.

# 2. The computer is not reading USB drives. It wasn't doing this 10 days ago, and Mark installed new drivers and they worked for 24 hours, and then stopped. This means, no new pictures for the grannies and aunties--even though all the ones I have are of him reaching out toward the camera.

#3. Busy week. I started teaching music 2 mornings a week at a local elementary school, and it has been amazing. Dream job. I get to sing with twenty 4 year olds for 30 min intervals, while 2 aids stay in the class to help with management. [Sometimes the aids cause more problems than the children.] Usually this new position causes very few problems, but on a busy week it pushes the blog post from Wednesday to Tuesday, Thursday, or who knows when. So there is now a little element of surprise for my few faithful readers ;)

Technically Awesome

#1. Mark's cousin Jason is in town for a week with us, and we are SO excited. He's like a tall pack of positive energy with science and engineering genius all mixed up into one person. Sweet! We'll be picking his brain on how satellites work and we'll see if he might have some insight into our USB issue too.

#2. I won tickets to go see Les Mis at the Kennedy Center last night. Apparently this has been one of Mark's unsaid dreams for quite some time. Way to go instinctual wifey sensors. The show floored both of us. Blew us completely out of the water. It's the new 25th anniversary version, with all new staging and the effects are stunning. And the voices. OH MY HEAVENS! Do these people have gills? My brain figured out that they must have voice recordings of the last notes of most of the songs, since they go on so far past the suggested 12 measures. Really, there's just no way they could keep singing like that. Going to a show like that makes me so glad I didn't go into any sort of performing career, because there are just ridiculously talented people who SHOULD make money at it. The singers sounded 200 times better than CD (ugh--Eponine on the cd? Ouch!), and Jean Valjean pretty much let the flies into my mouth (jaw was dropped) every time he opened his. The show was made for those voices and wow, was it powerful.

#3 Jackson is technically down for a nap right now (even if he's not quite asleep).

I love technology ;) [that's for you lindsey]