Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A royal baby was born?

I love babies.  Especially my own.  I love babies that distract me from dinner, or church, or ones that smile at me from their cart in the grocery store.  But... enough about the royal baby already.  I feel like we have some other worldly issues that are a smidge more important than the details of a foreign baby's birth.  Like, maybe we can educate people on environmental issues, or further understanding for other cultures, etc.

I hardly watch tv, don't really read much news, and am a moderate social media contributor/onlooker, and yet I know the gender and birthdate of this little guy.  I cannot imagine how annoyed or excited the rest of you well-informed citizens are.  It seems like the constant newsfeed is a little much. Congrats royal family, now let's move on.  Shall we?

If you are a Prince William enthusiast, then I suppose you're enjoying all this joyous news.  I can't help but wonder, though, if we weren't so wrapped up in reading about births of celebrity babies, what exciting things could we discover?

Here's a baby I really like.  That's a stretch...he's more of a toddler.    

Thanks for stopping by.  I know your time is precious, and I'm glad you decided to spend a few minutes with me.  

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Smart Phone, Smart Mom

See that mini computer I'm holding?  That, my friends, is my first smartphone. I got it a few weeks ago. Gasp.  You may be thinking one of a few things:
  • Really?  You're just now getting a smartphone?
  • About time.  Welcome to 2013
  • You shoulda got an iphone
I was holding out on getting one for a couple reasons--budget and my amazing ability to get distracted mid-task or mid-thought by anything, at any time.  But my want for anytime picture taking and video capturing, a need for traveling navigation, and a desire to connect with others via social media won over. Behold my Galaxy S4.  It's big.  The screen is bright.  It's totally encased with a protective cover to guard against my clumsiness, but we tell people it's because of the kids.    As a new smartphone owner, I was of course amazed at its capabilities and overwhelmed with possibilities, but vowed to not let the device make me a worse parent, wife, or friend.  On the contrary, I wanted it to help me be better at these things.  So I have devised a short list of ideas on how to be a smart mom (or dad, or friend, brother, aunt, whatver) with a smartphone.  Of course these are ideas that work for my life, and I am continuously working on ways to integrate technology wisely into to my personal as well as professional teaching life.  

How to be a Smart Parent with a Smart Phone:
1.  Connect with others in a genuine way: Let your kids talk with aunts, uncles, grandparents on a phone call or via Skype/Facetime.  Do it yourself, and allow your kids to see you doing so.
2. Find your way in unfamiliar territory:  My phone's navigation is pretty reliable, but it prefers only main highways.  This makes travel easier (most of the time).
3. Document memories: I love that I can record HD video and take some great pictures using my phone.  I have seen ebooks and videos about phone photography.  There are apps that create scrapbooks from your phone photos.  Take advantage.
4. Don't text and drive:  The little ones (and big ones) will notice.
5. Play sparingly:  The games are fun.  Some are addicting.  I have a hard time putting down a round of "words with friends," but those are precious minutes.  Make the most of them.
6. Spread some love: I tweet, instagram, facebook, and blog.  When I do get a minute to check these or contribute, I do my best to throw some positivity into the world, comment, or at least "like" something I appreciate.  
7.  Do what works for you:  Set limits.  Maybe it's no phones at the dinner table, or you put them on the counter til the kids go to bed. Right now, I check texts and calls while being Mom and check social media while the kids eat breakfast, then again at nap.  I am working on finding a balance and am open for suggestions on how to incorporate a smartphone into my everyday life. 

Thanks for reading and stopping back to check out my sporadic posting.  I appreciate you!