Monday, June 21, 2010

3 reasons why you need to give your wife an iPad

When I first put my hands on my iPad, I was sitting in a walk in clinic with my sick kids. My husband had waited in line for it at the local Apple store the day they came out, and although I knew it was on its way, I was still practically sick with excitement.

I guess this tells you how much I love technology.

The first app I downloaded was a Toy Story interactive book that resulted in my four year old promptly taking the iPad away and going into his room with it, only to return half hour later and request "MORE" of the same.

It took about two weeks, but now I use it for everything. There are days that I do not crack my computer at all, and I kid you not, that's a big thing for me.

If you are considering buying one for yourself or your spouse and are on the fence (or the wait list) for the iPad, here are a few reason that might push you over to the other side: 

Pies - You like pie right? Apple, blueberry, the elusive stalk that is rhubarb? Well yesterday as I was baking, I dropped a big old pile of flour right in the middle of my iPad. As I began to clean it up, I thought of the many, many people who would gasp at my flagrant misuse of the coveted iPad and recoil in horror at my fumbled attempts to clean it with my already dough encrusted hands.

The point? This thing wipes off with Windex people! Windex! If you slop you coffee or flour on it, it just wipes right off. It's brilliant. Just pull up, find something to bake, leave the recipe in front of your like a book when you are working, then slop all over it.

Feeding your baby - If you breastfeed, you know that you will spend endless hours in a dark/semi-darkened room feeding your baby. It's a blissful thing, but it's also deadly boring when you do it 10 times a day, 7 days a week, and in the middle of the night. With my other kids, I just watched TV or stared off into space. Sometimes I'd slump over and catch myself before I fell out of the chair, taking baby along with me. This time, *insert evil laugh*, this time is different.

My husband's friend presented me with an iTouch a few months ago, and it was amazing. I could read blogs, look at pictures, play games, and best of all for everyone, stay awake while feeding the baby. At 4 am, when my heart was racing and I wanted to cry, I could google, "Why is my chest hurting?" and it would come up with wonderful options like, "How to tell if you are having a heart attack or if you are having anxiety related issues." Very soothing, I must say.

Now I can analyze myself and my anxiety symptoms on the big screen, and if I am bored at night I have a plethoria of free HD time management games to entertain me. Also, watching Glee on the iPad will keep you awake when nothing else will work.

If you are your child's food source, you DESERVE an iPad.

The reduction of clutter - Recently, my husband stacked a pile of my books that I had stashed in the closet along the wall of the bedroom and said, "Do something with these."  I was perplexed. I had not read half of them, including "The Road Less Traveled" and "How to bring up boys" (clearly, I have not read that one.) How simple it would be to have the iBooks version of these selections, so I don't have a pile of paper sitting on my floor and still have the option to read them whenever I get free time.

Reading a book on the iPad is an amazing experience. The backlight is so soft on your eyes that you don't even realize it's getting dark in the room.

If you read books, you need an iPad.

I do believe I have barely scratched the surface of what my iPad can do, and I'll be enjoying trying to figure it all out for months to come. My iPad won't do my dishes, but at least it keeps me company when I do.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A crisis of the 39ish persuasion

How many times have you heard people say, "In my head, I"m much younger?"

My dad used to say this to me all the time. I'd look at him, wrinkly as a Shar Pei and with hair as grey as the old cat that used to hang out on my grandma's farm and I'd think, "Sure." I mean look at you, you must be like, 43 or something!

And now here I sit, at 39, and I'm the one that my kids say, "Wow, Mom are you ever old."

It doesn't help that I'm older than my husband, and you know they take great delight in saying that to anyone who might ask how old I am.

My kids are growing up. I have an 8 year old, a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and an almost 1 year old. My baby days are ending, and the times of my life where I have three boys ripping up my house are just beginning. I haven't colored my hair in what seems like a lifetime, and since having the fourth kid, I'm more top heavy than bottom.

I avoid the camera like the plague, analyze every tiny mark on my face, and wonder if I can survive the aging process.

I'm having a 39ish crisis.

All of this makes me remember what my dad used to tell me about being a kid. He'd say, "You better enjoy it. Being a kid is much better than being an adult."

At the time, full of hormones and boredom, I didn't believe him. I wanted to grow up, wanted to go where I wanted to and come home when I wanted to. I wanted to have my own money and not argue with someone over a winter jacket or a pair of ugly boots. I wanted to be finished with high school forever, and move onto bigger and better things. Brighter things. I had marriage to look forward to, babies, and jobs. The world is wide open when you are a kid. I had dreams.

I still have dreams, but it's amazing how time can change them. I'm married, I've had my babies, and I have spent my life looking for something I was good at, something I could grab onto and be passionate about. I've found the things I've wanted to find and I've lived through some stuff that, looking back, I wished I hadn't. It's part of being a grown up.

And now, I want to be a kid again.

I want to ask my mom for help when the world gets too overwhelming. I want to read a book by a lake and listen to nothing but the flies buzzing over head and the water hitting the shore. I want to be restless, impatient, anticipating of what my life is going to bring. I want to run, wild and free, through Disneyland again and feel like I did when I was 7 and it was the most amazing place on earth. I don't want to deal with cutting the grass, cooking dinner, or taking out the trash. I want to move to a new place, just because the other place isn't doing it for me anymore.

Today, I'm having a crisis of the 39ish persuasion, and today, 39 sucks.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Winnipeg mother stabs her children and post partum depression is in the news again

Every single time I get off track writing my book, I see an article like this on my iGoogle page.

Once again, what appears to be a mother struggling with postpartum depression is in the news again. Is it just more publicized now, or are women going to extreme lengths to scream for help?

As someone who has struggled with brutal postpartum depression, I can't help but wonder whether this woman asked for help, or whether she was willing to take it if it was offered. So many times there is help available, but it is shunned due to breastfeeding, lack of support, or outright denial.

I sincerely hope the children make it through this ok, and that they have a supportive family to care for them as they work through this.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

New member of PWAC (Professional Writers Association of Canada)

I'm excited that I was recently allowed to join the ranks of professional writers in Canada. PWAC is a great organization from what I can tell, and I have already found a ton of 'inside' resources that I am sure will come in handy.

I'm having a hard time finding anyone who is willing to read my current WIP (also my only WIP unless you count the articles I am writing for a client).  I am not sure what other people do to share and get feedback, or if I should just avoid sharing altogether a la Stephen King?

Any advice?