Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer of 101 Continues

Here's my problem right now. I spend so much time just sitting--sitting and nursing the baby. While this is happening two things occur: 1) I watch hours of housework reverse itself before my eyes in a matter of minutes and can do nothing about it, and 2) my mind has nothing else to do except scrutinize my house and plan projects to improve it. I have redesigned our kitchen several times (it really will be perfect by the time we actually do it), I have designed built-in cabinets in the family room, I have redecorated the kids' rooms, I have dry-walled/painted/re-shelved my laundry room, I have transformed our garage complete with shelves, paint and concrete stain, I have created art for the dining room, I have planted a garden and landscaped the yard, I know what our screened in patio should look like and I have built a computer desk specific to our needs. Oh, this is all in my head of course, and some of it on paper. The problem is that I have way too much time to think up these grand schemes and no time to actually do any of them. This situation can get a little frustrating, I guess, but at least my mind is still functioning. Someday I hope to get something done.

Here are some things we have accomplished from the infamous 'list', however insignificant they may be:

#5 Go to library story time. Twice, actually. This was my first outing by myself with all four kids when Connor was 2 1/2 weeks old. I managed.

#25 Finger paint with pudding.
This was also right after we had done #81 Play in the rain, which explains the swimsuits. Pudding was a good one and in my opinion, better than real finger paint. And you can eat it.

The masterpieces:

#18 Go see a movie. We all went to see Toy Story 3 when my dad was here and everyone did great, excluding half a container of drinkable yogurt all over Marissa's shirt. Good movie!

#66 Run through the sprinklers and #14 Go swimming. We've done both a lot.

#65 Play hide and seek. This seems to be a daily game, though I've never taken part--probably due to nursing the baby and scheming up ideas instead.

#19 Make paper airplanes. It was a good thing we did this one when Jared was home because as it turns out, he spent considerably more time as a child making paper airplanes than I did and had way better designs than me. All of them ended up on the roof so Jared, setting the example, climbed up there to get them. Now all my kids want to get on the roof. After he jumped off, they all started begging to jump off too. Go figure. #33 Have a marshmallow fight. This was another success. Marissa just dumped her cupful on the wet ground before actually catching on to the whole 'throw them one at a time at someone' thing, so hers was basically a sticky clump by the time she picked them all up. Good times.#56 Go to Burger King. This, I must tell you, was not one of my ideas, but there's one close to our house and it has the classic, sticky, fast food playground that my kids adore. What's a few more germs anyway?

#31 Act out a scripture story. This ended up a lot like the marshmallow fight except we decided to use crumpled paper instead. Any guesses about which story? Here's a hint: my kids only pick ones where you get to stand on something really high (like a tower or a wall). Yep, Samuel the Lamanite. Luckily we are really bad shots so, true to the story, I don't think Erin got hit at all. Should've used marshmallows, or arrows.

#23 Fireworks. On the Fourth of July we just walked outside, since the babies were asleep, and watched different shows around town and the neighborhood. Then we crashed our next door neighbors' personal fireworks show which turned out great, and bonus, we didn't have to buy any fireworks. They even gave our kids a bunch of sparklers which they have never done before. Next year, we'll have our kids wear shoes before handing them hot glowing ember spraying sticks. Lesson learned.

Oh yeah, Erin says this is her fireworks shirt and she saved it for like two weeks until the big day. She's right, though; it does look like fireworks.#90 Make popcorn. Easiest one ever.

#93 Take a bubble bath. Okay, also pretty easy. Just add bubbles to their regular bath.

#71 Go for a walk and listen to sounds. You actually couldn't hear a whole lot above the cars, planes, air conditioners, our own feet and the baby crying, but we did hear dogs, crickets and frogs too.

#99 Find nocturnal animals. This was one of Erin's ideas, possibly from watching Dinosaur Train or Curious George... or just because she wanted to stay up late enough to find them. We walked around our house once and found our cats, frogs, fireflies, maybe crickets and mosquitoes. I got bit 4 times.

#15 Find shapes in the clouds. It was really, really bright out so we couldn't look for that long. But we found dogs, dinosaurs, unicorns and monsters.

See the dog?#73 Make Orange Julius. Yummy! The kids were plugging their ears because the blender was so loud.#91 Make a fruit pizza. This started out as (another) cooking disaster. Don't try to make the sugar cookie crust on one of those pizza baking stones. I've tried it twice and it doesn't work. One was raw and one was too crispy and stuck to the stone. This one worked and it was so, so good. I will definitely make this again. Great design too, if I do say so myself.#92 Write a nice note to a friend. I'm not sure if Erin's notes made it to their recipients, but the goal was to write them, not deliver them.

#59 Play a game on the computer. They love Starfall and PBS kids.

#28 Sleep with cats. I love this one. Believe it or not, this was not at all hard to do. Here are only a couple of examples.Oh man, am I frumpy! Postpartum rocks. It is seriously a mystery why I can't fit into my normal clothes say, 5 weeks after having a baby. I mean, there's no baby in me. I tell myself every time not to even attempt the 'try-on' until maybe 3 or 4 months later but it never fails. I always do and I never fit. Seriously, I'm mystified.

#63 Make a collage of words and pictures. The kids cut out things they liked, mostly food. Mine was the note to Jared. Let's just say the kids were done a good hour before I was. There's probably a reason I haven't made one of these notes since BYU. They take forever! But Jared truly appreciated the effort. And like the note says, he is the greatest!See the baby? See the mess?By my count, that's 33. We have 4 weeks till school starts so we better get cracking on those other 68.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Connor is One Month Old

I realize that I haven't posted a whole lot about Connor yet. Poor kid. It's just that, well, I don't seem to have that much free time anymore. He is a sweet baby and everybody loves him around here, sometimes a little too much. You realize just how sturdy a baby is when your two year old sits on his head, bangs him with a shoe, steps on his back, pinches his cheek, and pulls on his arms--all out of love, mostly. I guess the fourth kid has to be tough.

And speaking of tough... It may be too soon to tell, but there have been some rough times with him, mostly in the evenings. Maybe it's colic? (whatever that means) But there have been several nights when he won't go to sleep or even settle down, so I just feed him and feed him and try all sorts of antics to get him to go to sleep and ultimately I end up watching a lot of TV. It does get very tiring. Then add that to Marissa who stays up till midnight sometimes if she's taken a nap and I feel completely wasted by the end of the night. It's probably a dumb idea, but I've been staying up at least an hour or two after that every night because it's the only time I have without kids around. So yeah, just a bit tired... but I also know this will not last forever so that helps. And he's not like that all day or even every day so that's good. Another good thing is that I don't have anything else going on right now--meaning I can sleep in. I don't think I could have handled something like this when I was in school. Definitely a blessing.

He was a month old yesterday (but don't expect to see any one month old pics of him--didn't happen). He went in for his one month check-up today and has gained 2 lbs since birth. Not bad. I don't remember much about height or head circumference but here are the stats for weight:
Birth: 8 lbs 9 oz
3 days: 7 lbs 13 oz
2 weeks: 9 lbs 6 oz
1 month: 10 lbs 9 oz.

I also should clear up some possible misconceptions. It seems I have only posted a few pictures of Connor and they have all been of him sleeping on his stomach, with his head turned the same direction. No, he doesn't have an unsightly birthmark that I'm trying to hide and no, he doesn't always sleep on his tummy. I do put him down for supervised tummy time, but that's not his only position.
He actually spends a lot of time in the bouncy seat......and the swing......and on his side or back in his co-sleeper......and also in my arms a lot too.

His first day of church was when he was almost 3 weeks old and was also the day we blessed him. So he was born of Flag Day and blessed on the Fourth of July. A lot of our close friends were out of town because of the holiday, so we ended up asking different friends that we wouldn't have normally asked. It tuned out to be a good size circle. Jared gave a great blessing and I'm glad my friend wrote it down for me because I was busy trying to keep Marissa quiet.

Blessing Outfit

This is our first family picture with everyone.
One of the best parts of that weekend was my dad flying down for the blessing. He has made a goal to be at all his grandchildren's baby blessings and we are so thankful that he always makes the effort to come all the way to Florida for such a special time. The funny thing was that Marissa was also blessed on the Fourth of July weekend two years ago, so my dad watched fireworks and went to our friends' annual Fourth of July pool party both times. See you here in two years... just kidding!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

MyMetronome is now Published!

I now have an officially published Android Application! 

I guess this is what you get when you combine 3 degrees: Software Engineering (Me), Music (Laura) and Architecture (Photoshop experience - Laura).  It's nothing really special (as far as mobile apps go), but for me it is really something :).  MyMetronome is (in my opinion) the best metronome on the Android Market...and I've looked at a lot of them.  It has a lot of features that simply aren't available in some of them, and it is built in a form factor that is easy to use.  I can't stop thinking of optimizations / changes that I would like to make...but at some point you just need to take what you have and get it out there...nothing is ever perfect.  In fact, when I first released it I received a comment almost immediately that it didn't work (no sound, and a force-close).  The phone I use to test my applications is based on the Android 1.6 version.  Apparently the way I implemented the sounds wasn't supported the same way on the next release of Android...2.0.  This certainly wasn't the perfect launch I was hoping for!  By the time I was able to get the update released 60+ people had already downloaded the app, and 1/3 of them had uninstalled it.  They can now simply install the update (they are notified that there is an update available) but it is not quite the same as having a functional app from the beginning.  Oh-well...such is life sometimes!

It really did take a while to get the images and coloring to be what I wanted.  Most of the functionality was working a long time ago, but optimizing some things, fixing a few bugs and making sure it looks and feels good when you handle it actually takes some time.  Hopefully even if you know nothing about music you'll be able to use it.  A full description of the app is on my website.  If you have an Android phone, please download it and let me know what you think...just search for "MyMetronome" within the Android Market.  I have uploaded a free evaluation version, as well as a paid version.

I think my next project will be a pitch-pipe, which I will probably integrate into the same application.  Not sure exactly when I will begin that project...I guess it depends on my own personally available time...

Do you have any good ideas for a mobile phone application?  I'd love to hear them!