Jun 30, 2011

What I Am...

I am a home maker, stay at home mom, housewife, domestic engineer, chief cook and bottle washer and any of the other descriptors out there for a woman who does not work for money outside the home. This is a job/lifestyle my husband and I plan on from the moment we got married and have been fortunate enough to carry out.

I am a cleaning lady, cook, clothes washer, meal planner, grocery shopper, mender, picker upper, garbage gatherer and taker outer, toilet fixer, and general do it all around the house (I don't do the yard). There is no division of labor here. He  brings home the bacon so that I can do what I do. Now don't get me wrong he pitches in when he can and is a great help around the house. He does vacuum and help pick up on Sunday mornings when I go to the grocery store but I do my best to have it all done so he can spend what little time he has playing with our son and resting. He has earned it.

To my son I am playmate, teacher, caregiver, hugger and kisser of boo boos, chauffeur, chef, entertainer, toy picker upper, toy shopper, nail clipper, seamstress, seeker in hide and seek and a whole host of other things. I don't get vacations, or holidays. There is no spring break, summer vacation or a day off. I am on duty 24/7 365. Be it at 3 in the morning when he is running fever, or 6:45 on a Saturday morning when he wakes up on the only morning I get to sleep in. He has not been in day care or mother's day out or any other program with the exception of Museum School, and that is one day a week for 2 hours. He has never slept a night away or stayed somewhere that I was not. He does spend some time one day a week with his maternal grandparents but up until now I have been his main caregiver. Now in the fall he will attend preschool 2 mornings a week in addition to Museum School. Yes, I know he needs social interaction with other children.

It is this way because we want it to be this way and have been able to make it happen. Every parent and family must make their own decisions on what works for them and their family when it comes to children and parenting. For me I know that I have a small window of time with him and that soon he will be off at school. Though his dad and I will always be an intricate part of his life but, he will grow up and move on and as the Dr. Seuss said "Oh the Places You'll Go!"

Being a "stay at home mom" has been the most difficult and the most rewarding time of my life. I wouldn't trade it for anything! And I hope that you feel the same what about the what your family life has turned out.

If you care to, share what works for your family. Do you need time away, are you content in the choices you've made?

Jun 29, 2011

It's All About the Apps!!

For anyone who has a smartphone, be it an Android or Apple, we know it's not about the phone, it's all about the apps!

I recently upgraded from using an iPod Touch to a 32GB iPhone. I got the higher capacity iPhone for two reasons, 1, I have a son who loves to watch videos and not just any videos, videos of himself that I take with the iPhone and 2, APPS baby. I was limited with my 8GB iPod Touch but with this 32GB iPhone. Man oh man can I down load the Apps!

Weather your a news junkie, game nerd, photo freak, an epicurean snob, or education hound, as the ads say there's an app for that. Here are some of the apps I use everyday and that have become an intricate part of my daily routine. Now before I start I am not including, Facebook, Twitter, Words with Friends (jenrand71 if you want to play), Kindle or Email those are just given apps for any and all smartphones. No these are ones I have put through the ringer and work for me and my needs.

First Grocery IQ: this app keeps my grocery list, grocery total, has a place for the things I purchase every week so I don't have to keep typing them in and best of all you can, with the aide of a wireless printer, print off coupons. It also has a scanner and with the use of the phone's camera you can scan a products barcode you might be running out of and it puts it in your list, no typing required. GENIUS! Here is a screenshot of what I mean.


My next most used app is now Home Routines. This is a keep it together app that helps me organize my house chores so I don't get overwhelmed and my house always looks picked up, not perfect, because dull women have perfect houses! This app is very user friendly. Allows you to edit the chores to fit your needs and is broken up in to daily chores and focus areas. I will admit I am one who won't get an app unless it is free but the $2.99 I paid for this app is well worth it! Here is its screen shot.


The next two apps go hand in hand for me. They are PS Express and Piconhand. The first is Photoshop Express. I like it better than the built in camera but it is just a personal preference. The second app is Piconhand this app allows me to upload pics I take to my Picasa page, which was detailed here in a previous blog. This is very handy for when I want to make sure pictures I take when out and about are ready to go when I get home to blog.



Okay, onward we go, tired of me yet, (tap,tap,tap) anyone still out there...

Next is HeyTell, a voice text messaging app. I use this most with my dad but also some other. It allows you to send a voice text message without using up your txt msg plan or your phone minutes. You don't have to worry about auto correct in your typing, just push the button, talk and your done. Fabulous. One thing, others have to use HeyTell too for them to get the message. 


Next is an app I use infrequently but it is a must. I will say as a disclaimer that I stumbled on it when they were running a promo and got it for free, I would NEVER pay the $9.99 they charge. So what is the app you say, it is WeatherRadio. This is a Weather Alert Radio that lets you know when a watch or warning has been issued for your area. It also has a pretty good radar so you can track the storms as they are approaching. A good example of its use is a couple of weeks ago when storms blew in late a night the alert went off and we were able be proactive about protecting ourselves and property.


The last app is one that I now use everyday and is a great way to find FREE, yes FREE apps. FreeAppList has a daily rundown of the lastest free apps. You can view them all or in categories. For those who love FREE things and who doesn't this is a great app.


Well those are all the apps I can think of now that I use and think are worth blogging about. So if you are still reading at this point why don't you leave a comment and let me and others know what your favorite apps are. Maybe others might like to try them out as well.

Thanks for reading!!

Another Great Swim Day

XL Getting ready to dive!

Splash!!!!

WEEEEEEEE


One Exhausted little boy!

Jun 23, 2011

Hot Fun in the Summertime

Ready, Set GOOOOO!
Look Mom no hands!
Hi there...
Down for the count! What a fun day!

Jun 22, 2011

That's What Friends are For...

Today I was able to spend some time with one of my best friends. It was very special because we have not had the chance to visit, just the 2 of us for many, many months. We were able to catch up on the recent past and now that she is retired and has more free time we have made a pact to try and get together more frequently. That way we can catch up on 3 full years of not being able to visit!

It is wonderful to have a friend that you can just pick up where you left off no matter how long it has been between visits!

I look forward to many more coffee and shopping times with her especially in the fall when JN starts to preschool!

Jun 21, 2011

Boo Boo's and Bandaids

I remember growing up and always hearing this tune: "I am stuck on Band aid Brand cause band aids stick on me..." or something like that. Well here I am with a 4 year old boy who, has until recently not needed band aids too much, thank goodness. But, here in the past month he had developed this "need" for band aids. And of course they have to be cool band aids.

For the most part they don't have to stick very long because the ouchy is not too bad but on those occasions when he has a real ouchy I need a bandage that will stay on. I think I have found it. They are called Nexcare Tattoo Waterproof . Below is a picture of JN's foot and the band aid that has been there for more than 24 hours, through a bath, all night and a day with socks and shoes on. Notice that it is on the inside of his foot and has yet to come undone. I must say that I am not easily impressed these days by products but this on is a keeper for me.

Jun 20, 2011

Naptimes

I am a very fortunate mom in that my 4 year old son still takes naps. I try to put him down sometime between 1-2 and he will usually sleep for about 2 hours. Yes, it is heavenly. Now during this time I try to lay down at some point and rest a little myself, catch up on some housework (yuck!), get coupons and shopping list ready for any big sales or by the time the end of the week comes around sit on my butt and watch a movie.

Lately I have been thinking that I could be more productive, start a new quilt, clean more, do more meal prep so that evening dinners won't be so run of the mill, but nah, I think I will just sit here watch a movie, search Facebook, play Words with Friends and be in general lazy!

Jun 15, 2011

Boys and Birthday Parties

Yesterday we got to go to a birthday party for one of my son's friends. It was very nice since we have not been able to see this friend in many months. The boys had a great time!



Picasa Convert

I have become a Picasa convert. For those of you who don't know what Picasa is, it is a free photo editing software from Google. And since I use Blogger, a Google based web service, the interface is wonderful. I can download, edit and upload the pictures from my camera, and iPhone. I can save them to my hard drive or upload them to my Picasa acct. From there I can easily use them in my blog when I am on the go or share them out to friends and family.

Now I have tried other photo editing software like Roxio, Photoshop and the integrated Microsoft photo editor but they were either too complicated (Photoshop) or just didn't fit my needs.

Another great thing about Picasa is it has this great tool called photo tagging in which it will scan all your pictures for faces and then put them in a group. You can then go in and tag the photos you have, of let's say Uncle Billy Bob and when you are in search of that certain picture of Uncle Billy Bob doing a cannonball you can go your Uncle Billy Bob folder quickly and find where it is located on your computer. Okay, I don't have an Uncle Billy Bob but you get the idea.

So if you are not already invested both time and money wise check out Picasa you might find it meets your needs too.

Jun 11, 2011

Family Day!!

We, my hubby, son and I were able to have our first family day in several months! It was heavenly. We went to the farm in Stephenville and while dad mowed JN and I drove the Kobota around, played on the tractor, played with the toy excavator and generally had a great hot sweaty time. It was one of the most peaceful days even though we never stopped.
Just what a little boy should be doing on a Saturday, playing in the dirt!

What does this knob do again?

The most beautiful view I know, looking out on your own coastal field.
However, we need rain!

Jun 10, 2011

Learning New Things

I love learning new things especially when they are about computers and they make my life easier.

Like today, I inadvertently learned, though some of you computer whizzes may already know, that while you are in your web browser, if you hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and the + or - button it make the screen larger (+) or smaller (-). Who knew, I certainly didn't so now instead of typing my blog like this:





It can look like this:




And at 40 years old now, that makes a huge (pun intended) difference. I know you can't get the full effect here so try it out yourself and see how it works!!

Jun 9, 2011

It's a Small world after all...

I am currently playing a game on my iPhone called Word with Friends. It is basically Scrabble with a few changes. Most of all it is time waster that I have become very addicted to. You can play people you know, random games with others who play or you can post a request for games on their Facebook page. In addition to playing the game you can also chat within the game as well.

At first I only played family and friends then as I got more comfortable with the game I started to request random games. The only problem with that is some of the people I came across were crude, or like to smack talk, and that is not something I was interested in.. Or would play until they were loosing and then either quit the game or let it go dormant which is very annoying.

So a month or so ago I posted a request for games via the WWF FB page. I stated what kind of player I was and what kind of opponent I was looking for. From that post I got about 8 invites before I took my post down. Most of those players were only wanting a quick game but I came across two players who like to chat and were very friendly, Mark from Canada and Julie from California. We have continued to play our games and chat about life and it has been wonderful.

The experience has been so good that I got up the nerve to post again on FB last week and OMG. The response was just as good. I am now playing another lady from California, a SAHM mom in Australia, a SAHM mom in Louisiana  gentleman from Chicago, another gentleman from Delaware, and a SAHM who lives about 80 miles from me. I chat off and on through out the day with these people, they are very nice and are making my life a richer experience right here from the back porch of my house. I am not one to go out an mingle and I know it is not the same as meeting people but I am very glad I made the post and look forward to my continued interaction with these lovely people!

Jun 8, 2011

In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory of a beautiful, strong woman, Joy Fortenberry Hott. You will be missed and our lives are richer for having known you.

Going Mobile

Do you have a smart phone? Do you see the link to my post via your Facebook or Twitter account? Have you ever clicked on it only to move on because the page is not optimized for the size of your phone screen? Well you are in luck. Blogger has now added an option for optimization of mobile phone screens. So as I start to blog more you can catch me on the fly more easily. Isn't technology great!

Here is a screen shot preview, that is if you are viewing from a regular PC or Mac computer:

photo.PNG

Jun 5, 2011

Time to Blog

Hello blogosphere, blog-land, and my one follower. I have been away from blogging for almost 2 months now. I want to blog, I like to blog but life sometimes gets in the way of want toos and like toos. I have so many time thought of great things to write about and post but of course I am always in the car, out in the yard or somewhere not even close to my computer. So all of those wonderful, funny quips and stories are forever lost, ha ha.

Oh how I wish Blogger would make and iPhone app so that I could blog on the go. And yes I know I could email it in or text it in but I have never had much suggest with that so I am stuck blogging the old fashion way, actually sitting at at computer.

I am going to try and blog 2-3 times a week and hopefully life will not get in the way. And as the blog title says it is Jennifer's Ramblings so anything and everything is up for discussion.