Gulliver Gets It.

Hooray, everyone! Hooray! Gulliver is finally going to sleep like a sane boy! It's been a long time coming. So we did the whole sleep schedule thing, which you'll remember. And then after a while, we got really tired of listening to our first born wail himself to sleep every night. So we got a little more involved and instead of plunking him down in his bed, we'd rock him to sleep in the rocker. Which, according to all the books, is something you shouldn't do. But whatever. It was a time that we really enjoyed spending with him, and was much nicer than hearing him cry. If he woke up while we were putting him in the crib, then he'd cry a little, but never very long.

Well, something happened while I was in Maryland with him. I don't know if it happened because of the adjustment to a new time zone or what, but all of a sudden, Gulliver became an easy baby to put to bed! Now bedtime goes like this:

1) Warm bottle.
2) Cuddly Grover.
3) Hold Gulliver while he holds Grover and drinks the bottle and tell him a bedtime story.

My stories are nothing to speak of. It involves Prince Gulliver going off into the forest on his faithful steed and meeting the forest animals and helping them and becoming friends because Prince Gulliver is beloved by all in his kingdom. So far, he's helped out some birds, a squirrel, a bear, a spider, and a beaver, who locked his dam keys inside his house. (Gulliver didn't laugh at that one.)

But by the end of the story, Gulliver is sufficiently fed, and somewhat relaxy. He's usually not completely asleep. But he's very cuddly and slow and he holds onto Grover in a very adorable way.

And then we put him into the crib. Even though he's a little bit awake.

And he is okay with it!!

I mean, sometimes he sortof cries. But I mean seriously like a 2-syllable cry and he is done. It lasts one second.

He really seems to get it now and is at peace with bedtime!

(Nap time is another story. We still let him cry for nap time, because it only lasts a couple of minutes and because if we didn't, he simply wouldn't take naps.)

(I'd post some pictures, but my phone is dead. But here's a picture from Murray's blog! We played with bubbles for Gulliver's first time last night, and he loved it!)

At the Garden

We went to a garden today with Ootsie and Ms. Moo.

He enjoyed running around and playing in the fountains, and trying to walk up and down stairs like a big boy (with my help).

About the iPad

All right. I feel as if i should tell you about the iPad. And i won't only say positive things. I'll say negative things too, like i type too fast on it for the autocorrect to capitalize my I's. And that kind of drives me nuts. But there are things that i must share.

Number one. Why we bought an iPad. I know you're all sitting out there in front of your computers, thinking that we are big big suckers. But we are not. I promise. Here's the thing. When the ipad was announced, we looked into it and couldn't find a practical purpose for the ipad in our lives. We did not need it. At all. It didn't fill any technological void in our lives. So we almost immediately dismissed it. And we laughed over and over at all the iPad hitler videos on YouTube.

But a few weeks ago, we all of a sudden realized what the iPad could do for us. We'd been talking recently about doing physical portfolios. And let me tell you, a physical portfolio is a lot of work. And a lot of money, actually, once you factor in 1) an attractive binder or folder, 2) the printing costs 3) the time involved in preparing print-ready files of all of our work, taking them to a printer, babysitting said printer while they screw up your stuff on the paper you've supplied and paid for, etc. Not to mention the maintenance. Any time you need to add a new piece requires more money and more trips to the printer

Enter the iPad.

1) It is attractive.

2) It is not much more, or possibly the same price as printing our portfolios, buying good paper, binder, etc.

3) It is super-easy to update. We can do it instantly, and without worrying about setting up a crop, and making sure that the colors match, etc.

Beyond this, it is more versatile than a paper portfolio. Even forgetting the fact that I'm not going to watch a movie, up surf the Internet, or type up a blog post on my portfolio, the fact is, i also wouldn't travel with my paper portfolio, or bring it to conferences with me.

The iPad on the other hand is perfect for conferences. I can have it to keep notes, use Twitter, or surf the Internet if I'm bored, AND i can bring it out if i happen to strike up a conversation anywhere with a potential client. And no, i wouldn't do this in an obnoxious way. I'd do it in a totally appropriate, only if the person is looking for services like mine, sort of way where it is completely natural. Like, "Actually making repeat patterns is one of my favorite things to do, and i even teach a class on how it's done! If that is the sort of thing you're looking for, i have some samples here with me both of the patterns themselves and of how some clients have produced them, in mediums ranging from print to textile to web! You can take a look if you're interested and see if i have anything that matches the aesthetic you'd like to achieve."

I meet a lot of potential clients at conferences. Most of them are brief encounters where they possibly tune out a lot of what i say until at the end of the conversation i give them my business card and THEN they say, "Hey, this is really cool! So often, i meet people who are graphic designers, and then they give me their card and it sucks, and I'm like, really? You do this for a living?" (I have been told that, and similar things a few times.) So if the business card (one sample of my work) can have that effect, then i believe that having my whole portfolio at the ready--again, only for those who are actually interested--will lead to even greater business/new client opportunities. (And it would not, actually be appropriate to use my laptop in a situation like this, since most of these encounters happen while standing in a hall or something. And it's awkward to haul out the laptop, balance it, wait for it to boot up, etc. I would never do that.)

So. Practical application. The iPad will likely pay for itself rather quickly.

Once we established the practical application, then we were free to enjoy every other joy that the ipad has to offer. And believe me. There are many many many.

A lot of what people say is that it's like a giant iPod. Well, yes, sort of, but maybe in the same way that my 24-inch iMac is like a giant 15-inch laptop. It's true that my iMac and my laptop are capable of the same things but it's a much different experience using my iMac. A much better experience.

Same with the iPad. Better, far far far better experience than using my iPhone. It's incredibly cool, very fast, very intuitive and very fun. It's very comfortable to surf the Internet in bed when I can't sleep, or just take a bit to catch up on blogs without staying in front of the computer. It's just nice. Really really nice.

But to be honest, like I said, until we realized its potential as a business tool, there was no practical need for it. And as cool and wonderful as it is, i wouldn't buy one if there were no need. But something i eradicate pointed out that the iPad is a new platform, which is really exciting, and which should encourage innovation. So what is already good will continue to get even better as people continue to develop for it and find new uses for it. And i think that that is pretty exciting.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the iPad.

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Ootsie's Big Surprise

So a little while ago, I was reflecting on the previous year and realized that I really haven't seen my parents as much this year as I did last year. Last year was awesome, where we saw them every two months or so. But i felt bad this year because Gulliver has been doing some really awesome things and I didn't want my parents to miss it all. So when I saw southwest's tickets go on sale, i found a reasonable fare to Baltimore and booked it, using southwest credit that i already had.

Then i called my dad to tell him that I'd booked a flight, and wouldn't it be fun to surprise mom! This was a few weeks ago. Since then, we'd been planning everything. My flight would arrive at midnight. We would sneak into the house and Gulliver and i would sleep in the basement. Then in the morning, I'd send gulliver walking into my mom's room to wake her up.

So yesterday i flew from salt lake to Denver to baltimore. I must say, the salt lake airport has a children's play area that thoroughly entertained Gulliver while i caught up on emails on my iPad (yes you read that right) using salt lake airport's free wireless.

In Denver, my late-night flight was delayed 2.5 hours, and the airport's free wireless wasn't working, and i got serious attitude at the information desk when i asked them if they had a children's play area. They don't, by the way. Which made me not feel bad when gulliver left many many hand prints on their windows, stinky diapers in their trashes, and crushed cheerios and Teddy grahams on their floors. Take THAT, Denver!

In the meantime, i had to keep my dad in the loop, and my poor dad thought i was joking when i said I'd be getting in at 2, not 12. I had to assure him several times that i was not, in fact, joking. So he told me that he'd take a nap.

A couple hours later, my brother fabuloso called to say that he'd been talking to my mom, who had said, "Your father is napping. It's 9:00 at night. I don't know why your father would be napping." hahaha

Our flight, beyond being delayed, was fairly uneventful. Gulliver was fairly good on both flights, but didn't sleep much on the second flight, which I'd been looking forward to so that i could watch a movie or read a book. On my iPad.

We got in at Baltimore, where my daddy met us, and let me know that we were kind of busted. So let me start telling the story from my mom's perspective.

My mom sometimes has trouble sleeping. So she woke up and my dad wasn't in the room. She thought maybe he was having trouble sleeping, so she went looking for him. He wasn't in the living room or the kitchen. And neither was the dog! She went down to the basement and he wasn't there. But in the bedroom, the bed was cleared off and made up nicely, and the pack and play was set up. Still, she thought maybe he was organizing. But he was definitely missing. (I may point out here that technically my dad was out in the middle of the night at a secret rendez-vous with another woman.)

She went back upstairs and called my dad. My dad, who already has some problems distinguishing my mom and me over the phone, and who has us both listed in his phone as ICE (in case of emergency) assumed that i was calling. So he picked up the phone and said, "Which flight were you on? I thought southwest from Denver."

"What?" my mom asked, thoroughly confused.

"Where are you?" asked my dad.

"I'm at home. Where are YOU?" asked my mom.

Realizing his error, my dad thought quickly and said, "I got hungry so i went out to get something to eat."

I may insert here that at some point during planning i had told my dad that he could always just say that someone from church had had a flood and he rushed over to help out. But in a pinch, my dad chose the "hungry" option. At 2:00 a.m.

When my dad and i got home, all the lights were out and the house was silent. We creeped in and looked up the stairs to see if we could see my mom but she wasn't there. So we went downstairs to get settled into our room. My dad wished us a good night and went upstairs. And then as i continued to get settled i could hear my dad. And my mom. Coming closer. When my dad had gone upstairs, he found my mom watching tv, waiting for him. She hadn't heard us come in. She asked my dad what was going on, and he tried to block her from coming downstairs, but the dog, Maeby, was clearly trying to tell my mom about the guests downstairs.

So i managed to ruin everyone's sleep that night. But she was genuinely surprised and delighted to see us, no matter what time of day. And her face was priceless as she was asking, "What are you DOING here?"

So that was my big surprise. And it's been fun so far! Yay! And I'm looking forward to all the fun we will have this week!

(And poor Murray is at home, being productive and enjoying another brief stint of bachelorhood.)

(And here's a glimpse of the havoc Gulliver is wreaking in my parents' home.)

-- Post From My iPad, with apologies for the typos and for the self righteousness of admitting I have an iPad.

Location:Vantage Point Rd,Columbia,United States

We are Famous!

Murray and I are in a new short film, directed by Daltongirl!! A certain post really inspired her and she made it into something beautiful.

April Fools!

I'm not actually much of a prankster, although I enjoy a good one, like the time we started calling the Independent Study call center with answers to the Rhonda's School of Dance radio quiz question. When told we got the wrong number, we would ask if we still won a prize. Ha ha. Good times.

Or there was the time on my mission when, during a p-day, one of the elders (for those who aren't lds, "elders" are 19-21 year old boys) left his digital slr on a bench in Rome, so we grabbed it and decided to keep it till he realized it was missing and when he did realize it was missing 45 minutes later, we told him that we didn't have time to go back and look for it because p-day was over and we needed to get back to work. Hahaha. These were the days before digital photography had even caught on, so you can imagine how expensive that camera was (and how few megapixels it probably had). When we finally told him we were joking and gave him back his camera, he still wasn't laughing. Hahaha. Good times.

Or there was that time that all my mom wanted for her bday was BBC's Pride and Prejudice, and instead we got her the latest John Grisham book (who happened to be one of my dad's favorite authors at the time, but not so much my mom's). And we waited till she was really starting to get upset before we have her P&P. Good times!

But what this post is REALLY about is the fact that I was always under the impression that April Fools day ended at noon. All jokes were to be played before noon. So when I realized that's not how it works here in the States, I wondered if that was a Canadian tradition. But NOW I wonder if it was actually just something the elementary school teachers made up.

So how about it canadians? Is it noon or all day?

-- Posted from my iPhone, with apologies for any typos.