Saturday, January 31, 2009

Young Comic

Last night, Island Boy placed his hands on his lower back, arched his back, stretched out his belly, looked down at his belly button and said, "Mei Mei" (that's Mandarin for "little sister").

Yes, my darling son has noticed that Mommy's belly is sticking waaaaaaay out and he was actually imitating me!!!

Fortunately, Mommy can take a joke and we all got a good laugh. Hopefully, he will use discretion when delivering such commentary in public.

The Paperchase Continues...

We've been home for nearly a year and a half. We've completed all of our social worker visits, been officially recognized as a family by the governments of two countries and even received a US flag that had flown over the US Capitol building in celebration.

So, are we good to go?
Of course not!

We received a notice in the mail (or rather, Island Boy did) that we must appear in court once again if we'd like to receive proof of our son's citizenship. We must also bring a certified copy of each of our birth certificates and a certified copy of our marriage certificate along with certified copies of all court documents relating to our case and I'm sure a few other items I'm forgetting as I type. We've sent off to all of the appropriate places and have our fingers crossed that we'll receive all of the required documentation in time for our court date.

You know, I was kind of feeling like I needed a little something extra to keep me busy. :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Best Software Ever

As a former software engineer and generally voracious consumer of technology, I have seen and used a lot of software in my lifetime. Yesterday I installed what I am fairly certain is the Best Software Ever!!!

If you are not yet a Mac user, stop reading this post right now and go purchase a Mac. I'm serious. You need one in order to get iLife and you need iLife in order to use the amazing iPhoto '09. Yes, I think the Best Software Ever may be iPhoto '09. Ok, ok, I'm sure there are many other amazing applications out there that are making the world a better place, but there is nothing as fun and easy and just plain crazy genius out there today as iPhoto '09. (No, I do not work for Apple although I did work for Microsoft.)

What makes iPhoto '09 so much FUN??!! It recognizes faces and catalogs them for you, so if you, for example, have oh, let's just say 30,000 pictures or so in your digital library (ahem!), you don't have to go through all 30,000 by hand to figure out which ones your little loved ones (or your big loved ones) are in. You simply find a picture that has the face you want to identify in it; you name it, and voila! iPhoto presents you with many of the other photos that that person is in. So. Much. FUN!!

I admit it's not flawless, but even that was part of the fun. It was fun watching the software sift through all of our digital pictures (this process took hours given the number of pictures we have) and pick out the faces. Once it was done, it was fun seeing which faces it thought belonged together - it mostly guessed correctly and we got some good chuckles when it didn't.

If I seem a bit giddy, it's because I am. If you're a PC or haven't installed your copy yet, you can at least enjoy a demo by clicking here.


Island Boy insists on doing pretty much everything we do. The results of his efforts are somewhat mixed.

However, in the use of chopsticks, he is determined and, with a little help from a piece of plastic, gets the job done with surprising skill.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Play Dough

My son located a rock-hard ball of play dough and presented it to me.

Squeeze!, he commanded.

I can't squeeze it, I told him. I went on to explain that the play dough was all dried out because we didn't put it back in the container.

Island Boy considered the evidence and, in a leap that wouldn't be made by most adults, responded with a very logical, "Wash, please!"

Ah, the world is sometimes much simpler than it seems to those of us that have been in it for a while! I'm glad our children are here to remind us of that and to give us good reason to smile along the way.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bye Bye Tree

"Bye, bye, tree!", he said. It really seemed like one of the saddest things I had ever heard: Island Boy saying goodbye to the Christmas tree. It was a sad sight to see.

We tried to help him through the transition by taking the candy canes and ornaments off the tree, wrapping them all securely (except for the candy canes, of course) and storing them away for next year. We told him we'd have another tree next year and explained that we'd soon have other things to celebrate, including his birthday. In the end, he seemed to feel a little better when he picked up the Christmas tree-shaped rosemary bush from our front yard, carried it in to the house and placed it where the Christmas tree had been. It wasn't quite the same, but at least it was something that would last for just a little while longer.

And yes, I know, I know! I haven't even written about putting the tree up yet and it was already time to say goodbye to the tree. That's the way the holidays worked out this year - I wasn't quite ready for them and, in a flash, they were over. *sigh*

Monday, January 19, 2009

Technical Difficulties

You may have noticed that things have been a little quiet here lately. It's not that things have actually been quiet around here, of course! We have a toddler in the house. How could they be??

No, we've been experiencing technical difficulties of the sort that so often accompany the busiest times in our lives. Yes, I have managed once again to completely overwhelm my computer's storage devices. Tens of thousands of digital pictures will do that and they will typically do that at the least opportune time.

So, after yet another addition to our home Tera Monster (see note below), we are nearly back at work here at Island Boy and my, do we have some serious catching up to do!!

Note: Years ago (yes, more than I care to recall), I visited the data farm of one of the world's leading corporations. They proudly showed me the massive room housing their data farm. They lovingly referred to it as the "Tera monster". It was impressive for its time, but the same amount of storage today would fit rather neatly into the rather smallish room where I now sit. My, how things have changed!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Horse Dog

Shortly before Christmas, Island Boy woke up to see this in his living room. A gift from dear friends, it is a larger-than-life size replica of a Bernese Mountain Dog. In fact, it is about three times the size of our Bernese Mountain Dog.

Island Boy stood back, warily observing the thing.

"Horse!", he declared.

I see your point, son. He continued to study the thing and soon declared, "Bus!". Wow, another great choice!

Yes, as large as a horse (or a bus) but in the likeness of a dog, this creature defies definition, so we now refer to it as the "horse dog". It was just one of the many highlights of our holidays this year and Island Boy still doesn't know quite what to make of it.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Big Red Barn

I happened to be browsing the maternity clothes in Target's online store when I noticed a very curious thing...a rather...shall we say, "overweighted" selection of red items. Upon further inspection, I found that the color of the items bore the label "Barn Red".

Now anyone that knows anything at all about marketing can tell you that labels matter and anyone that knows anything at all about women can tell you that most of us, pregnant or not, would prefer not to be compared to a large, broad structure - particularly not one meant for housing farm animals.

No, Target, as much as I love you, "Barn Red" was not your finest example of marketing prowess and thus it is no surprise that one can find an unusual number of items in the color "Barn Red" in the clearance section of Target's website.