Friday, October 7, 2011

I wrote this for work. -Barry

While Apple didn’t make my first computer, they made the first ones I loved. When I was young, my mom worked at a local community college that ran an annual summer day camp series, including a week-long “Computer Camp”. For as terribly nerdy as that sounds, it was one of my favorite annual traditions. Some of the first “programming” I ever did was in LOGO on an Apple ][ at computer camp. It’s where I saw instructors get excited about things like the relative indestructibility of a 3.5” floppy disk, and let me know that it’s fine to be a perfectly nerdy adult.

As much as I loved those times, I spent the next several years with computers that I can’t describe as anything but “just awful” - a nightmare of functional and support issues, one after the next. I ran Windows, gave up, eventually installed Linux, and sometime around 1999, got rid of my computer entirely, using just the machines available to me at my college radio station and computer science department, plus whatever intrusions my roommates were kind enough to allow.

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple, there was a group of maniacs at Michigan Tech who would get together to watch his presentations in the basement of the electrical engineering building. A buddy of mine got me to tag along and I saw first-hand, his “reality distortion field”. When they launched the iMac, one of my fellow computer science majors got it. He wanted everyone to come use it, try it out. It was my first real experience with Mac OS (OS 9, at the time), and while I couldn’t afford a Mac then, I sure enjoyed my time with it, just like before.

In 2005, I bought my first Apple product - a PowerBook G4 - the first computer I ever both owned and loved. The rest is TechOps history.

While Steve Jobs is gone, Apple and the Jobs family are poised to further realize his vision. He made the computer personal, and in so doing, reinvented industry after industry.

Make things that people are going to love today.

Here's Steve Jobs at WWDC 2007, the first time I was fortunate enough to see a Stevenote in person.

(Photo credit to flickr user acaben, Ben Stanfield).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


My thoughts on Bonnaroo:

1) People said it would be hot. I had no idea how hot. Especially when you have to stand in line for an hour to get into some place air-conditioned to get relief. Our best bet was to find someplace in the shade and sit down. The first day we were there we waited in line to see The Naked Gun and at least 3 people in line fainted from heat exhaustion.

2) People said it was dirty. I had no idea how dirty. There were a couple of times I thought ‘this is what wind LOOKS like’! It was a constant barrage of sand blowing around, into your face, your sweaty everything. We saw people walking around with bandannas over their mouths and thought it was silly… at first. It wasn’t about air quality, obviously you’re not going to get away from it much, it was about not chewing on dirt!

3) The 80’s are totally back. I haven’t spent that much time with so many college age kids, well, probably since I was in college. I also haven’t seen that many jump suits since the 5th grade. And those sunglasses with the black front neon colored stems? EVERYWHERE.

4) I have never seen that amount of pot. There was more there in a weekend than there was from the classes of ’92-’98 combined at Eastern High school. It was fine, I just couldn’t decide which concert had more; Eminem or Robert Plant. Barry and I decided Eminem, but only because of the sheer volume of people at that concert.

5) Also, painted boobs are a thing. A very popular thing. We saw some homemade loin cloths too, best one was the skunk. There was one completely naked dude hanging out in the middle of the vendors… posing for pictures. He might have gotten into something other than pot.

6) It’s nice to camp as an adult, with useful things, other than just a tent and 4 broken coolers. It’s nice to be able to help out all the ‘kids’ camping, that don’t have camping equipment.

7) The best part was spending a weekend with my husband in a totally new environment for both of us. We both enjoyed the music, and I know Barry loved the music. We got to see an amazing amount of unbelievable talent. I loved watching the people. We loved eating all sorts of wonderful food. We met some new folks, talked about music, about families, about life. Best of all Barry and I enjoyed each other :)

I'd definitely go again... it was a great experience, hot and all!

Lots more pictures to come on Facebook - I have a TERRIBLE time posting pictures via blogger... (any suggestions, hints, would be greatly appreciated!)

Bobble heads in mid-Centeroo

First day! Poor Barry had literally been up all night!

Monday, March 7, 2011

First haircuts!

Grandmas' and Papas' are the best! We’re lucky, we have four of them, well the boys do anyway. This time I’m specifically talking about my parents – they joined our haircut party! J Papa hadn’t seen the boys in over two weeks and he hears about them all the time from Grandma so that’s just too long – I think it’s like an itch… ew, hopefully not, but anyway, they joined our party. Thankfully they did too, two 15 month olds in a salon full of pretty women trying to do their thang is very busy! Especially when Daddy is getting his hairs cut too. Daddy tried to get pictures, but it was really crowded in there, babies needed attention, etc… so I asked Grandma for her pictures so I could fulfill the requests of their first cuttings.. there were quite a few!

A disclaimer first though, it was a bang trim… notice I still refer to my 15 month olds as babies. Simon has the prettiest curls in the back and how do I do unto one and not the other (not that Elliott's hair isn't pretty, but whatever), whether it be ‘not getting the whole thing done’ or ‘getting all of it cut’, you decide, if you must. But mom wasn’t ready, so that’s the bottom line… always, isn’t it? ;)

So Grandma sent pictures! I got a message on my Facebook saying she had 'sent 7 to underwaterdaisy'...

But I thought she meant 7 pictures, I thought “well it was crowded in there, they probably got 7 good ones, that’s more than I have!” But no, she meant 7 emails, full of pictures! J And my mom is not a morning person, unless you’re talking the earliest of morning hours… she’s so cute I have to share some of the emails:

Subject: haircut 1
Date: Monday, March 7, 2011, 12:41 AM

Here's the first haircut pics

Subject: pictures 3
Date: Monday, March 7, 2011, 12:48 AM

This is taking a while - big files

Subject: pictures 6
Date: Monday, March 7, 2011, 1:00 AM

one more

Subject: pictures last
Date: Monday, March 7, 2011, 1:04 AM

Hi Beth

Lots of pics. I couldn't decide so sent most of them. Time for bed.

Love, Mom

She’s the best! OK, onto the good stuff, those photos!

At first I was a little put off that we got there and it seemed like were in the chair right away, I didn't even know her name. We were going to a new place that a friend recommended and I'm glad with they choice. It's a cute place and she did a great job. Turns out, she's probably had some experience with first haircuts!

I don't think Simon even knew she was doing anything at all until were part way through...

He spent the first bit smiling at Papa taking his picture, then he decided he wasn't sure he liked what she was doing...

He sure did give her his signature "I'm not happy with what you just did and I want to be sure you know it" look...
So sweet!

Elliott had the chance to watch Simon, so he started out a little shy and true to form, curious...

He was definitely more wiggly, and his bangs now support that statement...

Then he was done too...

Daddy had his turn then too... I don't know if you can tell, but he's not thrilled about sharing in the picture posing ;)

While the boys explored...
Do you think E is hiding his haircut?

I think they're both just too busy!

What do you mean Grandma, I'm not SUPPOSED to stand on this?!

Papa, trying his best to keep E busy...

Momma and S had found the stairs, which believe it or not were the safest option as far as least breakables and best option to be out of the way

So Papa and E joined :)

I'm SO glad that my parents met us, I don't know what I would have done with glass shelves, not to mention wrangling one boy while I held the other, AND had pictures! So while they weren't first WHOLE-haircuts, it was their first cutting of hairs and I'm documenting it as such! :) I don't think it'll be long before we go back for the rest though, but at least now they can see without it in their faces.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Let's go wagon riding... it is March after all!

Just like the previous post – our two boys are so different in so many ways! It’s so funny to me that people still ask if they’re identical. Seriously? Do they look anything alike? Really. I understand that not everyone gets to know them like we do, but seriously, do they look anything alike?

Anyway my parents got them a wagon for Christmas. At the time we actually opened a really cute picture frame shaped like a wagon, figuring we (I, they are my parents after all, they know me pretty well) might have something in mind. I did some looking and found a great price on Amazon (go figure, I’d be willing to bet the FedEx guy knows our address by heart) and ordered the Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon.

The Amazon frustration free packaging was out of stock, it was such a great price. That only meant we’d have to put it together, no big deal. Turned out the wagon, with no wheels, was the best thing for the inside before it’s warm enough to use it outside!

At first I thought maybe we'd just play on the box...

It didn't take me long to open the box though. Simon thinks this is really neat, as long as it's still!

Here's a prime example of my different boys (I figured I'd get back around eventually) - I moving it around now and S isn't quite so sure, but look at that pure joy in E's face, I couldn't make it go fast enough!

Simon certainly didn't give up on it, he's normally right in the thick of things, but Elliott wears his excitement on his face a little more

They were very excited to show Daddy their new toy when he got home!

I'm not entirely sure, and I'm hoping it isn't so, but I'm afraid my mom may be right when she said the ER docs at the local hospital will get to know Elliott by name, he has no fear.

Simon on the other hand feels a little bit safer with mom, which is more than fine with me! I love that he's cautious!

While they both have different senses of adventure, they are both lovers. Right now about half the time I ask for a kiss from either of them they give one up gladly. Elliott is 'wide mouth, hold onto the back of your head giant' kiss. Simon is 'leans in ever so sweetly and gives a nice gentle' kiss. I don't have a favorite, although Simon's is a little "dryer" ;)

Elliott LOVES to give hugs, he tries to give Simon hugs, which a lot of the time turn into tackles so you can't really blame Simon for not wanting to reciprocate most of the time. He tries his hardest to give the cats hugs and he's partly successful some of the time with Franklin. Stanley still high-tails it out of there when they get closer than a foot away, regardless of his need for attention. He hasn't been turned down yet though from any adults, he lays his head on your shoulder and pats you on the back, it's the sweetest.

Simon is into making faces, and he gets lots of reaction! He scrunches up his nose, he pouts, I think my favorite right now is when he puts his chin down and furrows his brow, then will lifts it up and grins in the same instant. They said he had them laughing all day yesterday at daycare with his multitude of faces.

They're both into giving stuffed animals "hugs". They'll put just about anything in the crook of their neck and rest their head on it so that we all say "Aww!" They grin and throw it on the floor and run the other way ;) The latest is playing chase though. They don't quite get it but they love it! They started way back when Simon was first crawling even. Elliott would crawl under the dining room table and wait for Simon, then when Simon saw he'd take off as fast as he could hoping Simon would follow. Now they have circle they can travel, from the living room, to the foyer, to the parlor and back to the living room. They chase each other, but are getting more and more excited when they can "taunt" you enough to chase them.

They are so much fun. So far there have been milestones we've come to, passed and they've all been amazing. People will tell you, "wait until they do this...", or "next thing you know they'll be doing this..." And yes, it's as special and exciting as everyone tells you it will be, more so because it's yours, but nothing has been quite as fun, nor could I explain the joy in being able to interact with them like we're just getting into now. They copy us, they do things to make us laugh (to make us say "ow", or "no", or "STOP" - that's a favorite - they do it back), they're exploring boundaries and the world... and their family and it's indescribable how impossible it seems sometimes that they're mine.

Monday, February 28, 2011

So over winter!

I owe SO many updates (they have the BEST personalities and they come out more and more each day), but I wanted to share our little break in monotony from being cooped up inside this winter with so many sicknesses - while it's still fresh in my mind! Grammy brought over a climber/slide that they boys could not get enough of. We had to turn on Signing Time just to be able to put it away. And for as much fun as they had, putting it away was a must, they still need a couple months to figure out how to go up the climber, sit down and go down the slide. Not to mention turn taking.
Anyway, Elliott absolutely, literally squealed with delight when he went down and was beside himself when he wasn't instantly back on top of it for more. He bound up the climber like he'd been climbing it all winter, and danced around on the top until he remembered he could glide down that slide of utter satisfaction.

The first time Simon went down he gave his Grammy the biggest pout lip and glare - so close to tears, as if to say, "that was really scary and I'm blaming you for it", laid his head on my shoulder for a moment of comfort and then in the next instant stood up and did his excited dance, eyebrows raised and couldn't wait for more. Looked at Grammy, pouted again and then gave her a great big smile and immediately tried to climb up the slide. I think he had more fun playing king of the mountain :)

Before we put it away they had so much fun hanging on to the sides and "marching" around on the top of the 2x2 platform (nudging each other, vying for the "best" spot). 3 adults around a slide 2 feet off the ground was still not quite enough to calm Mom's nerves. I may be rethinking my grandiose ideas for the biggest play-set our yard can hold when we shop for their birthday present from our friends and family ;)

Monday, January 10, 2011


The boys are curious about EVERYTHING, surprise! They both continue to love books and finding out about everything you tell them is in there... regardless of whether or not it actually is, right Barry? ;)

Their OT, Brenda, was here today. You can tell when a person is good. They boys hadn't been able to see her and "play" for well over a month with the holiday's and us being sick and her being sick and you would have thought Christmas was here all over again. They both went to her right away with great big hugs and oh, the stories they had to tell her! It was a cuddle fest, yes, cuddle fest, for the first 15 minutes she was here. Anyway, we went through their progress since we've been working together and they are doing all of the things (with one small exception) that they expect a 10-13 month old to be doing. Their chronological age is 13 months... but their adjusted age is only 11. Their such great babi... uh, toddlers! And I'm such a proud mom!

Anyway, the even bigger news around here though, is Simon taking steps!
He started last week with Grammy, he looked a little like he was keeping his feet under him while he was falling forward, but still keeping his feet under him! He practiced some during the week but I think being moved up to the Toddler 1 room wore him out quite a bit and by Friday neither of them were in any mood to anything but whine... oh my whine and whine... oh, I digress (they only get one nap, scheduled meal times, organized structured play - which will all be great for them... some day!)
Anyway, by Saturday and Sunday he was going back and forth between mom and dad, taking real steps!
He'd get to one person and then hurry to get back to the other. He was so proud! We all were, after he'd reach one of us we'd hoot and holler and clap... Elliott included! It was so cute, Elliott would look at Simon with that great big grin and clap for his brother. Aw.
And Elliott is still finding all kinds of ways to move so that we find yet another thing that has to be put away. He's always looking to entertain and loves the camera. So much so that he sometimes doesn't even realize the cat he's always chasing is actually chasing him ;)
We're having more fun than we knew we could and they continue to surprise us every day. Watching the world through their eyes really is a wondrous thing.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas in Pictures!

(Christmas Eve 2009)

Last year everyone came to us so that we could spend the majority of our time at the hospital with the two most important people in our lives.

(from 1st bday photo shoot)

Christmas card picture 2010 :)

This year we traveled... and I think the boys fared a bit better than their parents! ;) We had Christmas with the McKay's on the 12th in New Baltimore, near St. Clair Shores. Went to Peacock to visit Santa the next weekend. Went to Grammy and Grampa's Christmas Eve, celebrated with the Main's Christmas morning. Went to Grandma and Papa's for Christmas afternoon and evening. Then went to Troy Sunday for the Maier Christmas! Got all that? ;) I can't wait to stay home for the New Year weekend!

Anyway, here's a few pictures to tide you over

Tree picture with the McKay cousins

Conner and Somer playing with Simon

Ahh, Christmas present chaos

Grammy helping Simon open his present

New "just our size" radio flyer wagons from GG!

Elliott and Grammy being silly

Simon, wiped out with Aunt Erin

Elliott and Aunt Sandy checking out Grammy's tree

Papa and the boys! :)

Uncle Brudder's new shirt!

Grandma's "I love Grandma frame"!

Break time on our new... pillows? Cute anyway!

Smothering Auntie Julie with kisses!

Daddy and Simon reading their new book

Adorable Jake and Auntie having fun... of course!

*Edit - I want to make sure to say that I wouldn't have changed a thing about our Christmas. I loved being able to see most of our family. Yes, it was ragged, yes it was exhausting, and yes it was tons of fun! I'm not one of those keep Christ in CHRISTmas... I'm just not. I do know that where the holiday stemmed from, but we've always celebrated Santa Claus and Rudolph and presents, oh glorious presents! ;) But I think the thing that stays constant no matter who you celebrate - the biggest celebration in all of it being together with friends and family. So yes I am looking forward to staying home this weekend, but I'd travel across the state three more times for Christmas with my boys!