Posts Tagged ‘iPad’

Yesterday my in-Laws drove off into the Northern sunset. They followed us home after the Richmond wedding for some Blue Ridge bonding, barbeque, and leaf peeping. Not only was I happy that these two amazing octogenarians were able to climb onto the wing and into the tiny 4-seater Piper Arrow, I was shocked to find out that Great Grandma Ada had successfully used her new iPad to take pictures of the Shenandoah Valley! 1383893_245892032233078_2040041987_n

Because A) My old iPad doesn’t even have a camera; and 2) I’m still learning how to use iPhoto.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty tech-saavy for my age group. This past year a new store opened up in town that is not exactly an Apple store, but it’s the closest thing to one. PeachMac http://peachmac.com offered the citizens of Charlottesville a very special deal; one-on-one training for a year on anything Apple for $99. Doesn’t matter where you bought your device, and did I mention that’s once a week classes…let’s see, that adds up to about a dollar a session.

Now this makes alot of sense from a marketing perspective since we went to this store to buy Ada’s iPad. And I just happened to be in the middle of my iPhoto lesson when the store started buzzing. Seems they were all watching the live stream of some mothership Apple news event in California and the word was “Mavericks is free!”

Named after a wicked surf break in Cali, I was told that this is a new operating system and I’m not sure if my one year old Apple MacBook Pro can even handle it, but I was determined to appear delighted along with everyone else. http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/21/apple-mac-os-x-mavericks-whats-in-a-name

And while Apple is trying to stay tops in the tablet computing game, knocking a little weight off their iPad Air, and lowering prices and oh btw, assembling their new cell phones in America instead of Japan, the Bride sent me a Love Bug crack text pic of her delight in finding an orange leaf. With Ada nearing 90, and our grand baby just celebrating her first year of life, who doesn’t love Facetime in the morning and Fall?  photo

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Here in the South, children go back to school very early. Maybe it’s our agricultural roots, but for some, backpacks are already packed, the yellow buses are rolling, and all the papers that must/be/signed have been returned to the school administration. I wonder if parents still have papers to sign, or have they gone paperless too?

For all my Northern friends, who insist that summer will last through Labor Day goshdarnit, here is a six worded memoir of summer so far.

My butterfly tree is done blooming, but the white hydrangeas are alive with golden monarch wings: Breathtaking photo copy

Sometimes, a Grandpa misses his little Love Bug, he takes to the sky for a quick trip to Nashville: Enchanting photo

On these wonderfully crisp mornings, the sleeping porch becomes an oasis of bird song and sun:  Musing IMG_1480

To prove that aging isn’t a dirty word, one Great Grandma tackled the wonders of the digital age:  Gratifying photo copy

Not wanting to be left behind, the local sport club’s pool beckoned for fun joint-pain-free exercise: Energizing  photo copy

And a fifth tooth has appeared in my dose of almost daily Baby Bug pictures, with bagel/on/nose: Captivating  photo copy 2

Hope your summer has been wonderful so far!


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The newest Royal was born while we were shopping for an iPad for Great Grandma Ada’s almost 90th birthday. She is very tech savvy for her age, still her computer stays put upstairs and she doesn’t have one of those new fangled smart phones. Ada actually prefers talking on her phone, imagine that!

Still it was the Love Bug’s birth that got us thinking, what if Ada could Facetime with the great grandbaby with a simple tap on a screen? A screen she could hold in her hand and put in her purse? The miles would disappear and that 4th tooth would suddenly come into focus. So the hunt was on, when we heard “It’s a BOY!”

And here is my guess – I think they will name the new Prince James! Why? Simply because that was my foster father’s name, and it is the Rocker’s middle name and I happen to love it! And here is my advice for raising a boy:

  • always cover the diaper area when diapering
  • don’t be afraid to hug him in public
  • give free reign to his natural abilities
  • select a time out spot without wi-fi

We all know he’ll be raised in a different way, without the mean-spirited governess, and as normal as could possibly be… for the third in line to the Throne. Maybe he will like older women, like our little Princess Bug? And just think how much easier it would have been, if the Queen had an iPad, instead of an encrypted old fashioned phone, to receive the news of the Royal Birth.

Happy Birthday Your Royal Highness, your future is so bright you’ll have to wear shades, like the Rocker, seen here with Princess Cait.

Dave n Caitly B-W 20130717

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Walk with me down this little essay about technology and its effects on children. I just read an Atlantic article titled “The Touch-Screen Generation,” by Hanna Rosin. The subtitle was “What’s this technology doing to our toddlers’ brains?”


Like any good journalist, she tries not to take a side, good or bad, she presents us with the facts, the research. And just as I saw the Love Bug reaching for my iPhone, that magical thing where pictures pop up and familiar voices captivate mommy’s attention, I understood immediately how tablets like iPads, with their instant interactivity, would delight a child.

In the five years between my children’s birth, a lot happened. The Rocker was sitting on his father’s knee at the computer, he had computers in school, he was designing web pages for his buddies in middle school. For his older sister the Bride, life was different. In fact, she was the only toddler in her preschool who didn’t know who Big Bird was; our Windsor Mountain TV could only catch one Albany channel, at night, sometimes. We read Good Night Moon, we sang songs. Like “Little House on the Prairie,” it was a simple life, and one I would dream of years later. It’s where I first started writing for a newspaper…you remember those.

Still, my children didn’t grow up with a touch screen.

“Norman Rockwell never painted Boy Swiping Finger on Screen, and our own vision of a perfect childhood has never adjusted to accommodate that now-common tableau…To date, no body of research has definitively proved that the iPad will make your preschooler smarter …or rust her neural circuity – the device has been out for only 3 years.”

What’s the right answer? We (meaning people age 4 and above) are called “digital immigrants,” still learning to navigate the touch-screen universe. Rosin admits to having a 4 year old who feels digitally deprived. After all, you’re out for a nice dinner, toddler in hand, and instead of toting coloring books and small animals for some creative play at the table, how much easier would it be to mollify a cranky child with a movie or game App? The Love Bug is a digital native, she watches mom carefully summoning music from the great iPad, her dad reading research papers. It won’t be long now before her long fingers will demand the latest “Talking Baby Hippo” or “Toca Tea Party.” Yes, even 18 month olds can follow patterns and pay attention to a logical sequence in an interactive media format!

I came away from the article with this little nugget – however the parents use their tablet, children will naturally follow. It’s called “modeling” and it’s not really a new concept. Some allow free and constant access to an iPad, some allow one hour on the weekend. The funny thing was that when Rosin was trying out the unlimited time-frame idea, her child gave it up to the toy heap after about 10 days! The iPad became just another toy in the box.

So, just like TV and video games, parents have a right to be scared of the latest gizmo. Nothing really can beat one to one face-time with a parent, cooking together, reading an old-fashioned book. How we approach using the iPad sends myriad signals to our children. Do we stare at it ad nauseum? Do we reach for it before the baby? Are we addicted to touching its magical screen? The Rocker once said he was happy he didn’t have cell phones in middle school. Touche!
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Practicing her pincer grasp, getting ready to swipe.

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