We live in the future! (11w6d)

When Kieran was first born, we had to track his eating and eliminating to see if he was getting enough to eat (turns out he wasn’t regardless of the diaper count… but I digress.)

We started using the white board in the hospital room to keep track of these details, but a few days after Kieran was born, Paul found a FANTASTIC Android app for our phones called BabyESP (eat, sleep, poop) that allowed us to time breastfeeding (on each boob no less!) and keep track of diapers, as well as when our little man slept. (Which back then was quite often.) Paul loaded this app onto my phone and we have managed to keep track of Kieran’s every activity since.

We LOVE this silly little application. It now syncs to both our phones (thanks to an update about a month ago) and we use it to track Kieran’s bottles (how much he eats, when he starts and stops eating, and notes about what type of formula it is, or if it’s his daily prune-y bottle) as well as his naps/sleeps and medicines. The medicines reminder feature has been a godsend to keep us on track with Kieran’s 3-times-a-day Zantac, which has all but eliminated his acid reflux symptoms. It was a HUGE help to us to keep track of diapers when we were battling constipation for a week. Plus, we have an accurate record of all the formulas we’ve tried and their varying results on the other end… (Not that we always make notes about Kieran’s diapers, but we can if we need to!)

Paul can look at his phone when he gets up with Kieran at 5:00am and see how the overnights went for us – without waking me up to ask! I can see at a glance how things are going for my boys while I’m at work. Being able to confirm that Kieran really is making the “OMG, I’m hungry!!” cry by seeing that it’s been 2 hours on the dot since he had his last bottle makes life a lot easier.

BabyESP even creates charts and graphs for things like average sleep amounts over a week or month (or formula consumption over a week or month) so we can make sure we’re trending in the right directions. Our pediatrician loves having this kind of data available.

I know it sounds all crazy Big Brother, but this has been such a help to us. As we’re trying to get a handle on Kieran’s sleeping schedule, having an accurate record of when he sleeps and for how long is the first step that all the books say to have when trying to create a schedule.

Oh, and the fact that the guy who is behind it all seems to be an actual nice guy who personally responds to tech support queries makes us feel good about supporting this app.

We live in the future. And it’s pretty cool.

Dry Run Results (30w4d)

So we had a good time last night testing out the UStream system. Thanks to everyone who stopped by and got a tour of the nursery! We discovered a couple of things about interactive broadcasting with UStream:

  • Lag kinda sucks. There is a lag between what’s happening in front of the camera and when it shows up on the webcast. The speed of your connection seems to make a big difference. But as long as the camera stays fairly stationary, there don’t seem to be any problems with things getting chunky. The camera will mostly be sitting on a tripod during the shower, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
  • In order to participate in the chat feature to interact with us during the shower, you must have a UStream account. (Yeah, we’re not happy about it.) You can use your Facebook or Gmail or Yahoo account to get started, but you’ll still need to create a UStream username and password. Or, you can create a UStream account from scratch on the main UStream.tv website, or when you try to click in on the chat window for the first time, it will pop up a login dialog box that has a “Sign Up” option as well. It would probably be best to set up a UStream account before Saturday if you can.
  • I need a script. I end up babbling kind of a lot if I don’t have a script. Also, arm flailing commences pretty quickly.
  • We’re gonna do it again tonight for anyone who wants to give it a shot (Aunt Nita, I’m looking at you…) or who wants to watch as I make Oreo Truffles. (Yes, see I’m not below bribing friends to come to the shower – if you come, you get Oreo Truffles!) We’ll get going around 6:00pm, but I’ll be working for a while, cuz it takes a bit to form all the little balls, and then they have to chill before they can be dipped. I’ll work in batches though, so you guys can see the dipping process without waiting until midnight. :)

    If you have a problem getting in on the UStream chat thingie or you don’t have sound – please Skype me or txt me to let us know so we can fix it. Just click on the Webcast link above to join in on the broadcast!

Dry Run (30w2d)

Tuesday and Wednesday (tomorrow and the day after) Paul and I are gonna do a little dry run with the UStream gizmo – the thing we’re gonna use to put the baby shower up on the web with.

So if you’re thinking of watching part of the shower on Saturday it might be a good idea to stop by tomorrow or Wednesday at 6:00pm Pacific time (so 7:00pm Mountain, 8:00pm Central, and 9:00pm Eastern) and see if you can get hooked up to not only see AND hear us, but to say hello in the chat window and have us respond!

Just come back to the website and click on the link above that says “Webcast.” That’s all you should need to do! We’ll leave the webstream up for about an hour on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as we dink around. Please pop into the chat to say hello if you stop by. (Or if that doesn’t seem to work, you can shoot either of us an email and we’ll connect with you some other way!)