We bought ourselves a new iMac recently and it came with the latest version of the iLife suite, including iMove ’09. Part of iMovie ’09 is video stabilization. So, I went back to the soccer video I create several months ago and re-generated it with stabilization on. Check out the video to see the results. On the whole, it is quite good but the source video was very shaky. Cynthia shot it from a fair distance on a simple point and shoot digital camera with the optical zoom pretty much to the limit. Given the quality of what we gave iMovie, it did a pretty good job.
For Christmas this year, we got a copy of Rock Band 2 for the family to play on our PlayStation 3. If you aren’t familiar with the game, it comes with a fake plastic guitar, some drums and a microphone and you “play along” and sing along with songs. But, mostly Cynthia and I found ourselves playing the game ourselves after the kids went to bed. Matthew didn’t seem interested and Samantha is of course too young. A couple of weeks ago, we started up the game and the kids had a great time.
We picked “The Joker And The Thief” by Wolfmother because it is a song which Matthew loves and knows well. I played the guitar and Matthew sang. We setup the drums for Samantha to play with but didn’t turn them on. She didn’t mind and had fun playing. Matthew was part of the game and he did great. We finished the song successfully. Since then, Cynthia gave Matthew a copy of “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor on an old cassette tape which he can listen to in his room and he has learned that song pretty well also. Walking to school yesterday, Matthew started singing “It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the cream of the fight” and I started to laugh, wondering what his teacher would say when he started singing that at some point during the day. We will have to give him a chance to try that song on Rock Band soon.
Check out the video to see a bit of us playing “The Joker And The Thief”.
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to take the kids to Great America which is an amusement park similar to Canada’s Wonderland. Great America is only a few minutes drive from our house so it is very convenient for us. Matthew had a great time but I was surprise how much fun it was for Samantha. I had expected to carry her from ride to ride as Matthew explored the park. But, we found a bunch of rides which were perfect for Samantha too and she loved it.
We also happened to pick the hottest day so far this year to go. It was well over 30 C and very sunny. If we had planned ahead and dressed to get wet, we would have been more comfortable. There was a great water park area also where we could have cooled off. Next time we will do that differently.
After a few hours of exploring a small part of the park, we were all pretty tired and ready to head for home. But, we got ourselves season’s passes so we will be going back soon.
We celebrated our first Easter here last month. The obvious question is what did we do differently this year to celebrate Easter given Samantha’s diabetes. We told Matthew that the Easter Bunny knew about Samantha and that he would probably bring less chocolate but might bring something else instead. Sure enough, that morning Matthew found a copy of Lego Batman for his Nintendo DS at his spot at the table and Samantha got a new doll.
The Easter Bunny did bring some chocolate though. Thankfully, Samantha had just gone on the OmniPod insulin pump and that helped us give her doses as required throughout the day. She didn’t eat much but it was good to know that we could correct for it as soon as we gave her some.
Eggs were hidden in “plain sight” for Samantha to find and in more difficult to find places for Matthew. It was tough to keep Matthew from quickly gathering up all of the easier ones so that Samantha had some to find, but with some distraction and re-hiding, Samantha joined the fun also. They both enjoyed it and a bit of moderation on the chocolate for all of us is not a bad thing.
We signed Matthew up for T-Ball a month ago or so and he has played a bunch of games and seems to be having a great time. A friend from school was playing on the Giants little league team and his mom was the coach so we arranged for Matthew to be on his team also. He has a practice every week and we take him to his games on Saturday. While there, Samantha often asks to go on the swings. She lets me watch an inning or two before she loses patience and we move to the playground.
Matthew started on the team with a borrowed mit. We weren’t sure he was going to enjoy it so we waited a bit but after his first full game, it was pretty clear he was enjoying himself. He still doesn’t entirely understand the game and sometimes forgets which way to run or where to throw the ball but he is getting there. I probably should watch some games with him on TV or better yet, watch some of the older kids playing at the park after his game. He has asked to play soccer also and I think there is a local league we can sign him up for in the fall.
We have a bunch of video clips from a few games but I will wait until we have more and I will see what I can do in iMovie and get something online in late June.
This is another video from a few months ago now. One rainy day, Samantha and Matthew wanted to go outside so Cynthia grabbed the camera and got this footage of the two of them splashing in a puddle between our cars in the driveway.
This is a fairly old video clip from late January. We were having some friends over for dinner at our house and we prepared some banana muffins for dessert. After they were out of the oven, Samantha was insisting that she have one early and this is a short clip of her asking for a muffin.
Of course since then we found out about her diabetes so there hasn’t been as much baking lately. But, we things have gotten easier for us to manage lately. Samantha is now on a OmniPod insulin pump. With the pump, we are no longer giving insulin shots manually.
We just attach an stick a new OmniPod onto Samantha every three days and it has a little needle which injects a cannula just into her skin. After that initial pain, we can then administer insulin without giving her shots. Also, the pump can administer much smaller doses of insulin than we can measure which is important because Samantha doesn’t eat that much. Being a toddler, Samantha doesn’t eat just during meals either so this gives us the ability to quickly give her a bit more insulin as she snacks through the day. It really has been a great solution for us and has helped us to bring her blood sugar more under control.