Rick Glos Life in Portland, Oregon.

Starting Preschool

8. October 2012 11:28 by Rick Glos in

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Max had a big week last week when he started pre-school.  He’s in a Montessori school.  They phased him in over the week.  We went with him for an hour on Monday, then 2 hours on Tuesday, Wednesday we left him there for 3 hours, same on Thursday and by Friday it was his first day (about 6 hours) all by himself. 

The prior week, his teacher came to our house to visit for an hour on Thursday to get to know Max on his turf which I thought was a nice concept as well.  Then on Friday we went in for 30 minutes at the end of the day after most of the kids were gone so he could get a feel for the classroom.  Heidi’s mom will still be helping us out from time to time during vacations, school closings, etc, and so the four of us all went.  Here he is using the magnifying glass to look at a sunflower.

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Here Max is using the screwdriver with his teacher Megan on his first day (1 hour only with us with him).

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I think he’ll do well there and start working on his socialization skills.  It’s been a great almost 2 years and I’m really going to miss having him at home.  When I would come upstairs from working to grab a snack, bio, or lunch, he’d hear the basement door open, yell, “Papa!” and come running towards me.  I was able to see a lot of really great things during these last two years and I’m really going to miss knowing that if I want to see him was right upstairs.  I’m going to miss you buddy…

Compounding that is that Heidi’s mother who was watching him will no longer be here each week and that is going to suck as well.  She helped not only with Max but did loads of dishes, laundry, yard work, etc.  All kinds off stuff Mom’s do.  I had forgotten how nice that was haha!

On the positive side, I’ll be picking Max up everyday at 3 PM and we’ll be riding the bike.  He loves that and had a great time with me on Friday.  His spatial awareness is amazing.  He can be 2-3 blocks from home and recognize where he is.  I know this because he’ll start saying, “More bike. (pause) More. More.”, and maybe throw in a whimper or two because he knows were about to reach home and stop.  Our first ride was along busy Capital Highway but I think I can find a back roads way so we can talk, stop and look at stuff, hit the park if we want to, etc.

Baby Monitor, Wireless IP Camera, Surveillance, etc

5. October 2012 11:59 by Rick Glos in

I recently was reminded when someone asked me about what we used for a baby monitor for Max and would I still buy one?

I purchased an IP Camera (it’s name is a mouthful - LTS Wireless+RJ45 640x480 IP Camera with 30 IR LEDs and MicroSD Card Recording) at the end of summer before Max was born (Aug 2010).

The idea was using our home network, we could look at the crib without the baby monitor, closed-network restrictions.  Like being able to look at the screen with any IP device that can surf the web – your phone in your backyard, the kitchen on your laptop, your living room on your TV, your bedroom on your TV, etc.  It has worked flawlessly and we still use it to this day every day.

It’s mounted just above his crib pointed right down at it.

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We use it right when he goes to bed to see, “Is he falling asleep?”, “Is he standing in his crib because he just pooped his pants?” to when we get up in the morning to see if he is awake yet and during naps to know when he’s done sleeping.

Here’s our view from the couch in our living room.

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For a non-technical user I’d say this specific device itself would be moderate to difficult to setup – you’d need to know how to enter an IP address, find it on your network, play with a few settings, etc.

At the time, we got it for $180 and now I see it’s down to $157.  It has both wireless and wired.  We ended up sticking with wired because I was having issues with the unit staying connected via wireless.

We’ve thought about getting another one.  Would I buy it again?  If I had to go back in time, yes.  But are there better options 2 years later?

I found this guy after a bit of research on Amazon - 900+ 4.5 star reviews, $90 price tag, and some great photo’s from users implementations.  It has a mouthful of a name as well - Foscam FI8910W Wireless/Wired Pan & Tilt IP/Network Camera with IR-Cut Filter for True Color Images - 8 Meter Night Vision and 3.6mm Lens (67° Viewing Angle) - Black.

I like that you can pan and tilt remotely.  With ours you have to do it manually – although we only needed to move it during initial setup since we have it focused on his bed.  Although as he gets older, it might be nice to see, “What’s he doing in his room?”

One additional suggestion; turn off the audio – we had it on to start with but found it annoying because you’d wake up ever time your child sighs or mumbles in their sleep and Max seemed to make a lot of noise.

In any case, I can’t recommend getting an IP Camera enough.