Tuesday, February 8, 2011

There's an App for That!

I am addicted to the App Store.

It’s such an amazing collection of possibilities. Want to know what the air quality is going to be outside? There’s an app for that. Want to keep track of your baby’s bottles, naps, and poops? There’s an app for that. Need the use of an app that has been given the seal of approval by Catholic officials in the US that helps you through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Yes, there’s even an app for that.

When I got my first iPhone about 2 years ago, I started off with the 16 or so apps that come standard on every phone. I soon began downloading apps – any type of app – as long as it was free. I had pages and pages of apps that I thought were cool, and that I “just might use some day.” I had pages of games, news apps, banking apps, and even an app to buy things on Craigslist. Then came the pregnancy apps – what I was supposed to eat, how the baby was growing, pregnancy Q&As. I soon began to forget what apps I had because I had so many of them!

I rarely updated the software on my iPhone, so I didn’t realize I could create folders to store my apps in…until I bought my iPhone 4 in November. Heaven. Utter, simple, complete, heaven. I now have only two pages of apps containing…

…132 apps.

I told you I have a problem. But at least now my problem is organized! My first page is all of my frequently used apps – Facebook, Twitter, Weight Watchers, and Shazam. I have folders containing all the newspapers/newsites I like to read. Another folder is my “Shopping” folder, with Macys, Babies R Us, and Target apps. There’s the “Lifestyle” folder that contains my Groupon, Confession, and Zillow apps.

I love finding new apps. Sometimes I lie in bed at night searching for new apps.  Then I can't put my phone down, and I get on this downloading streak and before you know it, I need a new folder for all my apps! I was going to list all of my favorites for you, and tell you a little about each one, but when I made the list, I had too many favorites. So, I’m going to list most of my favorites, but only feature my top five favorites.

Honorable Mention Apps (in no particular order). If you have an iPhone (or Droid/Blackberry, some of these apps are available for those phones) I hope that you’ll check these out; they’re definitely some of my most used apps.

Babies R Us
Plants vs. Zombies
Oregon Trail
Angry Birds
Quick Bank
Google Reader
Lose It
What to Expect – Pregnancy

Here are my top five favorite apps, in no particular order. Please note that my favorites can and do change as my life changes, and you’ll notice that several apps are baby-related at this stage of my life.

Golden 1 - This is my credit union, and I’m so, SO happy that they have an app. It is simple and user-friendly, and I use it all the time to check my balances, transfer money, etc. Five gold stars to Golden 1.

iBreastfeed - This is an app that was created by Medela, a company that makes breastfeeding equipment and supplies. It helps you track not only when your baby last ate, but when they last slept, peed, pooped, etc. There are several apps like it on the market, but this one was the best one I found – and it’s free.

Momento - I used to keep track of Busy’s milestones on my iPhone calendar, until I found this app. It lets you record a “Momento” or special moment, tag it, take a photo of it, and it stores them all for you. In case you can’t remember the first time your child did something, you don’t have to search through every day on your calendar – just scroll through your Momentos. Awesome.

Week Calendar - I actually use this in place of the iPhone calendar that came on the phone. I like that it has a weekly view, and that I can change the colors of events so that different categories have different colors (work functions vs. personal items, for example). It pulls all the information currently in your iPhone calendar when you sync, so you don’t have to retype everything.

Voice Memos - This app has been invaluable. I recently blogged about how my short term memory has always been awful, but that it’s gotten even worse since having a child. I record everything now – to-dos, grocery lists, things Busy has done that I want to write down. Nothing is safe from my voice memo.

What are some of your favorite apps?

Monday, February 7, 2011


I love lists.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – I love lists. I just do. I feel so in control when I’ve made a list, whether a grocery list, to-do list, inventory, even a budget (I consider that a type of list).

Last night, as I crawled into bed, I realized my mind was still going a mile a minute, if not more. I was so comfortable, with my personal, portable heater pressed up against my leg (otherwise known as Bruiser), that I thought if I repeated everything to myself enough times, I’d remember it in the morning.

Yeah, right.

My short term memory has always been horrible. My long term memory is great – I have vivid memories from a camping trip when I was three (confirmed by my mom, who couldn’t believe I remembered those things), but my short term memory has always been horrible. When I was pregnant, I started getting “Pregnancy Brain” and began to write down more things than ever before (for fear of forgetting them). People told me “Mommy Brain” is even worse, but I didn’t believe them.

I believe them now.

Yesterday I was having a conversation with my mom, and halfway into it I forgot what the point of my story was. Completely forgot! I think of things to do a lot when I’m driving, and I’ll forget what they were by the time I get home (although I’ve started using a voice recording app on my phone for moments in the car). I had a brilliant idea for a new invention – something that was actually feasible for me to make, and that I think people would actually buy – and I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS!

So, as I lay in my warm bed last night, I realized there was no way I’d remember everything I needed to remember in the morning. I reached an arm out from under the covers and felt around in the dark for a notebook and something to write with. Using only the glare of the TV for light, I wrote my list…two pages worth! There’s no way I would have remembered half of those things today.

Last night, I thought my list looked fairly neat. Today, in natural light, alert and awake (well, awake at least), it’s not so neat. In fact, I had a hard time identifying some of my tasks.

See for yourself:

Can you decipher the entire list?*
 Pathetic, no? I felt so much better getting everything out of my head and onto paper. But now, I have to find the time to do everything! Guess I’d better stop blogging and get busy.

*One final note - I used to take pride in my handwriting.  Now, it's embarrassing.  I almost re-wrote the entire list before writing this post, but that takes the fun out of trying to decipher it.  I blame carpal tunnel (believe in it or not, but trust me it's real) and writing in the dark.