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Need Gift Ideas

My husband is looking for ideas for me as to what to get me for Mother's Day. I'm not the sentimental sort: I'd rather have something practical. Given that I'm a writer who finds it increasingly difficult to get anything done with my 10-month-old Kung Fu Panda, any suggestions for things that might make my life easier (either to expedite my writing or to shortcut housework to give me more time to split between my little guy and my work)?

I did discover that I could take him to a park with a notebook and jot down the occasional thought while we were playing on a blanket. That's going to get less doable, though, as he gets more mobile, so I'm looking into the possibility of getting Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional with a voice recorder (I can dictate while I'm out and then let the computer transcribe it for me to give me a working file). Ideas along those lines are very welcome! Or maybe there's a time-saving device you use yourself that you'd like to recommend.

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
theafaye
May. 4th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
What about a playpen? Keep him safe while you get on with stuff and although he might need to get used to it, you'll be able to leave him there for some uninterrupted work time.

My best recommendation for entertaining the baby is siblings, which isn't exactly practical for you!
alycewilson
May. 4th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
KFP is too much of a junior explorer to tolerate a playpen. We got a play fence as soon as he started really moving, but we discovered that you couldn't put him in it for more than about 5 minutes without him screaming! I actually have the living room/dining room babyproofed to the point where he's comfortable in here with me.

When he's engaged with his toys or (like right now) staring at the cat, who's sleeping safely out of reach on the back of a chair, I can type away. The problem is when he gets clingy and wants to either hang on the tray table where I have the laptop or sit in my lap and either squirm around or try to hit the keyboard.

I'm wondering if I should look into a more compact notebook, something about the size of an ipad or a little bigger (although it has to have a keyboard for maximum functioning). I've seen some writers with them but don't even know if they make them anymore. I'm not sure it would help, either, but it would definitely be easier to carry around. At this point the jury is out as to whether it would be a help.
theafaye
May. 4th, 2011 02:45 pm (UTC)
It is partly an age thing though. As he gets older, it will be easier, which is one of the reasons why it's not worth investing too much money in solutions because a couple of months later that problem no longer exists and you've got something else to stress about.

What about getting someone in for a couple of hours a week? Or finding a school kid looking to make a few pennies who could come in for an hour after school to play with him so you have an hour of focused writing? I've been able to find people to give me an extra pair of hands very cheaply in the past and that would probably be a better investment than more electronics.
alycewilson
May. 4th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Something to consider. We live in a rather small place, though, so I'm not sure how that would work out.
theafaye
May. 4th, 2011 02:53 pm (UTC)
You don't need a large place if it's someone to play with KFP. You can disappear off to your room, for example (I've found they behave better if they can't see you).
alycewilson
May. 4th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
Very true. That's how we work it at night when the Gryphon takes care of him while I do the transcription work.
shinotenshi02
May. 5th, 2011 02:28 am (UTC)
Many moons ago, when Mom retired the first time, she had a brief career as a 'voice-writer'. Aka she'd listen to lectures for deaf-students, and transcribe them real-time, for the students to use. She used the Dragon Software, so it works fairly well but keep water handy.

Just...the recommendation I can offer. ^^
alycewilson
May. 5th, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
Keep water handy? So that I don't cough while dictating?
shinotenshi02
May. 5th, 2011 03:03 am (UTC)
Actually, it's more that it's easy to get thirsty talking so much. I run into that during a busy lunch at work, too.
alycewilson
May. 5th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
Very true. I tend to keep a spill-proof bottle of water with me at all times. Spill-proof both because of the keyboard and because of the baby, who likes to investigate!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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