introducing ‘be a dinosaur’

July 10th, 2018

Bear is just getting to the age where he recognizes letters and words in writing, and from the moment I started learning programming, I knew I wanted to build something that would help him develop those skills.  I’m not afraid of screen time for him as a flat rule, but I do like his online time to be enriching and constructive.  A lot of the content out there aimed at kids is just garbage, and I want him to spend time doing productive, learning activities, not just watching kids unwrap toys on YouTube.

Around the time that Bear turned four, I was feeling pretty ambitious about the coding that I’d done so far.  So, I told Bear that when he turned five, I’d build him a computer game for his birthday.  And then I promptly wished I hadn’t said it, because that’s a super daunting thing to promise to your child, so I figured that 364 days out from his fifth birthday, I’d better get started. 

I immersed myself in online tutorials in Javascript, and I started hacking pieces of a computer game together.  It was so hard.  At times, I felt like I’d never get this done, like I was just beating my head against a wall with nothing to show for it.

And yet — I’m starting to realize that that’s how you learn.  After a few weeks of tearing my hair out, I managed to build a game where Bear could spell a simple word, and then I added some more, and then I added more, and changed it and tweaked it, and debugged, and then built another one for math, and changed that one around, and debugged again… and that’s where we are today. 

When I first started programming, I was such a beginner that it felt a little silly to share what I was working on.  But as time has passed and I’ve gotten better, I’ve also become more open about sharing these projects.  I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve gotten, and it gets easier every day! 

So I figured I’d share it with you guys too.  🙂

Projects like this are where I’m spending most of my creative time online these days, so I figured it was time to share them on this site.  If you guys are curious about what I’m working on, or if you have kids and you’d like to see some simple, fun games for them to play, check it out

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happy mother’s day!

May 14th, 2018

Being this kid’s mom is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.  Feeling very lucky and happy this mother’s day, and wishing you all the best day too! 

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to baby bear, at age four

May 1st, 2018

Baby Bear,

How has it possibly been four years already since you were born?  I know everyone says this, but they went by in a blink.  I can’t even call you “Baby Bear” anymore – you gave that up years ago!  So I guess this should really be: “To Big Kid Bear, At Age Four.”

What’s happened in the last year?  Well, a lot.  Life looks very different than it did twelve months ago, and the best part is that you remain the happiest, most wonderful little person.  I swear – you get more fun every day. 

One of the best things about parenting a kid – instead of a baby – is how much you manage to surprise me every day.  Whether it’s knowing a word or phrase that I have no idea where you learned (“Calcium”?  Seriously?) or having these little opinions on things that you’ve picked up from your friends and teachers, I’m never quite sure what’s going to come out of your mouth next. 

Recently, you started experimenting with calling me “Katy” instead of “Mom,” and in an instant, it was like looking into the future – I started imagining you in third grade, as a teenager, as a grown person, and all the ways that you’re going to grow up right in front of my eyes.  It was incredible to think about, and I can’t wait to see it unfold. 

For now, though, I’d like to stick to “Mom” a little while longer. 

Our family changed quite a bit this year.  A few months ago, you found out that you’ll be a big brother!  Now you tell me that you have a baby in your belly too, because you’re a very special boy.  Some days, you tell me your belly actually has twenty-five sharks in it.  (No idea where that one came from!) But I know you’re going to be the most incredible big brother in the world, and I can’t wait for our family to grow again. 

Potty training, Disneyland, our first ski trip, and lots of Magna-tile structures are behind us in year three.  This next year, my goal is to keep our relationship as close and strong as it’s been so far.  It will be harder to carve out time for just you with a new baby on the way, but I know we can do it.  You’re only four once, and I don’t want to miss a moment of it. 

It feels like a million years have passed since the time when all you could do was smile and cry.  Even though I loved you so much then, it’s nothing compared to how excited I am to talk and play with you now.  Every morning, when you wake up, you tell me about all your crazy dreams from the night before — one night it was that everyone in our family were the characters from Frozen, another night it was about a grouch named BlueBlock who lived in a trash can.  I still can barely believe that you’re big enough to have your own dreams and tell me about them, and that your little brain is imagining all of these incredible things. 

Year three was even more of a blast than year two.  I love you more every single day.  I’m the luckiest person in the whole world to get to be your mom, this year and every year. 

All my love,

* Not “Katy” — got it?

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