Tag Archives: FaceTime

Technology Makes Our Spirits Bright

My younger son holds his older brother (via the iPhone 4’s FaceTime)!

I had been lamenting about our first Chanukah season without my older son ever since the beginning of the year. Noticing that the holiday would come early, I realized all too soon that #1 would be at college for every night that we light the menorah’s candles.

A sobering thought for a mom who loves making memories with her kids. How would I take my usual 1,001 photos of both of them?!?

My #2 son looks at his brother on their iMac after lighting the first-night candles.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology that makes it easy to be up close and personal with the ones you love. At first we looked to FaceTime on our iPhone 4s. However, #1 reported that the picture was freezing up, so we turned to their iMac that lives in the dining room. Which is where our menorah is lit.

#1 holds up his first-night gift (note the reflection of the two candles in the monitor).

Skype also wasn’t cooperating all the time, but we managed to make it work. My older son was happy to receive Super Scribblenauts, a video game he wanted for his Nintendo DS. That should help take his mind off next week’s finals . . . hopefully without interfering with studying for them!

Shake it, baby!

His younger brother got a gift that he wanted: A Shake Weight. Got to build those biceps and triceps!

I would never say that video-chatting is the next best thing to being there. Nothing really is close. But at least my older son could feel like he was a part of our traditional ceremony . . . and I got to see his beautiful blue eyes and rare smile once again. Can’t wait to video-chat with him again tonight!

FaceTime: A New Way to Stay Close

The brothers keep in touch.

“Can I use your phone?” my #2 son asked. “I want your #1 son to see something on the iMac.”

No problem!

When the iPhone 4 was announced earlier this year, one particular feature caught my eye: FaceTime. With my older son about to leave for college, I was intrigued by the possibility of video chatting with him via wifi if we both had iPhone 4s. We scored the new phone in June, but we have never used FaceTime.

My older son returns . . . on the iPhone 4 screen.

Now my younger son wanted to communicate with his older brother and also let him see a video he was making in iMovie. FaceTime to the rescue! Suddenly, my beloved, blue-eyed #1 boy was back in our house . . . albeit temporarily and in nonhuggable form.

The brothers having fun together again

Hey, I’ll take what I can get!

There’s my handsome lad!

#2 has been borrowing my iPhone 4 almost nightly now. It’s great that anywhere in the house, the two of them can talk face to face and stay in touch.

How I miss that rare smile!

And even though it’s hard to see on the screen that his eyes are blue, it’s great for my soul that I can catch glimpses of my #1 son every now and then. FaceTime definitely is the next best thing to being there.

Adventures in iPhoning

My ever-grumpy #1 son shows off his new iPhone 4.

Guess what my #1 son and I did this morning? We joined several hundred other Applephiles at our local Apple store. The quest? Score the new iPhone 4.

#1 is protected from the rain.

We left the house at 6:36 a.m. With the Apple store set to open at 7 a.m., I hoped the mall powers-that-be would be nice enough to let us wait inside, especially since it was raining lightly. No such luck. At first, #1 sat on a small chair reading a book while I held a large umbrella. But eventually someone was smart enough to walk to the mall doors and see that there was a separate line for those of us who had been lucky enough to reserve the coveted phone. We were able to move under the overhang.

The reserved line definitely was the one to be in—a guy next to us in the have-nots queue said he had been there since 3 a.m.! In fact, the first person in the non-reserved line had camped out since 2 p.m. yesterday!! Totally crazy!

The Chick-Fil-A guy is popular!

While we were waiting patiently, Apple store employees gave us bottles of water. And then Chick-Fil-A workers came by with tea, coffee, and food.

This CFA guy is a Harlan Coben lookalike!

Everyone loved these guys! Both lines felt uplifted.

#1 enjoys being inside the mall and sitting on a bench while Mom waits in line.

Finally, after we’d been waiting for about three hours, it was our turn to walk inside my favorite store. Were those strings and harps I heard playing? Before long, we had two 16GB iPhone 4 boxes in our hands. My #1 son actually smiled!

#1’s iPhone was a timely graduation present—his regular Samsung phone was dying a slow death and only could text. He was due an upgrade, and I’m sure a smartphone will come in very handy at college.

But what about me? My iPhone 3Gs was still rockin’ after a year of constant use. Did I really need the new iPhone?

I must admit that I wanted the iPhone 4 because of FaceTime: Two iPhone 4s both in hot spots (wifi) can video call one another. I would be able to see my #1 son when he’s at college via our phones! Sure, we can iChat on our Macs, but this will be so much handier.

I know that he might never want to video chat with his dear, old mom. But just in case . . . I’ll be ready!