Tag Archives: Skype

Lazy Boys

Jake is in the dining room watching a Jimmy Fallon video.

Jake in the dining room; note his brother on the right side of the MBP screen.

We don’t have a huge house. It’s about 2,500 square feet, a nice-sized (for us) one-story.

But, apparently, it’s much too big for my sons. Last Sunday when I was sitting in the family room near my baby boy, I could hear him talking to someone on his MacBook Air.

“Who are you Skyping?”

He laughed. He was actually Skyping his brother, who was in the dining room! We do tend to text each other in the house, but Skyping? How lazy can you get!

Side-by-side Skyping is noisy!

Side-by-side Skyping is noisy!

The answer? Even lazier! Soon my older son walked into the family room toting his MacBook Pro and sat on the couch next to his little bro. Where they continued to Skype one another.


Pooh Skypes

Check out the lower left corner!

Check out the lower left corner!

Look who decided to Skype my younger son the other evening.

This is our big Pooh Beanie Ball.

This is our big Pooh Beanie Ballz.

That silly, old bear—Winnie the Pooh! It made me laugh.

The kid? Not so much. Methinks he doesn’t miss my clever sense of humor.

Fortunately, I can continue to torture him with it online!

Fill ’Er Up 2!

That ceiling light is bad news for photography.

That ceiling light is bad news for photography.

My heart was filled to overflowing this weekend. It started by Skyping with my younger son Thursday night . . .

I live for that smile!

I live for that smile!

. . . and ended with some overdue, virtual face-to-face time with my older son last night.

My UTSA senior always prefers texting us, but every now and then it’s important to actually see that he’s doing fine instead of just reading about it.

Getting to look at those beautiful blue eyes, handsome face, and cute smile? Definitely a bonus!

Fill ’Er Up!

Oh, how I miss seeing this face every day!

Oh, how I miss seeing this handsome face every day!

As a mom, my heart usually is filled to the brim with my warm feelings for my two precious sons. But with both of them at their respective colleges, sometimes I feel like I’m a quart or two low these days.

Enter technology. Last night our younger son Skyped us for the first time since he’s been away, and my spirits instantly lifted.

I can’t get enough of those twinkling green eyes!

I can’t get enough of that smile!

Even though this isn’t face to face, I’ll take all I can get of it. It makes me feel more at peace seeing how happy and content he is.

Hey, #1 son! Let’s Skype tonight!

Chanukah Oh Chanukah!

I’m lighting the candle as I’m snapping the pic. Multitasking!

I’m lighting the candle as I’m snapping the pic. Multitasking!

Welcome to my annual week-long foray into low-light photography. Or, as it’s known by its given name, Chanukah!

My younger son lights his menorah.

My younger son lights his menorah.

Our favorite holiday started Saturday night. So far the kid hasn’t hated any of his gifts. But it’s still early.

This is an unusual way for my older son to wear a yarmulke.

This is an unusual way for my #1 son to wear a yarmulke.

As usual (well, for the last few years), my older son joined us via Skype from UTSA. I could hear him chanting along with the candle-lighting prayer and could watch him open his first-night present.

He likes his new watch!

He likes his new watch!

While I’m glad that technology allows us to be “together” when there are so many miles between us, I’ll be so happy when my collegian is finished with finals (which start Wednesday) and will be home for the last two nights.

Even used videogames cause a smile.

Even used videogames cause a smile.

Being together for at least part of our holiday makes it even better and definitely brighter.

The kid’s menorah is lonely.

The kid’s menorah is lonely.

Plus there will be so many more candles to photograph with the addition of yet another menorah on the seventh and eighth nights!

Sidebar: For previous Chanukah posts, please type “Chanukah” into the search box in the right column.

My Shaggy Son

An iPhone self-portrait snapped before his haircut

A few weeks ago when I glanced at my older son on our iMac screen during his Skyping session with his younger brother, I just had to stop and stare.

Where did that collegiate caveman come from?

My #1 son’s hair sports a natural curl, which only is tamed by frequent haircuts. He hadn’t stepped into a salon since school started in August. This led to the following conversation:

Practical Mom: “Have all the haircut places closed down in San Antonio?”

Older son: “I don’t feel like getting my haircut.”

His mom who has suddenly been replaced by my mom: “This is like being transported back to the 1960s! You look like a hippie!! How can any girl notice your beautiful blue eyes if all they can see is all that hair?”

Even though my collegian wants so badly to be a rebel either with or without a cause, he’s cursed with being a first-born child. Which means his inner compass compels him to toe the line and usually listen to his parents. Especially when he knows we can see him via Skype or FaceTime.

And would be visiting him that weekend.

And after!

Ahhhh! Much better!

A Past Nondecision Sparks a Discussion

“Go away, Mom!”

My younger son walked into my home office yesterday and said, “I don’t want to make you feel bad, but . . . .”

At that moment, I flinched and wondered what horrible thing (in his mind) I had done that he was going to rag at me about this time. Of course, there are so many of them when it comes to a 16-year-old boy and his mother who are home together all the live-long day. Sometimes just the fact that I’m within 50 yards of him is enough to make him clamp on a set of headphones and put me on permanent “ignore.” Guess I’m lucky he hasn’t taken a restraining order out on me . . . yet.

So I merely gazed into his gorgeous green eyes and waited for him to finish his opening sentence.

“Our gaming lives would have been better if you hadn’t bought that N64 as our first video-game system,” my beloved son continued. “The games are better for the Xbox and Playstation.”

The venerable Nintendo 64 game system, which my sons still use.

Really, son? You think I feel bad about that decision? Heck, I don’t even remember buying the N64! How in the world did it come into our lives?

My older son Skypes with his younger brother.

That evening my #2 son Skyped with his older brother, and they discussed the merits and demerits of their mom’s possible woeful decision . . . that she can’t even remember making. And even though my older son claims he has a terrible memory, guess who knew how the N64 became a permanent resident of our house . . . to be followed by the Nintendo Game Cube and Wii?

“It came with the minivan,” my #1 son reminded us.

Oh, of course! After the Mister and I bought our twin Mercury Villagers (his blue, mine red) in 1999, he surprised me by putting a now-obsolete entertainment package in Big Red (now Ancient Red). It contained a VCR and a small TV . . . and that ever-loving N64. We stuck with Nintendo after that because 1) Mom was too cheap frugal to buy another gaming system, and 2) the boys loved the Mario games. It stayed that way until my younger son earned his Xbox 360 (which he hardly uses, because apparently I’m the only mom in the world who doesn’t allow children to play M-rated games).

My younger son takes notes as he chats with his brother.

Fortunately for me, my collegian doesn’t agree that their gaming lives would’ve been improved with a different system. That didn’t surprise me—he does have a subscription to “Nintendo Power” magazine, after all!

But just in case I actually was feeling bad about sticking with Nintendo when other video-game systems beckoned, my younger son comforted me by saying, “If that’s the worse thing you’ve ever done for us, you’re doing okay, Mom.”

Whew! Glad he didn’t harangue me about trying to take his picture all the time. I’ve really got no defense for that one.

The Saddest Happy Day of My Life

“A” is us; “B” is my older son.

February 3rd has been one of the happiest days of my life for 19 years. It’s when my older son was born, making me a mom, the greatest “job” in the world.

But today my happy day is sad, because my #1 son is three hours away in San Antonio attending classes at the University of Texas branch there. This is the first time our family won’t celebrate his birthday together . . . in person.

#1 Skypes with us last night.

We will Skype with my older son tonight, as we did last night (he likes watching certain TV shows with us). I guess that’s the next best thing to being together, but not by a long shot. I miss my boy every day; today being his birthday just makes me miss him even more, if that’s possible.

Happy 19th birthday, my sweet #1 son! “See” you tonight!

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!