Do you have to ask your kids’ permission to use your iPad?

Like many other parents, we sometimes have difficulty prying our son’s grubby hands off the iPad. Ever since the first version was released, Kai has taken to it like a true iOS native.

He now thinks that every screen is a multi-touch screen, and has been seen trying to swipe shopping malls’ electronic directories to change pages.

I was thinking of how to summarise what we use our iPad(s) for, now that the iPad2 comes with a camera (and I was treated to some of the many amazing things it could do) – but really, it all comes down to what Kai does with it:

1. Angry Birds
2. Talking Gina
3. Talking Tom
4. iDP FREE
5. Cat Piano Jr
6. iBooks
7. YouTube
8. Videos
9. KidsSongs

When we got our car last year, we thought about decking it out with the latest in Audio-Visual entertainment, you know, like an in-headrest DVD player with tv tuner – the works, basically. And we were astonished at the price.

So last year, when iPad1 was released, we said to ourselves, “buying two 3G iPads and holsters for the headrest is cheaper than buying an in-car DVD player!”, and went out and did just that.

Kai has never looked back since (cos as long as we put the iPad in the headrest holder, he’s looking forward), and enjoys long car rides watching his favourite Disney movies, Sesame Street YouTube playlists, his favourite music videos on an iTunes playlist, or simply practice his numbers one to twenty something and letters A-Z on one of many many apps that we’ve downloaded for him.

In the other passenger seat, we’ve also put up an iPad holder so that Naomi can do her own stuff looking up maps to give me directions to where we’re going, or to check Twitter to see if anyone’s warning about some mall flooding. Nothing beats a backseat driver with real-time information and forecasts.

Now with the iPad2, Kai’s in-car entertainment can be interrupted by FaceTime calls while we’re on the move.

I don’t know how he feels about that.

We will make our own snacks

One of our resolutions was to cut down on junk and outside-bought food, and so far, apart from the ton of snacks we brought back from China (yah, I know, right?) we’ve kept to our word.

Of course, it helps when you’ve got this, a Christmas present we gave ourselves, not least because we share the same sentiment as Mark Bittman:

By becoming a cook, you can leave processed foods behind, creating more healthful, less expensive and better-tasting food that requires less energy, water and land per calorie and reduces our carbon footprint. Not a bad result for us — or the planet.

Our first batch of dried apple snacks

Useful Christmas Gifts #4: Something From Apple

Let’s face it. You’re gonna be either buying or considering buying an Apple product this Christmas, either for yourself or for someone else. Epicentre, the premium Apple reseller, is making it more fun with an in-house personal shopper who’s gonna help you buy more stuff and then you’ll go home and curse him later.

Santa/Personal Shopper will be demonstrating how to use iPhoto to make photo books and other stuff every weekend from now till December 24th. There’s cookies to be had too. Just bring your own glass of milk.

Naomi, Kai and I are unabashedly Apple people at home, with a couple of iPhone4, iPad, iMac and MacBook Pros between the three of us.

And I’m quite sure there are parents of toddlers like ours who’ve learned new tricks on their Apple products from their kids. Before Kai got his hands on our phones, we didn’t know we could operate the iPod feature with the phone still password locked.

He hasn’t figured out our passwords yet, but he’s been treating us to his favourite songs on our phones and iPads in between playing Angry Birds.

Happy Birthday to me indeed

I think I’m pretty easy to please as far as birthday presents are concerned. Just buy a really expensive computer and accessories from the same brand, and voila, Naomi (and the rest of the world) doesn’t see me for a few days because I’m holed up “setting it up”:

My Birthday Present From NaomiMy Birthday Present From Naomi
iMac!… No, I Mac… The… Dog.

My Birthday Present From Naomi

My Birthday Present From Naomi

My Birthday Present From Naomi
Made in China but don’t you worry…

My Birthday Present From Naomi
No, srsly, where’s the rest of the keyboard?

My Birthday Present From NaomiMy Birthday Present From Naomi
Looks good even in its wrapping

If you must know, the present comprised this, this and this. Oh, and here’s a tip if you’re thinking of getting the same things – get them from Sim Lim.

iPhoney Christmas

Christmas is nigh, and if you’re wondering what to get your loved ones for Christmas, keep thinking. There are too many things to buy, and very little money to go around. The iPhone’s been launched in Europe, but because the rest of Asia’s the backwater of the world, it’s not here yet.

It’s the very latest 2G mobile phone technology, but heck, I admit to thinking of getting one, even if it’s from a Lucky Plaza shop that sells mobile phones, vibrators (no sir, this vibrator doesn’t come with the phone but you can buy one if you like) and all other manner of electronic peripherals that you only use a few weeks following Christmas.

But if you really must, here’s a run down on what the iPhone is really good for. It’s an SNL spoof of an iPhone commercial that never aired. The spoof never aired. Not the commercial. The commercial aired until the cows came home and set up their own facebook account.

Anyway: Here tis