This Is A Test Post Of The Blog System
Mar 25 2014

As I try to resolve the issue of spam being inserted into my email feed, it seems the only way to test if the issue has been corrected (after making changes) is to write a test post and check my inbox in the morning. :-)

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Therefore, here is a test post.  If the issue has been fixed, my follow on post will be about my two songs that are now live in iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify!  It’s been a long journey and somewhat anti-climactic at this point, but I can’t believe I finally faced a fear of putting my “art” out there for the world to judge, hate, like, love, or be indifferent about.  It is what it is and now it’s out there: Soul Escape and Save Me From Myself under the album cover of Metaphor Mania and artist of Aruni S. Gunasegaram.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, music, singing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Is It Really That Easy To Raise Money?
Aug 19 2012

The success companies and artists have seen on Kickstarter make it seem easier to raise money than ever before.  According to the article Kickstarter projects generate millions of dollars, a notable group of people have raised substantially more money than they intended.  According to the article:

Pebble Technology wanted to raise $100,000 to make 1,000 wristwatches that can be programmed with different clock faces, and they ended up with $10.3 million.  The founder of Pebble is 25 years old.

Designer Casey Hopkins asked for $75,000 to make a luxury iPhone dock out of solid aluminum. He got $1.4 million. That was in February 2012 and his project was the first to surpass $1 million.

Artist Rich Burlew asked for $57,750 to put his comic books back in print, and ended up with $1.3 million.

Ouya asked for $950,000 to create a game console and hit $8.6 million in pledges.

Apparently 10% of the films in this year’s SXSW film festival were funded by kickstarter!  That’s incredible!

It seems easy, but there is a finder’s fee: Kickstarter takes 5 percent and Amazon.com Inc. takes another 3 to 5 percent for processing the payments. Recipients are also typically taxed on the funds.

It’s interesting to note that most, if not all, of the people who exceeded their fundraising goals already had a reputation for delivering good products as well as a loyal following.  It would be much harder for someone to come out of nowhere and achieve the same results.

It will be interesting to see how long this trend lasts and if lawsuits will arise if people who contribute their money aren’t satisfied with what they get.  How does one get a refund?

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, fundraising | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

The 39 Clues and Children’s Chatter
Jun 23 2010

I took the kids to Barnes & Noble a couple of weeks ago to look at books and play with the train set in the kids section.   When I can’t think of anything else to do, I go there because I can get a Starbuck’s hot chocolate or passion tea lemonade and hang out with them while they look at books.  My son happened upon a book series on display called The 39 Clues (there’s even an official website!) and for some reason he decided he wanted the books.  I think there are 9 in the series and he was excited because the 9th book took place in the Bahamas which was a place they were about to go to with their dad.  Although he’s not quite the recommended age (9 to 12 years) for the books, I was thrilled he wanted to read them.  He’s a good reader, but he really hasn’t been that interested in sitting down for any length of time and reading a book.  He loves any and all things sports related and usually prefers to play Wii NFL Madden football than read a book.   He asked me almost every day since the day he saw them if the books were here…well they arrived today.

This book series seems to be about kids searching out clues around the world to unlock and discover the secret to their family’s powers.  It’s apparently a New York Times bestselling series and it comes with special clue cards.

Being the frugal mom/person that I usually am, I told him that I would go check them out online first before buying them and of course they were cheaper online at Amazon so I ended up buying him The 39 Clues Book 1: The Maze Of Bones – Library Edition (39 Clues. Special Library Edition), The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, The 39 Clues Book 3: The Sword Thief, and The 39 Clues: Card Pack (v. 1) (Amazon Links).  It will be interesting to see if he likes them and gets hooked.

As for children’s chatter, I love listening to my kids having conversations with each other.  The things they talk about are so funny and interesting.  While driving around running errands with them after work today, they decided to ask me how babies are made and I explained to them as simply as I could how a baby gets inside a mommy’s tummy.  They grasped the concept but not really the details as I didn’t get into the mechanics of how it happens.  [My daughter usually says she does not want to have babies.  I ask her why and she says because her tummy would get big.  But then a few minutes later, she's playing with her baby dolls! My son hopes to only have boy babies because other than his sister, he much prefers hanging with his buddies.]  Anyway, they laughed and then started talking to each other about turning into sand.  My daughter said she wanted to turn into sand after she died.  My son said that according to the Chinese, you become an animal after you die.  He asked me if that was true and I just told him that some people believe certain things and no one really knows what happens after someone dies.  My daughter kept asking her brother if he wanted to turn into sand and after a while he agreed that he would also want to turn into sand.  She then smiled a victorious smile because she got her brother to agree to something she wanted to do.  I feel so blessed that they usually get along really well with each other right now.  They really seem to look out for each other and make sure the other is OK.  I hope it lasts and I can’t wait to overhear their next sandy conversation. :-)

Author: | Filed under: book review, parenting | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off

5 Potty Training Tips That Will Make You Smile
Mar 20 2008

babytips.gifI babble about business, babies, and parenthood on this blog, so those of you who come here to read my posts on entrepreneurship but do not have babies, please forward this post to your friends and family who do have babies. For those who have babies and dabble in business, these tips might be right up your alley.  If you have babies and no interest in business, then send it on to the folks you know who are knee-deep in business and encourage them to have a baby!  To read other great tips, check out the baby tips category.

 baby-on-potty-amazon.jpg
Note: We didn’t use the above potty training contraption available from Amazon.  I just thought it was a cute picture, and I might have tried it out if I had known about it. :-)

5 Potty Training Tips That Will Make You Smile
by Aruni Gunasegaram

My kids are now 5 ½ and 3 years old and fortunately the potty training gods smiled on us because both were day-time trained around 2 ½ years of age.  Thankfully, our oldest (a boy) was trained about 2 months before our daughter was born.  He wore Pull-Ups at night until he was 4 but our daughter quit wearing pull ups when she was about 2 years and 9 months old.  Ah, it’s so nice not to have buy diapers or Pull-Ups anymore!

They each had a couple of night time accidents and we had a few more sheet changes with our son, but overall a less traumatic experience that I was bracing myself for.   We did the following with our kids.  Try these tips out and hopefully they’ll work for you.

1. Observe the signs. If your child is waking up dry from nap or night for at least a couple of weeks that is a big clue to start potty training. There are so many reasons to ‘ignore’ or not want to ‘see’ the signs that having your spouse, close friend or in our case a pre-school teacher throw some cold water in your face can really help. I was 8 months pregnant when our son’s pre-school teacher said you MUST potty train now. I was thinking to myself “are you crazy woman?! I can barely pick myself up let alone a toddler onto a potty.” I figured I’d wait until after the baby was born. I had been picking him up from pre-school and putting on a diaper/pull-up because I didn’t want to be unnecessarily cleaning a car seat. After being sternly warned by the teacher not to do that, I ended up putting a towel down on his car seat just in case.

2. Be consistent. When you are potty training make sure to take your toddler to the potty at least every 2 to 3 hours during the day. After a few weeks you’ll start to see the time between potty visits diminish. We observed that most accidents happened if we had forgotten to take them to the potty or were afraid to take them to the potty when they were in the middle of doing fun stuff for fear of the inevitable kicking and screaming.

3. Morning and Night. As soon as they wake up (even if it’s the crack of dawn and you’d much rather scream out loud than take them to the potty) put them on the potty. Even if they refuse to go, this will get them associating morning time with potty time and show them it’s OK to get up to go to the potty than to wet the bed. The same goes for night time. Put them on the potty right before going to bed so they create the same night time association as well.

4. Read a designated potty book. One of the things that worked really well for us with our son was identifying a potty book. I actually got this tip from Keys to Toilet Training by Meg Zwieback. Every night when we put him on the potty, we would read the same book to him. Since he was (and still is) so active, getting him to sit on the potty for any length of time was challenging. He liked reading the ‘potty book’ and because he sat longer he more often than not used the potty! This technique didn’t work so well with our daughter because she was fairly quick in going so she didn’t need to be entertained for long. Must be a girl thing (i.e., we’re less inclined to read newspapers and magazines while sitting on the toilet than guys are!)

5. Encourage and Reward. It is so important that you encourage and reward your toddler for going to the potty. You can do this with hugs, creating a chart, treats, activities, toys, etc. With our kids we used a chart that we would put smiley faces on when they went to the potty and sad faces if they had an accident. The chart gave them a visual to see how they were progressing and the act of us drawing a smiley face would make them so proud and happy! We also hugged them, gave them high 5′s, clapped, and sometimes gave them a Gerber fruit snack treat. When they went several days in a row without an accident, they would get to do something fun, get a treat, or better yet chose their own Spiderman or Dora the Explorer underwear!

Every child is different so try these tips and come up with your own that fit your unique situation.  We used these tips and achieved pretty good potty-training results.  Now, don’t go asking me about baby sleep tips because I’m still trying to figure out which ones worked and which ones didn’t!

The author of this article, Aruni Gunasegaram, is the President/Founder of Babble Soft, which offers web and mobile software applications that facilitate communication between caregivers by helping them with breastfeeding support bottle feedings, mom’s pumping, baby sleep patterns, diapers, immunizations and medicine doses as well as baby’s first year photo album.

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If you like this tip, you might be interested in these too:

Ten Tips To Keep Your Toddler Occupied on A Plane by Debbie Dubrow of Delicious Baby

Networking And The Stay At Home Parent by Thom Singer of Some Assembly Required

15 Tips for Traveling with Baby by Maryam Scoble of Maryamie

Throw A Baby Kegger For Your Buddy by Clay Nichols of DadLabs

Note to new readers: these tips are based on our experiences, as well as those of our friends and readers. Please always consult with your doctor before implementing any tip that might impact the health of your baby. If you have a tip you’d like to submit please send an email to blogger at babblesoft dot com.  Please check the ‘baby tips’ category to make sure your tip (in some form or fashion) hasn’t already been posted. If it has been, feel free to comment on that post and support the tip. We also welcome respectful challenges to the tips because as is noted in our inaugural baby tip ‘everything is relative!’ We will, of course, give anyone who submits a tip we publish credit and lotsa link love!

Author: | Filed under: baby tips, toddler tips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »