Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Great Camera Debacle

Okay, so we leave for Florida, and about 2 hours into our drive we realize we forgot the camera. I wanted to cry. How could a person who loves to take pictures of every minute thing forget the camera?! So, we decide to buy one once we stop at a Walmart. We go in and pick out a fairly inexpensive, but good quality camera…the Nikon Coolpix S8100.

I immediately love it. I’m playing with the features, customising it, fixing all the settings, etc. We video the sunrise one morning, take tons of photos of the ocean, walks on the beach, Froggy’s random daily cuteness…we are totally loving the camera.

Froggy being 'scared' of the 'Dinosaur Toe' he found on the beach.

We travel from Cocoa Beach down to West Palm Beach to visit more family and to attend my Uncle Joey’s wedding. I’m super excited about using my new camera, and about 5 shots into the wedding, the camera freaks out & shows ‘lens error’ on the screen. I try to turn it off…nothing. Another bridesmaid walks down the aisle, I begin to panic. I pop out the battery…nothing. I gently twist, push, & pull on the lens…nothing. The wedding march begins. I am beyond ticked off. I stand, holding a nearly $300 worthless piece of crap, and smile as my new Aunt glides beautifully down the aisle. Throughout the beautiful ceremony, I am elated at how happy my Uncle is & how beautiful the wedding is, yet infuriated at how I can’t take any photos to capture this special moment! We end up taking a few hundred pictures with my iPhone…which aren’t too bad, but aren’t that great either. After the reception, we begin our journey home stopping in Panama City Beach to visit more family & to pick up Pickle & Chubbs. We return the camera at the nearest Walmart, but they don’t have the same one, so I end up purchasing the Samsung PL210.

It doesn’t take long for me to come to the conclusion that I do not like this one as much as the other one. I took some good pictures of the kids with family, got some beautiful final shots of the ocean, and then notice that the zoom button is getting stuck. Seriously?! I’ve had this camera for a couple hours and it’s already starting to jack up? Once we make it back home, I give it another day or so before I decide I need to return this one as well. So yesterday, I returned the camera and bought our second Coolpix S8100…yeah, I know, we’re home & didn’t really need it, but our old camera isn’t the greatest, so I still bought it. The return process on both cameras was a catastrophe in itself because of the not-so-helpful-or-friendly-or-bright employees at the various Walmart’s we visited. So, basically over the course of 2 weeks, I’ve purchased 3 cameras, and still don’t own the mack-daddy camera I really want. Hopefully the blogging contest I’m participating in for the grant will end well and I can get it. If you haven’t voted today, please head over to Facebook & vote for me & my blog! Thanks!

We’re baaaack!

Well, we made it back from our vacation. I totally had the ‘vacation is over blues’ on our way home. We ended our vacation in the gorgeous sunny 80 degree temps of Boca Raton, FL, and were snapped back to the reality of rainy 30 degree gloomy Arkansas. Boo. I can admit that I became a bit spoiled by ocean sunrises and daily walks along the beach with my boys.

Sunrise on Cocoa Beach

Now that we are back home, we have to reprogram & get back into the groove of life. It seem that when we go on any type of vacation, even a weekend getaway, we come back changed…or with life changes in mind. We’ve decided to travel more, spend more time together, and work more on being a family. We are a very close family, very affectionate, and communicate well, but we do so many things separate that it feels like we’ve grown apart a little as the kids have gotten older. We plan on trying to reverse that a little.

It was nice to come back home, but I can honestly say that I could have stayed on the beach for at least a month without blinking an eye. And the fact that I got to see family I hadn’t seen in years & meet cousins I’ve never met while attending my Uncle Joey’s wedding was fantastic. Overall, our vacation was near perfect…only flaws were 1. It wasn’t long enough. 2. We had to buy a new camera since we forgot ours, and then it broke at the beginning of the wedding. 3. It wasn’t long enough. 4. Did I mention it wasn’t long enough? ;)

On Vacation…Blog Posting On Hold

We have very limited access at the condo on Cocoa Beach. Hopefully I will be able to blog once we continue down to West Palm Beach. We are having a great time…so many things to blog about! =) I will be back into the blogging groove soon I promise! Please remember to vote daily for me in the Mom Central Blog Grant Program…I’ve fallen behind since I can’t send out reminders regularly, so I need your help! Here’s the link. BLOG VOTING Thanks so much! I love you guys!

I’m NOT an idiot…but I am cheap.

Okay, so a few weeks ago I get the oil changed in the truck. I use a mobile service that comes to wherever you are & is reasonably priced…I LOVE it. (Here’s the link to their FB page…Estes Mobile Lube.) So, when the guy is finished changing the oil and checking everything, he says he noticed we needed new brakes soon. Since we are leaving for Florida soon, I figured I needed to get it done this week. I call a couple places yesterday and can get the truck in today with ‘Place B’ and they quote me a price of $200-250. (‘Place A’ didn’t do brakes.) Even though I thought that sounded high for getting some brake pads replaced, I stupidly make the appointment, and forget to set up a ride until this morning. I text my awesome friend Angie this morning & she agrees to be my taxi. After she drops me off back at home, I receive a call from ‘Place B’. They say yes, I do need new brake pads, the rotors look good, there’s some sort of rear axle leak on both sides, and it’s going to cost almost $750. I say (maybe a little too loudly), “There’s no way I can afford that!” Then he refigures the total, not fixing the leaking rear axle seals…still over $500. I tell him that I can’t afford that either, and that I was quoted $200-250 yesterday. He says, “Oh, that’s per axle.” He then says they’ll put it back together, and I can come pick it up…and that I should be safe driving to Florida and back, but need to get it done as soon as we get back. So, that’s where I’m at…had to pay $32 for them to do nothing, have a few messages out there to various friends with expertise, and I’m frustrated…so I’m ranting. Do you find (if you’re a woman) that mechanics try to take advantage of you? This is the second time this has happened this year. I sometimes want to yell at them, “Just because I have boobs doesn’t mean I don’t have a brain!” I don’t know tons of stuff about cars, but I know enough to know that quoting someone a price then jacking it up 300% is messed up.

Our Fantastic Family Adventure #1

What is this ‘Fantastic Family Adventure’ you may ask? It is something that was brought to my attention last week, and I have totally gone nuts for it. I spent an entire day reading on it, and today we got to put our plan into action full swing. We like to go on family outings, play games, and just spend time with each other, but most activities are so expensive…bowling, movies, mini-golf, etc. for a family of 6 is just not in our budget often. So, we spent all day today Geocaching. For those of you who are like I was last week, Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt. Armed with a GPS (our iPhones), a pen, water, and a baggie of trinkets, we hunted caches – containers ranging in size from a 35mm film canister to an ammo can, containing at the very least a baggie with a log sheet enclosed. We had a blast all day long!
We left the house at 10ish and headed to our first location. (I’m not going to give any details on the locations as not to spoil it for anyone else who wants to attempt geocaching in our area.) We ended up discovering 8 caches today (Big Puppy & I did 2 earlier this week, just to get started)…including 3 in old graveyards, a crazy hike up a stinking mountain, and a few urban areas. Once we located the cache we would sign the log, and if the container is large enough we would leave a trinket & take a trinket for our collection. Here’s some photos of our finds including the items we traded for.

Our 1st find of the day...WTG Princess2T!

Our 2nd find...our first 'micro cache'.

Our 3rd find...graveyard #2. Very cool.

Our 4th find...our final graveyard of the day.

We found it! Crazy hike that took over an hour to complete.

It was an insane hike through the cedar trees, but totally worth the view.

Our first 'urban' cache.

A good cache where we found our 1st travel bug!

Our final cache...a great one to end the day with!

The goodies we've collected thus far.

The kids had such a great time, they tried to ‘one more’ us several times, and want to go again tomorrow after church. When asked what their favorite part was, Froggy said picking the treasures, and the girls all said the hike…we were very surprised that they enjoyed the hardest part of the day! We plan on doing this often (especially on our upcoming vacation), and maybe creating a few of our own. Be sure to check out if it sounds like something for you & your family…and add me as a friend (Life@30ish)!

Nearly Unbearable Cuteness

Froggy is a 4 year old little boy with gobs of personality, is super smart and funny, and is the most loving kid you’ll ever meet. We are often almost speechless (which is a big deal for me) by his cuteness. For instance, last night when we were eating dinner…

Froggy: Why is this chicken yellow?
Me: It’s the spices.
Froggy: What spices?
Me: Curry, garlic powder, onion powder, tarragon… (It was actually turmeric, but I said tarragon.)
Froggy: (Looking at the chunk of chicken speared on his fork with a scrunched, thoughtful look on his face) Hmmm…I think maybe it’s a triangle or sumping (something).

The kid mistook the word tarragon for hexagon or one of the other -agon shapes, and decided to correct me. I seriously want to squeeze him forever…we are so blessed. I LOVE that little boy!

I think I may start a regular post (maybe 2x a month or so?) with Froggy-isms. I mean, sometimes he is too funny/cute not to share.

What a way to start the weekend…

About 10 minutes after I got up this morning, I get a call from the school. Chubbs threw up on the bus & I need to go get her. I threw clothes on, got Froggy ready, and headed out the door. Not cool to have to show up at your kids school unshowered and with sleep creases on your face. I can tell you she looked worse than I did…pale and weak sitting in the chair clutching her backpack. I signed her out & we headed home. She hadn’t eaten breakfast, so I gave her a piece of toast and some juice. She only ate about half the toast, but sucked down the juice. I had her take a shower & get into her pj’s, braided her hair, and now she’s snuggled in a blanket sleeping on the couch.

Sleeping Away The Sick!!!

Praying whatever stomach bug she has doesn’t spread to the others, and that she’s better tomorrow…we have fun family plans!

My 1st Thred-Up Box!

Last week I discovered the site Thred-Up. Basically what it is, is a place for you to list boxes of clothes your kids have outgrown or no longer wear. They supply Medium Flat Rate boxes from the USPS for you to use, and it’s free for you to ship the boxes when someone picks them. If you find a box you like, you select it, pay $5.00 + $10.95 shipping, and that’s it! I chose a box of mainly jeans for my girls since they *cough* Pickle *cough* are so hard on jeans. I figured even at a yard sale/consignment store I would pay around $3.00 a pair for jeans, so having them shipped directly to me was a total bonus! My box arrived in a couple days, and I was very pleased. Here’s a rundown of what was in the box…

Black & white dress shirt, 4 pairs of jeans (one seemed brand new), 1 pair of stretchy type capri pants, insulated lunch tote, and bath confetti.  In the listing, it said that the jeans were size 10′s but fit like size 8′s…after comparing these to some of our size 8′s, there’s no way these will fit right now.  They are definitely size 10′s.  I’m cool with that though, because I recently bought the girls jeans & these should fit in the fall.  I am excited about showing them the shirt though…I think it will look cute on any of the girls.  I started going through the kids clothes over the weekend, and after I finish that…hopefully today, I plan on listing a few boxes of goodies.  If you have or need kids clothes, I would recommend at least checking it out.  Use this link & get a $5 credit!