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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hello!

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Welcome First Day of Spring!

From our family in warm and sunny Florida to yours, wherever you may be.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

My New Baby is Here!

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Gotcha!!!

No this post is not about me going into early labor. You can now let your heart return to its normal rhythm. And yes, you can smack me later for nearly causing you to faint on the floor.

No, the baby I am referring to is this sweet little thing:

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I have wanted an SLR camera for years...and years...and years...and years. I even wanted a 35mm one before digital was all the rage.

So fast forward...years...and after saving my dimes and pennies, this beauty is all mine!

The good thing about waiting on those years was I had a lot of time to decide on exactly what I wanted. Having already owned a Sony point and shoot camera and a Sony camcorder, I was pretty familiar and comfortable with Sony products so I figured that was the way to go.

A friend of mine owns the Sony Alpha SLT-A33 and really likes it. After a bit of research (and some hands on time with her camera), I decided to go ahead and get the same thing. Andrew did have some input and he really liked the next model up, the Sony Alpha SLT-A55, because of the integrated GPS receiver. While I liked that feature too, I really liked that the A33 was cheaper...since I didn't have all of the $799.99 saved up to shell out for the A55.

Amazon was sold out of the A33 model but another seller was selling it for $649.44 + shipping. Eh, I wondered if I could find it anywhere else cheaper. So I looked on Best Buy's website and they had it for $579.99. But, they were sold out too. Weird. Was there a run on Sony DSLR cameras for some reason I don't know about?!

*Edited: The Best Buy employee said Sony is still having difficulty shipping out products because of last year's flooding in Japan.

So while we were in Orlando for a birthday party yesterday we decided to see if Best Buy had it in stock. They didn't have the A33 at all but they did have the A55 on display and it was on sale for $679.99...$100 more than the A33, but it was the model I had originally wanted! And it was still about $120 cheaper than the $799.99 price tag online. I quickly found the nearest employee and proudly told him I was there to buy a camera! I don't know what he thought of me standing there all preggo looking with a goofy grin on my face. Ha ha!

He almost dashed my hopes when he said that they too did not have it in stock but they did have an open box version. And since the box was open he could give it to me for 10% less than the advertised price of a new one. Yup, I liked the sound of that. By this time, I was not leaving without a camera.

I made sure that everything was working to perfection on it and he assured me that all returned item are thoroughly inspected by the Geek Squad before they go back on the shelf. Gotta love those guys! I bought a warranty anyway cause I know me and electronics. And I also have a 20 month old child. 'Nuff said.

When all was said and done this is what I ended up paying (for those of you who can't do the math in your head):

Camera: $679.99
- 10% OBP*: (67.99)
Final price: $612.00

*Open Box Policy

That's only $32 more than the price of the A33! Yeah, I can dig it!

And now for the first picture ever taken with my new Sony Alpha A55 DSLR camera:

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We also went to Old Navy and grabbed a bite to eat at Whole Foods while we were in Orlando. :)

This picture was taken on auto mode since its been many years since I took that photography class at the community college and terms such as aperture, ISO, shutter speed and depth of field escape me. But I can't wait to get to the point where I'll be able to take great shots on manual! With a lot of practice, I'm hopeful I'll get there someday.

Anyone have any good photography tips?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

First Purchases

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Several weeks ago Lily and I were in Michael's getting a few supplies to make some of these which I found on Pinterest of course. While meandering around the store something caught Lily's eye and she just had to "hode it!" It was the cutest little ceramic piggy bank that was pastel pink with big white polka dots.

Lily is obsessed with piggy banks or just pigs as she calls them. Cause that's what they are right? Pigs. So I let her have it...to hold only...for a few minutes while I finished selecting what I needed.

Now, for those of you who have toddlers, you know that the words "ok, we have to put it back now" don't go over very well in the world of the smaller set. Let's just say she got in some good practice with a few words she's learned recently, "mine" being one of them.

When I went to put it back I noticed that there was a blue one and better yet they were on clearance for $1.19 down from $3.99. I just couldn't resist. So I got both. Lily was very happy.

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Then I realized, its the first thing I've purchased for the little guy. Which of course reminded me of the first thing I purchased for Lily:

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I got it at Old Navy and I paid full price for it. But it was tiny and pretty, the only two requirements in my book. :)

What was the first item you purchased/made for your child/children?

Friday, March 09, 2012

What I've Been Up To

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So here we are in March already. The 9th to be exact. My dad's 68th birthday by the way. Happy Birthday Daddy!

I realized while reading over my blog that I kind of left things hanging on Day 19 with the whole Photo-A-Day thing. To be honest, the next few days just got a little bit busy and I didn't have time to take any pictures much less post them. We started cleaning up the front porch and taking boxes of old clothes and books we had stored out there to Community Services. That took one full day and its not even finished. But it does look a lot better. Then things got really fun (that's me being sarcastic). Lily woke up with a high fever one Wednesday morning and it didn't go away for almost 5 days. Normally she gets a high fever when she's teething and it lasts maybe a day and a half. This wasn't normal and by Saturday we were thinking of taking her to the urgent care center. I called my mom, a nurse, who suggested it could be strep and to check her throat for white spots. I didn't see any but I'm not a doctor/nurse, so who knows. Not ones to freak out about things like this, we decided to wait till Sunday and if things weren't better then we would take her in. She woke up still warm and feverish and I was ready to take her in. But by mid-morning she was tired and wanted to take a nap so I put her down figuring we could take her in afterwards. She woke up from her nap feeling tons better and a lot livelier so no trip to the urgent care center for us! Thank goodness, because I was reaching the end of my try-to-stay-calm-it's-not-her-fault-she's-an-absolute-grump-monster rope.

Towards the end of all this fun, we lost internet because the couple two doors down that we had a deal to "borrow" it from moved into a house they just bought. So we were without internet for about 4 days. It wasn't as torturous as I thought it would be. Alright, the first day or two were, but after a while I started doing things around the house that I'd been meaning to get to like chores and craft projects. I'll be honest though, seeing the Comcast guy standing at our door did make me smile. We got a deal where we have internet and basic cable for 6 months for a special price. We didn't want cable TV but we actually got a better price with it included. So now I can watch a lot of HGTV! And believe me I have been. :)

Then - I know you're thinking "what else could go wrong?!" - Andrew had scheduled surgery, for a small umbilical hernia he had been mildly suffering from, for last week. A friend of mine watched Lily so I could wait in the waiting room to see Andrew. The surgery went well and didn't take too long. He's not allowed to pick up or carry anything heavier than 10 pounds for a while so lets just say yours truly has taken on a lot more of the heavier lifting this past week. Its actually quite an interesting situation since I'm pregnant and can't really pick up anything too heavy anyway and he can't lift more than a cereal box. And I've forgotten to do a few things that he normally does like take the trash to the road. Its piling up quite high. Oops. I'm bad when it comes to housekeeping when he's home anyway. Its almost as if when he's home I just want to hang out with him and relax so things like the dishes and floors don't get cleaned and the place starts looking like a sty. Part of me can't wait for him to go back to work so the house can get clean again. :P

Despite all of these events I have to thank God for so many things like the absolutely beautiful weather we've been enjoying, friends who don't mind babysitting at a moments notice, Netflix and specifically the wonderful creators of Curious George, just to name a few.

I think I deserve an evening to myself after all this. Maybe a night out shopping or a movie? Its been so long...

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Baby Update: We Have a Name!

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Last night Andrew and I were sitting all comfy and cozy on the couch watching House Hunters or Property Virgin's or something on HGTV. He turns to me out of the blue and asks me the meaning of a certain name we have on our baby name list. This is the same list we started just a few days ago. It has 8 names on it and I typed it out while we were watching Take Home Chef one evening. Andrew started out by suggesting a name he noticed on a show we watch and then we added to it by googling "old fashioned boys names" and "traditional English names." Girls names come to us like that (visualize me snapping my fingers) but we are at a loss when it comes to boys names. Up until starting the list we'd only talked about baby names maybe once or twice and never seriously. I figured it was going to take us a while to come up with a name but I wasn't too worried. I didn't figure we'd have one by now at 23 weeks along and both the first and middle name to boot!

So anyway, after telling Andrew what the name meant, he must have thought about it for a while because a bit later he asks me what I think of the name. I realized I really liked it. Its uncommon but not weird. Its traditional but not fuddy duddy.

We both just kind of looked at each other and smiled. We had our name! I went to bed a very happy girl. Laying in bed last night I got thinking about middle names. When we named Lily we gave her a family name for a middle name. Well...sorta. Andrew wanted to honor his paternal grandmother and use her name which was Stella. I didn't really think Lillian Stella Eroh flowed very well. So we thought about it and argued discussed it over the next few months. About a week or two before my due date, it suddenly came to me one evening. Estelle. So she became Lillian Estelle. It was perfect.

This time around its my turn to chose the middle name. Its kind of a lot of pressure. I started thinking about all the men on my side of the family and then I remembered a name that we had come up with when we first found out we were pregnant and then promptly forgot about. I can't go into too much detail because some family members read this blog and we're keeping the name a secret till the day he's born and in our arms. But I will tell you that it is...perfect. I was so excited about it that I got out of bed and padded out to the living room to tell Andrew. He's been sleeping on the couch since his surgery last week because its easier to get off the couch to go the bathroom and such than it is to climb over your wife to get out of bed. He grinned and said that its perfect!

So, going with the apparent word of the day, everything is perfect!