adventures in awesomeness…

On the Seventh Day of Christmas My True Love Gave to Me…

… Seven Squirming Snapshots, Six Super Strikes, FIVE MOMENTS OF PEACE!!!!! Four Yummy Chocolate Crinkles, Three Rock-hard Sugar Cookies, Two Chocolate Melting Moments and some fabulously delicious Checkerboard Coook-kiiiees!

After almost 2 year of trying (unsuccessfully), we have finally captured a photo of all 5 grandchildren:

These kids make my heart super happy.

Yes, the FroBo 2.0 is taking up most of the photo, but everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. I don’t know how photographers get good photos of kids. It took forever to get that… there was so much squirming and running away and distractions (like looking outside the window at nothing.) I shudder at thinking about getting our own family photo in front of the tree… thank goodness for the tripod and Photoshop.

After a weekend away (and a 3 1/2 hour drive in the pouring rain) its always nice to walk into my clean, yummy-smelling house, ready to take on my freezer full of cookie dough. COOKIE TIME… Game on!

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My New Love… the Lumix ZR1

In my haste to flee Texas (and the beet-smelling water), I left my hand-me-down Polaroid camera in the Mesquite house. I didn’t think anything of it until I found myself using my web cam to snap photos of my Movie Night appetizers. So I went to Target and saw a Sony for $109 plus a $20 Target Gift card… so total cost (for the mathematically challenged) = $89! Whoo! But I am a weirdo who won’t buy anything without checking to see if I can get a better deal elsewhere.  So after some initial talks and review, I decide to go with the Sony. But ACK! The sale was over. I hem and haw over the other cameras… trying to make a decision. Before I can pick a second choice, the guy behind the counter lets me know that he’s basically totally out of stock. What? Argh! Double bummer. I pack the babies up and go to Fry’s. No cameras. We hit the Target in Mission Valley. No cameras. Sports Arena Target. No cameras. But we did have a very strange encounter a Target employee.

WARNING: Random side story having nothing to do with cameras.

After we left the camera counter empty-handed, we passed a rack of children’s DVDs. Jaxon found a Thomas the Train DVD and picked it up, put it under his arm and then explained to me (in his Jaxon  secret language) that he was going to buy this DVD. I decided that he could carry it around until we got to the exit. As we approached the door, I took the DVD from him and told him to say “bye-bye” to Thomas. Well that was NOT acceptable. Jaxon  threw himself on the ground, right in the center of the aisle, and started screaming. Knowing this might happen, I just stopped and waited for him to finish his fit. But before I could ask him to stand up, this woman pops up from around the corner as if her injured-baby-alarm went off , asking if he was okay. I explained that he was just upset and she swooped down upon him and picked him up. What!?! Yes, there is my dear, teary eyed boy in the arms of some strange Target employee. She brings him over to me, oohing and ahhing over him, stroking his curls and asks if we are coming or going. I tell her that we are leaving and then she says that she is leaving as well. Then she proceeds to walk me out to my car toting little Jaxon in her arms the whole way. She asks if he’s potty trained and I’m like no… And she says that she can’t feel a diaper. (Horror – what if she was sexually feeling up my boy!?! Oh GOD!) She explains that she hasn’t started potty training her boy (about Jaxon’s age).  Ahhh, okay. We get to the car and she seems hesitant to give Jaxon back to me. I eventually pry him from her arms and escape with both babies intact. Weird.

And still NO CAMERA!

So I go home, grab the Consumer Reports, and get to work looking for a camera. Six hours later I head to Costco armed with three options. I get there… I can’t make up my mind. One camera has a dead battery so I can’t play with it.  The Canon is my least favorite. The Nikon CoolPix S570 is slick, small and seems easy to use. I am torn between the Nikon and two Panasonic cameras, so I give Matt a call to help in the decision-making. Matt’s gut feeling says to go with the newer Panasonic. I want a camera that I can turn on, point and shoot, and get a good photo without fooling with a bunch of menus. I am worried that the Panasonic will be too complicated, but Matt’s gut is hardly ever wrong, so I decided on the Panasonic Lumix ZR1. Once I have it in my little grubby hands I’m like a kid in a candy store. I bust it open before pulling out of the parking lot. It’s beautiful, sleek, and sexy. And didn’t even need Ashton Kutcher to sell itself.

The Panasonic came with a slim carrying case, 100 free prints at, a two-year extended warranty, and a 2GB memory card (whoo!) all for $180. Here’s are my first shots, testing out how it performs in low lighting and playing with the zoom.

Dashboard up close inside the Yaris.

Mema letting me use her as a test subject.

Not bad!! Tomorrow I will be able to test how it works shooting babies-in-action, play with the 8x optical zoom, and shoot some HD videos! I can’t wait!!

The Panasonic Lumix ZR1… my new love!