Wednesday, December 30, 2009

And now, for my next trick ...

I will attempt to post a picture!

It is, after all, Wordless Wednesday!

So here goes:

My little fashionista came up with this ensemble all on her own the other day. Love it!

OK, so for now I can only get pics from my phone. But I linked my Picasa account, so I think I might just need to play around a little more.

Look out Bloggywood - I think MLTB may be back with a vengeance!

Can I Actually Do This?

Well. We're about to find out!

I've been thinking. This iPhone of mine can do just about anything but wash and fold my laundry (although I'm sure I could use it to easily find a service for that!?).

With an app for everything, surely they'd have one for blogging through Blogger, right? I mean, I read blogs on here through Google Reader, right?


Let's hope I chose the correct (free) one.

I'm thinking that with my iPhone being an extension of my right arm, maybe this can help get those thoughts down in my blog as they happen, rather than forget about them or lack the time later. Which is really the main cause of my blog neglect. By the time I get around to it, there's just something else taking precedence.

We'll see how it goes - wish me luck!

Rachael (you'll need to envision my cute little sig here)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dear Santa

In this house, we don't celebrate Christmas. Upon being asked her favorite Christmas song, if she's excited for Santa to come to her house, the Mad Hatter has always given a very poised and adorable answer of "Actually (actu-a-wee), Santa doesn't come to my house because I celebrate Hanukkah!". She is very proud of this statement (as are her parents), and often astounds adults with her immediate, clear, and eloquent response. You know, being so little and all. And the fact that some of them actually ask her who will be coming to her house instead.


This has not stopped her from having a slight obsession with Santa this year.

If I'm correct, Christmas was actually 4 days ago.

For the last 2 days I have been listening, non-stop, to a medley of Santa Claus is Comin' to Town (a la The Boss, complete with the accompaniment of her sunshine drum), and Jingle Bells.

Did you know how much fun it is to ride in a "one-arm oaken" sleigh?

Apparently, very.

Yesterday, I was on the phone when she walked in with a piece of paper - all decked out in glittery stickers, smiley faces, and "words" she'd written. The words did not look familiar, but her name at the bottom was perfect.

"Mommy, can you please mail this to Santa for me?"

"Sweetie, uh, Santa doesn't come to our house. Why would we send him something? Besides, Christmas is already over."

"Mom. It's a thank you note - I want to thank him for coming to my preschool. It was really nice of him."

Well. At least I've taught her a thing or two about manners.

Still a bit stunned, I told her I wasn't sure what Santa's address was. Her answer?

"Just ask one of my teachers, mommy. Of course they know what it is! Or you could just look it up on the internet!"

I'll get right on it.

And for the record, after yesterday's stunt with Mommy's pashmina and your hair clips, don't be waiting for Santa to visit our house next year either!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WW - 1.2.3. ACTION!

I am not a fan of snow.

Perhaps it's the 4 years I spent at college in Ithaca, NY, where it snows from October through May (note: if you're visiting in the summer, don't let "Gorges" Ithaca fool you!).

However, if something is going to make me like snow - perhaps even love it - it's this picture:

The total epitome of what it means to be 6 weeks away from turning five (YIKES!), living life to the extreme without a worry  in the world, and soaking up every last second of it with wild abandon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WW - If a picture is worth a thousand words . . .

Then this one is most definitely going down in the family books.

Most likely for blackmail purposes, say when she hits her teen years and doesn't remember these good old days when she promised us she'd never give us attitude as a teen, would always be as lovey and snuggly as she is right now, we'll forever be her best friends in the whole world, maybe around prom time . . .

Anyways, a few weeks ago, we went on MH's first field trip, to a local farm. So much fun - riding a schoolbus, going on a hayride, picking a pumpkin. But the best part? The driver stopped several times along the hayride to show us different veggies grown on the farm, and even passed veggies around for the kids to touch and examine.

To say I have a child who LOVES vegetables is an understatement. She BEGS for tomatoes for dessert. She picks spinach out of my pasta fagioli soup, leaves the rest, and begs for more. We bribe her with veggie "treats" to get her to eat her meals.

So, imagine her delight when the farmer passed around fresh parsley (she ate an entire bunch), a green pepper (she grabbed it and ate it like an apple), and this "pickle", which she and her BFF actually fought over!

BFF's mom and I were chatting away when we suddenly heard lots of giggles and commotion. We looked to find that they were each eating said "pickle" with reckless abandon, and having the best. time. ever.

I was snapping away with my camera and did not realize until I uploaded my pics that I had captured the best shot ever.

Seriously - this one will forever by the one that makes me stop, laugh hysterically, and remember that day as if it were yesterday. I especially love the stalk of parsley (boy, did she have sweet breath!) held tightly in her little mittened hand!

MH - you never fail to make mommy smile, and in this case, laugh until my belly aches!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The post where I come back after 2 months . . .

. . . and the crazy reason why!

I have been getting comments (which I now realize are spam) for months now in another language.

Somethine potentially Chinese.

Or Japanese.

Or Korean.

I've even tried to translate it. You know, just out of sheer curiosity.


Well now, it's just plain annoying.

If you want to comment on something I wrote 4 months ago, talk to me in a language I understand.

So unfortunately for those of you who read my blog hahahaha, isn't that hilarious since I've written nothing to be read in say, FOREVER! and leave me comment love, I've decided to turn on word verification for a while to see if this will help resolve the issue.

While I'm here, I may as well do a brief update, filled with bits of random:

1) After a week of a cold/virus that seemed like it was getting better, I turned the road into sinus hell yesterday and am now on antibiotics for a raging sinus infection.

2) Said antibiotics are causing extreme nausea because a) I have a weak stomach and b) I can barely muster an appetite to get any food down to eat with these bad boys. I pretty much feel like a truck ran me over, backed up, and did it again.

3) My little Mad Hatter is more endearing and loveable than ever. She is going to be 5 in a little less than THREE MONTHS! I am in complete denial. My baby can not be turning 5.

4) I am now a part-time working mom! This has been a huge adjustment on many levels - one of which being that the last time I had a career, I was not yet a mommy. I also didn't realize or maybe was just in complete denial that agreeing to a part-time job would actually equate to a full-time career that far exceeds the hours I am "supposed" to be working on a weekly basis. I work 3 full days a week and just finished my second month. It's flown and I love most aspects of it - especially the empowerment of that paycheck that gets direct-deposited every other Friday. It feels totally different after not working for 5 years.

5) I have total blog neglect guilt. I have so much to say, so many people's blogs I'd love to be reading and commenting on, and miss all of my bloggy and Twitter friends. But there are only so many hours in the day and this tired Mommy has been a lot more discerning about her lack of free time. I had the respect before, but let me tell you -those of you with more than one child and full-time career - I am now bowing down to you. I don't know WHERE you find the time do deal with your regular life AND blog, comment, and even do giveaways and reviews. You. Amaze. Me.

6) I just got the most amazing tea at Trader Joe's. It's called RENEW and it's an herbal green tea that is both delicious and soothing. I highly recommend it. If I could meet Joe I'd give him a big fat kiss for enhancing and enriching the status of my family's gastric lives.

7) The MH is finally getting the H1N1 vaccination tomorrow - something I never thought I'd actually be excited about, but if I'd been sans brain-crushing headache last night, would have been jumping up and down about when I got the pediatrician's email and scored a spot at the clinic.

8) I really hope that this will be the last of my blog neglect. Now that I'm here visiting my own special space, it's like catching up with an old, missed friend. Blog, you know I haven't meant to neglect you. My life has just taken over. But, my life is what I'm here to document, it's why I started you. So, for now I'll be realistic and set a goal of spending some quality time with you at least once a week.

If I'm doing a proper blog post, I should include a little eye candy for the grandparents, uncle, and anyone else who cares:

My gorgeous little Ariel ready for Halloween

Whose hair I patiently and lovingly worked on for ONE HOUR . . .

The awesome (if I do say so myself) hair clip I made to go with her costume (photo taken on preschool dress-up day) Note to self, the half hour of braiding wet hair the night before schoool was well worth the time and effort because as you'll see in the following shot . . .

THIS is what her hair looked like exactly one hour after I finished my hard work with that curling iron. I lost one hour of my life, nearly lost my temper a couple of times, may or may not have needed a drink by the time I was done . . . but all in all, would not change a thing because the bottom line is this:

It was gorgeous while it lasted, and if you ask me, waves or not - my girl is just plain stunning!

Friends who are loyal and still here reading, I love you and miss you!

And, I guess I should give props where props are due:

Thank you Asian spammers. Thanks for bringing me back.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day Pre-K!

It's hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that just one year ago, she looked like this, so excited for her first day of preschool:

So full of excitement. So ready for adventure. And so little.

Just one year later, the difference stuns me!

Still full of excitement. Still ready for adventure. SO confident.

She has grown so much, both physically and emotionally. She's not a baby anymore. She's now a "big kid" at school, and sometimes I wish I could just freeze time.

I look at her face, her stance, the confidence she exudes in these pictures taken this morning on her first day of Pre-K and I'm blown away.

While she could not have been more excited to go to school, this Mommy is having a little bit of difficulty with the transition.

There was a lot of sadness (from me).

So much nostalgia (from me).

And lots and lots of tears on and off all day (yep, you guessed it - from me!).

While most moms are probably hearing the angels sing that it's back to school time, I wasn't quite so ready to let go. We had an amazing summer and she's the best friend I could ever ask for. And each year that goes by means she's less and less my little girl and more and more my big girl.

Which is great, but some days (like today), I'd like to stop the clock.

At this time next year, DH is going to be picking me up off the floor . . . when did my baby get to be 4 and a half?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good Logic

The Mad Hatter likes to watch TV every morning in the kitchen while I am a short order cook make her breakfast.

In an effort to mix things up, this morning I switched from Noggin to PBS Sprout.

Syd the Science Kid (which she used to love) - negative.

OK, on to local PBS.

Curious George - also negative.

However, if you ask me, she has pretty good reasoning for a 4 and a half year old.

MH: No Mommy, I don't want to watch Curious George because I'm not curious, and Curious George is for kids who are curious. I used to be curious, but I'm not anymore, so I don't need to watch Curious George. (yep, think I got that verbatim)

So, the MH now sits eating her formerly "chopped" scrambled eggs learning Chinese with her dear friend Kai-Lan.

Because I'm quite sure she'll be needing to use the Chinese language in the near future.

I'm thinking that when the questions start flying at me from every direction as they do all day long, I might just have to give her another lesson on the definition of curiosity.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tell Me . . .

Is it wrong that I'm completely envious of my daughter that I have never looked this fabulous at the beach?

Not even when I was her age?

And just in case you were wondering, she needed no cue to pose like that.

Monday, August 24, 2009

It goes a little somethin' like this . . .

Nah, nah nah nah naaah nah . . .

Let me introduce you to some friends The Mad Hatter has made over the last 3 months or so:

Yes, that would be Kiki, Marina, Twist, and Shout, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are your kids' BFFs too.

We started hearing the catchy songs of this group who make up The Fresh Beats Band (although to me, they'll always be the Jumparounds, which is how we were first introduced to them) at the beginning of the summer, in between shows on Noggin.

The MH loves anything that has to do with music - she hears a beat (no pun intended for those of you who know the songs as well as I do) and it stops her in her tracks.

We took Music Together classes for 2 years.

Thanks to Kidz Bop (remember how I felt about that? Yeah, we now own 3 CDs, along with every one we were able to collect when they were Happy Meal prizes), she knows the lyrics to more Top 40 songs than I do.

My girl is in constant motion, and when she hears music (whether it's playing out loud or just in her head), she stops what she's doing and the world becomes her stage.

It's truly her world. And she definitely lives life to her own special beat.

As we watched the "videos" all summer, she quickly became most intrigued by drummer Marina, at one point carrying around a set of bongo drums so she could drum along.

And finally, yesterday, my sweet little 4 and a half year old girl's dreams came true - The Fresh Beats Band show premiered on Nick Jr.

Not one episode, but two.

While the show may be kind of cheesy and totally predictable, it is good, clean, upbeat fun.

Kind of like Kids Incorporated meets Saved by the Bell.

A sort of Hannah Montana for the Pre-K set.

And a true rite of passage for the Mad Hatter.

She has been waiting, and waiting (and waiting) for those in-between show videos to converge into a show.

The first show she's watched that isn't a cartoon or puppet based show.

Her first big girl show.

It was a huge event in our house. DVRd on two TVs, the plan was that if she was super-well behaved all day (we've been experiencing a bit of unsavory new 4 and a half year old attitude lately and I finally seem to have found the one thing I can successfully hold over her head to ensure that the majority of our days are filled with acceptable behavior), we'd sit down and watch together as a family after bath time.

The plan went swimmingly, and I observed in awe the look of sheer happiness and utter glee as she watched her friends come to life on TV in a real show.

She beamed from ear to ear, and for the first 10 minutes, she was so riveted by all of it that she did not move from her perch on the couch.

Then she danced. And danced. As though her life depended on it.

And when the second episode came on and Marina's drums broke, she picked up her bongo drums and offered them to the TV screen.

I can't describe my feelings, but this is just one more bittersweet time when I realize my little girl is really growing up.

She's not a baby anymore.

In fact, at this time next year I will be a blubbering mess as she prepares to enter kindergarten.

More than anything, watching her excitement made me happy. The idea that something so small could be so big to her - so special and important - really made me stop for a few minutes and watch the world through her eyes.

And I loved it.

So tonight, we're getting ready to "Stomp the House" yet again as we watch the next new episode.

And this mom will proudly admit that she's a fan too. What can I say? They're catchy and fun!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

She must be a Breck Girl!

Or maybe not.

This post could also be titled: Why I Have the Best Husband in the World.

He's a guy who never complains about me spending time with my girlfriends, and actually encourages it.

He constantly tells me how much I deserve to have some "me" time.

I'm pretty sure he knows it helps me to be the best mommy I can be.

And he absolutely adores the special time he gets with The Mad Hatter when I do take the opportunity to do just that - planning special "dates" for the two of them.

For me, today was a special girls' day filled with shopping at an amazing mall, cocktails, and yummy food in celebration of our three birthdays, and our friendship.

DH had a full day planned, which included taking MH for breakfast, to the bookstore, lunch at McDonald's, Chuck E Cheese, and a visit with the grandparents.

When I got home and it was bathtime, I learned that there had been one other stop on today's agenda.

While I'm perfectly content to use my drugstore line of Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine shampoo, conditioner, and styling products (seriously, I love them!), it seems that Daddy thinks the princess Mad Hatter is in need of some higher quality salon products.

A visit to Ulta brought home these items:

Yes, that would be Paul Mitchell's line of Baby Don't Cry products - both the shampoo and detangling spray.

Apparently, our four and a half year old's (happy half-birthday, MH!) hair deserves no less than the best.

Honey, this is just one more reason YOU are the best.

While I continue to be quite content visiting CVS to meet my haircare needs, MH is pretty lucky to have a dad who not only does so many cool things with her, but who is always looking out for her best interest in the beauty department too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Daughterly Advice

Last night was girls' night out.

Not just any girls' night out, but one that consisted of 5 close girlfriends, who, due to work, schedules, kids, and that thing we all call life, haven't all been together in way too long.

We started with dinner at a hip sushi/hibachi restaurant with equally hip and delicious cocktails.

And strolled to another popular spot for one more (possibly unnecessary) round.

And on this particular Friday, morning came a bit too soon for me.

DH fed the Mad Hatter breakfast, brought me coffee in bed, and left for work.

For the following 10 or so minutes, MH was happily engrossed in an art project in the kitchen as I tried (rather unsuccessfully) to will my eyes open and my body to move.

A few minutes later, she came bounding into my room.

"Mommy! Could you puh-lease just wake up already?!?"

Me: "Sweetie, I'm working on it. Mommy's just moving a little slow today."

MH: "Well! Maybe you just shouldn't have any more girls' night outs if you're just going to sleep all day!"

It was approximately 8:11AM.

And I type verbatim.

Because although I was rather foggy this morning, that certainly got me up, and with quite a giggle.

Oh, MH, someday you will understand the importance of girls' night out, how they make me a better mommy, and why sometimes I just really need a good glass of mommy juice (or three).

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

WW - Birthday!

Well, we all know me, and we know this won't be wordless.

BUT, how could I not post pictures from my 34th birthday (which was only a week ago tomorrow)?

We met friends at The Cheesecake Factory for lunch.
I just LOVE when I get to be a "lady who lunches".
Who knew July 30th also happens to be National Cheesecake Day?
(which means 1/2 off your cheesecake!)
Forget the cheesecake - this "lady" was all about the whipped cream and sprinkles!
And dinner at RI-famous Twin Oaks - the BEST lobstah (lobster) salad EVAH!
And . . . the sterling silver beads whose quest took on a life of its own, including many hours of retail research. Wanna know about sterling silver beads, mm size, necklace lengh, where (and where not) to purchase - just ask me or my wonderful husband!
(mine are graduated 10mm-16mm and I'm in love with them!)
Out of about 7 shots, the best family pic we got documenting the occasion!

My 34th birthday was fabulous.
I am truly blessed.
And my amazing husband already knows he just may have backed himself into a corner being that next year is really the "special" birthday! It's gonna be hard to outdo just how wonderful my day and weekend were!
I could not ask for a more wonderful family or group of friends.
More to come (including a close-up of my gorgeous necklace) . . .

Friday, July 31, 2009

Natural Talent

Yesterday was my 34th birthday.

Despite a raging sinus infection, I rallied (everyone knows you can't be sick on your birthday!), and The Mad Hatter and I met some friends for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory

(sidebar: how ironic that MY birthday happens to fall on National Cheesecake Day and I landed there for lunch by the sheer fate of not having much of an appetite and wanting a killer salad?)

After a wonderful lunch, my girlfriend and I decided to brave the mall with the kiddos.

MH loves to visit "Barnyard Kids" aka Pottery Barn Kids - it's an absolute must (er, bribe I hold over her head) every time we visit the mall.

I decided that first, I was going to treat myself to a little gift (or 3) at Sephora. Pottery Barn happens to be right across the way and the natives were getting restless, so my friend told me to take my time finishing up and meet her over there.

When I walked in, this is what I found!

(Yes, I am loving my new camera and the fact that I can shoot in color, vivid color, sepia, black and white, and all kinds of other cool effects)

I'm kinda thinkin' my girl is a shoo-in for the next Barnyard Kids (er, PBK) catalog!
Maybe it's time for an agent?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

No Words.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Go there, NOW!

About six months ago, a new store called Lakeshore Learning Center came to town.

Ever the mom who loves "learning" toys that are both fun and have multiple developmental purposes as well (I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that my mom is a retired elementary school teacher and I myself have been pondering going back to school for elementary ed), I've been dying to check it out.

We had a couple of birthday gifts to exchange MH's birthday was only in February and a rainy Thursday afternoon brought us in for a visit.

Why, oh why did I not get myself there sooner?

This place is a teacher's paradise.

Wonderland for a mommy like me.

And a virtual playground for the wee ones.

Totally kid-friendly. Touches welcome. Happy Mommy.

The Mad Hatter ran right to a huge activity table and started coloring in a picture of a Toucan using these (we have some similar ones at home - they are easy to use, FAR less messy that regular paints, and washable. What more could you ask for?).

I was like a kid in a candy store - I didn't know where to go first. I was already mentally planning out my first classroom, you know, just in case I decide to go through with the back to school idea.

I managed to bring myself back to the present task of selecting a toy for MH. But where to start?

We have a 4 hour car ride to our vacation destination ahead of us this week, so maybe something portable?

But then again, maybe something to help her work on her impressive writing skills at home . . .

It didn't help that nearly the entire store was 20% off!

I eventually stumbled upon this, and found myself having a great time playing with it.

Imagine my delight when I brought it over the still-painting MH, who exclaimed "We have that at school!"

I asked her to show me how it worked, and was amazed to see her spring to action.

What's so awesome about this toy (besides the fact that my husband and I find it addictive and have been secretly playing with it after she goes to bed AND the magnetic pieces inside very closely resemble M&Ms) is that it encourages work on so many pre-school skills.

There's the fine motor skills needed to carry the colored pieces to their spots on the board. Counting, sorting colors, following patterns to make images, sequencing, and those are just off the top of my head.

Did I forget to mention the pattern cards? Those cost extra (my only disappointment with this toy was that it didn't include even a couple), but you get a bunch of them and they range from easy to advanced. DH even took them to the office and laminated them so they'd be extra durable yes, I realize we're dorks.

The best part of it all? MH has been playing with this toy non-stop since we got it. Her attention span for it is amazing, and she loves it. She's creating shapes on her own, working hard at following some of the easier pattern cards, and more than anything, so proud of her accomplishments (yep, Mommy is too!).

Lakeshore offers free craft projects on Saturdays and I can't wait to check those out.

One thing is for sure, I have found my new source for birthday gifts, fun stuff for MH, and yet one more store at which I feel the need to spend immense amounts of money.

The staff was amazing - both friendly and very knowledgeable, and I was thrilled to learn that although it's a chain, the business is family-owned.

Did I mention that even if there's not one near you, you can shop online?

Go, now!

You can thank me later for the extra quiet time you'll score for blog posting, reading, etc.

Author's note: I am in no way affiliated with Lakeshore Learning Center nor was I asked to write a review about their store. I just loved it that much!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Changing Channels

Last night while I was out with the girls, DH and The Mad Hatter met my parents for dinner.

DH called home this morning with the story he forgot to tell me last night although how he forgot to tell me blows my mind because I would have still been laughing.

As he was getting MH out of her car seat, she said "Daddy, what does it mean to talk with your hips?"

Uh, according to Mommy it means time to change the station.

Yes, they had been listening to the radio (Oh, come on! Don't tell me you listen to Barney all day long!) and she'd heard the lyrics to the song Don't Trust Me by 3OH!3.

Although I normally flip the station if a song with inappropriate lyrics comes on, Daddy missed it and MH doesn't miss a beat.

(I must add here that DH is a wonderful daddy and I'm in no way insinuating otherwise)

Daddy's response? "Oh, that just means moving your hips and dancing."

To which she broke into full-on hip-swinging head-bopping action and asked "Like this?"

After confirmation that her understanding of said concept of "talking" was indeed correct, they had dinner and never spoke of it again.

This morning, my mom watched the MH for a couple of hours.

MH walked up to her without a sound and started wiggling those hips. And proceeded to say, "Sweetheart, I'm talking to you with my hips!"

Which most definitely made my mom raise an eyebrow and stifle a giggle, but she just went with it. (she, of course, got the explanation later)

Dear Lord, we are seriously in trouble.

I'll admit that though I find the following lyrics completely offensive, the song has a great beat and gets me moving.

Shush girl, shut your lips
Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.

I'll be interested to hear what Kidz Bop 17 does to modify that one.

Author's note: I feel it important to note that 95% of our musical time in the car is filled with Music Together, Kidz Bop, Disney, and Sesame Street CDs. The other 5% we go wild with a variety of Top 40, classic rock, 70's, 80's, disco, funk, and the like so we keep a bit of sanity she has a well-rounded musical palate.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

(Almost) WW - Dancing Queen, er, Princess . . .

Yes, blog neglect has its price.

I am playing catch-up, and am quite sure I'll never get all of the stuff I want to chronicle here in one piece.


I could not let the monumentous occasion of The Mad Hatter's first dance recital pass by without a blog entry.

She was a rock star.

She was out of sync with all of the other little girls (who were all out of sync with each other).

She clapped for herself on stage when she heard the audience clapping.

And she made me so. unbelievably. PROUD.

She is fearless, and she danced on that stage like no one was watching.

My wish for her is that she is forever as gregarious and confident as she was up there that night.

A girl can dream, right?

Gone on the Fourth of July

Yes, I do realize that today is July 15th, and I am writing a post about the 4th of July.

Since the sun finally decided to come out after what can only be described as monsoon season here in RI, I have been too busy soaking up rays at the beach to be bothered keeping up with my blog.

Priorities, right?

We had a fabulous weekend, but I suffered a traumatic loss on the 4th.

While enjoying a fabulous party at a friend's beach cabana, the Mad Hatter decided to show us her mad skills at pole dancing.

Yep, pole dancing.

And as I was frantically trying to capture the moment, a monumental crisis occurred that literally stopped me in my tracks.

My camera made a funny noise, beeped twice, the screen went black, and the camera shut off.

I was able to turn it on, but it would beep, flash E18, and shut off again.

At the time, I had no idea what it meant, other than that my camera would not take pictures, and while it powered on and off, the lens would not move. And that I was feeling slightly panicked.

Upon returning home and consulting my BFF Google, I learned that my camera had decided to bite the bullet. The lens was done for.

We shared a wonderful 4 years together.

Ironically, the camera was a gift for my 30th birthday. It was the year MH was born and I wanted something small I could always have with me, so DH surprised me with a Canon Elph SD300.

I turn 34 at the end of the month.

And again, I've received a new camera for my birthday!

Apparently, based on the information I read online about dreaded error code E18 (lens will no longer retract), I'm lucky we shared such a wonderful time together.

While I have an amazing digital SLR camera (received last year on my birthday), it's just not the sort of thing I want to be shlepping around all over the place with me.

So, DH and I did some research, went to Best Buy over the weekend, and purchased a Canon Elph SD1200. Pretty much the same camera, but with image stabilization and a lot more mega-pixels.

It was on sale, (but still a bit pricey since I was hoping to receive these for my birthday), so when we got home, we looked online to see if there were any deals.

Deals there were! We found the same camera for $35 less than the sale price, with no sales tax and free shipping. Fabulous, but it meant I'd be camera-less for just a little longer.

And just in time for 4 days of gorgeous weather that meant 4 consecutive days at the beach. AMAZING days at the beach.

I had to resort to using my BlackBerry to document several important moments - not quite the quality I'm accustomed to or would prefer, but captured memories nonetheless.

Alas, my reinforcement arrived today! It is so pretty and just in time for our family vacation next week to New Hampshire. I can't wait to break it out and use it!

I take comfort in the fact (although I'm not so sure I should, given the content!) that before the camera dropped dead, I did manage to capture these:

She is a natural.

And with my track record, I'm placing bets on what my 38th birthday gift will be.

That, and holding out hope that perhaps the Tiffany fairy might just pay me a visit after all.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gone Pickin'

Here in New England, we're lucky if it's not raining to be able to pick berries all summer long.

Strawberry season is coming to a close, so last week whenwe got a brief reprieve from the rain, we booked it to a local farm.

We didn't come home with too many berries, as the weather has made the pickins' slim.

And the majority of the Mad Hatter's pickins' ended up in her belly (which is exactly how I fondly remember trips to the strawberry patch when I was a little girl).

All in all, I'd say our trip was perfect!

Next up - blueberries!