Tuesday, February 19, 2008

technology hates me

I THINK I may have figured out how to finally get some of my videos uploaded.

First off, our camcorder is a JVC Everio Hard-drive camcorder. We got it when we found out I was preggo and Marshall was going to miss all of the pregnancy! I've really only used it a few times because getting the darn files OFF of it is so complicated. And it records video into these files that end in .MOD. WHY? Because JVC just wants to complicate my life. Luckily I discovered on someone else's page that all I have to do is right-click and rename the file ending in .MPG.
PLUS- all of the video files that I moved from the camcorder to my computer are massive- like 90MB for a 2 minute video. What the heck!? I have no idea why the files are so large. Therefore- of course- they won't upload to Youtube. I have no idea if the problem is with my computer, or with Youtube, but my first guess is it is my lame computer.

So- I opened up the "PowerDirector" software that came with the camcorder, imported the gigantic file like I was going to edit it- then chose "produce" into Streaming video format ending in .wmv (Windows Media Player) which then makes the file go down to about 3 MB. Yes, I lose a lot of quality that way and it shrinks the picture, but that's the only way I can get it to upload. Does ANYONE know how I can:

1. Make it so that my camcorder is not making these gigantic files??
2. Not lose all the quality when I upload the video to Youtube?

My poor hubby went to bed while I was still wrestling with this. I asked him "Am I really an idiot? I just can't figure this out!!". Smart man that he is- he said of course I'm not an idiot. Ah, he must love me so much to put up with all my grumbling about computers and how they are all out to get me.

So now you get to see a video of some of my friends at my baby shower this past August, hosted by one of my favorite people NINA kristina!! It really is funny, at least to me. And yes, my friends are music dorks.  That's how I like 'em.  Musicky and dorky.  Feel free to stop the video once you've had enough.  :)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Valentines and sitting up!

Man, I feel like we've been so busy- what have we been doing??  Time just flies by nowadays.

My husband sent me these beautiful roses for Valentines Day last week!
Last year he was in Korea and sent me flowers in Michigan- but it's even better having him home to see and enjoy them too.  Two years ago we were engaged and Marshall was getting ready to leave for the AF.  We ate at the Angus Barn, which was very romantic.  Three years ago we were just dating and I don't remember V-day that year.  (Sorry honey!)

I wanted to get Mdx some stuff for Valentines Day- I KNOW she's only 5 months old....but people...I couldn't let my little girl get NOTHING special for V-day.  So, a few cheap toys and some yummy food.  Exactly what she wanted, I'm sure.

Mdx first valentines

Marshall and I took the babe out to lunch at Applebee's- much cheaper and less crowded than trying to find a place for dinner.  While we were there a waiter came up to the table and gave me a carnation.  He looked at Marshall and said "Here's the flower you requested for her sir" and then in a really loud stage whisper he said "IT'S FREE!"   Haha!  I have to say that Mdx is really great in restaurants (please don't let me be jinxing it now).  She normally sits and watches us, sucks on her paci or hand, plays with her toys, or just passes out.  

Valentines evening we left Mdx with a babysitter- for the first time!!  We dropped her off at Marshall's Sgt's house, his wife had offered to watch her for us.  It felt really strange driving away from their neighborhood and knowing that my baby was back there.  I knew she was fine and was safe and happy, etc....but dangit- it's my job as her mother to WORRY!

We went to the base bowling alley, but there were no free lanes.  So- we went to Coldstone Creamery and got some ice cream.  Then we walked around Pier One, which was awesome.  I know that doesn't sound like a fun date to most of you, but we haven't gotten to do any of this in.....oh.....two years!  We returned to pick up Mdx about 2 hours after leaving her.  They said she had been fine for a little while after we left.  Then she acted fussy, so they gave her a bottle- and then she SCREAMED for 45 minutes, then she passed out (from sheer exhaustion I'm sure).  Great.  Fantastic.  That's exactly what I want to hear when we leave her with a sitter.  SIGH

As we were driving away Marshall said "They probably said "never again!" as soon as we left".  I know my ideal night doesn't involve someone else's crying baby.  Oh well.  

Friday night we went to a going-away dinner at Red Robin for one of Marshall's co-workers who is headed to Korea (sucks to be him!).  The place was packed, and I didn't know most of the people there.  Hopefully as there are more squadron functions I'll start to recognize people.

Last week we spent MORE quality time with the loverly people at the Saturn Service Dept.  My brakes were just completely replaced about 2 weeks ago- and Marshall's thermostat went bad a few weeks ago too.  Well sometime last week his car started leaking coolant- so it was BACK to Saturn again- and what do you think they found???  Oh yeah- the thermostat thingie-ma-bob wasn't exactly right and so they had to replace the replacement, and of course they didn't have the part and they had to order it.  I'm starting to be DONE with Saturn.  I could go on and on, but basically it involved me entertaining a baby in the waiting area for multiple hours. 

Here's my big girl sitting up- check out her long (er) hair!

longer hair

And one of her entertaining funny-faces.  You just gotta ask her for one and she'll lay one on you!

funny face

That's all from our MacWorld.  (That's not a McWorld in case you were wondering, not even close!)  We hope all of your Valentines Days were great, your babysitters are as forgiving as ours, and your cars are working well!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

trying to add video?

I've seen other people's blog where they added a video in the post.  Mostly Youtube.  So I figured I'd try it with this funny Super Bowl commercial before I upload any of our family videos.  :)

Oh my gosh I think it worked.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My baby can talk

Today Mdx said her first word- BA!  I'm sure it means "this is most boring thing we've ever done mama can we please do something else" or something profound like that.

:)  I've been talking to her constantly (who else am I going to talk to) and trying to get her to say "babababa" and "mamama" and "dadada".  She is a wonderful shrieker already.  Her favorite things to say are "EEEEEeeeeeeeee and AAAAAaaaoooooooooouuuuu".   And today, out of the blue she finally did it- all on her own!  She was sitting in my lap while I was reading email and just started saying "bababababa" over and over.  Her little mouth looks so cute, the way she curls in her upper lip-aww!  

Hmm, what else is going on....oh yes! Taxes!  I did our taxes on this military resource website called Militaryonesource.com.  Military members can use the H&R Block tax software for free through their site.  In the past I've used Turbotax (actually for the last 5 years I think) and really thought Turbotax was easy.  Of course, we don't own a house or have any crazy investments or anything like that- so our taxes are pretty basic.  But the H&R Block program was also very easy.

I didn't realize that having a baby would change our tax outlook so much!!  Since I was in grad school and only worked for about a month last year- our combined income was, well.....very low!  With the child tax credit ($1000) and the Earned Income Credit (um....around $2000?) having Maddox significantly increased our tax return.  We haven't decided what we are going to use it for, of course the list of possibilities is pretty long.  Some of our ideas:
Patio furniture
Long-awaited honeymoon
Retirement account

Who knows!  It's nice to have options.  :)