Tuesday, May 31, 2011

KJ Does Not Like My Music

Yesterday I was playing a music video on the computer and KJ came running into the room telling me that he doesn't like it. He had a very interesting way of telling me what he wanted tho.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Triplets and the Days of the Week

The triplets were eating lunch and trying to remember the days of the week. They've been really interested in the days of the week lately because they've realized that some days mommy stays home with them (on the weekends) and most of the time daddy stays home with them (when I'm not working a wedding). I think they're getting bored with daddy, because they get a lot more excited when mommy is staying home with them.

They also know when I'm taking their picture or video, and love seeing themselves on my phone.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Triplets Around the House

Now that the weather is a little warmer, the first thing the kids ask me when they wake up is whether or not we're going outside to play. Since it's been raining nonstop here for what seems like months, we get out whenever we can. The other day was one of those days.

Check out the "flames" KJ added to his car.

Juli still loves t-ball. I think she needs to open her stance a little.

KJ showing the girls how it's done.

More bubble time.

Elisha decided to lay down a bunt.

I captured Elisha giving Juli a push. They did this on their own, completely unprompted!

Elisha wanted a push.
I had to convince Juli that since Elisha gave her a push, she should give Elisha a push.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tech Review: USB Wall Outlets

I'm not really sure where I first saw these, but as soon as I laid eyes on them, I knew I had to have one, okay, maybe two, but that would be enough. For now.

After frantically searching Google, I finally found what I was lusting after looking for at fastmac.com. It's called the U-Socket, a wall outlet with built in USB ports to power and/or charge your USB devices.

I started the install by cutting power to the outlets (always a smart move when dealing with power). I decided to start with the outlet closest to my computer desk. I removed the plate and the old outlet and connected the wires to the new U-Socket. Unfortunately, the U-Socket was too big to fit in the pre-World War II electrical box. Apparently electricians back then did not have the foresight to know that we would need to install bigger power outlets that allowed us to conveniently charge our USB devices. So, after deciding not to put another hole in our wall (for the time-being) I put the old outlet back in it's place and moved on to the second outlet I wanted to replace.

Lucky for me, this was an outlet that we had either added or replaced (I really can't remember) when we were re-wiring our house, so the box was newer and roomier. The U-Socket fit in perfectly. Once everything was in place I turned the breakers back on and presto! - I had power to charge my iPhone, iPod, or other USB device without a power adapter.

I do have one complaint, and that's the placement of the USB ports. If you have a power adapter for another device plugged in that's bigger than a normal power cord, it's probably going to block access to one of the ports. Moving the ports up or down slightly would make them more accessible when you have large power adapters plugged in.

I know it's geeky, and probably not necessary, but when you have three iPod Touches, two iPhones, and iPad, bluetooth headsets, a Flip video camera and a handful of other devices that utilize a USB connection to charge their batteries, you're going to look for a more convenient way to charge them. fastmac.com has provided us with a pretty good option in the U-Socket.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review by fastmac.com or any other company. These opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Juli and the Little Dolls

Every child gets attached to certain toys. For most it's probably a stuffed animal, like Elisha and her puppy. For others, it might be a doll, or car, or tractor. For Juli, it's the smallest dolls she can find.

Currently, Juli is very attached to tiny Ariel and Snow White dolls. These dolls cause daily headaches because they are very easy to lose, and Juli loses them all the time. Snow white was missing for several weeks until she turned up at my Mother-in-law's house this weekend. She was here Sunday night, and Monday morning she was missing. She reappeared Monday afternoon, only to go missing again Tuesday morning. Thankfully Ariel is still around, or Juli would be heart-broken.

One other interesting tidbit, Juli prefers that they have no clothes on most of the time. Thank goodness the manufacturer painted on underwear. I just hope these things weren't made in China with lead paint.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cleveland Indians Social Media Suite

On Friday I had the opportunity to sit in the new Cleveland Indians Social Suite. Last season, the Social Media seats were on a Deck out in left field, next to the Home Run Porch. This is a major upgrade! I'm a little upset that I didn't take my Nikon D700 with me to take pictures. Of course, I had my iPhone with me to take a few snapshots and video.

If you don't know what the Social Suite is about, it's reserved for people who use twitter and facebook and blog regularly. They provide us with free wireless internet in the suite, and we post tweets, statuses and pictures/video throughout the game. The tickets are free, but you do have to apply for them, and prove that you're "kind of a big deal" in the social media world. For more info, head on over to the Cleveland Indians Social Suite web page.

There were even some shenanigans among us, as Chad decided it would be a good idea to eat a nacho completely covered in salsa while wearing a white shirt. Amazingly, I don't think he got any on his shirt. Good job Chad!

After the game there was a fireworks display, and we were moved down to the dugout to watch it. Pretty cool view from down there.

Our view from the suite.

Beverage of choice.

View of the fireworks from the dugout.

A little video of the fireworks from the recorded from the dugout.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tech Review: Clear 4G Wireless Internet

A little over a month ago we switched our internet provider from AT&T DSL to Clear 4G Wireless Internet. I couldn't be happier.

The service we were getting from AT&T was supposed to be 1Mbps download, but it was generally more like 768Kbps. It doesn't seem like much of a difference, but in today's world of streaming video, every little bit counts. We couldn't stream a video from Netflix to the Apple TV without it pausing every five minutes to buffer. It was quite frustrating.

I had done some research and found that Clear would be a good choice for us. Our house happens to sit just about in the middle of two of their cell towers, so we get a pretty good signal. There's no hard installation to the house (no phone or coax cable), just a wireless modem that we sat on the desk by a window (the best spot to get a good signal).

After we got the modem set up and were up and running, I immediately pointed my browser to Speedtest.net to see what kind of improvement we'd made over AT&T. It wasn't a huge improvement, but it was significant. I routinely check our speeds and get results of 4 - 6Mbps. The lowest I've ever seen was around 2Mbps, which is still more than twice what I was getting with AT&T.

Streaming Netflix through the AppleTV is much better now with no pausing to buffer. YouTube videos load much faster, my pictures upload faster, everything is much faster.

There was one little problem that we noticed shortly after we set everything up. Every once in a while, we would lose our connection. We would have to log into the modem and force it to reconnect. It seemed to happen at random times. Some days I would have to reconnect ten or fifteen times, some days not at all. It seemed to be completely random. After a frustrating few days of having to reset the connection what seemed like a gazillion times, I hit the web and started to search for other users who had a similar problem.

I came across a post in a support forum from someone having the same exact problem we were having. In one of the responses, a user suggested moving the modem further away from the wireless router. Our router was sitting right next to our modem. I moved the modem about four feet away from the router, and haven't had to reset the connection once. And, since I moved the modem higher up on a shelf, we seem to be getting even faster speeds. Bonus!

Now, I've read a lot of reports on the web about how terrible Clear's customer support is. I haven't had to call them yet, so I can't say whether they're good or bad. I can say that if you live in their coverage area and want a better ISP, Clear is definitely a good option.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review by Clear or any other company. These opinions are my own and have not been influenced by anyone.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chatty Elisha

I was watching some old videos of the kids the other day and this one struck me as particularly cute and funny. I figured I'd share it with you here. Enjoy.

Note: this video was taken in April of 2010, which would make the triplets about two and a half years old.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Triplets Around the House

Last week, between thunderstorms, I got the kids outside to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather. We usually don't get weather this hot until June or July around here. Don't worry, this week we should be back to normal and everyone will be complaining about how cold it is. Except the kids. As long as it's warm enough to get outside to play, you won't hear any complaints from those three!

Friday, May 13, 2011

KJ and Cars 2

Last night as the kids were watching a movie as we do almost every night before bed, I was surfing Facebook and Twitter on my phone and came across a post about a new Cars 2 trailer available through iTunes. I previewed it on my phone, then, when the kids movie was over, I tried to find it on the AppleTV. Oddly enough, I had some trouble finding it, so I went over to the search page and started to type out c-a-r-s-2.

Now, at this point, the kids have not seen nor heard of the fact that there is going to be a new Cars movie out next month. We have watched the first Cars movie 6,358,973,258 times, so I figured they’d be pretty excited to see the trailer.

As I’m typing out Cars 2 on the Apple TV, I get to “r” and KJ says, “We see new Cars movie?” My jaw dropped. The kid knows how to read “cars”. I mean, it’s not that big of a surprise given the number of times we’ve watched the movie, but still, he’s three and a half years old.

I’m still not sure if he was just guessing, or if he did in fact figure out there was a new Cars movie coming out. I mean, it’s possible that someone else told him about it at some point, but I’m sure he would have asked me about it before now. Either way, these kids never cease to amaze me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

KJ Knows Twitter

The triplets are always interested in what Gretchen and I are doing on our phones all of the time. Usually it's just email and Facebook, maybe Angry Birds, sometimes it's Twitter. I love the way KJ says Twitter so much that I had to record it and share it with you. I also love the expression on his face as he says it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easter Egg Hunt

It's been so wet and rainy and cold around here that we never got the chance to get the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt. So, this weekend, while we were visiting my in-laws, we threw some eggs around the front yard for the kids to "find". They had a blast.

KJ was shaking each egg, if it rattled (money) he threw it back down, if it didn't rattle (candy) he put it in his bag.

I actually got Juli to stop and pose for the camera for a second.
Elisha did not want to be bothered by pictures, she had eggs to pick up.

Juli decided that she was done with the eggs and went off to pick some flowers.

A kiss for Mama!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Getting the Triplets Outside

Between everyone getting sick and Mother Nature trying to wash everything away, it's been difficult to get the kids outside to play lately. They ask every day if we get to go outside to play - it's usually the first thing out of KJ's mouth.

Seriously, if it rains any more, I'm going to start building an ark. I haven't even begun to work on the garden, mostly because I'd have to put on waders just to get back there. Our back yard is a pond. Fish could seriously live in it for most of the spring. Check out these pictures from last spring. I haven't taken any of it this year, but it's been just as bad.

Today we had a short break in the weather, so we not only went outside to play, but I took the camera out as well. Of course the kids had a blast. Elisha is still a little freaked out about bugs flying into her ear, so she has to have her hood up at all times. I'm not sure what she's going to do when it's warm enough to go without jackets. Should be fun!

KJ really wanted me to push him on the swing, but I was taking pictures,
so he decided he wasn't going to look at the camera.

Close, but still not looking at the camera.

Look at those eyes!

She's still got her hood up.

Still not looking at the camera.

Can you tell which girl is the clown?