Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Just roll with it

Becoming a highly efficient household via technology...

Growing up, I took technology for granted. We always had radios, TVs, telephones, cars, medical treatment, powered operated tools and all that other good stuff that technology made possible.  When those things tore up we cursed them, had it fixed or replaced them. It was just something that we never had to think much about.

 By the time I was old enough to have one, the pager was the latest advance and then when cellphones made it big, I had one of those too.  Maybe I was just too immature to appreciate how these advances made everything so much more convenient but I can honestly say I just didn't really appreciate it at all. And my life was pretty dang convenient! (My husband is probably reading this and shaking his head. His childhood in El Salvador was very different.)

Perhaps my parents were just so thankful that their bratty kids didn't have to be? After all summer days for the most part weren't spent crying to mom and dad, "I am bored". We did spend most of our time playing outside but when the heat of the summer day got the best of us we had the convenience of going inside to our cooled air conditioned house and playing video games or watching the boob tube. We were sufficiently entertained. When we became teenagers and were out and about with our friends and the parents needed us, they would just send a page or give us a buzz on the cell and by god you better get your butt to that phone and answer it! My parents had it pretty good!

My parents liked technology but they were also pretty thrifty people... They were quite ingenious if I do say so myself!  While other kids were sporting around their new flip phones my parents were working on keeping the phone bills down... So instead I inherited my dads old "brick". 

You better believe I wouldn't be caught dead on that thing!

I remember once pulling into the Piggly Wiggly parking lot  weighing out the options. Which would be worse... leaning down in the seat and dialing my parents on the brick or using the pay phone? My empty ashtray where I kept my loose change decided for me. I pulled to the most secluded part of the parking lot and hunkered down in  the seat of my 88 Toyota Camry. Right about that time my girlfriend Kristie spied my car and pulled in next to me. Mid-conversation with my momma, I unplugged the old brick, shoved it briskly under my seat and quickly sat up nervously trying to act casual by straightening the strands of my flustered hair. 

I was ecstatic when my parents finally decided to give me an upgrade but I never really had the feeling of what a technological advance was or felt like because well you see I was a spoiled brat!  It wasn't about how this item "helped" me, it was about how "cool" it made me look or what kind of bragging rights I would get from my friends.

Now that I am adult, I am appreciating these advances and I mean truly appreciating! Although I think it is important to role with the tide, I also believe that there are some significant draw backs to technology. Facebook for example. It is a great way to connect with friends and family especially if you live far away from them. It also allows your children to interact with family that they would otherwise not really know (like our little boy being able to connect with his extended family in El Salvador) BUT with that said, facebook is becoming the number one cause of infidelity in United States.

 My husband and I share a facebook account. It discourages people from friend-ing us with ulterior motives, helps sensor our postings, as well as keeps the doors of communication wide open. You really have to stay proactive about technology. Make sure that it is going to truly benefit you and your family and get the most out of it. 

When Juan and I opened our joint facebook account we also opened up a joint email account because we couldn't link up the new one with our previously used email accounts. Besides the benefits listed on our joint facebook, there were a few added ones for the email, bill pay and news letters. We set up our bill pay online using our new joint email. We both get to see the bills upon arrival and confirmations when they are drafted. We also get News letters from our Church and from the childrens school. This helps us both to stay equally updated on the important aspects of our lives.

Most of you know that my husband is in the military and that we have a very rapidly growing family. Our here one day gone the next schedules are constantly changing. There are always new briefings events and need to know information coming and going. My husband and I were getting times and wires crossed. A usual conversation would be as followed....
Juan:  "FRG meeting tonight at 6"
Andrea: "I thought it was tomorrow".
Juan: "It was but they changed it because of X"
Andrea: "Well I cant because we have open house"
Juan: "Shit, I forgot about that, let me get back to you"

Now things are changing a bit... Technology has advanced (for me)! I am not here to promote the Iphone or anything because well, most of my friends know that I boo who'd for months when I was forced to retire my blackberry pearl and accept the Iphone that my husband gifted me. I just couldn't get the hang of the touch screen and the novelty of "apps" and such seemed so frivolous since I was quite happy and content with what all that my BB could do. So what if I couldn't play "Angry Birds" or "Fruit Ninja" while waiting at the OBGYN clinic!?!

BUT wait... then I started to figure things out. I set up our joint email account on our cell phones and from there I was able to add important dates times and events to the Iphone calendar through our JOINT email account. AND because of the technology I am also able to set reminder alerts so when an important event is coming  up, it automatically pops up reminders on both of our phones.

We both have access to add replace or remove dates and set the reminder alerts.

ALSO... the Iphone has a "NOTES" app that looks like this.

You can add notes through your email. I use our joint account to make notes for Juan and I. We are practicing the debt snowball right now. Every time a credit card is paid I put the new balance in our joint notes file. If he needs to know credits and balances while he is out all he has to do is check the notes. I also put the grocery list, baby registry and our Christmas shopping list in our notes app, that way if one of us is out shopping and comes across a great deal then we can make the purchase and mark it off. Plus pretty convenient for Juan to swing by the commissary on the way home.

So you see our conversations went from the one above to...

Juan:  "FRG meeting tonight at 6"
Andrea: "I thought it was tomorrow".
Juan: "It was but they changed it because of X"
Andrea: "When did they change it? Its not in the calendar"
Juan: "I don't know, they just told me"
Andrea: "Well I cant because we have open house tonight"
Juan: "I didnt get the Alert for open house?"
Andrea: "I set the alert to go off 2 hours before open house, review the calendar, you will get the alert in an hour"
Juan: "Let me see what I can do"
Andrea: "mmmhmmm"

Andrea:  (note to self; first reminder the day before, set the second reminder 2 hours before hand)

ok, so we are still working out the kinks...

I have two kidos that will be at cell phone age before I know it... Does anyone know where I can get a couple of bricks? ;-)


  1. I`ll admit I`m behind the times with technology. I have an old refurbished HP laptop I write on, no cell phone, no tablet or MP3 player. My daughter refers to me as 'The Wilma Flintstone' of computers. ;)

  2. I was there once too and often when I find something that works, "Why change it"? With all that said, I will probably be sporting the Iphone when its no longer cool. :)

  3. leigh=guess thats why i have a classic car, antique ford truck and old kubota tractor=no cell phone and very old computer--i agree with you =when i find something i like i fight changing it - forever====guess im an antique lover

  4. Yeah Jim, I am their with you. Things were also made so much better back in the day too. Nothing makes me more angry than paying top dollar for something that breaks... BUT I admit things are so much more organized now that my husband and I are sharing notes and calendars via cell phone.