Kodak PIXPRO SP360 Review

You probably remember back in March when I tried out Kodak’s PIXPRO SP1 Action Cam. We made a video and won the Mom’s MVP Video Challenge. You might also remember were having so much fun with it we lost our first camera in the lake. Oops. Apparently Kodak has forgiven me for being reckless because they sent me their brand new PIXPRO SP360 camera to test.

Kodak PIXPRO SP360 review

This video camera is unlike anything I’ve seen or used before. The Kodak PIXPRO SP360 takes a 360 degree view video. You aren’t limited to what is in front of the camera. The curved lens means is captures everything.

I’ll admit there is a bit of a learning curve when using this camera. It isn’t something you take right out the box and start making cool videos with. This camera has no LCD screen and needs to run off of a smart phone or tablet. I needed to download the app to my iPhone, then use the built in wifi to run the camera. After a bit of playing and trial and error, we were using it at the park, the beach, the aquatic center, etc.

The PIXPRO SP360 isn’t waterproof (Kodak says it’s splash proof) but that doesn’t mean you are limited to shooting on dry land. The PIXPRO SP360 comes with a box of cool accessories,  including waterproof casing. If you can imagine somewhere to put the camera, there is probably an accessory to help you do it.

Pros:

* amazing 360 view

* the ability to move the view after you’ve shot the footage, eliminating the need for multiple cameras (the first video below explains this)

* hearty, durable and compact

* a box full of accessories to help you video anywhere and everywhere

Cons:

* takes a little practice to use (I felt confident with it in less than an hour)

* needs to run off a smart phone or tablet

This video demonstrates how you can use the PIXPRO software to change your view after you have taken the footage. You really need to watch this to see the camera’s awesomeness.

And here are two more fun videos we’ve made with our SP360.

At the aquatic center:

At the park:

The lowdown:

While this camera is slightly more difficult to use than the PIXPRO SP1  the advantages to multiple views and not missing any action outweigh the cons to me. I consider the Kodak SP360 a little more “high adventure” than the SP1.

If you haven’t already check out our YouTube channel, you may want to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of our fun videos.

G-Tube and Beads of Courage

Apollo just received a new shipment of Beads of Courage and I was eager to take him out and photograph him with them before it gets too cold and wet.curly-hair-boy

Apollo was determined to undo the buttons himself.curly-hair-toddler

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Unfortunately, Apollo would only pose with his new beads, which he wore on his side like a bandolier. Oh well, at least he’s cute.

It was fun when he got this shipment. For the first time he wanted to string the beads himself, and insisted on using a new string (though most, if not all, would have fit on his third string of beads). As he did he asked what each bead meant. The older he gets the more he loves his beads. The more he takes ownership and understands his own story or hospitals and medical procedures.

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Despite my uncooperative subject, I was determined to get a photo of his beads.

I had a major parent fail recently when I told Apollo he was getting Beads of Courage from his last surgery. His face lit up with joy and he said, “Really?! From my last surgery? The last surgery I’ll ever have in my whole life?” Oops. I of course, meant the “this last surgery” as in the the “latest surgery”. I mean, this could be the last surgery he ever has in his life, but I can hardly promise that to a four year old.

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The other night I was talking to Chuck about how I have a love/hate relationship with Apollo’s g-tube. He said, “Really? I don’t, I just love it”. He went on to explain that he loves that it gives him needed calories and allows him to grow and develop. He sees no downside to it at this point.

20140921_9841 blogThis conversation came shortly after yet another frustrating morning for me. I set my alarm to get up early and do some writing and work for clients before the family awoke. Jubilee brought Apollo upstairs to use the bathroom, and once he saw me refused to go back to bed. He wanted to cuddle with me instead. I ended up sitting with him for an hour and a half before anyone else was awake. The longer he was awake the grumpier he got (had I not been up early, he would have come to bed and cuddled with me, falling back asleep). Then he got hungry and refused to eat (still a common scenario here).

As I explained my frustration to Chuck, I realized why this situation causes more stress for me than him. He is gone for 90% of Apollo’s meals. When he comes home in the evening, or is around on the weekends, he hasn’t already logged a dozen feeding frustrations for the day. A dozen refusals to eat. A dozen cries because Apollo is hungry, but won’t eat. The feeding issues really wear on me. They wear on me not because Apollo is tubefed, but because he wants to eat by mouth, but often refuses or takes in very small quanities. And I’ve now spent over four years struggling to feed Apollo (one way or another) every single day.

On the bright side, I am seeing an improvement in what and how much he eats. Recently at MomSpot (our church’s moms group) Apollo proudly showed me that he had eaten an whole mini cupcake. This is a huge milestone for him. In the past he hasn’t even attempted to eat a muffin or cupcake; bread products have always seem to be an issue for him. I made some comment about how great that was and he said, “No, Mom, I’m going to eat the whole thing“. Then proceeded to take a bite out of the wrapper and chew and swallow it.

Then cried when I told him he couldn’t eat the cupcake paper.

 

 

Appliances {Large Family Problems}

large family appliancesToday is a big day in our house. We are getting a refrigerator. In our house. In our kitchen. No more trudging through our bear-infested yard, on the lookout for possums and coyotes, just to grab our morning milk. And lunchtime jam. And dinner-making supplies.

{We have a second (even older) refrigerator we keep out in our carport, which has served as our main refrigerator the past few weeks.}

Our main refrigerator has officially given notice (and not even two weeks notice, unfortunately). Apparently keeping food cold for our family has become too much of a burden. Our eleven year old Maytag is no longer up for the job. Three times now it has slowly become warmer and warmer until our milk was soured and our food likely harboring stomach-turning bacteria. We did everything we could to preserve its life, but to no avail.

So we did a little shopping this weekend to look at our options.They are limited, let me tell you. Forget a stainless steel fridge, I want a titanium refrigerator. I want every shelf and drawer to be made of titanium as well. Our (not-so) old Maytag looks like it’s been used as the neighborhood playground. Broken drawers, broken shelves. Broken ice maker and water dispenser. No wonder it took an early retirement.

Along with titanium, I’d love the new fridge to be electrified. With alarms. And razor wire. Not because I am  trying to keep my children from accessing food, you understand. I am simply trying to keep them from: a) using it as a training ground for the Olympics and b) to keep them from using it as an air-conditioner in the summer.

Some people say size doesn’t matter. I have fourteen children, and I am here to say size matters. Size is everything.

Size is so important to us that we opted for a bigger refrigerator with no freezer on top. That’s right, we won’t have a freezer in the house. Thankfully, we have both a chest freezer and a fridge/freezer combo out in our car port (which is how we manage to stock enough food for our hungry masses). And with the hardship my children have had to endure in recent weeks of not even having a fridge in the house, I think they will do just fine.

So here I sit, awaiting the call from the refrigerator man, to bring us once again into the 21st century.

Bear with Me for a Moment

So, you know, the day after posting what a great time I had on a walk with my kiddos, Avi spotted a bear (read: BEAR) in our yard. Um, yes, a fat little black bear ambling through our woods (20 feet from our house).

Avi has a flair for the dramatic so her initial cries of “bear!” didn’t alarm me. But there was a little something in her tone that got my attention. I hopped up to see the back side of a fat bear waddling through the strip of trees between our house and our nearest neighbors.

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Right where Tilly took senior photos for some friends this last weekend (nice photo, Tilly!) Twenty feet from where my Jubilee, Tucker and Apollo had been playing, “unsupervised” two hours earlier.

Good thing we’re homeschoolers and used to learning things on our own. Our interest has suddenly shifted to black bears and their particular habits here in western Washington. I’m not sure if the information on this site has made me feel better or worse. We live in a rural area, surrounded by trees in the foothills of a mountain. I suppose it’s amazing that we haven’t seen a bear before.

But now the  question…is it okay to go running alone? With my kids? I really don’t want to encounter a bear in my quest for fitness….

What would you do?