30 Day Holga Challenge

I took on a 30 Day challenge to take photographs with my plastic Holga lens.

This was the past month of images.  I hope you enjoy them!

A sick baby = a tired mommy

Dina Farmer Sick Baby Jul 2014 I’m not so sure what is going around where I’m at but it’s been bad!  My little guy has recently come down with what the pediatrician calls viral syndrome which is pretty much a viral infection.

The cure?

Lost of fluids and sleep.  Treat fever with acetaminophen.

I always feel like a really bad mom because my son’s signals of sickness are never the same.  Also I assumed, that he was missing his Dad due to him being gone for so long now.

But neither were the case at this exact moment.  He was really whiney and clingy.  He didn’t want to sleep for the first couple of days so he’d roll around in his bed and cry at nap time.  After a 2 hour battle I would finally get him to bed at the end of the day and he’d wake at 5am on one of the good days….

I was most worried about the fever he had because it was a low-grade fever that would go away and come back.  Finally we reached a breaking point where his fever hit 101.  Mind you at this point we’d already seen the pediatrician twice.  I decided to treat with some acetaminophen and see what happened.  4am rolls around and I hear sounds no body wants to hear at 4am, which is the little man throwing up in his bed.


I rush into his room and it’s everywhere.

Don’t worry I decided to not photograph that one…I was so busy trying not to throw up myself!

Off we went to the pediatrician to find out if there is anything we can do.  Of course by this time he is feeling better, eating crackers and we moved on to prunes about 15 minutes into the appointment.  He is so sick of her checking him and seeing Dina Farmer Sick Baby Jul 2014 2what’s going on.  I felt so terrible having to keep brining him there over and over because of low-grade fevers lasting so long and then the throwing up.  Finally, she prescribes some Pedialyte and says she thinks this might be the end of the infection since his fever is getting lower.

It was 98.9 when we went there.

We leave and I decide to go get Starbucks since I expect I would have a long afternoon ahead of me.  He is chatting the whole way.  Pull out of the drive thru look into my rear-view mirror and he is out.

Get him into bed (transfer was thankfully really easy!).

This is 12:30pm, my son is thankfully a 3 hour napper.  So I expected to have him wake at 3:30pm.

4:30pm rolls around.

5:30pm rolls around.

6pm gets here……my husband calls on facetime to talk about how excited he is to see us for his mid tour.  (Of course I am more than thrilled and the time is closing to him being home for a few weeks!)

6:30pm comes and my husbands asks to see the baby even if he is sleeping.  I walk into his room and I find him quietly reading a book in his bed.

Basically, he napped for almost 6 hours.

And it was pretty much night and day.  He was running around even with a low-grade fever of 98.9 still.  He was so hungry that he even ate broccoli…..which is rare…..I have to sneak vegetables in his food to get him to eat them!

Our dog never left his side expect at bed time the whole time he was sick and would even try to sleep outside of his room if I didn’t chase him into his own bed.  Even though they are not the best of friends (our dog was already an old man by the time the monster was born, so he wasn’t used to children..) he was really worried about him.

Dina Farmer Sick Baby Jul 2014 3 I think the thing that bothers me the most about this all was really the only thing I could do for him was to hold him and comfort him.  It feels so helpless to not be able to do much for your baby when they are so sick.  Watching him every day suffering with this infection and checking on him 3 or 4 times a night because you have an irrational fear he might stop breathing.  I’m sure this steams from his birth and time in the NICU.  I know that it’s part of being a mom.  It’s just so hard to watch him (the throwing up had my phone 2 seconds from calling urgent care).

He is so much better today and you wouldn’t even know that he had been sick at all the way he acts now.  I’ve been forced into a play tent, playing in an empty bath tub and running outside in the rain before a huge and I mean huge monsoon storm hit, it looked like a hurricane blew through the desert, we talking 75 mph winds here.

It’s amazing this gift our having children can be and how scary it can be when they are sick.



The Milk and Oil Experiment

Kumon Learning Books – Dina Farmer

Once again working with Kumon books, we are most certainly going to have to revisit cutting.  He just held the safety scissors wide open…..

He still loved the stickers and the coloring part so I’m happy we are getting that far with the books.

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Kumon Learning Books – Dina Farmer

Then because I still had a 1/4 of a bar of Ivory soap left over I decided to microwave it to see what all the hype is about.

This is only 1/4 of the bar of soap …..

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Ivory Soap microwave experiment – Dina Farmer

It blew up like a ballon!

I think because it is whipped with water. The water expands when it is vaporized (turns into a gas) by the microwave and thus produces this!

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Ivory Soap microwave experiment – Dina Farmer

My son had fun breaking it up.  He has never seen snow before because we have lived in the desert his whole life, so it was hard to call it snow since he had nothing to actually relate it to.  So we just called it inflated soap.  Haha.

Then after the monster managed to crumble every bit of the soap we cleaned up and moved on to another science experiment.


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Milk and Oil experiment – science for toddlers – Dina Farmer

It’s pretty simple and show density to you child.  I used colored water, you can use natural food colors or paint whatever makes the water change color.  Then I used olive oil because it was on hand.


It really doesn’t get any easier you or let your little one pour the oil into the container, I used glass so he could see what was happening.

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Milk and Oil experiment – science for toddlers – Dina Farmer

Of course the oil floats on water, because oil is less dense than water.

Now the fun part comes into play when you add milk!  Do it slowly because if you pour too fast it’ll fall right through the oil into the water.  If you have a turkey baster or dropper that makes it easier to add the milk it’ll create little droplets that form in the oil.

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Milk and Oil experiment – science for toddlers – Dina Farmer

A melt down happened shortly after because he wanted to taste the concoction and as much as I’m a mom willing to let my child explore this was one I had to take away.  Over all it was a fun learning tool and it’s easy!  You can teach different densities by trying different liquids.  I think you’ll little one might ask for more!

5 Tips to make Post Deployment easier.

All photos by the wonderful Emma Graham.


Farmersm12 So, your service member has returned home from a long deployment.  But you feel uncomfortable, because now the routine you had down pact for the last year has switched up with their return.

You worry that perhaps it’s not normal to feel this way and those two beautiful weeks of R and R have worn off.  So why do you suddenly feel this way?  You know you love them, but it’s just weird.  It’s almost like you are adjusting to a new room-mate.

Deployments can be really stressful on not only the service member but also the ones left behind.  Allowing this readjustment period to happen is perfectly normal.  However there are ways to ease into the adjustment period making it a lot more comfortable for everyone involved.

I have complied a list of tips for you to consider when you loved one comes home.


1. It’s okay to feel this way –  If you take anything from this, make sure you take this Farmersm22one.  It’s normal and okay to feel this way.  You have to remember you have been apart for several months.  Your service member has lived a certain way of life in a deployed environment.  You have also made a routine, so when they return it can be complicated to have a sudden change.

1.5. Just talk to them - I made this 1.5 because it ties in with 1.  You need to talk to you spouse when they return home.  Nothing is better than keeping open lines of communication.  It helps to talk about your feelings going back to 1 that way each of you understand what the other is feeling.  Nothing like waking up to see “clean clothes” on the floor next to the dirty clothes hamper.  You spouse might not remember that, that really irks you.  Talk to them.  You guys love each other!

2. Plan some family time - It is really exciting to have your service member home and I always advocate keeping R and R time to just being at home for those 2 weeks.  However after that time is up, go some place!  Visit a wonderful MWR resort like The Shades of Green or The Hale Koa.  Nothing like a vacation to relax and enjoy your time with your spouse.  Also helps to Farmersm27reconnect with the little ones if you have them.

3. Get some adult time - Remember why you married your spouse.  You love them and they love you! It’s really important to take that adult time.  Take it where you can get it.  Stay up and watch a movie after the kids go to bed, get a sitter and go out on a date.  Just find some time to be alone together, it’ll do you a world of good.

4. Give your kids time - Don’t forget that sweet little baby you have at home has to readjust too!  They have been used to just the main caregiver at home, so when the service member returns its messing with their normal routine.  Don’t force you child to go to your spouse.  Let them warm up to them again.  Let them be come used to them again.  It takes time but then once they are okay with their consistent presence around you’ll wonder if you child even noticed they were gone before.Done



5. Be intimate - Both in the physical sense and the emotional sense. You have to get to know them again, because both of you have changed.  So intimacy might be a little awkward to say the least. Don’t be afraid to flirt with each other and enjoy each others company.  Treasure this time with them because before you know it you’ll be on the cusp of another deployment.


Here is a list of tips I have gotten from other military spouses.  What would you add to this list?

Farmersm41For me, I have to force myself to build in “me time” – even when I want to spend as much time as possible with him. I schedule things that force us to be apart for a bit. Things are already pretty intense as you integrate, I need time to recharge. ———–  Kristen –  www.ifthesaddlefits.com

Let him do things his way too for a bit – even if it kills you! ; ) This is really hard for new moms when you have been the sole provider and you know exactly how to get them to eat, sleep, oop etc., but you need to let him try and make mistakes – just walk away or go out for an hour – but let them have some time to get to know each other (again – or for the first time) .———–Jennifer - www.militaryoneclick.com/blogbites


Hongdae and Songtan (South Korea part 3)

The last part of the 3 part South Korea trip!

We went to Seoul more specially Hongdae which is a district of Seoul, that is pretty famous for shopping and the TrickEye Museum, The Ice Museum and The Love Museum.  

We spent a little time in all three museums that were neat to visit.  It was packed we choose to go to Seoul on a weekend which was a bad idea.  Don’t do that!  Go on a weekday!

But there was a beautiful open air market with all kinds of people selling all kinds of things. 

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Finally my last days in Songtan after getting lost on the train so many time we made it home from Seoul.  It is not like Japan where I could read everything or ask someone in Japanese how to get back somewhere.  I was really a foreigner in this strange place and got mixed up and lost so many times even with the app that helps you navigate the train.  Dina Farmer South Korea 70Dina Farmer South Korea 71

I suppose this is the infamous Songtan Sally….or from what I was told by the bartenders.  Prostitution is legal in Korea as far as I understand so it was not uncommon to get propositioned on the street as soon as the sun goes down.  Dina Farmer South Korea 57Dina Farmer South Korea 56Dina Farmer South Korea 55Dina Farmer South Korea 54Dina Farmer South Korea 53O verall it was a very fun trip!  I got some yummy ramen and had a lot of fun.  I’m not 100% sure I would return for a vacation.  But you can bet if my husband got orders there again we’d be going with him!

The DMZ -The Demilitarized Zone (South Korea Part 2)

It is no secret that Korea is a country divided.

Without having to go through all the politics of what happened and an easy google search of why they are divided, I just wanted to share with you some images I took while on a tour there.

The DMZ runs across the entire peninsula.  It expands two miles on either side so there is 4 miles of land that is actually the DMZ.

This is the original train tracks that went from the South to the North going right to Pyongyang.  Beginning in Imjingak, these tracks are kept here in the hopes that some day they can be rebuilt and go back into the North as a unified country.  Imjingak hosts a shrine to those that have been displaced.  This point is the closest that South Koreans can get to the DMZ without getting special permission from the government.  Dina Farmer South Korea 30

Dina Farmer South Korea 31 Dina Farmer South Korea 32 Dina Farmer South Korea 34


The photos below are of Dorasan Station which actually does have a train that goes right into Pyongyang.  Of course us Americans couldn’t get on the train that was sitting out there but it takes a few trips a day to Pyongyang.  As a tourist you can pay about 500 won or 50 cents to go to the platform to see the train then come back.  South Koreans are able to drive to the North as well but it is very complicated and requires a lot of approval prior to the trip there.  Republic of Korea (ROK) Marines were all over the train station.

It was really strange being around such tight security even though I’ve been in or around the military my whole life.  I’ve never felt so insecure in my life, maybe because of the constant presence of the ROKs.

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At this point now we went to Panmunjom which takes you to Camp Bonifas, named after an American soldier that was axed to death in the JSA in 1974.  It is really, really advisable to check to make sure your country is on the list of those that can visit Panmunjom.  South Koreans are not allowed to go to this place unless they live in Daeseong-dong, the only village from the South in the DMZ.  Villagers live here tax-free and are exempt from military service.  Because of this men are not allowed to marry into the village.

The first major introduction and where I began to feel really nervous was at Camp Bonifas.  You have to go through some security checks and then you sit through a briefing, pretty much saying that you know you are going to a potentially dangerous place and if you are harmed or killed you and your family won’t sue.

Then we were takes to the Joint Security Area the iconic area where talks are made by political leaders between the North and South.  It is also host to a number of incidents.  This area also hosts the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) which separates the two countries.  Across the way you can see Panmungak, the neutral building on the North Korea Side.  If you take a really good look at the image on the top of the steps a Korean People’s Army soldier is peering at us with a pair of binoculars.  From what I understand they do not make the soldiers stand out there everyday.  And if they were out there the North would actually be looking into the North and the South.  The reason behind this was an incident where a Russian defector escaped the North.  Now the North looks into the North to make sure no defectors try to escape at least that’s what we were told.  We were not permitted to take images of the Freedom House which was behind us and the building we had to walk through to get to the JSA.

*A note on the stances the ROKs are in. – They stand in a modified posture of Tae Kwon Do.  The reason behind this is to make them look intimidating. *

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The U.S. and a handful of other countries still help ROK to secure the JSA although the presence is not as strong as it was in the past.  It is still there.
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This table is where the North and South meet.  There are so many microphones everything in the room is recorded.  Even when there are visitors like us, so just be careful what you say when you are in there!

This is the only point where you can actually step into North Korea.  There is another ROK on the end of the room that will keep you from attempting to leave the room to the North Korean side.
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In this image you can see very, very, very far in the background Kijong-dong or commonly known as propaganda village.  It is home to the biggest flag and tallest flag pole in the world.  I suppose the running joke is each time one side make the flag pole taller the other scrambles and makes theirs even taller.

If you look at the tiny blue building in the middle ground of the shot you will notice this is the location of the axe incident over trimming a poplar tree.  3 American soldiers and 1 ROK lost their lives that day.  Since the incident the tree was cut down and now a memorial stands in it’s place.  The building is still under ROK control but no longer manned due to the danger of the location it is in.  Dina Farmer South Korea 50

Leaving the DMZ you can still see so much security and ROKs patrolling the entire waterway.  Dina Farmer South Korea 51 Dina Farmer South Korea 52Over all the trip there was amazing, overwhelming and educational.  There was so much stuff I had no idea about that went on at the DMZ.  I can’t say that if given the chance to go again I wouldn’t say no, but I could promise you I’d feel just as uncomfortable.  Also there was an extreme lack of children on the tours so I would wager that children below a certain age are not allowed to go, for our tour it was 12 and above.

I would encourage you to visit it if you took a chance to go to South Korea just for the history and the strange feeling of quiet.

Up next Hangdae and Songtan!


TLC Vox Box

*Disclaimer – I got these items for review from Influnester*


This was my first Vox Box from Influnester.  It was a lot of fun because the boxes are themed when they send them out.  This once had products that have to do with moms and how we need to take care of ourselves too!


What was included in this box? 

Puffs to go:

I have used Puffs for a while, so it was cool to get this little puffs to go package.  I think they still need to work on the packaging because I’ve seen other tissues out there with much better packaging to keep the tissues in the package but I do like the tissues.  This one has lotion like most of their other tissues do and was soft enough for the toddler’s sensitive nose.

dina farmer puffs

Avon ANEW:

Avon has launched a new product line.  This product in particular promises to reduce the look of wrinkles.  I think over-all the product is okay, it didn’t exactly do what it was supposed to and didn’t blend in to my skin all that great without further application of make up.  But I think long-term use of it would produce results that someone may want.

dina farmer avon

Ivory Soap:

It floats!  I think because it is whipped with air.  I like the product for making bubble bath and bath crayons!  I think the soap works just wonderfully for projects and arts and crafts.  It is also a value teaching tool for science and it’s not a bad product for what its real purpose is which is cleaning you haha!


Neo to Go:


Neo to go, is a newer product from Neosporin that is now in a convenient travel size.  This way you can throw it in your diaper bag or your purse.  I have to admit that this product is so easy to use even my toddler managed to spray it on his “hurt” with only minimal help from me.  Great design!

Breyer’s Gelato:

Not too big that you have to stash this product in your freezer, I think it’s a prefect date night desert!  I got a coupon to go purchase this of course since it wouldn’t have made it to my home!  There are four flavors to indulge your sweet tooth with!

Dina Farmer Gelato 2014


Shell Fuel Rewards: 

Finally I received at Shell Fuel Rewards card.  You can use this card at most places in the country and save 3 cents per gallon.  It’s a pretty nice solution to saving money in this ever-growing gas economy.  Signing up is free and easy to do!

This vox box was a lot of fun!  I hope you’ll try out some of the products!!!