When Galaxy Doesn’t Mean Outer Space

Disclosure: I am participating in the Verizon Moms Voices program and have been provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.

Funny story.

Back in May, I received an offer to join the Mom-Focused Verizon Wireless Blogger Program:  “This program will bring together an elite group of bloggers to share their perspective on how technology can make parenting – and being a mom in general – smoother, and facilitate the sharing of tips and other information important to moms today.”  I was intrigued!

I kept reading, and learned that I would receive

·     Some of the best, newest Verizon Wireless technology

·     Unlimited Verizon plan

·     VIP Verizon support and a private tutorial from a device expert

·     Special offers to share with your readers

Then we were given this link as an example of a post written for the program.

If you know me, you know I don’t have a smartphone.  If you know me well, you may know that I sometimes jump to conclusions.  My pre-paid phone is a Verizon phone.  Verizon = phones to me.  What else is there?! 

So. I replied.

Your timing is impeccable.  Here’s the thing.  I do NOT have a smart phone at all.  I know!  Gasp!  I’ve been seriously considering it, but haven’t taken the plunge.  This would be a GREAT introduction for me to see what’s involved and to convince me that I need one.  😉  I actually did just buy a new pre-paid slide phone from Verizon a few weeks ago.  That was a step up from my old flip at least.  Ha!  I’m interested!

With only that information, you can understand my excitement, right?  I’d be trying out a fancy-schmancy high-tech smartphone for 6 months, sponsored by Verizon.  We’d call it the “Does Amy really need a smartphone?” experiment, and I was excited to figure out if a smartphone would really be worth the cost.  (Because you guys, I’ve looked, and I just cannot.justify.the.cost. right now.)

Is anyone laughing yet?

I was expecting my “new device” on Wednesday last week.  Sure enough, Fed Ex showed up that afternoon with a package, right before I went out to pick up 3 extra birthday-celebrating girlies.  A long, too large for a cell phone, package.


Again.  Intrigued.  Also, I needed to add money to my pre-paid dumb phone (It’s a shame to call my phone a dumb phone, because it gets the job done and I really do like it.  I even text now.  Woo-hoo!) earlier in the week, but I didn’t because I was anticipating my new phone from Verizon.  Uh-huh.

Long, embarrassing story short, I pulled out the largest smartphone known to man from that there package.  Only, not really. 

samsung galaxy

Meet my “device.”  It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2.  A tablet.  Notaphone.  {Excuse me while I blush a little.}

First thing I did?  Laugh at my ridiculous self.  Second?  Add minutes to my dumbphone.  Third?  Completely and totally stress out about what on earth I’m going to do with this thing, and wonder how quickly Verizon will kick me out of the program.

Oh my gosh, friends, help a girl out!  What does a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom do with a tablet when she already has a very nice desktop computer and a laptop?  How will this (really awesome!  I know!) technology “make parenting – and being a mom in general – smoother” ????

Stop laughing and help me out!  What should I do with my Galaxy?!

(Actually, the Galaxy came in pretty doggone handy at Miss 10’s basketball tournament.  I’ll fill you in on that soon.)


  1. Well, there are lots of great educational games for the kids to play.

  2. We have swimmers in our family and our tablet has been great for last minute practice changes due to weather. Many times if the weather is iffy, practice will be moved from the outdoor pool to the indoor pool. This of course is usually a last minute decision that is emailed to the many swim team families. On days like that I always grab my tablet and check for any emails from the coach before heading out the door. I know I could check my PC, but the tablet really makes it easier and quicker.

    • I keep my email pulled up pretty much all the time on the laptop, but there sure have been times I wish I had it while out and about!

  3. Hand the tablet to your children. They will have it figured out in less than 5 minutes. In 10 minutes ok maybe 12 minutes you will wonder how you ever lived life without one!

    • That’s what I did last week at the tournament. They watched youtube videos, but I need to figure out how to download some of the game apps!

  4. 🙂 Funny and somehow I feel a little bit closer to you hehehe. Anyway, there are apps like the kindle app that would allow you to use your tablet like a kindle. Once you start looking at apps, you will see a lot of educational options and another great category is lifestyle in which you can find exercise apps, weight management apps, yoga apps, etc. And then of course there’s the games. I love word games like Wordament and so forth. Lots of fun to be had. We have used ours for a school aid on sick days where mom is sick and also we take it in the car sometimes when we are doing school in the car with one kid, while the other is in a lesson, etc. Enjoy your smart tablet. 😉

  5. I sorta thought the same thing about tablets but….6 months later…..I take it with me anywhere I have to wait. My books are loaded on my kindle app so I don’t carry a book bag with me anymore. There are financial / budget apps, weather, games etc. we use the tablets more often than we turn on the desktop computer anymore. These little babies are awesome.

  6. Sheila Laurence says:

    Get the free Kindle app and load books on it! I have an iPad and love it for that reason alone. They are so handy for waiting rooms, waiting on kids wherever :), but it’s also nice to sit in a comfy chair and just read (since they are so much smaller than a laptop). I don’t know what apps you will have available, but I have a couple of Bible apps that I really like. I take my iPad to church and can reference several translations of the scriptures being discussed. All the apps that I have are free (cause I’m cheap). I think you will love it!

  7. I stay at home and I use my tablet for sewing/knitting and crocheting tutorials in my craft room, recipes in the kitchen, watching netflix with headphones when I just can’t take cartoons anymore…basically I use it a lot! I have a laptop but I barely use it since I got my tablet!

  8. Amy – I don’t know, I have a tablet and its almost like a Evil thing anymore… My kids FIGHT constantly over who gets to play with it…But then it has it positive sides too…Good luck, I can’t wait to see the ways you make it work!!

  9. I have a kindle, and love it! I use it for internet when I don’t want to sit at the table or if I’m out and there’s free wi-fi. I use it for reading, there are tons of free and cheap e-books. I use it for recipes, I save any recipes I find to ziplist so I just use that instead of printing it out, works great! I watch netflix or catch up on any missed shows on hulu plus or watch abc while I’m on my elliptical machine. I’m sure you can find lots to do with it! Have fun!

  10. I was never into the tablet thing and didn’t understand what the hype was about, now 7 months later and a Kindle Fire I got from Christmas from my wonderful husband, can we say ADDICTED! I do e-mail, Facebook, (play angry birds), grocery lists, read books, find recipes, oh my the list can go on and on! I am a Kindle junkie now. Guess what I want for this Christmas? An IPAD! ENJOY!

  11. Elisabeth says:

    I don’t have a smart phone either! I do have a kindle fire and I use it for anything I would use a smartphone for…I’ve watched movies in bed when I was sick, listened to audio books on it, read books on it, played games on it, checked emails on it, use pepperplate.com on it (keeps my recipes, helps me generate menus, and from the menus generate an automatic shopping list which I can actually take to the store and check off!) There are simple games that I let my daughter (almost 4) play on it sometimes, but I mostly play on it and enjoy myself most thoroughly!

  12. Rebecca S. says:

    You can load apps for games for the kids. Wonderful when you are stuck somewhere and need entertainment. If you have Netflix or something similar, you can stream it to your Galaxy. Also my personal favorite, you can read books for free on it. If you can get a kindle app, amazon has some great books for free. Jungle Steals and Deals blog tells about free books for the day.

  13. Oh my goodness I use my tablet constantly and I only have a kindle fire! Netflix, Hulu + will stream, read, google, check my mail and fav blogs. LOVE! I bought it for my daughter (15) whom preferred fancy, expensive headphones instead for Christmas. I intended to return tablet and buy headphones but never got the tablet back and the hubby said why don’t you keep for yourself. It is just the right size to put on counter and look up recipes. I take it the pool, soccer, baseball, basketball, pretty much where ever. It helps keep my little one entertained when I have to drag him places. I would love updates on how you like your galaxy, thinking about getting a more intense tablet this year.

    • Well, updates you will get! 😉 I’m supposed to post twice a month about it, so I’m taking notes! I loaded a bunch of apps this morning while baby girl was sleeping. Am already seeing lots of benefits!

  14. Heather B says:

    I check the dirty dozen/clean 15 list at the grocery store and add coupons to my grocery card. My friend’s 3 yr old watched a show while we gabbed at Starbucks. Check FB and blogs while nursing more easily than with my laptop. Look up things on the go…& let my kids play angry birds when I really need them to be quiet and still (like while I get MY cavity filled.)

    • Lots of people tell me there are some money SAVING things (like the coupons) that they add to their phone. Handy! Total entertainment for the kids, for sure.

  15. I subscribe to the apple version for my ipad and iphone, but here is the android version: http://www.smartappsforandroid.com/ Daily posts with free & reduced price apps, reviews, and more. I use the kindle app and get free books via eReaderGirl and others, and I also have sent several of my ebooks to my kindle app. (I’m not going to live long enough to read all my ebooks…) Now that I’m not working for Katie anymore, there are MANY days that I don’t bother to boot up my computer, I just use the ipad. I like how quickly it turns on. :>) Enjoy! (PS, love the new look!)

    • Oh, good golly. That would tell me all the things I never knew I NEEDED, huh?! 😉

      I’m with you on the ebooks. There will NEVER be enough time! Oh! How do I transfer them to the device, though?

      (And thanks! I love it, too! 🙂 )

      • You get an email addy assigned to your kindle… Let’s see… Go to amazon.com, your account, manage your kindle, personal document settings. As I remember, you can upload any PDF.

  16. I use my IPad for grocery shopping mostly. It holds my list, price list, budget and coupons so I’m not carrying so many extra things a frees up my hands to handle my three kids in the store. My husbandtakes it to all his meetings to keep his notes in one place. Email, Facebook, games, and kid entertainment. It’s also a lot easier to handle for this nursing mama instead of a laptop which is much bulkier.

    • I am a super professional nursing/laptop user. 😉 I even blog while nursing. Good thing, or I’d NEVER blog! ha! But yes… the contraption is most certainly more portable. I still struggle to type quickly, but for browsing, it’s better. Hands down.

  17. I got a smart phone as a present when I graduated from the community college last year. I couldn’t justify the cost and I was fine texting and calling with my dumb phone but my husband got it for me because we were leaving on vacation and it might be handy. I’m lost without it now:

    -I have my Kindle app on it so I have a book with me all the time! I never worry about having to wait another few minutes for a practice to get over, I can read
    -I have Google Calendar synced to it so I have our entire schedule at my fingertips. My husband can automatically load his schedule onto the calendar as soon as he gets it at work. Plus he works nights so he can look at the calendar at work to check a date instead of calling me at 3 a.m.
    -camera. I use it all the time. Half the time the only pictures I have are from my phone but if I am only going to print 4 x 6s for the album they are great. My husband took 2 of the kids to NYC/ WA DC for spring break and got a smart phone for the trip so he could have the camera and not have to schlep the DSLR
    -Instagram to go with the camera 😉 It’s a fun way to share pictures
    -Pinterest. This is a new addition to my phone but I really prefer using it on my phone or on the Kindle Fire. On our computer monitor there are too many pictures on the screen at one time and I feel like I am in information overload.

    I don’t have a lot of games on my phone mainly because I didn’t want the kids (mostly they are teens) taking it to play them. I have a couple that they can play in an “emergency” We have 2 Kindle Fires so if we are going on a longer road trip or day of appointments I take them for games and such but they have to be on wifi, with your Galaxy you don’t need to find wifi and that would make me excited 😉

    • Dang it, Erica, you’re making me want a smartphone again! 😉 Really, though. Time after time after TIME people are telling me the benefits of the camera alone. I could absolutely see myself getting more photos when we’re out if I had a phone. No way would I remember (or want to!) take my camera on errands along with all the kids, etc. Craziness.

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