Saturday, February 27, 2010

This blog is about to die, at least for now

Blogger has decided to discontinue supporting FTP blogs hosted on custom domains and Haloscan is closing down their commenting service. So the technology that enables me to post to this blog is dying. Given how infrequently I post, I'm going to let it die a quiet death for now. You can still find me online on Flickr, Facebook, and own my own sites (not that I post new content to those much). If I ever get a wild hair to migrate my blog to WordPress I'll post about it here (and likely continue to use the same URL). Thanks to those who read. Sorry I turned into a Facebooker. It's really the devil and we will all look back at it and laugh soon.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Being in business

Running my own, albeit extremely small, business provides new opportunities and experiences regularly. But you know you're really a designer when you use Adobe Illustrator to combine the 1099 form and the 1099 content output by QuickBooks to get the printing to align properly. ;-)

Note: You will be fined $50 if you were to do this for the form you have to send to the IRS since you apparently have to use their official red version (you cannot print 1099 employer forms from the web--unlike pretty much every other form). However, the copy you send to your subcontractors isn't subject to these limitations since it's never sent to the IRS.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Take it

Wow, my blog has sure gotten...empty.

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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Katie Max

Photo titled Katie Max
Katie Max by Corinne S.

Where the Wild Katie is.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Bye bye monthly TV bill?

We've been using Hulu and Amazon Video On Demand on our Mac Mini hooked up to the plasma TV so much that we haven't turned on the TiVo more than once or twice in the last couple of months. I think it's time to turn off the satellite dish. If only worked worth a damn...

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Plagues, Locusts, and Other Stresses

This month has been full of unplanned difficulties. We started out the month with a call from the bank asking about some suspicious charges--turns out our debit card was being used online fraudulantly to make purchases. We've had various problems since then with auto-paid bills bouncing and so forth since we had to get new debit cards. Resolving this problem is ongoing.

Next came our annual 4th of July party, which was great but a lot of work. We also ended up throwing out a ton of meat due to unexpectedly low turnout.

Then two days later one of the toddlers at the party came down with chickenpox--Katie's first infectious disease exposure. Thankfully she didn't end up getting it, but I had to avoid close contact with other babies for the 21 day incubation period. :-S

Around the same time Katie was teething and cut her first two teeth. This was good but she was fussy for a while.

Right after her teeth cut I got sick with a cold that lasted about 10 days (with a 10 day cough follow-on). Katie caught the cold from me--her first--but she had a much milder case.

This is a hazy period marked by sleeping whenever possible and working as much as I could handle. Of course my freelance projects picked up this month as well. Benjamin had a big presentation at work to prep for as well.

Around this time it became clear that Benjamin's boss wasn't going to approve his working four 10s to take care of Katie on Thursdays while I worked. I was working until 4-5am some nights to make up hours I couldn't fit in during the day. (Now Katie's grandparents are taking her for a second day each week.)

Then the locusts descended: we discovered we had bedbugs. "That's okay," I thought. "Thank god we have a pest maintenance plan" (leftover from when we had rodents in the attic this winter/spring and had to replace all our insulation). It turns out, though, that bedbugs are evasive and expensive to eradicate so they're not covered by any of the maintenence plans. No, treatment for bedbugs is $150/hour.

So we've spent the last two weeks bagging everything in our bedroom, throwing away our bed, putting our belongings in the yard in black plastic bags on the lawn or in ziplocs in the freezer. We shelled out the cash for professional treatment and fancy traps and bought a nice new bed and all new bedding (we took the opportunity to upgrade to a King).

On Friday I was walking through the kitchen and heard an alarm the freezer. It turns out I didn't close the freezer properly and our electronics defrosted. Not ideal in this hot weather, but hopefully they'll survive.

Later on Friday our new bed arrived (after I scrubbed the room) and it's great, though they refused to take our old bed away (yes, I'd checked ahead).

Yesterday I opened up a few bags from the yard to wash and reclaim a few things. As I was loading the washer I saw a small bug crawling on bedding in the bag. It turns out it's a baby bedbug, which looks considerably different from an adult. (Now that we Googled for photos, I think I saw one in Katie's room too.) Then later last night Benjamin saw an adult bedbug crossing the bathroom floor.

So here we go again. I just can't believe the bugs lived through that high heat. I guess we hatched the eggs. Yuck. Happy August.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

We broke the weather forecast design

Clearly Seattle is experiencing unusual weather. Our weather forecast wasn't designed to accomodate three digits.

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cutie patootie

Photo titled I eat dirty birdy feet
I eat dirty birdy feet by Corinne S.

Lovin this pic of my cute 8 month old. Yea, I know I never blog anymore. Sorry.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

OTC meds and breastfeeding

When I was pregnant it was easy to get information on what meds I should or shouldn’t take from my OB. After I gave birth I found it was harder to get that info from my OB or GP—they often had to look up each med in a printed manual and seemed annoyed by my calls.


Someone mentioned LactMed to me and I’ve found it really useful. Since moms breastfeed even longer than they’re pregnant in many cases, this is a good one to bookmark. :-)


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

6 month checkup

Katie's in the 90th percentile for all her stats. Weight 18 pounds, 3
ounces. Height 27". She took her immunizations valiantly and the
doctor says she looks great. :-)


Friday, May 08, 2009

I love this city!

Maple, Katie, and I are walking in an urban wildlife preserve (we
wandered here after shopping at the U Village) with so many beautiful
birds. Somehow when nature and city meet, it's particularly poignant.
Love it.


Thursday, May 07, 2009


Photo titled "Feeding herself"
"Feeding herself" by Corinne S.

This past weekend Benjamin and I spent our first night away from Katie to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. My mom stayed at our house with Katie, who did surprisingly well. Benjamin and I went out for dinner, browsed at Elliot Bay Books (wishing it was Powell's), and slept at Hotel Max. In the morning we went to brunch at Portage Bay Cafe and then browsed the nearby antique store. It was a nice local getaway.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Traffic patterns

The traffic in Seattle gets worse when it's sunny and when it's rainy
(don't even bother leaving the house if it's snowing). The only time
Seattlites seem to do well is when it's overcast--good thing that's
2/3 of the time.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My egg gets her own egg

Photo titled Katie's egg
Katie's egg by Corinne S.

Katie, now freshly 5 months old, had her first Easter this weekend. Easter isn't a big holiday in my family, but Piper's family has an egg-dying and hunting tradition that I thoroughly enjoy and Sara was kind enough to invite us. We had a good time hanging out with everyone, despite being 3.5 hours late after a giant (and much-needed by mom) nap.

More photos on Flickr

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Girls in Mexico

Photo titled Look at my dirty feet! Look at my dirty feet! by Corinne S.

Yes, my blog has gone stagnant. What can I say? I am a typical new mom in some ways. ;-) Katie and I just got back from Mexico a week ago. It was a pretty last-minute tripe with just two weeks notice. My mom and Rich decided to use some of their time-share trade-in time for my mom's birthday. When they booked their two weeks they ended up with a two-bedroom suite for the second week. Being the incredibly generous folks they are, they invited my grandma, me, and Katie to come down and use the second room. We just had to pay airfare and incidentals.

At first I thought this was ridiculous. Fly to Mexico only weeks after quitting my job and ceasing to bring income into the house (oh, did I mention I quit my job? Oops.)? But my selfless and supportive husband pointed out that, despite not being able to take vacation time himself, I should take this rare opportunity for an affordable vacation in the sun with other adults around to help with the baby. So we did it. One expedited infant passport and a lot of rigamarole later, we were at SeaTac on our way to Mazatlan. My grandma (Katie's "GG") flew down and back with us and we met my mom and Rich there. We left at 5am on a Tuesday (ugh) and headed back the following Monday afternoon. Katie did great on the plane and received A's from nearby passengers, only giving me hell on the final flight home (2 poops and a 2 hour "don't move an inch mom" lap nap).

While we were there Katie had a bit of separation anxiety and didn't want anyone but me to hold her. She also started sleeping only catnaps unless I slept with her. Still, she did really well considering the upheaval. We never got in in the pool, but I did stick her little toesies in the ocean and the sand. This picture is evidence.

There are more pictures of the trip on my Mazatlan set on Flickr and my mom's Mazatlan set on Flickr.

For any parents planning to travel with infants soon (Katie was a little under 5 months during the trip) here's my advice:

  • You aren't required to use a car seat in Mexico and no one does, so if you're not renting a car or buying your baby a seat on the plane consider leaving the car seat at home
  • The extra space in bulkhead rows is worthwhile, even with the hassle of no under-seat space for your stuff
  • There are no changing spaces on most planes, so change the diaper right before getting on the plane whenever possible. Still, come prepared with your own little changing mat and some ingenuity for the blowouts that may occur with pressure changes
  • It costs 10% of the adult fare + airport fees and taxes to have a "lap baby" on international flights
  • Yes, you have to have a passport for your baby--no matter how young--to fly to Mexico
  • The little baby tent (KidCo Pea Pod) was actually useful, though I don't know if I'd pay retail for it unless I was going to use it multiple times
  • Kids under 6 months need to wear sunblock, not sunscreen. Good brands are California Baby, Badger, and Blue Lizard.
  • You're probably going to over pack. It's okay.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Alone time

Is it sad that my alone time consists of three beverages (none alcoholic or caffeinated), two cookies, two pugs, one couch, and a girlie TV show? Also make room for the possibility of re-binking the baby repeatedly or doing a little paperwork (but not both). Oh, that sound--the baby binking wins.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Airline ticket? Check. Passport for Katie? Check.

Photo titled My first passport photo My first passport photo by Corinne S.

This morning Katie and I went to the passport agency to get Katie her own international travel passport. Why? My mom and Rich booked a trip to Mexico and ended up with a 2 bedroom suite for the second week of their stay. Rather than using the second bedroom as an oversized dressing room (as I might), they generously invited me, Katie, and my grandma to join them in Mazatlan for a week, two week from now.

Benjamin has to stay home and work, but he selflessly encouraged my unemployed ass to go take this rare vacation opportunity. He's even going to look after 2 pugs while we're gone!

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Sunday, March 15, 2009


I think it says something about me that I envy other people's cool resusable shopping bags. ;-)

(Yes, I know I never blog anymore. Facebook steels all my random thoughts for posting.)


Friday, February 06, 2009

Rougher than usual week

Photo titled Katie's new harness Katie's new harness by Corinne S.

This week Katie was fitted with this harness to correct the formation of her hip joints and avoid hip dysplasia. She's not a fan, but is gradually adjusting. After a couple of major freak-outs, resulting in the overnight removal of said harness, we're working up to having her wear it 23 hrs/day. :'-(

She'll get another hip ultrasound in early March to see whether things have improved. Can I tell you how much I want that to be the end of the harness? I miss my leg-kicking, sweet dispositioned girl.

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Play dates...sort of

Photo titled Baby Snacks Baby Snacks by Corinne S.

I have been very quiet on the blog. I think perhaps I am a little shy about my entirely mommy-centered existence. It's new and unfamiliar. I'm proud, and yet embarrassed. What can I say? I may as well gush about how fantastic my child is and tell you everything I know about cloth diapers and newborn poop. Why not? I have blogged whatever whims caught my fancy before. Why should I stop now.

I regularly participate in various "moms' groups", though not the ever-popular PEPS since that just didn't come together (read: I didn't get around to signing up). I am a huge proponent of the First Weeks group in Seattle and would (and do) recommend it to every new mom I know. Even second time moms would likely enjoy it, even if they might not learn as much new stuff.

Another group I'm enjoying, is the group of women from my childbirth class. I affectionately refer to it as Lamaze Mommies. There are just four of us in this "club." We've been getting together on Monday afternoons and this week I hosted. Katie needed a nap only an hour into the gathering so I had unusually free hands. I took a bunch of pictures of the other babies, posted in a set I call Lamaze Babies. This one is a particularly funny, layered image.

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