Monthly Archives: July 2014

legalizing pot

These days I have no stomach for reading about sick kids.  It’s not like I ever enjoyed it, but lately, I can’t help but replace the child with L in my mind.  I’m no big proponent of marijuana legalization.  It annoys me when my neighbors smoke pot or when people smoke pot at parties, or pretty much any time when I’m around.  However, I have never understood why medical marijuana should be illegal.  I think a doctor should be able to prescribe whatever a patient needs to make them better, and marijuana should certainly be an option.  I’ve read two stories recently about young children whose lives appeared to be massively improved by marijuana.  In the first case, the child was taking these unbelievably powerful drugs which were basically killing her – and were still not doing a great job stopping the seizures.  But her doctors were hesitant to recommend marijuana, something so benign by comparison.  The second is the headline on CNN today.   This child said  “mama” for the first time after marijuana finally mitigated her seizures after everything else had failed.  Among other things, it’s so inexpensive compared to some of the drugs around.  It just breaks my heart reading about these poor kids.  Thank God they’ve finally found something to help.

We moved yesterday.  I had more contractions yesterday  than I’ve had the entire rest of my pregnancy combined, but we got through it.  Now our house is complete chaos.  I had breakfast in a mixing bowl with a baby spoon and B’s cereal.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get a little bit organized tonight.

I’ve been holding back on doing baby shopping until we move.  Now that we’re moving soon, I can start shopping.  Yippee!  We really need very little – some diapers, some breastfeeding supplies (cream, maybe some new pads) and not much else.  I can only think of three significant purchases – double stroller, double jogging stroller, and new dresser.

Isla has a crib and a dresser from Baby Cache in natural colored wood.  I am really into light colors in terms of wood these days.  I used to like dark colors – cherry and whatnot – but these days, I’m all about the light.  Anyway, here are some pictures of her current furniture:



The dresser is available on Amazon, and I’m thinking of buying a second one.  It doubles as a changing table and has worked quite well for us.  However, I’m also inclined to consider a more upright dresser, since we only need one changing table, perhaps one like this:

Baby Cache Kensington 5-Drawer Dresser - Natural - Baby Cache  - Babies"R"Us

The color looks a bit different, but it’s very hard to tell how different it really is.  It’s currently on sale for 25% off at BabiesRUs, so it’s tempting.  It has more space than the dresser Isla has now, and it’ll take up less wall space.

Interestingly, my sister and I shared a dresser our entire childhood, so maybe I should just be more efficient in our use of space!  Do I really need a whole dresser per child?  It does seem ridiculous.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind having this dresser for myself.  I still have my childhood dresser, which is a little worse for the wear.

Item #2 is a double stroller.  I’d like to get a tandem stroller.  It should fully recline and thus be compatible with newborns.  I was interested in the Britax B-Ready.  We currently have a Britax B-Agile and it’s been great.  The B-Agile, however, does not have a tandem option.

Child Seat

The problem is that the bucket seat shown does not lie flat.  Therefore, you end up having to buy the bassinet.  The stroller itself is $375.  The second seat is $120.  And the bassinet is $120.  That’s a total of $615.  Given that I paid less than $200 for my B-Agile, this seems like quite a lot.  I’d only need the bassinet for a short time and could probably sell it, but still.

Does anybody have any recommendations for a tandem stroller?


We have warm rain today – warm by Seattle standards anyway.  It’s 60 and rainy.  Usually it’s 50s or colder when it rains here.  Anyway, I’m loving it.  I wish it would stay 60 and rainy indefinitely.  It satisfies my inner pregnancy vampire.   Sadly it’s supposed to get back into the low 80s with sun next week.

We’ve finally scheduled a moving date – Sunday is the day.  It’s oddly sad to be moving out of our old house.  B and I lived together for the first time in that house.  We started our marriage there.  We brought our baby home to that house, and she took her first steps there, smiled her first smile, rolled over, and just Sunday, jumped for the first time.

Before moving in in July 2006, I wrote this:

I sign on my house at 9. I’m actually not that nervous anymore. I think the hardest bits are done. I’ve seen the HUD statement, and it looks fine. I will get the keys tonight or tomorrow, and then I can move in. Yippee. No more driving, no more noisy neighbors, and I can start gardening.

My next blog entry, I wrote this:

At 8:20 this morning, I was eating breakfast in my new kitchen (Weetabix, yum). At 8:30 this morning, I was checking my e-mail at work. I love my new commute.

My new house is also quiet, cold and dark. Good old Seattle. I was tempted to figure out how to use my heat this morning. I think it was so cool because all the window coverings have been shut, keeping the sun out.

Nothing earthshaking, to be sure.   I’ve been blogging for so long now, but the vast majority of it is so superficial.

camera shopping

I bought a new camera this week.  I’d been wanting to replace my GF1 for a while because the video only works about 50% of the time, and you don’t discover it’s failed until you attempt to end the video.  Anyway, I debated a few options, starting with the tiny GM1:

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

It’s about the size of compact camera.  However, it takes the same size lenses as the GF1, so I’m not sure how much value that would really provide, and many people apparently find controller the camera hard because it’s so small.  I prefer to shoot in aperture-priority mode which means I want to be able to control the aperture and exposure compensation easily.  This camera runs about $570.

I also looked at the GX7:

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

This is a larger, heavier camera than my GF1.  With this one, I was concerned that it might be too big.  Some of the space is for things I don’t care about, like a pop-up flash and a built in electronic viewfinder.  If I want to do flash photography, I use my Canon.  Maybe I should look into Panasonic’s flash photography capabilities, but the cameras are so little, attaching a giant flash on top has never made sense to me.  As for the viewfinder, I bought a viewfinder for my GF1 and ended up selling it because I never used it.  With mirrorless camears, I find the image preview works too well to mess around with a viewfinder.  (On the Canons, on the other hand, the image preview drives me crazy and I never use it -always the viewfinder.)  The other major problem with this camera is that it is currently selling for $720, which is more than I wanted to pay.  Heck, $570 was also more than I wanted to pay.

The other problem is that it’s very difficult to find a place to hold and look at these cameras.  They’re not carried by places like BestBuy.  (They sell them but don’t stock them.)  I hate going into my local photography store because they know or suspect that I’m using them only as a showroom.  The irony is that if they were nicer and less snobby to me, I’d consider buying cameras from them.  As it is, the last time I went in, I felt like the salesguy was snatching cameras out of my hands before I’d had a chance to look at them properly, and they didn’t have any cameras out.  I had to ask to look at anything I wanted to see.  I considered buying both cameras off Amazon and just sending one or both of them back – big cash layout, but low risk.

In the end, though, I decided to purchase a Panasonic GX1:

image of Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

The GX1 is very, very similar to my GF1, except with an updated sensor and a few other minor updates.  It came out in 2011, a little over 2 years after the GF1.  Now, I have loved using my GF1.  I have a few complaints about it, most notably its performance in low light.  But the major reason I was looking to replace it was simply that it was broken (the video issue), not because I disliked the camera.  Therefore, buying the GX1 which is so similar suited me well.  I decided to buy a used copy off Amazon in “like new” condition for about $200.  I’ll sell my GF1 (clearly advertising the video issue, obviously) and probably get a few bucks for it.  All in all, a relatively inexpensive camera upgrade.  So far, I’ve been quite pleased with the GX1.  It’s not the excitement of a brand new camera because (a) it’s not new and (b) it’s so incredibly similar to my current camera.  I’m pleased, though, to have reliable video.  The catalyst for buying it now is that I don’t want to miss my new baby’s first moments due to camera malfunction.

My first “real” camera was my Canon 20D.  That was really an incredible camera.  I abused it like you wouldn’t believe.  I faceplanted in the snow while snowshoeing with it around my neck, took it out in all manner of rain, sleet, and snow many, many times, took it to the beach, often in windy conditions.  In short, I abused it horribly – and got great use out of it in the process.  The on/off button eventually failed, but B was able to fix it without much trouble.  Other than that, I had no issues with it, which is rather incredible considering that I actually bought it used.

When finally I decided that it was worth replacing it, simply because camera technology has progressed so far since 2005 when I bought it, I bought a Canon Rebel T3i.  Now, I bought it this winter (January) when I was in the throes of morning sickness, and I was really just too sick to use it.  As a result, I didn’t really try it out properly during the period in which I could have returned it.  I have discovered that I really don’t like it that much.  It’s hard to say why, but it is not my 20D.  The handling, menus, video operation – all annoy me, and so I don’t use it that often.  Therefore, I’m planning to sell it.  I think I’ll probably replace it with a used Canon from the X0D line, maybe the 50D which runs about the same price as this one used.   When I was buying this camera, I felt I couldn’t justify buying from the X0D line because it was so much more expensive.  The 50D doesn’t have as good of a sensor, for example, and probably image quality, as the T3i.  However, when a camera drives you crazy and you never really use it, it doesn’t matter what kind of image quality it has.  So we’ll see.  Lots of camera buying and selling in my near future planned, since I want to have all this wrapped up before the baby comes.

Canon T3i:

image of Canon EOS Rebel T3i (EOS 600D)

Canon 50D:

image of Canon EOS 50D


I’m so proud of my sister.  This is her second quote – this time on Yahoo finance:

“We’re pleased to integrate Teladoc into Castlight. In doing so, we can help our employer customers realize even greater benefits from their telehealth service than if it is a stand-alone company benefit,” said Maeve O’Meara, vice president of Product Management for Castlight Health. “The power is in leveraging the Castlight platform, making it that much easier for an employee to find and use Teladoc when they need it.”

The fact that her company is doing something worthwhile is all the better.


It’s hot here right now.  Way too hot.  The predicted high today is 90.  Tomorrow?  90.  The next day?  91.  Then 93.  Then 91.  Seriously?

A week or two ago, I was sitting on the couch feeling sick, watching L play.  I often feel sick these days, so I didn’t think much of it.  However, I noticed that it had cooled down outside, so I opened all the doors and windows.  The indoor temperature cooled from 78 to 72, and ten minutes later, I felt great.  Normal.  Healthy.  So really, anything above low 70s does not agree with me right now.

Add to this stress over closing on the house, moving, lots and lots of pressure at work, and taking care of a toddler, and I am a bit of a basket case right now.  At work, I’m having to do some testing that means I am not in A/C, and I have to move around a lot.  Not good.  And yesterday was a classic Terrible Twos day.  L is normally really good, but yesterday was just not a good day for her.  She start off throwing an hour+ duration temper tantrum.  Just lots and lots of screaming and crying.  Then, she passed out for more than three hours.  I literally cannot remember the last time she napped in the morning, and I can’t figure out why she was so tired.  It worries me a little, actually.  She woke up and was OK for two or three hours, long enough for lunch and a trip to the doctor for me (with her).  Then we headed up to our new house to get the keys, and she was just increasingly cranky.  We went out for dinner, couldn’t find a place with A/C and were roasting in this Thai place.  (We don’t really know the restaurants that are near our new house.)  L was basically being the obnoxious toddler.  She is normally really good at restaurants.  With the heat, I was feeling terrible.  It was a pretty unpleasant meal.  I was so happy to get home afterwards.

Anyway.  5 more weeks or work.  5 days of sweltering heat.  One day at a time.

the 4th

We are supposed to close on our house on Friday.  I’m nervous about it, because as always, it seems like everything isn’t quite sewn up.  But hopefully it’ll all go off smoothly.  What time Friday you might ask?  An excellent question.

Anyway, there are a fair few things I’m very excited about.  First, a/c!  We now have two window units in our current house.  I bought a second earlier this summer figuring we’d use it in our new house as well, if we bought one.  Very few houses in this area have central a/c, so I wasn’t expecting to buy one.  Even with two window units, we can cool less than half our house.  They are also extremely noisy, and the fans we use to try and cool a third room beyond the two with the installed units are extremely noisy as well.  Last night, all three bedrooms in the house were cool, but I felt like I was living in a wind tunnel.

Second, the new house has a below-ground sprinkler system.  Hurray!  Currently, we have a complex arrangement of sprinklers that must be dragged around the yard and removed so B can cut the grass.  July and August have virtually no rain in this state, and watering is a must if you wish to grow almost anything, including grass.  It took years for my grass to recover from the summer I bought the house, when I did no watering.

We didn’t do much for the 4th this year.  We’ve gone out of town every year for the 4th six of the last 9 years.  The 3 years we stayed in town were when I was pregnant with L, L’s first year (when she was 5 months old), and this year.  The 4th when I was pregnant with L was one of the most unpleasant nights I have ever experienced.  Our neighborhood turns into a war zone.  It’s really crazy.  It’s partially because about half a mile away is a shopping center on a reservation.   The parking lot is converted for fireworks sales, the vast majority of which would be illegal in Kent but are of course not illegal on the reservation.  We also live a quarter mile from a park and from a local elementary school.  This is normally great, but not on the 4th.  This year, we decided we’d had enough.  I am not feeling well enough for any kind of major trip, so we just went and stayed in a hotel in Belle.vue.  Worth.  Every.  Penny.  It was so nice!  We had a nice dinner out.  We were thinking of going to see fireworks, but they didn’t start until after 10 PM, a bit late for L, so we just had an early night.  Boring, but pleasant.  The debris in our neighborhood as well as comments from neighbors confirmed we made the right decision.

Isla helping me make an apple cake