Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mommy Paparazza...

Hi interweb folks!

I need to admit that I have a problem. I am a Mommy Paparazza (and sMother). I take countless photos and videos of The Boy. So much that when he sees the DSLR, hears the chime of the camcorder or smartphone camera, he immediately stops what he is doing and smiles and poses…even if he’s crying. It’s super adorable except when I’m trying to capture him doing something cute or mischievous without disrupting said behavior.

Enough with the camera woman! Can’t you see I’m busy being cute here?

I have amassed quite the collection of photos and videos which started spiral out of control. Luckily I was able to intercept and tame the beast (kinda) before it became another thing that overwhelmed me.  It took a little work in the beginning and it still takes a little time to maintain.  I like having easy access to my photos and videos so I don’t mind the work too much, even though I constantly remind Baby Daddy that he should be grateful that SOMEONE keeps things organized around here.

There is a method to my madness of keeping organized. I have a photo and video filing system that works or me. Once every few weeks I download from the cameras, do some light editing and upload to my Flickr account. I created a master folder for The Boy on my PC, with sub-folders for each month since his birth. This is where the photos live initially.  I eventually move them to a backup network drive to avoid using up all of my CPU space. I also created corresponding sets in my Flickr account. Uploading the relevant photos and videos for the month is much easier for me when I pull from one folder. I often start an upload and leave it running while I catch up important issues like the happenings of Genoa City   or the shenanigans around the upcoming federal elections.

There are times though, when my DSLR or camcorder is not easily accessible but my smartphone is within reach. Fortunately, my phone is equipped with both still and video camera functions and is Wi-Fi enabled. It is really handy to catch little snippets of The Boy in action. Wi-Fi is great because I can instantly upload to my Flickr, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube accounts, using my home network so I save on data charges.

I linked my Twitter, Flickr and YouTube accounts to my Facebook account so my friends can see when a new batch of photos is available for perusing and admiring. We have numerous friends and relatives who do not get to see The Boy often so this is a great way for them to keep up with him.  

I do an adequate job as a Mommy Paparazza right now but need to learn some photography skills. Maybe the Mother’s Day Fairy will enroll me in a photography class.

How do you manage your content?  Check out my friends at the Intel Canada Facebook page for tips on organizing your PC.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tunnel vision and Schadenfreude

Hi friends, 

I sometimes have tunnel vision. I find myself in a suck situation and can’t see past it. I wallow, get sad and depressed and just want to punch anyone who tells me “you’ll be fine, things will work out, everything happens for a reason.” In the middle of my self-pity party that is the last thing I want to hear. I want to hear “They suck! There are stupid! You are right! They are wrong…etc.!”

I get out of the funk eventually but there is usually some residual anger. I am not above admitting that I do enjoy any Schadenfreude that may come the way of the party/parties that wronged me. I used to beat myself up about being a bad person but I’ve come to realize that it’s human nature. Also, after I have a little chuckle, the little angel on my shoulder takes over and I feel sympathetic. Unless, the person/people were seriously evil, then I feel justified.

Ok enough negativeness! I’m so glad I started this blog. Just wiring helps me feel better. As you may have guessed, I was recently experienced some disappointment but I’m going to try to get over the tunnel vision. After all, The Boy can’t yet feed and clothe himself and someone needs to give him some belly kisses. That’s a job I’ll gladly do. What would we do without baby giggles? Someone needs to bottle that stuff and sell it.


Careful, your nerdy side is showing…you don’t have to be an accountant to love spreadsheets.

Hello everyone!

I was recently doing some spring cleaning in The Boy’s room when I came across my stash of spreadsheets from the days right after his birth. Spreadsheets you say? Yes spreadsheets, let me explain. When you have a newborn you have to record a number of things to make sure all is right with them, since they can’t tell you. Details like the time of their last feeding.  If you’re nursing, which side they fed on, how many minutes etc. The quantity of pees and poos in a day. This is all crucial information for your baby’s first doctors’ appointments. For me, this turned out to be another series of things I needed to obsess about…I worried constantly that The Boy did not eat, pee or poo enough.

In my sleep deprived state, a spreadsheet shed some light on haze of feedings and diaper changes. I used it to record all of the minutiae.  And behold, at the first doctor’s appointment, when asked the questions, I pulled out my spreadsheet with the answers. The doctor looked at my husband first, then to me and asked “which one of you is the account?” “Neither, I just really love spreadsheets,” I answered. I know…nerd.

What can I say? I’ve always been a spreadsheet person. In my university days, I used them to organize my classes and schedules. Later on I used them to plan my wedding, plan parties, make meal plans and shopping lists…the list is endless.  Now, I use them to keep on top of baby stuff. First, the aforementioned eat pee poo log. Once The Boy was ready to start solids, I made a spreadsheet to schedule the gradual introduction of new foods. This eventually transitioned into menus. I wanted to make sure he had a balanced diet and was not eating the same thing over and over. The best way for me was to plan his meals, making a menu spreadsheet. Needless to say, he eats better than Baby Daddy and I. His means are all organic and antibiotic free, with the correct portions of protein/carbs/dairy/fruit. Baby Daddy and I eat whatever leftovers seem palatable or whatever we can hastily scrounge together.

The Boy will soon be at the stage when he can eat people food.  Right now his 2 ½ teeth limit him to purees and soft foods.  I guess i better start working on some menus for Baby Daddy and I.  


Get more great advice on cool apps and software for your PC at the Intel Canadapage on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let’s banish Tangled Cords Syndrome!

Hi fellow  interwebbers!

Recently, I was packing up my laptop and camera to take with me for a day of hanging out at my parents’ house. I love those days. I just show up with The Boy. He is whisked away from me to entertain and be entertained.  I get to relax, catch up on my celebrity gossip and watch cake decorating videos on YouTube (I live on the edge, don’t you know).  Anyway, while packing up the laptop bag I somehow managed to create an electronic snake nest…shudder. Power cord, USB cable, phone charger somehow managed to merge into one knotty mess. How did it get to this state? I really let it slide while on mat leave.

I used to travel quite a bit for work. Enough that the Nexus Card paid for itself in time savings. I picked up some skills on packing and dressing for the trek through security. Wear slip on shoes, invest in travel sized cosmetics and best of all, take those free baggies that they hand out at the airport. You know the ones that are supposed to hold all your 100 ml or smaller liquid/gel/cream essentials in your carry on.  They are super useful.

Travelling for work also forced me to organise my electronics.  I unusually had a laptop, smartphone, e-book, camera and prototype electronic devices with me. Each had its own set of power cables. I hate checking luggage for short trips so everything  needed to fit in my carry on. I had to come up with a system fast.

Here is what I came up with:

  1. Remember those free baggies? Put your power cords in them.  Each cord gets its own bag. Free is always good right? Or you can always buy some. (Side note, I employ the same technique for the diaper bag. Spare outfit, diapers, toys etc. each in a separate baggie that I re-use.)
  2. If you run out of baggies or didn’t take the free ones,  make masking tape your friend.  Use it to label your cords.  One day you may find yourself at the airport with no power left on your PC and your boss just called you about that report that you sent that he never got. He wants it right away.  Miracle of all miracles, you manage to score a spot next to a power outlet. You do not need to waste time dumping out your bag and detangling cords to find the right one, especially since you are getting the stink eye from that guy who was not so subtly trying to get to that spot before you.
  3. Take a look at all of your cords again. A standard USB cable can often multi-task.  It may work as a charger for your cell phone, e-book or camera when plugged into your PC (check your manufacture guidelines first).
  4. You know that little pocket in your laptop bag/backpack where you can put your name and address or business card? Tuck in a list of items you need to remember. Glance at it before you leave the house or your hotel to make sure you did not forget anything.

Now I just need to re-implement the system. What are some of your tips?

This NOT how you should pack your laptop bag for a flight.



Get some great advise on must have accessories for your PC at the Intel Canadapage on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Buying a new PC: techie geek husband vs. semi-techie wife.

Hello internet friends!

In our house, as in many homes I assume, there are always little battles being fought.  They range from toilet paper placement (I believe in over, he believes in under) to whether we need a new pc. 

I’ve been using Old Faithful for a while now and I love him. Yes, my laptop is male. We have a very deep relationship.  He’s been there with me through my pregnancy and now he’s there with me to record all the fun of raising The Boy.
Old Faithful is starting to show his age. He’s slower to wake up and he has a hard time running multiple applications (similar to some men when they try to multi-task). He doesn’t hold his charge for long anymore and I’ve even seen the dreaded “blue screen of death” a few times.  I fear that it’s time to bring in a younger model.

My husband doesn’t need much encouragement when it comes to purchasing a new piece of technology. I usually have to talk him down. He has trouble differentiating between a “want” and a “need.” He gets that glazed over look and I can tell his mind is running away to techie dreamland. He gets so excited and giddy and starts speaking in tongues…bits, bytes, video card, motherboard, RAM…I fancy myself to be somewhat tech savvy. I can keep up to some degree with him but it quickly goes into befuddlement territory.

Needless to say, we have very different research and shop styles when it comes to purchasing new technology. I like to review my options online but touch and feel are crucial. I tend to look for specifics. Can I store and edit my videos and photos easily? Can I quickly upload files to my Flickr and YouTube accounts? Can I IM, check Facebook, tweet and watch videos at once without Mr. PC slowing down? Will it fit in the diaper bag or does it need its own luggage? Is it light? Will it withstand tiny fingers banging on the keyboard (the baby’s not mine)? Does it come in red? These are all important to me. I have enough stuff to carry around with the baby and his paraphernalia. The last thing I need is one more heavy item that I have to parent.  

I usually start with the website of major retailers and manufactures and check out their deals.  If you don’t have a website, you’ve lost my business. If you have a comparison tool, you’ve scored brownie points.  If you have to option to tell me whether and item is in stock, I’m practically sold on shopping at your establishment. When it comes to computers however, I must to go into the store and play with it. I need the physical element of holding the computer.  

My decision making tends to be very emotional. I envision myself sitting in backyard in the summer time, enjoying a cool breeze while I answer emails. My husband is all about the technology.  We usually come to a compromise. He gets the power he needs to play his games and I get what I want…a PC in a colour that goes great with my skin tone.


Get more advise on purchasing a new PC so you can keep you with your techie partner  at the IntelCanada page on Facebook.

So some random person refers to you (and some others) as a loser on Facebook…right.

Hi friends!

Let me give you the background. A friend of mine made a comment about a popular TV show on Facebook. Some people said they like it and some said they hated it. I’m in the latter camp. Then one person says something to the effect of not to listen to us losers.  Maybe this person is just passionate about the show but do you really need to call a bunch of people you never met and know nothing about, losers? Maybe it was a term of endearment…

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating. High School is never over. Am I a little sadistic to take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only judgy beeyatch out there? I thought I was too old to experience cyber-bullying. I don’t even know if this incident qualifies as cyber bullying, it’s so minor but it bugged me enough to blog about it. Life lesson for me, keep my mouth shut about TV shows, people are just too passionate about TV. If only WE (yes myself included)  could channel that passion into something positive, like helping people.