Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a wonderful and prosperous 2007. May it be filled with love, laughter and all the things you wish for.


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Let it Snow!

As much as the no snow and warm weather has been great it just wouldn't be winter without a little fun in the white stuff. We got a little the other day, enough to build a snowman. J's first. And this morning we have woken up to another dusting that is quietly covering the ground. Some of the outdoor rinks are almost ready and if we get enough cold nights (ten, I think is the magic number) the canal might actually open for skating this year.
Christmas was strange with above average temperatures and no snow, but New Year's looks like it will be typical. Snowing and cold, perfect for putting on a dress and heels (not that I have done that in a couple of years, but I do remember those times).
Coming up soon, the list. I don't usually make New Year's resolutions but, I do make a to do list of all the things that need to get done that have been driving me crazy. It is already big and it isn't finished yet.

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Friday, December 29, 2006

Expensive Sports

What ever happened to good old running? Running used to be strapping on whatever running shoes you owned putting on whatever track pants or shorts that were in your closet and going out for a run.

Ever since I Hubby and I have been together he has not had an inexpensive hobby. And all his hobbies rotate regularly. Golf, Salt water aquariums, music (guitars, guitars and more guitars), mountain biking and the list could go on. This year it is running. On the one had, I love it. He is getting into great shape and is committed to running a marathon in May. But, honestly the cost of running is killing me. The shoes, the shorts, shirts, and water belts this past summer were huge. Now that winter is setting in, the pants, more shirts, jackets, special underwear, socks. Unbelievable. I just never thought that running could be just as expensive as golf. And really, the underwear? They were more expensive than my Victoria Secret Bra, and I wear it almost every day.

So, there is my rant for today, expensive sports. Don't even get me started on the hockey gear for A. Ack!


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Good News

Today was my official beta for our ivf. And although I have known for a while that we had success, this time I chose not to share it here first. This time I (or I should say Hubby and I) decided to tell the family first on Christmas morning and I decided to wait for the official results to share it here.

The beta came in at 3978, 16 days past transfer. This number is really high and could possibly mean a multiple pregnancy, which I would be totally ok with. Hubby, not so sure, he almost passed out when I told him the number. Either way I am great with it.

Now we just pray that all things progress well and we make it to the ultrasound on the 19th of January. Just one day at a time, that is how I am taking this pregnancy. So far I should say that it is more like the time I was pregnant with J, than all the others. I am taking that as a good sign.


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

What exactly is Boxing Day?

We had this discussion today and silly me, thought it actually had to do with boxing! Either that or emptying out the stores. The sadest part of all, is that I actually knew it was based on giving gifts in a box to employees or the like the day after Christmas. It is the feast of Stephen, something I learned about back in 1977 when I lived in England.

Boxing Day is a public holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom and most other Commonwealth countries on December 26th, the day after Christmas Day.

I actually remember when the stores were closed on Boxing Day and the sales started on the 27th. No longer. We thought we would try to get a new DVD player today because ours gave up the ghost on Christmas Eve. And well, truth be told, I need that little tool in my hands, especially in later afternoon when I need my 20 minutes. Well, the line ups just to get into electronic the stores were 40 deep. Hubby and I drove around until we found one that had no line-ups but great deals. Walked out with the new player and headed home to try it out.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, we certainly did here. The grass was green (hence the photo up top) but this morning, much to J's surprise, the snow finally came. Apparently just in time for the Blue Goose to take flight, which of course left my mother worried sick that my Sister was driving through the blinding snow. Apparently it was just for us here in Ottawa and she had a great fifteen hour trip back to Charlotte... I should mention that she is already two hours into her trip to Kansas City, she had to unload the Goose and pick up the crew for a trip to a conference. Oh to be 23 again!!!

Happy Boxing Day everyone.


Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Blue Goose, and other tales from the last few days

My youngest Sister arrived last Saturday night from Charlotte, North Carolina in "The Blue Goose". It is a fifteen seat passenger van. The group she works for has several of these vans and allowed her to bring one home so she could move the rest of her stuff back down to Charlotte. On one hand it is great, on the other it is sad to realize that she is moving down there and chances of her moving back home here are slim, very slim. All the vans have been given names and this one is The Blue Goose, there is also the Ox and the Feather, I think. Younger Sister's dream was to pile all us girls and the kids and Mom into the Goose for a trip to the Market on Friday morning. Not only did all the kids and their car seats fit (you can't see two of the kids hiding and the two front seats in the photo) but all us girls fit too. If the back row had been in we could have included all the boys too, but that would have been just a little too crazy and we would not have had room for all the strollers. We set off for a morning on the market, but we didn't realize that it was going to be cold. The wind chill was crazy, at least crazy considering how warm it was the day before. So we walked around for two minutes then headed into a restaurant for lunch. The poor waitress at "Zak's" did not know what hit her. There was eleven of us in total and we took up two rather large booths. For us it worked out perfectly as Youngest and childless sister sat with all the kids and let us grown up Sister's sit with Mom and eat our food. It was great.

After lunch we went for a quick tour of the Rideau Center and I would like to appologize to Tania Albert (in case you google yourself). I know we haven't seen each other since probobly high school, but I was racing through the crowds to rejoin the other nine people waiting for me to direct them back to the van with as little difficulty as possible. I hope my sincere "Merry Christmas" and huge smile was enough to let you know I was thrilled to see you. But, to weave through the hundreds of people to get to you while the rest of the family was waiting for me and wondering why I wasn't on the elevator (I took the stroller on the escalator!) was going to be very difficult. I hope that the next time we run into each other I have time to stop and chat properly.

The rest of the day had us navigating the Blue Goose through the downtown, now busy streets to get us home. As much as my Mom gave my sister a hard time, she did a great job getting us around in the Goose and it will be a tale we will tell for years to come. And now our Blue van has been rechristened the Blue Pigeon (as it is much smaller than the Goose).

Saturday saw us hit a few stores, very early in order to avoid the rush. We also remembered that the Pigeon, which my father has been driving needed to be E-tested and licenced as it was Hubby's birthday. So off we went to the garage with the Pigeon (which did not pass by the way and I have said that it wouldn't since September, but alas, I may be driving Dad to work next week). Then we had a small party for Hubby who is now 39. 39 you say, WOW! Yes, wow indeed, even better that he thought he was turning 40 this year, so he gained back a year of his life, whoot whooot!! It was just family, minus one Brother-in-Law who wasn't feeling well, but it was lots of fun. Us adults even got to sit in the 'good' living room while the kids played in the family room. Finally after two years we had a gathering where people migrated to the other living room, it was all worth it.

And now here we are on Christmas Eve. Hubby is driving A to his other Grandparents, we had Christmas this morning with J & A and will have Christmas with my family tomorrow at my Mom's. I feel blessed as I received a video camera, after all my tears last week, Hubby knew just what I needed to keep the memories alive. He also threw in a few other treats to help my writing career two books on writing, that I know will be put to great use after Christmas. J loved that Santa came early so A could be part of the fun. Tomorrow will be the big day with all his cousins. I look forward to it.
Then, the Blue Goose will be taking flight early Boxing Day morning, so I will have to say good-bye to youngest Sister and enjoy the rest of the week with Oldest Sister. Us two middle Sister's are trying to soak in as much of them as we can. Many a photo has been taken, and now to add video to the mix will just make me cry all the time.
To all my bloggy friends and visitors, may you all have a wonderful Christmas, may you relish in the time with your family and may all your wishes come true. Ours certainly have here.
Merry Christmas.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

1000 Cookies in three days

When it came time to fill the boxes with cookies for Hubby, it became apparent that ten cookies per box, just wasn't going to cut it. I had a new plan in place in fifteen minutes. I would feverishly bake another four hundred cookies, while Hubby went to the store to pick up chocolates and candy canes to fill the top of the box. The recipe I used is ccalled Merry Cookies. The photo above is just one way to do them. They are a basic sugar cookie that can be rolled, coloured, added to and frozen. All this is good because it means that you can whip them up pretty quick and they can look and taste very different with little effort. The garnishes used for the batches I made were food colouring (as in above photo), candied cherries (red ones and green ones chopped finely), sprinkles, drageés, and christmas sprinkles. You make the dough, split it in half and roll it between waxed or parchment paper. The cherries or food colouring you would add in before rolling the rest of it gets rolled around the outside of the cookie.
Merry Cookies (Holiday Baking 1996)
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1. beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. add egg and vanilla, beat.
3. in a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt, add in two stages and beat until combined.
4. roll cookies in waxed paper, chill in refrigerator (or freezer) until firm enough to slice.
5. place slices cookies on cookie sheet.
6. bake at 350 for 8 - 12 minutes. (Watch this carefully, as ovens differ it may only take 5 or 6 minutes or it may take 12. If you use silpat on your cookie sheet it usually takes 12, non-silpat is half the time. Cookies should not be browning at all.
Enjoy the Merry Cookies. Thankfully the recipients today enjoyed the cookies or at least they appreciated them enough to not tell Hubby the truth ;).


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Sorry for my absence, but Christmas and visiting is getting in the way. Littlest Sister arrived on Saturday from Charlotte so we have been playing catch up ever since. Older Sister arrives tonight with the family so the next few days will be filled with kids, kids and more kids. I can't wait, that's for sure. That and making a gazillion cookies for Hubby to take to work. Why oh why do I raise my hand?
Here is another easy recipe. It truly takes 15 minutes to make, then refrigerator time.

Easy Chocolate Fudge

1lb2oz Semi-sweet Chocolate (cut into pieces)

1/3 cup of butter

14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

1/2 tsp of vanilla

In a large saucepan on medium-low heat heat chocolate, butter and milk. Stir continuously and do not let it come to a boil. When everything is mixed beat in vanilla, continue to beat until thick (mine is thick to begin with so I just beat it for a minute or two). Pour into a greased 8x8 sqare pan. Chill in refrigerator until firm. Turn out of pan, cut into cubes.

**To make this one a little more festive, replace vanilla with peppermint extract and sprinkle crushed candy canes on top.


Saturday, December 16, 2006

Memories of years gone by

I wish I had a way of putting some photos from the 8mm film I have been watching on here, but alas, there is no way.

My mother had a box of old films from her Mother. It has sat in the garage at my parents house for the last eight or nine years. And before that in storage in Montréal. This past summer, my cousin in Calgary was telling my Mom how he just watched her wedding. Her wedding! She did not even know a move existed from that fabulous day. She asked me to ask my cousin to send it out. I kept forgetting, then I remembered, I thought it would be a great Christmas present.

The movies finally arrived. My cousin, bless his heart, did not know which reel it was on so he sent me all of them. All fifteen of them. I thought last night would be a good night to go through the movies. I started with the ones my Mom had and cried when I saw my Grandma dancing on the sidewalk at Niagra Falls. Then I cried when I saw a beautiful younger version of my Mom laughing with her boyfriend, a very handsome younger version of my Dad. There was even one from 1985 with all of us. A baby sister, younger sister and older sister and of course Mom, Dad and Grandma. My StepGrandfather and the only Grandfather I ever met took the film, so I only got to see him once for just a little second.

There were movies of New York City, a skyline without the towers. But, you could see the Empire State building, the Statue of Liberty and The Upper East Side. It was amazing. There were also movies of Newbraska and Delaware and Maine. I had a wonderful night of crying, laughing and remembering. I just felt terrible that I was not sharing with my sister's and parents at the time, their turn will come. Hopefully one of the last three reels will have the coveted wedding I am looking for. I simply cannot wait to show these movies at Christmastime. Then, straight to DVD so we can keep them for a long time to come.


Friday, December 15, 2006


An anonymous commentor asked for a cookie recipe and always one up for a challenge, here you go. I don't have a photo for this one, but it has been a favourite since I was a little girl, probobly because of the rum. I will post a photo when I make some this weekend.

2/3c. Margarine
1/3c. Sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla
1/4tsp Salt
1 3/4c. Flour
1/2tsp Nutmeg
1c. Powdered sugar
1tbsp Rum (or milk & 1/4 tsp rum extract)
Ground Nutmeg

-Beat margarine until soft. Add sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg, vanilla, salt beat well. Add four and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. Beat until well mixed. Cover and chill 1 hour.
-Shape into balls. Place 2" apart on baking sheet. Press down centres with thumb. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes.
-In a small bowl mix 1/4c. margarine and powdered sugar beat until fluffy. Add rum, beat well.
-Pipe 1/2tsp. per cooke. Sprinkle with nutmeg. I like to top it with a silver ball for fun.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Paying it forward

Today was visit Santa day. J was great. He brought his "Sears Wish Book" from Northern Mom with him. I told J he could only show Santa one page with something he wanted on it due to the line ups and restless children behind him. He showed Santa the 'hockey set'. The set that comes with a mat that looks like ice and two nets, sticks and balls. We were hoping he was still on the big net for the driveway as this set would take up the basement, but he wants the indoor set.

Santa was such a trooper, he is a gentle, friendly man, who lets so many kids cry sit and pull his real beard all day long, every day for the whole holiday season. And he even gave me two candy canes so I could enjoy some sugar too.

When I was a kid, my parents didn't take us to see Santa. It just didn't jive with our religious beliefs. I always knew Santa was a pretend character, but something in me always hoped that he was a little real. My Sister and I would leave out milk and cookies, just in case. And we would try to stay awake just in the off chance that he would fly over our house.

As the years have gone on I realize that Santa is very real in each and every one of us and it just depends on how the tradition is viewed. I am trying hard to teach J about both Santa and the reason we have Christmas to begin with. I want him have the love of giving that I have as well as the appreciation of the true birthday we are celebrating.

After our visit with Santa, I needed (ok, wanted) a Chai Latteé so J and I went to Second Cup (no Starbucks in that mall). We only went to see Santa, no shopping for me today as I wanted to get back home to rest. J wanted to buy a cookie for him and his cousin J2, so I said he could. The lady in front of me insisted I go before her so J would not get impatient. I told her it was ok, he was learning how to wait, but she insisted. I wanted to buy her coffee, but was shuffled along and moved to the side I couldn't find out what she was ordering. And couldn't figure out how to pay for it from the other side of the counter. I really wanted to do something nice, she was so sweet and pleasant, which is rare this time of year. But, when I turned around she was gone.

J and I headed out to the car and there was a Salvation Army Kettle with the Officer jingling his bells. J asked what he was doing, so I explained that he was collecting money for those who don't have any. J wanted to put money in the pot. I thought it was a great idea, so I gave J the money and he deposited in the kettle and I got to feel like I was paying it forward just a little today.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Made the Move

To Blogger Beta that is. I really didn't want to do this as I don't like things in beta stage, but I couldn't even comment on blogs with beta anymore so I finally did it!

We will have to see how it goes.

I made the move specifically because I couldn't post a big huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

To Nancy over at Blog Pourri so please head over there and send her some wonderful birthday wishes... and Nancy, just ignore Spiderman and Dr. Octopus and blow out the candles already ;).

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Peppermint Bark

One of my favourite recipes to make this time of year is Martha's Peppermint Bark. It is so simple and quick to make, yet it elegant and tasty.

The recipe is as follows:
2lbs white chocolate
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract and twelve big or twenty four small red and white candy canes .

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (if you don't have a double boiler a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water will work.)

Put the candy canes in a ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin until 1/4"pieces.

Add extract and candy canes to melted chocolate. Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes (I usually leave it over night). Break the bark into pieces and serve.

In addition to the Peppermint Bark, I was able to make the dough for two more cookies last night. Knowing I would not be able to bake for the next two days while my embryos settle in, I got a couple ready so I can roll them and cook them on the weekend. I love, love, love baking. And the fact that I am a little behind is terrifying me.

Add to that fact that Hubby didn't know how he was going to give his 40 employees a gift this year (he always gave his old staff of ten a little gift each Christmas), silly me offered to bake and package up some goodies for him. So I am well on my way, just need a few boxes from the supplier and we will be set for delivery next week. No standing for the next few days though.

My assortment of recipe books. I buy one new on every year, and every year I add another cookie to the list of must makes. The list in the binder on the counter gets bigger and bigger, but I love it. And the fact that I can share them with forty people this year just makes it all that more exciting!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

We had a wonderful weekend full of doing pretty much nothing. How awesome is that? It was family time this weekend. We played Christmas Carols, hung the lights outside, J played with the tree ornaments all weekend long.

Our fertility report was great, we have 9 embryos waiting for me on Tuesday. We will be putting two back and praying that they are in for the long haul. Although I will be more than happy with a singleton, I would feel doubly blessed with twins. We will just have to wait and see.

I also had a Christmas party to go to yesterday with a bunch of girlfriends and their kids and Hubby's. It was great. My Hubby didn't go as he had a tummy ache. But J and I had a wonderful time. J played without me for the first time ever and it was so great to watch him playing with the other boys.

On with the Christmas spirit, two weeks to go!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Resting well

Yesterday's egg retrieval went very well. We got 12 eggs and I am just sitting here waiting to hear the fertilization report.

For J we had 15 eggs with 8 fertilized, so here's hoping we get at least 6 so that we can go to a five day blast. If five or less fertilize we go to a day three transfer, their rules not mine. I should proboly explain for those who haven't gone through this, a five day blast is when the cells in the embryo blast apart. The Doctors at our clinic like to go for blast as they find this has a better success rate than an embryo that is still in the cell stage. A day three embryo would only be 8 cells. That is not to say that a day three won't work, it has just been proven to be more effective to go to day five.

The surgery was quick and relatively painless, I asked for half the meds which was a blessing, there is nothing worse than being knocked out by drugs you don't really need. I was doing so well I was allowed to leave a half hour after the surgery instead of an hour. I rested all day on the couch going in and out of sleep, watching grown up shows on tv and reading a good book. Ahhh, it was great. And today, my Mother is here cleaning my house so I don't have to, gotta love it.

Will update again after getting the fert report.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


is the day for retrival. All the follicles grew fast overnight, exactly what I thought. I will trigger tonight (this is such a technical term for forcing the maturity of my follicles) and I will be first on the block on Thursday morning, have to be there at 7:30am, good news is that I should be home by ten at the latest. YAY!

Bad news is my beta won't be until after Christmas because they close over the Christmas weekend, etc. So, I will most likely cave and POS because I need to know before Christmas, that is just how I am.

I left J with my Sister today for my shopping morning. Got to my first store. Shopped. Put the stuff in the trunk. Put the key in the ignition. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Good old Dad was called in to the rescue, and as he doesn't get to do it very often anymore, he was there in less than a half an hour. That is a record for him (I sat on the side of the 416 one beautiful spring day when I got off work early for an hour and a half waiting for gas, he made a few stops on the way to bring me the gas. And it was Hubby who told me I could go another 100km when the light came on... he was wrong). So Dad showed up, cleaned the contacts of the battery, jumped the sucker and off we went to our favorite garage. They are the best these guys, two Mexican brothers, checked out the car, determined that the battery was toast (car was dead again already) and had me with a new battery and some 2007 calendars within an hour. Gotta love the little guys, did I mention they are the best? So, I rushed to finish the last bit of Christmas shopping I had to finish (stuff for J and the kids) the rest for Hubby will just have to wait until I am back on my feet.

I did leave my Sister with some crafts for the kids that I prepared, they made some snowmen out of construction paper. They had a blast, and I arrived just at the right time when they had had enough of each other. Yet another day of J &J2.

Tonight, the tree!

Monday, December 04, 2006


It looks like the retrieval won't be until Thursday, but most likely Friday now. Those suckers just can't get it right for me, dragging this drug induced, headachey, making me impatient and grumpy for another two days (oh poor Hubby, he is at his end with the drugs). I have many and I mean many follicles, but only one was up at the 15mm level and they like at least four up there, the other 25 or 16 are in the 12 -14mm stage so either they will jump tonight and tomorrow will be my last ultrasound or they will drag it on just one more day. Argh.

On the good side it is giving me some extra time to get all things Christmasy on the road. My Sister and I are going to exchange days for finishing up shopping. J2 & A2 are coming here today so she can run around and then tomorrow I will drop J over when I go to the clinic and take the day to myself to finish up my lose ends. Perfect.

I think we might try some fun Christmasy stuff with J2 today, it should be lots of fun!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Oh So Busy

Christmas trees bought, check... started decorting, check...finished a couch recovering project, check... started cards, check... get it all done by Wednesday, doubt it.

Wednesday looks like it will be the big day for our ivf! The follicles are looking good and depending on what we see for sure tomorrow it looks like the retrieval will be Wednesday, looks like I have two very busy days ahead of me.

I thought I would show you all a chaise lounge that I recovered for somebody. I didn't konw that she got it from the garbage when I agreed to bring it to my house, but a few sprays of lysol and febreeze and we were mostly good.

Before.... not so nice...

After... very nice... she chose a faux suede and I did a couch for her last year, so now she has a matching set.

*I should make note that I stopped sewing for a bit, but had promised this lady I would do he chaise for her. I really won't be sewing too much for the next little while especially, but who knows in the new year.