Friday, November 6, 2009


Oh, my gosh. I can't believe I did this.

Mistake #1 - I got some gift certificates from Swagbucks.
I really like Swagbucks - it's easy and fun to collect and redeem for gift certificates. But I should have gone for the ones they also have! I was enticed by all that has to offer, even though they really only ship certain items to Canada. Bad Emily.

Mistake #2 - I ordered Teva sandals. Through
I have an identical pair of the Teva Olowahus that is 2 years old. I have worn them to the ground. The soles are quite thin and flat where my feet have worn footprints in. They have been super comfortable, they stay on, they are stylish and I loved them. But they are expensive for flip flops, and when I wrote an email to the company to say that I was disappointed that the soles deteriorated while the straps were still fine, I got the response that I could ship them at my cost to the States, where they would evaluate if the product was defective. That didn't address my complaint that the soles were simply not as durable as I would have liked for the price.
Okay. I'm not happy about that. But I still like them and I found some on (through an affiliated seller, Deckers Outdoor) that I went ahead and ordered with my gift certificates. Doh!

Mistake #3 - I watched the costs add up and just... paid them.
I had $10 in gift certificates and allowed myself the splurge of an additional $14 (this is USD) for the shoes. Shipping was $9.95 (again USD). Ouch. Okay. Fine. I paid it. We're going to Mexico in 2 weeks and I need sandals to wear. Grand total $33.95 - $10 in gift certificates = $23.95 USD. This all translates to $26.51 Canadian on my Mastercard.

Mistake #4 - I didn't check what company Deckers Outdoor shipped with.
Yesterday I got a notice on my door... from UPS. Now if you have ever shipped cross-border, you will know that UPS is the worst of the worst for charging ridiculous brokerage fees. The notice said there was a COD charge of ... wait for it... $26.56. Let's break it down. The shoes had a value for duty of $25.81. The duty was $4.65. The GST was $3.96. Fine. I'm not thrilled about customs and duty charges, but I accept them. But the brokerage fee was $17.10. WTF? $17.10 just bought me... what? Somebody at UPS taking it through customs? Seriously?! Is that not part of the shipping (to Canada) that I already paid $9.95 for? More than doubling the cost of the actual product?!


Grand total for a pair of flip flops: $53.07 - plus $10 in gift certificates.
Oh, my gosh. I am a fool.


I looked out my window this morning, and saw snow! Not a lot (yet... this is Canada!) but definitely snow. Yikes.

On the plus side, we will be in sunny Mexico in just a couple weeks! :) I definitely need the vacation.

Some giveaways for today...

For baby:
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to Apericots at Project Nursery! Ends November 13th.
  • Win a $50 gift certificate to Cute-ture at Organic Girl. Ends December 8th.
  • Win a $50 Bugalug prize pack (hair clips etc) at True Cuddles. (Must be a subscriber.) Perfect for little girls! Ends November 11th.
  • Win an ErgoPouch organic cotton quilted sleep pouch at Organic Girl. Ends November 23rd.
  • Win an aden+anais muslin sleeping bag at The Shopping Mama. Ends November 20th.
  • Win a Relion Temple Touch thermometer at Mommy MoMo. Ends November 19th.
  • Win a fun tambourine from Organically Hatched at Fun and Funky Mommy. Ends November 17th.
  • Win some adorable Twitter Birds adhesive fabric wall stickers from Love Mae Store at The Veater Family Adventures. Ends November 17th.
  • Win a set of Bummas wipes at Networking Witches. Ends November 17th.
  • Win a $25 gift certificate to KidSmart at Just Another Mom Blog. Canadians only! Ends November 13th.
  • Win a $30 gift certificate to Tiny Soles at Mama Manifesto. Ends November 12th.
  • Win a Moby Wrap from The Baby's Bundle at Just for Me... And You! Ends November 17th.
  • Win a Bum Boosa Eco Gift Basket (wipes - diaper rash ointment - lavender essential oil - recipe card for making your own natural baby products) at Sweeps4Bloggers. Hey, btw, I've read about lavender mimicking estrogen - something to be aware of, especially if you have little boys! Ends November 14th.
  • Win a Sleepy Wrap at Parent Reviewers! Ends November 14th.
For ladies:
For men:
  • Win a Remington Pivot Flex Foil Shaver at This Bird's Day. Christmas gift for that hard to buy for guy? Ends November 19th.
For the home:

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some results

Just got back from the doctor, and my levels are steadily dropping. Yesterday the HCG count was at around 411. This is good news as it means the methotrexate is doing its job. I have three more blood tests over the next few weeks, and hopefully will see the levels go down to less than 5. Fingers crossed.

It kind of sucks going there. There were two hugely pregnant women in the waiting room, and a wall full of baby photographs. Ouch.

A few giveaways for today. Yesterday's list got bigger in the evening as I had a bit of time, so if you read it early in the day, might be worth another look! :)

For baby:
For ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win Christmas cards and enclosure tags by Jonesy (a Canadian company!) at {Natural} Mommie. Ends November 12th.
more to come...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Watch it online

I used to work in an office - a law firm - back before I jumped off the big cliff of self-employment. I liked working with people around me (it's pretty lonely now, working at home), but hated office politics, and the stress of my job made me sick and unhappy. I'm definitely glad I have had the experience, though. It makes the show The Office all that much more funny.

We have just caught up on watching the series. We hadn't watched it at all before last month, but our friends had recommended it, and I saw one episode on the plane on our way out west in September. So when we came home we set about watching the entire series on My husband has hooked his computer up to the tv set, which is great. We don't have cable, just an antenna in the attic and the computer. We stream pretty much everything we watch, from tv to movies and documentaries. The video quality is amazing these days and it's really not complicated.

Anyway, I am loving The Office and wanted to say, if you've heard about it and never watched it... give it a chance. You may find some of the characters horrible and offensive (honestly, it's part of the humour, although sometimes it really is too much) but the show is kind of about that and how his co-workers deal with that. There's a reason this show is into its sixth season.

And if you're interested in watching tv online, missed an episode, are so done with commercials, want to see a program that just isn't on the stations you get, want to watch a series from the start, etc... try watching online. We have a DSL connection and it's just fine for streaming. With the streaming, too, you don't have to wait for shows to download like in the past. Just click and the show starts. It really is amazing and I can't imagine paying for cable anymore. We like ninjavideo, project free tv, and there's a site called ovguide that is like a search engine for videos if you want something a little harder to find. I find the best is ninjavideo.

Okay, that was just something I was thinking about. Random, right? Here are some giveaways for today...

For baby:
For grown-ups:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Vivid dreams

Last night I dreamt that the doctor's office called and told me once again to rush to the ER as my levels had spiked. Phew - just a dream. I woke up especially anxious.

The night before, after driving my getaway car directly into his mansion (it got caught up on a big sweeping marble staircase - oops) I was hired as a personal assistant to Pierce Brosnan, who apparently (in my dream) is very absent-minded and also enjoys walking around in the nude. Let me just say that I loved him as Bond (and way back when, as Remington Steele!) - but didn't particularly want to see him naked, although he is in great shape. I did like the awesome boots I got to wear in the dream. Pierce, if you're reading, feel free to send me some boots, size 6 1/2. You have great taste in women's footwear.

Weird things happen in my head while I sleep!

Some giveaways for today:

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win an audiobook copy of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones at A Bookish Mom (I love audiobooks!). You've got to watch the movie trailer, it looks awesome! Ends November 5th.
more to come.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Positively Monday's giveaways

Done with blather (see previous long winded post) and on to some giveaways to share for today.

For anyone:
  • Win a prize pack featuring the Originals from The Body Shop - Canadians only! - at Sparkled Beauty. Ends November 13th.
  • Win a Glade prize pack at One Bored Mommy. This is another chance to win one of those great packages of candles, wine, reed diffuser and a Chapters GC! Again, Canadians only! Ends November 9th.
  • One more chance to win a Glade prize pack at Everything Up Close. Canadians only! Ends tomorrow, November 3rd!
  • Win Malcolm Gladwell's new book, What the Dog Saw, at Sweeps4Bloggers. Ends November 6th.
  • Win Christmas cards and tags by Jonesy at Feisty, Frugal and Fabulous. Ends November 12th.
p.s., I did two big lists of giveaways over the weekend as well, in case you missed them!

Trying to stay positive the aftermath of having a miscarriage in June and an ectopic pregnancy in October. Yeah, this again... Sorry, it's just so heavy on my mind.

I had a methotrexate shot last Wednesday to terminate the ectopic pregnancy (which had started to end on its own, but not fast enough to alleviate my doctor's fears about rupturing my fallopian tube). What's that like? Well, it was mostly a lot of waiting in the ER, then two needles of the methotrexate in the bum (two injection locations increase absorption). This is a chemotherapy drug that basically stops cells from replicating. There are lots of potential side effects, but "all" I felt was a little nauseous and really tired. The nausea has passed, but I still feel fatigued. There's very little pain (just some continued cramping that I was experiencing before I got the shot), and no bleeding really, just the same daily spotting I've been having for two months now. I wasn't as far along (only 3-5 weeks is my guess) so this time there are no painful contractions, and no bouts of crazy bleeding (thank goodness) like last time.

My doctor has told me that this drug is teratogenic (it can cause deformity in a fetus), so we have to wait for at least three months before trying to conceive again, to make sure it's out of my system. Meanwhile I am getting lots of blood tests to watch my levels of HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin - the hormone that indicates pregnancy) and make sure they drop right down to zero.

After a year of trying and two lost babies, it's so hard to think we have to wait another three months before even trying again. (Honestly, it's going to suck to have to use condoms!) But we can't take the risk.

All of our closest friends now have babies one or two months old. Even our neighbours all have babies - I'm not exaggerating, both our immediate side neighbours, both our immediate backyard neighbours, one across the street, and two others beside our immediate neighbours have newborns. That's seven houses full of baby goodness, right outside every window in our house. We're surrounded. And I'm not going to lie, it's hard to be the only ones among our peers who are going through this. It's hard to hear about our friends' "surprise" pregnancy and wish it could be so easy for us. It's hard to hear about the new babies and even the parents' small complaints - I can't help but wish we could trade places.

Anyway... my point is, I'm going to try to stay positive. I'm not exactly a believer in the 'power of positive thinking', but at the same time I have seen how negative people seem to be magnets for trouble. I'm not sure if there's any logic there, as I am in general an optimist (and look what's happened to me!), but I find life is better when I am upbeat... and if I start to be pessimistic about things I could really see me spiraling into depression. So happy and hopeful is the plan.

I've been preparing myself for pregnancy for 15 months now. I started three months before we started 'trying'. I cut out caffeine, alcohol (except for a few occasions when I knew I could not possibly be pregnant and only had one drink), and try to get enough sleep. We already eat a very healthy vegetarian diet, but I've also cut out artificial sweeteners and non-pasteurized cheese. I stopped eating mayonnaise for a while during the two pregnancies. I kept track of my cycle. I avoided hot baths and hot tubs. I did everything I could to make sure I was an ideal candidate to conceive.

And really, I think it worked - we conceived after just 5 cycles of trying, then again the 3rd cycle after the miscarriage. I think we have just had two ultra bad luck flukes.

So I have these three months to wait. Three months that can go by however I choose. I can choose to be random and get my drink on (well, actually no, not with the methotrexate - increased risk of liver damage doesn't sound fun), eat all the junk food I want, stop going for my daily walks... or I can choose to maintain the pre-pregnancy lifestyle of healthy habits which may increase our chances of conception next time. Hmm, no contest. My body's been a temple for 15 months and I'm going to keep it that way.

One thing I'm doing that is at least making me feel a little in control of this situation is reading a book called Making Babies by Sami S. David, M.D. and Jill Blakeway, LAc. I won it (!) on the blog Park Avenue Princess and it came in the mail on Thursday - yes, the day after I got the shot that ended this pregnancy. I decided that November 1st was the first day of my three month wait, so last night I dove in and read the first three chapters.

It's basically about (so far) learning about your body, how conception works, and things you can do to increase your chances of conceiving a healthy baby. They combine backgrounds of Eastern and alternative medicine and traditional Western medicine. The focus is on natural conception, but they definitely discuss all the alternatives from acupuncture and herbal supplements to fertility drugs and IVF.

Even with all the reading I have done in the last year+, I am still learning new things as I read this book. It has a little much self-aggrandizement in the writing for my taste, but the information is easy to read and doesn't dumb down the details. I like the case studies and the diagrams and charts that are easy to understand. They have also included a basal body temperature chart (to photocopy and use) with wayyy more information on it than I have seen elsewhere - and discussed exactly what to look for to determine ovulation in three different ways! It's all the stuff we never discussed in health class. I'm talking cervical mucus here, with descriptions of exactly what it should look like and when; how to check out your own cervix, really detailed stuff like that, things my family doctor/midwife/girlfriends/mom certainly never told me.

So far I'm pretty impressed. I'm not sure how much it will help us as we do seem to be able to conceive, but I also am a big believer in knowing your own body and taking charge of your own health so I am very happy to be learning more and feeling a bit more in control and aware of myself. And who knows, maybe there's one simple thing that has meant we had these two flukey losses. Maybe there's one small thing we have missed that will help us have a healthy baby.

If I have learned anything in my experience with conceiving so far, and could give advice to anyone, it would be not to wait so long. I was 32 when we started trying, and I'll be in the last months of 34 or even 35 by the time we (hopefully) have a baby. While I have always wanted two children, the later it gets the less the likelihood that we will - my husband is saying with the increased risk of problems after 35, and how old we will be as parents, he doesn't want to have two anymore. (I still do. That's a whole other issue.)

For me I had a late start because I was married, then divorced (over my ex not wanting kids, there's irony for you), then I re-married last year. Obviously that's not the way I expected life to happen. And I had actually wanted to start trying back when I was 26... but that's not the way things panned out. Now time is working against us.

Anyway. I will be posting some giveaways later as well (in a separate post), if that's what you were looking for and got this instead!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November already

The time flies, right? Here's hoping the next three months fly by. Well, maybe the next three weeks, then our week in Mexico (!) can go nice and slow, then after that I would like a speedy transition to February.

A few more giveaways today to share... still catching up.

For baby:
For the ladies: