Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Show & Tell: My Best Day in NYC

Good Afternoon Humble Readers! I hope you are all well.

I spent a ton of time trying to figure out where to start telling the story of our time in NYC, and ultimately it came down to beginning with the day that stands out the most in my memory.

Yes Humble Readers, that's right... I met Mario Batali!

I wish I could say that I was cool about it and was able to chat with him, but no... your friendly neighbourhood hobbit was star struck! Let me tell you the story...

It was Friday, the day we had decided was going to be my Beloved's very merry Un-Birthday, seeing as we had missed celebrating his actual birthday (it was right in the middle of his dad passing away and the memorial and all). On the itinerary for the day was an "On Location" New York TV & Movie tour and the Yankees game in the evening. We got on the bus right by the Ed Sullivan Theater (where we had seen the David Letterman show a few days earlier), and were treated to a ton of information about the area around Times Square and movies that had been filmed there. We slowly made our way south, heading toward Washington Square Park to check out some "When Harry Met Sally" and "I Am Legend" sites.

When the bus stopped and we all got off, we discovered that we were right outside Otto, where my Beloved and I had eaten lunch a few days before. (The food was fabulous... but I'm planning an NYC food post for later in the week... stay tuned!) We walked around the corner and spent a few minutes taking pics of the Washington Arch where Sally dropped off Harry, and the doorway that Will Smith came and went out of over and over.

At that point our guide mentioned that she had noticed that Mario had been sitting at the bar in his restaurant and if any of us wanted to meet him, he is usually very open to meeting fans. My Beloved and I, together with one other lady from the tour practically ran back to Otto.

We walked in, and at first I couldn't see him because he was sitting at the far end of the bar near the door to the kitchen. Immediately my shy-ness took over and I very hesitantly led the way (btw, when was I voted fearless leader?) over to him.

I didn't want to interrupt the conversation he was having with the man next to him so I waited a moment before speaking (read: was too star-struck to open my mouth). He looked over at me and smiled and said, "Well, you can't just stand there and not say hello." I must have stammered something intelligible about taking a picture with him. He graciously let my Beloved capture the shot above, and allowed me to take a picture for the other lady who had come with us.

At some point I managed to regain my powers of speech, and mentioned that we had just eaten there the other day and that the food was amazing. Especially the olive oil gelato (OMG!!!! All other ice cream will pale in comparison for the rest of my life). He laughed and mentioned that the secret is the salt sprinkled on top.

We thanked him profusely for his time, and then dashed back out to the bus. I couldn't stop grinning! I felt like a complete goober, but it was great!

The day continued with the rest of the tour, a wander down 5th Avenue (and some time spent in FAO Schwartz), and ultimately the Yankees game in the evening.

The game was great! Our seats were waaaaaaaaaaay up in the nosebleed section (fourth deck up, right on the first base line), and the breeze was so cold we ended up spending a small fortune on Yankees sweatshirts. We also spent a ridiculous amount of money on food (but man those sausages and fries tasted sooo good!). The Yankees won, and my Beloved thoroughly enjoyed himself (which was the point of going to the game)! It was a long subway ride back to the hotel, but it was a fabulous day!

Now don't forget to head over to Mel's place and check out what the rest of the class is showing.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

We're Baaaaack!

Good evening Humble Readers!

Yes indeed, we are home! It was an incredible trip and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have spent most of today fussing with my new layout (as you can see) and in fighting with Ph.ot.o.bu.cket to sort through all the pictures we took (more than 1200!). I've also been wading through my reader list... it looks like I missed a lot of goings-on. I hope to be caught up in my reading and commenting soon.

I'm not going to be doing much away from my computer for the next day or so, so I will be around. Can't wait to reconnect!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gone Fishin'!

Ok, so my Beloved and I aren't actually fishing. But I won't be around for a while. I hope all of you have a very (re)productive couple of weeks, take care of each other and know that I will be thinking about you guys and praying for you (especially my expectant-bloggy friends who are approaching their due dates).

While I'm away, I'll be missing a couple of important dates on the calendar. First up, my b-day! I won't be turning eleventy-one, only 35. I'm sorry but I won't be hosting a true hobbit style birthday, I'll be busy being lost on the streets of Manhattan. Second, my blogoversary... a year of posts, of hopes, of tears, of giggles... I can't believe it's been a year!

Sign up for Blogger Bingo and ICLW! Two great ways to get to know other bloggers! I'll be back for Show & Tell on September 30th.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Show & Tell: Date Night With A Cause

Good morning Humble Readers!

The company I work for puts a big emphasis on giving back to the community. Our in-house charity supports children's literacy. Every year, for the last five years, we have been able to distribute 1.5 million dollars among high needs elementary schools to help rebuild their libraries. Most of that money comes from the store level, donations provided by our customers and from our staff.

Here are some statistics for you (Canadian stats)... back in the day, when I was in elementary school, a school received $27 per student per year to buy new books and resources for their library. Today the average school receives $3 per student per year. Teachers invest an obscene amount of their own money in resources for their classrooms, and only 13% of Canadian public schools have a full time librarian. And the most shocking piece of info about this situation... if we increase the literacy rate in our country by just 1%, that will equal an $18.4 billion (yes, billion) boost for our economy. (One other piece of info that I don't recall the exact numbers on but is shocking nonetheless... the population of Canada's peneteniaries is more than 70% functionally illiterate!) Inspiring kids to read, and providing great resources for them is key for our coutry to continue to move forward.

So what does this have to do with our date night?

Well, one of my responsibilities at work is to come up with ways that we can fundraise for this project. I'm happy to say that my staff is really really gung-ho on this, and since April we have raised more than $10K, doing things like running lemonade stands, soliciting donations from our customers, and most recently a penny drive.

For the months of June-August we collected loose change. Pretty simple, right? We had a 5 gallon water jug more than half full of change. And last week my Beloved and I counted and rolled all that change!

We spent more than four hours on Friday night sorting, counting and rolling all that coin. My Beloved then spent a large chunk of Saturday rolling while I was at work the next day. All totalled we raised $340 in loose change. My Beloved did the math and we had more than 11,000 pennies.

And let me tell you... money is dirty! Check out the difference in my hands.

Don't forget to swing by Mel's place to check out what the rest of the class is showing this week!

Monday, September 14, 2009

They Say You Can Never Go Back

Good Morning Humble Readers...

I have had these thoughts percolating for a while, and I think it's time to get them down on 'paper'. I will preface this by saying that, if you are going through a tough time right now, you might want to skip this post. I won't mind...

I recently went back to some of the message boards I used to frequent. There are women there who I miss. They are women who started on this journey around the same time as me, and we shared our excitement about becoming mommies, celebrated each other's successes and mourned each other's losses. They supported me through our miscarriages, encouraged me when we were waiting for tests and for the go ahead to try again. These women are incredible, strong, veterans of the road we travel. Many of them are dealing with RPL like me, and some have had heartbreaking numbers of losses.

I had stopped posting on the message boards back in the spring, when it became apparent that we were going to have to take an extended break. I felt that I didn't want to be a downer, whining about having to wait to try again... so I excused myself. (Of course that didn't stop me from whining here... my apologies, Humble Readers). I also knew that reading about them moving ahead would be difficult.

I went back recently, genuinely hoping that most, if not all, of the ladies there would have been able to move on... yes, I know it was an unlikely thing, but I hoped it for them anyway.

I started reading some of the recent posts and was saddened to see so many names I recognized. I was saddened further to read how down they all were.

We all have our bad days. A bfn, a failed cycle, discovery of a cyst, the flu at exactly the wrong time... all of these things can bring us low. I am not making light of those emotions. We all need to process them, grieve our losses big and small, and we often need the support of those who truly understand our situation to help us get through.

But when does commiserating become something more? When does it become a vicious cycle that has no end? When do we stop trying to one up each other with how sad we are?

How do we pull ourselves up out of our darkness? How do we help each other when things seem to be spiralling into the abyss?

I have long believed that the only thing we have control over in this world is our response to it. Barring a chemical imbalance, we get to choose how we respond to the things that happen in our lives. That doesn't mean we don't get sad, but we do get to choose whether to let that sadness overwhelm us or to start moving forward.

I'm in a good, hopeful and, dare I say, content place right now. I want to celebrate that. And at the same time I want to support these ladies... but I don't want to blow sunshine and rainbows.

Maybe after this cycle comes back as a bfn, I won't be so happy, maybe then I will feel like I fit in again with them. But I don't want to let that change my happiness in this moment. We all live in two week incriments... shouldn't we take the joy where we can?

Is it wrong that I choose to be happy?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

How Lame Am I?

I apologize Humble Readers... I haven't posted since last Show & Tell.

The thing is, there hasn't been much going on. I don't want to be any more pedantic than I have been... going on and on about how excited I am about "THE VACATION" (and yes, that's how it looks in my mind... all caps).

There is a goofy little story that I'm saving for S & T this week, but other than that, I've been working, obsessing about the trip, and that's about it.

AF kinda messed with me a bit, not following her usual pattern, but she's now packed her bags and I feel human again.

Oh yeah... and we got tickets to Letterman! TICKETS TO LETTERMAN! Woohoo!

Only one more shift at work... 72 hours or so until we leave!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Show & Tell: Travel Preparations

Good morning humble readers... and welcome to my Show & Tell for this week! For those of you who might be new to this, Show & Tell is wasted on elementary school kids, so once a week we all take the opportunity to show off whatever we feel like... If you want to know more, make sure to stop by Mel's place. And while you're there, check out what the rest of the class is showing! Everyone is welcome to join in on the fun!

So... we are now a week away from our big trip! Guess who is super excited? Yup, that would be me! However, in true hobbit form, I am a bit anxious as well, so I have reverted to one of my main coping mechanisms... lists. I have lists of things to do in NYC and lists of things to do before we go. I have finished most of the things on my "before" list and these pictures are the result of that.

Here's a rundown of what you are seeing:
  • Our groovy new red luggage. I chose red so that it would stand out, but discovered on our recent trip to Prince George that I'm not the only one who thought that red would be unique.
  • My new, much smaller new purse. Perfect size for the camera, a few essentials and a friend named Terwilliger.
  • Our passports. I'm so glad that mine finally arrived!
  • Our travel books. Bringing them along for reference.
  • Our groovy luggage tags. Due to the aforementioned un-uniqueness of our luggage, I found some hopefully unique luggage tags.
  • Our vitamins, et al. Like any good infertile, I can't leave home without my vitamins. The larger boxes are mine, and the smaller is my Beloved's
  • My awesome travel journal. I couldn't believe it when I found this. Statue of Liberty embossed on the front, NYC taxicab embossed on the back.
  • Various travel essentials. A map of NYC, a money belt for my Beloved to wear, luggage lock, and some aromatherapy oils. (I refuse to waste one day of this trip dealing with a headache or insomnia... peppermint for headaches and lavendar for sleep)
  • And last but not least... introducing Terwilliger Tidewater Turtle, Traveller at Large. He's going to be having some adventures and is looking forward to sharing them when he gets back.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: End of Summer Edition

Good Evening Humble Readers! Some long weekend randomness for you...

Something might seem kind of odd, but it's really rather cool. Early this year, Dad C had spent a big chunk of change on some new hearing aids. One of the granddaughters (she's now in her early 20's) was born with only 10% hearing in one ear. I don't know all the whys and wherefores as to why nothing has been done for her hearing up to this point, but something has been done now. Mom C made arrangements with Dad's audiologist and now my Beloved's niece is the proud owner of a top of the line hearing aid. It only took an hour or so to reset it for her needs, and now she has perfect hearing.
Is there anything more gratifying than a shiny clean kitchen?
Remember those bugs I told you all about the other day? The ones that had no respect for personal space? Well, they left their marks. I'm covered in bug bites... in not nice places. (ok, not THERE... get your minds out of the gutter!) But, yes, I was wearing a skirt. *sigh*
I'm off from work tomorow, so I'm going to tackle the bathroom. Including the frightening abyss that is the cupboard under the sink. And I'm going to fix that dang toilet! How's that for motivation?

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bugs in my Bra

Today was Dad C's memorial service.

It was hard and good and funny and sad and enjoyable and heartbreaking and just how it should have been.

Mom C thought she was being generous when she told the curling club and the ladies catering the lunch that we would expect 150 people. There were 250 at least! Standing room only, to celebrate an incredibly great man.

We had a table display of some of Dad's sports memorabilia (including a pair of hockey skates that had been sharpened so many times that there was nothing of the blade left), some picture displays (Dad was really built back in the day... all that hockey, baseball, and curling!), and some beautiful flowers. I couldn't spend much time looking at the memorial table initially. It was just too hard. But I really loved the pictures.

My Beloved was the emcee for the service, and I think he did an incredible job. I was so impressed with how strong he was through it all. My BIL, D (the oldest) read a poem he wrote for Dad for his 60th birthday, and BIL K (married to my Beloved's sister, P) gave the eulogy.

One of the highlights of the service was when a woman came up to share some memories of Dad... she is the mother of a now rather highly ranked Canadian curler (who, I think, has some high olympic hopes). She shared about Dad's influence on her son's life, about how Dad inspired her boy to take up curling and how he coached the boy for years. It was really special to hear her appreciation for all Dad did for junior curlers in the community.

After the service and the lunch, when we were all emotionally spent and extremely overheated from the crowded room, we went back to Mom's house (man it's weird to call it that). Several members of the extended family joined us for the afternoon and evening. There were a few occasions that I had to remind myself that Dad wasn't going to walk around the corner tinkling the ice in his glass of

Later in the afternoon, the wine was poured and we all started to get a little goofy. My Beloved's family are happy drunks (not that they are drunks... but they get silly when they have had a few) and it got a little loud. We were inside and outside... fighting over lawnchairs, watching people play 'the golf ball game' (I don't know what it's called, but its pretty popular around here as an outdoor game).

In Mom and Dad's yard there are a couple of trees that at this time of year, are loaded with inedible berries. Because of all these berries, there are a lot of aphids.

Now, when I say a lot, I mean A LOT! They were everywhere. We were all covered in them. They were all over my hair, my shirt, occassionally crawling up under my skirt, in my drink and, as the title of this post suggests, down my shirt and in my bra. We have been home for almost an hour and I still feel itchy.

At one point, I made a comment to one of my tipsy SIL about the bugs crawling up my legs and down my bra and that was it... we were all killing ourselves laughing. I was extremely red in the face (altho that was probably the wine).

It felt good to laugh like that with the family... and I know that Dad would approve.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Lovely Blog Award

My lovely bloggy friend Mai over at Salvagable gave me this lovely award last week. Thank you, lovely lady!

I think when I initially saw this lovely award making it's way around the blogsosphere, one of the requirements was to award it to twelve or fifteen lovely bloggy folks. And I think they were supposed to be lovely new blogs. Or at least new to you... hmmmm.... herein lies a not so lovely conundrum.

Most of my lovely bloggy friends have already had this award, so who do I pass it on to?

So, while this list is not twelve or fifteen blogs long, and they are not lovely new bloggers or even all that new to me, I think these lovely bloggy friends are wonderful and deserve to have their loveliness recognized.
  • Serendipity at Exploring Chaos! This lovely lady has recently quit her job and made a huge move from England home to Australia, all while in the first half of her pregnancy. Talk about brave!
  • Wise Guy at Woman Anyone! This lovely lady has recently been jerked around by AF but is now at the beginning of a medicated cycle. Keep your fingers crossed and send lots of good thoughts and prayers!
  • Sunflowerchilde at A Little Hope! This lovely lady has just had knee surgery and will soon be starting her first round of IVF. Talk about one thing coming right after another! Stop by and send her something to smile about!
  • Alana at Alana-isms! This lovely lady is a teacher and is in the midst of a very busy time of year! She also has a lovely little girl who is hilarious! Swing by and cheer her on!
  • Lindsay (aka The Steadfast Warrior) at Destined to Be An Old Woman With No Regrets! This lovely lady is only a couple of weeks away from mat leave and is frantically trying to train her lovely replacement! Stop by and let her know that she's in the home stretch!

I think everyone on that list over there on the right is pretty darn lovely and have great stories to tell! If there's someone you don't know, click over and check them out! Lovely!

BTW, while you're checking out the sidebars... check out that countdown clock on the left! Only 12 days!!!! Guess who's excited?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Show & Tell: The Smushed Fertility Goddess

Good Evening Humble Readers...

I meant to post this over a week ago, but recent events prevented me from finishing the post. In fact, I have even been remiss in thanking the sender of my Show & Tell item.

Lindsay (aka the Steadfast Warrior) sent me a lovely gift. She sent me her smushed fertility goddess! To learn more about how this lovely little object came into existance, check out this post.

To the untrained eye it's an odd little piece of clay. Only a few inches tall, with the aged look of something that has been handled and cherished for centuries, this little goddess has worked her 'magic' for Lindsay and maybe she will work for me. I hope to be able to pass her along to someone else in need someday in the not terribly distant future.

Thank you, Lindsay! I love her... she's lovely and I thank you so much for the gift!

Don't forget to stop by Mel's place to check out what the rest of the class is showing this week!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Lessons Learned During The Break

Good Evening Humble Readers...

It's been a crazy week. My Beloved and I thank you so much for all your support. Each day brings it's own challenges, but we and Mom C, and the rest of the family are making it through.

In the midst of all this, time has flown... and I can officially say that our ttc break is over. Granted, I'm on the downward slope toward AF, but as soon as she's packed her bags, we are back to the baby-making, or my favourite new ttc abbreviation... GOF (goal oriented f.... well, you get the idea).

While it wasn't intentional when we booked our trip way back in February, the timing is impeccable. Prime baby making time falls right in the middle of our trip.

Honestly, I feel like we've been on a break since the m/c in January, with all the testing and procedures. I am trying not to put a lot of pressure on either of us, but I'm ready for this to happen soon.

To that end, we have made a few decisions. First up, if we are not pregnant by Christmas, then we are going to push for more intensive testing. And if we do get pregnant, and the unbearable should happen again, then we obviously will be looking at our options. One thing we absolutely agree on is that IVF is not for us. We may consider IUI, but that is still uncertain. Tentatively, we have set next summer as when we will start talking seriously about adoption.

This break time has taught me a few things... or perhaps reminded me of things I knew before ttc and m/c's overtook my life.
  • I love my Beloved more than I could ever thought possible.
  • I have reserves of strength that I didn't know were there
  • I can survive heartbreak
  • Patience really is a virtue.


  • My (blankety blank) boobs hurt during my lp EVERY (blankety blank) time, so I will not fall for that old bait and switch trick that my cycle plays on me!
  • AF can arrive without me pee-ing on a stick first!

So, off we go... and who knows? Maybe we'll come home from NYC with an extra special souvenir.