Monday, March 30, 2009


SPOILER ALERT! (for anyone who hasn't seen the last episodes)

John and I watched the final episodes of Battlestar Gallactica this weekend. We heart BSG. Triple heart, in fact. We've watched from almost the beginning and every year eagerly anticipate the start of the new season. This summer we won't be anticipating any more BSG. This year marked the end of one of the best sci-fi t.v. series of all time.

Although my good friend Julie wasn't so keen, I loved the final episodes. I loved that they went after the bad crop of Cylons; I loved the major battle scene - it reminded me of the final Star Wars battle scene; I loved that they found a new Earth to live on (finally); I loved the final scenes between Admiral Odama and the President; I loved the goodbye between Lee, the Admiral and Starbuck; I loved how Starbuck disappeared; I loved that they took us forward 150,000 years to our present day and asked some tough questions although obvious. I pretty much loved it all. It was very BSG. Not everyone ended up where they wanted to be. They didn't draw everything to a conclusion. There are still questions. I loved that they stayed true to what the show has been.

And for fun, I've done the quiz that Julie did as well. Here is my result:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Capital Cupcake Camp today!

I'm all set for Capital Cupcake Camp. I've made marble cupcakes with a white chocolate icing sprinkled with chocolate shavings. They've turned out well. I tasted one, icing free, last night and it is very yummy. I'm surprised by how much you can taste the white chocolate in the icing. (I admit to never having tried this icing before but the only difference from regular buttercream is the white chocolate in place of vanilla so how could it go wrong?)

I'll try and take lots of pictures this afternoon so you can see all the yummies that other people brought.

After it is all over, I'll likely send the kids out to run laps around the neighbourhood to burn off their sugar highs.

Friday, March 27, 2009

March Break 2009 Photos


Yesterday I baked bread, I took the girls on a bike ride and we played at the park, I cleaned the kitchen twice, I did laundry, I knit. All in one day. And without taking a nap. I stayed up until 10:30.

This is a major step forward. I'm not pinning anything on it for purely superstitious reasons but it was great. Hooray!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moving forward

Yesterday I had another appointment with my GP.  I hadn't seen her since this weird stuff started with my legs, arms and other appendages.  She agreed it was strange and even labelled me, for now, a "medical mystery" because my symptoms don't converge into anything obvious.  She has referred me to see a neurologist, ordered more bloodwork and another sample or two that I won't go into and we'll go from there.

It's a step forward and that's good.

I surprisingly found an event marked in iCal today.  Given that my computer is a blank slate since the hard drive was wiped out, I had no idea how an event got into my calendar.  When I opened it it read "John Gets a Cake Day!"

That's my husband.  Always the joker.  And, because he made me laugh, you know what he gets?  A cake!  And therefore, so do the rest of us.  The girls and I baked it today and I'm going to try a new icing recipe on it: white chocolate.  Hey ho!

Edit: You know what smells terrible?  Burnt white chocolate!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not out of the woods yet, computer-wise

I turned my computer on this morning and that little whirly thing that Macs do on start-up wouldn't stop whirling.  That's not a good sign.

It could be that I'm without a computer for a while after John heads to work.  Crap.  

On the upside, I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon so maybe I'll make some head-way in getting further tests books or finding some answers.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A fire without the smoke

The references to my computer being sick have ended in a terrible way.  We had to format the hard drive however, being that we have Leopard and therefore Time Machine for our Mac, it didn't seem like a big deal.

Until we realized that Time Machine, for some reason, had only backed up things from John's profile on the Mac and not mine.  Of course, we realized this after the hard drive was erased. I have no photos from the last two years, no emails, no documents, no bookmarks.  Nada.

So, if you tend to email me, please send  me one so I can start to rebuild an address book without trolling the internet.  

And, even more importantly, if you have any photos of my kids or John and I during the last two years, please please please burn them onto a CD for me.  Please!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Best March Break ever: Day 3 (a little late)

On Day 3 at my dad's, he had the internet connection switched to the new house so my blogging ground to a halt. No matter because I was so beat. My muscles were extremely unhappy and during my "free time" I had to just lie on the couch while the girls watched t.v.

We played outside on Thursday morning for quite a while with Sue. Sue and Art Bast are friends of my parents from Sudbury. Art has a company that makes and installs really nice kitchen cabinets and he was there putting in the countertop at the house. Sue played restaurant with us and then we all went for a walk across the ice and over to the house. I brought the kids back for a snack and then we got ready to go to the Wildlife Centre with Sue and Donna.

The Centre is out on Highway 11 so a bit of a drive. Unfortunately, we were there 30 minutes before it opened so we killed some time up the highway at the Muskoka Store, a truly overpriced tourist trap. However, I did get a new pair of sunglasses at 50% off.

We finally got into the Wildlife Centre at 12:30. Luckily I had a lot of snacks packed. The Centre was amazing. There were big walking trails through the acres and acres of property. The animals were all active and the girls were able to see almost everything. The best moment was when we arrived at the cougar/bear enclosure right at feeding time. The cougar was pacing. The animal handler dude had to coax the bear out of his den for lunch. He's still sleeping a lot during the day. My highlight was how focussed Emily was on the map of the Centre rather than the animals we were seeing. She was much more concerned on making sure we were headed in the right direction than on seeing animals. It was so funny.

Back at the cottage, I lay on the couch after lunch while the girls watched some t.v. We then headed back over to the house to build the first fire in the new masonry stove (which is a really big stone enclosed woodstove sort of. I'll post photos later). And then the day ended with supper and bed.

The drive home yesterday was fine. My legs and hips were screaming but I made it without too much trouble. It is a really beautiful drive between here and there and we were treated to three fawns crossing the highway in front of the car.

We had a great week. It was really relaxing. The kids spent a huge amount of time outside and it was so nice to be in Muskoka during the winter. But, now I'm glad to be home and back to a routine as well.

I'll post some pictures.... sometime. My computer is dead again and we don't know why. Ugh.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Best March Break ever: Day 2

Today I woke up and knew that today would be different.  My body protested loudly that I didn't nap yesterday and went to bed at a normal time: 10:00 pm.  As soon as I got up I knew that today was a bad-body day.  So, after breakfast, we headed into Gravenhurst for some groceries and a stop at a new fibre arts store.  I got a new toque and Donna bought me some beautiful yarn that I plan to turn into a scarf at some point.  The store is owned by a woman who raises Alpacas and will be milling the yarn next door and selling it in the shop.  It was really cool with beautiful colour choices.

By the time we got home I felt worse so I ate lunch and then pawned the kids off on my dad and Donna and I headed to bed for an hour.  After my nap, I went on a hunt for everyone.  They were on a hike around the trails on the property.  The property is about 105 acres.  So, I walked up to the new house and the mason's told me they were walking the long way around back to the cottage so I "mantracked" them back towards the cottage and found them not too far away.  We hiked the rest of the way home, some of it with Hope in my arms.  

Back at the cottage, we had tea, read a bit and then heard Papa firing up the chainsaw so we headed back outside to watch and help load wood.  After that was all done, the girls and I played restaurant outside for about another 30 minutes before we were called back to the new house to help unload the quartz countertops.  Let's just say that clearly my muscles aren't too badly affected by my mystery illness because they stood up to the test this afternoon.  Man, is quartz freakin' heavy!

Back through the mud once again to the cottage for supper and now I'm chillin' with some wine and soon I'll sit down with a hot back for my back and then put the kids to bed.  I'll follow soon after.

Tomorrow: the Muskoka Wildlife Centre (a.k.a animal rescue centre).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Best March Break ever: Day 1

The drive to Gravenhurst (which, for those of you who don't know the hinterland of Ontario well, is in Muskoka - close to Algonquin Park - about 2 hours north of Toronto and 4.5 hours west of Ottawa) went remarkably well.  The girls watched a couple of videos, Emily took a nap, Hope talked.  And talked.  And talked.  We had to stop three times.  Twice was for me to pee.

Went we got up here we had a tour of my Dad and Donna's new house.  They're building a timber frame house on a piece of severed property that Donna and her brother inherited from her parents.  Her family cottage is on the remaining piece of property.  That's where we're staying.  

The cottage always smells like woodfire, which is awesome.  

After our house tour yesterday, we walked across the bay on the ice to the cottage and settled in.  After supper we took another walk on the lake.

This morning the kids were outside playing by 8:30.  We made a fire outside and walked over the ice to visit the men ice-fishing a ways away.  We pulled the kids across on toboggans.  Bentley, my dad's dog, rolled in dead Pike.  So nasty.  When we got back we pulled out the roaster sticks, hot dogs and toppings and roasted our lunch by the fire.  Marshmallows followed.  Emily wanted to check out a small hole in the ice where Donna was checking the ice thickness but never actually made it to the main water level.  There was in fact water in the hole though (see where this is going).  She ended up knee deep in the hole when she decided to touch her toe to the water and lost her balance.  No joke, that's the third pair of pants today.

I'm loving it up here.  We're outside a lot so far.  I hope to catch a nap this afternoon and put a hot water bottle on my belly which is not happy at the moment.  Aside from that, this is a great first March Break for Emily.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Heading out for a few days

This morning I am packing up the car and the girls and driving about 5 hours (yikes!) to my dad's place in Gravenhurst. We'll be there until Thursday or Friday. They do have high-speed so I might just blog while I'm there.... or I might just sleep and try and get control of my frayed nerves.

It's March Break around here so instead of being tourists in our own town, we're going to be sort-of tourists elsewhere although we'll likely mainly stay around the house/cottage.

Wish me luck with five hours in the car and only one parent to keep the peace!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Capital Cupcake Camp

So, although I've put the baking business on hold while I work out my abdominal issues, that still won't stop me from taking some cupcakes to Capital Cupcake Camp on March 29. My friend, Jenn, alerted me to it and not caring whether I win or not, I think it will be so much fun! If you live in Ottawa, be sure to register as a taster and come out to eat cupcakes and support a great cause.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More on that topic

When you're not feeling well, the days slow to a snail's pace I find, especially now that I'm not feeling well and I don't know why.

Yeah, that's right, I've still got pains in my right side that have mostly move towards my back, I have very sore muscles down my right leg, up the right side of my back and right shoulder and I'm dog tired all the time. Basically, my right side doesn't like me much right now. My blood work came back all good so that's something I guess.

Add to this that, until this morning, I spent the last several mornings having panic attacks that I won't be around to see my kids grow up. This probably seems extreme but this is the way it is when you have a mother die of an incurable neurological disease that no one could really diagnose for two years. Essentially, I'm scared that this is something very serious, even though it most likely isn't.

My amazing most awesome husband, helped talk me through some of this last night so I'm feeling a little more psychologically sound today. I can't promise it will last though. And this is the main reason I haven't been blogging much. I feel the only thing on my mind aside from the kids and John is my crappy health and it isn't something I want to talk about much. Plus, I'm sleeping every afternoon to get through the rest of the day.

On the plus side, when you think you're at death's door, all of a sudden you start making a little more of the time at home and make homemade clay, form and bake play food out of it with the kids, have a picture painting session, play restaurant, baby shower, builders, etc etc. We've done a lot this week even though I feel like crap.

And then today, the friendly postie brought me something very exciting: a late Christmas present from John that has made me rather happy.

So maybe this will inspire me to find other things to talk about anyway.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The one where she tries not to talk about how she's feeling

John says it's about time that I talk about something other than how I'm feeling, which, just for the record, is "better today." I'm still not feeling great but I'm feeling more like myself which is a huge improvement. I hope it lasts. I have a pelvic ultrasound on March 26. Hopefully I'll be pretty good by then and it will all be chalked up to a strange flu or virus.

On to other things. We've done some fun things around here lately. Photo evidence is sitting up on my camera which I'm unwilling to retrieve right now. On Saturday, although I was feeling like dog dodo, I pulled out the paints and smocks and brushes and the girls set to work creating. I pulled out a Mrs. B trick and, using a large Sharpie, drew large pictures of clown, cat and dog faces on each piece of paper as well as my rendition of each of the girls and let them paint those. It is so much better, at their ages anyway, then having them create from nothing. Emily does allright with that now but Hope loses interest too fast. If there is a starting point for her, she enjoys it much more.

This afternoon during a bout of energy and a bout of "having to get this done ASAP", I sewed a little clown shirt thingy for Emily. Tomorrow is Circus Day in her class so I took the white button-down shirt she used at Halloween and sewed on a colourful pleated colour and cuffs. It looks awesome! I'm really pleased with how it turned out and how good it looks on her. After she got home from school, I practised my face-painting skills (weak, at best) on the two girls. I'll be helping out tomorrow in Emily's class and doing face-painting for the kids (God help them).

And that, aside from brooding about my body, is what is going on around here lately.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Getting really weird

By last night I was feeling so much better than I had in the previous days, at least fatigue-wise. A new, rather persistent symptom has arisen however: my legs are soooo achey, right from my hip to my foot, mainly in my right leg but also my left to a lesser degree. Massaging doesn't really help. Even my shins are aching. So odd. I'm wondering if I do indeed have endometriosis, like Julie suggested. It could also just be a weird virus.

I'm glad I'm not so fatigued and light-headed though. Of course, it would help if Hope didn't get up at 6:00 this morning!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

back from the doctor

Well, nothing really to report. I had another internal. Hooray. She poked around on the outside of my abdomen and I realized that it is pretty sore everywhere except in my uterus, which I guess is a good thing. I had blood drawn but the results take some time - a couple of days. I'll be having a pelvic ultrasound (good times!) in the next couple of weeks. My doctor told me not to worry... could be a flu, a virus, a small cyst in the ovary.

I have to say, as of this morning, I have a little bit more energy and slightly less pain so maybe things are looking better. I actually had the energy to clean two bathrooms this morning!

Update on my gut

Things have become a little worse with my health: aching right leg, sore shoulders, sore breast and underarm, ongoing pain in my right side, extreme fatigue, a bit of a fever I think (although we only have a rectal thermometer and you know I wasn't going to use that to check).

On the recommendation of Telehealth Ontario, I went to a walk-in clinic last night. After an internal exam etc, the doctor determined that there is something going on with either my appendix or right ovary. I'm sure it's my ovary. I'm sure there is a cyst down there that is giving me problems.

I'm seeing my own doctor this morning who will likely send me for an ultrasound, do another exam (lovely) and take blood. I sure hope they can book the ultrasound quickly because a couple more weeks of this would be hellish.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Gut issues

When you're a relatively healthy person, you tend to take that for granted. You shouldn't, but you do. Because your health is always there and you kind of don't think about it.

But then, when things go a bit awry, you realize what you enjoyed without realizing you enjoyed it.

Last month, right around the time I ovulated, my gut went into a serious meltdown. I didn't know why. I figured it was a one-off, an infrequent reoccurence of my IBS. But then, this month, the same thing happened. Right before I ovulated, it started up again, but this time worse. So bad in fact, I started to think that I had an appendix or gallbladder problem. Extreme fatigue hit. This time, after I ovulated, the symptoms haven't let up much.

This all to say, my prices and product list is not yet up on my Sugarplum site because I've been sleeping and spending my time generally complaining. That is very time consuming, you know.

I hope to get a good part of it all done this afternoon. Tomorrow I'm seeing a Naturopath to start and get a hold on all of this. On Thursday, I see my regular doctor. I'm determined to feel good again soon.