July 2006

I had no idea.

According to Sue of Inner Dorothy, my iPod needs a name. Her iPod is named Surely.

I’m ashamed to admit that when iTunes asked me to name my iPod, I labelled it with the incredibly lame and pedestrian “Dani’s iPod”. Now that I’ve been enlightened by Sue, I’m all over the idea of christening my iPod like stink on a diaper.

But what name is worthy of my little electronic bundle of joy? Something clever, something original, something snazzy? Well, at least something that’s not going to get my poor little iPod mocked on the playground by all the other cool iPods, at least.

And that’s where you, dear friends, come in. You’ve proven time and again that you are more witty than me by half, and twice as clever. Welcome to the “Name that iPod” summer contest. I’ll take your suggestions through the end of the week, and on Friday, I’ll put up a poll and you can vote for the best name. If you can’t make the comment box work, and a couple of you have mentioned that you can’t, send me an e-mail.

Did I mention there will be prizes? Prizes! I’m still feeling inspired by the sugar rush of the great candy swap of 2006, so the clever person who suggests the winning name will have not only the prestige of knowing you christened my beloved new iPod, but I’ll send you a gift pack of personally selected candy as well.

It’s like Rockstar Supernova and Big Brother and Canadian Idol, all wrapped up into one bloggy contest, isn’t it? Not so much? Oh well, at least you get the chance for some free candy.

So get on it. What’s my iPod’s new name?


A weekend with Mimi and Pipi

by DaniGirl on July 31, 2006 · 8 comments

in Away we go

Friday morning, an hour’s drive outside of Ottawa, we arrived at Storyland and spent a morning in this charming if slightly shabby park in the middle of absolutely nowhere.

We drove all afternoon through Algonquin Provincial Park (perhaps one of the loveliest drives I have ever been on) and arrived at Mimi and Pipi’s house – also in the middle of absolutely nowhere – in the late afternoon. The boys loved roaming their exquisitely landscaped acre carved out of the bedrock of the Canadian Shield and the forest.

We saw lots of creatures, both familiar and wild: snakes, turtles, fish in Pipi’s pond, and a huge moose having breakfast in Mimi and Pipi’s neighbour’s yard. They called us to tell us they could see two moose in their yard, and we hopped in the car and made it over just in time to see one loping away into the woods. The boys had fun tracing following the humoungous hoofprints across the loamy soil. Simon actually caught this monarch butterfly, and I’m not sure who was more surprised. He let it go, and it fluttered on its way.

The weather crapped out on us on Saturday, but we managed to have a lovely day nonetheless. Mimi just this month got her licence to drive a school bus (at the impressive age of 62 no less – don’t you love her to death?) and so the boys enjoyed their first school-bus ride with a personal driver. Sadly, cameras were left at home.

Sunday, the weather improved enough for a trip to the beach, and a ride in Pipi’s boat. And yes, that last picture is of the boat that towed us back to the dock after the motor died in the middle of the lake. My biceps are aching as I type this from the paddling!

But the true highlight of the weekend was riding around the property and the local snowmobile trails on Pipi’s tractor. Every four year old needs grandparents who operate heavy machinery and let them drive boats and tractors, don’t you think?



Bad marketing ideas # 207

by DaniGirl on July 28, 2006 · 14 comments

in Uncategorized

Did you see this bit about the NHL coming out with pink hockey jerseys? The NHL, which is more concerned with improving profits than improving hockey, is targeting what they estimate are the 40 per cent of hockey fans who are women. Apparently there are a lot of women out there who are coveting a pink (or baby blue) hockey jersey with their team logo on it.

Not so much.

I can totally see the idea of marketing a smaller, tailored version of the jersey (shall we call it a hersey? Lookit that, witticism via typo!) made to fit an ordinary person not encumbered by 20 pounds of hockey gear – in the team’s colours. But what on earth made the NHL marketing gurus think we needed them in girley pastel colours?

I don’t own any Senators clothing, not because I have been waiting for a pastel version but because the Senators logo is so hideously ugly. And also, I’m allergic to polyester. Make me a nice cotton jersey, or maybe even a silk-lycra blend, in the teams colours with a subtle little logo on the sleeve, and put it at a price point that’s considered a fun splurge and not a major investment (I have blazers that cost less than $70) and I’d be all over it. Or rather, it would be all over me.

That’s all I have today. We’re leaving in an hour to spend the morning here, and then driving through Algonquin Park to spend the weekend with the in-laws on the other side of the province. I’m only half packed, have nothing organized for the four-hour drive, and am more than a little nervous about keeping my wee beasties out of trouble at the un-child-proofed house of my in-laws, tucked on an acre of forested land about 15 km away from the nearest outpost of civilization. Eek!


It’s been a week since frostie became toastie – or, as Beloved has christened it, “Stickie”. We’re half way to resolution and I’m finding the wait much harder than I expected.

I know, I’m not exactly famous for my patience in the first place, but I kind of figured that I would have less emotional investment this time around. I mean, either outcome is wonderful – on one hand, we have a gorgeous family with just the four of us. On the other hand, we have a gorgeous family that is 25 per cent more – therefore 25 per cent more gorgeous – than before. I can’t lose.

And yet, I have spent a lot of time fretting. And flying. And fretting. And flying. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m developing a theory on the two-week wait, because I’ve had a little bit too much time in my head to think about it. The two-week wait allows you to experience every single possible emotion on the spectrum, from elation to desolation, just to prepare you for any possible eventuality when you take that pregnancy test.

I started out pretty confident that Frostie>Toastie>Stickie had implanted, and I was pregnant. I had nothing to base it on but my own instincts, which have been pretty good about predicting actual pregnancies, but not so good at predicting gender. (I was gobsmacked to find out my babies were boys both times – I had been sure they were each a girl when I was pregnant.) I spent most of the weekend blissfully imagining how the next nine months might pass with me pregnant, and passed idle time considering how we’d arrange Tristan’s room into a shared room for the boys, and checked out other people’s mini-vans every time we drove somewhere.

I’ve slowly slid down the confidence scale to the point where I’m now fairly sure that it didn’t work. Why? Because I’ve spent WAY too much time in my head, that’s why. I don’t feel any pregnancy symptoms yet, although the deeply repressed logical part of my brain keeps insisting that at a full week before my period is due, there simply aren’t any symptoms to be felt.

Every couple of hours, I’ll have a random surge of confidence, and the gyroscope in my brain will announce it worked and I am pregnant. The alignment of dust motes in Namibia will cause a ripple in the Force a few hours later, and my emotional barometer will plummet, convincing me that the cycle has failed and menstruation is imminent.

It’s all becoming rather tiresome, to be honest.

At least it’s not as bad as the two-week wait with the IVF that resulted in Tristan. I had a toxic reaction to the estradiol level in my blood from the follicle stimulating hormones, and developed Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, a potentially serious condition that causes fluid to gather in your ovaries. Pregnancy excerbates the condition, and when my OHSS symptoms started to abate about five days after we transferred two embryos, I was so sure that the cycle failed I cried for days – including a rather embarrassing breakdown at the clinic when they told me my OHSS had cleared up enough that I didn’t need to come in for daily monitoring any more. In my hormone-addled brain, no OHSS = no pregnancy.

That was around six days after transfer, pretty close to where I am now. And then, three days after that at nine days post transfer, I started to feel sick and bloated, and when late in the day I started having trouble drawing a breath, I called the doctor on call to check in. He ordered me to the ER and to make a long story short, we found out that night that I was pregnant. (We found out two weeks later it was twins, and lost one of the twins two weeks after that. The whole story is here, if you haven’t read it yet.)

And all that means pretty much nothing. I just have to wait. And wait. And wait. Did I mention I’m not so good with the waiting?

I’m thinking of buying some bulk home pregnancy tests from the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe – they’re only four for five dollars, plus the freebie from my great OPK adventure. I could start testing on Monday, but I’m just not sure if I could handle a full week of negative HPTs. I saw enough negatives in our years of infertility, thank you.

But hey, was that a twinge in my left breast? Maybe it’s a little tender? Or, maybe not. Maybe it’s tender because I keep groping it, trying to see if it’s tender.

Argh. I really hate waiting.


Sweet vacation days

by DaniGirl on July 27, 2006 · 10 comments

in Uncategorized

It doesn’t get any better than backyard vacation blogging, does it?

Oh wait, yes it does: summer evening vacation blogging, when you are blaring your brand-spanking-new, six-days-early birthday present iPod Nano – and blogging.

Love the iPod Nano. Love it, LOVE IT!!!! Really, I’m hearing new things in songs I’ve listened to a hundred times or more. Changes by David Bowie and Closer to Fine by Indigo Girls and Ahead by a Century by the Tragically Hip and the Boomtown Rats I Don’t Like Mondays– the music has never sounded so clear, so crisp, and all this through dollar-store headphones, no less. The only problem is I’m alone in the house and although I want to blare the music, I’m afraid I won’t hear the boys and their endless bedtime requests for another story and a glass of water and biscuits for the dog.

Hey, wait a minute… who said that’s a bad thing? Did I mention I totally heart my new iPod???


Blog mail

by DaniGirl on July 26, 2006 · 6 comments

in Uncategorized

You never know what’s going to show up in the blog mail these days!

First, I received a note from Deirdre, a fellow doughnut-lover from Winston Salem. She wrote:

I just read your “Ode to Doughnuts” and absolutely loved it. I am in the process of writing a happy little (short) book about doughnuts and would like to include a snippet of it. May I do so? I shall credit you and site the source (url). Just let me know.

It never fails to amaze me what catches people’s fancy. I’m sure a good ten per cent of my hits have to do with doughnuts in one form or another, mostly about Tim Horton’s and Weight Watchers points. Oh well, it’s not the worst imaginable internet legacy. And of course I told Deirdre that I’d be honoured if she quoted my post, and that I was grateful that she asked me first, rather than just lifting the text. And I told her I’d be happy to review a book about doughnuts on blog, since it seems to be a theme around here.

Back in February, I blogged that I was thrilled to be offered my first book to review, but that I coveted some of the other cool things bloggers had been offered to review, like DVDs and even trips. Offering free stuff to people who are considered opinion leaders among their peers is a new spin on the age-old word of mouth marketing technique, but this time around they call it buzz marketing. Get a few people who are respected opinion leaders to start talking about your product, and the buzz it generates can be more valuable (and way cheaper) than all the traditional media ad space you can buy.

A couple of days ago, I got an e-mail from a buzz marketing firm in Toronto called Matchstick. The e-mail said that if I met a few criteria, I might be eligible for a free multimedia smart phone – all I had to do was blog about and with it. Apparently we’ve found my price, and it’s free. Free!! I’m all about the free stuff.

I had to stretch and wiggle a little bit to meet some of their criteria – I get about half the daily hits they were looking for, and am a week short of two years older than the age group they were targetting, but I blog daily and with enthusiam, and can be bought for the price of a single multimedia smart phone, so I guess that made up for my shortfalls.

They put the phone in the mail yesterday, so I’ll keep you updated when it arrives. I feel a little disingenuous, because they think they’re getting a respected opinion leader who is tech savvy enough to exploit the phone’s many features, and they’re getting a mediocre blog junkie and recovering luddite who is more than a little intimidated by a phone that does anything other than ring and dial out.

Not only is it a phone, but it’s a digital camera (still and video!), it received e-mail and has an internet interface, and it’s equipped with Bluetooth technology, which seems to engender appreciative nods and sighs from my tech-savvier friends.

Our existing cell phone (‘our’ because we don’t even each have our own) is about four years old – not even a flip-phone – and the account is a bare-bones one grandfathered from an old employee plan back in 1998, so I’m curious as to whether it will support this fancy-ass new smart phone. (Being an existing Rogers wireless customer was one of the criteria.) Whether I’ll be able to figure out how to even turn it on, let alone answer a call or take a photo or blog from it remains to be seen. But in the spirit of free, I’m more than willing to try!

And, as a post-script, in doing a little bit of research for this post and my previous one, I found this link to a blogger in Italy who is willing to give his 60G iPod Video to a random blogger who links to him before August 4.

I’m shameless, aren’t I? I’d be embarrassed, but I’m too busy being gleeful over the free multimedia smart phone.


The cutest pirate on the seven seas

24 July 2006 Uncategorized

I’m either really late for last Halloween, or really early for the next one. But, despite that, is he not the most adorable pirate ever? Johnny Depp’s got nothing on Tristan the Pirate!! Tristan was invited to a costume birthday party yesterday, and I was in a bit of a panic as to what costume […]

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Technology, baby!

24 July 2006 Uncategorized

We were at my parents’ house on the weekend. Tristan was sitting in Granny’s lap and she was reading him a book. Simon was elsewhere, and made some sort of appealing noise that attracted Tristan’s attention. He hopped down from Granny’s lap, on his way to investigate what Simon was up to, and Granny protested. […]

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Baby pictures!

22 July 2006 Frostie

So I didn’t get the artistic blog photo I wanted, but I can at least share this picture of the transfer. You’re looking at an ultrasound of my interior plumbing – isn’t it exciting? The big dark ‘sea’ at the top of the picture is my very, very full bladder, and the bottom half shows […]

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"Your mucous is lovely!"

21 July 2006 Frostie

It’s not every day you get a compliment like, “Your mucous is lovely” but being the affirmation-junkie that I am, I’ll take it! That’s what one of the two (two!) reproductive endocrinologists (RE) who helped turn frostie into a toastie yesterday told me. He also said I have an ideal uterus, and I’m filing that […]

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