Sunday, February 28, 2010

With Glowing Hearts

It's over. It was great. I'll miss it. But I'll be glad to get back to the real world.

Today was incredible! We met up with my sisters and watched the hockey game at a restaurant on Broadway and Burrard. The crowd was into it. The streets were empty. It was insane! J cheered and cheered and waved her flag (we know she doesn't really understand, but hey, she had fun!). When Crosby scored that goal, the place went nuts. Absolutely nuts. And that was just the beginning. We paid our bill, sang the anthem when the hockey players got their medals and then walked across the Burrard Street bridge waving our flags.

And I have very little voice left.

Downtown was insanity! The streets were the opposite of empty and everyone was having a blast!

We returned to Rebecca's house via the no car Cambie Street bridge for the Closing Ceremonies on their big "screen." And I have to say I quite enjoyed the mime helping Catriona Le May Doan light her piece of the cauldron from the opening ceremony and the whole segment that was all about poking fun at Canada and Canadian stereotypes.

What a off to bed super early and back to reality tomorrow.

And then...on March 12...the Paralympics!

PS pictures will be posted tomorrow...too tired tonight!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

As I was leaving work yesterday, I heard there had been a 7.0 earthquake in Japan - that's all I heard and since I'd turned my computer off, I wasn't even sure where in Japan it was.

And then this morning when I got up I heard about the 8.8 earthquake in Chile. And the tsunami warnings for Hawaii and BC.

Scary stuff. I remember the Kobe earthquake in 1995 when I was going to school in Hawaii. We work up to the tsunami sirens - scary stuff. It was eerily quiet on campus too - no birds singing, no dogs barking. The whole day was heavy and horrible, people were on edge, lots of people didn't make it to school and, completely unrelated, a teacher had a massive heart attack, but when the tsunami hit it was tiny and barely noticeable - even if you knew what to look for.

I hope this earthquake turns out for the better - we also have a tsunami warning on the south coast, but we'll hopefully only see a change in currents.

Fingers crossed for my friends and their families in Japan, Chile and Hawaii. I'm thinking of you all...

EDIT: There's now a report of an earthquake in Argentina too. Oh Mother Nature, please be gentle!


Go Red Mitten Flash Mob! I am loving the Olympics and all the fun surrounding them even more than I thought I would! Part of me wishes it would keep going after tomorrow (and part of me will be happy to get back to the regular world!)

Oh fun!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Oh yeah, the torch!

I said I'd post pictures of the torch relay at UBC and here we are, two days before the Olympics are over and I'm just getting to it...

mittens readymittens are all ready to go!

the crowdthe crowd gathers in the pouring rain

alexander and the giant umbrellaAlexander and the giant umbrella

sleeping fanGuess who slept through the cheering, yelling, horn honking, flash mobbing and concert playing?

sisters in the rainShannon and Rebecca in the rain (this is very different from our Calgary Torch Relay experience!)

torch bearer bustorch bearer bus

cheering kidscute cheering kids

torch bearertorch bearer - and it's still lit despite the horrible rain

police escortpolice escort

police escortmore police escort

bookstore cheering squadbookstore cheering squad

j and auntie rebarJ's awake now. And the rain stopped. And it's all over. Figures!

It was fun even if it was wet! What an exciting time for us Vancouverites!

This is hilarious!

Make sure your sound is on - this Ashley Klinger sure knows how to pass the time at the airport (which is oddly completely empty!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The most bizarre sensations

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So, I’ve been for four acupuncture sessions now and wow, some of the sensations are bizarre! I haven’t noticed any changes yet, apart from an unconscious change in serving size when I serve my meals – smaller, not bigger.

The last couple of times I’ve been certain there were still needles in my feet when she was done, but no, they were all gone. The strangest thing is that the sensation of needles being in my feet increases the longer the needles have been out. As they are inserted I feel either pressure from the acupuncturist’s fingers or a slight pinch as it goes in. Once they’re in I don’t really notice that they’re there, but when she takes them out, wow, sometimes I really feel like they’re still there!

There are other crazy sensations too – the ones she puts in my abdomen sometimes make it feel like there’s a baby in there kicking (which there most certainly isn’t!)…the ones in my arms make my arms feel heavy…the ones in my legs seem to be “talking” to each other…sometimes they just kind of buzz. It’s good.

It’s only been three weeks…we’ll see if changes start happening!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


joannie rochette
Last night's short program by Joannie Rochette was probably the most inspiring and gut wrenching skating I've ever watched...I am amazed at her strength and determination, skating in the Olympics just days after her mother suddenly died.

Alex and I were talking about who might be chosen to carry the flag in the closing ceremonies and we pretty much decided that even if some of our skater win multiple medals she should be the one...regardless of how she places, she is amazing and would be the right choice for such an honour.

EDIT: Thursday, February 25 - BRONZE MEDALIST! She's amazing!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All that pressure

So the Canadian sports guys have finally acknowledged that we're not going to have the most medals at the Olympics (I thought maybe this was a bit ambitious, but hey, who am I?)...I'm hoping that means it will take the pressure off some of our athletes and they won't think they have to apologize for coming fourth or fifth. IN THE WORLD. No apology needed...I think we should be proud of them for qualifying and proud of them for placing well, not upset that they didn't medal (not that medals wouldn't be nice, but there's something to be said for personal bests and sportsmanship too!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Weekend Out and About

My parents came to town for the weekend to take in some of the Olympic festivities. We had a great time just being tourists.

vvl mmc pfh not sure what it all means but it's obviously very important and very official

italian-canadianItalian-Canadian? Problem solved!

cheerleaderour cheerleader, decked out in Miga-wear

plushenkoI stole this from Kelsey. We had dinner at Yew at the Four Seasons and Evgeny Plushenko showed up. We clapped. Kelsey stalked him to get a blurry picture of his back. It's all good!

bobsled familythe whole gang in the bobsled

count down clock counting upcount down clock counting up

welcome worldwelcome world

ksquaredKelsey and Kamiah

ski jumper Alex the ski jumper

the flameTHE Flame

go canada go
live city yaletownLive City Yaletown from the Granville Street Bridge

lasersEnglish Bay lasers and the Burrard Street Bridge

don't do itJ and I met my parents and my aunt and uncle and hung out on Granville Island on Saturday. We went to the Place de la Francophonie for lunch. This sign was outside the door as we went in.

cokeAnd here's our drinks...I was going to take pictures, but forgot because I was hungry, but we got food, there was a stroller parking area and pretty much everyone was in outside shoes, many that were not soft soled!

stilt dancers
dancing on bop's shouldersJ loved the stilt dancers and danced away on Bop's shoulders!

flamenco on stilts
patriotic puppypatriotic puppy

s j and mkWe met my friend Mary Kay from Virginia (who I met at Our Chalet) for dinner. She was here with her fiance Kory (who we also met) and her mom and sister for her third straight Olympics. We said goodbye to them and they went off to a hockey game - their second of the day!

no women's ski jumpingWe weren't sure if these signs were suggesting women's ski jumping has no place in the Olympics or protesting that they aren't in the Olympics this time...this was other indicators around.

all eyes on canada
don't even think about parking
olympic only lane
What a weekend...we need a weekend to recover I think! And there is still almost a week of Olympics left and two weeks of Paralympics!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I think I saw him smile...

Where's the traffic?

I had planned to work from home most days this week to beat the crazy traffic, but stuff happened on Friday and I had no work here to work on. So after I dropped J off, I drove up to my office to get a pile of work. One of my coworkers was there when I arrived and she is a bus commuter - she said the bus was half empty, everyone got a seat. My drive was very peaceful and quiet - it was like going to the office at 8:00 am on Sunday morning.

I guess people are listening to the request to stay home/use public transit/walk/bike.

Go Vancouver!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Dale Begg-Smith needs to get with the program...he came second, not last. Even the American, Bryon Wilson, is way more excited about his bronze medal than Begg-Smith is about his silver.

Check out the picture. Seriously.

Oh...and check out this article from - I love the part where they say Begg-Smith looks like someone ran over his puppy.



Canada won its first gold medal tonight in the men's moguls and it was so exciting! We loved watching it and J, though very confused by our behaviour, clapped her hands enthusiastically too!

Alexandre Bilodeau
is going to be a household name for a while! And he's probably relieved some of the pressure on the other athletes about winning Canada's first gold on Canadian soil.

I was a bit disappointed in the attitude that Dale Begg-Smith (the guy who creates spamming/spyware software) had - I know it must be disappointing to come second, especially at "home" (Canadian turned Australian whose parents live in West Vancouver), but hey, sportsmanship buddy!

Here's to more medals and exciting competition in the days to come!

I'm so excited about the Olympics!

Why do we eat?

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

I think the answer is pretty straight forward – to fuel our bodies. Right?

Yeah, but it’s not that simple. Right?

For me, at least, that’s right.

Something changed after we had our baby. Alex had been working nights for at least a year and he’d been working screw ball hours for a couple of years before that. And I was used to it. It wasn’t easy – it actually really sucked. Often we saw each other for a grand total of half an hour between when I got home from work and Alex had to leave. Some days, when it was really busy or we had an evening event at work, I wouldn’t see Alex at all.

Sometime in the fall I realized that my eating patterns had changed. Increased might be a better word for it. I was snacking all evening and after a lot of thought, it was most likely due to a combination of boredom and loneliness. We had company once or twice a week (aunties and friends for a baby fix), but it was rare, very rare, for me to leave the house. I also think maybe it was a leftover habit from breastfeeding. Eating in the evening was a necessity when I was breastfeeding, but it didn’t stop completely when I the breastfeeding stopped.

I had to really think about why I was eating and what I was eating. I made some conscious changes – I’d have a glass of water or cup of tea first before I would eat anything and then if I was still absolutely hungry, I’d have a piece of fruit.

The interesting thing is since Alex’s schedule changed at the beginning of the month, I’ve noticed I don’t want to eat anything after dinner anymore – just a piece of fruit when I come home from Aquafit, but nothing else. So I guess it was boredom and loneliness.

I guess it’s a good question to contemplate every once in a while…Why do you eat?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And it starts...

The Olympics opened last night - we watched the ceremony and there is some major excitement at our house. We were at the torch relay the night before too (I'll post some pictures later).

They opened on a bit of a sad note because of the training death of Nodar Kumaritashvili. I saw the video footage on the news just as it happened and wow, it was horrific and sad.

But grrr. Protesters are in downtown Vancouver rioting, destroying things, including smashing the windows of the Bay, and intimidating people on the streets.

I'm not concerned so much about protesters - I have no problem with them protesting, here or elsewhere. What drives me nuts is that they seem to think they can break the law and they are somewhat cowardly about it as most of them have masks covering their faces. I heard an interview with one of them and she kept saying their violence wasn't a problem, it was small; the problem was the police who were violent in arresting the people. She also said their disruption of downtown was nothing compared with the disruption VANOC is forcing on people by virtue of hosting the Olympics. Ummm...VANOC gave us seven years notice that there would be two weeks of disruption and change in Vancouver. These guys show up and start smashing downtown and they think that comes close to even preparing?!

Yeah, I'm a bit riled's amazing how a small group of people (they say there's maybe a few hundred of them) can ruin things for a larger group of people. Protesters, go away...or at least protest in a lawful manner.

That's all.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fatigue and Tiredness

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

So, the crazy diet seems to have done the trick…or at least part of the trick. The fatigue is totally letting up. I’m sure the aquafit has a lot to do with it too, but I am certain the diet played a big role!

When I was battling fatigue before, I saw a bunch of doctors, specialists and students…And when there was a student involved I had to tell my story from the very beginning, even if I’d been seeing that particular doctor/specialist regularly and they knew the story by heart (there was one doctor who I saw 2-3 times a week for about three months…she knew the drill!). One of those students was studying to be a nurse practitioner and it was because of her I had to figure out how to describe the difference (for me) between feeling tired and feeling fatigued.

This particular woman was convinced from the moment she started taking my history (the story begins with a sudden, unexplained fever and snowballs from there) that my problem was quite simply “just depression.” Which she told me six or seven times before she had my complete history.

When the doctor came in and the student “presented” me she immediately started off with, this woman is depressed. Now, I don’t think she’d seen my chart because this was the doctor I’d was visiting more often than I saw my friends and the doctor, while she listened to what the student had to say, was not in agreement. Depression was one of the first things they ruled out – in part because of how I felt in the morning.

The reason this student was adamant that I was “just depressed” was because I mentioned that I just couldn’t get myself out of bed in the morning. What I didn’t manage to get across but the doctor finally communicated to the student was that (for me) not being able to get up in the morning wasn’t a psychological, “don’t want to” get up but more a physical, “can’t actually do it” get up AND when the student *still* insisted that I was “just depressed” that the various doctors I had been seeing had all ruled depression out. And what I realized from the discussion that ensued between the doctor and the student was that I needed to be more clear on how I felt. (I also hoped the student stopped telling people they were “just depressed” because depression is a little more serious and real than “just” allows it to be.)

Which led me to my personal definitions of tiredness and fatigue. I’m tired if I can’t keep my eyes open, I feel sleepy, and a good night’s rest (or nap) will take away the tired feeling. I’m fatigued I usually feel sleepy, I may not be able to keep my eyes open, I may not be able to concentrate, I may not be able to get motivated, I may not want to eat, but sleep (a nap or a good night’s rest) will not make me feel less tired or relieve the other symptoms.

So, while I’m still tired (getting up with a hungry, growing toddler at 4:00 doesn’t help things), I feel like I’m fatigue free again! I can be “cured” by getting some sleep…although that’s not likely to happen for another, oh, eighteen years.

Coupon clipper

That's what I've become...a coupon clipper. And a flyer fiend.

I've found two awesome coupon sites - they're free and they deliver the coupons right to your mailbox - GoCoupons and I think GoCoupons is my favourite because we've become huge yogurt consumers and they have coupons for our favourite brand as well as pasta and toilet paper coupons. is good because it is always changing and has a bigger variety of things. But there's a lot on there that we don't use - like insulin monitors.

As for the fliers...We plan our weekly menu and then I make the grocery list. And then I get out the computer, download the two neighbourhood grocery stores' weekly flyers and away I go. Some weeks it makes sense to just shop at one store, other weeks it makes sense to shop at both.

I never really planned my shopping before, but there are something I just never ever ever would pay full price for - toilet paper, tissue and bread being the main ones. Meat, chicken and fish too, since something is always on sale. Now though, between the coupons (which you can use on already sale priced stuff since the sale price is the store's discount and the coupon price is the manufacturer's discount) and the sale price, sometimes I save up to 1/3 of the bill!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My blog-land

1. How long have you been blogging? since March 2006

2. What made you start? Heather. And boredom. I was at work. She was at work. I was bored. She emailed me a link to her blog (it's gone now) and I read it and clicked on her blog roll and read those blogs and a few days later I decided to start my own blog. I'd never really even followed a blog before that.

3. Who inspired you? Heather

4. About how many hours a week would you estimate you spend on your blog? - 3 or 4 depending on the week

5. What kind of experience or background do you have with writing? I have an English degree and I've always enjoyed writing

6. Talk about how you come up with blog topics. Where do you get your ideas? My ideas usually come from boring old every day life.

7. What or who inspires you and your blog? Life in general....

8. Where and/or how do you do your brainstorming for your blog? I don't. When I think of something and I'm near the computer and have time, I blog. No brainstorming for me.

9. Do you have any blogging rules or guidelines you follow? I try not to talk about work and I think twice before I hit publish on stories with other people in them....

10. Is there anything you will not blog about? Things that should remain private

11. Do you have any sort of a publishing schedule in terms of day of week or topic? nope

12. How many drafts of potential blog posts do you have right now? None

13. In what medium do you draft your posts? Right in the blogger dashboard, using HTML not the WYSIWYG editor

14. How often do you completely scratch or delete drafts or blog post ideas? Not often

15. If you had to leave your blog in your will to another blogger, who would you choose? I'm not sure - the blogs I read everyday right now are all pretty blogs where I lurk.

16. Are there other blogs that you feel are similar to yours in content, style, or voice? Lots in terms of content - voice and style probably, but I haven't really gone looking for them.

17. Has anything surprised you since you started blogging? Mostly that I kept it up!

18. What are your goals or plans for your blog going forward? No goals, no plans, just to keep blogging when I feel like it

19. Do you make any money from your blog? nope

20. What blogging system do you use? Blogger

21. How did you come up your blog name? It's what I called myself when I was little and couldn't say my own name

22. How many blogs do you have? What was your peak? I have two, this one and its sister over there which has been neglected and will hopefully be updated soon. As in this weekend. And I blog on Stacey's Get Fit Chicks blog as often as I can

23. Are you having as much fun as when you started? yup - especially now that I'm also blogging with Stacey

24. Where do you find other bloggers like you? I'm not so much about finding other bloggers LIKE me, but I do like reading what other people are reading - blog rolls are a great place to find new blogs!

25. What’s your one wish when it comes to blogging?
Hmmmm...well, maybe, I don't know, I just do it because it's an outlet for me

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Getting Needled

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

As I mentioned before, my hormones have been running wild since I had my daughter and they just don’t want to calm down…my doctor has run the tests and changed my pill, three times in the last eight months, but things are still out of whack. And I’m positive that some of my weight loss struggle comes from my crazy hormones – hormones in general, not just hormones that come to visit once a month.

I decided to try some alternative therapy to get those hormones back in check. According to the blood tests they are within “normal” range, but according to the cravings, mood swings, acne, etc. and my husband, they’re definitely not!

So I did a little bit of research and found myself an acupuncturist who specializes in a few things, one of them being hormones. And she’s only two blocks from our house.

I went for my first session today – the initial consultation is free and then I could decide if I wanted to “get needled” then or later. I decided since I was there, I’d just do it.

I was a bit nervous because I’m not a fan of needles, but I just closed my eyes and it was fine. I felt most of them go in and two or three pinched a bit but it wasn’t uncomfortable. Acupuncture is all about changing the flow of your Qi and I swear I could feel weird things going on in my body…there was this strange sensation across my forehead that sometimes moved up to the top of my head and sometimes moved into my jaw…it was very bizarre.

And when I was done I felt very relaxed. I’m going back again next week, so we’ll see what happens. The acupuncturist said it could take a few weeks (and maybe a few cycles) before I notice many changes, but I’m very excited that things might actually change!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

I'm a dork

Because yesterday I got one of these:

fuzz eater
that takes one of these:

before fuzz eater
and makes it look like this:

after fuzz eater
and that's how I spent my Friday night. De-fuzzing clothing.


That's all

Thursday, February 04, 2010

That old excuse: I don’t have time…

This post was originally published at Get Fit Chicks. It may refer to posts on Get Fit Chicks that no longer exist. Please email me if you run into any of those and I will break the links. More information about the reposting is available here

We’ve all said it…and most of the time we know it’s not true.

That whole I’d like to work out but I don’t have time excuse.

Well, now I do have time. To be fair, it wasn’t that I didn’t have time to work out as much or the way I wanted, it was that I had new responsibilities including a toddler who needs dinner, a bath and bed every night after work and then someone to look after her while I went to work out.

My dilemma was this – the way I used to work out didn’t fit into my new schedule because I have a toddler and I have a husband who works an opposite schedule to me, but I had lots of time to work out.

So instead of swimming at lunch (which meant I got to leave my office sooner and see my husband for 45 minutes instead of 15 minutes each night) or stopping by the gym after work, I had a two and half a hour window after 7:00 when I had a sleeping toddler.

But I couldn’t justify the cost of a sitter so I could go to the gym or a class (umm…$8-10 an hour…yeah…) and I didn’t feel like I could impose on the aunties/friends who offer to babysit because I’m pretty darn sure that “I’d love to baby sit for you” means every once in a while not every Tuesday and Thursday night so that mommy can go workout.

So I got a yoga video. I enjoy it. But it’s not the same. I could easily talk myself out of doing it and because there was no set time, well, what can I say, I had a million excuses.

And then someone changed something and things shifted so my opposite schedule husband now works a similar schedule to mine. Which means he doesn’t bolt out the door at 6:30 every night, he hangs out with us instead. It also means that twice this week I’ve been able to go to deep water Aquafit. It’s awesome. I love it. I tried to go at work, but Aquafit on campus is at 10:30 in the morning…who can take an hour and a half out of their working day that early…not me! And I get to go with a friend which makes the motivation factor even higher!

So, provided the work schedule doesn’t change, I’ll be able to go to Aquafit twice a week. Yay! That makes me happy!