Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in review

I woke up made myself a coffee and crawled back into bed to enjoy my lazy day at home. As I was sitting there I wished my peeps a happy last day of 2011. After sending out my wishes my mind started to wonder back to the start of 2011 and as I traveled back through my year in my head, I didn’t even believe all that had happened. So I figured why not share my crazy year in review with my blogging peeps!

I woke up to 2011 in Costa Rica, realizing that instead of having a nap my mom, sister, aunt and I had slept through New Year’s Eve. While in Costa Rica I challenged pretty much ALL of my fears and phobias. I rappelled down 350ft waterfalls, zip lined 750ft over the rain forest, hiked up a volcano, played in the rainforest with frog’s snakes and all other types of creepy crawlies.  I got stung by jelly fish and almost got tackled by a giant lizard sliding down a hot tin roof. My 15 day trip in Costa Rica challenged me and opened my world up even more then I could ever imagine.

As if Costa Rica wasn’t enough, March brought us Boston and the running of the brides. Running of the brides is a yearly even where all the designers send their dresses to a giant convention hall at crazy discounted rates. Women line up overnight to wait to all rush in to grab there perfect dress; you run, wrestle, barter and sometimes fight for that perfect dress.  We lined up at 3am for my girlfriend pam and we were some of the first in line, we fought our way to her dream dress and by 11am it was all hers. We explored Boston, visited Harvard, did a photo shoot and partied the night away for my girl Keeks birthday!

With my year being a roller coaster, starting up up up and then eventually racing down it bring us to April and our first appointment with our fertility specialist. We were told after years of trying, tests and emotions that our only options were for me to have surgery or for us to go through IVF. I had a follow up appointment with our DR in May after he got a hold of my medical records and the surgery was taken off of the table because of safety concerns for me. We were left with only IVF, which is a 10-15 thousand dollar procedure with (for us) a 50% chance of success.  We were devastated.

The summer was a blur of  anger, denial, tears and finally acceptance. Accepting that maybe children were not in our future was a hard pill to swallow and clouded what is normally my favorite bright sunny summer season.

Finally in comes the fall!

On one special shopping day in the states, my sister in law asks me if I can keep a secret. She’s pregnant and (other than her hubby no one else knows). This news made me so happy and brightened not only my day, but my cloudy world. She is currently 5.5 months pregnant, everyone knows and she and their soon to be baby girl are doing amazing. (I am feeling her kick as I write this post lol)

In comes my phone call from my mom and sister that has forever changed our lives. The New Hot 899’s Win a baby contest; put us through another rollercoaster of emotions. Entering and Ryan trying to make sure my hopes weren’t too high (to avoid another range of emotional consequences), passing the top 5 qualifying deadline and assuming we did not make the top five, waking up the next day to hear that the top five had yet to be chosen, making top five, voting and then finally finding out that all top five couples had won. We had all won up to 35,000 and up to 3 rounds of ivf. We got our baby hopes back and made some amazing connections through this process. Our family friends, friends of friends and complete strangers stepped up to support our dream of having a baby of our own. Oh and on the same weekend we won the win a baby contest…I turned 30. J

Since then it has been a blur of planning out our treatment, signing forms, media interviews, media profiles and me prepping for hormones and a hopeful future baby. I’ve lost 15lbs and have been trying to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in the New Year.  We are excited, nervous, elated, anxious and ready to explore 2012. We’re hoping that Charly’s baby girl will have a cousin to play with by Christmas.

Not to mention all the weddings, party's, job changes, accidents and other daily craziness thats fills our lives.

So 2011 was like a girly movie for me, started exciting and happy, had some dark low points and then finishes on a high. Hopefully 2012 is less girly movie and more a baby story.

After over a year of blogging, thank you for following along with me in my crazy life and cannot wait to share all that’s awaiting me in 2012.

Lotsa Love,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Infertility Profile

With the win a baby contest through The New Hot 89.9, this year has definitely been a crazy whirlwind of interviews and press requests. We had to be selective with who we wanted to share our story and lives with, some requests we declined and others we gladly accepted. One in particular, Kelly Kent, won me over and ended up creating a profile on me and infertility for her school project at Algonquin college. After meeting with me and talking to my family friends she created a wonderful profile that brought tears to my eyes. I thought I would share her amazing work with you, my peeps. Hope you enjoy!

Kelly Kent  

 Thanksgiving is a time to get together with family and friends to relax, laugh and stuff yourself full of good food. It is supposed to be a time to treat yourself, to gather your thoughts and to recharge before the long and stressful Christmas season.

 This was not the case for Natasha Derouchie and her family this past Thanksgiving weekend.

 No, for them it was a weekend spent texting, calling and emailing friends, family, friends of family and friends of friends. It was spent behind some sort of screen, desperately posting links and spreading the word. Each member of the gathering was totally engrossed in a laptop or a Smartphone, voting over and over again for Couple A. 

The fact that it was also Natasha’s 30th birthday weekend did little to calm nerves or cut tension and only a small amount of celebrating took place. 

Each member of Natasha’s tight-knit group of supporters was nearly sick to their stomach with anticipation, anxiously awaiting an announcement that could change their lives forever.

 Finally, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 the past-due broadcast was made.  Local radio station, Hot 89.9, broke the news that Natasha Derouchie, 30, and her husband Ryan Derouchie, would be given the chance they have been waiting for since they first met eight years ago—they would be given the chance to have a baby of their very own.

 That was the day Natasha and Ryan discovered they were one of five lucky couples to receive the grand prize of the controversial radio contest: Win a Baby. Each couple will receive up to three in vitro fertility treatments, valued at over $30,000.

 For Natasha, Ryan and their families, it was a dream come true. 

Natasha and Ryan met in October eight years ago on Natasha’s 22nd birthday in the elevator of the apartment building they unknowingly shared. Although they only met briefly, Ryan decided to ask Natasha to come down to the bar he was working at at the time. 

It took her a while, but in January Natasha headed over to Ryan’s work, accompanied by her best friend, Caitlin Delaney. 

Caitlin said she knew right away that Ryan meant something to Natasha because she seemed shy around him when she was normally so chatty and outgoing. 

Natasha and Ryan chatted the whole night and Ryan said he was constantly looking for a good opportunity to ask her out for coffee, but Caitlin was always hovering not far away. 

Finally, when the two girls got up to leave, Ryan saw the chance he had been waiting for all night and made his move. 
“I remember running around the horseshoe bar,” said Ryan. “Like, sprinting. And then when I got outside I tried to act all cool and casual.” 
Natasha agreed to meet him for coffee and the two have been together ever since. 

Eight months later, on Natasha’s 23rd birthday and one year from when they had first met, Ryan proposed. 

“I was shocked,” said Caitlin. “I had to sit down on the sidewalk. It hadn’t even been a year.” 

Despite the quick engagement, everyone who knows Natasha and Ryan can see they are perfect for each other. Ryan himself describes Natasha as his love, his life and his everything.

 “They absolutely beam around each other,” said Natasha’s mother, Edna (Eddie) Sinclair.

 Ryan says he knew he wanted to be with Natasha for the rest of his life after she started to laugh at a funny part in a movie one day when the two of them were sitting on the couch. 
“I could just picture our little girl laughing like that,” he said. “That’s when I thought to myself ‘I want to have kids with her.’”

 Ryan and Natasha got married after a two-year engagement and they have been trying for a baby ever since. 

Having a baby, though, would not be an easy journey. When Natasha was 16, she needed surgery to remove her appendix, which had become inflamed. The surgery went well, but a few months later she started getting sick.

 “She was having the same symptoms as before so I took her back to the hospital,” said Eddie.
 Natasha needed to have an organ wash this time around to deal with toxins that had leaked from her appendix before the first surgery and had remained in her body. She was put on antibiotics afterwards and was sent home.

 However, the infection from the toxins managed to stay in her system and Natasha needed a third surgery.

 Luckily, the infection was healed after that third surgery, but it created a problem that would stay with Natasha for the rest of her life. 

As a result of being opened up so many times, adhesions—or scar tissue—fused Natasha’s fallopian tubes to her bladder, making it impossible for her eggs to travel to her womb and for Natasha to get pregnant naturally. 

Adhesions can sometimes be removed, but in Natasha’s case, because of where they formed, removing them could be fatal. 

So it was a botched surgery in her teens that has made it almost impossible for Natasha to have baby. 

“When people think infertility, they think of an old, lonely woman. What they don’t understand is it can happen to someone as young and loving as Tasha,” Caitlin said.

 In fact, infertility affects over 8.5 per cent of Canadians—or over a quarter of a million Canadian couples, according to the Royal Commission for New Reproductive Technologies. It is defined as the inability to conceive a child after a year of regular, unprotected intercourse or the inability to carry a baby to term. 

Eddie says Natasha has always wanted and loved kids. She is the oldest of three children and has always doted on her siblings.

 “I don’t remember her lugging dolls around,” she said. “It was probably her siblings she played with.” Eddie was 16 when she was pregnant with Natasha, and after she was born Eddie was told she wouldn’t be able to have any more children because of complications from surgeries.

 Eddie says Natasha didn’t understand why she couldn’t have any more siblings and was always asking her mother for “just one” brother or sister. 

“She really wanted a sibling,” said Eddie, laughing. Natasha loved the idea of siblings. When Eddie was pregnant with her third child, Natasha would read stories to her mother’s belly and talk to her unborn brother every day.

 Eddie says when Dakota was born and the nurses took him away to be weighed and measured, no one could get him to stop crying—until Natasha began to talk to him. 
“I guess her voice calmed him,” said Eddie. “Because when he heard her voice he turned to look at her and stopped crying.” 

Natasha’s mother-in-law, Nancy Derouchie, says Natasha seems to have a special bond with all children. “She lights up like a Christmas tree when she see them,” she said. After trying for a baby for two years, Natasha and Ryan decided to go to their family doctor to see what was going on. After several tests, their doctor referred them to an OBGYN, who in turn referred them to the Ottawa Fertility Clinic. It was there that they were told they would need in vitro fertilization treatments to have any hope of having a baby of their own.

 One treatment of in vitro fertilization can cost upwards of $10,000.
 “We didn’t know how we were going to pay for it,” Natasha said. Natasha and Ryan are so deserving of children that people in their community were going to hold fundraisers to collect money to help with the cost of IVF. Natasha’s mother was even going to mortgage her fully-paid for home to pay for the treatments if all else failed.

 “They have so much love to offer,” said Eddie. “I couldn’t imagine a life without (Natasha) being able to have a child.”

 Cue Hot 89.9 and Win a Baby. It was Eddie who heard the blurb on the radio advertising a Win a Baby contest that was to begin on Labour Day. 

Natasha says her mom called her and excitedly told her she was going to win a baby and explained how she was to sign up. “We needed to write a bit about why we deserved to win a baby, in 100 words or less,” said Natasha. Ryan says Natasha didn’t say much about the contest right away; she just said they were going to win a baby. Ryan was skeptical about the contest at first, because he believed they had no chance of winning and he didn’t want Natasha to be disappointed, but she eventually convinced him to give it a shot. 

The top five couples were announced right before Thanksgiving weekend, and Natasha and Ryan, for confidentiality reasons, were Couple A. 

Thanksgiving weekend was spent in a state of numbness, at the same time hoping for a win and preparing for a loss. 
“I almost fell off my chair when we heard we had won,” said Ryan. “I almost still can’t believe it.”
 The contest has given Natasha and Ryan new hope of having a family of their own. “Win a Baby has given us an amazing opportunity,” said Natasha. “We’re so grateful.” Natasha starts the in vitro fertilization treatments in 

January, and if everything goes well, she could be pregnant in February. Natasha’s sister-in-law is expecting a baby currently, and the two hope to share the new-baby joys together. 
“We’re hoping to have two little ones by Christmas next year,” Nancy said.      

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Remember when a work week ended on a Friday and was only 35-40hrs? I don’t…lol Somewhere along the line people have adapted to being ok with working more than they do anything else in their lives. How did this end up being ok? How is spending the majority of your life at work what any of us want?

There are many types of people, reasons and work environments that call for crazy work schedules. Everyone’s life, home and work situation is different so therefore the crazy workaholics all have different reasons for working the hours that they do.

For the love of the game- Some people (company founders, athletes, creative minds) throw themselves into their work because it is there passion…it is who they are. These people live, breathe and eat work, working crazy hours does not bother them because they are doing what they love.

Show me the money- Some people are money hungry or have an OCD about money. These people do not necessarily care what they’re doing, but will work just so they can have the dough rolling in.

I need the money- Some people are in a situation where one or two incomes is just not enough and they need to work 2+ jobs just to make ends meet. These people rarely enjoy when working and tend to resent the whole situation.

Means to an end- Some people have a goal or a target that they are working crazily, for a short period of time, towards. They have a light at the end of the tunnel, with their goal date in mind can usually plug through the madness.

Don’t want to go home- Some people throw themselves into work because it is better than the alternative of being at home and dealing with whatever they are hiding from; the stress of working crazy hours seems more appealing than dealing with whatever they’ve been avoiding in their personal lives.

How did this happen- Some people get into a situation where its believed to be temporary and years later they look back and wonder where has my last few years been spent…oh ya behind my desk. This is when they usually have their aha moments.

In my particular situation both of my jobs are quiet from January till February, so to ensure that I am working enough in the slow months, I need to keep both and am consequently working a lot right now. But I have a light at the end of my tunnel and every week it gets brighter and brighter.
I have learnt through years of work and open communication with my hubby that you need to make time for the things and people in your life that you’re working for. The dishes will still be there tomorrow, but will the people you are neglecting? With how much I have been working there are some things I have had to either put on hold or do less of, so that my time with my husband is not affected. Figuring out the give and take is the hardest part of balancing hectic and full schedules.

Remember there are only so many hours in a day, week, month or even year. As I get older I cannot get over how fast time flies, things change and what you can miss being chained to your desk. If you’re at a point where you are tired and frustrated, you need to decide why it is you are working so much, is it worth it and what are you trying to achieve or avoid. Sometimes the answer or solution is easy and right before your eyes, sometimes it’s a hard decision or realization.

Life flies by faster than we know it, so if at the end of the day we are not happy, then what are we doing wrong? Make choices that benefit you and your loved ones and remember life is more than a pay check and a desk to work behind.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
Henry Ellis

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Do it for you!

When in a couple, when dealing with family and friends; sometimes we start making choices based on what other people like and not what we like. So how do we know when to make choices to make everyone happy and when to make us happy?

Being married for over five years now most of my decisions are our decisions, which is perfectly fine with me. I know that Ryan is the person I will spend the rest of my life with so of course I want to do things and make choices that make him happy.

But a part of me remembers the girl I was before; that made choices on a whim, chopped, colored and styled her hair however she wanted. Dressed for her and only her; and decorated/painted however she felt like.

Bangs For me! lol
As part of a mature couple you have to submit your major decision making to the couple, these big life decisions are made as a unit. And for the most part most of my decisions are a we thing. However, no matter how much Ryan may protest, I still cut my hair, get the occasional bangs (which he hates), dress for me and occasionally add in a girly throw pillow or two.

I hear “I can’t do/wear/say that I’m a mother” or “I love those shoes, but I don’t think my husband would approve of them.”. Absolutely our roles are incredibly important, Husband, Mother, Daughter, Brother, Friend; but don’t forget that you are you as well… a man or a woman. So even though I’m incredibly proud to be Mrs. Derouchie, I also remember I am Tasha as well.

I’m not saying to ignore your parents, partner or friends on major decisions or even the minor ones. What I am saying is to remember when hearing everyone else’s opinions to take yours in to account as well. If you see a cute pair of loafers you know everyone else but you would dislike, get them you’re the one wearing them… If you love yourself in a bob but your honey loves your hair long, every once in a while indulge yourself and chop that hair, it grows back. You’re out shopping with the guys and you see something that would make the man cave complete, pick it up as a treat to you…how bad can it really be?

In life it can be easy to get caught up in pleasing everyone else, that sometimes we can forget that in order to make everyone else happy we need to be happy. So go ahead…Get happy!

Lotsa Love,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Joy

With Christmas less than a month away, holiday songs are on the airways and all stores are decked out with Christmas items. There are many different views on Christmas shopping and decorating; where do you stand?

I am someone who loves Christmas decorations, decorating the house, Christmas baking and all the sparkly glittery items and of course twinkle lights. I even love the smell of Christmas, baked goods and pine trees…yum! I would decorate for Christmas on November first if my hubby would let me, he would be happy with decorating on December twenty fourth and taking them down on the twenty sixth. I feel that is just not enough time to take in all the sparkly Christmas glory.
Now I’m not so crazy over Christmas that I am playing the music all day long, wearing a Christmas sweater and drinking hot cocoa as I write. But I am a lover of the spirit of Christmas. There is something magical about a warm fire, light snowflakes gently falling outside, curled up eating baked goods and wrapping gifts. I love that it is the time of year that family and friends all come together, travel home and spend some amazing times together. I love all the different family traditions and memories created singing carols and making gingerbread houses at the age of 30.

I have yet to decorate for Christmas, not of my choosing, I work two jobs, attempt to blog semi regularly and have a loving husband, families and friends to spend time with, oh and my dog. So I am hoping to get my decorating done this week…can’t wait!

How do you feel about Christmas? Are you a decorating fiend or a crazy Christmas baker? Are you more of a scrooge then a happy elf? How do you feel about this special time of year?
I love hearing about everyone’s family traditions and stories from Christmas, so hopefully you will share.

I think that with anything in life we can make what we want of it! We can focus on the stress of travel, cost of gifts and time spent decorating or we can focus on time spent with family, the joy on a special someone’s face when you found that gift that was meant for them and memories made decorating the Christmas tree. I think as we get older most for us lose the magic of Christmas, so in my opinion get it back. Stop rushing around without stopping to take in all the splendor of the holidays, stop worrying that you didn’t get enough gifts or spend enough on a person, because that’s not what it’s about. Try and remember what it was like for you as a child and go back to that sparkly, new, happy place. Let go of the cynical views of the commercialization of Christmas and enjoy the JOY!

Because trust me, it’s never a bad thing to have too much joy in your life, so share the sparkle! 

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To share or not to share?

With Twitter, Facebook and smartphones at everyone’s disposal personal information is now much less personal. Many people screen what they put online; some share a little, some share a lot and others over share. So as a blogger or a user of social media how do you make the personal choice of what to share with the world?

As a blogger and recent winner of a very public radio station contest, I find that I share much more than I ever have before. I still have my boundaries, but am much more open to personal details of my life; especially when it comes to my issues with fertility and my upcoming IVF treatment.

I decided a while ago that I was going to share my struggles with fertility and ivf, once the contest was out Ryan and I talked about it some more and agreed that sharing our story and bringing you through the process with us, would not only be good for us but may even help people as well.

Fertility is one of those things that most people don’t talk about, people tend to blame themselves for their problems or think they are alone; well you are not to blame and you are not alone. I also feel that there are a lot of people who have no idea what IVF is or what it entails for the couples going through it.  Not to mention the fact that I find writing to be therapeutic.

I am incredibly lucky to have a wonderfully supportive family, friends and new founded group of amazing people to go through the IVF journey with. I know many people are not as lucky as I, so I would like to offer up my support and share my experiences with you. I will try to be as open and honest while going through the process of ivf so all the supporters during the contest and anyone considering IVF (or anyone at all) can be part of mine and Ryan’s journey.

There are many aspects of my life that remain mine and the great thing is I have the choice of what I want to share. I absolutely believe you can over share and that there are just some things you don’t need to post. But I also think that the people who push the boundaries and take risks are the people who make our world a better one to be in, so who am I to judge what’s an over share?

I think as long as your comfortable with what you are putting out their than go for it. Because, it’s just as much everyone else’s choice to read it as it’s yours to post it.

Lotsa Love,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Friends in new places

As a child we make friends faster than we can tie our laces; were BFF’s in a matter of minutes…Friends at first site. Somewhere along the line as we get older and more stuck in our ways most of us seem to forget that we can make new friends and that there is a whole big world out there filled with interesting people to meet.

I think part of the issue is when we get older we fear more; we become defensive and put our guards up. Strangers who talk to us while out are “strange” and our alerts go up; we rarely strike up a conversation little own make eye contact with someone we don’t know.  We fear rejection where as a child that never crossed my mind.

We make excuses like we are too busy, so there is no way to fit anything or anyone into our lives, our lives are fine the way they are why do we need to make the effort to make new friends?

BECAUSE! Every new person that we meet teaches us something new; about ourselves, people and gives us the opportunity to teach as well.

I love my close BFF’s; I couldn’t imagine my life without them. But do we all share every interest or are we all going through the same things in life? No, that’s what makes a collage of friends so interesting. You are all different and bring a different dynamic, a different flavor to the group. So why not add another, try a different flavor combination?

I just recently had dinner with an amazing group of women, my Win a Baby top five winners. Other than meeting for the first time at the radio station and chatting through Facebook, this was our first time all spending time together. What could have been a quick and awkward dinner between strangers was in fact a three hour long amazingly comfortable dinner between friends. The time flew by and I know I left dinner happy and excited by what’s in store for my very near future. We may have been brought together by very unordinary circumstances, but we chose to exchange information and we all make the effort to stay in contact.

I’m not saying to talk to everyone you meet or befriend every stranger you pass by. What I am saying is open yourself up, put yourself out there and see what’s out there.  Meet new people, have new experiences and break out of your bubble. Let someone new in or 4…lol If you have a hobby join a group or talk about in on twitter or Facebook it’s amazing the people you will find that have the same hobbies as you. If you’re dieting join an online group and get support from people going through it with you. If you’re at a bookstore and you see someone struggling to decide to buy a book that you’ve read give them your opinion.

Open yourself up and you’ll be amazed at all the new adventures and opportunities that open up for you.

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Update- Being Couple A

Since the announcement that all five couples won the IVF treatments through The New Hot 89.9 Win a Baby contest we have been on a super happy cloud built for two…or ten. J It’s not only great that the radio station gave us all the prize, but they also gave us all a great friendship.  Since the day of the contest announcement we all hall been in touch, almost daily, keeping up to date with everyday life things and of course our IVF progress and I feel very lucky for it.
Photo of all five couples taken the day of the radio announcement.

Ryan and I have just had our first (overwhelming) appointment to sign consents, agree on embryo numbers and work out my hormone treatment. I have never been so happy to sign so much paperwork or be called the “egg donor” lol. After discussing everything with our DR we still need to complete and online course explaining my type of hormone therapy (Agonist), that we should be able to complete in a week or two. The clinic is closed for a week in December, so this brings us to January.

In our appointment our DR brought up a funny topic (funny to me because I just blogged about losing weight). He recommends that I loose between 20-40lbs before I start IVF hormones and after the numbers he gave me on miscarriage, diabetes and overall health of the baby and me, I agreed.  So being that the absolute earliest we could start anyways is January I’ve got great motivation and determination. I’ve worked it out; if I lost 2lbs a week (which is still in the healthy range) I could lose 20lbs by the time I would need to start hormones in January.  YAY

So if you see me going near a fast food restaurant honk at me… don’t let me eat my mom’s shortbread and no I do not want chocolate…lol  If you see a very unhappy runner in the snow, it’s probably me and I would just stay clear…lol

We are just so over the moon about this whole opportunity that not even weight loss and dieting can bring me down. I am happy that I have a great new group of friends who will all be hormonal and crazy alongside me and that Ryan has a bunch of great guys (the husbands) who can understand what it’s like to deal with one of us.  The girls from the top five are meeting up in the near future for the first time since the contest for a fun girl’s night and I cannot wait, we will all have had our appointments and know our treatment plans by then.

So thank you Hot 89.9, all the people who support us and the wonderful staff at The Ottawa Fertility Clinic. I have never been more excited to be poked and prodded at then I am right now!

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, November 3, 2011

From Big Macs to Big Salads

I used to watch what I ate, worked out and tried to be healthy. After we were told we couldn’t have children naturally I stopped it all and went on a “gonna eat what I want, I’m angry” binge. Now that we have won IVF treatments the prospect of carrying a baby is closer than ever before so we decided to eat healthier, stop drinking and cut down on caffeine; it’s been interesting…lol

I absolutely know the importance of eating healthy all the time, I know I feel better when I work out and know that booze and coffee aren’t always good for me. However, doesn’t mean I don’t like deep fried anything, love coffee and really enjoy a glass (or two) of red wine … oh and lounging on the couch.  The idea of staying in bed all day all curled up makes me happy inside… the idea of getting up when it’s cold outside and going for a run…not so much.

I have to say that out of all my failed diet/eating healthy attempts I have the greatest motivation this time, I have always dieted for me but my motivations may have been a bit more vain in my previous attempts. I know that being healthy (eating right, getting rest, exercise, water) is incredibly important in having a baby and knowing that my IVF treatment could begin any month now is motivation enough. Being wacked out on hormones is hard enough on the body when you are being nice to it on a regular basis little own mistreating it.

So what am I doing? Well booze has been cut out altogether (empty calories and booze + hormones…lol), I’m trying to cut out deep fried/fast foods, packing snacks and lunches, taking my vitamins daily and trying to eat balanced meals. I haven’t gotten back on the exercise train yet, but I do want to get back into yoga/pilotes, get my stretch on.

What I have learned from my many years of dieting is that ultimately you have to do it for you. Am I putting a rush on getting healthy because I know I could be getting preggers soon yes, but do I “HAVE” to…NO! Many people have children all the time without ever making a change to their eating/lifestyle habits. I am choosing for me to be as healthy as I can be in my normal life setting, no extremes. I know that if you try to diet for someone or something else other than yourself it will not work. Projecting what you think someone else wants or needs will not work, in fact will probably fail epicly.  Because, you are the one eating that salad, you are the one out running and it’s you who will succeed.  Plus eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or celery and water, have fun with it explore, learn about foods and might even have fun.

So, use something or someone as inspiration or motivation but in the end be healthy for you. Be happy with who you are today and aim to improve your health, increase your energy or to complete a goal (5k race). Make your goals obtainable and realistic when changing your lifestyle and do it in baby steps to avoid crazy fallout binging…lol.  Have fun with your foods and exercises, join a club or an online group and make it a lifestyle change instead of a flash diet.  Love who you are and aim for a healthier version of you today!

Lotsa Love,

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Accessorize with personality

With so many people focused on clothes, purses, shoes  and all other materialistic accessories it’s easy for our personality to be brushed aside and the focus put on our great new look rather than our great personalities. So why don’t we accessorize with our personality first and if you did what would you showcase?

We put so much emphasis on what we’re wearing that it becomes way more than just a great sense of style, it’s the girl with the LV purse, great UGGs or fabulous makeup/hair. People have started to replace personality traits with fashion items when describing a person; when did that happen? So much time is spent on how we look and if people are going to like how we look rather than if people are going to like us for who we are. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be known as the women with a great sense of humour, rather than a great pair of shoes.

Compassionate, Trustworthy, Giving
So what if you were stripped of your trendy clothes, accessories, makeup and hair products; the way you wake up in the morning is the way everyone would see you. What personality traits would you accessorize with? Are you cheerful, considerate, punctual, unselfish or courageous? What about creative, dynamic, personable or trustworthy?

Don’t get me wrong I like shiny pretty new things, but I also like knowing a person for who they are and not who they are wearing. My hope is that when I meet someone my personality leave’s more of an impression then what I was wearing and that I take away an impression of who that person was in return.

How fantastic would it be if we all spent as much time working on ourselves as a person as we did working on our look? If we all accepted that an accessory is just that and we are the main attraction? I personally think that the world would be a much better place, what about you?

Lotsa Love,

P.S Write down your top three favorite attributes or traits in the comment section and share with everyone how wonderful you are!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Keeping "Love" Sexy

Whether you’re struggling with conceiving, been together for a long time or are just in a personal rut; it can be very easy to leave out the sexy part of “Love”. So what do we do when we get busy, are upset or just in a funk?

In my quest to try and get pregnant I got completely lost in calendars, cycles and rules of trying to conceive. It got to the point where my husband pointed out that he felt I only wanted to have “Love” if it was a scheduled baby making activity. I was so determined and focused that I completely left out spontaneity, effort and sexiness. That was not my intention, but I got completely lost in my need to have a baby.

I know this isn’t an uncommon issue with couples trying to conceive and I know it’s not just an issue with wanting to have a baby. When we aren’t feeling our best; emotionally or physically we can forget that there is another person in our relationship who we are neglecting. In many cases when we’ve been in a relationship for a long time, we can forget the sparkle that should be included in “Love”!

Personal stress, unhappiness with one’s self and even boredom can lead to not feeling sexy yourself. I know that if I don’t feel sexy I’m much less apt to wanting to put effort in or even thinking about ”Love”.  But is it your partner’s fault that you’re feeling that way? It’s up to us to feel good about ourselves and opening conversation with our loved one about how we’re feeling can resolve a lot of issues. Yes a person’s compliments or advances can encourage us in feeling a certain way, but ultimately how we feel about ourselves, how we see ourselves is going to be the deciding factor in feeling sexy.

So what can we do?

If it’s a personal issue, take a deep look at why you’re feeling the way you are.  Talk to someone about it; a professional, friend, family member or even…your partner. It can be very easy to get into a funk or a rut. Personally I am comfortable with myself no matter how I look (I rock a jumping jammer like nobody’s business lol), however I notice that when I’m exercising and eating well I feel better all around; my energy levels are up, I’m happier and I just feel great.  
Sometimes we can lose our identities; we become a spouse, parent or get consumed by our jobs. If this is the case take your identity back, remember you are more than a title; your also a women or man. If it’s been so long you forget who you are, create a new identity; who do you want to be and work towards it.

Stress can be a huge sexy buster! If its work stress, why are you bringing it home; Is it your spouse’s fault you had a deal gone bad? If it’s a home stress talk it out and remember that “Love” is a great stress reliever.

If you are trying to conceive and are attached to a calendar try and spice it up. I know it’s hard but try and bring some sparkle back into the stressful experience of trying to conceive. Light candles, play some sexy music and remember why you want to have that baby; because you love your partner and want to create something special together, so make the experience magical instead of mechanical.

With my upcoming IVF treatment around the corner and every bit of my life about to be scheduled I know that it will take effort, spontaneity and magic to keep our relationship sexy. I know you’re thinking “Tasha what’s not sexy about needles, hormones and scheduled “Love”?” lol right?

It can be easy to get caught up in life and get complacent; but try and remember the spark that first attracted you to your partner.  Remember when you used to shave every time you thought you might see them, always made sure you looked great and courted your spouse? Well they do too and they miss that. I love that when you’re in a certain part of your relationship you are comfortable with each other, my hubby and I watch movies in jumping jammers lol. But I also think that we need to keep the sparkle in our relationship regardless of the length of time we are together.

So…If you’ve lost your sexy, bring it back! Bust out that lingerie, dust off those candles, play some sexy music, buy your honey a gift just cause you were thinking of them and remember that sometimes the little things are the ones that count the most. Listen to what your partner is saying and keep those lines of communication open. Because what fun is “Love” if there’s no sexy in it?

Lotsa Love,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flight or Fight?

When we are fear stricken by our phobias do we face them or accept that they are a part of who we are? No matter how silly or ridiculous some phobias may seem to outsiders the fear is very real to the person experiencing it and can even be debilitating. So how do we deal with the phobias and the people who just don’t understand?

Heights, small enclosed spaces, snakes, spiders and frogs (yes you read that last one right) are on my list of things that terrify me. Most people understand most of my fears; however my fear of frogs tends to get more laughs then understanding and comfort.

I almost gave up a trip to Costa Rica because of my phobias, knowing that everything I’m afraid of would be in my face and a lot bigger then home made me say no to an amazing trip the first time asked. It wasn’t until a few glasses of wine and my mom and sister coaxing me that I finally said yes to an amazing experience. Once in Costa Rica, I barely lasted a few days; we were smack dab in the middle of a rain forest on a biodynamic farm and were literally living with creepy crawlies. I was terrified to sleep and with a heavy schedule of yoga, crazy volcano hikes and other extremely exhausting activities I was physically and emotionally drained; missing my hubby I almost booked a flight home cutting my 15 day trip extremely short. I had to tell myself “ok so either you can suck it up and try to enjoy paradise or you can run home and never know what you are capable of”. Well I sucked it up and tried all the activities I originally said no too; zip lining over the rainforest, rappelling down a 350ft waterfall, crazy hikes and exploring the rainforest. I am sure I gave the night guard years of laughter seeing me trying to be brave and venturing outside of my cabin past night fall, screaming and running from frogs, snakes and giant bugs. But I did it and was actually able to sleep through the night.

I think I can...I think I can!
Since my trip; my fear of heights is a lot better and little spiders don’t terrify me anymore, I’ve made some great progress with those fears. However my frog fear is still as strong as ever. I cannot even rationalize it to myself. I am well aware that I am very big and they are very small and that (the ones in Canada) they can’t hurt me. But, when I see one my heart starts racing, I get anxious, feel like I’m going to cry or scream and if I lose track of where it’s gone I have to flee the area. This is why I don’t garden…lol

In my experience, both facing my fears and accepting them has worked for me. I think the best advice is to listen to your body, know your limits, which ones you can test and push and which ones are there for a reason. I’m glad I was pushed to go zip lining and challenge my fear of heights, the rush I got from flying through the air above the rain forest was amazing, and it was utterly breathtaking. However if someone tried to push me into a situation with frogs I would lose my…after I was able to breathe again.

If people never changed, the world would be an incredibly boring place. We evolve, “grow up”, move on, our tastes change and we experience life, this is what makes us so unique. What defines us can change, so why can’t our fears?

Whether you’re afraid of squirrels, june bugs, snakes, needles, garden gnomes or frogs; know that it is your fear and its ok. Don’t let people make you feel bad about having a phobia, regardless if they can’t understand it.  Challenge yourself and grow; but know it is ok to be you, even if that means running scared from a frog!

Lotsa Love,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cloud Nine

What a crazy couples  of weeks this has been; turning thirty, making top five for win a baby and then all top five finalist winning, wow! I don’t know if I’ll ever come off of this cloud!

Ryan and I are over the moon about being given the chance to go through IVF and try to have a baby. I told my husband the other day that I can’t believe how excited I am for so many needles and procedures lol. I am still almost stunned by the announcement that we all get to go through the IVF treatments.

We have booked our first appointment to go through paperwork for IVF and get set up for the course for IVF; and are going through the motions, but it is still so surreal. When you tell yourself that something, something as big as having children together, might not happen you start to believe it, little by little your hope starts to slip away and you decide to “face the facts”. So what happens when you face the facts and then you’re told the facts were wrong and you now have a chance? You cry, smile, laugh and then try to accept the new facts. The new facts are Ryan and I could have a baby in the very near future!

Now all the critics are saying we haven’t “won a baby”, I’m well aware of that! We are absolutely clear on the success rate and what our chances are of conceiving; we also have a great deal of hope! It would be wonderful if people would stop trying to rain on our parade and instead of picking apart what an amazing thing Hot 89.9 did, could focus on the fact that five couples were given back hope and such an amazing opportunity. To say that we were exploited or objectified, would be absolutely false and takes away from the fact that every applicant made a choice to apply to the contest and were not forced to do anything.

Thanks to this amazing contest our future is a lot brighter and exciting! Ryan and I cannot wait to embark on this new adventure together, no matter how hormonal it might be J. We look forward to sharing it will all of our family, friends and supporters. The love and compassion that we felt during this whole process, not only from family and friends, but from complete strangers and Hot 89.9 staff was immense and will never be forgot.

If everyone could do not only me, but every other couple suffering from infertility a favor and take a few minutes from your day and sign this petition to have OHIP fund IVF we would all be  forever grateful!

We look forward to sharing in this experience with all of you and cannot wait to take our next step in this crazy adventure that is our lives.

Lotsa Love,

Friday, October 7, 2011

30 things i'm thankful for

Being as my birthday always seems to fall on Thanksgiving weekend I thought it would be appropriate celebrating my big 30 that I should take stock and share the 30 things I’m thankful for.  Hope you enjoy!

Seasons- Reminding me that everything changes, grows and darkness gets replaced by light.


Luck of my birthdays- 8 years ago Ryan and I met in our apartment elevator in Toronto, 7 years ago he proposed.

Our Health- Other than the few uncooperative bits.

Date nights- Keeps me sane!

In Laws- I am incredibly lucky to say I have the best in laws a gal could wish for. Ryan’s mom and dad are a true testament to love and reminder that not all good things come to an end.

My Family- However crazy they may be ;) the love my family has is incomparable!

Bailey- And all the other fantastic family dogs. She is my cuddle monster and my protector.

That I still get I.D- OH YA

Places- The places I’ve been able to explore, every place teaching me something new about myself.

Nosy Neighbors- They make me feel safe every day.

Family and friends who lend me their babies- When I need a little munchkin love J

My Crazy Twenties

Fears- The ability to face them or to know they are there for a reason and the ability to run.

My Mom- Who allowed me to jump in puddles, dance in the rain and play the same Whitney Houston How Do I Know single over and over, while dancing and singing in the mirrors.

Sunday Family Dinners

My Strength- And not talking physical cause I’m kinda a weenie in that dept.

Friends- Old and new that not only love me for who I am but encourage my special behavior.

Compassion of Strangers

Voice- The ability to speak up when it might be easier to be quiet.

Win A Baby- Even though we may not win, Hot 89.9 contest has renewed our hope.

Sunshine- That warms your face and picks you up.

Rainy Days- For cuddling and sleeping in.

My Guardian Angel- Who has been watching over me and guiding me outta some crazy spots.

Girly Shows/Movies

Books- That inspire me to write.

Conceivable Dreams- And other groups/organizations fighting for OHIP to fund IVF.

Social Media- I have some pretty cool people and made some great connections.

Lazy Cottage Weekends- When you need to let loose or wind down.

My Man- Ryan who is my everything.

To the people and places that have made me who I am Thank You! I think that it’s incredibly important to take a moment or a few, take stock and truly think about the things in our world that make us thankful.

What are you thankful for?

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Being Couple “A”

Words probably cannot justly describe the range of emotions we have felt since The New Hot 89.9 deadline for applications closed on Wednesday September 28th, but I’m going to give it a try anyways.  

A couple of weeks ago I received a frantic call from my mom and sister telling me that I was going to “Win a baby”. Once I calmed them down they told me about the contest announcement that I missed while at work and I immediately went to the website downloaded the application and let myself think for a moment; “What if? Could we actually be parents?’

My Husband, Ryan, and I have been married for over five years now and have been trying to conceive for just as long. We have never been pregnant and after a while knew something just wasn’t right. When I was seventeen I had my appendix removed and then with complications was in the hospital off and on for six months, two more surgeries and a stay to deal with some adhesions (sticky scar tissue). I was told then that my surgeries would not affect my ability to have children and not to worry. My family doctor suspected that my scar tissue might be just that, our problem. After multiple tests and trying every imaginable options (diets, supplements, you name it) we were referred to a fertility clinic. Our family doctors suspicions were accurate, my scar tissue (adhesions) are restricting movement of my fallopian tubes and not allowing my eggs to get where they need to be; on top of that we found out Ryan has low sperm motility (slow sperm), one of these problems alone could be cause for lack of conception, little own both. During our first consult we were advised about IVF and I was told about exploratory surgeries that can laser remove scar tissue, possibly ridding me of my fertility problems, this gave us hope. After our specialist got a hold of my surgery records he called me in for another consult and advised me that the risks of surgery were too high and he couldn’t do the surgery. Being told that our best and maybe only shot of having a baby would be to go through IVF a procedure that would cost us approximately 10,000 dollars and being stripped of our hope Ryan and I were devastated. We are very lucky to have amazingly supportive family and friends who helped us get through the tough news and think positive.

Knowing the amount of entrants would be great we were hopeful but unsure about our fate in the win a baby contest. As soon as the clock hit twelve noon on Wednesday and the contest deadline closed my heart raced and I anxiously clutched my phone. Thursday came , the original date hot 89.9 was supposed to notify couples and start the Fertility consults, and I was up at the crack of dawn clutching my phone and frantically checking my e-mail. I had told myself that if we hadn’t heard anything by noon that we probably wouldn’t hear. My husband and I sat quietly watching the clock neither of us wanting to make eye contact once the clock was past noon. Family was over in a flash and we were consoled, we had date night that evening with our closest friends to try and take our mind off of not making top five. After finally accepting we didn’t qualify I see on twitter Friday that Hot 89.9 hadn’t announced the top five and that they hadn’t chosen yet either. I immediately contacted friends and family letting them know we still had a chance, I on the other hand having convinced myself otherwise still felt like we didn’t make it. Sunday was nerve racking and Monday morning was Crazy! I was just getting ready to jump in the shower when my phone started to ring, an unknown Ottawa number. My heart almost exploded. I answered the phone and heard Mauler from the Morning hot tub, it was happening we were couple “A” and one of the top five finalist; anyone who heard the morning calls knows how I handled it. We were overwhelmed and really still today have moments where we don’t believe it’s true. One of the best parts was telling everyone we were in the top five, seeing and hearing our family and friends reactions was amazing.

With over 400 applicants to this contest alone and 1 in 6 couples suffering from infertility in Ontario, I am so glad that someone, The New Hot 89.9, finally stepped up to help. Help raise awareness and help a couple have a baby. Never in my time, have I remembered anyone speaking this loud about fertility problems, it is a painful and private issue, but without speaking about it we can’t do anything to fix it. Many other countries and even Quebec fund IVF treatments for couples who suffer with fertility problems, so why doesn’t Ontario? The government funded a study in 2009 where they were advised “That they could not afford not to fund IVF”, additional studies have been done stating that the government could save up to 600 million dollars by funding IVF treatments through OHIP, so again why don’t they? Conceivable Dreams is the Coalition for OHIP for IVF, they have a website where you can get information on the matter and an easy to send letter to the government advising them this is an issue that needs to be addressed! If you know someone like Ryan and I who is having problems or you suffer from fertility problems, or even if you want the government to save 600 million dollars in health care cost; please speak up and tell the government you want IVF funded by OHIP!

Regardless of how the contest ends we will always be thankful for our supportive family and friends who may end up with carpel tunnel, the awareness this has brought to this issue and Hot 89.9 giving us our hope back, because it’s a dark place without it.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me, I will try to help as best as possible.

Lotsa Love,

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Jumping In

In life we have opportunities to put ourselves out there and possibly get hurt or stay safely in our bubble without risk. How do you handle these situations?

I am a firm believer that if you don’t try you’ll never know! Sure you can get hurt along the way, but if you never try and miss out in a way aren’t you hurting yourself by omission?

When it comes to this topic my husband and I have different views, which in some cases is good because we can pull each other in to meet in the middle.  He likes to play it safe and I not only jump right in, I DIVE; leaving my heart on my sleeve.

In some cases my hopes have been high and my expectations were left unmet; in others they were met and beyond. I feel like every experience good or bad just adds another layer onto who we are. We learn, grow and experience a full range of emotions.

Recently (like this past week) I entered my husband and I into a local radio stations contest The New Hot 89.9 Win a Baby. The contest closed yesterday and the top 5 finalist get a call or e-mail today to start the process. To say it lightly I’ve been a bit on edge…lol Do I desperately want to get a call? Yes! Will I be hurt if I don’t? Yes! Will I regret doing it? NO! This contest has brought amazing light to infertility and has been a great push for the government to fund IVF treatment. So even if we don’t get the call :( there will still be something incredible that comes out of this, awareness. Maybe the government will take a hint and catch up with what’s happening to its population and do something.

So even though I may be hurt in the process, if you don’t try, don’t put yourself out there; how will you ever know? 

Take a chance, live life and sometimes don’t just jump in….DIVE!

Lotsa Love,

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Procrastination in the name of inspiration

How many times have you said “I’m waiting to be inspired”, or have some sort of a block and just need inspiration to help you through? Now how much credit can we give to “inspiration”, “muses” and how much should we be taking?

I think as writers, artists or anyone else putting your work out there for the world to see, it can sometimes be overwhelming the thought of completing your work. So does our subconscious get in the way? Is it that we just need to give ourselves a nice little pep talk and move on or do we really need to be inspired by someone or something else?

Throughout history you hear of the greats having muses and glorious moments of inspiration, could they have done it without them? I feel that if someone makes us happy, then we will feel happy and if that’s a trigger for us to be creative then we are.  When we are going through life we come across many people and situations that could trigger “inspiration”. But if all it took was a beautiful woman, a sunset or the greatest love of all time to be an amazing artist, wouldn’t we all be?

I think we go through life giving credit to a lot of people and situations instead of giving it to ourselves. I’m not saying to be conceited, or ignore help we get from outside sources. What I am saying is give yourself some credit; yes that sunset may have inspired you to take that amazing picture, but you took it, chose the angel, flash etc…

Once we stop giving all the credit to inspiration, we can also stop blaming it! I don’t know how many times I’ve said ill finish writing my book when I feel it or I need to be in the mood etc… Well I haven’t written in a ridiculously long time and a reminder popped up on my phone recently asking me if I’ve finished my 1st draft of my book…nope!  Could you imagine telling your boss at work, “I’m not in the mood to write that report” or “I need to be inspired to give that presentation…sorry”; I can’t imagine that going over very well.

So why do we allow ourselves to put it off? I say we need to stop using excuses and get back to it, schedule your writing or artistic time just like you’d schedule work or an appointment. And yes absorb how people make you feel and use inspiration from all the beautiful things and moments you come across in your life, but know it’s all you!

You can procrastinate, you can turn inspiration into magic and you are the only one to get back on the horse and make it happen!

Lotsa Love,

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Got Anger?

Many people think that anger is a bad thing, but I think anger (like any other emotion) is just our body trying to tell us something. If we can catch it before it takes over and just listen to what it is telling us we can really learn something from the experience.
I don’t know how many times I have had a conversation with my husband that goes a little something like this; me “Ahh I don’t even care anymore, I’m tired of talking about this!” This leads to him chuckling and proving that once again he may have a point by saying “Yes you do, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be angry about it”.  I would never admit it to him (expect for when he reads this, hi honey) that he’s right. I wouldn’t let something or someone stress me out or anger me if I didn’t care about the person or situation. There have been times when I’ve been so hurt and angry about a situation and it is only then that I realized how much I cared.
Anger is a tricky emotion and I say it’s tricky only because most people don’t know how to handle it. We bury it, misplace it, push it away ‘claiming’ we’ve forgotten it. But eventually, an incident will spark that previous memory to explode onto the surface making the situation far more complicated. Some people hold on to anger so long that long after the situation is passed they are still being poisoned by the effects of holding onto it, causing themselves way more damage and exasperated energy then had they dealt with it when it first happened.
It can be easy to deflect or misplace anger onto another person or situation, because we are not willing or don’t know how to dig deeper and figure out the root cause. Anger is an emotion that gets worse when avoided, so I recommend not too… I see anger as a volcano; it can only stay dormant so long one day it’s bound to erupt.
I have held on to anger before because I didn’t know how to say the words I needed to or wasn’t sure how the outcome of the conversation would end up. We cannot predict how things will go, but I have seen firsthand what it’s like to hold on until you cannot any longer and that is not pretty.
I always try to approach each anger situation with explaining how my feelings were affected in the process, hoping that the person I am speaking to will react empathetically rather than defensively. Striking someone with negative remarks or low blows because you’re angry (eventhough it might feel great at the time!) will only complicate the issue and cause further pain on an already strained relationship.
Like any other emotion we need to look within and find out the why; why am I angry? When we start to decipher the scenario ourselves we can work though it on our own, sometimes severe venting is required and then there is the times when the only way to resolve the anger is by expressing your feelings with the person they are directed act. I cannot tell you how it will work out in the end, but I do know that it’s a lot better than holding on and having it eat away at you.
Use anger as a tool, as a compass to let you know when something is not right and bothering you. Get connected to why you feel the way you do and have healthy conversations rather than explosive freak outs. If we get connected to all of our emotions and realize where they come from and why we feel the way we do the world will be a lot less confusing and you’ll feel overall more relaxed and empowered that you can handle any situations that are thrown your way.
Replace blame with inward reflection and words of feelings and anger will be a much easier emotion to tackle.

Lotsa Love,