Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Sunday, 29 July 2012

10 Sounds that Drive ME Bonkers!!!
#Monday Listicles

Stasha has once again picked a real doozy of a topic for this week’s Monday Listicles. “10 Sounds that Drive You Bonkers”. I had to control the urge to turn this into a husband-bashing rant a really hard time coming up with things that bothered me. The benefits of being at peace with myself I guess.  ;P

London 2012 started this past Friday. So in the spirit of the Olympic Games, I promise to take part in these Monday Listicles, respecting and abiding Stasha’s rules, with wine and laughter, in the true spirit of blogging, for the glory of writing and the honour of our readers.

1.      It starts out very slowly and of course in the middle of the night. Gradually it increases. Sporadic blips during the day until finally I am standing under “it”… staring… wondering… waiting… willing “it” to make THAT noise. You know…THAT NOISE…the one that “it” makes when the battery is running low.  



2.      Cracking knuckles or in J2’s case – his back!  Gross I know…STOP ALREADY!!!



3.      The random, high-pitched, buzzing/tweeting/chirping sound which I eventually locate coming from the bowels of our teenage son’s “man cave” but am too afraid to enter lest I pass out from the fumes of teenage manhood.



4.      Normally I am grateful for the automated reminder that I am doing laundry.  However the intermittent buzzing is most annoying if I happen to be nodding off  ...ahem...resting my eyes.



5.      I am not a good sleeper. I have trouble going to sleep, staying asleep and waking up from sleep. Mosquitoes buzzing around my head when I on the brink of dreamland brings out my inner ninja. Covers are off, lights are on and I am bouncing on the bed ready to annihilate the blood-sucking, disease-transmitting gnats with my ummm slipper cuz you know… I am absolutely terrified of bugs. 



6.      Air Horns. I may be mistaken but I believe air horns were initially designed for semi-trailer trucks or as a signalling device for boats. You...yes YOU at the sporting event with the team jersey, face painted and three sheets to the wind…I am too old to learn how to read lips thank you very much.



7.      Dear fellow slot machine players. Slapping the buttons or hitting them in a certain sequence at lightning speed will NOT make the machine pay out so please, PLEEEZZE stop!



8.      Once we hit our 20th Anniversary let’s just say there were certain sounds that I no longer considered cute, funny, or endearing but rather irritating, boring and downright annoying. For example…breathing. I will even admit there has probably been the odd time that G has thought the same thing. Naaaaahhhhh. 


9.      One word…kazoos.



10.   Last but certainly not least...I used to love hearing those four little words “I love you mommy” from the boys when they were little. Now I cringe and want to run off screaming in the opposite direction at the four words that come out of J2’s mouth these days… “What’s for dinner tonight?”  AUGH!!!!!


See…BONKERS!


Friday, 27 July 2012

Good Luck Team CANADA!!!




There were two London 2012 logos. The one above was used for bidding purposes.
The other one (which I can't bring myself to post) is being used as the brand for the Games themselves.
(Can you guess which one I like better?)

“Friday’s Fab 'Autism' Four”

One thing I have noticed is how addicting and time-consuming social media can be. Of course that has nothing to do with my personality.  ;P  Maybe it's my age??  Nah. Whatever the reason I have enjoyed connecting with virtual strangers...some who I would even like to meet someday. 

It has been a while since my last “Friday’s Fab Five” post. Like most people I tend to gravitate towards those that I consider to be like-minded. Hopefully that last sentence won’t offend any of my targets for this week’s instalment of “Friday’s Fab Four”. This week I am going back to the roots of my blog… autism and am “showcasing” 4 blogs written by parents of autistic kids/young adults. Kinda sounds like an episode of the Price is Right doesn’t it?  So without further ado... 
“Bloggers…Come On Down!!!”  *Could you not hear Johnny Olson (the announcer’s) voice in your mind just then?  





My first blogger is Cari from "Bubble Gum On My Shoe". She was one of the first bloggers/tweeters that I followed. I immediately liked her sense of humour, "write-it-like-it-is" style all wrapped up with a certain amount of sass.  :)

Last month Cari wrote a post “I Support Jenny McCarthy: Enter Blog Suicide”. I admired her honesty, her strength to stand up for her beliefs and even more her open mind. 

Here is a line from her post that jumped out at me and why I keep reading her blog:
“I have more respect for those who are bold and follow their own educated path; even if our viewpoints differ.”   


My next blogger is Christina from "Riding the Crazy Train: Diary of a Delirious Mom”. Christina just started blogging in February 2012 and has already been published over at “Scary Mommy” by Jill Smokler author of the book “Confessions of a Scary Mom”. Woooo-hoooo!!! Go Christina!!!  When I “discovered” *wink* her blog about a month ago it felt like we had so much in common. Ummmm…OK so she has twin 7-year old girls and R’s an 18 year old male teenager. Work with me here. Christina uses, in my mind, similar “techniques” with her girls as we did with Riley.

Read her posts “Unexpected” and “Understood Rules” for a glimpse into her life with her girls.



Next up is Jill from “Yeah. Good Times.” The only way I can describe Jill is “what you read is what you get”.  FYI Jill…that is meant as a compliment. :D  Not only does she do her own graphics, she is brutally honest and does not mince words. Her tweets keep me glued to twitter (uhhhh that is NOT a good thing BTW). She is also very, very clever in her writing as you can read here in her post “Field journal”.




My final blogger is “Elise” from “Raising Asperger’s Kids”. This is not the first time I have mentioned Elise. I have found trying to connect with parents of young adults with autism with whom you share similar goals and parenting styles has not been easy. Elise is the mother of 2 young men on the spectrum. Our stories are different yet I have found when I read her blog I am constantly nodding in agreement. If you are just starting out, I would recommend reading these two posts by Elise, “Raising Your Child – Only Your Opinion Counts” and “The Politics of Autism – This is a Safe Blog”.


Whether you know nothing about autism, know a little about autism, know a lot about autism or are just an autism wannabe *wink*, I highly recommend any of the above blogs for insight, experience and most of all…humour!  Check them out when you have a chance. 


"Help control the pet population—have your pets spayed or neutered."  
(Sign-off from the Price is Right show - sorry just couldn't help myself.)

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Why CAN'T He Keep his Wisdom Teeth???

A week today Riley is scheduled to have his wisdom teeth extracted! YIKES! Actually that is putting it mildly.  I am starting to panic. Thankfully the procedure will be done under general anaesthetic. I am hoping there will be some type of sedation for me as well.  ;P

Now over the years Riley has come a long way since his first visit to the dentist. We had a consultation with the dental surgeon a month or so ago and R sat in the chair looking almost comfortable. Pretty sure after our next appointment he won’t be looking forward to any future visits there!

It is not so much the procedure that I am getting nervous about at this point. Riley has been put under for dental work before. Oh I just want to mention the last time R was sedated for a medical procedure about a year ago, when he came out of it...uhhhh...let’s just say there were a number of "colourful" words spewing from his mouth in, of course, his "outside" voice.  Oish.  It is the post-op/recovery days that are freaking me out. It is the part where he has to ice his face, gargle and rinse to prevent infection and hoping…no...praying he won’t gnaw at the stitches in his mouth. I need to stop now as I am starting to hyperventilate. 

So in preparation I will be phoning ahead to our local “beverage” store to place my order for certain necessities to get me through next weekend. Until then…I will be in my cave cowering in the corner. 

Wish us luck!  D 

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Why NOW???

Remember all the hype over Y2K?  It involved years of preparation in order to avoid the possible end of the online world. Life as we knew it was possibly going to come to a screeching halt.




Let’s rewind to 1999 in Riley World. We would have just received R's autism diagnosis.

“What type of program are you doing?”  Me:  Ummmmm…what’s a program??? 

“Are you going to do ABA?”  Me:  Isn’t that the therapy that you hear about people losing their homes? 

“How many hours of therapy are you doing every day?”  Me:  Huhhhh…Riley’s 5 years old.  He can barely watch a half hour of Barney.  How is he going to sit still for “hours” of therapy???


OMG!!!  Are you kidding me???  I remember being so totally overwhelmed and feeling like I missed the boat because he was already 5 and “they” kept talking about the importance of “early intervention” and thinking maybe we were too late and…and…and… AUGH!!! 

For years I had planned no further than a year or two (at most) ahead.  Anxiety  The thought of the future The Unknown and all the “What will Riley be doing?” or “Where will Riley live?” types of questions were too overwhelming for me to think about.  Stress   When R was little sometimes it took all my energy just to get through the day.  Exhaustion

Whether it was sleeping issues  Sleep Deprivation, eating issues Worry, behavioural issues Frustration… it all came down to me being in the right mindset  Preparation  to deal with "the stuff” in a calm  Patience and productive way  Strategies   without having a nervous breakdown (in my case) or major Meltdown (in R’s case) before we even got started.

That was more than 10 years ago yet I can still get overwhelmed and have those ‘What if……?’ feelings today. Only these days it is because Riley will turn 19 in just under a year. Adulthood is staring me right in the face! When did THAT happen?!?

So in preparation for life beyond Riley World, I needed to wrap my head around the fact that this summer had to be THE summer to introduce Riley to some important life skills. I was ready. I was psyched. I was up for the challenge. Riley was going to be in for some “Summer Fun” whether he was ready or not. Tee hee. 

Yes I know we should have started earlier. Here’s the thing…even now at 19, J2 does not do his own laundry or cook meals or take out the garbage on a regular basis. I know…shame on G!!  *wink*  The difference and there is a difference…when the time comes for J2 to have to do these things on his own, he will be able to “figure it out”. Sure there will probably be some burnt meals or shrunken clothes but no big deal. He will survive. Riley…uhhhh not so much. 

We are three weeks into July and have completed 6 loads of laundry, numerous trips taking out the garbage and had a demonstration of washing rice. Thank you.  :)  Here is a little snippet of how R has progressed since his first load of laundry. Still muttering away but a lot less cussing.

Loading the laundry is a breeze. 
video

Transferring to the Dryer...not quite as "happy".
video


At this rate Riley will be ready to move out before J2!  LOL!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The "Liebster"



The Liebster is not so much an award as it is a shout-out or mention that acknowledges and supports up and coming or new bloggers who have 200 followers or less. The old double thumbs up so-to-speak.

Thanks SO much to Christina over at “Riding the Crazy Train: Diary of a Delirious Mom” for being the first second person to recognize my sharp wit, keen insights and ummm lack of followers. *wink*

OK so maybe she was just being kind and tagging me back for giving her the Fabulous Blog Ribbon. No…no…I am pretty sure that was not the case. In fact she tagged me not just once but twice. Yup. TWICE people!!!  She must like me. She must really REALLY like me! Are you picturing Sally Field about now??  What can I say…I’m excited!

So here’s the deal with the Liebster:

1.      Post 11 random facts about yourself
2.      Choose 11 deserving bloggers and tag them in your post
3.      Tell them you’ve tagged them
4.      Answer 11 questions the tagger has asked you, and give 11 questions to the people you tagged
5.      NO tag backs.

I want to say that I am a rule follower by nature. However at this point in my life I am also extremely forgetful and painfully slow. I am feeling very guilty for not responding to this shout-out sooner. I no longer feel worthy of the Liebster. Wait a minute…who am I kidding?!? If you read my last post you would know I am just being melodramatic. But in the interest of getting myself moving I am going to shorten my list by a “few”. Please forgive me Christina.

Before you get started I suggest you go to the bathroom, grab a few snacks or preferably a meal, and if it’s after 4pm, a glass of wine to help you get through this epic post.

Random Facts About Me:

1.      I am a bit of a dare devil. I have jumped out of a plane, river rafted and most recently cliff-jumped. OK so it was only about 20 feet…hey it scared the crap out of me.
2.      I have always wanted to be a bartender or a dealer at a Las Vegas casino. Gee I wonder why?!? 
3.      I play my Nintendo DS every night before I go to sleep.
4.      I am an extremely patient person although I am not sure how much longer I will wait for you George (as in Clooney).
5.      Did I ever mention I like wine??? 
6.      Aaaaaand…that’s all I got.


Questions from Christina and my answers:

1.      What is your “secret stash” that you hide from your kids or spouse? (eg. Dark chocolate)
Hmmmmm…can’t think of anything specific. Guess I would have to go with some type of sweet treat too.

2.      What are your feelings on the “5-Second Rule”?
If it’s at home and as long as nobody sees it drop…5-seconds, 5-minutes…pshaww. Thinking that should pretty much deter future dinner guests. 

3.      What is the best compliment you have ever received from one of your blog followers?
Blog followers?!?!?

4.      What pushes your crazy-psycho button?
Where do I begin? If I had to pick just one I am going to remain neutral and go with bugs of any kind. This also includes spiders, worms, anything that is creepy crawly. I am sure that is not what Christina meant by crazy-psycho but come on...I would have to be crazy-psycho to answer honestly.  

5.      Who inspires you the most on your life journey?
Wow…this is a tough one. I suppose this has changed over the years so I don't think I can narrow it down to just one person. 

6.      What gets you through the day most often: coffee, wine, or your sense of humour?
Definitely sense of humour. Surprised? Bet everybody thought I was going to say wine. Am I right??? So as not to disappoint…wine and more wine is a very close second.

7.      What’s your number one travelling tip?
Passport and credit card. Anything else can be bought unless of course you are heading into the wilderness in which case I would have absolutely no idea what to take. Oh and if you wear contacts, definitely those.

8.      If you weren’t doing what you’re doing today career-wise, what other life/career path would you be on?
These days I hardly work  am semi-retired  do contract work on occasion and I’m OK with that.  ;P

9.      What are your goals for blogging?
I started blogging because my sister made me (mostly true…tee hee). Seriously now that we are past all the craziness that autism can bring during those early years; can take a step back; can take that extra breath without feeling guilty; I hoped that by blogging about some of our “adventures”, parents reading would be able to relate and know that they are not alone.

10.   Anything on your bucket list you’d like to share?
I don’t have anything written down per se. I love, LOVE this song by Tim McGraw. The message pretty much says it all for me…



11.   What is the craziest thing you have ever done that you are willing to admit to doing?
Crazy or embarrassing?  Same thing right? I guess singing in one of those recording glass booths at Expo86 with 2 friends. Passerbyers were treated to our alcohol-infused rendition of “That’s What Friends Are For”. Enough said.





Here is who I am tagging with the “Liebster”:

2.      Sara at Mommy Summers
4.      Amy at From the Mom Cave


Being the rebel that I am and in the interest of saving time…here are my random questions for my taggees:

1.      Red, white, rose or sparkling wine?
2.      Fast food or fine dining?
3.      Order in, cook at home or eat out?
4.      Do you consider “walking around the grocery store” exercise? 
5.      What type(s) of social networking do you use?
6.      iPhone, Blackberry, Android, Flip, or Landline only?
7.      Mac or PC?
8.      Left or right handed?
9.      Naturally curly or straight hair?
10.   Is your fridge freezer on the top or bottom?
11.   Finally…What is your most annoying bad habit?


YOU DID IT!!!  Woooo-hoooooo...Time to Celebrate!!!



Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer Vacation Flashback 2008
#WordlessWednesday


Beautiful Moraine Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta
(J2 - 15; Riley - 14)

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Giving Thanks!
#Monday Listicles

Having just returned from a 4 night getaway with the girls I am a little behind getting my list together for the Wonderful World of Stasha’s Monday Listicles so I am going with a slight variation on this week's topic of
"10 Thanks!"

I received this email from a high school friend while I was away. It is one of those chain-type emails that you are supposed to send along.  I loved the message and it really struck a chord with me so instead of forwarding it to only 7 people to Thank for their friendship...here is my Monday Listicles post for this week.  Words to ponder.


As I've aged, I've become kinder to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.

I have seen too many dear friends leave this world, too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it, if I choose to read, or play on the computer, until 4 AM, or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 50, 60 &70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love, I will.

I will walk the beach, in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves, with abandon, if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set. They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And, I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years, my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break, when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But, broken hearts are what give us strength, and understanding, and compassion. A heart never broken, is pristine, and sterile, and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day (if I feel like it).


I really am Thankful and hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, D


Thursday, 12 July 2012

I'm Going on a Roadtrip!!!

"You can't be with me anymore. You will be gone."  In the next breath "You can call me if it's not too late?"  
Translation:  "You are going away. I will miss you. Will you pick up McDonald's for me on your way home?"

Talk about laying the guilt trip. Not to worry...I did not fall for it. Tee hee.  I have not suffered from separation anxiety for quite some time now. I have reached my "silver" years (well at least my hair has)...it is back to me.

So I am going on a road trip. Four nights. Four girlfriends.


One never knows what you may be in the mood to wear, so better safe than sorry right???



First and most important stop of the road trip...coffee!  Make mine an extra hot, half sweet, "skinny" (after all I maybe wearing a bathing suit at some point), mocha. Absolutely with whipped! Why else would I order a mocha?!?



"Are we there yet? How much longer???"  Those words will NEVER be heard on this trip.  We may even break out in a round of "Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall"!  No "Wheels on the Bus" for this crew.



What???  We're not sure which way to go?  Oh no.  Wait...we are women.   LOOK!!!  Let's go that way...



There will be no arguing over left or right. It will not matter that the rest stop is on the other side of the highway...we will pull off in search of a clean washroom. We will not mind that any cars we passed will now be ahead of us. That's OK. At the end of the day we know this will be waiting for us...


Ahhhhhhhh...OK so maybe not exactly this but you get the picture.  :)

See ya next week!


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Summer "Fun"... Laundry

WE ARE ON A ROLL PEOPLE!!!  A little cranky?  Ummm…yup.  A little grumpy?  Oh that would most definitely be a yes!  Yet here we are at just the second week of summer and we have tackled laundry!  Thank you.

Now I will admit that I am somewhat “particular” about doing laundry so would actually prefer to do it myself. I kid you not. But we are on a mission here. For Riley’s first attempt I wanted to start with the basics so decided to go with nothing but socks and underwear.  Wash.  Dry.  Fold.  DONE!  Sorting will be up next followed by the merits of damp drying specific articles of clothing later this summer.

Only about 2/3 of R's underwear
We started by gathering R’s socks and underwear. ALL 27 pairs of underwear and umpteen pairs of socks. I am NOT kidding. Yes I counted.
9 pairs of black/dark blue; 9 pairs of grey; 9 pairs of white; Fruit of the Loom; Calvin Klein; and Jockey. Why so many???  Well it is that darn autism thing again. I am never sure what he will wear and then must introduce new ones gradually because of course I can never find the exact. same. ones. ever. again! The downside is of course I am never exactly sure which ones he wears and which ones he just throws in the laundry because he does not want them in his drawer?!? The result…27 pairs of underwear, give or take a few, at any given time.

We gather the rest of the family’s personal items and head downstairs. R carried the laundry basket all the while muttering about it being “summer time”. Remember I told him we would start chores in the “summer”. I am quite certain he will never look forward to summer again.

I demonstrate how to start the washer, add detergent and then have him put in the laundry. Just like that we are done. Even R was surprised at how easy that was. Step 1...done. Up we go.


In case you wondered, that is NOT me and Riley in the picture. That would be the winner of this year's Mother of the Year Award. What-EH-VER! 

The buzzer sounds so I call R. Time to switch things from the washer to the dryer. I open the lid and demonstrate this next step. I tell R it is his turn. He looks in the washer, gingerly puts his hand in and says with disgust
“It’s yucky!” For Riley his tactile sensitivities are on high alert. To give you some idea of what that is for R…imagine someone telling you to put your hand into a barrel with some unknown substance and that you must empty the barrel using only your bare hands. You have no idea what it is going to feel like, what is in there, or whether or not it might hurt you.

I talk him through it explaining the clothes are just a bit wet yadda yadda yadda. Oh how I wish I had recorded R’s dialogue during this step. Think grumpy, agitated, and a lot little on the loud side…“It’s yucky.  Watch me.  Come out you stupid underwear.  This is stupid.  Stupid underwear.  Watch me now.  It’s summer time.  I don’t like it.  I’m grumpy.  Get in there you stupid underwear.” Any of the previous statements are repeated over and over until he is finished loading the dryer. Step 2 of 3...finished at last! 

Thankfully the final step of folding was done with minimal grumbling. The only hitch being some of his underwear were "backwards" (aka inside out) which R managed to problem solve on his own. Yay!  Load 1...complete!

Bonus: Riley happily took his laundry upstairs and put it away. 

Double Bonus:  Figured out he does not like his Calvin's any more. Found 8 pairs in his laundry basket untouched the next morning.


How is your summer going so far???

Sunday, 8 July 2012

A Tribute to Nora Ephron...
#Monday Listicles

If you are an avid follower of my blog (tee hee) you will recall I was given the Fabulous Blog Ribbon by “Rory” over at Time Out for Mom. With it came the opportunity to list 5 Fabulous Moments, 5 Things I Love and 5 Things I Hate.

Nora Ephron, best known for her original screenplay writing for Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, passed away at the end of June. In her final book, “I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections” she had left two lists; “What I Won’t Miss” and “What I Will Miss”The topic for this week’s Monday Listicles came from Deborah over at Mannahatta Mamma who suggested we follow suit.

So as not to repeat myself (you can read my previous lists by clicking on any of these red words) I will attempt to come up with some new “things”.  Here we go…

5 Things I Miss





·        Cardboard boxes.   Best. Toy. Ever!







·      Old-fashioned Sports Days with 3 legged and Sack races.
Yes it was a race. Yes there were winners. Yes there were losers. Yes we all survived.





J2 - Age 3

·      My “Special days” with J2.  In the very early days of Riley World, it wasn’t always easy to go out and do “typical” family outings. So early on G and I tried to make a conscious effort to spend one on one time with J2. Thinking back it makes my heart melt when I think of the times that all it took was going out to do errands or baking a cake, just the two of us, for J2 to think of it as a “Special day”.




·         The “First” times. You know…THAT feeling you get after you do something for the very first time. Even better...watching the boys do something for the very first time.





·         Singing in the Rain…baaahaaaa.  Gotcha.    





5 Things I WON’T Miss





·         “Mystery” meats.  Spam, bologna and wieners should have a classification of their own.  Gag me!









·         Colouring my hair.  Although with more salt than pepper in my hair these days…I’m tempted again.  Only slightly. 







·         People who have road rage.  Good thing you passed me on the inside lane, cut off 3 cars and narrowly missed that pedestrian so I could give you “the look” at the next red light.  Oi-vay.







·         Political Correctness.    Just my opinion.







·        Muffin top, back fat and everything else to do with Menopause.  SO UNFAIR!!!






Don't forget to head over to Stasha's at The good life and check out all the lists.