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

Monday, 26 December 2011

Ready or Not...Here We Come!!!

In less than 2 days we leave for a family reunion (G’s side) and to celebrate New Year’s at an all-inclusive in Mexico.  Ole!  Up to now we have never travelled outside of Canada/US with R.  Even travelling south of the border could be stressful.  Did you know that, for instance, Lay’s Salt & Vinegar potato chips are packaged in a greeny-blue bag in Canada and a turquoisy-blue bag in the US.  While this may or may not be an issue for most of us…it has been an issue for R.  The bag is “different” therefore the chips must be “different” therefore he doesn’t want them.  

When we all decided the destination would be Mexico, I was excited (I’ve never been to an all-inclusive or the east coast of Mexico), then nervous (what would R eat???), then went into problem-solving mode (we would need suitcases…HUGE suitcases in order to transport a weeks worth of food/cooking supplies).  Of course, I will carry-on the all important “small sieve” for the seasoning packets of Mr. Noodles as, mentioned in my Random Thoughts posting, any visible flecks of green are unacceptable.  As I highly doubt there is a Wal-Mart close by…we will also be packing “back-ups” for most of R’s electronics /accessories that could conceivably break down.

R has been SO focused on “waiting patiently to open his presents” that I had a hard time finding the right moment to tell him we would be going away on vacation to someplace "different".  I mean really…why get him fixated on more than one thing at a time?!?!?  As Riley’s gotten older we can sometimes operate on a “need to know” basis for certain “desirables”.  Even still, being the coward that I am, I waited until after lunch yesterday (Christmas day) when he was upstairs preoccupied with his multitude of new DVD’s before “adjusting” his visual schedule to show going on an airplane and vacation (thankfully both much desired activities).  Luckily putting up new PCS (Picture Communication Symbols) does not involve ripping Velcro, is therefore silent and can be done without R noticing…that is until he walks by. 

He immediately noticed his schedule and muttered to himself “YOU are going away on vacation”.  When I answered enthusiastically with “No, WE are going on vacation TOGETHER on a BIG airplane!”…R responded with “Yahoooo we’re going on a big airplane!”  Not quite sure when I’m going to break it to him it’s going to be a 5-1/2 hour flight.  Oish. 

Five years ago the idea of going outside of North America would’ve never crossed my mind.  So what’s changed?  Over the years R has continued to grow and mature.  We are also very fortunate to have the unconditional support of family and friends which has allowed us the flexibility to try new and different things.  Knowing we could ask for help and being offered help with things like R’s food means so much.  Who knows…maybe R will even acquire a taste for Mexican food and it’ll open up a whole new world of dining experiences when we come home. 

Adios, D  

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Christmas!!!

It's Christmas Eve and as you can see our tree is sans gifts until R goes to bed in about 6 hours.  Soon all the "waiting patiently to open his presents" will finally be over. 

Have a wonderful time with family & friends this holiday season.  Eat lots, laugh lots and be merry lots! 

Cheers, D, G, J1, J2 & Riley

Monday, 19 December 2011

Monday Meltdown

Remember how excited I was on Saturday morning that school was out for the holidays?  Well it’s only Monday night and I’m thinking perhaps having an entire week off before Christmas isn’t such a great idea after all.  R’s patience is wearing thin already.  In his mind…school’s out; the holidays are here; he has been “waiting patiently to open his presents” long enough. 

Now there is only so much a person can handle before one loses it.  Who knows exactly when, where, how or why it happens?  It just does and of course you are never prepared.  Tonight was one of those nights…unfortunately it was me who cracked.  I mean I knew R was a little cranky tonight.  Why didn’t I just bite my tongue and leave the kitchen after he grumbled at me.  Nooooooooooo. 

Instead I have to prove what a good actor I am.  Whatever R did, I did exactly the same thing.  He yelled at me…I yelled at him.  He slapped the counter…I slapped the counter.  He used his angry voice…I used my angry voice.  He called me stupid and told me to shut up…I called him stupid and told him to shut up.  At about this point I got his attention.  He was definitely caught off guard and responded with “Hey, that’s not nice.” 

I mentioned before how much I love the holiday season.  I consider myself lucky enough to be shopping for presents, thinking about cooking a turkey dinner with all the trimmings and enjoying some lots of holiday cheer with good friends and family.  We all have different kinds of stress and all manage it differently.  Tonight Riley and I both got out our frustrations and came away relatively unscathed (I got a little carried away slapping the granite counter).  Ouch.  If I were to be perfectly honest…I felt pretty relaxed afterwards.  ;P

6 more sleeps…D

Saturday, 17 December 2011

A "Shrektacular" Christmas

We made it!!!  School’s out for the holidays!  Is it just me or is everybody else about ready for a break too?  Decided what better way to start the holidays than with a FF (Fun Friday)!  This is not to be confused with #FF which in “Twitter” lingo stands for “Follow Friday” (something my old brain still has a hard time grasping).  I prefer my definition of FF which involves appies, alcohol and inevitably lots of LOL. 

The three of us (G, R & I) planned to watch the Grinch, Shrek the Halls & Elf together (a very rare request from R) when I got home.  Unfortunately we couldn’t find Shrek the Halls or Elf so R agreed to try “Donkey’s Christmas Shrektacular” since anything Shrek-based is acceptable.  The scene opens with Shrek lighting a fire before guests arrive.  The three of us sat there watching and waiting.  Finally a few characters appeared on the screen, had a very brief scene and disappeared again.  We waited patiently for something else to happen.  After a minute (which is extremely long when nothing’s happening) the same thing happens…characters appear; brief scene; they disappear.  After about 5 minutes of the same thing R gets impatient and "ff’s" to the next brief scene.  This goes on 20 more times!!!  WT*! 

Now had I not been at FF prior to watching the movie, I may have clued in a little quicker than this morning that something was not quite right as opposed to it being a very bad movie.  In my defence, G just thought it was a very bad movie.  Apparently we were watching Shrek’s Yule Log, the description being:  Heat up your holiday party with this hilarious virtual fireplace. 

Can’t believe we sat and watched a kids’ version of Rogers TV Holiday Fireplace for over 10 minutes before turning it off!  *heavy sigh*


Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Riley's first Christmas with J1 and J2

     Although J1 was born and raised on the west coast,                  At almost a year old, J2 was NOT thrilled
        having both parents who were born on the                          to sit on Santa's knee (neither was Santa  
      prairies he was destined for all things country.                          by the looks of it). Future visits were
        No Santa hat for this 18 month old cowboy.                           ruled out even before Riley came along.


Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas comes Early in Riley World...

It’s less than 2 weeks to Christmas and R’s portable DVD player has stopped working.  R can be very hard on DVD players (portable or otherwise) and particularly on the remote controls.  It's hard to believe he has difficulty with his fine motor skills when you consider the accuracy required to rewind to the exact same spot or at least within one nanosecond in order to watch the same 3 second sequence over and over again. 

Of course he hasn’t mentioned it’s not working.  The last time he came to tell us his DVD player was broken, we “fixed it” using duct tape (thanks to Uncle Stoo).  Hey…it was only about a month old at the time and just the hinge was broken. 

FYI…duct tape doesn’t last forever.  I found this out when I discovered R’s DVD player propped up against the dresser leg.  Part of me felt bad that he had to do that to watch anything and then I thought…how smart am I!  I’d, albeit unknowingly, presented R with an opportunity to practice his problem-solving skills and he passed with flying colours!  Gosh I’m he’s amazing…tee hee.

Luckily we always have a “spare” player on hand.  I was planning on wrapping it up as one of his Christmas presents (even R can only act so surprised after the 6th package of Mr. Noodles). 

Guess I’ll have to spring for another box of Cheerios.  *sigh*  D

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Random Thoughts...

Not sure whether it’s just the time of year when there are lots of things going on but lately I have been asking myself a lot of questions of no particular importance or relevance.  Then I had an epiphany...what better way to get some answers than through my blog. 

Random Thought #1:  “Why do they have to put green flecks in seasoning packets?”

Has anybody else wondered why there are “green” flecks in seasoning packets?  In particular instant noodles (chicken-flavoured), chicken noodle soup or even chicken bouillon.  I’m sure it happens in beef or veggie flavoured items as well but those are of no concern to me as I don’t buy those flavours.  R only eats chicken flavoured things.  

Why green???  I don’t recall seeing anything green on chickens…at least not on the outside.  Is it supposed to be some type of dark green veggie substitute?  If so…how many green flecks make up 1 serving of vegetables???  Why are the green flecks all different sizes?  I mean why not make them all the same size…uh that would be large as in large enough so you can pick them out easily; large enough so they don’t slip through the sieve you use to catch those little suckers before they appear in R’s bowl.  Lastly…why not make them a less obvious colour?  I’m pretty sure it’s not a “natural” green seasoning. 

Thought…comments…anyone???  D

Thursday, 8 December 2011

That "Special" Toy...

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew just what toy/item your child was going to get attached to?  You know…that one and only thing that will calm them down when they’re upset.  The ‘can’t go to sleep without it’ but you never realized just how attached he was to it until after you get home and remember you forgot it at grandma’s and have to drive back across town to get it because he’s been asking for it for over 45 minutes and you know he’s never going to go to sleep until he gets his hands on it ‘thing’!  Auuugghh…sorry about that.       

I remember mine was a “softy dolly”.  J1 & J2 had “blankies”.  You would find it either crumpled up in a ball under their pillow or under their comforters crammed in at the foot of their bed when they decided it was too babyish to have any more.  Sound familiar???

R’s was a Fisher Price floppy puppy that his Auntie ‘Froody’ (as J2 called her) gave him his first Christmas.  You’ve heard of the saying “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”.  Ha…I was no fool…I was going to be proactive.  Before puppy disintegrated any further, I went on the hunt for a backup.  Are you laughing hysterically or just feeling sorry for me about now???  After searching all the toy departments and stores around the city and the Fisher Price website, I had my first experience with ebay.  I could hardly believe my luck when after only a few searches…up it popped…’PUPPY’!!!  You’d have thought I’d won the lotto I was soooo excited!  R would be thrilled.  I was sure of it.  After all he carried puppy everywhere!  You know where this is going right? 

Let’s just say that the original puppy is literally hanging on by a thread and still keeping company with R. 

Happy Shopping!   D

PS…Obviously the parent who sold ‘puppy’ on ebay had been looking for a backup and failed miserably too. 

Sunday, 4 December 2011

The Magic of Christmas

Riley has been “waiting patiently to open his presents” now for exactly 3 days, 10 hours, 21 minutes and 46 seconds.  The magic of Christmas has worn off.  “In my opinion”, he is not waiting patiently to open his presents when he repeats it every time he sees me.  *sigh*

It’s not like he’s asking for anything exorbitant.  As a matter of fact, R wants very little and some of what he wants…I refuse to get for him.  I know that sounds mean and you may even be horrified to hear me say that.  In my defence it is for my own good.  No, that’s not a typo.

I have always been very hung up aware of trying to encourage age-appropriate interests/activities with R.  For whatever reason this year I had a change of heart.  I mean does it really matter that he still wants to watch Disney Sing-a-Long DVD’s at age 17?  Aren’t all things Disney considered “classics”?  Is individually wrapping 6 packages of Mr. Noodles, a box of Cheerio’s and a bag of Salt & Vinegar chips as Christmas presents “age-appropriate”???  I somehow doubt it. 

I know I should be better than this.  But I’m not.  Perhaps more wine will make me better at it.  In the spirit of Christmas…I shall give it a try. 

Cheers, D

Thursday, 1 December 2011

December 1st means Christmas!!!

One of R’s fascinations is with the calendar year.  He likes to recite each month with its significant meaning (birthday, stat holiday, special day or important event to him).  It’s always the same except for the unpredictable Easter weekend. 

R has been “waiting patiently” for December since the summer (that’s when he started his Christmas list).  After all, if it’s December…it’s time for everything Christmas!  It hasn’t always been this way.  When R was little he had NO interest what-so-ever in decorating the tree, opening presents or anything Christmas.  That is…up until he was about 10.  At this age, while most parents are past the stage of having to stand guard before the mayhem of Christmas morning…we were dumbfounded (in a good way) when we heard the ripping of paper one Christmas Eve about 7 or 8 years ago.  Our tree has since remained gift-free until after R goes to bed on the 24th.     

The house lights are up and to quote Riley “Wow. They’re so beautiful!”  We have nothing inflatable Costco snowmen, no lighted animal figures, just a string of lights along the eavestroughs.  There’s something to be said about having a 17 year old who is so excited about the magic of Christmas.  It makes the daily/hourly reminders that he is “waiting patiently to open his presents” that much easier.      

Thank goodness I love Christmas too! 

Think about it…D