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

Friday, 29 June 2012

Summer "Fun"...

This week was officially the start of Riley's summer vacation. Yee-ha!  I decided to give him a few days to relax and unwind (Riley World translation: YouTubing and video watching to his heart’s content).

Yesterday I decided I should break the news to him that we would actually be working on some things over the summer. He was eating one of his three dogs. Actually just wieners (plain; boiled not grilled) as he does not like the bun but hot dogs sound much more appealing than wieners if you are so inclined. I digress.

Hmmmm...don't these look yummy?!?!?
Fresh out of the water. Can you see the steam?

One of the most valuable things I have learned over the years is that it is all in the delivery and by that I mean the “tone” of your voice regardless of what you are saying. Trust me…this little tactic will work for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

So I start out the conversation by enthusiastically saying: "Guess what we're going to do this summer?" (That caught his interest. See…I told you it would work.)
R:         What???  (Sounding very hopeful.)
Me:       You can help me and dad by starting to take out the garbage!  
(I put an emphasis on “help” because that’s what all the books say to do. Apparently kids will be much more willing if they feel they are “helping” you.)
R:         I will be cranky!  
(Quite emphatically and that pretty much says it all doesn’t it?) 

(Not to be phased by his reply I continue…) 
Me:       AND I am going to teach you how to do laundry! We can do it together. Won’t that be fun! 
(Yes that’s what I said. Hey, he usually likes to do things with me and besides…I was so upbeat how could it not be “fun”!)
R:         Yes…that will be fun. (Sounded a little unsure…followed by)  I’m cranky. 

(Ok so he was starting to get a little agitated but I wasn’t finished yet so I continued…) 
Me:      Then you can learn how to wash the rice so you can make it whenever you want oyako donburi. 
(A Japanese rice bowl dish R likes. Of course his is an adapted version. I am so “clever” using something he likes as leverage? Sarcasm pouring off that last sentence.)
R:         I’m eating! I don’t want to talk anymore thank you!

(No problem. I’ll talk…you can listen. Tee hee. Kidding. That was R’s way of saying he’d had enough so I backed off but not before giving him a timeframe for what I talked at him about cause that's how I do things. *wink*)
Me:       How about we start on July 2nd?  Does that sound good??? (After all July 1st is a holiday in Canada.)  
R:         That sounds good to me.  (Relief in his voice. Probably knew I would finally stop talking.)  

See?  It’s all in the delivery. One of the great things about R is his enthusiasm…well at least until such time that we actually have to start doing. I am sure I will have much to blog about once we get started so stay tuned.

Have you got any "fun" things planned over the summer?

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Potty Training

A week or so ago I noticed on Twitter that June was "Potty Training Awareness Month" so what better time to finish off my half-written post than at the very end of June. Oish. Even though I may be the Susan Lucci of the “Mother of the Year” Award (pretty sure this year will be my year…tee hee), I am sure when you read the title of this post you probably pictured something like this:

Am I right??? Look how calm, relaxed and happy the two of them look. Can you not just imagine me and J2 or Riley like this when we were potty training? And the mom looks so pulled together...nice hair, clean clothes and probably showered! on my friends.

Some parents sail through this period without batting an eye. Some parents struggle for a few weeks then don’t think about it ever again. Some are ready to rip out their hair; break out into a cold sweat; and the mere mention of potty training sends shivers up their spines. I fell into that third category and found this period was THE most trying time IN MY LIFE!!!  I will even admit I looked more like this…

For me this had nothing to do with having a child with autism and I think everything to do with having boys or to be more specific…MY boys. Surely it had nothing to do with my parenting skills after all I was already working towards my Degree in Parenting.

Like many first time parents, I thought J2 was THE most intelligent child ever…that is until we started potty training. Now I considered myself to be a somewhat intelligent person and I was pretty confident in my abilities even though I was a first time parent. Yup…that was my first mistake. Surely I didn’t need a book to figure this out. I mean how difficult could this really be??? Ya right. Mistakes two AND three...check and check. Hoping I did not miss that window of opportunity and believing J2 to be extremely bright (uh…number four) we started the process.

Having heard that boys usually take longer to grasp this concept I waited patiently for signs that he might be ready. Obviously I had no idea what signs to look for since my niece, who is 10 months younger than J2, was pretty much potty trained before we got started! *sigh*  

Without going into all the gory details for fear that the authorities might be monitoring my blog…let’s just say with the added pressure to have J2 “ready” (aka potty trained) for preschool, there were times when both J2 and I were in tears…at the same time! Needless to say when it came time to consider potty training Riley, I was so traumatized by my experiences with J2 that I was prepared to keep R in diapers FOREVER!!!

My reason for writing this post??  Well initially I was hoping to pass along “How to” or more realistically “What NOT to do” tips. The amount of information out there is SO overwhelming. But let's face it...I have nothing... Did you not read anything above!!! So instead all I have for you is this; if you are a parent like I was, struggling to potty train your child and stressed out to the max…YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Try not to beat yourself up. It's nothing personal, you are not a loser alone! Diapers aren't so bad. Hey it cuts down on the laundry. are not alone! Why do you think they make Depends? I'll let you think about that for a minute. For the last time repeat after me…I am not alone!!!  There.  Feel any better?  Hope so.

Over a dozen years have passed and I am happy to report we all survived although at the time…it was touch and go whether or not I would have to enter rehab.  ;P

What are your experiences with Potty Training?  Do you have any horror stories tips you would like to share?

Monday, 25 June 2012

The Men in My Life...
#Monday Listicles

This week’s Monday Listicles topic was chosen by Kim Pugliano from “The G is Silent”. Kim and her family had an extra special Father’s Day this year with the addition of “The Newest Silent G” and because of that, she asked everyone to celebrate their father, step-father, brother, significant other or any important man in their life. 

Decisions, decisions. So instead I decided to celebrate not one but five men in my life.

My Dad:

  •  He was a man of few words. We still talk about the time he was asked at a family dinner “What kind of cake is that?” to which he answered “Good cake!”  LOL!

  •            I have been told I am my father’s daughter…best compliment EVER!

  •  Father to three handsome (in my eyes), caring young men who obviously took after their mothers.  ;P 

  • We have been married for 21 years. He is retired. So am I (kinda).
    I'll stop there.
  • Aspiring musician. We are hoping he makes it big so he can support his aging parents. I think I'll go along for that ride too! Tee hee.

  • Upon first meeting J1, I became suspicious that "human cloning" might possibly be happening.

  •  Ahhh the miracle of first born. If he we make it through the teen years, it would indeed be a miracle.

  • Further evidence that "human cloning" had begun.


  • Main character in "Our Adventures with Riley". His unique ways of looking at the world was the inspiration for this blog.

  • "Human cloning" stopped here.

Congratulations to you and your family Kim!!!

Friday, 22 June 2012

"Friday's Fab Five"

Since I missed posting last Friday, this week will be a combo from the last two weeks. I hope you found my first installment of Friday's Fab Five "enlightening" and introduced you to some new blogs.

A new category this week will be "Recipes". After all I am always looking for a tried and true favourite recipe aren't you? You know...the ones that have been handed down through generations. This week's recipe can be found at a new blog I was turned onto over at The Glamorous Life of the Modern Day Soccer Mom. Her post on "How to Make Ice Cubes - An Old Family Recipe" is a must read! Very informative and I learnt some great tips!

I discovered the Momalog via Stasha’s "Monday Listicles" over at The good life. Ado’s post "Cindy Crawford is Perfect and I’m Not” had me reminiscing about my youth (although I was never anything close to a Cindy Crawford type…ha!), daydreaming, giggling and gasping in horror. Check it out to see why.

As you know Riley has autism so many of the blogs I follow are about autism. After 15 years of navigating Riley World one would think I would be fairly well-versed in all things autistic. Ummm…think again. *sigh*  Apparently there is something called the Sally-Anne test which was used in Simon Baron-Cohen’s (no not the Borat guy) study of Theory of Mind in Autism. I found this post “How I failed the Sally-Anne test and my autistic son didn’t” over at Outrunning the Storm. Try taking the test and see how you do. By the way…I failed too.

These next two blog posts deal with the wonderful world of “teenhood”! Even if you are not there yet these two posts will give you a taste of what’s in store for you. One is autism-related, the other is not however when you are dealing with teens…it really doesn’t seem to matter. Oish. Brace yourselves it could get ugly.
         2)   “WTF Wednesday” at Twinisms

Have you discovered any new blogs? Please feel free to add them in the comments. I’d love to hear about them. 

Have a great weekend!

*All images taken from Google Images.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

We Went...We Ate...We Left...

Riley and Grandma at the much talked about Daimasu

In just over an hour we were seated, ordered, opened presents, ate, and were on our way home. Who needs to sit around chatting with family when the presents have been opened, noodles have been slurped down and orange pop with no ice has been guzzled?!?  =D

Riley was in his glory! Along with the DVD's on his list grandma got him a portable DVD player and headphones. Uncle Stoo, Auntie Sharon, Sara & Scotty threw in a few extras too. You would have thought he hit the mother lode by his reaction. Then again who wouldn't get excited about being surprised with not just 1 but 4 cans of
C-Plus orange pop, 1 box of Cheerios, 2 pads of paper and 1 combo box of colour and black & white printer ink cartridges.  I KNOW!  Tee hee.

Riley's enthusiasm is SO contagious! Trust me...he wasn't the only one leaving with a smile.


It all started 18 Years ago Today...

Riley's 1st Birthday - June 21, 1995. we come!!!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Thursday can't come soon enough...

As soon as R got home on Sunday from lunch with our visiting family he announced to G that Father's Day was finished! You know what that means right? Yup...Riley's birthday is next up on the calendar. As I previously mentioned we have been listening to R's excitement* since Mother's Day!

R's Birthday List 
With only two more days to go, he is REALLY ramping up for the big day! He is not getting tired of letting us know about his excitement*! He is not getting tired of repeating his excitement* even after 37 days! He is also not getting tired of listing off the DVDs that he wants for his birthday including two Christmas favourites that are nowhere to be found in June. Go figure?!?

Two more days and's on to summer vacation plans.  AUGH!!!

*It's my birthday in June. I can open my presents. I want to go to Daimasu** for my birthday. Who am I going to invite? I'm going to invite grandma, Uncle Stoo, Auntie Sharon, Sara and Scotty. What am I going to open? I'm going to open my presents!"

** Daimasu is a Japanese restaurant R likes to go to.

Monday, 18 June 2012

A Pocketful of Cash...
#Monday Listicles

It's Monday (phew just made it) and that means it's time for some fun over at Stasha's! This week Stasha gave us a virtual allowance of $1000 to have some fun with. I had a bit of a hectic week so my initial reaction was to place it on Red; spin the wheel (even though I am not a roulette player); call it a post OR have double the money to play with. *wink*

After a good nights sleep I was ready to do some daydreaming. As my Uncle Mak would say "What the hell" so I am going with extravagant vs. practical and making it all about me. =D  Here we go...

  1. Pop on a plane and head to Viva Las Vega$ for a marathon of gambling, sun and fun.  No need to waste money on a room cuz remember it's a marathon so I just have to make sure to keep the drinks coming  stay hydrated.  If you want a play by play of my adventures, I strongly suggest you head over to read Terri's post about "Gambler Gal".  Even though I don't live in Vegas, I could swear she was writing about me.  Baaahaaa!

  2. Although I don't particularly like trying on clothes and it can be rather difficult to find things I like in a size 2 (remember I'm daydreaming here)...I would love to be able to go into a store and buy a truckload of clothes without going immediately to the sales racks or looking at the price tag. You CAN get a truckload of clothes for $1000 still right?!?!? 

  3. Kitchen gadgets. I love kitchen stores, kitchen gadgets, kitchen stuff! Turn me loose and no slicer, dicer, chopper, flipper or applicance will be left on the shelf. Hopefully there will be $ left over to build something to store everything in as well.

  4. Towels that actually absorb water. Yes I would spend $1000 on towels. Call me crazy but in my real life I am too cheap to spend money on good towels.

  5. Bath & Body Works - my most favorite place for soap/lotions on.the.planet! Yes I could spend $1000 at this place. Yes I am crazy but can justify it because in reality I don't have nice towels so skin products are a necessity.

  6. I know what you're thinking...#3, 4 & 5 aren't what you would consider extravagant right??? It's all a matter of one's perspective people. Hmmm...looking back you may be right. So for number 6...Going out for some fine dining and ordering one of those really, really expensive bottles of wine just because. Yes I know they only cost about half the price at the liquor store but..... "What the hell".  :)

  7. I love the "idea" of going to the Spa yet have only ventured as far as a pedicure and facial. It looks sooo relaxing on brochures and apparently anybody who's anybody loves to go. So since I have come into this windfall of cash I am going to invite my BFF (you know who you are *wink*) for an all expenses paid day at the Spa.

  8. In the spirit of Father's Day, a round of golf for G at St. Andrew's. He will have to figure out his own way there as even if he were allowed to play it would probably cost at least $1000. Eeep.

  9. Open the Disney vault for an hour. OK it probably would cost a lot more but's still my daydream. Riley could go crazy and I would stockpile all his favourites so I wouldn't have to hunt them down on eBay or Craigslist. 

  10. Last but not least...I would order some sun (haven't seen much of that around here lately) and invite all our family and friends for a beach BBQ (our backyard isn't nearly big enough to accommodate the hundreds that would want to attend...tee hee) complete with tropical umbrella cocktails, scrumptious skewers of barbecued goodness, and finish off the night with a bonfire, smores and Bailey's coffees.

Thanks Stasha for the chance to daydream on an otherwise dreary Monday. Don't forget to head over to Stasha's Monday Listicles to see what everybody else did with their allowance! Have a good week!

* All images from Google.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Enough with the Shirt Shredding...
Not so #Wordless Wednesday

Boredom, stimming/self-regulating, or a symptom of seizure activity (hopefully the first or second)...your guess is as good as mine. Riley has taken to picking at the threads in his shirts and unravelling them to the point that the shirts become "pop tops" which is NOT a good look for a teenage boy or he is basically left wearing a poncho because he's ripped out all the seams (sorry I don't have a visual for this look).


<== Going for the "Pop Top" Look

The latest is the "Cuffless Sleeve" Look.  
(Hard to see but the bottom hem has been taken apart)

Waiting for summer as we're running out of shirts and hopefully we'll be able to figure out what's going on. Oish.

Monday, 11 June 2012

"Things that make you go Hmmm..."
#Monday Listicles

I must admit I had a heck of a time trying to come up with a list for this week’s topic by Ellen and Erin over at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms. It was picked based on a song from the 1990’s “Things that make you go hmmmmmmm”.  I had never heard of the song and after I played it (against their advice) not only could I not get it out of my head but my pea-sized, menopausal brain was very confused?!?!?  Oi-vay. 

I decided I would either have to feign sickness, admit to failure or wait until other people posted their lists and then try and come up with some of my own ideas. The second excuse was not going to be an option since apparently, I have been told by certain family members, I have a slightly "competitive" nature.  Losers.  Baahaa! Anyways here’s my attempt at “Things that make you go hmmmmm” (aka WTF from my perspective):

1.      Saran wrap/Resinite is clear but when you ball it up…it’s blue!?!
2.     Cobwebs and dirty windows are only visible when you have company.
3.      G looking for a bottle of Coke in the fridge and asking “What does it look like?”  REALLY!!!
4.      People who request their latte’s to be a certain temperature…yah like the baristas really have a thermometer that precise.
5.      Thinking you can pop out for a quick errand without having a shower/washing your face doing your hair/makeup because surely you won’t run into anybody you know! Yup almost happened last night…thankfully I put some gel in my hair and pencilled in my eyebrows.
6.      Down to the last few rolls of toilet paper and it’s not on sale ANYWHERE!

Of course a couple of autism-related ones. These are not uncommon traits of autism yet after all these years I still go hmmmmm…

7.      Riley’s ability to do jigsaw puzzles line by line, across or up and down after about 6 tries.
8.      Riley’s ability to memorize the playlists of all 5 Classic Disney CD’s (25 songs on each CD). He could tell you the song by volume and number and vice versa. Have I mentioned he likes all things Disney?
9.      Riley’s ability to make me appreciate the little things in life.

Finally and probably the ONLY item slightly related to the topic:

10. This 1.14l  bottle of Bailey’s that G brought back for me after his weekend away golfing.  Hmmmmm…just saying *wink*

Don't forget to pop over to Stasha’s blog to read more Monday Listicles!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Puberty at 50 (aka Menopause)

I guess it’s only fair since I shared with you how puberty at 16 affected our household that I also share with you my in-depth analysis of puberty at 50 (aka menopause) having “recently” turned 50. Let me just start by saying that everything I had read and brushed off as ridiculous or declared THAT would NEVER happen to ME……has definitely happened to me!!!  

I started to write when I suddenly remembered a YouTube video I had watched a few years ago. Sandra Shamas is a Canadian comedic actress and writer. I highly recommend you watch her video about menopause as she took the words right out of my mouth (in more ways than one).  Tee hee.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Friday, 8 June 2012

"Friday's Fab Five"

What started out as a venue for sharing stories of Our Adventures with Riley and autism has evolved into something much more for me. Over the past 8 months (I KNOW…can you believe it!!!) I have learned a lot about social media, made some new connections and joined in on a few fun “link-ups”. I originally thought I wouldn't have any problems remembering all of Our Adventures with Riley over the past 15 years or so. Apparently this would not be the case. *sigh* Surely it had nothing to do with my age.  Right??  Ummmm...Hello???

Then there are the times when life just seems to get in the way and my brain is mush. So I figured what better time to share some of my favourite posts and introduce you to some other blogs (my version of #FF - Follow Friday) which could otherwise be lost in Blogger World. Without further ado, here is my first “Friday Fab Five”:

Autism-Related Blogs:

Teaching your teen to drive:  …Nope the Problem is not His Eyesight… by Raising Asperger’s Kids

Childhood inventions:  The Wing: Tales from an Aspie Childhood by Thirty Days of Autism

Link-Ups:  (you'll also find them over on the right sidebar)

Autism Positivity Flash Blog - you can read my contribution here

Stasha's Monday Listicles over at "The good life"

Just plain made me LOL:

The Scarlett Guide To… Faking A Dinner Party by Scarlett Wonderland

Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did and have a great weekend!  D

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Going on His First Date...

Riley’s going on a date this Friday night.  Yup you read that right. He is going to a movie with a member of the opposite sex! Let’s call her LE. Apparently R asked LE out this past Friday at school.  I know…shocking isn’t it!

Here’s the thing.  LE was Riley’s SEA (Special Education Assistant) last year. OK so technically it’s not a “date”…more like a night outing. Potato…Po-taaah-toe.  =D  Hey would you have been as eager to read this post if it was entitled “Going on his first night outing”???  I think not.

Sooo…as far as asking LE. Wellllll let’s just say he basically went up to LE and said “Madagascar 3??”  Knowing R so well, LE responded with “Oh, you want to go see Madagascar 3?”  R replied with his thank goodness she got it/happy as a clam voice…“Okay!”

Now I’m pretty sure Madagascar 3 would NOT be on the top of the list for most 17 year old girls so I am thankful that Riley has quite the endearing personality which definitely works in his favour with "older women". Tee hee. Even better and of course always looking on the positive...LE drives so I don't have to play chauffeur!  

Are you looking forward to your son's first "date"???  Where do you think he'll want to go?

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Summer Memories: #Monday Listicles

Since discovering Stasha over at "The good life" I can honestly say I look forward to Mondays. Hopefully you enjoy reading my lists as much as I have fun making them. This week's topic is "10 Summer Memories". I decided on 5 from my childhood and 5 since having children. Pop over to Stasha's Monday Listicles for some great reads and be sure to check out Stasha's beautiful photos at Stasha B Photography.

I remember growing up in the late 1960-70's back in the days when you were able to spend your summer days roaming around the neighbourhood on your own, coming home only at mealtimes. Sadly a sense of freedom our kids will never know. Do any of these sound familiar to anyone?

1.      Playing cops and robbers on your bikes in the neighbourhood and staying out until the street lights came on.

2.      Going to the neighbourhood park just to hang out or play box hockey.

3.      Playing a game of Monopoly that went on for days!

4.      Going to Disneyland for the first time in 1972 - I was 11-1/2. We took a 3 week road trip and met up with cousins from Seattle, Washington and Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Circa 1974

5.      Going on an airplane for the first time to Hawaii. Yes that is 
Pan Am you see in the background. We left from Seattle and went
with my dad's brother's family. (That's me, second from the left)


Summer 1996:  Riley (left) & J2

6.   Going camping for the first time with our kids. According to G, I would be depriving them if I didn’t. Oh yay…it was over 40 degrees Celsius! That would be 104 degrees Fahrenheit PEOPLE!  Remember…I’m concrete NOT canvas!!!

7.      Going to Disneyland with the boys for the first time in 1999. J2 was 6-1/2 and R was 5. That was the pre-digital era and ummmm...I can't seem to "locate" the pics at the moment. *sigh*

July 2006

8.      Going on an Alaskan cruise. G and my sister surprised me and my mom on Mother's Day with a cruise to celebrate the end of both our cancer treatments.

9.      Driving all the way from Las Vegas, Nevada to Calgary, Alberta without an overnight stay. This was NOT intentional. We did not anticipate a major event in Utah which had hotels fully booked along the main highway. I'll leave it at that.

10.   2008 - Checking off another item on my bucket list - Wake-boarding. I couldn't raise my arms for a week afterwards and felt like I drank almost half the lake but whooo-hoooo...I got up! 

Have a great week!  D

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Its June!!!

Can’t believe its June already! You wanna know what THAT means in Riley World??

“It’s Father’s Day and my birthday in June. I can open my presents. I want to go to Daimasu (a Japanese restaurant) for my birthday. Who am I going to invite? I’m going to invite grandma, Uncle Stoo, Auntie Sharon, Sara and Scotty. What am I going to open? I’m going to open my presents.”  

This little diddy will be repeated at least 100 times a day (OK I’m exaggerating…only slightly) or at least every time he sees me. Just so ya know…this started immediately following Mother’s Day. I’M.NOT.KIDDING!  That is all.