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

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

An Encore Post...

Fall has definitely arrived and winter is on the doorstep. We even had a dusting of snow this past weekend. What better time to head south and soak up some extra vitamin D. I mean really…why take any chances? The older I get, the harder it is to fight off winter ailments. Tee hee.

Lucky for me, I have not one but two best girlfriends who are happy to share their home away from homes with their friends. Not one to play favourites, I am heading south with my other group of gal pals. You know...just to be fair. So buckle up, I am rewinding to an earlier post because tonight... 

See ya next week!!!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

ITS* Getting Old...

*It’s The Shits

Welcome to my new series “ITS Getting Old”. Please pardon the pun. You will know what I am talking about soon enough. 

Since my first year of blogging focussed mainly on our adventures with autism I have decided to branch out a bit and enlighten you with another aspect of “our” life…aging (not so gracefully). After all everything that happens in our house is a family affair and as I have gotten more “mature” I am all about sharing my knowledge and experiences for those who have not yet gotten to my stage in life. You’re welcome. 

Now I have heard some not so welcome words coming from doctors in the past but the two words I dreaded hearing the most...stool sample. No wait! Give me a minute to explain. Trust're over the worst.  

The test is called the Hema-Screen™ II Test Card and I had to do this this past week. Just so you know G was mortified that I would even think to blog about this. Oh well. 

I was lucky and got to do the 3 day test. It comes with handy-dandy "applicator sticks" which look similar to coffee stir sticks. I will never, ever use a stir stick at Starbuck's again. Sorry about that.

A total of 17 instructions on 2 pages. Now I am not going to elaborate on ALL the instructions…just a few that had me shaking my head and thinking that the prep for a colonoscopy was a breeze in comparison.

Instruction number 5:  "Use a clean, dry, disposable container to collect the stool. Collect sample before it contacts the toilet bowl water. Let stool fall into collection container."

Really.  First, what exactly is a “disposable container” one would use to collect said stool?  Second, where would one find such a container? I don’t know about you but I’m certainly not about to go and ask a 16 year old clerk at the local drugstore. I can hear it now “Customer Service to front desk for assistance. Customer requires location of disposable stool containers.” Uh thanks. I think I will figure something out on my own.

Instruction number 8:  "Place the test card in the foil envelope and store at room temperature until the next day."
Glad they pointed out “room temperature” just in case, you know, I considered putting the test card IN the refrigerator next to MY FOOD!

And my favourite…

Instruction on the Envelope:  Do not mail specimens in this envelope.
The key word here being “mail”. Seriously?  Who would…  Really?  That is just plain gross.

Next the ummmm gathering of the required samples. On second thought...this may be a good place to stop. If you are interested in further steps, feel free to leave a comment below and I will publish the instructions in a follow-up post...or not?!? 

ITS* getting old my friends!  DI

*It’s The Shits

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Halloween Costumes
#Monday Listicles

I will admit when I was a kid Halloween was one of my favourite occasions. Dressing up and running around the neighbourhood at night getting candy for doing absolutely nothing…doesn’t get any better than that!

OK...slight exaggeration.  

I remember going out Trick or Treating and having to go home at least 2-3 times to “unload” our bags/pillowcases of goodies because they got toooo heavy to carry. Something that is unheard of these days with the size of the so-called “treats” that get handed out. Ya ya too much sugar isn’t good…pre-packaged treats only…blah blah blah. Why when I was growing up…oh. Sorry.  Got a bit carried away.

Anyways “10 Halloween Costumes” is this week’s Monday Listicles. Apparently a very hot topic for Bridget, Brandee, Robbie and Sisterhood of Moms who all made the same suggestion to Stasha.

(Begin sarcastic font here) Being the eco-friendly family that we are (End sarcastic font) we recycle costumes. Dressing up was not exactly something the boys looked forward to (especially R) so I included a few years of yours truly to stretch out my list. 

Numbers 1 and 2:  Little Red Riding Hood (circa 1962 and 1963)

Left to Right:  Me & My Sister (1962)

Numbers 3 and 4:  Devil and Vampire


Number 5:  
Skeleton and Devil: The 2nd Coming


Number 6:  Pirates I


Number 7:  Cat in the Hat and Vampire II:  In J2’s final days of Trick or Treating and much to my surprise he actually donned some make-up for his Vampire II appearance. 


Numbers 8 through 10+:  Pirates II:  Once J2 was done with Halloween I was so relieved that we no longer had to be concerned about dressing up. Or so I thought. When R entered high school you can imagine my shock when the night before Halloween Riley was excitedly talking about getting dressed up. Wait.  What?  When.  Tomorrow?  Really?  Thus the beginning of the Pirate II Era.

Thanks to Johnny Depp and Pirates of the
Caribbean...lots of pirate paraphernalia around.

As you can see we aren't exactly a family that goes all out. Thank goodness we have a lot of black and red in our closets. Ha!  Do you like getting dressed-up???  Don't forget to go check out what everybody else came up with.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Spreading a Little Sunshine

The weather has turned but thanks to Robbie over at Fractured Family Tales I am bathing in Sunshine! Yup, yup, yup…Robbie tagged me for a Sunshine Award.

The conditions of this award are to answer the 8 questions below, then nominate some of your favourite awesome bloggers so they can repeat the process! So put that umbrella in a tall glass of cheer, put on your shades and have a listen to this song by Katrina & The Waves while you’re reading.

1.      What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday movie?
A Riley influenced answer: How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Frosty the Snowman (the originals of course). He watches them year round and in grade 8 recited from memory the entire script of How the Grinch Stole Christmas in Drama class.

2.      What is your favorite flower?
Gerbera daisies.  Did you see the flower in the award?  Coincidence???  I think not.

3.      What is your favourite (non-alcoholic) beverage?
No comprende?!?

4.      What is your passion?
If by “passion” you mean guilty pleasure…I’m going to go with wine, slot machines and potato chips. Yes I wrote potato chips. No I did not mean chocolate. What can I say...I'm sweet enough. Baahaahaa!

5.      What is your favorite time of year?
Fall. I love the crisp, cool air. Much more conducive to hot flashes.

6.      What is your favorite time of the day?
That moment when everything is done for the day and you have nothing else to do but put on your “home clothes” and relax.  

7.      What is your favorite physical activity?
See answer to question 3. 

8.      What is your favorite vacation?
Going with question 4…I think I would have to say Viva La$ Vega$ or the closest Seven Eleven!

Gee…that was easy. Be sure to check out my sunshine picks. Thanks again Robbie!

·         Amanda at Lilahbility
·         Anne at Glass Half Full
·         Bec at 42Squeeze
·         Jackie at Not Wifezilla

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

It's My Bloggiversary!!!

What was I thinking?!?!? 137 posts. Over 5,000 Tweets. Now Facebook. Hard to believe one year ago today I stepped out of my comfort zone and dove hands first into the world of social media. “To Blog or Not to Blog”…that was my first post.

What started out as a venue to share our early adventures with Riley and autism has taken more than a few detours along the way. One thing for sure…my memory is not what it used to be. Fortunately, like child birth, as time passes you begin to forget about the pain and tend to remember only the good stuff…which is definitely a good thing in my case.

Riley is 18. Believe it or not there are times now when it is hard for me to remember exactly how I felt in that moment when he was little and having a meltdown or not sleeping or having health issues or the frustration of not being able to communicate with him. OK so maybe I can easily remember a few times recently where we had a communication breakdown or miscommunication or just plain confusion.  Oish.

So while I can still relate to the challenges as well as celebrate the accomplishments of so many young families just starting out on their own adventures with autism...something has changed for me. I do understand and empathize with these families yet I am no longer there “in the trenches” with them.

Would I have ever thought that Riley would be able to sit in a desk at school without being glued down?  That would most definitely be no.

Would I have ever thought we would be able to go to a restaurant and actually have a somewhat leisurely meal? Hmmmm...nope.

Would I have ever thought that as a family we would be able to fly (no less) to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico of all places?  Never in a million years.  

Sure there were accommodations that had to be made. Sure for every step we went forward there were a few steps back. Yet Riley did it. We, with the help of so many, did it. The proof…I have way more salt than pepper hair and G has no hair. 

This coming year will be an interesting one. Riley will be graduating from high school and we are entering into a new and changing phase. What I hope going forward is that our adventures will be able to provide a little encouragement, some information and most definitely a lot of humour.

Where Riley was and where he is today…indescribable. Where he will be in the future...well that is the million dollar question. 

Thank you for giving me a place to air our dirty laundry share our family’s experiences in Riley World!  

Cheers, DI

Monday, 15 October 2012

The Same or Different than My Younger Self... #Monday Listicles

Christine over at Random Reflectionz picked this week’s topic “10 Ways You are the Same or Different than your Younger Self.”  Gee had I known Monday Listicles would be a lesson in ancient history… 

1.     I have always and still love roller coasters. The bigger and faster the better.

2.    I hated my hair growing up. Having poker straight and coarse hair it was very rare to get my hair to do anything remotely in-style. I tried everything from the pixie cut to the page boy to the Farrah Fawcett. The best look by far was the “loose curl/afro” via the au naturale perm. Stop laughing. One of the pluses of losing my hair was I no longer colour my hair and having more salt than pepper these days, I keep it short and spiky so it takes no time to get ready.

3.      Pretty sure my chest measurement is the same as when I was 10.

4.      When I was a kid I was a tiny little thing. Smallest in the class all the way through elementary school. Did not much care for food. I ate to survive. What the hell happened!!!

5.      Unfortunately as a result of number 4…my waist has grown exponentially.

The one of the left was unacceptable!
6.      I had quite a few OCD tendencies when I was a kid. My socks had to be even as in one could not appear lower/higher on my calf than the other; my shoelaces had to line up straight across and not cock-eyed; t-shirts had to be folded with the exact same amount of shoulder showing on each side of the collar…I KNOW!  My uhhh “idiosyncrasies” have changed over the years. Now-a-days I just don’t care any more consider myself completely cured…almost. 

7.      I used to like to win. Who doesn’t?  I have mellowed a LOT as I have gotten older. My family, however, seems to think I am slightly competitive. If by competitive they mean taking out my opponent in a game of Sequence or Spoons at all costs weeelll…losers. *wink*  

8.      I was never EV-VER going to say to my kids what our mom used to say to us “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you???”  I mean really. What a stupid thing to say to your kids. Turns out I was wrong and sometimes that is THE ONLY THING that is appropriate to say.

9.      Even though I am more cautious these days I have always been a bit of a dare devil. I have jumped out of a plane, gone river rafting, and most recently jumped off a cliff in Mexico.

10. I still have friends that I made in elementary and high school. We may not see each other as often as we would like these days but when we do get together it is as if things have never changed and THAT sometimes is a good thing.  

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

I Am Thankful for...
#Monday Listicles

This past weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada. We stuffed ourselves with turkey and all the trimmings on Sunday night which meant a very lazy day for me on Monday. I remember reading/hearing that eating turkey makes you sleepy. According to this article it is not the turkey’s fault…“it’s a combination of the type of food, amount of food, and celebratory atmosphere”. Drats!

I am going to put a Canadian Thanksgiving spin on Stasha’s topic for this week’s Monday Listicles “10 Compliments” and go with “10 Things I am Thankful for”.

1.      Riley who has taught me to be a more patient and empathetic person; to take things one day at a time and most of all to have a sense of humour even when I don’t feel like it.

2.      J2 who has taught me that I am not the patient or empathetic person that I had hoped I would be; everything happens at once and most of all if I can’t laugh at myself…I sure as heck can laugh at with him. 

3.      J1 for being such a great role model except when it comes to electronics and guitars. I will leave it at that.

4.      G who keeps me company every waking hour of every day.  Every hour.  Every day.  Every.  Single.  Solitary.  Hour.  of  Every.  Day.

5.      My mom for letting me practice using my good listening ears when I call her to check-in.

6.      My sister for being such a good sport especially after her husband and I indulge in copious amounts of alcohol at family get-togethers.

7.      All my extended family who makes family reunions something to look forward to even though we all know about the “3 Day Rule” thanks to UG. 

8.      Riley’s army of supporters who have always been there and kept us motivated and moving forward. A little faster would have been nice…just sayin’.

9.      My friends who keep me in line (mostly at the liquor store) and insist on proving over and over that laughter IS the best medicine.

10.   And finally Stasha for Monday Listicles.  Such a great way to start my week off! Remember to pop over and check out what everybody else thought of.

I am truly thankful for all I have. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Ladies, please remember to go get your annual mammograms. I am going tomorrow. Sure I only have one boob to do but it hurts twice as much when you don’t have much. *wink*

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Then and Now...

J2 - Age 19
J2 - Age 2

Hoping to follow in his brother's footsteps...

J1 - Thirty-something

Monday, 1 October 2012

10 Things Autumn
#Monday Listicles

Living on the west coast where we enjoy all four seasons, it appears by the colours of the leaves and the cool, crisp air that autumn has arrived. So for this week's topic Stasha has chosen 10 Autumn Must Haves.

Ummmm slightly off topic but did you happen to notice the date today? October 1st!!!  Yikes!  Don't get me started on what's on display and for sell in stores already! Two words. Bah humbug! There. I said it. Don't pretend that you're not thinking the same thing. Am I right???

Anyways back to the topic at hand. Here is my list of 10 Things Autumn in no particular order.

1.      First day of school 

This year will be our final year of high school forevermore. Bittersweet???  Truthfully…not really. Gasp! After 16+ years of preschool, elementary and high school I am now too tired, too old and frankly just don’t care anymore.  ;P    

Now I used to take pics of the boys on the first day of school only now I can’t find most of them. What did we ever do before digital?!? So I will leave you with this one that I came across of the boys on their first day of school when Riley was in grade 2 and J2 was in grade 4. Awwww...they look SO sweet. Baahaaa!

2.      Thanksgiving (in Canada)

As defined in Wikipedia: “A celebration of being thankful for what one has and the bounty of the preceding year.”  In our family this means getting together and feasting on turkey with all the trimmings followed by a nap and vowing not to eat for the next week. Gobble gobble. 

3.      Anniversary of the day I was born

Having reached my Golden Anniversary and celebrated the “Year of Di” a few years ago...this cartoon pretty much sums it up for me. 

4.      Allergies 

Is it just me or has the allergy season gotten longer and longer???  Why oh why must you torture me so.   :(

5 & 6.      Leaves

Leaves are my numbers 5 and 6. True the colours of the leaves in the fall are absolutely stunning yet once these beautiful leaves fall to the ground…a whole lot of raking needs to be done. Thankfully with my allergies this job falls onto G.

7.      Shoes and Socks

Gone are the sandals, flip flops and bare feet. Pedicures at the Spa are put on hold until Spring or until my next getaway to someplace sunny and warm.   :)

8.      Umbrellas

Living in the Pacific Northwest means sooner or later the rain will come. When I was growing up there were no cutesy animal-faced umbrellas for kids. Just your basic colours or ones with patterns that you would rather get drenched than carry. 

9.      Fall Clean-up

Ummmmm…did you not read my post from last week’s Monday Listicles?????  Not likely gonna happen. 

10.  Halloween

Last and certainly not least…Halloween. When the boys were little neither one of them particularly liked to get dressed up. As long as it was something that could be worn easily on top of their own clothes and required little or no makeup…they would tolerate it. Just to clarify…only Riley is autistic.  :)  Found this picture from 2000 (J2 was 7 and Riley was 6). This was the start of the “Pirate” era. Really. The costume has changed, no more trick or treating yet Riley still wants to dress up as a pirate for school. Yes they still dress up in high school. I know. One more year...