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

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Ringing In a new year...

Haaaallooooo????  Anybody there???

I have been struggling for the past week or so trying to write a post to sum up this past year. After all it is tradition to look back and celebrate/mourn and bid farewell/good riddance to the current year. I got about as far as making this picture on PicMonkey last week.

 2013 was indeed an eventful year in Riley World.

Yet here I sit.

Past noon on the last day of 2013.

Staring at a blank page.

Tapping the keyboard…hoping that something inspiring would appear on the blank page.

Whistling. Yes. I did whistle.

And still……


Nada.  *heavy sigh*

I even went so far as trying different spacing.  *wink*

And then…it hit me. I have NEVER liked New Year’s Eve. For me there has always been a certain pressure around it. When I was younger I felt I needed to have THE best time of the year on the 31st. Now???  Heck…I can barely stay up until midnight and there is something to be said about comfy clothes and having your bed only steps away.

And let us not forget the pressures of making resolutions… “dieting” usually made my list year after year. GAH!!! 

And don’t get me started on the over-priced, over-inflated costs of a night out on the town!!!

Eeep…forgive me. See! Scarred I tell ya. Is there a term for a New Year’s Eve Scrooge?!?!?   

So until tomorrow... 

From our family to yours…may 2014 bring good health, much happiness and many exciting adventures!!! 

Friday, 27 December 2013

Celebrating "PUPPY"

For the past 19 years Riley has had a constant companion in a floppy, once-stuffed dog named “puppy”. A gift from his Auntie Trudy for R’s first Christmas which became “THAT Special Toy”.

In the early years puppy went pretty much everywhere with Riley. 

On special occasions puppy even got to snack with Riley. 

Camping and other family vacations would not be complete without puppy.

As Riley got older and went off to school puppy got used to staying at home. Riley would place him gently on the stairs, snuggle his face into his body and breathe in puppy’s scent before heading out the door.

After 10+ years of hard loving, puppy started to break down. It was the Christmas of 2006. I was now a seasoned autism mom. I knew exactly what made Riley tick. Yup yup yup. I knew. All I had to do was replace “THAT Special Toy”.

Look how excited Riley is!!!

For the next 7 years (less 1 day) puppy took up residence (for the most part) on Riley’s shoulder.

At the beginning of November 2013, I discovered what turned out to be stuffing in Riley’s bedroom. After some investigation I realized Riley had tried to ‘destuff’ the replacement puppy. A surgeon Riley will never be. Did Riley sense the demise of puppy??? 

Puppy’s tattered and dilapidated body had become a tangled mess. Riley would shake, twist and untwist its threadbare body to no avail. Then on Christmas Eve day of this year (2013), G discovered the remnants of puppy in our bathroom garbage. *GASP* 

I am almost certain Riley tried to detangle puppy with his trusty scissors. 
A little snip here led to another snip there……  

The next morning......
It was as if Riley was trying to piece puppy together.  :(  

R:    You can fix it???
Me:  Ummm. No. I’m sorry. I can’t fix puppy.
R:    *Picking at the pieces*   You can’t fix puppy. (in his sad voice)
Me:  No. I can’t. It’s too wrecked. 
R:    It’s too wrecked. I wrecked it.
Me.  Yes. You cut puppy into too many pieces. I’m sorry Riley.

As the day passed, Riley would pass by the pieces, pick them up, smell them and sadly walk away. Why did I not just throw them away??? Well as you know I am a seasoned autism mom and one of the top 10 rules of autism is never, EVER throw anything away unless you have stored it for at least 10 years. EVER!!!  

We finally decided that Riley would give the replacement puppy a try. I would put my grade 8 sewing skills to the test and try and patch up new puppy.


Part of me thought perhaps this would have been a good time to naturally transition away from puppy. Yet another part of me had a hard time letting go. Puppy had brought so much comfort and security to Riley. Whether it was in his backpack under the seat in front of him on a plane or in a hotel room waiting for him to return from a day's outing; puppy was the one constant that gave Riley a sense of calm and order. Had we not had new puppy waiting in the wings, the choice would have been simpler. Not easier. Simpler. We would have no choice but to move on.

Was I doing the right thing?? Maybe at 19 Riley should not have a “puppy” or “blankie”. Any doubts I had were put to rest when we were at my sister’s for Christmas dinner this year. There on the arm of the couch was a well worn part of a quilt. It was my niece’s. It was her “blankie”. She is 20. J2 still has his “blankie” on his bed. He will be 21 in less than 2 weeks. For now Riley seems to have taken to new puppy…only time will tell.

Did you or does your child(ren) have something they are/were attached to??  How did you/they let go? 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Can You Spot the Differences??

Birthday List - June 2013

Christmas List 2013

I am pretty sure his Christmas List last year was pretty much the same. Next time I think I will order in bulk.  :D

Sunday, 8 December 2013

A Mixed Bag Kinda Week....
#Ten Things of Thankful

The holiday season has arrived! As I have mentioned before December 1st means ALL things Christmas in Riley World. The outside lights were already up so only needed to be plugged in. Phew! After a mad dash to get the tree and Christmas village setup by December 2nd…things have come to a screeching halt.

My goal this coming week will be to finish decorating or else just close the lids on the bins and be done. Ha! Anyways…here was how the week went:

1.      Fresh air. I sleep with the windows open. Not wide open. A little more than a crack. More like ajar. R likes to fall asleep in our bed than transfers to his bed when we go up. It hasn’t always been this way. For YEARS he slept with us. I will save the saga of this one for another time. Anyways with the colder weather comes the crisp smell of winter in the air. I love that smell! It can be a little chilly at first but I am thankful for my personal bed warmer (R sleeps on my side).

2.      FINALLY after at least 10,758 lives I made it passed level 421 in Candy Crush on Monday. I have been stuck on level 425 ever since.

3.      I got all my out-of-town parcels wrapped, packaged and sent. No small feat for me.   

4.      I have a new best friend. Well…he is not MY best friend but I am pretty sure he thinks of me as HIS best friend. Two words. Root canal. Thankfully we have a dental plan. After spending over 2 hours in his chair thankfully he told me I should not exercise afterwards as it could cause my tooth to start throbbing. This counts as 2 according to Clark’s manual.

5.      See number 4.

6.      Christmas shopping with my mom for my family’s gifts. We were able to knock them off find THE perfect items in under an hour and have lunch to boot. I love it when a plan comes together! 

7.      Friends and the holiday season. Last night we went to a friend’s place for dessert and some holiday cheer. My girlfriend made her famous Christmas martinis. I had forgotten about them. You’re shocked I know. Thankfully I only need to buy eggnog to be able to make them tonight.

8.      Lately I seem to have lost the ability to remember well…anything quite frankly. Thankfully I am not alone. My girlfriend was relating a story and after a brain fart few reflective moments passed came out with “cow meat”. What was even sadder was we all nodded along until the nickel dropped and G piped up with “you mean beef?” As I was writing this I actually remembered this YouTube video that explains our condition perfectly. It is a must watch!!

9.      And last but not least (yes I do realize this is only number 9 but this is going to be a twofer)…I am most thankful that I can blink. I will let this one sink in a bit. *tapping fingers*  At one point in the evening the topic of my blog came up. I was whining how I have a hard time coming up with ten things of thankful each. and. every. week. My friend T (like so many of the TToT crew) said I need to think small and gave me this week’s number 9 list item “blink”. I just may use his theory in weeks to come. Thank you Mr. T!!!  

Have yourselves an awesome week and don't forget to check out some of the other TToT blogs!

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

2 Words...Fettuccini Alfredo!!
#Operation IFO

Has it really been 2 weeks since my last Operation IFO post??? *Gasp*  Between R’s sore mouth, trying to be Thankful every week and decorating the house…need I say more?!?

A couple of things you may notice…
  • R is wearing a different shirt and shorts. Today was laundry day and lunch was mid-cycle.  :)
  • He avoids the left side of his mouth and uses a straw to drink his juice. R’s mouth has been sore…AGAIN! *sigh*  
As a warning…fettuccini is not Riley-friendly. It is hard to stab in his usual piston like manner. It slops around and is messy. There is a lot of hand-shovelling and food hanging out of his mouth. Some may think R’s table “manners” are ummmm…lacking. You would be right. However at this point…it is all about eating the food. Etiquette can come later. 

This was what he started with:

Viewer Warning: This is a long one my friends. Just under 11 minutes. I was trying to edit it because let’s face it…even G and I were getting tired of watching. However I decided that a few seconds here and there would interrupt the flow so instead I will make note of some of the highlights so you can skip ahead should you decide to watch.

0:20:    R: “You don’t have rice for dinner.” – Riley’s way of saying he wants oyako-donburi for dinner…not just rice.  :)
0:32:    R: “We’ll be back in time for Christmas.” – Riley World is going on location in a bit and R was concerned we would not be back in time to open presents so he has been perseverating feels the need to keep confirming.
1:18:    Pours his own juice at the table.
2:06:    R and I have a conversation about the decorations.
2:20:    R’s response to “thanks/thank you” from anyone is “Awww…that’s nice.”
3:44:    I suggested he needed another napkin.
4:00:    He was not happy about my suggestion to wipe his mouth.
4:52:    R looking at his reflection in the corner cabinet (has glass doors).
5:53:    Token gagging.
6:28:    Desperately trying to make eye contact begins.
7:57:    Flicking pasta – gets some on his t-shirt.
8:30:    Flicking continues.
9:20:    R: “I’m full now.”  A few seconds later… “Please.”  *Gulp*  
10:28:  Makes sure he pushes in his chair before leaving. 

I suggest you go empty your bladder, grab a snack or meal and get into your comfy clothes. Here we go...

This was what was left:

If it wasn’t for my friend Tammy and her ummm not-so-subtle hint…you may have been spared this IFO video. So blame her for this feature length movie.  :P

Have a great day!!