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

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Another 11th Hour #TToT post...

If you grew up watching Charlie Brown Specials this adapted quote may ring a bell… 

Maybe next week I’ll get my list done before the eleventh hour!  

Image from Google

1.      Random holidays. For just the second year, Monday marked “Family Day” where I live. It was a (provincial not national) statutory holiday. Two-thirds of the country observes a February stat holiday, which coincides with Presidents Day in the US, except for the province where I live. It was the week before. Dare to be different indeed.

2.      My doctor retired almost a year ago. The Health Centre we go to did not have anyone to take over for my GP so we needed to find a new one. I had not found one yet. Granted I think I would have needed to look for one. In the meantime R and I would go to the doctor on call there to renew our meds since our files were all there. This time we saw a lovely young woman. We talked, I nervously laughed and she listened. I liked her. I had a good feeling about her. And then she said those magic words “I can take you on if you’d like.” I am pretty sure she felt sorry for us. I’m okay with that.

3.      Since I am all about spreading awareness…I am going with the trend to rename February 14thSingle’s Awareness Day”.  Who needs to pay triple for chocolates/flowers anyways?  G was most thankful.

4.      Every Friday after we finish working at “Lori’s library”, Riley and I go for lunch. Whenever we go someplace new I go into training mode.

First Riley orders “Plain udon with no seasoning please.” 

Then I translate: “A bowl of plain udon. NO green onions. NO garnish. Nothing. Just noodles and broth please. Nothing else.”  

We are used to getting the puppy dog head tilt and confused look, followed by some question clarifying we do indeed just want noodles and broth. We go with it. It is easier that way.

And yet…every so often we get a bowl of noodles with something else in it. *sigh* I would bet the chef who does this does not have children and the thought of food being served without some type of garnish is blasphemy.

The gentleman who takes our order on Fridays has passed basic training with flying colours. I hope he stays forever.  

5.      We had to pick up a few things at the store on the way home. After I finished paying R said loudly and clear as a bell (to me) “Thanks for using my debit card!”  There was printer ink for R among the items so let’s just leave it at that.

6.      One of my favourite bloggers in the whole wide world started doing a Friday Link-Fest. I was thrilled to have my post “Being the Best That You Can Be” included. Thank you Bec at Snagglebox!!! Be sure to watch the video at the beginning.

7.      Who doesn’t like getting a compliment right?? I started a Step class with my dragon boat team about a month ago. One would think one would only be required to “Step” up and down. Not so. Dance-type steps and a certain amount of coordination are required. Why didn’t anybody tell me!

Yesterday the instructor came over and told me “You did a really good job today.” At 53…it still makes me feel giddy all over. And here I thought nobody noticed when I was tripping over “the step” the first couple of weeks.

8.      My first exposure to social media was Twitter. I started tweeting and blogging at the same time. I was not and I repeat NOT going to get sucked into Facebook. And then I did. And then life as I knew it was over.

One of my first Twitter friends was Robbie who blogs over at Fractured Family Tales. She and her friend Jen of Dancing in the Rain wanted to “get some of the friendly exchanges back into our social media lives. To just chat with people. Gab. Jabber. Prattle. Engage in friendly discourse.” and so decided to start a Hashtag movement to #KeepSMSocial. I thought it was a great idea! I decided to join in. I need to brush up on my tweeting skills.    

9.      R’s sleeping habits have been all over the map lately. Waking and getting dressed as early as 3am. WTH!! I am SO thankful that the days of having to stay up with him have passed. I have no idea what he does. I am sleeping.  :P

10.      Self-explanatory.
Have a great week!!!

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Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Being the Best that You Can Be

Are you watching the Olympics?  I am.

Are you amazed what the athletes can do??  Me too!

Are you in awe of the dedication it must take to become an Olympian???  You better believe I am!

Do you gasp out loud when an athlete wipes out going nearly 100mph?  OMG…YES!!

Do you want to cry when an athlete falls and yet gets up to continue their program?  *sniff* Yup.

Do you get goose bumps when the National Anthem of the Gold Medalist is played?  Absolutely. *shivers*

Watching all these athletes compete at the Olympic Games ("…considered the world's foremost sports competition…") is nothing short of, in my opinion, someone trying to be the best that they can be

There are articles out there with Tips for Being the Best You Can Be or How to Be the Best Person You Can Be. But what exactly is being the best that you can be and is it the same for every person??

Does being the best that you can be mean being the best athlete in a particular sport or being the best doctor/lawyer in a certain profession?   
Does being the best that you can be mean doing the best you can to the best of your ability?

I will leave you to ponder these two statements and in the meantime share my thoughts about both.

In the first case (best athlete or profession) I think it would require a person to work hard, be dedicated and hopefully have a passion for what they are doing. Yet what if, for reasons beyond their control/means, they were unable to pursue any of these options. Does this mean they are not being the best they can be???

In my teens I will admit being the best athlete would have been pretty awesome. The best athlete was usually popular and uber-cool. I was neither of these. Shocking I know. Haahaa!

In my twenties…I dreamt of having a successful career. Not all that unusual. Luckily back in the olden days a degree wasn’t as necessary as it is today and a person could have a decent career working for one company (usually until they retired). It worked alright for me.

Then came my thirties (and beyond). Becoming a parent changed my idea of what it meant to be the best that you can be. What I wanted for both boys was for them to be kind, confident and happy. Mostly happy.

And then I became a special needs parent. Being the best that you can be took on a whole new meaning.

For 15 years now I have watched Riley grow and develop into a kind, confident and happy young man.

I have been amazed at his ability to draw people into his world with very few words. His warm smile and gentle personality goes a long way.   

I am in awe of his perseverance (not to be confused with perseveration although I am in awe of that too), his determination and his resilience to cope and overcome some of the more challenging aspects of his autism.

I have gasped. Boy have I gasped. The first time he screamed “DON’T HIT ME!!!” out in public. The first time he shouted out “BASTARD!!!” in a crowded McDonald’s. People around me gasped!   

I have cried happy tears, sad tears and downright ugly tears over the years. As Riley has gotten older the ugly and sad tears have been replaced with…well…not so much happy tears…but happiness just the same. And laughs. Lots and lots of laughs. Otherwise I would be crying. Sad and ugly crying. Laughter works better for me.

And I still can get goose bumps when Riley does something new and/or unexpected. Whether it be eating a new food, mastering a new skill or yelling out that new swear word expressing himself verbally…he IS being the best that he can be at his own pace and that makes my heart swell. 

What does "being the best that you can be" mean to you? 


Sunday, 9 February 2014

G's 15 Seconds of Fame...
#Ten Things of Thankful

While I may not always give G credit, he does do some things around here that I hate would rather not do. Over the last week or so I have found myself thanking him on more than a couple of occasions so I decided to give him his 15 seconds of fame.

Have no fear my friends, I am not dying. At least…I…I…don’t…think I am?!?  G???  Is there anything you want to tell me??

So here are some reasons (in point form since I’m late) G is worth keeping around…

1.      He cleans dirty shoes. Whether it be poop or just plain mud…G is your man.

2.      He does minor car maintenance. This week it was windshield washer fluid. G went to buy more washer fluid and refilled the tank. I used to do stuff like this myself. I don’t want to any more.

3.      He plays chauffeur. For the kids; for me and for my drunk intoxicated tipsy friends.

4.      He does the recycling. I rinse most things but leave the sorting to him.

5.      He irons. I prefer the ummm tousled look.

6.      I am a bug-a-phobe!!  He kills bugs. Enough said.

7.      He checked my hiking boots (that I haven’t worn in umpteen years) for bug carcasses before I had to wear them to go snowshoeing with R last weekend. Refer to number 6.

8.      He repairs furniture…eventually. Two months ago one leg of an old footstool broke off. I use that footstool. I have been balancing on 3 legs for two months now. He fixed my footstool this week.

9.      He sorta figured out how to put in R’s Greepers. He left the cutting to me…that way I can’t yell at him that he did it wrong! He’s learning.  :)

 Riley's bowling shoes.

And that’s all I've got. Looks like G only gets 13.5 seconds of fame.

So I will leave you with this video snippet. The smallest things in life can bring the biggest smiles. Riley reminds me every day. 

We gave Puppy a bath (aka threw him in the washer) this weekend.

Have yourselves an AWESOME week!!!

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Monday, 3 February 2014

My Snowshoe Experience with #SpecialOlympics

Yesterday I went snowshoeing for the very first time and am still alive to write about it. Go me.

My rented snowshoes. Pretty slick these days.
Apparently there is a left and right foot. 
Mine are on backwards. 

This year Riley wanted to try (translation: I signed him up for) Special Olympics Snowshoeing. Like with any new activity, Riley does much better with a support person other than me or G. This week M could not make it so I decided what better time for me to go and watch; now that R has been broken in was used to going. So at 7:30am we left to meet the bus.

The athletes start out by walking a few laps (~150m ‘track’) to get warmed up. Then they practice racing. They are divided into 3 groups; run 4 races; 1-2 laps each. Competitive would not be a word to describe Riley. At all. So as you can imagine “I'LL BE WHINING!!” was heard A. LOT!  

After about 30 minutes it was time to head out into the trails. Stamina is Riley’s middle name. He loves this part of the program!! He was up at the front of the pack while I…well I…I…was at the back. The very back. The only person behind me was one of the coaches who had to be there.

M took this picture the 1st week.
You can get an idea of how far ahead they were.

It’s not like M had not warned me. She did. I was planning on waiting in the warm, cozy lodge reading a book while they went on their hike. It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I made the decision (mostly out of guilt) to go along.

With the lodge still in sight I seriously doubted my decision and thought I should have probably gone with a less energetic group. We were only halfway up the hill and I was already sucking wind and sweating profusely. Three quarters of the group were already out of sight. The only athlete I was able to pass was a young man whose snowshoe had fallen off. I wasn’t about to lose my momentum and stop to help him…surely that was a job for the rear coach.  :)

There was no rest for the weary with this group. By the time the rear coach and I caught up to the front of the pack they were packing away their water bottles and ready to get going again. Good thing I wasn’t thirsty.  

At the halfway point we stopped to take in the gorgeous scenery. I managed to get out my camera just in time to zoom in all the way and take this shot of them heading off again.  

Three-quarters of the way through we stopped at a rustic cabin for a quick snack. R ate quickly so I was able to snap a few pictures without having to use the zoom.

The day would not have been complete without a selfie of the two of us! maybe R could have done without the selfie.  ;)
BTW...R is not that much taller than me.
He was trying to run away so was that much closer to the camera. 

I can not say enough about what a wonderful organization Special Olympics is! If you ever have the opportunity to go watch, volunteer or participate, I guarantee you will walk away with a smile on your face. The sportsmanship, camaraderie and support...the best I have seen!