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

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Riley World's 21st Anniversary!!!

Ever since you were little one of your nicknames was Riley-man. Not sure why. It just was. And today you will be 21 years old. You are your nickname.   

I remember when birthdays were not any fun for you. 

And now…you can not wait for your birthday or Christmas or Easter or any other special event. It may have taken you a bit longer but boy oh boy are you ever embracing it now.

I remember when doing any type of group activity was not in the cards. 

I remember when you had to be put under general anaesthesia to get your teeth cleaned. We did that twice. 

And now…you put it on your visual schedule as if it were just another thing to do on any given day and are a rock star in the dentist chair.

I remember when you were a “particular” eater.  And now…oh wait.   Never mind.

I remember when any sign of crust would be the end of the world. 

And now…not only will you just pick off the offending parts but you will eat grilled cheese sandwiches cut into squares OR triangles. BAM!!

Yes I STILL cut off the crusts but if I happen to miss a will just pick it off.  :D

In your 21 years…

You have taught me that life is not black and white. It is mostly grey. Not an ugly grey. A nice slate grey. 
And now…there are more rainbows then grey.

You have taught me to live one day at a time. Mostly because that’s all I could handle in the early years of Riley World. 
And now…well…ummmm…I’m still living one day at a time because now you’ve entered Riley World: The Adult Years and it’s scary. Very scary.  

You have taught me to have a sense of humour. Because laughing was a whole lot better than ugly crying. 
And now…I can laugh even more because now there are places that sell beer and wine even on Sundays.

But mostly…you have taught me to be patient. Boy have you taught me. Over and over and over again. You have tested my will to live sometimes.  ;)  
And now…21 years later, I think I am a better person because of you. 

Happy 21st Birthday Riley-Man!  
I Love You, Mom

Sunday, 14 June 2015

R's First EVER Track & Field Meet! #SpecialOlympics

If you ever want to be inspired, motivated or are just looking for a reason to smile…attend a Special Olympics event. Any event. It doesn’t matter. The feeling you walk away with will be the same.

Yesterday was Riley’s first ever Special Olympics Track and Field Meet. Now if you know R, you know the idea of racing or competition is not a part of Riley World.

There were three field events (shot put, standing and running long jump) and 9 track events (50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m) including a 10,000m race! That’s 25 laps!! Are you kidding me!!! I don’t think I could walk 25 laps in one go.  

Riley participated in 5 events (shot put, running long jump and the 100m, 200m and 400m races). We were there for 6 hours! This most certainly is a new Riley World Record!! AND we both came home smiling...HUGE!!! I know. SO proud of him!

Since you weren’t able to be there with us, I am going to treat you to a play-by-play of yesterday’s events and lucky you…I have pics AND video for your viewing pleasure.

When we first arrived the group warm-up was in full swing. I was shocked thrilled when Riley was willing to jump right in BY HIMSELF when we spotted some team mates. He even went right to the front of the pack. I have never seen this happen before.

He slipped on the team jersey no problem but preferred to wear his own shorts.  :)

His first event was the 200m race. 

Ummmm…okay, so I may have forgotten to tell him when to stop running or as G commented Just like a horse race where they take half a lap to slow down and turn around.”  :P

Next came the 100m race. Riley is in the middle lane (wearing sunglasses).

This time he knew what he was doing. Well…sorta. Notice he looked around before continuing stopping. He makes me smile.  :P

The running long jump was R’s first field event. Note the concentration. Lucky for you the battery started to run low so I only got his first attempt. 

His last running event of the day…the 400m (R's in lane 7 - second from the outside). The video camera’s battery died so I had to use my phone.  :(   It became apparent that Riley prefers to “keep pace” with someone as opposed to run ahead. Such a polite young man.  ;) 

One last event before heading home…the shot put. Just enough battery life to get one last throw. 

Everybody cheers for EVERYBODY! No matter if you finish in front, at the back or somewhere in the middle. No matter how long it takes. No matter what team you are on. Special Olympics is a place where EVERYBODY is a WINNER!!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

When I got an email on Sunday evening about the possibility of Riley participating in a Torch Run for Special Olympics, I was, as always, a little apprehensive.

Although the “unknown” and Riley World have learned to get along more and more over the years…nothing is ever guaranteed.

Not knowing any details about the run, one of us was ready to run with R. And then the heavens opened up and the angels started to sing. it was just my niece who called and said she was available to do this with R. *Phew*   I hate running. 

It turned out to be quite the event. They had a motorcycle escort (7 in all) and as they jogged along busy main streets, traffic was stopped at intersections until they passed through. The route was 5km. A few athletes (Riley included) participated in the last 1km only.

Of course I have pictures.  

Here they come.......Law Enforcement in Black; Athletes in Orange
Believe it or not...this is a VERY busy intersection. You don't see any cars because...haaaalllloooo...
the motorcycle escort!!!  Ask my girlfriend. She was stuck in the area.

Riley was BEAMING and all smiles!!!

The 7 Motorcycle Escort

He was NOT, however, going to hold the Torch.

If you ever have the opportunity to get involved with Special Olympics (as an athlete or volunteer)…DOOOO  IT!!! It is an amazing organization!

Maybe next year Riley will run the entire 5km!  :D

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Closure for the Sock Saga...

On the heels of Riley destroying throwing away his black striped socks for reasons I will never know…here is an update that, if you follow us on Facebook, you will already know about. Otherwise ummm…why aren’t you following us Facebook?!?!?

At R's request he went to buy some socks at Walmart with his cousin Sara after work experience. He came home with 2 packs of socks. Socks that he has never, EVER had before. He picked them out, paid for them and seemed quite excited about it all.

Conversation he had later with G over Mr. Noodles:

G: So I hear you bought some new socks today.
R: Yeah I did!
G: Where did you buy them?
R: At Walmart with my cousin Sara.
G: How many did you buy?
R: 2 packs.
G: How much did they cost?
R: *Without hesitation and very confidently*   2 dollars!

Ummmmm....not exactly. One of the downsides of always using a debit card?!?!?
Keeping my fingers crossed that he will wear them. 

UPDATE:  He has been wearing the NEW socks happily every day since. Then again...there are no other socks in his dresser drawer.  :D

Monday, 1 June 2015

I Surrender......

I only wish the white flag I was waving was on this beach. Then surrendering wouldn’t feel so bad.

Photo credit: MorgueFile

Every so often this autism thing will still come and bite me in the butt. When I least expect it.

I mean I can listen over and over and over ad nauseam and laugh at the appropriate time as Riley scripts the one particular scene from Mrs. Doubtfire where I dared to laugh the first time.

I can even listen to him reciting all 24 DVD’s on his birthday list for 6 months leading up to his birthday.

Hell…I can listen to him grumbling for 21 days that it is “STILL MAY”!  (Remember…as soon as Mother’s Day was over R was ready for June because June means Father’s Day and his birthday.) 

What made me crack this time…socks and pajamas. 

Silly right??

It isn’t often that Riley will initiate a conversation so when he does…I am all ears. 

R:  I want some NEW socks please.
Me:  ?!?!?!?  What kind of socks??
R:  Red and black socks.
Me:  ?!?!?!?  What happened to your socks?
R:  I don’t like them.
Me:  ?!?!?!?

I found this in his bedroom garbage.

He’s been wearing these socks for months. 6 pairs with black stripes; 6 pairs with the light grey stripes. ALL the pairs with black stripes were in the garbage.

When I went to count how many pairs were in there I found this…

Call me perceptive but I think I figured out why he wanted new socks.  ;)

A little while later R initiated another conversation. Two conversations within a 15 minute window???  What the heck?!?!?

R:  I want my hockey pajamas.

FYI:  Riley hasn’t worn pajamas since ELEMENTARY school. He wears shorts and a t-shirt to bed.

Me:  ?!?!?!?  What kind of pajamas??  *Hmmmm…there seems to be a pattern in my questioning*
R:  Blue ones.
Me:  ?!?!?!?  Blue ones??
R:  YES!!  *excited that I surely must’ve understood because I responded with “blue ones”. *

Aaaaaaand I was done. Try as I might there are times that I have absolutely no idea where things come from in Riley World. I want to understand. I really, really do. You may even have some ideas of your own. But...honestly...after 15+ years of Riley World there are times that I just don’t know and frankly…I just don’t care to try and figure it out anymore. Well…at least not about stuff like this.


Well…in the big scheme of things in Riley World if it’s not a safety issue or health issue…life will keep rolling along regardless of the socks he wears or movies he likes or reasons for either. Having said that…these “things” can still be a trigger FOR. ME.

It’s been a discouraging week in Riley World Phase 2: Adulthood. I had intended to share our plans for the future as they happened. I have been too overwhelmed to do this. I will try harder to let my frustrations out and share some successes along the way so these triggers in Riley World won't wear me down. 

To quote one of R's favourite movie lines...."better out than in I always say."  That or see you on the beach!  :D