Thursday, September 30, 2010

Live Blog: Grey's Anatomy Season 7, Episode 2

Every week @ 9pm EST! Join in the fun and comment with me!

live long and prosper: part three.

This is where things start to get fuzzy for me. Did I mention that our table polished off more wine during dinner than the rest of the guests combined?  I'm pretty sure at some point we got cut off, but it wasn't until after we were all feeling mighty tipsy. 

According to the sequence I took photos in, the next thing that happened was that Cathy got up and made a lovely speech about how she met Gordon.  I believe it involved a work function, and his friends scoping her out for months in advance, and that when he finally asked her to go out with him, she said something to the effect of "sure, you can get my email address of the company website".  Cold.  But hey, it all worked out.
And then, there was dancing.  Heather and I were finally reunited and I took a picture of us...well, most of us - somehow I didn't make it all the way into the shot.
At this point, I think I was rather intoxicated.  That's my excuse anyway.  Cathy was on the phone with someone who probably wasn't at the wedding, and I took advantage of the situation by grabbing her boobs.  I'm happy to report that they are 100% real.  And they're spectacular.
I proceeded to make an ass of myself with assorted friends and strangers.  Here you see me and Anita.
Me with Gordon's dad and little brother (still drunk):
And finally, the couple had their first dance.  It didn't last long.
Instead of treating us to a waltz, they broke out their lightsabres and had a duel. The question is, who represents Luke Skywalker and who represents Darth Vader?
Everybody together now: "NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERDS!"
Cathy, clearly the winner of the lightsabre duel, celebrated her dominance over Gordon by getting down.
Not one to let our friend dance alone, we all joined in.  That's Steve, doing the "white man shuffle".
Sarah, me and Cathy shaking our money makers.
Anita and Tanya making a Cathy sandwich.
Gordon enjoyed himself and Cathy indulged him. Hope he doesn't get used to that.
I believe at this point, everyone was in a circle kicking their legs up and singing a song that included the lyric "time of our lives....".  No idea what the song was but man that was fun.
Heather, Matt, Jen and Will staying close to the "refreshments".  I love men in purple.  Hot.
More dancing.  I believe Cathy is wisely drinking water.  Smart bride!  Look at Gordon's smooth moves.
I don't know this guy's name, but I believe that move was retired when we were all teenagers.
Same with this guy.  No comment on his boogy down style. He was having a good time, and what else really matters?
And then, the part of the evening I had been waiting for....the cake! Cathy TOTALLY smushed it on Gordon's nose.  Gordon, (wisely), did not reciprocate.  But somehow, cake did end up on Cathy's dress.  Bound to happen when you wear white from top to bottom, eh? 
Sadly, this is where the pictures ended.  As Scott put it, after I finished my cake, "I slunk the f*ck out".  He found me mere minutes later, asleep (passed out) in our bed.  This did not stop him from inviting everyone back to our room to continue partying.  Alas, nobody took him up on it and he fell asleep in his underwear on the love seat, flat on his back with his feet resting on the window air conditioning unit.  A sign that a good time was had by all for sure.

Part 4 - the morning come! With video! 

how many adults does it take to screw in a light bulb with autism?

Eleven. That’s how many.

I sat in a room this morning with ten other adults and talked about my son for 90 minutes. It was really hard. His teachers and EAs are frustrated with him. I get it. When he isn’t happy, nobody is happy. When he tests you, it makes you want to pull your hair out. Add to that they have a bunch of school board rules about not being able to hug and tickle and even restrain him and wow, you have a recipe for disaster. Also, they don’t love Max yet, and he doesn’t love them yet either. Oh yeah, while you’re at it, throw 16 other kids in the mix and their parents too.

What blew my mind as we sat there – all eleven of us (me, his JK teacher, his ECE teacher, 2 EAs, the school principal, the head of the Halton District Autism Team, the Autism Team SLP, the SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher), his Resource Consultant from the Municipality and his Senior IBI Therapist, was that this little guy is truly brilliant. It takes eleven adults to figure out how to manage a single 4 year old boy. Score one for Max. I’d be impressed if I weren’t so busy putting on my happy/collaborative game face when on the inside I’m having an anxiety attack.

So how do we get Max’s behaviour under control so that everyone can be happy? We go back to the ABC’s of behaviour therapy and remember that there is a function to every behaviour.

What is Max getting out of:
  • Wandering around the room aimlessly?
  • Climbing?
  • Refusing to go to the bathroom?
  • Screaming when he doesn’t want to do something?
  • Throwing?
  • Biting?

As the person who knows Max best, I’d say that:
  1. We have rocked his universe by pulling him out of daycare where he was comfortable and knew the score and put him in a brand new environment where everything is new and unfamiliar.
  2. This environment is much bigger, has a lot more children, and 4 new teachers. He literally does not know what do with himself. From a sensory perspective, the room is too big, and he is having trouble figuring out how he fits into it. So he wanders.
  3. He doesn’t know the adults in the room and what their boundaries are. So he tests by doing things that he knows will get a reaction. Every time you tell him “no” or “don’t do xyz” or try to block him he makes a mental note that he should do that again! The reaction is key. If you only react when he is doing something you don’t like, that is what he remembers. It’s so hard to give proactive positive reinforcement instead of reactionary negative reinforcement. But he doesn’t understand the difference between someone being super happy and excited vs. someone being frustrated and super pissed off. They are both big reactions = thumbs up in Max’s books.
  4. He is refusing to go to the bathroom because it is the one thing he feels like he can control in his little world. Also, he has never peed on this particular toilet. It’s different. I get that.
  5. Screaming/throwing/biting – are all a surefire way to tell you that he is not happy.
In a funny way, Max is really the only one successfully communicating in this situation.

In the end, we agreed that we need some tools to motivate Max. We need to provide him with visuals so that he knows what is coming up next. We need to create a space for him where he can go to feel safe and secure. We need to address his sensory issues with the room because if he is feeling out of sorts, it doesn’t matter what we do, it won’t work.

For my part, I am putting together a bin of toys Max likes that he can keep at school to use as motivators. As we speak, my father-in-law is going to Ikea to get him the chair he loved at his last daycare to sit in where he can rock safely. Tomorrow I will bring all of this and his weighted blanket, and headphones and a discman with music he likes. I’m also going to start sending a flipcam with him every day so that they can record behaviours for me to see so I can give them suggestions on how to manage them. I’m bending over backwards to play ball because I need to them to know that my son is worth it. He is amazing. He is probably way smarter than any of the other kids in his class. And while he may not know how to behave right now, with our help, he will figure it out and then he will be the best behaved child in the class, bar none. But we’re not there yet. They don’t love him yet. So my heart breaks a bit every day when I drop him off, praying that today will be the day that things click for him. And then maybe he will start to grow on them.

I just need them to hang in there with me and Max while we get him settled. He is SO worth it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

rediscover your wonder.

A few weeks ago I got an offer I absolutely could not refuse.  It came out of nowhere - a sparkly little email in my blog inbox.  I had been selected as a "Woman of Wonder" by WonderBra and asked if I would be willing to participate in their "Rediscover Your Wonder" campaign.  They have selected 5 women that they find inspiring, and want to send each of us on 8 missions, which they will finance.  I was assured the missions would be fun and rejuvenating and tailored to me.  Hmmm...interesting.  Then they asked me for my measurements (complementary gitch perhaps?) and my bucket list, plus anything else I've ever wanted to do but just haven't been able to make happen because life gets in the way. 

All they ask is that I record my missions (with a flip cam they are also giving me) and blog about them.  That's it.  Wahoo! I LOVE companies that sponsor content.  I LOVE companies that understand how to work with bloggers.  And most of all, I LOVE companies that say - "hey, we want to send you on a bunch of fun missions and we are going to make it happen!".  Done and done!  From what I understand, I will receive a mystery package on Friday with everything I need to get started, and the official Rediscover Your Wonder campaign will kick-off on October 4th.  I haven't been this excited about something since I figured out I could watch television on the internet!  I hope they understood when I said "take a life drawing class" that I meant I wanted to be a student and not the model...I don't think they're ready for this jelly.

wrinkles and zits bite the big weenie.

One of my favourite things about being in my mid-thirties, is that not only am I starting to get wrinkles, but I am somehow still managing to breakout. I know – I am super lucky – try not to be too jealous. The wrinkles I can chalk up to father time and the fact that I have spent too much time furrowing my brow lately. The zits? That’s just mother nature being a mean old bitch.
I figured that with all of the breakthroughs in medical science, surely there is a product that can help clear my face up. Also, as you know, a visit with my doctor is always a good time. I went in with my laundry list of questions (because I know he loves it when I try to squish 5 different problems into a 10 minute appointment). I pointed at the monster zit on my chin and said “wtf?! I’m too old for this shit! Fix it medicine man!”. He asked me what I was using on my face and I told him proactive and he said “pfft – that’s no good – you have a medical plan, I’ll hook you up with the good stuff”. And that’s why he is the best doctor ever.

I mentioned that my readers had requested a picture of him and he politely declined, which, you know, I understand (but I did have my camera at the ready in case he gave me the green light). Then we spent the next few minutes discussing which handsome actor I should substitute in his place when I blog about him and we agreed that the guy from Heroes carries a strong resemblance.  I forgot to ask him one of my questions because I was having too much fun.

I get to go back in a couple of weeks with Cameron for next set of shots and I’m already planning my outfit. Hopefully my skin will be looking better so I can be at my finest.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

live long and prosper: part two.

The wedding march really speaks for itself.  All kinds of awesome.  To fully understand just how nerdy Gordon is, you need to read the engagement story on Cathy's blog.

But Cathy really was a beautiful bride, so let's ooh and aah at her as she walks down the aisle with her folks.
The officiant was certainly a fun lady...uh...not much more to say on that front...Gordon's little brother (aka "Little G") was the best man and Cathy's sister Jen was the maid of honour.  
As you can see from Gordon's jacket, it was a windy day.  Actually, it rained all afternoon, so they were blessed by mother nature that the weather cleared up so they could have their wedding outside.
Comments from the peanut gallery distracting Gordon (who am I kidding, it was probably Scott).
The ceremony was short and sweet and full of love and gooeyness, just as it should be.
Then they signed the paperwork and made it all legit.  There was a lot of standing and picture taking.  A lot.
Hips don't lie.  Gordon's a LUCKY guy.
While the wedding party and family took pictures, we all trekked back to room eleven (Scott and my room) to get our drink on.  Can you tell Stephanie isn't wearing a slip?  I know, I'm scandalized too.
Craig and Raye look pretty good when they're sober.  And I'm a decent photographer when I'm sober too.  You'll notice that the pictures get fuzzier as the evening goes on.
Scott and Shane (friends since they were in grade school).  The only reason they see each other now is because Stephanie and I are friends.  It's always the ladies who hold these friendships together I tell ya!
Me and Shane, who look like we are the parents of his kids and Max.  That's the joke anyway.  Absolutely zero truth to it, but it's fun to kid about.
The real photographer Anita and her hubby Gregor.  Funny enough, Anita is the one who introduced Scott and me way back when, and she is the ever patient photographer who has shot our Christmas cards for the past 4 years.
The buxom and beautiful Tanya - this one's for you Dave! Wish you had been here!
Never met this fella in my life, but his name is Mike and he has a talent for growing mad cool facial hair.  The lady on the right is Laura.  No idea how I even remember that.
All the tables were named after planets from the Star Wars universe.  NERDS!
I wanted to get another picture of Tanya from an aerial view.  Scott jumped into the frame.  I was making a total ass of myself by standing on my chair in the middle of the dining room.
While I was up there I snapped a pic of Shane, Josh and Theresa.  Josh clearly thinks I'm super entertaining (or nuts).
That's Sarah in the background, and Heather, smiling at me.  I caught her trying to take a picture of me so I took one of her first.  Heather was married on the same day as Scott and me.  Cathy went to her wedding instead of ours.  I'm not bitter.
The speeches were funny and sincere and full of inside and outside jokes.  What I'll say about Cathy's family is that I have known most of them as long as I've known Cathy because they are a really big part of her life.  The phrase "salt of the earth" comes to mind, and isn't even cliche in this instance.  Also, Cathy's mom is a stone cold fox.
Adding to the nerdiness, there was a vulcan salute en mass.  I may have participated (mob behaviour).
The ladies escaped to the restroom to pee and talk and be silly.  Something about multiple toilets in one room makes girls bond.  No idea why that is, but it seems consistent no matter where or who I'm with.  
Evelyn, Stephanie, Theresa, and moi.
Of course there was dancing.  But the party really deserves it's own post, so you gotta wait!  

Part 3 tomorrow!!

tmi tuesday: your nipples are supposed to be how high?

When women get drunk, we talk about all sorts of things.  Like, crazy stuff that would blow your mind if you were a fly on the wall.  For instance - did you know that your nipples are supposed to be located exactly half way between your shoulder and your elbow?  I know right?  I too, have longer than average upper arms.  That's the only way I can explain the fact that my nipples don't point at the sun.
Also - there is a place in Toronto where you can get a boob lift AND a tummy tuck at the same time for only $6,000.  And the doctor is legit - comes with recommendations and everything.  We spend that in a single month on Max's therapy.  You think Max would mind if we just skipped his treatment next month?  I mean, his mommy would be so much perkier as a result - win-win for everyone in my mind.  And, the general consensus was that La Senza has the most comfortable and flattering thongs...gotta get to La Senza in the very near future.  I love the fact that the majority of my women friends wear thongs.  That's hot.  Also, 3 of 5 of these women snuck away during the wedding reception with their husbands.  I won't say who, except one of these ladies isn't married and the other one's husband wasn't at the wedding.  Blondes and red heads really DO have more fun.  
My mind is still blown about the whole nipple thing.  

Monday, September 27, 2010

live long and prosper: part one.

Our friends Cathy and Gordon got married on Saturday up in the Kawarthas.  We were thrilled to be invited (especially since I'm fairly confident we didn't make the initial cut - yay for family members who decline wedding invites!).  Scott and I took the opportunity to be away from our children quite seriously and decided that we would not just go away for one night, but we would stretch it out and go for two.  We haven't been away together, without kids, for more than 24 hours since before Max was born.
with the help of this tub, I have finally convinced Scott that we need a tub with jets!
Unfamiliar with the term "cottage traffic", we decided to wait until mid afternoon to leave.  It should have been a 3 hour drive.  It was much, much longer.  When we got there we checked into our room, started up happy hour (late) and relaxed before heading out to find our friends.  Oh yeah - one of the other perks of staying for 2 nights is that you get a room with a tub that looks like this (it had jets!!):
Me and Cathy.
The other great part about coming up a night early is that we actually got to speak with the bride and groom, which was cool, because on the actual wedding day there isn't usually any time for that.  We also got to make use of that tub, which besides the actual wedding, was one of the best parts of the weekend (take from that what you will).
Gordon and me.  I approve of a man with a big forehead.
We retired to our room early (I've always wanted to say that...) and soaked in the quiet (kid free), evening and watched the first 2 episodes of season one of "The Big Bang Theory".  I can't believe it has taken me this long to watch this show.  Of course, Scott and I being super geeky loved it.  Also, one of the main characters has Aspergers, so we could relate.

The next morning we joined the bride-to-be for breakfast (another perk of coming early).  I asked her if she still wanted to do it and she confirmed that yes, things we still a "go".  And then she said the cutest thing ever which was that she felt like her whole body was vibrating, she was so nervous and excited and full of butterflies.  I remember that...or maybe I was just busy flipping off the unhelpful staff at Kelso Conservatory who told us we couldn't park where we had been told to park.  Huh.

Gordon confirmed that he was also a "go", while his dad gesticulated about something very important (or maybe he was doing a magic trick?).

Then I took this shmoopy picture of them and we all said "Awwwwwwwwhhhh!".
But really, this one was WAY better:
This is the type of silly stuff you do before you get married.
I also can't forget a very important person in my life (for this weekend, anyway), the lady with the coffee - aka "Cheryl".  She was my bff, especially when her coffee pot was full.  Only problem was she did that top up thing, that totally throws off the cream and sugar to coffee ratio, and then you are either drinking coffee that is bitter and gross or you overcompensate and it is sickly sweet.  A real problem if you ask me.
Needs some work on the whole "coffee top up" etiquette.
Oh yeah, this was the view from the restaurant.  Scott said looking at it made him miss his plasma tv. 
After breakfast, we relaxed, while everyone who was actually "in" the wedding rushed around looking important.  We decided it was more fun to just be a regular old guest than to have to do all that fancy stuff.  Also, I had wisely forgotten some of my medication at home so we needed to make a trip into Buckhorn to get my prescription filled.  I really liked their pharmacy - especially their front sign which stated "Helping you feel better all over".  My kind of place.
You had me at "Helping you feel better all over".
Then we looked for the crappiest looking restaurant in town and quel surprise, it was the pizza joint! Turns out their pizza is pretty good.  They don't have a website though (I know, I was shocked too).

Not be missed (but certainly not sought out) is "Bucky's" - one of many gifty type shops in Buckhorn boasting "a lil' bit of this and that" (which means kitchy tourist crap and second hand books and movies).  I was somehow able to resist the bookends adorned with moose horns.  It was hard.
We got back to the hotel and lo and behold, we saw Cathy on the front deck with her wedding makeup done.  We told her she looked great and she yelled back "I look like a whore!!".  Her mom (who was standing a few feet away from her) was not too impressed.  A lesson for all the ladies: no matter how old you get, you're mom is never going to approve of you referring to yourself as a whore.

To be continued... 
part 2 - the ceremony
part 3 - the party in room 11
part 4 - the reception

Needless to say, it was an EPIC event!