Sunday, May 30, 2010
Max and I went to Ikea and West Elm this afternoon. He's a good little shopper:When we got back, Cam showed off her mad swinging skillz - apparently while I was gone she learned how to fly:Scott and I had a nice relaxing dinner after the munchkins went to bed. I feel much more like myself. I think this solo road trip thing is something I should do again some time.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Friday, May 28, 2010
The only part about this trip that kind of sucked was that I had nobody to make jokes with while I was driving. I ended up taking pictures and tweeting them to Scott instead. Normally we'd both start yelling out a string of fast food items when we drive under an overpass like this (inside joke), but since it was just me, all I did was smirk and think that if Scott was here, we'd be shouting "big mac! large fries, chocolate shake! cooooooooooooooooooke!!"):
I knew it was officially time to start heading home when I went to Target (for the second time) and I spent all my time looking at stuff for the kids and Scott. I even thought the little kids screaming with boredom while their moms shopped were endearing. Yeah...:
When I hit Kalamazoo, I ordered a pizza from Erbelli's (highly recommended by the guy at the hotel check-in). I also made myself a wine spritzer in my "Keep Calm & Carry On" mug that Jennifer got me for my birthday. Hey, I'm all class:
The perfect end to this day was Orlando losing to Boston in the Eastern conference final. So long Vince Carter! Looks good on ya! I'm looking forward to an NBA final of competitive basketball! Go Boston! Tomorrow - home! I miss my family. That's a good thing.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Once I was done stuffing my face, I headed down the street to Quiltology, a quilting shop I have been wanting to visit for ages (actually, for about 5 days - that's when I started researching my trip). All I can really say is it is a good thing that I don't live in Chicago, because I would have to harass the owners night and day until they hired me to work there. The fabrics are stunning, prices are great, and the kits...the kits make me want to hole up with my sewing machine and piece until my sewing machine bites the dust. Susan, who works at Quiltology, helped me pick out fabric for the 3 baby boy quilts I have on my roster. She has a great eye for colour and was enthusiastic about my requests for fun and bright fabrics. I don't think she wanted me to take her picture, but she relented (reluctantly).
Look at the front window! Don't you just want to get a cup of tea and a good magazine and sit and people watch all day? Me too...
While Susan cut my fabric for me I wandered around and lusted after all of the patterns, books, kits and quilts on display. I behaved myself though, reminding myself that if I bought too much fabric I wouldn't have an excuse to come back for a long time. That's no good - Jennifer and my mom definitely need me to personally introduce them to this shop!
I didn't get a very clear picture of this pink and red lion they had on display, but it vibrates when you squeeze its paw and it is super soft. Unfortunately it wasn't for sale. Not even when I told her how much Max would like it. Ah well.
Once I was done at Quiltology, I hopped back into my car for what I thought would be an easy drive to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. Turns out that all those bridges and tall skyscrapers are not so GPS friendly. As in, my tomtom was telling me to drive the wrong way on one way streets and had me driving in circles. I had to kick it old school and pull over and get directions. Yay communicating with real human beings (#technology #fail)! Thank gawd I didn't have screaming kids in the car! I finally checked in, had a bath, and then headed out to Trader Joe's. Getting my America on full throttle!!
Upon my return to my room, stocked up with my favourite lavendar hand wash, I flipped the tv on and low and behold, the movie Sex In the City was on! Except it's the 4:3 version forced into widescreen mode, so all those skinny bitches look like they have fat arms. Hah! Love it. Time for another bath, and then sleep.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
So, Scott and I had a heart-to-heart, he took a week off work to watch the kids, and I hit the road, hoping to rest and get some time to remember what makes me happy, external to my family. I did some research on quilting stores, loosely mapped out a plan (give or take where the wind blows me) and pointed my car south.
First stop: a small quilting store in Jackson, Michigan named Regalitos Quilting. They are currently getting a new site up. The owner Cindie specializes in long arm quilting and she even demonstrated how it works for me! She is a total sweetheart, and it was nice to talk with an experienced quilter (my people!).
I spotted this beautiful Christmas tree skirt laid out on the table, and commented on how much I liked it. It turns out Cindie had a kit made up, so you guessed it, I couldn't leave it there. And yes, I know that it is May and Christmas is 7 months away. But maybe that's a good sign...I used to love Christmas, and the past few years, I haven't been into it at all.This beautiful quilt on display (which Cindie made) is on sale for $600. Just so you know, that barely covers the cost of the fabric! This is why you quilt for love and not money.After visiting with Cindie, I stumbled upon a Mexican restaurant named Los Tres Amigos (careful - the site has music). The waitress twisted my arm and made me order a margarita. She even ID'd me (bless her heart). I ordered the burrito/enchilada combo, read the latest Vanity Fair magazine, all the while being serenaded by JLo in Spanish. Awesome.I closed the day out by going to Target (they sell wine there!!), then checked into the hotel. When I turned the tv on, an episode of The Gilmore Girls was playing (so perfect). Bath, pjs, 24 finale, quilting, Glee, Parenthood, and of course blogging. Tomorrow? Chicago!
Monday, May 24, 2010
There have been Friday nights spent under assorted sinks in my home when I decided "enough is enough! all of these faucets must be replaced NOW!". There have been weekends of installing countless ceiling fans and light fixtures. I have taken vacation days to paint my house. And the modern electrical outlets and timed light switches I put in? You got it - my idea of a good time.
My target this time? The 20 year old toilet in the bathroom off our bedroom and the nasty linoleum:This toilet has been making an ominous leaking sound for months, and the hard water we have in the area has corroded the bowl to the point that there are rust coloured stains on it (very pleasing to the eye and great for guests who just think you are disgusting and never clean your toilet):Cam and I went toilet shopping and picked up some of those linoleum tiles with the sticky backs. I would have loved to do ceramic tile, but I have no idea how and wasn't about to delve into that right now. Out came the toilet and up came the linoleum. Except the linoleum was glued down "very" well, so that took some time to pull up (to quote the great Zaza Pachulia, "Nothing Easy!"):
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I let him run ahead as we walk to the park. He likes to look back every once and a while to see if I'll give chase. He is free to roam the backyard by himself (with me observing from the kitchen window). He is even at the point where he can be on a different floor than me for a few minutes at a time and I won't freak out. I guess that's what being 4 years old is all about - a taste of that independence he has been longing for all his life (49 months...I suppose that's a long time if it's all you know).
He has scared the shit out of me at times, making it half way down the street in only a t-shirt and a diaper before we caught up to him. He was thrilled, my heart didn't stop racing for a week. And like any child, with Autism or not, he is too damn smart for his own good. He has mastered how to unlock both the front and back doors of our home. Because of this we have to keep the safety latch on the front door at all times and I have installed an extra lock at the top of the back sliding doors out of reach from his surprisingly nimble fingers.
On Sunday night I awoke to the sound of Max downstairs. It was 2am. Everyone in the house was asleep. I padded down the stairs and looked into the family room to see Max sitting on the couch with a cup of milk. He finished it, extended his arm to hand me his cup and said "more milk". Since he had a cold, being thirsty made sense. I just hadn't realized that he was already at the stage that he could figure out that he could go downstairs all on his own, open the fridge, get his milk and drink it, without my help. Huh.
So what to do with my Max? I haven't slept soundly since this 2am discovery of him partying by his lonesome in the pitch dark. Off to Max and my favourite stomping ground we went today, coming home with a $12 GE motion detector for his bedroom door. It has a chime sound, an alarm sound, or it can be turned off. I also got one for his window (to keep the girls out). Hey, the kid's growing up, you just never can tell what he'll be up to next.
This picture was taken the summer Max was 2, already exploring the world on his own.
Please consider supporting Team Maxwell in the Autism Speaks Toronto Walk For Autism. It would mean the world to us.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
We're working on the concept of sharing. It's coming along (slowly):
No wonder it takes so long to get out the door with this girl (the drama, the antics, sheesh!):
Today we woke up to the sun shining brightly and clear blue skies. Max was up first (as usual) and the two of us made a triple batch of pancakes. Cam slept in and she had to be satisfied with microwaved pancakes, which she thought was a bit of cop out:Later in the morning, Scott's parents came over to help redo the front garden. And by "help" I mean they did all of it. They pulled out every half-dead, ugly, overgrown plant and weed from the front bed. They put down fresh soil. They planted new plants, arranged the rocks, and put down mulch. I wish I had taken a before picture, because you would NOT believe how bad it was.
Cam cheered Nana and Bumpa on by yelling "HI NANA!! HI BUMPA" out the window repeatedly. Max observed, making sure they got it right: The end result is terrific. I have no clue what any of these plants are, except for the hostas up front. Dave and Lorraine tell me they are going to fill it in a bit more with another hosta and some daisies. Then all I have to do is water it and weed it. They promise me that it won't get all wild and crazy like its predecessor.We've had this little Robbin hanging out in the front yard for the past week. Max and I named him "Juan Carlos" in dedication to the state of Arizona. Juan Carlos approves of the new garden, and appreciated all the tasty worms and grubs that were dug up in the process.Cam dined on her hot dog and apple lunch in the backyard on her new tot sized picnic table (a gift from our neighbour Kelly). Funny story, Kelly looks like Wonder Woman, flowing dark hair and all, so I keep slipping up and calling her Lynda. Very embarrassing, especially when I encourage the kids to greet her with "Max, say hi to Lynda". Dear lord I need more sleep:Max has figured out how to turn this kiddo swing set into his own jungle gym. He can climb all the way around the circumference of the house, and is working on how to get himself across the red bar, which, you know, is fantastic. Ugh.Cam has figured out that not only is the picnic table good to eat on, but it is also a pretty good place to catch some sun. I love how unimpressed she looks in this picture.Nana and Bumpa stayed for a "thank you thank you THANK YOU dinner" and helped put the very tired kids to bed (gotta love the fresh air and sunshine!). Because of this, Cameron got treated to some extra stories tonight as Nana took the first shift and I took the second shift. Not to worry, she still complained bitterly when I told her it was time for sleep: A good day for sure. It's hard to be bummed out when the sun is shining down on you and you are surrounded by people who love you.
Friday, May 14, 2010
10 Reasons Every Woman Should Wear Crotchless Panties:
1. We're all looking to add a little spice in the boudoir. Trust me, crotchless panties = plenty o' spice.
2. You will never hear "that's nice, take it off" (no need, really...)
3. I dare you to not get turned on while wearing crotchless panties. Seriously.
4. They will absolutely lead to steamy, hot, mind blowing sex. Who doesn't need a little of that?
5. Your lady town will get a lot of fresh air. A good thing, no?
6. From a functionality perspective, this attire offers a lot of options (namely flexibility regarding geographical location of the getting down...Starbucks washroom anyone?).
7. There are crotchless panties for every shape and size (even us curvy ladies).
8. Even spanx come crotchless (though, I personally believe this is meant 100% for going to the washroom as it is really hard to get in and out of this body shaping garment).
9. Men have been rocking easy access openings for years, why shouldn't we?
10. You can order them online and be discrete about your purchase. No need to go into one of those "adult" type shops if you're worried about bumping into someone you know.
Can you think of any other reasons? I'm sure there are tonnes...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By 2pm I was ready to climb back into bed and call it a day. I called a friend to announce that I had nothing left to give today, and that I didn't think I could muster up the strength to go to the JK Open House tonight at the school Max is supposed to, but as it turns out will probably not go to this Fall. This friend wisely commented that I would "do what's right", whatever I decided that was. So of course I went, because if Max does end up at this school, it's important that I go to these things, even if I'm feeling a bit bruised from today.
I wonder sometimes, how do other moms do this? How do they find the stamina to keep standing up for their children with special needs? How is it that they don't get beat down by the constant stream of people who tell you out one side of their mouth that they care and are here to help while out the other side they inform you that what you are asking has never been done before and they are unable to accommodate your child's needs, and this is somehow out of their hands and no they don't know who could help you change this? I consider myself to be a fairly strong, well-equipped person, and I can honestly say I am struggling to do my job in this fight.
And what is my job? My job, as I see it, is to get everyone who interacts with Max to believe in him as much as I do. To see his incredible potential and inspire them to be a part in helping him fulfill it. He will do great things in his life. He will be the person who figures out how to stop the oil from leaking into the Gulf, the person who designs Opera Houses with acoustics that would make Wagner weep, the person who designs a test to detect Autism in utero. He can be anything, all he needs is for people to get on board instead of standing in his way. For people with power to help find creative solutions instead of throwing up roadblocks. It's exhausting trying to get people to believe, to do "what's right".
Support Max, and support me by sponsoring us for the Walk For Autism on June 20th.
Monday, May 10, 2010
I felt a little blah about the whole day. I wanted something, but couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. Some of my friends got a day off from being a mom for Mother's Day. Some did the family brunch thing. Assorted well-trained husbands bought flowers and coached their kids in picking out a gift for their mom. I opted to go and buy myself bookshelves for my quilting supplies and to take time to install them. I think all I truly wanted was to be told I'm a super awesome mom, the best mom in the whole wide world, and I'm loved more than tall, tall buildings. My kids don't have the vocabulary for that, but I'm pretty sure if they could say that they would have.
Some pics of my best mom moments in no particular order: