Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Recap

Well, the monkey-children are in bed and we got exactly ZERO trick-or-treaters. Halloween is done for another year. What a relief!

After we got home from our own trick-or-treating fun, this little interchange occurred:

Firstborn: I love you.
Me: I love you too!
Firstborn: I was talking to my candy.

Sigh...here's a shot from before the sugar high kicked in.


Tomorrow, I bludgeon the jack-o-lanterns and make a pie. Happy Halloween!

A True Halloween Fright

As I've mentioned, my parents were down for a short visit recently. They really are stars, showing up here with all kinds of fun stuff for me. Among many other things, my mom saves me all her magazines and brings me a stack so I have something to read during my downtime. This is a real treat for me, since I don't often buy magazines myself.

This morning, I was having a leisurely browse through Woman's Day over coffee when I suddenly found myself recoiling in horror at this:


OH MY LORD!!! I'd like to thank the wizards at the Ashton-Drake Galleries for coming up with something new for me to have nightmares about.
Here's hoping YOUR halloween is just as frightening, my loyal blog buddies!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Gift From My Neighbour

I love the way a kid's brain works.

Tonight, my next-door neighbour called, as he sometimes does, and said he'd been cleaning out the garage and found some of his (grown) kids' old books, and would my kids be interested in them? As both my boys are avid readers, and knowing he'd have some classic English fare there (his late wife was a British expat), I told him to bring them on over.

After I hung up, I told Firstborn that Mr. Brown* was coming by with some new books for him. He looked up at me, all excited, and said:

"Will he be in costume?!!"

I had to try hard not to laugh out loud at the thought of the sixty-something farmer from next door, who had been erecting snow fence in his fields all day in the cold and rain, putting on a clown suit before swinging by our place to drop something off. Firstborn seemed pretty disappointed when I told him no.

But look at what was amongst the piles of Beano annuals!


The first full-length novel featuring Peter, Janet and the gang, along with their (probably snooty) dog, Scamper! It's The Secret Seven, by Enid Blyton (Rah-ther!). One look at this old-timey copy told me we'd stumbled across something with a bit of history to it. So I opened it up and had a look at the inside cover.


A heartfelt message from someone's Auntie, and what looks like some sort of library marking system. Did they not have the old cards and pockets, with the Dewey Decimal System numbers back then?! In any case, this book was borrowed from somewhere on July 3rd, 1959 and was due back a week later. By my calculations, that makes it 50 years, 3 months and 10 days past due!

What do you suppose the late charges would be on that?!
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Routine

Oh boy, what a month! The Captain has now deployed to places unpleasant and dangerous, and I'm coping with the fear by pretending he's on course and refusing to watch or read any news. I have to say, denial is working well for me!

The Captain had nearly a month off before he left, and right after he deployed my parents came out for a visit. You know parents. I suspect they wanted to see for themselves that, between Rosemary's Baby's diagnosis and the Captain's departure all within a 6-week period, I was not about to have a complete nervous breakdown. They stayed a few days and headed off down the highway for home this morning. So presumably, they figure I'm doing alright.

We had such a great visit, and it came at the perfect time, but necessity dictates that we need to be getting back into routine now. We have had pretty much 6 straight weeks of uproar around here. Both Firstborn and Rosemary's Baby are quite out-of-sorts. As it turns out, we ALL need our routines!

In other news, a VERY belated thank you to Stephanie from Steph In the City , who gave me this award:




For those of you who don't know Stephanie, getting an award from her is like a singer getting a Grammy from Tina Turner, or an actor getting an Oscar from Al Pacino, or a dog getting "Best in Show" from Scooby Doo. It's a serious honour!!
*Stephanie is just a few votes away from becoming the next big name in romantic fiction, so if you have a minute, please, please, please go vote for her here, and tell all your friends to do the same!

A big thank you as well to Allison, AKA Tater Tot Mom, for this:


A wonderful award from a wonderful mom and blogger! I'm sending all my positive energy in Allison's direction, as she would love to have another little pair of feet running her ragged. So everyone do me a favour and send your positive energy, prayers and good karma her way too! And if you karaoke, a little Elvis Costello wouldn't hurt either! Man, why don't people write songs like that about Wendy?!

Also, a HUGE thank you to Tamara at Mad Boastings of a Cheapskate Mom for this:



Yes, it's true! My unlucky streak has been broken! I won the last Drabby to Fabby! I urge you all to start fabbing yourselves up and entering. You too could win awesome booty like this! I'm at a point now where everything seems like a good Drabby-to-Fabby entry. I'm currently contemplating polishing up my nasty, rusty, hard-water stained coffee mugs and posting pictures. It's that addictive, people!

Okay, so give me a few days to slide back into life around here, and I'll be back to reading all your blogs, commenting, and posting a couple of times a week myself. Routine is so comforting!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autism Isn't Everything

Rosemary's Baby is autistic.

I wasn't sure I wanted to ever mention this. Firstly, it's one thing for me to relay his naughty adventures from the perspective of the frazzled mom that we can all relate to, but it's quite another for me to blab his very personal issues to the world willy-nilly. I have a responsibility to protect his privacy. As well, this sort of thing is SO not what I wanted my blog to be about. I was always just hoping to find the fun in a life that can be mundane, frustrating and exhausting. Turning this into Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, or worse yet, Super Army Wife's Autism Blog Of Heroes kind of makes me want to puke in my mouth a little.

But I'm outing my kid now because I know realistically that if I want to tell these stories properly, it's going to come up from time to time. Rosemary's Baby continues to do outrageous and hilarious things that I simply must share, and it's about embracing him for who he is. Besides, when he grows up and writes his Mommy-Dearest-style tell-all about me, we'll totally be even.

I'm relatively new to this autism business, and I admit the first ten days post-diagnosis were about as bad as it gets emotionally. But having processed what it all means to him and to us, I know really that this is one of those situations where perspective is everything. So I choose to do all that I can to help my boy reach his maximum potential and to live a happy life. I choose to take this seriously and come at it from every possible angle. But I will not let him grow up thinking he needs to be "fixed". I will not raise my little guy to think that his disorder was the ruin of us. I will not choose to be miserable when I can choose to be happy.

Here's a recent shot of us goofing around:




As you can see, we're still finding the fun.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Checking Out

Soooo...I promised a new post this past weekend...and now it's Tuesday. Sounds about right!

I once again found myself avoiding the impulse purchase at Wal Mart today. It's actually getting easy now. I guess practice really does make perfect! But the more I avoid picking things up on impulse, the more attention I find myself paying to the way stores market their wares. Today, for example, I was really intrigued by the stuff at the checkout.

You know the things I'm talking about. The array of reading material, with candy underneath, and across the way, the racks of...everything. Those odds and ends that just sort of end up being the things we'd maybe grab on our way out, thinking they'll come in handy. There are lighters, dangly air fresheners for the car, glue sticks. That kind of thing. I can remember once buying a keychain that doubled as a miniature tire pressure gauge. The thing was too small to handle, let alone uncap and stick in my tire (handy really, since I rarely check the pressure of my tires!). But for some reason, standing at that checkout stand waiting for the guy in front of me to write the girl a cheque (does anyone actually write cheques anymore?!), I got it into my head that I really needed one of these things, and the outrageous $10 they were asking for it was a great deal!

And then there's the magazines. It used to be entertaining to read the covers. It was even more entertaining to find something that looked so good, I just had to spend the $7 to bring it home with me. A week later, it'd be in the recycle box waiting for someone else to take it off my hands. And the headlines. My God! Seriously, when Cosmo claims to have the inside scoop on what men really want in bed, they actually just walked out to the front of the building and found a bunch of idiots who were willing to blab their sexual fantasies to a complete stranger! "Steve, Investment Banker, 29" is probably someone they found peeing behind the dumpster.

The candy issue should really be a no-brainer. But, that too, I had to learn the hard way. Before I had kids, I'd hit the grocery store after work, tired and hungry. On my way through the checkout, which was always interminably slow, I'd convince myself one chocolate bar wouldn't hurt. Back then, I was 30 lbs heavier than I am now.

The moral of the story here is that when you're in line waiting to pay for something, you need to stare straight ahead and do everything you can not to look at all that crap they're trying to trick you into buying. Actually, stare at the cashier. It'll probably scare her into moving faster.

And thank you to Jen at the wonderful blog I'm Just Jen. Take it or Leave it for this fantastic award!

I'm loving all this award action lately (it's true. I'm an attention junkie), but I'm not finding a lot of time to pass them on, so one day I'm going to write a massive post awarding all kinds of blogs with all kinds of awards. Just not today!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

These Eyes

My blogging is slipping lately, and I promise to remedy that as soon as I figure out how to clone myself.

For now, here's another Drabby to Fabby before and after! Yes, it's true. I'm slowly turning into one of those people who enters contests for a living. This one is all about smoky eyes. The Captain thought I did it for him. Sweet, silly Captain.

Before


Check out the wrinkles, the paleness and the pores. Yuck! Also, look at those dull, dead eyes. Most people have to have a lobotomy to get that look. I have Rosemary's Baby.
After

The smoky look! Okay fine, the makeover did nothing for my wrinkles or my pores. And "smoky" might be a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe "foggy" is a better descriptor. Either way, I must've been happy with the look because my eyes seem to have gained some life in the transformation.

Proper post this weekend, I promise. Happy Thursday, everyone! The weekend is almost at hand!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Letter to Wendy 1988

I'm really late at jumping on this bandwagon, but a week or two back Diggestive at Writing about Everything and a Few Lists (among many others, but this is where I first saw it, so he gets the credit) wrote a letter to himself at a different time in his life. I love this idea. We all know that hindsight's 20/20, but it's fun to think what might be different if we'd known back then what we know now.

Dear Wendy 1988,

For the love of God, get rid of that curling iron AND the hairspray. Your hair should not look like it was pulled into a tornado and then laquered so it'd stay that way forever. Also, acid-wash jeans and rainbow suspenders might look cool while you're bouncing around to MC Hammer at the high school dance, but the pictures will not stand the test of time. You look ridiculous.

The following items will end up in a landfill, and you should NOT spend your (dad's) hard-earned money on them:
  • George Michael-style fedora
  • Cassette tapes
  • Fluorescent pink walkman
  • Polka-dot mini skirt
  • Teen magazines
  • New Kids on the Block concert tickets, posters and related paraphernalia
And now that we've pretty much established that you're clueless, there are a couple of things you should know in order to plan your future.

The world, God, and your parents owe you nothing. You, and you alone, are responsible for how happy you end up. Life is not supposed to be easy or fair, so get right out of that mindset and prepare to start learning and becoming a better person for it. Perspective is everything, and when life gets tough, you have the choice to lay down and die or get up, soldier on and adjust your way of thinking. When faced with the option to laugh or cry, laughter is infinitely more fun.

It's hard to believe, when teachers, friends and parents are telling you how much potential you have, to think that one day you'll know that being smart is a whole lot less important than being nice. The world is full of people who want to show everyone how smart they are, and actually have no idea that they're being an obnoxious ass in the process. At the end of the day, being a kind person (not to be confused with being a doormat) will make the world a little bit nicer. And for the sake of our kids, we need a nicer world.

Step outside your comfort zone from time to time, don't apply for credit cards, and always judge men by what they do, not by what they say.

See you on the flippity flip-flop! Try not to scream when you see how grey your hair has gotten...

Hearts and Flowers,

Futuristic Wendy of the New Millennium

*********
Incidentally, Diggestive also bestowed this lovely award on me last week.




I'm in award heaven!! Thank you!!

*****************
Post Script (my first one ever!):

It has just come to my attention that the "letter" actually originated (at least amongst the blogs I follow) as a Group Blog Thursday over at Steph in the City. My apologies--my brain hasn't been working quite right lately. I was likely catching up on my blogs in reverse order!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just a Quickie

Things are nutty around here! But I wanted to show off my new skirt before Drabby to Fabby was over and it was too late to show it to you and call it a makeover!

Here is my (out-of-focus) drabby shot:


It's me in my PJ's, with Rosemary's Baby bouncing around behind me (because it's really too much to ask to be left alone for 5 minutes on my bed in the morning, right?!). I think Bert's expression pretty much says it all.

But look at how much better I look a short time later (try to ignore all that clutter on my kitchen counter)!


My hair is brushed, I'm wearing a little lip gloss. And do you like my new skirt? No, I didn't go back on my no-impulse-shopping plan. I used up some (rather loud) fabric from my stash and made myself a very simple A-line skirt! It's like shopping, but without the guilt!

The moral of the story is, if you're going to go all minimalist and anti-consumer, you should do it after a series of really big shopping sprees...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

I'd Like to Thank Everyone I've Ever Met

Just a quick thanks to Theresa at The Fultons for this very nice award!


As you all know, I'm terrible at following instructions, and things are so crazy here right now that the idea of picking 15 of you and then commenting ALL of you makes my head spin! So, I'd like to break the rules a little and pass this award on to all of you out there who are reading and blogging. If you've never won an award before (or even if you've won 100), this one's for you, from me! Post it on your own blog if you like, and feel free to say that I gave it to you! And, of course, don't forget to include a lengthy acceptance speech, thanking your third grade teacher, throwing in a few references to your most extreme political views, and posting a picture of yourself in your most glittery evening attire. Then if you're feeling up to it, you can throw yourself an after-party. If the paparazzi show up, we'll need links to the tabloid pics.

Have a fantastic weekend, my loyal subjects!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Books of My Youth

I've been getting further and further behind in my blog-reading lately, so I'm playing catch-up tonight. Stephanie at Steph in the City has a weekly feature called Group Blog Thursday, which I always mean to participate in, but never find the time to. So this week, I risk getting even more behind in the laundry, losing ten extra minutes of sleep, and missing the Leafs scoring the winning goal (snort!) to answer the question "What book(s) did you love growing up?"

1. Richard Scarry's Please and Thank You Book: I got this book when I was 6, and I took it with me on the ship when my family moved from Canada back to England for a few years. Sailing across the ocean made me sick for the full ten days, but I'll never forget how jealous I was that Pig Will got to eat ice cream after helping his dad at work. When I met the Captain, I discovered that he'd loved this book as well, and not long afterwards, he bought me a copy (the cover is STILL the same!) to replace my long-lost one. Firstborn and I have read it together many times.

2. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret: I'm betting every woman who came of age after 1970 would list this one. It helped that Margaret had just moved to a new town. I could relate. We'd moved to Detroit from England when I discovered this book at the age of 11. The idea of someone writing about (gasp!) a girl my age wanting to get her period was shocking after a childhood of the very different (but equally wonderful) Enid Blyton, and I've loved Judy Blume ever since.

3. Rebecca: I read this at about 14 or 15 in English class and it had everything. Romance, mystery, and a shocking twist at the end. Seeing the movie afterwards began my obsession with the films of Alfred Hitchcock. And you know, anything that gets you watching Hitchcock has got to be good.

In all honesty, I could go on and on and on about this topic. Almost every one of my memories from my childhood involves me with a Beano annual or my Girl Guides handbook or the Famous Five (rah-ther!!) in hand. But those were the three that came to mind first, and from three different points in my childhood.

If there's one thing I hope my kids inherit from us, it's a love of reading. And when I check in on one or the other of them and find them oblivious to my presence, engrossed in a book, I know they're already halfway there.