Activities-Based #AdventCalendar (#Autism)

Last year, I switched to an activities-based Advent Calendar. In 2012, I realized how silly the chocolate-filled, store-bought Advent calendar was for three reasons:

  1. the chocolate is cheap and tastes awful
  2. my kids are at their dad’s every other weekend so that means I just throw out the chocolate from those days (why can’t Lindor make an advent calendar?!!)
  3. (and more importantly) my son doesn’t eat chocolate so he didn’t participate

This meant that every morning, my daughter would eat a yucky piece of chocolate while my son ignored the whole lead up to Christmas.

When the opportunity to make an Advent Calendar came up last year through a local mom’s group, I jumped at the chance. We all know that I’m not a crafty person so, when the mom leading the workshop put the canvas and all the materials down in front of me and told me to “just start”, I looked at her with a blank expression and asked her “how?”. Thankfully, because I’ve known her for years, I wasn’t offended when she looked at me as if I had three heads. 😉

After getting over my initial fear, and her showing me how to do some things, I jumped in. Three hours later, our new Advent Calendar was created and ready for use!

Advent Calendar

My daughter was hesitant last year, because she thought she would miss the chocolate but, a few days into the Advent Calendar, she was hooked. This year, she kept telling me how excited she was about the Advent Calendar this year. She even squealed with glee on the weekend about it starting today…and then she didn’t even notice it when she got up this morning. She asked me about it so I looked above her head, then she jumped up and squealed again. Tonight’s activity is to make a snowflake craft. I’ll post pictures on social media throughout the month of the activities we’ll be doing.

Also, people have asked for it so, here’s an “Autism-approved” list of activities that my family can manage for the Advent Calendar:

2014 Activities-Based Advent Calendar

Like me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram to follow our Advent Calendar activities this month!

ADDITION MADE ON DECEMBER 2, 2014:

And then I vlogged about our Advent Calendar…

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I’m Going to #BlissDomCA!! Time to #PrepForBliss!

Blissdom

I’m crazy excited to be attending Blissdom ’14 this year!!! It’s the biggest blogging and social media conference in Canada. Every year while it’s happening, I’ve been in a bit of a funk over the fact that it’s happening and I’m not there. This year, I get to go as part of Main Street Creative‘s team…so a huge thank you to them!

I’m doing my research, reading posts written by those who have attended previous years:

I’m not sure exactly what time I’ll be arriving on Thursday…hopefully around 10am. Later that afternoon, I’m sure I’ll be hanging out in the “Newbie Lounge”. I seem to be reading a common theme that most attendees are worried about being wall flowers … I am NOT naturally a wall flower. Extroverts unite…together! If I am being a wall flower…just wave some Starbucks chai (lactose-free milk, no water please) under my nose. I’ll be fine after that. 😉

I still need to sort through my timetable for the rest of Thursday and all day Friday…there’s so much to choose from!

We had to sign up a couple of weeks ago for the microsessions Saturday morning. I’m sssoooo excited to be attending:

  • New Blogger? Little Blogger? You can get love too! – Tiffany Grisdale
  • Master the Branded Narrative & change your life – Julie Nowell
  • From Blog To Business (How to take your love of blogging to the next level and make it your business.) – Loukia Zigoumis

If you’re attending any of these microsessions, please say hi…I’m sure I’ll be the only tall redhead. 😉

There’s even a pajama party…how often do you get to wear pjs and slippers in public? 😉

Now I just need to figure what to wear the rest of the time because, let’s face it, as a Stay at Home Mom, my regular outfit consists of yoga pants and t-shirts. Sigh. Where’s a personal shopper (and the budget to pay for one) when you need one?

Please be sure to follow me on Twitter or Like me on Facebook to check out what I’m doing during #BlissDomCA.

 

#Workshop – #Financial & #Family #Support for #Autism, #HamONT

Back to School 3

Excited to announce the first of a new workshop series being held in Hamilton, ON called “Financial & Family Support for Families Affected by Autism”. It’s being held on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at St. John United Church, Hamilton ON, doors opening at 6:30pm.

The first workshop is called “Getting Ready For Back To School, and Finances“. More information: 2014 August – Financial & Family Support – online rsvp.

Speakers will discuss:

  • Back to School: preparing financially and emotionally – by yours truly… 😉
  • RDSP – Melissa Greaves, Primerica
  • Budgeting – Christine Lasebnik, Primerica

Please join the Facebook group created specifically for this workshop series: Autism – Family & Financial Workshops.

#MothersDay 2014 (#Autism)

Had a very low-key Mother’s Day. I picked the kids up from their dad’s and my daughter asked if they could play outside. “But mommy, you go in and make yourself a chai. Then you can come out with us.” Well, if I must… 😉

Some lovely presents the kids made at school. This one from my daughter. It’s a “purse” that included a tea bag and some candies, which of course she kept asking if I wanted any…and can she have them too. 🙂

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My son’s class made a little dessert with a poem attached and Mother’s Day cards. Apparently while he was writing his, he kept asking “Mommy please”. The teachers would tell him that he’ll see me at pick up time…and the next thing they knew, he was writing “sad” in the middle of the card. Priceless!

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We spent a lot of the afternoon at the park, where my son decided the best thing to do was to just hang out in the grass beside me.

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And playing with dandelions…

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My daughter was running around too much, playing with new friends, to stay still for photos.

When we walked back home, my neighbour (who, if you Like me on Facebook, you’ll see he had his driveway replaced last week…which resulted in a hole in my basement wall…sigh) needed his driveway watered until the company came back today to seal everything in. My son loves “watering” the telephone pole in my neighbour’s front yard with the hoses (it’s just the bottom of it so no need to worry) so my neighbour asked if he wanted to “change the colour of the driveway” from almost white to grey. Both my kids jumped at the chance…and they were both soaking wet afterwards. The driveway got watered AND the kids did too.

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Happy kids = Happy Mommy!

Hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day!

Well, I *should* have been doing school work…

images

It’s amazing what I can find to do while my daughter is having a playdate here, and my son has started his “circuits” around our home. Started listing them off at a Facebook status but frankly, it was getting too long so I figured I would change it to a blog post.

So, here’s the list of things I’ve found to do today when I *should* have been doing school work (I have an assignment due TOMORROW!):

  • decluttering, specifically starting to find my front hall because that has pretty much disappeared. It’s just a start. Still more to do but at least there’s space for us (and my daughter’s playdate’s parents to pick her up tonight!)
  • folding laundry to finish packing everything for the kids because they are going to their dad’s for March Break
  • putting away (most) of the laundry
  • watching organizing videos on Youtube while doing laundry (seemed appropriate)…which leads me to wonder, should I start doing vlogs…? Would anyone be interested? Bueller? Bueller?  😉
  • More wondering: Would I actually be able to figure out the technology to do vlogs? I always have lots to talk about so content wouldn’t be a problem. 😉 Do I want to be on camera more often than the Many Faces of Autism? I chatted with the production assistant for the Many Faces of Autism on Friday. She and I came up with a number of interviews for me to chat about…should we do those as actual interviews, or me just vlogging? Can I just use my cell phone as a video camera for vlogging. Hmm…
  • started categorizing my Youtube channel…just in case I start vlogging… 😉

Back to the list…

  • put out the garbage, recycling and compost
  • started my checklist to pack myself because I’m going to my parents’ for a few days. I’ll be childless and what am I doing? Going to my parents’ farm…and I still have meetings in person and via Skype so basically, I’ll be doing my normal stuff, with a different view and fresh air.
  • unload and loaded the dishwasher
  • decluttered the table beside my side of the couch…yet another space that got “lost” in the last couple of weeks. What can I say? Life gets busy. (I took a “before” picture…may turn into a blog post, if I’m brave enough to share that photo)
  • cleaned and reorganized my cutlery drawer because, well, there was a weird battery explosion that just made NO SENSE!
  • Facebook chatted with the next mom who is kind enough to share her family’s Autism journey on the Many Faces of Autism.
  • writing this blog post 😉

And now, I need to get started on dinner, so clearly my school work is not happening until later this evening. Sigh.

PS – I’m almost kind of serious about thinking about vlogging. Message me, Facebook me, or comment and let me know what you think. I’m completely ok if the overwhelming response is No! 😉

#WordlessWednesday – Such A #Blogger

My man and I went for a walk in the snow a while ago, giving him the opportunity to take pictures just “because”…he doesn’t get to do that often as he’s a professional photographer. He “caught” me …

Such a blogger

Such a Canadian blogger too…winterwear, surrounded by snow, and probably tweeting or Facebook’ing about our walk. 😉

My List of #PetPeeves (#InspireMe2014)

Pet Peeves

Today’s Inspire Me 2014 Writing Prompt : The littlest thing can set us off. Write about a pet peeve and try to get creative!
I fear this may be a long list…but off the top of my head:

  • My daughter’s voice is much louder than usual when she returns from her dad’s. I’m constantly reminding her that she’s yelling when she gets back on Sunday nights. Don’t know why she does it, but it drives me crazy!
  • My son turning the volume up on the tv or computer every time I leave the room. Every. Single. Time.
  • Facebook Pages or Groups that have a spelling mistake in the name
  • Weak handshakes – nothing turns me off more. My mom thinks it’s funny as to how much this bothers me.
  • Using the term “in order to” – not sure why this term bothers me but most of the time when I see it, it can just be omitted from the sentence.
  • Using the term “I’m too busy” – no you aren’t, you are just prioritizing other things. I stopped using the term “I’m too busy” to do something a few years ago. It’s a completely different thing when you admit to no having made it a priority (of which there are a number of things for me!)
  • People who complain on Facebook EVERY DAY about being busy. We all have busy days. We all have the same number of hours in a day. If you are too busy every single day, try saying “no” once in a while.
  • Using ALL CAPS. I can understand 20 – 30 years ago when people were starting on personal computers, but now? Did you not receive the memo that it looks LIKE YOU ARE YELLING? 😉
  • When the inside of microwaves are dirty. Shiver.
  • When volume on the radio is set to a number that ends with 1, 3, 7 or 9. Completely illogical, I know but it bugs me.
  • People who don’t seem to understand that things change every 20 or so years. It’s called “progress” people!
  • People who wear too much perfume/cologne. Why do they do that? Don’t they know?
  • Men who refer to it as “babysitting” their own kids. I’m sure there are women out there who say it too but I’ve never heard it. It’s called “parenting”, not “babysitting”.
  • Anyone talking down to or about someone else.
  • People who are always negative and do nothing but complain. If the same thing bothers you all the time, either change it or your reaction to it. Why carry around that negativity?
  • Parents who bring their kids to movies that are not meant for kids. My man and I saw the new Hunger Games movie a couple of weekends ago and I was shocked to see a child who couldn’t have been older than 6 get up near the end of the movie to go to the washroom. Not acceptable.
  • A new fast food tv commercial that overuses “Whaaat?!!!”. I change the channel as soon as I see it. And now it’s on the radio too…that’s even more annoying.
  • Being micromanaged.
  • When people say they know “all about Autism” because they saw a documentary or Rain Man. Really??!!!

I swear, I’m pretty easy to get along with. Being a Libra, I don’t even tell people when they are committing one of these grievances for fear of causing confrontation, and I don’t hold it against them…much. 😉

What are your pet peeves?