Why I Haven’t Been Writing (#YouTube)

Not only have I been crazy busy with school assignments, exams, and well, just life in general but I also started something new…my own Youtube channel! Here’s my Channel Introduction:

The entire playlist of the videos I’ve recorded so far:

 

The videos include:

  • Mommy Scenario Tag Video
  • 8 Things Never To Say To A SAHM
  • My First Poppy of the Year…Centered Around My Height…? – Apparently the “other gentleman” was hitting on me, or so one of my Likers on FB informed me. Clearly, I’m “out of the game” as I didn’t see it. Sigh.
  • Calling All Introverts to Support Network – A vlog based on reflections after yesterday’s “coffee time” with parents with kids with Autism, who are interested in the workshop series a girlfriend of mine and I have created.
  • First Dollar Store Video – I see these all over Youtube so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon and do my own. 😉

So, be sure to Subscribe to my channel to see videos as soon as they are published. Comment down below if you have a Youtube channel, with a link to it as I would love to subscribe to yours too. Thanks to a few friends in real life and some online followers/Likers for supporting/pushing me to do this.

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.

 

My Friday as a SAHM

Today, I felt like “Suzy Homemaker”. Seems to happen on Mondays or Fridays in my world. Nothing much of note, just your typical Stay-At-Home-Mom stuff:

  • folding three loads of laundry that have been piling up all week, and putting them away
  • doing two other loads of laundry
  • sweeping and wet Swiffering the downstairs
  • two loads of dishes
  • cleaning the kitchen
  • dusting
  • baking a pumpkin loaf and pumpkin muffins.

IMG_00006852

Needless to say, after picking the kids up from school, I was exhausted, so after giving the kids their after school snacks, I had my first chai of the day…with some of the pumpkin loaf of course. 😉

IMG_00006853

Honestly, after dinner, I napped a bit on the couch. Then I packed their overnight bag for them to go to their dad’s for the weekend and we headed to the pet store to pick up some food for our cats.

IMG_00006851

Then dropped my kids off at their dad’s, even dropping them off about 10 minutes earlier than usual as it didn’t take as long at the pet store as expected…despite my daughter wanting to bring all five kittens home with us. No! Two cats are enough! 😉

Now, I’m sitting back, drooling over Shemar Moore watching Criminal Minds, with a cider, getting ready for a very busy weekend. So really, not an “exciting” day, but a productive one, where I feel blessed being able to look after my family.

#YMCPhotoADay: 10:15am

The lovely Christella from Crawl The Line is the new Tech Blogger at Yummy Mummy Club. Congrats! Since I’m part of the #YMCCommunity under the Special Needs tag (go figure!), I thought it was my “duty” to be part of this…plus, Christella is awesome! Before even getting to know Christella, I was hooked by her tag line on her website: “Ruining the reputation of mothers everywhere. Let’s hug it out.”. She is definitely my kind of peeps!

 

To celebrate her birthday month (Happy Birthday hunny!), she decided to create a #YMCPhotoADay challenge for May. I only read about it this morning on her personal Facebook so technically, I missed May 1st, which was to show your purse. Since I’ve been sick for what feels like forever, you DON’T want to see my purse right now…besides unfiled receipts and my wallet, it’s currently filled with cough drop wrappers and used tissues. Ewwww! It might be easier to throw it out. Ugh. Instead, I’ll reshare the link for when I “dumped my purse” for Kelley’s Breakroom last year.

 

Today, we are supposed to share a photo of what we were doing at 10:15am. I was waiting to hear back about a Skype meeting, which ended up being scheduled at 11am so, what did I do to pass the time? What any SAHM does…well, it’s what this SAHM does when she’s finally starting to feel better (I LOVE antibiotics!!!!) and am an avid baker…started making pumpkin loaf:

10273515_745799972126434_3073813474254048936_n

Even used eggs from my parents’ farm:

10341664_745799862126445_3218716791122007643_n

Now, time for my first chai in weeks. Again, I LOVE antibiotics!

Stay tuned throughout the month of May for the #YMCPhotoADay challenge.

YMC Photo a Day Challenge

Some photos will be on my blog. Others I’ll post directly to Twitter or my Facebook Page so be sure to Follow Me or Like me.

 

First Day of Fulltime #School / End of #IBI (#Autism)

Last Friday was the end of an era…a 2.5 year era in my family’s life. My son finished IBI (Intensive Behavioural Intervention therapy). When we moved back to Big City, Ontario, the weekly schedule was that he went to school on Mondays, in an Autism-specific class, then IBI therapy Tuesdays through Friday, from 9am – 3pm. Last week, my kids were at their dad’s for March Break so I took a little baked goody for my son’s therapists on Friday, arriving at the pick up time (my ex was NOT happy, and thought I should have asked his “permission”…but I digress…). The therapists have been so amazing with my son that a home-made baked goody is definitely just a tiny token of thanks compared to the work they have done over the last 1.5 years (at this location). My daughter handed over the banana bread and my son said “thank you” to the therapist…and the therapist cried. Happy tears and sad ones as she said she’s going to miss my son. She was going to share the bread with my son’s team. They even sent home a HUGE inflated Sulley…one of my son’s favourite characters. He went to their dad’s because they were there until Sunday, and since returning home, Sulley’s been hanging out on the ceiling in the living room:

1979668_722558041117294_1176331063_n

Yesterday just felt like a regular day because he usually goes to school on the bus on Mondays. Today however, he was back on the bus, heading to school. Normally, he sits in a seat by himself but he’s tried getting out of the rear door of the bus so today, he sat beside one of his friends closer to the front of the bus. I’m not sure if the look on his face was confusion, sadness, or perhaps a bit of both…? I’m actually surprised that he didn’t say “IBI please” or something similar, so I’m guessing he may understand that IBI is finished…?

So, here it is 9am and I’m still in my pjs because I don’t have to drive my son to IBI. In fact, because I have the greatest neighbour in the world, and she takes my daughter and her own son to school since they are in the same class, I could stay in pjs for most of the day. I do need to get dressed though today because I will be picking my daughter up from her afterschool math program (she LOVES math! Woohoo!) then heading to class myself (if you Like me on Facebook, I got 90% on my Psych exam yesterday – yay!). Tomorrow however, all my appointments are via Skype so methinks I’ll be in pj bottoms all day. Shhh…our little secret. 😉

I even got to have my breakfast…at home! Strange feeling to actually eat breakfast during the week, instead of just grabbing my smoothie and leaving.

1969219_722558087783956_384263752_n

I will admit that I have a pit in the bottom of my stomach from nerves. The last time my son was in fulltime school was in Senior Kindergarten. It was half-days at that time, three times per week. At least one of the three days per week, within an hour of me dropping him off, I would get a call to come pick him up. At that time, he was a runner, violent and completely non-verbal. Although I “know” his behaviour has improved dramatically and he’s able to verbally communicate. I “know” the teacher and EAs in his class are specifically trained to work with children with Autism. I “know” everything will be okay because he’s been with them for 1.5 years already on Mondays and he loves school. Alas, the pit is still in my stomach, waiting for that phone call from school. I’m nervous, anxious, scared and sssoooo happy for him to be back in fulltime school. A sense of “normalcy”…whatever that means. 😉

Now, off to my home office to work on my assignment that due tonight…gulp!

*MY* First Day At School…In Decades!

So, I’ve been contemplating returning to school for a few years now. Wasn’t sure what I wanted to study but knew I wanted to keep helping other families with kids with special needs. Honestly, after the end of my marriage, there was NO WAY I could return to school…my brain was mush (partly from mommy-brain, partly from my marriage and divorce), my son’s needs were REALLY high (he was a runner and violent before the end of my marriage, and for about a year later), and my kids were so young they weren’t in full day school yet.

 

Fast forward a couple of years (and moves) later, and last fall I took a course from a friend of mine who is a professional organizer about home management. Not rocket science and it’s something I’m always looking to improve. It was also a personal test. Can I fit one more meeting (class) per week into my schedule? Can I read a textbook again? Can I retain the information in the textbook? Can I find time to study? It was hard…not the material, but reading a textbook was very difficult. I had to “force” myself to read it because it wasn’t related to Autism, or special needs. Sometimes, I had to read a page a few times because I just couldn’t focus. But I did it!

 

This summer, my dad and I were talking…where he got a better picture of what my daily life looks like as a SAHM to kids with special needs. The meetings, the programming, the paperwork on top of all the SAHM hats I wear: taxi driver, doctor, social coordinator, cook, cleaner, laundry, etc. Then he asked *the* question…the question dreaded by all SAHMs: Now that my kids are in full day school in Grade 3 (well, my son will be in 2014 when he finishes IBI therapy), what about me?

 

We talked for quite a while about the work I have been doing; supporting and coaching other moms of kiddos with special needs. Then he stumped me again: What “piece of paper” (nice eh? Years at post-secondary education results in a “piece of paper”!) do you need for that? Ummm, well, the big qualification the moms are looking for is that I’ve “been there, done that”. So, after a longer conversation, lots of research online, meetings and emails with post-secondary education institutions to learn about their programs, emails between my parents and I so I can “talk it out”, and an application process that drove me a bit crazy, etc, this will be my life for the next 4ish years:

1240228_629601623746270_204407857_n

I’m starting with only one course to start…and boy, did I feel old last night in the first class. To date myself, when I went to university, email was barely being used, I was the only one on my floor in residence to own a laptop (that was much less powerful than the one I have now, and kept crashing after being used for an hour or so). College was a little better as I finished the most recent one about 12 years ago…email was being used but there was no online component to any of the courses.

 

Last night, the instructor was clicking around on a program that I’ve seen or heard of, and he just kept saying “go online” as it’s integral and part of the course curriculum. To where??? Since I’m not scared of making a fool of myself, or asking questions, I kept asking him to backtrack so I knew what he was doing and where he was online. I have the “on the ground” experience from my former career (seems like a few lifetimes ago now!) and my current work focuses that experience to a specific field, now I’m working towards yet another “piece of paper”. I already have university and 3 colleges under my belt…and now I’m adding a diploma in Social Service Work.

 

Wish me luck (and Like me on Facebook to watch my trials and tribulations of going back to school as a “mature student”)!

Trip Down Memory Lane

Memory lane

Some girlfriends of mine (from IRL) posted these prompts on their Facebooks and were supposed to give whomever commented an age to fill in the prompts. I used age 20 as that was the age they all started with, I was given 26 as my age to write about, and then added my current age range.  Just some silliness for a Monday.

At age 20

I dated:  Steve
I drove:  Nothing. Got around by bus or walking.
I worked:  Part time at a medical non-profit, while going to university full time.
Feared:  Failure
Wanted to be:  A fundraiser.

At age 26

I dated:  My soon-to-be husband
I drove:  A 4-door Honda Civic…miss that car!
I worked:  Full time at a medical non-profit
Feared:  Failure
Wanted to be:  A fundraiser, which I was so all was good.

Now, in my late 30s

I date:  My wonderful man, and am happily divorced.
I drive:  A schmexy green station wagon.
I work:  Full time SAHM, Autism advocate, and am a blogger too.
I fear:  Someone hurting my kids, something happening to me so I can’t look after my children, letting my children down, not being able to support them in achieving whatever goals they have in life.
Want to be:  Happy