"Change, when it comes, cracks everything open."
Dorothy Allen

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Evil Genius
On Friday past, my nephew Gage graduated from Grade 8.  Sebastian, Sawyer and I went a bit early to get a seat on the aisle, to accommodate Sebastian's wheelchair.  Sawyer wore her pretty, Katy-Perry candy dress that Aunt Holly gave her for Easter, and Sebastian wore his new polo shirt.  Sawyer even wore pigtails for her cousin.  They were both on their best behavior, and even though Sawyer fell asleep at one point and Sebastian hummed his way through it, they were both good as gold.

The ceremony was a little long, but there were funny parts and sweet parts.  The kids cheered each other on like crazy and laughed and clapped.  There were crazy outfits- not so much on the kids graduating, but in the audience.  Apparently short is in, regardless of whether it is appropriate or not.  Dawn and I enjoyed some laughs at their expense.
Gage and his girlfriend

Geoff missed Gage's actual diploma portion, but he made it shortly after and was there when Gage won his award.  No one knew he was getting it, and it was an amazing surprise.  We were all very proud, and even Sebastian shouted (in his quiet voice) "yeah, Gage!"  Sawyer thought Gage was a bit of a rockstar, because he got to be up there, on stage, and she asked Auntie Dawn incessantly "Where's Gage?"

Gage and the Dark Side

Gage handled all his "fame" like a trooper, coming in and posing for a picture with me and the kids before hand, and giving me a big hug and shaking Sebastian's hand afterwards.  I was so very happy for him.

But, as wonderful as it was to see Gage graduate, it was a very bittersweet night.  I watched Geoff's mom cry as she drove out of the parking lot.  I know that she, and Geoff and Holly and Dawn were all missing Kit terribly, as was I.  He would have been so proud, he wouldn't have sat down the entire time, standing near the front, taking pictures.  He would have been making loud and inappropriate comments and jokes through most of it.  He probably would have spent some time outside playing soccer with Roan.  His presence was felt, and missed.  It's been 2 months.  Sometimes it seems like 2 years, others- 2 days.  So much seems to have happened that he has missed, stuff that I probably never would have thought twice about if he were still here.  But with him being gone, everything is more poignant, more heightened.  I guess I just wish he were here.

But for me, it was sad in other ways. As I st and watched these kids walk across the stage, some of them achieving so much, I could feel my heart aching.  I can't help but think about what I will miss with Sebastian.  I will likely never have a graduation moment for him.  Sure, there might be a ceremony, but that feeling of accomplishment, or even success will likely not be there. 

I really try not to dwell on things like that.  I honestly don't allow it to enter my consciousness.  With Sebastian, I think about today, tomorrow, next week.  I don't go much further ahead than that.  There is no good in it.  But looking at my boy, who looked so small and frail in his wheelchair, with his swollen knuckles and twisted fingers....I caught myself breaking more than once.  I am so jealous.  I am so bitter.

I want to have that...something.....normal.  I hate that word, I really do, but that's what I want. I am paying thousands of dollars to try and get it.  Something that in my heart of hearts, I know I can't have.  I am a dreamer being forced to be a realist.  And I hate it.  With all my heart.  I want hope, I want to be able to take for granted that my kid is going to finish grade school and go to high school.  I want to know that someday, my son will be invited to a birthday party.  That he will have a friend over to play, or be invited to a friend's house.  That he will have a sleep over.  Any of those normal things that happen every day, to every other kid on the planet.

Except mine.  Or so it sometimes seems.

I know I am blessed in many, many ways.  But sometimes, like Friday, the blessings are hard to count.  I know it will get better, it always does. 

But for now, I am bittersweet.  I am full of rough edges.  I am shattered and a little bit broken.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "normal?"

Monday, June 27, 2011

38. Go on a road trip. Even if it is just a day.

June 25, 2011- Trip to Hornell NY to visit Tracey and drop off some donated photos for her zombie walk!  This trip was just me and the kidlets :)

On the road

brekkie on the road

took a lot of secondary high ways.  It was a beautiful drive.

There was an amazing windfarm on the way. 
This obviously doesn't do it justice, but it reminds me of how amazing it was.

Hornell High School and the baseball team practicing.
I love small town America.

Downtown Hornell

Carrie and Sawyer, getting along just fine.

Sawyer on the top of the slide,
trying to high five Carrie as she swings as high as she can.

36. Go to the drive-in, eat tons of popcorn and junk.

June 18, 2011- Super 8 and Kung Fu Panda
June 25, 2011- Cars 2 and Pirates of the Caribbean with Joel, Carrie, Larsen and Freya

Making the trip back from the bathroom in his pjs


happy, happy

yummy snacks...the best part of the drive in

26. See Gage graduate from Grade 8.

June 24, 2011

Sebastian and Sawyer, waiting to see Gage

Gage getting his diploma

Gage accepting his award.  What a wonderful surprise!

Sleepy Girl.  Geoff made it out too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trees are bullshit.

The title of this post is actually something I said tonight.  And I meant it, 100%.

I went golfing tonight for the first time this season.  Between the kids, money and Geoff's schedule, I haven't been able to make our ladies league golf night this season.  It started the beginning of May, so basically, I missed the first month and a half.  :(  Sad.

But, the stars aligned and I finally made it out tonight.  I golfed with Lynnie, Teresa and Rhonda.  Great foursome.  The course was nice and dry- so dry that I had trouble getting the tee in the ground. 

We played the back 9, which sounded like a change up for the other ladies.  My first tee off actually sliced to the right, but was nice and far and high, just hit with my hybrid 4 wood.  So I was pretty pleased that I wasn't knocking wormburners right off the bat.  I did spend alot of time in the rough, but by the last 3 holes, I was on the green in 2, and 2-putting to an bogey.  I can live with that for my first night out. :)  I started to figure out that opening the face of my club let me drive straighter, and avoid the trees, so I am going to keep trying that, and see if it sticks.

Ah, the trees.  I hit about 5 tonight.  I have a special affinity for trees and seem to drive into them, no matter where they are.  Hence, my thought about trees being bullshit.

But that's ok.  It could be worse.  Lynn thinks the ground is bullshit.  It is much harder to avoid the ground, than trees.

Thanks for a great night ladies.  Hope to do it again next week!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nine iron's the only way to go."

Fish On!

Because my sister-in-law is the awesomest person EVER, me and my daddio are going salmon fishing on Lake Ontario on July 4th.  I can't frigging wait.

Every time my family goes north, my dad and I spend the majority of our trip fishing together.  We just fish off the dock, but he loves it and so do I.  It has been years and years since we have been out on a boat together, looking for big fish.  I am so thrilled that we can do this. 
Tiny little perch. 
Nothing compared to the
monster salmon I'm gonna catch!

I love to fish, and so does he.  The boat supplies all our gear, we just gots to bring our asses on board.  Oh yeah and snacks and drinks too.  But that's ok.

I am super glad that I thought of doing this, and so grateful to Holly for making it happen.  I hope my dad loves it as much as I do, and I hope we have an amazing day.  I really, REALLY can't wait, and I am hoping this is a good birthday present for him.

Love you Daddy, let's go fishin'.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nuthin' like fishin'."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Promise me.

Short bus.






So, now that it's out there, let's not hear it again. 

There is a campaign going right now called "Spread the word to stop the word".  The main crux behind it is that we all know that there are words out there that you just don't say.  Racist words, sexist words, homophobic words.  Words that, when you say them, you know what you are saying.  You know what it means if the "wrong" person hears you saying it.  Words that hurt, words that scar. 

Unfortunately, alot of people don't feel that way about the R word. 

Now, I am a complete hypocrite.  I used to use that word.  Not a lot, but I did.  I still do, on occasion.  It slips out.    But now, I know the impact of that word.

I remember the first time I realized that Sebastian is what most people used to call "mentally retarded."  I was shocked.  I don't remember what it was that made me realize it.  I read something, or heard something.  Whatever it was, it just clicked.  Maybe I am naive or stupid or slow.  But I honestly never thought about it that way.  I remembered sitting in my car, behind the wheel, with my face in my hands.  I just cried and cried.  It hurt to breathe. My little boy was retarded??  No, no way. He's autistic.  He is developmentally delayed.  He's not retarded. 

But then I thought about it.  What is the difference between being retarded and being autistic?  Why I am proud of my autistic son, and willing to talk to anyone about it but I am devestated and heartbroken at the idea of mental retardation?  He is still the same kid, it's just a different label.

That was the day I really, really understood what words can do.   I carry those scars.  I remember that hurt.

I don't use the R word anymore, because I know what it can do.

So, if you want to, you can go to the link above and take the pledge.  It means that you won't use the R word anymore.  It means that you  know "retard" is the same as nigger, faggot or cunt. It means that you are a good person, and that you care. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new R word is RESPECT."

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wish I was there...

On Friday, Geoff, Sawyer, Holly, Eric, Roan, Kathy and Dawn and all the rest of the Rousseau clan completed the Relay for Life in Kit's home town of Windsor (or close to it, I can't keep all those small towns in that area straight.)

I didn't make it, because of Sebastian's surgery.  I will be there next year, for sure.

Because I wasn't there and I can't say it any better than this, you need to read my sister-in-law's blog.  It says it all.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "next year, for sure."


Today is Father's Day. 

I am going to dinner with my mom and dad and brother tonight.  I am still scrambling trying to find a gift for my dad, not just one gift- 2...'cause tomorrow is his birthday.  He is an impossible man to buy anything for.  He never gives you any ideas so I am completely on my own.  I have been looking for something for 2 weeks now and can't find anything that I think he might want.  It's his 65th birthday which is a big deal.  Apparently he didn't want a party or anything, and since it might be a big deal for him (not necessarily in a nice way) I don't know whether to make an event of it or not.  If I don't do what he wants, he will be disappointed, and if I do something that he didn't want, he will be mad.  So much pressure.  I just want him to be happy and have a good couple of days and to know that I love him. 

I have talked about my dad in previous posts.  He is a regular guy.  I mean that in the best way possible.  He is blue collar, rough around the edges, regular kind of guy.  He watches fishing shows, drinks his coffee black. 

My dad was so excited when I went to school for fish and wildlife technology.  I think I disappointed him when I didn't get a job in the field.  He actually went out and bought me a present for that first Christmas- a tackle box with lures and line and hooks and the whole she-bang.  That I used to go nightfishing and would bring home pictures of all the things I caught and the places I went...I think it was about the only thing in my life that I did that my dad could live vicariously through me, and that he truly understood.

My dad has no idea what it is that I do for a living.  He saw something on the news about PRESTO, and that was when he realized that my client was a real thing, and not just someting that I made up.

My dad works in my yard, all the time, without me asking.  He makes me worry because I don't want him pushing himself too hard.  I worry that my dad thinks that I am lazy, because I can't keep up with the yard work on the schedule that he thinks should be set.  I can't always cut my grass when it gets to a certain length, I can't always trim the hedge, or clean the gutters.  I don't have the money to plant flowers and the garden the way that I want and I don't have the time to weed as often as I should.  But he steps in, in his quiet way, and does what needs to be done.  I just get the silent judgement later. :)  Just kidding, daddio.

My dad likes to watch movies and I like trying to find them for him.  The last couple of years, he has set a challenge for me, with movies he wanted me to find.  The first year was Jeremiah Johnson.  Nailed it.  The second year was The White Buffalo with Charles Bronson.  Found it and who cares that it has weird, Russian subtitles?  I can't wait to see what he wants this year.  :)

I would love to take my dad to Vegas.  It won't happen but I would like it.  I want to take him deep sea fishing and whale watching.  I would like to take him on an African Safari.  I want to buy a cottage with a small motor boat, just for him.  I want to ...I want to.... I want to....

I think about losing him, especially after Kit.  My dad has diabetes and has had it for years and years.  He does amazing.  He is so disciplined and avoids all the foods that he can't have.  He took a bite of birthday cake on Sawyer's first birthday.  That is the first that I have seen him take in at least 10 years.  He didn't even drink at my wedding.  But the man of steel, indestructable as he may seem is only human.  And I worry.  I try not to think about it too much.  It just makes me sad and scared.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day, Dad...I will be there later for chinese.

Geoff has to work today.  I gave him his gifts yesterday, since I knew today would probably be a rough one for him.  I figured his day could be separate from today.  That way he could be happy and enjoy without the guilt.    He is a good dad and he deserves to be happy and to know that his kids love him, with all their heart.  Sawyer's face and heart light up when he comes home.  Sebastian wants to be him and mimics things that he says and does constantly.  I don't think Geoff realizes how much influence he has over the kids.  I don't think he sees it. 

I know Geoff struggles with Sebastian and his challenges.  Sebastian is definitely not the son that he imagined when he knew that little baby born 10 years ago was a boy.  I am sure he envisioned going to soccer and baseball games, talking football and comics, taking him to comic conventions, and watching TV together.  Maybe he thought he would be an artist or a writer, and Geoff could help him figure out what his style was, and introduce him to all of the artists that he knows. 
Geoff struggles with conversations with Sebastian.  He gets frustrated when Sebastian doesn't listen, or do what he should be doing. There is much that drives him crazy, makes him mad, makes him sad. 

But he tries to be a good dad.  Even though Geoff doesn't like to go outside and play, he will push himself to do it.  He is their favorite toy on the trampoline, he has those kids bouncing around like pinballs.  And they laugh and laugh.  The very best pictures he takes (in my humble opinion) are of the kids.  I think that is because his passion and love for the kids is captured in that split second shot.  He has inflused his love of all things comics in Sebastian and even Sawyer (who at 2 can name Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and WonderWoman, among others.)  And when Sebastian picked WonderWoman as his favorite, Geoff never blinked.  He connects to him through the things they both love- toys, superheros, movies...

He is a good dad.  A great dad. 

He has a special connection with Sawyer.  I went back to work when Sawyer was 10 months old, because Geoff was getting laid off.  And he spent the next year and a half home with her.  She loves her daddy like crazy, and even though they drive each other nuts, there is a bond there, between daddy and daughter, that I can't touch.  I am a little jealous.  But I am so glad it exists.  I know she will grow to be embarrassed by her dad, and to get mad at him, and to fight and ignore and think that he is silly and stupid and old.  But I hope, deep down, that bond will survive, and when that rebellious teenager turns eventually into a beautiful young woman, she will turn again to her daddy.  I know  it will happen.  And I'm glad.

Of course, today can't pass without thoughts of Kit.  Our first Father's Day without him.  While Father's Day was never a huge day for us, you can't help but think of him and all the "should have beens".  I know today is hard for family, and I suspect it always will be.  Holly has mentioned an idea to me, that I think is great, and we might be starting a new family tradition.  I am thinking of you often, Kit, and we miss you. 

Well, the morning is done, and I have lots to do...time to get moving.  Happy Father's Day- to my dad, to Geoff and to Kit.  May you all rest easy, knowing that the kids you have raised and are raising are good, and healthy.  Know that you are loved deeply and wonderfully.  Know that you are heros in the eyes of your kids and in our own ways, every day, we strive to be as great as our dads.

Love you.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never thank you enough, Dad."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Teeth and Tissue

Sebastian had his dental surgery today.

Due to the issues he experiences because of his autism, Sebastian doesn't do well at the dentist.  I try to be as tolerant of his outbursts and anxieties and fears as I can be because I know he has little to no control over them.  The only thing I have ever really lost it with him over was his behaviour at the dentist.  After a particularily trying visit where he kicked the hygenist in the chest and screamed loudly throughout, we got to the car and I let him have it.  I yelled at him the whole way home.  I was embarrassed and furious.  It must have made an impression, because for years after that whenever I told him he had a dentist appt, his response would be a long pause, followed by a heavy sigh.  "Uh-oh," he would say.  I can laugh about it now.  Now.

Anyway, because of his behavior, he has never had an xray done of his teeth.  He has never had a full cleaning.  Even though we knew he had 2 cavities, we can't get them filled.  Our only option was to have him knocked out and the work done.  There is a dentist in Hamilton, Dr. Panozzo, who does this work.  He actually works out of McMaster Children's Hospital. 

Today was Sebastian's appointment.  I got a little annoyed with everyone this week, because everyone- including his father- kept forgetting about the appointment.  Like, more than once!!  I had to remind Geoff constantly that it was coming up.  GRRRR.. 

Becuase Geoff and all of his family are in Windsor this weekend doing the Relay for Life walk in honour of Kit, none of them could come with me to help.  My mom had booked the weekend to work.  Because his surgery was booked kind of late, she couldn't get out of it and she wants as much work time as she can while she can get it.  So that left me to go by myself.

Based on my previous experiences with Sebastian and anethesia, I was nervous, to say the least.  He tends to get very agitated and upset when he comes out of it.  He fights and cries.  So, I wasn't looking forward to going through that again.  But most of all, I was worried about the car ride home.  If he was sick or agitated, then I didn't think I would be able to drive for an hour to get home.  If it was really bad, my plan was to either stay in a hotel with him or call my dad to drive up and meet us.  I could always take him back for his car tomorrow.

We got there a little early.  I didn't really know what to expect, since my pre-op appointment didn't give us a ton of information.  We got checked in, and Sebastian got to play a bit and watch Scooby Doo.  His surgery appointment was 1:30pm, and they came to get us right around that time.  We went to another waiting room and met the anethetist.  What is it with them, that they all have wonky eyes?  This one was really wacky, and I am sure I looked in the wrong eye most of the time but whatever....

I had come prepared and brought pyjamas for Sebastian to wear if they would let him.  They did, at least on the bottom.  We had socks for his feet and even brought Jack and Sally.

Everyone there was very nice.  They are all about a good experience for the kids, traumitizing them as little as possible.  They let the kids play right up until the last second.  Sebastian and I wheeled down to the operating room and I got to go in and get him up on the bed.  They gave him cool stickers and let him look at all the computers.  They tried to put the monitors on him but he kept pulling them off.  They decided then to use the mask first and put him to sleep and then do everything they needed to do.  They wrapped him tight in his blanket and held him down.  Within a minutes, his eyes were rolled up in his head and he was out.  I held his hands the whole time. 

After that, I went to the waiting room and read Harry Potter on my Kindle.  After about an hour, the doctor came in, and let me know that everything went ok.  He got everything done that he wanted to and there were no unexpected surprises. 

After about 10 minutes, they called me into Recovery to see him.  This is where things normally go wrong.  But he was actually ok.  He had a lot of blood on his face, right up to his ear, but he is sleeping.  He would wake up every couple of minutes and cry, and cough and choke.  After about 10 minutes, with me holding his hand and stroking him, he fell into an actual sleep.  He was resting well.  They unhooked him and wheeled him down to the holding area.

About half way there, he decided that he wanted the IV out of his hand.  He started pulling the gauze wrapping his hand, and using his teeth to cut through the tape.  We finally got him to the holding area, and I wrestled with him for about 5 minutes.  He fought with me in spurts, but he was starting to calm down.  He would take deep breaths when I told him too, which is how I get him to focus and calm down.  Once he started listening to me and doing that, I knew we were going to be ok.  The nurse came in and right away got to work getting the IV out.  After that, he has some apple juice and fell into a real sleep.  The nurse came back after we had been there about 20 minutes and told us that we could go anytime we wanted.  He was doing great, and he could go.  I was shocked, because normally you have to jump through hoops to get the go-ahead to leave.  I let him sleep about 10 more minutes, then got him into his pyjama top and into his wheelchair.  We were off.

I was worried about the parking lot.  If any of you have ever parked at McMaster, you know how incredibly tiny the parking spots are.  I was parked beside a concrete wall, and there wasn't enough room on the side for me to bring the wheelchair up to load him into the car.  I didn't know how I was going to make that work.  I hadn't taken into account the fact that we were leaving around 5pm, when most of the others had left.  I parked Sebastian's wheelchair beside the front of the van, and then just pulled the van out into the driveway.  It was enough that I could get him in the front seat with his pillow and blanket.  He fell asleep before we even got out of the garage. 

We made it home with no incident.  He slept the whole way.  I got him in the house and settled in his bed.  He slept for about 2 more hours, woke up, had 2 giant glasses of milk and some fruit and toast to eat.  It's now 11:30, and he is just falling asleep again.

So, I am pretty proud of my little man- for handling it like a trooper and being such a brave boy.  No kid should have to go through the stuff this kid goes through.  And he does it, time and time again.  I love him so frigging much.

And I am pretty proud of myself, for going it alone, and handling it like a superstar.  No tears.  As Bon Jovi so eloquently put it..."We've got each other and that's enough...."

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not bad for day's work."

Sunday, June 12, 2011


There's a-change a-blowin'. (Forgive me, I watch True Grit twice yesterday, the old and new one.  Awesome, both of them)

While I won't speak to specifics here (I don't really have specifics yet, just vague plans and thoughts) there is something brewing in the Rousseau household.  Change. 

It's something we have talked about for yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeears, and has never really felt right.  It would be the wrong time, other things took precedent, we had babies, we had new jobs, we just bought houses, we were poor, we were finally doing ok....blah, blah, blah.

So, now we are talking about making changes and it kinda, almost feels right- the right time, the right place, the right opportunity.

Maybe now isn't the time in my life to take chances.  But more and more, I am thinking that chances are the way to go.  Yep, I am gonna fail sometimes.  I am gonna fall on my face (or ass, depending on which way I am going) and get hurt.  But sometimes, things are gonna work.  Maybe not always the way I thought, but sometimes, it leads to something better.

So, I think we are gonna take a chance, make a change, and try to make a better life.  I am actually a little excited. 

So, how's that for a vague, ambiguous post??  Suck on that, people!  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not now, later...."

Starting Summer off with a Bang

...well, not a bang..a break.

oh, fun.  If only we knew....

Yep, it's true.  Sebastian broke his ankle.  He, Geoff and Sawyer were jumping on the trampoline on Thursday night, and he landed wrong.  He started crying right away, in a way I hadn't seen him before.  He couldn't catch his breath.  I brought him into the house and we looked it over.  I could move his toes, and move his ankle.  But he was very upset, and wouldn't put any weight on it.  There really wasn't much swelling, and no bruising, so I wrapped it in a tensor bandage and put a bag of frozen peas on it.  He was very restless and slept poorly.  He would wake up through the night, crying about his foot. 

jumping, jumping

Friday was a day off of school, so he got to spend the whole day with Grammie and Papa.  My mom looked at his ankle, and tried doing all the same things that I had done.  She too, figured it was just badly sprained. He got to lay in bed all day, watching movies and eating treats.

That night, we went to Limeridge Mall with Geoff's mom.  I piggybacked Sebastian into the mall, and we rented a wheelchair for him.  He rode around fine, but Sawyer's nose was a bit out of joint, because she wanted to ride too.  He seemed fine, really didn't complain at all.
The scene of the accident
Saturday, we had a busy day planned.  We had a birthday party for Joel and Carrie's son, and then our friends Michelle and Kevin were having a BBQ.  However, in the morning, the bruises started coming out on his ankle.  When we would try to get him to put weight on it, even just a little bit, he refused.  He was getting good at getting around on his knees or by hopping on one leg, with the hurt one lifted, flamingo style. I decided to keep him home from the birthday party and keep him resting.  I was starting to get a feeling in my gut.  Note to self, always trust your gut.
Geoff took Sawyer and she had an awesome time.  She got to play and got a red balloon.  It was the shizat.  That's a direct quote from her.  ;o)

Life as it used to be!  We were muddy from head to toe.

Geoff went to the BBQ to see everyone.  Sebastian had a couple of rough patches, and that feeling in my gut got more and more intense.  He slept through the night, so all was fine.

This morning, he got up early.  When I went in to check, he told me that his leg felt better, that he felt good.  I was so glad!  When I helped him into the bathroom, I tried to get him to put weight on the foot again.  I forced him to take one step.  That's all it took.  His whole ankle just crumbled and down he went.  He hit the door, and landed on the floor, sobbing. 

So, I am offically the worst mother in the world.

My brave boy

Immediately after that, I got him up, and off we went to the emergency room.  3 hours later, he has a bracing cast on his leg and we are going to get into see a specialist this week to get it taken case of.

So, my wishlist for the summer might change a bit, to accomodate a cast.  Once we know if he can get a walking cast or not, I will know whether or not I have to rent a wheelchair or whatever. 

Most of all, I have to lose this huge weight of guilt on my shoulders.  :)  I'm sure it will fall off eventually!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not a sprain???"

Thursday, June 9, 2011

the perfect mother

I was just inspired to blog something.  There is someone that I am "friends" with on Facebook.  This person has kids. 

I don't know how to say this without being mean, or sounding like a bitch.  But this person obviously thinks they are the perfect mom.  No doubt.  Perfection.  Everyone else should aspire to be her.

Now, there are people that I know that are pretty darn close to perfect as mothers.  But they don't think they are.  They know their flaws, they worry that they are screwing their kids up.  They make mistakes and admit those mistakes.  They don't have perfect holidays, and family vacations.  But, at the heart and soul of the matter, they are some of the best parents I know, and I am inspired by them.

Not this one, though.

Everything she does seems contrived.  It's like, "Look at me, and all the wonderful things that I do.  It's all so spontaneous and perfect."  Ugh.

I think maybe I read too much into it.  I think I am insecure as a mom.  I make mistakes- LOTS of them. 

- I yell at my kids.  Sometimes, I yell loud.  Real loud. 
- Although I have cut back 150%, I sometimes swear in front of my kids. Maybe once, I actually swore at them.  Maybe.
- Sometimes, my kids stay in their pyjamas all day.  And then wear the same pyjamas to bed that night.
- My kids have been known to have pizza for breakfast.  Or french fries. 
- Occasionally, my kids drink pop. 
- At this exact second, there is writing on the walls of both kids rooms.  It's been there for weeks.  I just haven't scrubbed it off.
- My kids don't always have a bath every day.  I don't wash their hair every day.  Sebastian has been known to miss brushing his teeth.
- Sawyer won't eat meat.  Sebastian won't eat veggies.  Sometimes, I just give up trying to make them do either of those things.
- I clean up after my kids, when they should be cleaning up after themselves.  And sometimes, I don't clean up at all.
- Sometimes, I tell my kids to be quiet, because they are driving me crazy. 
- I have been known to pretend that I don't hear Sawyer in the night, because I just want to stay in bed.
- Sometimes, I don't want to go outside and play.  So I don't.
- I have been known to bribe my kids.  To be quiet and behave.  I will bribe them with toys, chocolate, McDonalds, whatever works.
- Some days, I like to go to work, so that I can have some peace and quiet.
- A lot of days, I really, really look forward to bed time.
- I sometimes threaten and don't carry through.  I have said "No, you can't get anything today" only to buy them a treat as we leave.
- I let my kids watch TV.  Sometimes, it is my babysitter. (No, I don't leave the house, but I do get things done when they watch movies)
- I let my kids eat candy.
- I will let the kids crawl into my bed, just so everyone can get a few more hours of sleep.
- We don't always eat dinner at the table.  Sometimes *gasp* we eat dinner in front of the TV.

So, according to the experts and perfect moms everywhere, I am ruining my kids. 


I think they will be ok. 

So, to you, "thinks-you're-so-great" mother, judging me with all your judger-judginess, eff off.  My kids are good kids.    My life isn't your life.  You haven't walked in my shoes.  You don't know what I know.  You don't feel what I feel.

I may not be perfect but I think I am pretty good.  The fact that Sawyer and Sebastian will spontaneously say "I love you" and hug me as hard as they can tells me that.

That Sebastian worries about his sister, when she is in trouble, says that I have taught him about compassion.  And when Sawyer wants to hold hands with him and hug him, means that she knows that she is safe and protected. 

When Sawyer will jump from the top of the stairs into my arms, means that she trusts me, explicitly.  When Sebastian wants to sleep with me and will actually sleep through the entire night when I am there, means that I calm him, and put his heart and mind at ease.

When Sawyer will spin and dance and clap wildly in front of me, means that she feels comfortable and accepted enough to act silly.  She knows I won't judge.  When Sebastian will laugh and laugh at nothing in particular, and try to explain it to me, means that he thinks I am funny, and that I will get his jokes (even if no one else does.

The fact that my kids are amazing, and beautiful, funny and sweet, kind and loving...
That means that I am doing ok as a Mom.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not perfect but trying."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lovin' Summer

The weather is getting better, warmer and beautiful.  I am looking forward to the summer.  I am not a huge fan of the heat, and I hate working when it is nice out.  But I love the longer days, I love the smells and sights of summer.  I love having options and being outside.  With Sawyer being older this summer, I am hoping we can have lots of fun. 

So, with that in mind, I am writing my summer wishlist.  I plan to come back to this list in September, to see how much I actually got done.

1. Take the kids to the beach at least once.
2. Go to the Zoo.
3. Use our season passes to Zooz like crazy.  Get our money's worth and more.
4. Have family BBQ's at least once a month.
5. Have a blast at our White Trash party.
6. Sleep in the tent with the kids...even if it is just in the backyard.
7. Keep the grass and the hedge trimmed and neat.
8. Plant flowers.
9. Make salsa from ingredients I have grown in my garden.
10. Play outside...A LOT!!
11. Get a pool for the kids.   But mainly for me. :)
12. Ride a roller coaster.
13. Make suntea.
14. Go to a carnival.  Play bingo.  Eat burgers and cotton candy.
15. Ride a horse.
16. Run through the sprinkler with the kids.
17. Walk on the treadmill every day.
18. Reconnect with an old friend.
19. Take lots of pictures.
20. Play hookie from work, for one afternoon.
21. Get a tattoo.
22. Get a pedicure.
23. Have a sleep over with Sawyer in her bed.
24. Have a day of fun with Sebastian- just me and him.
25. Same thing as above, with Sawyer.
26. See Gage graduate from Grade 8.
27. Clean up Grandma and Grandpa's grave.  Plant flowers for them.
28. Go down a waterslide.
29. Play baseball.
30. Get a sunburn (not a bad one, just enought for freckles.)
31. Go fishing with Dad.
32. Have beers on a patio
33. Wash the cars.
34. Find fireflies.
35. Go garagesale-ing.
36. Go to the drive-in, eat tons of popcorn and junk.
37. Find a dog park for Axle, and let him go crazy.
38. Go on a road trip.  Even if it is just a day.
39. Watch fireworks.
40. Eat watermelon with Sebastian.
41. Have the driveway covered with drawings in sidewalk chalk.  Courtesy of Miss Sawyer.
42. Teach Axle to catch a frisbee.
43. Laugh so hard I cry.  And maybe pee a little.
44. Sit by a fire, making spider dogs.
45. Have fresh flowers in my house, as often as I can.
46. Fly a kite.
47. Buy good sandals.
48. Take a nap, even if the laundry isn't done and the dishes are dirty.
49. Sleep in.  But not on the same day as #48.
50. Read an awesome book.  Share it with everyone.

Wish me luck!
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Number 1, coming up..."

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

City Gal

Today, I had to go to Toronto for meetings.  Not a huge deal, I used to have to do it all the time when I was with DE.  I went with the one guy from work, he drove- which was very nice!

The office is downtown TO, on Adelaide, so right in the thick of things.  We, of course, hit traffic and ended up about 20 minutes late for our first meeting.  Wasn't a big deal, since the meeting still ended about 30 minutes earlier than was scheduled.

For lunch, we went to the Keg which was in the building on the main floor.  There was 4 of us, 2 which normally work out of that office and me and JW who drove up from the sticks.

We chose to sit out on the street level patio and have lunch.  It was sunny and nice, a bit windy, but lots to see and gawk at.

And this is when I started thinking. 

First off, I am not a city girl.  I have never in my life wanted to live in Toronto or New York or LA or anything like that.  No way, not me, not in a million years.  I am incredibly intimidated by the city.  I find it noisy and confusing.  It is fine to go for an event, like a play or a show or something, but I am always glad to leave.  I was never the teenager that wanted to run away and live in the big city. 

As I sat and ate my yummy salad and looked around me, I realized that I feel different than the people that live and work there.  I make wild and largely untrue assumptions of the people there.  I assume they are smarter and more ambitious than me (since I am really not overly ambitious, this is probably true).  I assume they know more- about the world, and politics, fashion and culture.  I assume that they are judging me and my small-town-ness.  I assume that I stick out like a sore thumb.  I think that they are maybe just tolerating me and that I have to work really hard, and shine really bright to make an impact, to even be considered equal.

Now, I have self confidence issues in a lot of areas, but my intelligence is not one of them.  I am smart.  I know this.  I can be well spoken (when I don't let curse words get in the way) and articulate.  I can dazzle and impress and, most of the time, I know how to play the game, walk the walk, talk the talk- pick your euphemism.  But something about those city people...I just don't know.

So, there I sat, eating and drinking. My head swivelled when I heard sirens, when no one else's did.  I looked at the homeless man begging and quickly looked away.  No one else spared a glance.  I looked at the people walking- women in impossibly high heels, men in suits, kids with multi coloured hair. 

I finished the afternoon with a presentation that I did up last night, which they loved.  They thanked me for coming and said they always learn so much from me.  They want me again next week, and the week after and the week after.  *sigh*

And as I drove home, after separating from JW, I turned on my oldies station on the radio.  Bryan Adams- Cuts like a Knife.  I was belting it out and laughing by the end.  I passed my familiar places and moved quickly back towards my small town.

I like it here.  I miss it when I leave. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Niagara- born and bred."

At Last

There is a new blog in town.  You need to check it out. 


Yeah, it's Geoff.  And yeah, it's awesome.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Now or Never."