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

Monday, January 30, 2012

At school with Miss Sawyer

Tonight, after dinner, Sawyer and I were helping Sebastian clean up a GIANT mess in his room. 

One of his "obsessions" is laying out his pictures, movies, books and comics in what is, to him anyway, a very deliberate pattern.  It looks random to me, but yesterday, after he created this 6ft by 4 ft collage of everything he loves, he knew, with a one second glance, that someone had touched his pictures. (It was Sawyer, but I took the fall for it.  I'm a good mom that way). 

I let him keep it out all day yesterday and today, as long as he promised to clean it up, BY HIMSELF, tonight.  He agreed.

Of course, when it came time tonight to do that, he just started bulldozing everything around.  My own OCD couldn't handle that, so I pitched in to help.  Sawyer did too.

So, I put away books, Sebastian put away pictures.  Sawyer flitted around, touching this and that.  She did offer to make Sebastian's bed, but only because it's a bunk bed, and she wanted to climb up.  When I said no, she moved from this to that, and eventually found a book that she wanted to read. 

And thus began "school time with Miss Sawyer."

She plunked herself down on Sebastian's toy box, with her book.  She turned to Bastian and I, who were busy sorting and stacking. 

"Class, you know what book this is?  Class, what name this book?"

We looked up, not sure if we were the class, or if there were some other, mysterious class lingering there as well. She lowered her head and looked at me, like she was looking over the top of eyeglasses.

"Class, you needs to sit and listen.  Mommy, come sit in your square."  She pointed imperially towards a section of carpet.  I didn't see a square, but I know better than to argue. 

"Ima read the book now.  The book's name Cars 1.  BASTIAN! (she yelled this) I tole you cri-cross sauce.  (She had told him no such thing, but I helped him move to criss-cross-apple-sauce as quickly as possible.)  That better.  Now, class.  Listen."

She began to read.  The book was Cars, one of the Disney hardcover movie adaptation books.  We got it from a kid's book club, a couple of years ago.  The following is as close as I can get to a play by play of the reading we attended.

"Cars 1.  It's a book" (opens the cover)
"There's Light M'Keen.  (turns the page)
"There's a car friend." (turns the page)
"M'Keen talks to a friend." (turns the page)
"Another car." (heavy sigh, and another turn of the page)
"AHH!  A peece car (aka police car).  Mommy, is the peece car looking....(turns page)
"No more peece.  Just M'Keen. (turns about 3 pages)
"Racing..." (turn)
"Racing..." (turn)
"Racing..." (turn)
"Nothing happen here."
"mmmphmph....(indistinguishable mumbling)
"THE END!" (again, yelled and punctuated with a slammed book)

She looked around, waiting.  Bastian and I, while a little slow on the upswing, gradually caught on and applauded with appreciation. 

We moved on to show and tell from the special helper (Bastian presented his Mickey and Minnie pictures he found on Grandma's computer).  We then had to wait for our names to be called before we could line up (she was only a little put out that Axle didn't wait his turn, but got up with me.)  We even had to pretend to go for our bathroom break (I thought we were lining up again, but she pushed me in the butt, and said, "you are done peeing now.")

It was very impromptu, and very fun.  I got to see school from Sawyer's point of view- very structured, with every step in the process so important.  She liked being the one in charge, the one knowing what was going on, and what was coming next. 

I liked learning with Miss Sawyer.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new school day".

Lunch Break

I am working from home today, and am currently on my lunch break (so not breaking any rules, eh?)

I am feeling unsettled today.  Don't know why.  I think it is a bit the time of year.   The end of January/ beginning of February feels like the heart of winter.  I know that I have nothing to complain about weatherwise- and I'm not complaining, really- but it just seems like the days seem to drag a little.  I don't have anything to look forward to, at least not immediately.  Everyone I know seems to be on or planning for a vacation.  My floors are muddy and slushy. 

It's this time of year that I start daydreaming about having the kids in shorts and t-shirts instead of snow pants and boots. 

I am trying to work against the blahs- I have planned some knitting projects, I am going to get the Valentines Day decorations out soon.  I am thinking about getting stuff organized for taxes, and spring cleaning and a budget.  I am researching some new learning techniques for the kids.  I am cooking and baking more.  I am feeding the birds and constantly looking out for new visitors to our feeders and ways to help the kids learning about them more and to actually be interested.  I am researching crafts, and looking for fun things to do. 

But, today, I still have that weird feeling. 

I think work plays a part.  We have been working on a back log, and I knew we were coming to the end of it.  However, we have now found out that the tasks we have been assigned are going to be ours until at least mid-April.  I think I am a little frustrated about doing the exact same thing every day, for the next 3 months.  The jobs I have been assigned are hit or miss...there is either very little or I am overwhelmed.  They aren't standard, but are shaped by the situations sent to us by other teams.  It can take me 20 minutes for 4 days to clear up.  I kinda just don't want to keep doing it.  But, I will.  Not much choice there.  And it could be much, much worse.
I am feeling frustrated that things at work aren't changing.  I and the rest of the team are trying to force it, (change that is) but it is slow going.  Oh well.  Work is work.  I just think about my bliss, and I read testaments from others that are following dreams.  As good as this job is to me, my dream is not to be a finacial analyst for Accenture.  I didn't draw pictures of that as a kid.  I don't play make believe with Sawyer about that now.  :) 
I just need to find a way to move more towards to my dreams.  I need focus. 

Financially, things could be better.  I always find January, after the holidays, a tough time.  I think everyone does.  I am working on a budget, a hard and fast, "actually written down" budget.  Lots of fun. :)  But, if I want to get to where I want to be, it has to happen.  I am in a learning curve, and I don't particularily enjoy that.  I like knowing everything. :)  I am, again, trying to make things happen, clear up problems, and create opportunities.  It's not easy, and it requires focus. 

I think, if I could 100% focus on any 1 of the areas above, I would feel better.  But I feel like I am committing only parts of myself to things that seem so very, very important.  I feel like I am being cheated, or cheating others. 

But hey, don't worry- I know, that's life.  I will get used to it.  Today is just a weird day.  Hope your's is more normal!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new day, new opportunities".

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Linking up with various blogs out there, recapping their weekends.  I don't have a picture, but I will next week.

Cleaning and straightning
Geoff had plans Saturday so just me and the kidlets
Sawyer hiding while I vaccumed
Trying, half-heartedly, to keep Sebastian out of the basement and away from the TV
Crockpot cooking and winging it
Stew turned out alright, with no left-overs
Rain and cold
But opening the windows
As my mother puts it, to "air the stink out"
Out for a drive at night, with a stop
at 7-11 for a Slurpee
knitting at night, trying to finish a hat
but understanding that the princess leia buns are still too small
French toast this morning for breakfast
Baking 3 different breads with Sawyer
(gluten free, regular and banana)
playing and mopping
paper mache with Sawyer, and then by myself
a short nap, when I wanted a longer one
Geoff making dinner
bath times
bed times
knowing I should work overtime, but unable to summon the energy

looking forward to that first stretch under the blankets
it's snowing now, so pretty and quiet and peaceful
trying not to think of tomorrow and work, but enjoy the Sunday peace
just a few more minutes

How was your weekend?

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new week coming".

Trying to Decide What's Right

Tonight, at dinner, Geoff was talking to me about a video he had seen on YouTube.  It was a clip from Jamie Oliver, talking about the food used in American schools.  The video refers to "pink stuff" aka the garbage left behind after butchering, which is filtered, washed with ammonia and mixed in as filler to ground beef.  Specifically the ground beef used by McDonald's.  

Sigh.  We ate there yesterday.

I get to feeling this way, sometimes.  I get overwhelmed by everything out there, everything that needs to be done and changed.  It seems like no matter where you turn, no matter what you read, or watch or listen to, it's all about how horrible the air, the water, the food, the environment, the economy is.  I begin to feel sad and lost and discouraged. 

I subscribe to the theory (at least in part) that children with autism are our "canaries in the coalmine".  I do believe that they have a genetic pre-disposition to be more sensitive to the chemicals and pollutants all around us.  It affects their developments, both physical and mental.  While I don't believe it can be reversed, I do believe there are things that can be done to lessen the impact. 

So, why then, do I still have bleach in my house?  Why doesn't my son sleep on cotton sheets?  Do the fumes from his Walmart brand t-shirts stifle his mental development?  Did the apple I gave him yesterday come coated in pesticides?  What about the gluten in the pizza crust?

And what about Sawyer?  She is so small.  She refused to drink milk, since she firmly believes that milk should only be drunk in a "baba" and since she doesn't have them anymore, she doesn't have milk.  And I don't force her too.  I have read alot on the subject, and I am not fully convinced that cow's milk is good for anyone.  Am I making a mistake?  Will her bones become brittle and her teeth rot out of her head?  How can I worry about that, when the little girl will sneak sips of my Diet Coke?  Why am I even allowing Diet Coke in my house?

I know there is so much I need to do and change.  I should eliminate all non-natural cleaning products from my house.  I should buy nothing but organic, whole food.  I should eliminate all processed foods.  I should recycle everything...compost everything.  We should drink water, reverse osmosis, not from individual bottles, but from a refillable jug.  I should recycle all my batteries, cell phones and electronic equipment.  I should eliminate the TVs from my house, and anything else that emits the electromagnetic field, that can change a person's brainwaves. 

I should, I should, I should...

I do as much as I can.  But it always feels like I should be doing more.  I feel like I am doing harm, by not doing anything at all.  And maybe I am.

I vow to try harder.  I vow to try and learn more...the truth, not rhetoric or propaganda. 

Does anyone else feel this way?  Is anyone actually happy with their efforts?  Does anyone know how to cope, how to feel good about what you are doing, without thinking that it isn't enough?

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "need to try harder."

Saturday, January 28, 2012


It's the weirdest thing.

There are some cartoons that trigger emotions in me, and memories, so strongly that I am either fiercely drawn towards or repelled from those shows.  I don't know why this is coming to me now, but it is.  So there. 

Dragon Tales is one of them.  I hate it.  I can't even hear the theme song.  It makes my stomach hurt, and my eyes burn.  Literally.  No joke. 
It reminds me of when Sebastian was very, very little.  We were living in our first house.  I had gone back to work early, when he was 4 months old.  My mom and dad had him a lot, because I was working.  Geoff's job was difficult and paid poorly, so he had finally found something at Accenture.  But because he was new there, he was nights.  For months, he worked 4 to midnight.  So, I would get up early with Sebastian, because Geoff had been up until 3 or 4 in the morning, get him dressed and fed.  On good days, Geoff would get up and take care of Sebastian during the day, until he went to work at 3.  On bad days, Sebastian went to my mom and dad's for the day, until I came home at 5 or 6.  I would get Sebastian, and he and I would head home.  Dinner together, baths, some playtime, and then bed for him.  I would try and clean up, as quietly as I could, so as not to wake him.  I would do as much as I could, until I got too tired, and then it was bedtime for me.  Geoff wandered in some time after midnight, and then the next day it started all over again.
I felt like a single parent.  Money was very, very tight, and I would see Geoff maybe one full day a week.  It wasn't a very nice time in my life.
In the mornings, when I didn't work, Sebastian and I would lay together on the couch, him with his bottle, me with my tea, and watch cartoons.  Dragon Tales was one of them.  He loved it then, and he still loves it today.  But the association for me with this sad and lonely time is so great, I simply can't stomach having it on in my house. 

The other that has a big association for me is Backyardigans.  Both Sebastian and Sawyer loved Backyardigans,  but seem to be growing away from them.  That makes me sad, because I love them.  :)  Truly I do, and truth be told, I will sometimes sit and watch them myself, when no one else is home.  I love the songs, the dancing and the imagination in each show.  But again, it has an association for me that is responsible for much of my good feelings.
When Sebastian was 4 and a half, it was determined that he needed to have ear tubes.  He had had multiple ear infections (surprisingly, we rarely knew that he had had them) and was born with very narrow ear canals.  All of this led to a severe buildup of fluid, wax, blood and other awfulness in his ears.  The DR wanted to do the surgery, put in the tubes, clean out the junk, and also do his tonsils and adenoids at the same time.
Now, keep in mind, 4 and a half year old Sebastian was a very different little boy.  Sebastian was still essentially non-verbal.  He had a vocabulary of maybe 10 words and maybe a dozen different signs (some real, some he invented).  He was withdrawn, unengaged, and removed from the world around him.  While he could be very affectionate and friendly, he also had the most minimal understanding of the things that happened to him, and had no way to communicate his frustrations to the world. 
And somehow, I was supposed to put this little thing through a surgery and recovery.  Sheesh. 

The DR gave me all the instructions, but truly figured that Sebastian would be re-admitted to the hospital within 72 hours.  He figured there was no way that Bastian would eat or drink in the way that he needed to, and that he would end up on an IV, until he was healed enough to be on his own again.

Well, the surgery went fine (I have posted enough on here about Sebastian and surgery.  Just know, this was the first, so my learning curve was steep.  It also prepared me for everything that came after, if that is any indication.)  I took the little monkey home, hellbent on making sure he wasn't going back to the hospital.  Geoff worked that day and had a work function that night, so it was me and Bastian, united. 
I'm not saying it was easy, but compared to what I was expecting...it was a cakewalk.  The kiddo came through with flying colours.  He did so great, he was eating right on schedule, his throat healed wonderfully and he shocked the doctor with how well he did. 

While he was recuperating, we would lay in my bed together, watching DVD after DVD of Backyardigans.  I am sure there were others, but it's Uniqua, Tasha, Austin, Pablo and Tyrone that stick out in my memory.  And when he was recovering, and I would have to put the drops in his ears, we would have to keep them in for a certain length of time.  I found that singing the Backyardigan's theme song was the perfect amount of time, and one that was guaranteed to make him smile and laugh, when his first inclination was to cry and fight me.  That silly little song turned what could have been a battle, into a little mom and son bonding.  I think of those times, every time I hear the song.  Every time.

As a post script to that story, it was his ear surgery that, I believe, began to turn our lives around.  Within a month after Sebastian's surgery, his speech exploded.  He could finally hear, and was learning how to communicate with us.

And for the first time, at 4 and a half, he told me, in words, that he loved me.  Yep.  One of the best days of my life.

Cartoons.  Love 'em or hate 'em, they are really a part of my life.  Wouldn't have it any other way.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "Nickelodeon sets the soundtrack of my life".

My favourite things

I sometimes forget some of my favourite things, until I actually run across them.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true.  It's like a song, that I completely forget about, until I hear it, and I remember that I know all the words, and it reminds me of a time in my life that I want to remember. 

So, to help remind myself, here are some of my favourite things:
- the smell of hyacinths, lilacs and sweet peas
- strawberries
- that first stretch as I finally lay down in bed, under the covers, comfortable and warm at last
- a hot bath with bubbles and book
- diet Pepsi on ice
- pepperoni pizza with double cheese (I just rediscovered this simple classic.  :)
- The Belgariad and Mallorean series by David Eddings
- Bad Company
- long drives down back roads
- colouring
- knitting things, and finishing them
- fresh flowers in my house
- the smell of baking, whether cookies, bread, pies...doesn't matter, it all smells wonderful
- Northern Exposure
- A day off work
- Sleeping in
- Bacon and eggs
- A pedicure
- Cold beer on a hot day
- A sunburned nose
- Laughing so hard my face and stomach hurt
- Bruce Springsteen
- Being pregnant
- Puppies and kittens
- A clean house, vacuum lines in my carpet, not footprints on the kitchen floor
- The window open when I am sleeping
- Camp fires
- Having a best friend and telling our secrets
- Having someone tell me that I am amazing, that I have done a good job
- Grocery day
- The excitement and anticipation of waiting for something- like a holiday, vacation or a surprise
- Not working on my birthday
- Sebastian
- Sawyer
- Having animals in the house
- Helping someone, knowing I have done the right thing, even if no one else knows
- Losing 5 pounds
- The smell of the ocean
- Sandy toes
- Getting mail that isn't a bill or an advert
- Being good at something
- Old maps
- Pictures of my kids
- Finding a treasure at a flea market, antique store, garage sale...somewhere I didn't expect it
- Planning and getting new tattoos
- Having money in the bank
- Getting a full night sleep, and waking up feeling rested
- How I feel about myself when I exercise regularly
- Buffalo chicken anything
- The days where you really didn't have anything specific in mind, and it's all kind of last minute, and you aren't sure what's going on or whose going to be there...and you end up having the best day EVER.
- Family get-togethers, with no drama
- Turkey dinner with all the fixings
- The perfect cup of tea
- Hearing songs on the radio that I haven't heard in years
- The smell of movie popcorn
- Going to the drive-in with friends, with the dog in the car, and kids in their pjs, with snacks and drinks and so much laughing and fun
- Having a good dream, that I don't want to wake up from
- Getting my hair done
- Re-reading my favourite books, or finding a new favourite
- Quarter bingo at the carnivals
- An outdoor concert, when I can just sit on the blanket in the grass, with beer in a plastic cup, singing along to every song I know
- Back and foot rubs
- Presents...making, buying, giving, even getting...the only thing I don't like is the wrapping
- Fresh sheets on the bed
- Enchilada Chicken Suiza at Mexicali Rosa's
- Hearing from an old friend, out of the blue

So...that's some of it.  I think a list like this might help on those days, when it's hard to remember why I have to get out of bed, and why I have to be nice to other people. 

This blog, my friend's blogs, and the blogs I keep finding are quickly becoming my favorite things too. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new favourites, coming every day."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Summer Project

Geoff and I have been having some interesting conversations lately.  We have been talking about goals, and wishes and where and how we want to get to where we are going.  Some stuff we knew already (I want a farm, he wants a comic shop).  Some stuff was new (I think about homeschooling and Geoff wants a comic shop.)  Some stuff was just nice to talk about (I want to be more engaged as a wife and mother and Geoff wants a comic shop. :o)

Just kidding.  Geoff wants more than a comic shop, but it is a big one. 

One of the things that we both agreed on was family fun times, and building memories.  Geoff's parents travelled all the time.  They did tons of stuff together, and now that Kit is gone, at the very least, Kathy has some amazing memories that the two of them built together.  They didn't wait for retirement, but lived life on their terms, in the way that made them both happiest.  And at least from that persepective, her regrets are probably minimal (hopefully, there are none at all.)

Geoff and I want that.  For each other and the kids.

Now, let combine that with our new, more frugal lifestyle.  Down to one income, with therapy and meds and nursery school and everything else, vacations are really at the bottom of the priority list.  But we want to think of something we can do, close to home, on the cheap, but still building memories and having fun.

One of the blogs I read, Small Things.  She lives in Virginia, and her family of 8 spend their summers travelling across the state looking for the Remarkable Trees of Virginia.  They tie it into their history lessons, science lessons and just family get aways.  So, Geoff and I are thinking about doing something similiar.  Finding a common theme of things to see or experience here in Ontario.  Something that will teach our kids and ourselves. 

What that is, I don't know.  Are we going to travel and see the amazing, large things all over, like the Sudbury nickel, the big pike, the mudcat in Dunnville (cheating!  Already seen that!)?  Or are we going to visit the different provincial parks and what they have to offer?  I don't know.  If you have any ideas, I would love it.  Let me know, and maybe that will be the best thing my family has ever done.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nothing but fun".

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On my bedside table

I have a pretty substantial reading list on my bedside table.  My intention is to read, absorb and put to work at least some of the information in each of the books resting there, hopefully within the next couple of months.

Yes, the picture on top is me and Sebastian.  It was a Christmas present from Geoff.  I love it.

So, what I am reading?
- Handmade Home by Amanda Blake Soule.  Holly got me this for Christmas.  I have flipped through it, and am excited to try some of the projects.
- One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds.  I have had this for months.  I need to get started.  Can't wait.
- Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.  Again, had it for months, haven't started.  Boo to me.  But again, super excited.
- Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv.  I have been hearing and reading about his book for years.  I just got it, and I am so grateful.
- The Way I See It by Temple Grandin.  I picked this up 2 years ago at the Geneva Centre Autism Conference in TO.  I had completely forgotten about it, until a little while ago, when I found it again.  I am in awe of Temple, so this holds alot of hope and excitement for me.
- The Mindful Way through Depression.  This is one of the 2 books that I am actually reading right now.  This was loaned to me by a concerned and loving friend.  I am finding it very helpful and interesting, so I am grateful for the loan.  <3
- Above All, Be Kind by Zoe Weil.  This is another gift from Holly, from Christmas.  I started this and LOVE IT!!  I had mentioned this in a previous post, about building a sense of reverence in your children.  I think this has a lot of useful, and realistic information that I can't wait to put to use.  Thanks Holly!
- How to Behave so your PreSchooler Will, Too by Sal Severe.  I picked this up for $3.00 at a discount book store about 2 years ago.  Apparently I saw the writing on the wall.  I had been about half way through it, but now, I have to start all over again.  I think it will be worth it.
- I love Dirt! by Jennifer Ward.  I just got this one too, along with the Last Child in the Woods.  It has activities outside for each season, to help instill a love of nature (and dirt) in your children.  I have started some of them with Sawyer (we hunt for nests in naked, winter trees, and have feeders out for the birds.)  This is one that I will visit over and over again, I think.

There is one more, that isn't on my bedside table.  It's in the bathroom, beside the tub.  That's my other favorite reading spot, in a hot, bubbly tub.  And there, I am reading Debt Free Forever by Gale Vaz-Oxlade.  If you love "til Debt Do Us Part" you would love this book.  Very straight forward, easy to read and scary to implement.  I am pysching myself up to do it (and preparing Geoff too!)

So, that's what's on my to-do list.  And no, none of this includes my 2 monthly book club books.  This month, the work book club is reading Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen and my personal book club is reading The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay.  I read them both in a day and a half.  Don't worry, I still did all my chores and OT.  I just stayed up a little later and lost a little sleep.  Yeah me. 

So, what are you reading?

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never too many books".

Light of my life

The other day, I came home from work, tired and a little bit broken.  I have been working hard to not be negative and pessimistic when it comes to work.  I have been doing pretty good, but sometimes, I need a little transition time.  So, after coming home, making dinner, eating, and cleaning up, I wanted to rest.  I wanted to stretch out on the couch for 5 minutes and close my eyes.

Of course, Sawyer wanted to play. 

I have also been trying to be more present in my kids' lives.  I put aside my technology until after the kids are asleep (tonight I watched a documentary, while Sawyer was awake.  It was the first show that I watched for myself, while she was awake in about a month).  I try to do what they want to do, when they want to do it.  I try to encourage their creativity and to think of new and interesting things for us all to do together.  Sometimes, I forget, but for the most part, I remember, and I think I have been doing a pretty good job.

But other times, I just want to lay down.

So, this night, as I stretch out, and finally start to relax my tight, sore back muscles, Sawyer comes up with her tin of puzzle pieces.  "Please mommy, we do puzzles now?"

I admit, my reaction wasn't great.  "No Sawyer, mommy wants to lay down.  Just give me 10 minutes, then we can do the puzzle."

Sawyer doesn't take no for an answer.  Ever.  Never.  On and on, she pestered and pestered.  Finally, I lost my temper. 
"Why is it, everytime I want 5 minutes for myself, you absolutely have to have me do something?  Why can't I ever just have time for myself?!?"

Sawyer calmly began setting out the pieces for her puzzle.  Without even looking at me, her reply, so much older than her years, was (and I quote):

"Because you are our mommy, and me and 'Bastian need you."

How can I argue that?  She is exactly right.  I did puzzles with her for an hour. 

Thank you, my lovely, for a much needed reminder of my priorities.  I love you.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "needs reminding, just once in a while".

Conversations with God

There has been a weird trend in my life lately.  For some reasons, people around me have been talking about talking to God.  I guess you would call it praying. 

Someone I know has been having a difficult couple of years.  Job loss, sick children, general unhappiness.  They have mentioned how they talk to God, asking God why this would happen.  It's strange in the fact that this person is not at all religious.  Honestly,  I didn't even think that they believed.  Like, not at all.  And yet, this person, who is not religious and not a believer, fully blames God for the bad situation they are in. 

Who knows?  Maybe he is. 

That is just one circumstance.  I can think of at least 2 other conversations over the last couple of months, where similar situations have been discussed.

All of these conversations have made me think.  It has made me think of my own conversations with the Great Wide Open.  Conversations that, for the most part, I don't think I am really concious of having. 

Most of the people I have talked to have been bitter and angry. In a bad place.  They are also relatively new to this whole, talking to God thing. 

At first, I was surprised, sometimes, at their anger, and venom.  I couldn't understand it.  Sure, I understand the talking and bargaining with God.  I get that.  What I couldn't understand was why they were so angry and I wasn't. 

It was then that I realized, it is because I am further along in the process than they are.  I have been talking to God for a long, long time.

9 years, in fact. 

See, I talk to God about Sebastian.  That started when he was about 8 months old. I talked and pleaded, bargained, railed, cried, begged, offered and ignored.  You name it, I did it.  And still do. 
I talked to God, about Sawyer, before I knew she was Sawyer.  We tried for 5 years, and I did alot of talking through all of that. Again, it was tears, and self pity.  I expressed my bitterness and sense of betrayal.  Finally, I got to (and remembered to) express my gratitude.
I am an old hat at this.  After almost a decade, the bitterness rubs smooth.  The rough edges soften.  The anger changes into new emotions. 

I don't know if this post makes much sense.  But it has been rattling in my head for a while now.  I wanted to write it down, I just don't know if it came out right. 

But to you, my nearest and dearest, to all of you having your own conversations with whatever and whomever it is that you are talking to, and to all of you that have stopped talking altogether, try and take comfort.  I can't help you, but I do understand.  I have been there, and am still there.  And if you can't talk to Him, you can talk to me. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never believe no one listening".

(not so) Irrational Fears

I have had this discussion with many people over the years, but my very, VERY favourite person to talk about irrational fears with is my brother, Adam.  He has some fantastic ones, and I love hearing about his wonderfully logical reasoning for why these fears are not irrational, but instead, completely sane and realistic.  Like when he thought he might have an ulcer.  He had been having stomach pains, and was worried that he had an ulcer.  Now, his worry was not based on the fact that ulcers are bad, indicators of stress and can become potentially debilitating.  Rather, his worry was that the ulcer would allow his stomach acid to wear away a hole in his stomach lining and leak digestive fluid into his abdominal cavity. 

Yes, his worry was that he would eat himself, from the inside out.

See what I mean???  Awesome.  I am pretty sure there was also one about gravity no longer working, and him floating off the planet.  :)

So, yes, I have mine own share of irrational fears.  To me, I understand that the likelihood that these things will actually happen to me are slim to none, but that doesn't change the fact that I worry.  I worry alot! 

So, what do I worry about??

- I worry that if I cross into the States, I won't be allowed back.  Every time I go over, I am never, ever comfortable, until I am back in Canada.  I don't know what would prompt them to keep me, but I still worry about it.
- I worry that I will get salmonella from every piece of chicken that I eat.  I make Geoff burn my chicken almost black, trying to cook it all the way through.  At home, I scrutinize my meat.  I have learned to do it a little less obviously away from the house.  But if you catch me, don't be offended.  It's really not you, it's me.
- I worry that if I don't make my kids say their prayers before bed, something bad will happen.  I know, I know.  Weird.
- I always, always worry that my pants will split, or fall down.  I have no idea why.  It's the weirdest thing.
- I worry that every late night knock at the door is a serial killer.  I don't answer.
- I worry about how Sebastian, with his autism, will do when the zombie apocolypse comes.  How does he live and eat and function?  How do I help him?
- I don't hang my feet off the edge of the bed, because of monsters.  Seriously.

There is much more that I worry about.  Some of those aren't so irrational.  I worry about kidnappings of my children (I have nightmares about that where I wake up in a silent scream or sobbing).  I worry about rape and murder.  I worry about drunk drivers, and global warming and sharks. 

So, I have lots of worrys.  Most of mine have a base in reality, but these are just a sampling of my (not so- at least to me) irrational fears.

I am fucked.  I know and acknowledge this.  Just laugh along with me.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for nincompoop.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why am I happy today?

Because I get to work from home, in my pjs, in bed.  As Geoff says, I am living the dream.

Because my daughter is curled up right beside me, smelling like sweet grapes and apple juice.  Once in a while, her sticky fingers reach  up to rub my ear, a sure sign she is relaxing and feeling sleepy.

Because the dog is on the bed, with his head on a pillow.  He just stretched and sighed, and I swear he is smiling.

Because I can see the sun. It is a little harsh and very bright, but it's changed a bit of the sky to blue.  It is replenishing my Vitamin D, and reminding me of spring.

Because I can hear the wind.  It's howling and blowing outsides, and me and mine are snuggled up warm inside. 

Because Sebastian came in this morning, full of smiles and love. He gave me hugs and was so excited about so many things.

Because Geoff made me a coffee.  In a big Kermit mug.  The mug came from 2 of my favorite people, and when I drink out of it, it reminds me of them.  Thanks J&C.

Because I have been productive at work this morning and crossed a few things off the to-do list.  I still have a long way to go, bu at least I am heading in the right direction.

Because there are orange flowers on my dining room table right now.  I bought them for myself.

Because I get paid tomorrow. 

Because my knees stopped aching. 

Because the cat, dog and fish have been fed. 

Because, right now, so far as I know, all is right with the world.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, right now."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I know I keep randomly mentioning these new year resolutions that I have.  I really don't have them clearly defined, but rather these ideas of things that I want to have improved in my life.  Things like putting family first, reconnecting with friends, tying up loose ends in my life, baking more, being healthy, being more positive, realizing and maintaining my priorities, simplifying everything. 

You know, nice, little, simple stuff like that.  :)  Yeah, I know, I know, it's a tall order.

Another one is to do more handmade and homemade.  Get back to basics. There are some things I want to learn- how to sew, how to cook, how to bake.  Yes, I know a little, but I would like to know more.

On Facebook, there was a post going around.  The first 5 people to comment on my status get something handmade by me, sometime this year.  I have a couple of things picked out already and I have to learn some new stuff in order to make it happen (hello double pointed needles and cabling!) but I hope it will work out well. It is a nice jumpstart and motivation to me to keep going.

Over Christmas, I did make some Christmas gifts.  For the nursery school teachers, Sebastian's OT and Kathy, I knitted ruffle scarves.  I used the Redhart Sashay yarn and they turned out great.  Everyone seems to like them.  (just in case anyone is interested in them, I still have some colours, and I sell them.  Just message me!!  :)

For my mom, Sawyer and I made gazing balls for her garden.  We got the idea from another blog.  They turned out great, and I think I will end up making some for myself for this summer.

For my Dad, Sawyer and I made a birdhouse.  She painted it all by herself, after I put it together.  She also proceeded to tell Papa about if about once a week, right up until Christmas.

For Geoff, the kids and I made him a massage t-shirt.   Again, we got the idea from another blog. Basically, on the back of a white tshirt, you draw a city with streets.  On all the different blocks, we each took possession and the kids told me what would be at each of our houses.  In Sebastian's Suburb, he had hippos, and a slide and a swing.  Sawyer's Farm had horses and cows, chickens and more.  Mom's mansion had a garden with carrots, potatoes and pumpkins.  And Dad's house has the sign to Dadville, 2 monkeys and a big TV.  All courtesy of the kids.
When we gave him the t-shirt, we gave him a pack of hot wheels cars.  So, when he puts on the shirt and lays down, the kids can take the cars, and drive them through the city on his back.

For Joel and Carrie's kids, I am (still) knitting awesome hats. Their son will get the R2D2 hat, and their daughter gets the Princess Leia hat.  They are awesome. 

For the people at work, I made "Flunkie" shirts.  We have a saying at work that we are all just "the flunkies that work the numbers."  So, everyone on the team got their own Flunkie shirt, with their own sayings. 

I think it was a good start.  Next year, I want to try and start earlier, so that I can do more.  But I am pretty proud of this, so far.  Yeah me.

p.s.  I have pictures of most everything above, but since Sawyer has very considerately hidden my camera on me, the pictures will be uploaded at a later date.  I used these ones as representations, but they aren't mine.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "a whole New me".

Monday, January 16, 2012

There is a doctor in the house.

Over the holidays, it was pretty much a free-for-all when it came to technology.  Sebastian, who had been doing so well, backpedaled to about 6 hours of TV a day.  Geoff was pretty much glued to his iPad.  Sawyer would fight Geoff for iPad rights.  I felt like the only one that wasn't starving for technology.  I also went back to work, so spending 8+hours a day on a computer really doesn't lend itself to more computer time at home. 

I decided that the time of TV had past.  Today was the first day on the technology diet (for Sebastian and Sawyer, anyway.)  Sebastian was allowed 1 hour of TV, just before bed.  The time between school ending and that magical hour before bedtime needed to be filled with other pursuits. 

He did a great job.  He played with his stuffies and toys in his room and the hallway.  He read some books.  He listened to music.  He came down to the kitchen and began to learn to read recipes as he helped me make bread.  After dinner, he became the first patient for Doctor Sawyer.

Now, Sawyer really never has an issue in entertaining herself. She has a very active imagination, and isn't afraid to use it.  She had us all (even Geoff!) in a musical parade tonight.  She had the clapper, I had the tambourine, Sebastian had bells and Geoff was the drummer.  Around and around the center wall we went, marching fast and slow, with the dog freaking out. After that, she had lots of other parade ideas, including a butterfly parade.  She told me all about it in the bath tub.  We will save that for tomorrow.

So, tonight, Sawyer decided to play doctor....with all of us.  Sebastian was first, but didn't last long under careful and yes, painful ministrations.  I was next.  I was the bravest.

She had set up her office in the living room, with her tools of the trade laid out across the coffee table.  It starts with a severe pounding on the elbows and knees with a reflex hammer.  If she doesn't get an appropriate reaction (a high pitched yelp with a violent jerking of the limb usually does it) then she just pounds harder.  Sometimes her aim is off, and she will hit your forehead, instead of your elbow.  You have to stay sharp.  Next comes the open mouth check.  Really, it's all about a strong gag reflex.  There is also heart check, blood pressure (she gets bored, so you have to do it yourself.  Don't think about stopping, 'cause it's 'portant) needles, temperature (taken in your armpit, thank God I taught her that!) and so much else.

Eventually, I was diagnosed with an acute case of beaver throat.  That  is, a beaver is stuck in my throat.  The cure was that I had to hug a stuffed Dora, while Sawyer cut my hair. 

It must be a naturopathic cure.

Eventually Dr. Sawyer also diagnosed Sebastian with crocodile ear and Geoff with giraffe head.  Sebastian chose to live with his condition, and carried on bravely.  Geoff had a series of shots- like seriously, I think she stabbed him 20 times- and even then, there was no guarantee of the cure.  Dr. Sawyer is such a good physician, she even diagnosed herself with hippopotamus of the elbow. 

All in all, it was a wonderful first night away from the TV.  Here's to many more.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never argue with the doc."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Blogging Machine

I know I have been absent lately.  But I have still been blogging.  Yes, I have been cheating on this blog with not one, but two other blogs. 

My first blog is for Through a Cracked Lens.  I had taken a little break at the end of last year.  We had a couple of disappointing shows, and not really the response that I would have liked to some of our new stuff.  I was discouraged and sad and feeling like a failure.  So, I took a little break.  Now, it's a new year, and time for a new try.  I have created a blog and have a few ideas:
  • I have PayPal buttons on the blog, to let people buy right away, if they are so inclined.
  • I have posted the different things that we have to sell, like t-shirts and jewelry.
  • I will post a little write up about each print.  A little backstory and a little build up, focusing on the creepy, horror side of things.
  • I have special offers through the website (buy a t-shirt or necklace, get the corresponding print.)
So, far the feedback has been pretty good.  It has been generating some more traffic to our sites, which is good.  Hopefully you guys can check it out and reccommend it to all your friends.

The 2nd blog is an offshoot of Cracked Lens.  We called it TaCL Portraits.  You can read about it on the website, but it is for the special needs families that we shoot.  I have also included the weddings that we shot over the years, and will include some of the shoots that Geoff has done of our own little people.  Hopefully it will generae a little business for us.  Fingers crossed.

So, while I have been neglectful, I haven't been lazy.  But I promise to take care of you too from now on. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for new blogs.

Mi Familia

Friday night, we had a family gathering.  It was my mom's side of the family, with my aunt and uncle and cousins and their kids. 

It was the first time in about 5 years that we had gotten together.  Sure, we meant to and we would talk about it, but things would always come up, or we couldn't co-ordinate the timing, or a million other things.  But finally, FINALLY, all the stars aligned and we were able to make it work.

I am so glad it did.  I had such a good time.  We ate pizza and chicken and veggies and cookies, and Kathleen's home made salsa.  We had beers and wine and tea and coffee.  The kids' were good- shy at first, but once they got comfortable, they got COMFORTABLE.  At one point, Sebastian had his socks off, had pulled the blankets off the back of the couch and was stretched out, with his feet up, ready to nap.  Sawyer soon made friends with Kathleen, once Kathleen introduced her to their cat Moochie.  Sawyer was in love.  By the time we were ready to leave, I had to hunt Sawyer down.  She was upstairs with Kathleen, playing guitar and singing awesome songs.  She had a blast and told me so multiple times.

It was so nice to see everyone.  We all promised to do it again soon, and I can't wait.  I am probably going to host a BBQ in the summer (I have more room outside than in.)  It will be so nice to connect again.

I have always been a little jealous of Geoff and his family.  His aunts and uncles may have their differences and feuds, but when the chips are down, they come together and make it happen.  The fact that at pretty much anytime, Geoff can call any of them and ask a favour or pay a visit, or anything...well, I want that too.

I have never been super duper close with my extended family, but when my grandparents were alive, we used to see each other a bit more than we do now.  Things happen, years pass, and you grow apart.  But I am hoping we have made first steps towards coming back together.  I really, really hope that.

One of my new year's resolutions was to focus on family.  To make it a priority and to remember how important it is in my life.  It is so easy to get distracted.  I have been distracted, with work and overtime and money and everything else that, ultimately, aren't really that important at all.  At the end of the day, family is what you have. 

So, I also talked to both side of our immediate family, both mine and Geoff's, about a monthly dinner.  We all live about 5 minutes apart, but can go weeks without seeing each other.  We had our first dinner this weekend with Geoff's family.  Geoff's mom made chicken and ribs, we had Muppet cupcakes for dessert and it was lovely.  It was relaxed and casual, and nice and warm.  Exactly what I hoped for.

So, family...prepare for love!  I'm coming atcha! By the end of the year, we should all be completely sick of each other.  :)  I can't wait.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for no place like home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Today was a good day.

I went to work, did some training.  We had lunch out today for a co-worker who was on his last day.  I chatted with a bunch of people, in a really nice way.  I ran the car home, took Sebastian to therapy.  Did more work through the afternoon.  Geoff picked me up, and since the kids are sleeping at Grammie and Papa's, we went out for a nice dinner.  Came home, watched some stand up, and tried to get Geoff to help me post some Cracked Lens stuff.

But, I am trying really hard to be positive and open.  I seem to be doing ok!! 

Not saying I don't bitch- cause I do!- but I am trying to do it less.  I am trying to look for bright sides.  It seems to be working. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nice."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy new year to everyone out there. Hope your celebration was just what you wanted and needed. Mine was very low-key, as it is most years. Joel and Carrie and the kids came over for Chinese food, presents and snacks. Since we had been to Michelle and Kevin's the night before for yumminess and deliciousness, we weren't really interested in any spirits. I had a glass of wine and that was it.
The kids played great together and we finally got them to settle down around 11ish. As soon as they sat still for longer than 5 minutes, and the lights were turned low, out they went. Joel wasn't too far behind, but we all made it to midnight- barely. Still a nice night, and a good way to ring in a new year.
The previous night we spent with friends. It was very nice. Alcohol, snacks and fun games were the order of the night. Michelle and Kevin have such a beautiful home, I love being there. I feel very at home, but I love the knickknacks and personal touches they have throughout. I am a wee bit jealous, as I am of most of my friends homes. It makes me sad to return to my hovel somedays. Most times, it just inspires me to change and do better. So thanks guys!!

Yesterday, I claimed a day of rest. I literally stayed in my pjs all day. I laid around and read, had a hot bath and read some more. One of my resolutions was to try and clean up some of the loose ends in my life. I have alot of books that have been lent to me by others, so I have started reading and finishing those. I have finished 3 (thanks to Barb, Michelle and Lynn for the loans- I enjoyed all 3!!) and have 1 more that I can think of (Dawn- I am working on it, will have it to you soon!) If you loaned me a book and you aren't mentioned here, remind me, I might have forgotten! I played with the kids and did puzzles, played tag, and follow the leader. I made a yummy dinner entirely of left overs (it was basically a turkey dinner in a pie dish- AWESOME!) Did some laundry and dishes, etc. Geoff and I watched some Supernatural at night (almost through Season 6!) and I finished knitting one hat and moved to the next. They are for Joel and Carrie's kids for Christmas, so a little late, but I think they will be awesome, so late is ok. :)

My grandma used to say something about what you did on New Year's Eve or New Year's day was what your year would be like. That would be nice. Good friends, good food, a little work, a little leisure, a relatively clean house, happy and healthy children- yeah I could take that.

I have seen alot of comments about how horrible 2011 was and how happy people are to see it go. I get that. I understand, but it really isn't a sentiment that I express myself. To me, it goes along the lines of wishing time away, which I have already talked about in the past. I don't like to do that. So yes, there was some bad and horrible stuff in 2011. We lost Kit, we found out about Sebastian's heart problems, Geoff stopped working, Cracked Lens failed, I have grown apart from some friends, etc, etc. Bad stuff. But stuff I have and keep dealing with.
But I can't help thinking of the good things. We found out about Sebastian's heart problem, so he isn't going to "John Ritter" me in 10, 20, 30 years. We started taking different pictures. Sawyer is growing into an amazing young girl. We had an awesome White Trash Party. I grew closer to people that I wanted to know better. I started knitting and reading again. I have found some amazing blogs, which inspire me daily. Sebastian started Brick by Brick therapy and his meds. I had my first vacation in about 6 years. And so on and so on.

I have done things that I am not proud of. I lived the 2nd half of the year in pretty much a fog of negativity, particularily at work and not a little bit at home. I allowed others to impact my mood and attitude. I was bitter and resentful, and not a very nice person to be around alot of the time. I am trying to change that. It is one of my resolutions and one that I will be asking for help with. I will need it, for sure.

But still, I didn't hate 2011. It brought it's own joys and treasures. I have grown stronger in some ways, and softer in others. It was another opportunity for me to improve and learn. If I did that enough or not, that is entirely up to me.

2012 is a chance to start fresh. To try and change and add and subtract.

I was off work today, my last day of vacation. I am trying very hard not to be depressed about going to work tomorrow, but trying to look forward to getting back into a routine. I am looking forward to talking to my friends at work, hearing about their holidays. I am looking forward to the comraderie that comes with being in the workplace. I am looking forward to my morning coffee and my drive in. I want to make changes, to the way I work, and the way I interact with my co-workers. My one boss made me crazy and ruined alot of my days. My determination, 90% of my focus, is to not allow that to happen. To find ways to change myself to deal with him more effectively. To not be angry and to anger him. To make it work, or find new ways to work around him. Mostly, I want to have good days at work, more than I have bad days.

Today, the 2nd day of the new year was a bit harder than the first. I packed up the last of the Christmas stuff. Did a bit more laundry and a bit more cleaning. I had forgotten about Sebastian's therapy, so he was late, but everyone seemed ok. Cleaned up the outside, added more seed to the bird feeders and even found another feeder in the garage to put out. I picked up Sebastian from therapy and got some flour to make him his gluten free bread. Made dinner for the kids, cleaned up and then baths. Then I logged onto Facebook.

Facebook is my downfall. I hate it. I should close my account. Most times, I either waste tons of time on it, doing nothing when I should be doing something, or it makes me feel bad, because of what I read and see. Tonight was a feel bad night. After all the good stuff I had done today, all it takes is a couple of pictures for me to start questioning myself. What's wrong with me? Why don't they like me? Why did they lie? Why don't they answer? What did I do? Am I a bad person? So on and so on and so on.

I know I have self esteem issues. Honestly, I am always kind of amazed when people want to be friends and want to hear what I have to say. I think I am kinda boring, but sometimes, people seem to think I am fun! LOL...what a shocker!

But all it takes is that one little thing, the trigger, to open the door to all the bad stuff.

Second day of the year, and it is already hard to keep my resolutions. It's hard to be positive, when you are trying to figure out why people don't like you.

Anyway, I will keep at it, plugging away. And as I move forward through the days and weeks ahead, I hope I can keep in mind that I need to surround myself with light and life, laughs and love. Everyone and everything else doesn't matter. Including Facebook. :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for New year, new day, new attitude.