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

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


We all make them.  In my head, I know this.  But I really, REALLY hate to make mistakes.  I especially hate when my mistakes are caught by other people.  I hate looking stupid, or feeling like a fool.

I always imagine the worst, that this mistake will get me fired, or that mistake will make people laugh out loud at me and call me dumb. 

As soon as I know that I have made a mistake, I HAVE to fix it.  It gnaws at me, until I can get to it.  I have to work through it and figure out what went wrong.  Honestly, most times I go into it believing that I am still right.  But once I find out that I am not, I need to make it right.  I need to make it better. 

So, I have just spent 3 hours, sucking up my mistakes.  Fixing them.  Trying to make it right.  Apologizing, and planning on how this will never happen again.  It makes me feel better to do this, but I still feel horrible that it happened in the first place.

Yes, it's just work.  No, it's really not a big deal.  It's just another way to prove that I am not perfect.  But I hate it.  I really, really, REALLY do.

I will get over it.  I know this.  But I will never make this mistake again. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never again".


I have been involved in some leadership training at work.  I have done many, many, MANY different leadership training sessions over the years.  Some have been good, other's ...well, maybe not so much. But I always try to take something away from it, something I can learn and work on, and work into my life.

In my current sessions, we recently had to complete a Strength Analysis.  I like the concept it was promoting.  Basically, the book we read talked about how we, as a society, focus almost exclusively on what we do wrong, what we are weak at, and what we need to improve.  It is promoting playing to your strengths, finding what you are good at and most importantly, what you enjoy, and doing that for a living.  Or finding ways to incorporate that type of work into the job you are doing now.  Lightbulbs went off.  Sounds good to me. 

So, I did the Strength Analysis, and got my top 5 strengths, in this order:
  • Adaptability
  • Achiever
  • Belief
  • Developer
  • Ideation
So, what the heck does this mean?  Those are pretty words, and, to be honest, I didn't really know what Ideation meant.  Fortunately, they also give you a detailed breakdown of how this applies to you. 

Adaptability- Basically, I am chill and can go with any flow.  I bend, but don't break with change.  When others around me lose their minds, because the world has been turned upside down, I buckle down and git 'r done.  I don't focus on the future, because I know that it is fluid and always changing.  So I don't hang my hat on a definite outcome, and then become bitterly disappointed when that doesn't happen.  I am a person that likes to deal with stuff as it comes, but can't be rushed headlong into it. One of the comments that resonated with me was "By nature, you rely on your intuition to make the right decisions as events unfold".  God, I go with my "gut" so often, it's kinda crazy.  But since my gut seems to be more right than my head or my heart, I feel good with that trust. The report also said "The present- not the future or the past- captures your attention."  Sebastian drives a lot of that.  I live in my moments.  It's not a bad thing to do. 

Achiever- Plain and simple, I am a worker.  I am doer.  I like physical work (even though my job has none of that) and I don't mind long hours.  I want to understand  the facts and concepts that I am learning about or working with.  I will take my time to make sure that I get it.  It can make me hesitant to respond or commit right away, until I have had a chance to review all the facts, but once I am solid in them, I am unshakable.  I want to be the expert.  I know that I have a strong work ethic, and can get irritated with those whose work ethic and commitment doesn't match my own. This sentence from my report made me smile. "It’s very likely that you usually consider what you need to do better as a person or as a professional. You are surprised when you realize how much time you have spent thinking about an important problem, issue, or question."  That's me to a tee, stuck in my own head.

Belief- My belief.  Huh.  I was surprised to see this listed as a strength, until I read the description.  I believe that I am the best (yep, I am conceited!) and I like to be recognized for this.  Being the best and winning can mean more to be than money, or my paycheck.  That explains why I used to work so much overtime for free!  I also believe that I can contribute to making the world a better place. I will work as long and as hard as I can, to give my family what I think they need.  This next sentence is a perfect description of me- "Instinctively, you place more importance on the purpose and value of what you do than on the monetary rewards that accompany success." I often talk about how I feel that my job, in the grand scheme of things, is ridiculous.  It can frustrate me, if I let it.  I am concerned for others, that struggle or are disadvantaged, and I am motivated to help.  My ideals and my core values influence how I spend my time and use my talents. 
I think I will have that as my epitaph.  I am proud that this is one of my strengths, more proud than you might ever realize.

Developer- I can be in tune with how others are feeling.  I have empathy.  I don't drive my agenda ahead, in spite of the feelings of the people around me, and I have little respect for those who do.  I can inspire others, by taking an active and personal interest in them.  I can help people feel good about themselves.  I have a knack for talking to people.  And, my favorite quote from the report- "It’s very likely that you might inspire different sorts of people by welcoming each individual just as he or she is. Perhaps your words of approval fill some individuals with courage, a renewed spirit, or a sense of hope."  Seriously- who could ask for more than that???  Yeah me!

Ideation- Huh.  This was the one that stumped me.  Until I read it.  I am an idea person.  Getting a good idea can make my day.  Being able to sit down, and let my mind run free, to brainstorm and ruminate, until that little germ of an idea comes is one of my ideas of heaven.  I like to innovate, try new things.  I can see the unfolding of a plan in my mind.  Now, this doesn't necessarily mean that I like the minutiae of detailing and completing that idea.  It is the idea itself that inspires me (see Cracked Lens and the Special Needs photography).  And this absolutely rang true for me "You refuse to be stifled by traditions or trapped by routines. You probably bristle when someone says, “We can’t change that. We’ve always done it this way.”  It's this thinking that opens me to try all of the different therapies for Sebastian, instead of sticking with traditional western medicine, that allows me to want to change my way of life and consumer driven ways, to think about homeschooling and homesteading.  I love, truly love this about myself.

So, that's me.  Those are my strengths.  It feels nice to brag about myself a little.  The next time I am feeling a little down, or discouraged, I think I will re-read this post, to remind myself that I am a little bit awesome.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new outlook".

Monday, February 27, 2012

Bad, Awesome Movies

My friends are all completely exasperated with me.  I don't watch TV.  I have no idea what the new shows are about, and even shows I love, like Supernatural, I am so far behind in, I can't hold a conversation with anyone.

We cancelled our cable about 6 months ago, and I pretty much rely on movies we have on DVD and Netflix.  And even then, I watch TV only after the kids go to sleep and only if Geoff isn't in the room and watching something of his own.  Our tastes are pretty different in what we truly like, although we are pretty good at tolerating the other's choices.

This lack of knowledge leaves me in the dark in many conversations and with many pop culture references.  I don't know who certain actors are, I don't know shows, or new songs and bands.  I don't see commercials, so I have no idea what movies are coming out, or what they are about.  I am completely clueless. 

I am pretty much ok with this.  :)

I like what I like, and that's about it.  Sure, I will try new things, listen to new music.  But I know what I like, and when the chips are down and I have (very) limited time or resources, I am going to go with what I know.

This means my Rob Zombie and Bruce Springsteen CDs are worn out.  It means my playlist on my iPod very rarely change.  I means I can pretty much quote my favorite movies word for word.  It drives people crazy.  But it's me, and I like it.  I find comfort in the familiar.  I can also get very nostalgic.

So tonight, when I logged into Netflix, and started to browse the new releases, I was ecstatic to find 2 of my old favs- movies I haven't seen in at least 20 years.  I am currently watching Orca, and plan on doing Saturday the 14th tomorrow. 

Yeah, that's right.  That's how I roll. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nostalgia:.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Working Mom

I have dilemma.  Maybe some of you out there have it too.

I may complain (incessantly, at times) about my job.  It has it's faults, to be sure, but one of the major pluses to the role is the flexibility I have in my scheduling and work environment.  I have the ability to work from home much of the time, and the ability to attend appointments and with limited range, adjust my start and end times.  I am able to log out for an hour in the afternoon to attend a DR appt or a school function and either start my day earlier, or end my day later.

Compared to other management roles where I work, my day is actually pretty structured.  I have certain tasks that need to be completed at certain times.  I have daily, weekly and monthly deadlines and have to work within that structure.  I also have a boss that was seemingly transported to us from 1955, who believes the work day begins at 9 and ends at 5 (at least for us- lately he begins at 7 and ends at 3, but is lost and confused if one of us is unavailable at whatever hour he needs us.  But that's a story for another time.)

I enjoy the flexibility very much, and having worked a job for 14 years where I got the short end of the stick much of the time when it came to shifts and days off, I am very appreciative.

Working from home is awesome.  I can be super productive, work at my own pace, listen to music, or watch a show.  I don't have to rush in the morning to take a shower and do my hair, but can spread it out during the day.  When I am under the weather, I can stay in my pjs and work from my bed, with tea and toast at the ready.

Most importantly, I can see my kids a whole lot more!! 

We will eat breakfast and lunch together.  Sawyer loves to snuggle up beside me, and watch Dora, or just watch me working, "playing" on the computer, as she puts it.  As I sit, diligently typing, she will paint my toenails, put tiaras in my hair, paint my lips with coat after coat of gloss and basically use me as her plaything.

Geoff, after almost 7 months at home, looks forward to the break, I think.  He tends to retreat to his Bat Cave (aka comic room) or the dark, quiet confines of the basement. 

Thus enters my dilemma. 

I get paid to do an 8 hour work day.  I have a strong enough work ethic that I have the compulsive need to put in at least that much time (often longer).  As much as I love playing with Sawyer and spending time with her, I struggle to balance her incessant need to play, with my need to earn a living and work.  One of my resolutions for the year was to make quality time for my children, and to play more.  So, when the puzzles and Barbies come out, I try to do just that. 

But more and more often, I hear myself saying "Not now, Sawyer, Mommy is working."  I can see the heartbreak on her face and it hurts my own. 

How on earth to I strike a happy balance??  How do I take advantage of the fact that I am here for my 8 hour day, accessible and available to my children, but still get in the quantity and quality of the work that I need to do to keep my job and my livelihood?  How do I get a 3 year old to understand that I can play for my 15 minute break, but then I have to go back to work?  How do I make this work? 

Trust me, I understand that in the world of problems, this is a minor one, and one that some people would kill to have.  I get that I am lucky.  I want to make sure I am handling all of this correctly.  That I am doing what is best for me and for her. 

I need help!!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, what do I do?"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Our non-wintery winter

I think everyone is experiencing much of the same type of winter as we here are experiencing.  Very little snow, temperatures that swing up and down from one day to the next.

It's not quite the winter we are used to, all snowy and whtie and blowy.  I miss the days when we could snuggle inside, shovelling snow off and on through the day, so we aren't completely snowed in, eating bread and soup and all kinds of comfort foods.  These days now tease me that spring is coming.  I have crocuses budding in the front yard, and blooms on some of the trees.  There are muddy dog footprints everywhere, which is another sure sign of spring. 

I was going through some of the old pictures on my camera, and found some pictures of our non-wintery winter.

We play alot of games.
Biggest Tower ever.
We are using our Christmas presents.  This is Daddy's massage shirt we made.
We have family dinners.  Sawyer is helping Grandma with the dishes.
We do craft nights.  This is through Autism Ontario at our local Michaels.

All in all, our winter has been pretty jampacked with fun.  Here's hoping it continues.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "non-wintery is so a real word."

Ring around my finger

So, I have been trying, for the last couple of weeks, to eat better and get healthier.  It has been going pretty well (I still a long way to go!) and I am encouraged. 

I have set a few milestones for myself along the way, things that will help encourage me and keep me motivated.  I know it's a long road ahead, but I hope that if I am able to hit the marks along the way, I will stay the path and continue to try.

So, my first milestone is to start wearing my wedding ring again. 

Geoff and I don't wear our rings.  I don't know Geoff's story (he would probably say that he just forgets, but I think it interferes with his ability to pick up girls. :), but mine is pretty basic. 

Our wedding rings are exactly the same.  They are heavy and thick.  When I was wearing it all the time, it actually forced my baby finger out, so that it no longer rested against my other finger.  When I was in my last month or so of my pregnancy with Sawyer, I took the ring off, so that my hands and fingers, which are already short and stubby, wouldn't swell abnormally large, and I wouldn't have to cut the ring off.  And since, then, more or less, I haven't worn it since. 

A couple of times, I tried it back on.  But since the nice little groove it had worn in my finger had been lost, it really didn't fit comfortably.  And then, after a while, it just didn't fit at all.  My fingers were too big.  So, it has been sitting in a cup, collecting dust.

Until today.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "newlywed, again?"

Pickles and Hippos

Just wanted to post a couple of pictures of the stuff I made for the kids for Valentine's Day.  I don't think the pictures are that great, but they were still fun and fast to knit and the kids love them.  It inspires me to do more of the home made stuff for them.  And for you 5 from FB who are getting homemade from me, if you need a minion or a hippo, I can totally hook you up.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "'Nitting fool."

Scout, Jem, Atticus and Boo....

Tomorrow, I am going to see To Kill a Mockingbird on the big screen.  The movie theater here plays a classic movie about once or twice a month.  You may recall, some friends and I went to see White Christmas in December.  January was Bridge over the River Kwai (which I have never seen, but hear good things about from my mom and dad.)  This month is To Kill a Mockingbird.

This is definitely one of my top 3 favorite books of all time, if not my very favorite.  If Sawyer had been a boy, her name very likely would have been Atticus.  I would have loved to have named her Scout, but Demi Moore ruined that for the rest of us. 

I think I first read the book when I was in high school.  I loved it from the very beginning.  There are parts of the book that gives me shivers.  The good kind.  I always, ALWAYS cry when Tom Robinson dies. 

I saw the movie much later, and loved it too.  Gregory Peck is the perfect Atticus.  The little girl that plays Scout is adorable and precocious, and absolutely perfect.  It isn't the same as the book.

It has been a couple of years since I read it.  I should read it again.  Tonight. 

Anyway, tomorrow, I am seeing the movie with my girls.  I hope they all love it as much as I do. Can't wait to see you all, ladies.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.  It's when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.  You rarely win, but sometimes you do." 
~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 11, spoken by the character Atticus
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nothing like watching on the big screen."

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Hearts Day

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  I have been sick all week, and so have both kids.  It is my week to be in the office, so that has made me even more tired at night.  But I was actually looking forward to Valentine's Day. 

Sawyer and I decorated the house about 2 weeks ago, with pretty red ribbons, and hearts and flowers.  I started working on the kids' gifts too.  I knitted a green hippo for Sebastian and a minion (from Despicable Me) for Sawyer.   I couldn't wait to give them to them.

Bastian knew the hippo was a hippo right away (I was a little worried he would mistake it for a pig.)  Sawyer loved her minion (she calls them Pickles for some inexpicable reason,  I find this hilarious, of course). 

Unfortunately, my sewing didn't stand up to Sawyer's test.  Within the first hour, she pulled the arm off.  Then came an eye and the foot.  I managed to sew them all back on tonight, and they should stand up this time.  Fingers crossed. 

Since we are being frugal and responsible, I just got Geoff a movie (one he wanted for months) and a nice card.  Geoff got me a movie (I am watching it right now, and it is disturbing and weird- it's the Harold and Kumar Christmas one.  LOL) and some coupons for foot and backrubs, my favorite things. 

For my mom and dad, the kids had made valentines at the craft nights we have been attending.  Sawyer and I made a paper mache bowl, and Sawyer definitely wanted to give it to Grammie. 

Geoff got a beautiful bouquet of flowers for his mom.  He went over and had a nice visit and chat.

All in all, it was a nice quiet day.  There were some good reminders of love and family.  Which, in the end, is all that it should be about.

I had a conversation today with someone who told me about something she had read, and it had changed her outlook and her relationship with her husband.  It was about how love is in the pauses.  It is the looks and touches and glances and silences.  So many of us think that love is doing- doing the right thing, doing the big thing, doing the surprise.  And yes, there is love in that.  But her thought, and I tend to agree, that what comes before and after the doing- that is the love.  It's how you treat each other every day.  It's the small and quiet. 

So, I wore that in my heart today.  I realized I need to do better at that.  I started with an apology and appreciation.  I will keep trying. 

So, happy valentine's day, everyone.  I hope yours was filled with love.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "hearts 'N flowers"

Friday, February 10, 2012

Here in my bedroom

Much of my life happens in my bedroom.

I know that "they" (whoever they are) say that you should reserve your bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only.  It should be a sacred haven, a private getaway, that you associate with warmth and comfort and sweet slumber.

Yeah, those people don't have kids.

My bedroom is a playroom, a jungle gym, a movie theatre.  It's a wrestling ring, a petting zoo and a parade ground.  In every corner of the room there are toys and clothes, yarn and knitting needles.  Yes, I have a TV and DVD in my room.  A couple of years ago, when we switched from satellite to cable, I made the man run a cable to my room.  That was the first time in years and years that I actually watched TV.  I found awesome shows like River Monsters and the Dog Whisperer. 

But life interfered and we stopped having cable (a blessing in disguise, really.)  From there, our new obsession, Netflix came to visit and stayed.  The kids know how to watch Dora, and every night before bed we have our movie time.  We snuggle in bed together, sometimes with popcorn and watch old favorites, like Monsters Inc, and Flushed Away, or discover new treasures, like Pete's Dragon (thanks, Auntie Dawn!).  Soon, little heads begin to nod, and we toddle everyone off to their own beds.

When the TV isn't on, we have blocks to build with, and a big bed to jump on.  The closet is great for hiding in, when a game of hide and seek is in order.   Laundry baskets in the corner are great for building cages for animals, or cars or sleds, or any number of things.  Bastian will wrap himself in the blankets, so that he resembles a giant caterpillar, and hum with delight. 

When someone is sick, it's into Mommy's bed they go.  Our room will smell like eucalyptus and Mentholatum rub.  The humidifier billows steam, and there are cups and plates everywhere, from the little treats, and cups of tea.  Kleenex boxes are stacked 3 high.  It's absolute chaos, but no one would rather be anyplace else. 

We can see the sunrise through our bedroom window and the sun shines in all morning.  We get nice breezes in the summer.  In the middle of the night, it's into mommy's room everyone comes.  They know just to climb over the nearest body and find the warm spot in the middle.  The dog sleeps at the foot of the bed, the cat sleeps as close to our heads as we will allow.  It isn't unheard of to have 6 warm bodies occupying the suddenly small queen size bed.

So, my bedroom is the heart of the house.  I know for many, it's the kitchen.  Not here. 

My daughter, quite literally, was born in this room.  In this bed.  She was conceived in a clinic, so it seemed better for her to be born here.  I laboured between my Grandma's cedar chest at the end of the bed and the old chest of drawers we got from her.  She drew her first breath on my chest on my bed.  I can remember the sights and sounds and feel of that night, and every time I close my eyes, I can transport myself there if I wish.

We have decided to re-do the bedroom.  And silly me, I am a little worried. 

I worry that I will miss the horrible "Grape Ape" purple that decorates my walls.  I worry that the stain in the carpet from where Sebastian dropped the can of pop that exploded everywhere won't be there anymore.  I worry that the little hand prints, dog nose prints, jelly fingerprints, crayon marks, mud stains and everything else that has land marked 8 years of my family's life will be gone and I will miss them so. 

I know that it needs to be done.  I really don't like the colour.  I don't like the old lady border with gold and pink floral arcs.  The curtains didn't match.  There are smushed spiders in the corners.  The plaster peeled away int he corner of the window where the air conditioning unit leaked one summer. 

I can't wait to have new curtains, and a new closet.  I want to steam clean the carpet or replace it.  I want a new light, and bed side tables and head board.  I am excited about the change.

But I cling to my past.  And I will miss the blemishes and faults when they are gone.

My bedroom will still be the heart of our house.  I know this.  It will just have a shiny new finish. 
Prime for some crayon art, that I am sure is soon to come.

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

Friday, February 3, 2012


Have I told you that I love documentaries?  I do.  9 times out of 10, I will watch them over a TV show or a movie.  They open up worlds that I have never seen, or sometimes ever even heard of.

Some of the favorites I have watched recently are:
The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia- a huge and outlaw family allows a glimpse into their lives and crimes.
The Horse Boy- a boy with autism and his amazingly connected father and mother travel to Mongolia, to find the nomad horse tribesman and the shaman, who will attempt to cleanse and cure him.  Touching and (for me, as an ASD mother) difficult to watch, but completely worth it.
Lemmy- watched this last summer, but it was an amazingly honest look inside the life of a rock icon.  In our new world of pampered celebrity and rampant entitlement, Lemmy is refreshingly different.  A must watch, I even bought it for my brother for Christmas.
The Vanishing of the Bees- if you want the sh*t scared out of you, watch this movie.  The impact of colony collapse disorder is potentially devestating and world wide.  If you ever want to eat locally grown and affordable fruits and vegetables again, you need to learn about bees and their importance to our way of life.  If you are anything like me, you will be disgusted by the techniques of factory farmed bees.  I had no idea.  Not that it is a good excuse.  I know now, so I have to decide what to do with that knowledge. 

I grew up watching Wild Kingdom on Sundays, and the animal safari shows with my dad.  I still love them.  Right now, I am watching Blue Planet.  It's amazing.  I get an exciting little thrill to see these creatures that no human had ever seen before.  To understand that it is 2012, and we are still finding new species is the best thing ever. 

It gives me hope that things like BigFoot and other monsters are out there.  Yes I believe.  :)  If you know anything about me, that shouldn't shock you.  And those are favorites of mine as well- Monster Quest, National Geographic Investigates, etc, etc.

Anyway, have to get back to my movie.  Oh, and work too.  Silly me. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "kNowledge comes to those who watch."

Thursday, February 2, 2012


VooDoo is one of my favorite words.  I love it.  I love how it feels on my tongue when I say it, and I love the feeling it evokes when I think it.

I want a tattoo inspired by the word.  Justin, if you read my blog, I want to come see you soon.  I want you to do this for me. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new tattoo?  Maybe this year?  Please, please!"