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

Monday, May 28, 2012

Images Looking for the Light

Geoff has been blogging and posting pictures again, after a LOOOOOOOONG hiatus. 

Check them out.  They are good.  I really like the carnival ones and the fireworks.  The most recent ones...well, I was 18.2 lbs heavier in them than I am now, so hopefully, I look a bit better now.  But the kid I am with is really cute.  ;)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new posts on an old blog".

Alley Oop

This song reminds me of my dad.

When we were kids, we took car rides all the time.  I remember being really young, and riding around in the red pickup truck my dad used to have.  It had a stick shift on the floor that he used to sometimes let me change for him.  I am pretty sure the radio in it was strictly AM.  We would listen to golden oldies, all the hits from the 50's and 60's.  I can still sing most of them, to this day.

There were other rides and other cars.  But the music stayed pretty much the same.  As we got older, we would get to share in the music and Adam and I would bring our tapes- Motley Crue, Twisted Sister and others, and in between Rocking Robin and Johnny Horton, we would get to listen to them. 

Geoff and the kids and I go to Wimpy's Diner for dinner once or twice a month.  They play alot of the music that my dad would play for us way back then.  And every time this song comes on the juke, I tell the kids that this is Papa's song.

This one's for you, Dad.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never too old for rock and roll".

Growing Up

Tonight, Sawyer wanted to say her bedtime prayers all by herself.  When I went in to tuck her in and say good night, she yelled, at the top of her lungs, at me to stop and wait.  Then she serenely sat on her bed, closed her eyes, put her hands together (I have no idea who taught her to do that) and said her prayers perfectly and quietly.  It was a beautiful image and a moment I will always remember.

When she was done, she screamed at me again, that I could come in now.

She is killing me.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now what?"


The last couple of days have centred alot around adjusting.  First, I was trying to wrap my head around the fact that someone had reported me as "abusive" on our photography blog.  Through a Cracked Lens, our horror one- that wouldn't have surprised me at all! We deserve it and would welcome it!  However this was on our special needs/children and family portraits blog, so it came out of left field.

My sister-in-law had a good idea on what it could have been, and since it was better than anything I could come up with, we did the minor edits and have moved on.  In fact, we are doing a vendor table at the Cycle for Autism event this Saturday, on Merritt Island in Welland.  Yes, this is the same group whose page had our links removed.  But I know it wasn't actually the group, just a disgruntled someone that belongs on the page.  I have decided to try and not hold a grudge and adjust my thinking.  Move forward.  The exposure can only help us, so I hope it's a good day. 

Of course, our big adjustment is the loss of Morph yesterday.  After he was gone, Geoff, especially, spent much of the afternoon cleaning away the last traces of Morph.  Morph had been peeing in the hallway downstairs, and had had accidents all over.  Geoff steamcleaned the carpets and bleached the floors.  He took all the litterboxes out (we had 3) and essentially removed all traces of Morph.  It bothered me a little and I told him that we didn't have to erase him from our lives all in one day.  He found a picture of Morph and Boo Radley, one of our other cats, and gave it to Sawyer to keep near her.  I think that was his apology.  But I do have to admit, the basement smells much better. 

I feel a bit of guilt over this next statement, but it does feel a bit like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders with Morph passing on.  I worried so much about him, getting him his shots, making sure he ate, trying to get him to drink, is he using the litter, are the kids bugging him, how are his scratches doing, etc, etc, etc.  Since about last November, I have half expected to find him dead, somewhere in the house (not that he was that bad, it was just a fear of mine.)  And now that he's gone, I don't have that pressure on me anymore.  I miss him like crazy, but I don't miss that. 

I was talking about him to my boss today.  He had just put his own dog down, about 2 or 3 months ago, so he knows what it's about. And we talked about how neither of us wanted to make "that decision".  I probably could have put Morph down a week or 2, or even a month ago.  Geoff and I talked about it lots of times over the years, especially when he was peeing on everything in sight.  But I couldn't do it.  I didn't want to make the decision that today was his last day to live. Until the very end, when the decision was essentially out of my hands, and I knew in my heart that it was the right and humane thing to do, I couldn't do it. I didn't feel like it was my decision to make.  He completely understood.  He felt the same way.  Somehow, that make me feel better.  I thought I was a bad pet owner, because I had let Morphie live so long.  Now I know, I was a good pet mom.  :)

Another big adjustment is that I have a new boss at work.  This is his 2nd week with us.  I had worked with him before, on a previous client.  While we didn't always see eye to eye before, I did respect him.  He stood up for what he believed in and for his team.  He never got pushed around.  He was smart and knew his processes cold.  He is exact opposite of the nightmare I am currently stuck with (who is supposed to be gone by the end of June, but seems to have checked out early, if you catch my drift.  Very little is getting done in that office now.)  I have enjoyed my interactions with him so far, and for the first time in a really, REALLY long time, I am feeling an emotion at work that I thought was completely dead.


I am optimistic about the future.  Sure, I worry that it might be too little, too late.  There has been a LOT of damage done, God only knows how much.  There are still some sketchy decisions being made, that I really don't understand the motivations behind (granted, I am also not privy to all the information, so I am speculating in the dark here).  But, I think bring this new guy on board is one of the smartest decisions made there in a good long time.  Like I said, I am adjusting, and happy to do it.

On the weightloss front, I am almost up to 55 lbs.  Hooray!  I had stalled for a while there- part of it was a natural plateau, and part of it was my motivation.  It has been 16 weeks..probably the longest I have ever stuck with any kind of program.  And I am missing things.  Oh yeah, I have bitched about it before, but I miss pizza and chicken wings and fried foods and pop and cheese and sauces and pasta.  I miss chocolate and candy and iced tea.  I miss mayo and white bread with peanut butter and jam. 

But I can do up my motorcycle boots with no problem.  :)  They are my favorites.  They are big and clunky and ugly, but I don't care.  They are so comfy and awesome.  They have 2 zippers running up the front.  I used to do up one of the zippers all the way, and the other gapped at the top, where it wouldn't fit around my calf.  Then, after a while, I could get it done up all the way, but it was pretty tight, and at the end of the day, the creases in the leather would leave half inch grooves carved into my legs, that took hours to disappear.  And now...well, now, they are loose.  They do up so easily.

It's the little things like that that I love adjusting too.

I am sure there is more, but for now, the littles are both still popping out of bed.  Time to rustle them down again. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new can be good".

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Morpheus died today.

Even though I knew it was coming, and coming fast, it still hit me like a ton of bricks.  I have had a migraine for hours, from crying.  I think it was because I was trying so hard to keep him alive, and it feels like I failed.  Like I failed him.  And I feel awful. 

It all started last night.  For a couple of days now, we have noticed that he hasn't been using the litterbox as much, and he wasn't moving around as much.  He pretty much stayed under our bed, until I dragged him out to eat and for his twice daily injections.  I started putting a bowl of water under the bed, so that he wouldn't dehydrate, because I was worried about that.  He perked up a bit and started eating a bit more, and started roaming a bit at night, once the house was quiet and the kids were in bed.

Then last night, Geoff went out for a walk, and Sawyer and I were laying on my bed, watching a video before bedtime.  Sebastian was already asleep.  All of a sudden, we heard a god-awful yowl come from under the bed.  Sawyer jumped and looked scared.  It was really loud and really awful sounding.  I scurried off the end of the bed, and pulled the bed skirt up to look for him, just as he dragged himself out.  And I mean, literally dragged.  It didn't look like he could move his back legs at all.  He kept on yowling, and pulling himself along with his front feet.  What I didn't know at the time, but I suspect now, was that he had just had a seizure.  He crawled his way straight into the corner, like he didn't know where he was going.  His head dropped to the carpet and he just laid there.  I thought he had just died in front of me.

I bent down, and tentatively touched his back.  I could see that he was breathing.  I scooped him up in my arms and ran for the bathroom.  I threw a towel down in the tub and placed him in there.  By now, he was coming around, and starting to look at me.  I ran the cold water and filled a cup that we have there, for washing the kids' hair.  I tapped my fingers in it, and started putting drops of water around his mouth, hoping to get him to drink.  His head was moving on his neck in a very strange way, very robotic and jerky.  After a few minutes, he seemed to clear up a bit, and started to drink.  He meowed at me, this time, a very normal meow.  I was crying and dripping all over him. 

I heard Geoff come in the front door, and Sawyer ran down to meet him to tell him something was wrong with Morphie.  He came up and I told him what happened.  Morph seemed more relaxed now, so I left the water by his head, turned off the light and left him to rest. 

Thus began a long night of worry.  About an hour later, when I went in to check on him, I again thought he was dead.  I could see his side moving, so shallow, but he was completely non-responsive.  I thought then (silly me) that the end was coming soon.  Geoff had said his goodbyes, so I did too.  I told him that I was sorry I didn't do better by him.  I was sorry I couldn't make him better.  I said I hoped he had enjoyed living with us, and being in our family.  I told him that I would miss him, and that we would all remember him.  I told him everything was ok, and he could rest and go to sleep.

But still, that crazy cat held on.  At one point, I heard strange noises coming from the bathroom.  I thought he was trying to climb out of the tub.  I rushed in and got to experience his seizure.  It was horrible.  At the end, he was completely dazed and non responsive again.  It seemed to drain every ounce of energy out of him.  I sat with him after for a long time, cleaning the foam off his face (it was flecked with red) and stroking his back.  And again, after a while, he came out of his daze, started to look around, and actually see me.  He cried again, which broke my heart.  I fed him more water, and even tried to tempt him with cat treats and food.  He did little more than sniff it. 

He seized at least 3 more times.  I was there for all but the last one.  After the last one, at about 2am, I had found him off the towel, laying in an awkward position.  I straightened his towel, picked him up and placed him back in his soft warm spot.  I stayed and talked and petted and cried.  Eventually, I went to bed and to sleep. 

As soon as I woke up this morning, my first thought was "Please, let him be dead."  I know that sounds awful, but my real hope was that he had just gone to sleep in the night and passed away.  I didn't want it to stretch out and be horrible for him.

When I went to check, he was in pretty much the exact same spot that I had laid him in last night.  I knew he hadn't had anymore seizures, but I also knew he was almost done. Again, I spent some time with him, and then went to look up the hours of operation for the Humane Society.  I knew we had to help him move on.  He wasn't doing it on his own, and it wasn't right for him to suffer any more.

We had to wait an hour or so for the H.S to open up.  I used the time to check on him a couple more times and to start to talk to the kids about what was happening. Neither of them really followed the conversation very well.

Finally, 11am rolled around.  I called the H.S., and asked the kid that answered the phone if they could help.  I cried through the whole conversation, so I am surprised he understood me.  But he did and he was surprisingly empathetic with me. 

I went to tell Geoff, who was outside with the kids about the price and that they were expecting us.  He looked at me and said "Can you take him?"  I shook my head.  I could barely get through the conversation, I couldn't take him.  I had done everything I could for this cat for the last 4 months, I couldn't be there for the end.  Geoff nodded and got up.

I got the cat carrier and took it to the bathroom.  My plan was to scoop Morph up, towel and all, and put him in.  But the towel was not nice by now, so, for the last time, I picked up my Morphie.  I put him in the carrier, and petted him.  I sobbed and sobbed, because it was horrible and awful and sucked.  We carried him to the kitchen, then called the kids in to say goodbye.

Sawyer took one look at me, and the carrier on the counter and got a worried look on her face.  She wanted to pet him, so we lifted it down and let her.  She was gentle and sweet, and said her goodbyes.  She cried when she saw me cry.  She asked where he was going, and when he was coming back, even though she knew the answer.  She said she missed him, and she wanted her kitty.  It was heartbreaking and horrible.   Even Sebastian gave him some pats and said he was sorry he was sick. 

Geoff left.  I took the kids outside, still leaking.  Sawyer would jump on the trampoline, and then all of a sudden she would sit down and burst into tears and say that she missed her kitty.  It didn't make anything easier for me.

Eventually, Geoff came home.  It was all over.  The Humane Society takes care of cremation and everything, so I don't have anything to bury.  I can't bury him with his brothers.  In a way it's a relief, I was dreading digging the grave.  In another, it breaks my heart. 

So, I have spent a quiet day at home.  We are picking up all the remnants of him, left all over the house.   We have been cleaning up the smells and mess he left behind. 

I have a framed picture of each of my lost kitties on the fireplace.  Tomorrow, I will put his picture up there.  Today, I am just too tired and too sad.

Bye, Morphie.  Miss you.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "never forget you.".

Saturday, May 26, 2012


I strongly dislike drama in my life.

I love harmony.  I love the status quo.  I like waking up and knowing what's in store for me today.  I like being in control. 

That being said, I am an adult and I understand that drama, change and pessimism are a part of life.  I get it.  I just don't like it.

I struggle with anxiety.  I have always been a worrier.  I struggle with change, and will stay up late, going over and over in my mind what the change will be like, what I will do or say, how I think others will react.  Worry is my co-pilot in life.  I guess I know where Sebastian gets his anxiety issues from.

So, today, when I get an email from my mom, in 24 point font, in screaming red letters that a link I posted to Facebook has been reported abusive, gee...that anxiety kicks in full blast.  When she follows up with a phone call to Geoff for the same thing, my stomach is now in knots.

Apparently someone on the Autism Ontario page reported one of the links to our TaCL Portraits blog (the pictures we do of special needs kids) as abusive, so all the links have been pulled off the page.  I went back through and deleted all the actual posts from the last couple of months.  No big deal, done in one.

But now, in the pit of my stomach, I have that ball of nervousness and worry.  What did I say and do?  Which post was it in particular that offended people?  Do people think I am a phoney, or making fun of special needs people? 

And the other sinking feeling is that I have tanked again.  TaCL was supposed to be my good idea.  Geoff was supposed to be working on it, making it better, improving and going forward.  And now...well...now is different.

Something silly and stupid like this is all it takes to shake my confidence.  It's not like it was going anywhere, or doing anything big (Geoff updated the blog once in 3 weeks, and even then, it wasn't perfect and needed more work.)  The last 4 jobs we have done were freebies.  So yeah, we were taking the slow way to nowhere. 

But still, it would have been nice to continue without the drama. *sigh* I think it's just an off day today.  I will blame the head cold and hope everything, including my attitude gets better tomorrow.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "nowhere fast".

Friday, May 25, 2012

Fun Loving Summer

So, with the beautiful weather we have had lately, I think it is time to start my now annual tradition of my Summer To-Do List.

If you remember last year, I had a list of 50 things that I wanted to do during the summer.  It really was great, for giving me ideas and helping me focus on what was really important to me.  So, yep, I am gonna do it again.

1. Go camping with the kids. 
2. See an outdoor concert.
3. Sit on a patio and have beers (or some diet approved equivalent)
4. Take Axle to our new Niagara Falls dog park, once it opens.
5. Have a picnic with the kids.
6. Go to the beach.
7. Get a sunburn and freckles.
8. Make salsa and tomato sauce.
9. Get a pool.
10. Paint the bathroom and start the redo.
11. Work on the TaCL Portraits and generate some business.
12. Go to carnivals, play bingo, win prizes.
13. Go to the drive-in with the kidlets.
14. Make a trip to the zoo.
15. Go fishing.
16.  Have a big family BBQ.
17.  Celebrate Geoff's 40th, however he wants.  It might not be big, or what I really wanted, but hopefully he will love it.
18.  Wash the cars.
19.  Pick flowers and keep them in the house.
20.  Keep the house clean and tidy.  Start to organize. 
21.  Get my taxes done.  Bech.
22. Finish decorating my bedroom.  Figure out what is going on with the closet.
23. Work on the front hallway.
24.  Do my homemade crafts for everyone on my list.
25.  Knit like the wind.
26.  Make and send the baby gift for Claire's baby.
27.  Reconnect with old friends.  I have some in mind.
28.  Have a blast at Bruce in August.
29. Get a pedicure.
30.  Get my hair done.
31.  Go on a road trip, even just for a day.
32.  Go to Sawyer's "concert" when she graduates from Nursery School.
33.  Kitten??
34. Start learning more about photography and taking my own pictures.
35.  Learn to sew.  And actually make something.  Something useful and pretty. 
36. Keep losing weight, and hit my weight loss goal by the end of August.  Or at least get pretty damn close. 
37. Clean the basement.  Like really clean it.  For real.
38.  New tattoo.  Maybe. 
39. Find fireflies.
40. Weed my gardens.  Like more than once or twice.
41. Buy lemonade from a kid's stand.
42.  Find a treasure at a garage sale.
43. Play hookie.
44.  Golf 18 holes.
45. Watch the new Sons of Anarchy and True Blood.
46. Watch a thunderstorm.
47. Ride a horse.
48. Ride a roller coaster.
49. Blog.  Lots and lots.
50. Do something new.  Completely new.  Not on this list, nothing expected.  Big, little, doesn't matter.  But it was new and awesome.

So, there it is, my summer 2012 list.  Here's to a great year.  :)

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new summer, new list".

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coupons, the extreme version

I am part of alot of committees at work.  Part of that is because I feel the need to be involved, in order to "overachieve" enough to get a good yearly bonus, and part is because I get bored easily and want to have my fingers in a bunch of different pies. 

One of the committees I am involved with is the Women's Network for Niagara.  We organize the annual Internation Woman's Day Celebration in March, along with a bunch of other events throughout the year.  We do the Watering Can flower arranging courses, we are doing a cooking class with the GCSS, we just did a Mother's Day silent auction with proceeds going to Gillian's Place and I run a virtual book club.

One other thing that we try and do fairly regularily is called a "Chat and Chew".  People (yes, men are invited to everything, of course!) can come in on their break or lunch and learn about whatever the specific topic of that session is.  We have one coming up on May 30, and the topic we picked is Extreme Couponing.

As it turns out, there are a couple of ladies in our call centre that are living the life.  As I sat and listened to them talk today, at our pre-meet, I would catch my mouth dropping.  It is AMAZING!  The things that they do is simply remarkable.  I am totally inspired. 

One of the ladies used to work on the same client I used to work for, and reported to Geoff, so I know her and we chat.  I am going to pick her brain for everything I can.  She blogs on some of the sites, so I am going to check that out too. 

This is coming at a perfect time too.  Money is tight around here, you all know that.  I am trying to stretch a dollar as far as I can.  That this opportunity is coming up, at this exact right time, is almost too fortutious.  It makes me believe my positive and grateful thinking is delivering what I need.  It might not be in the way I expected, but it is definitely a gift.

So, in the coming weeks, as I learn more and more about this, I might just have stories to share of great deals, prizes won and all sorts of crazy wonderfulness.  I can't wait!!

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new project!"


So, as I mentioned the other day, lots of people have been noticing my weight loss and have had some very favourable comments.  It's all very gratifying and a little embarassing.  I am not good at taking compliments, but I am trying very hard to be gracious and sincere.  I truly do appreciate them, but it is not something that I am at all used to.  Nobody (well, almost nobody- Geoff has always been supportive!) ever had anything nice to say about the way I looked for a lot of years, with good reason!  So now, it's weird to hear, but again, I am truly grateful.

However, lately, especially over the last week, I have been getting reminders that, as far as I have come, I still have a long, LONG way to go. 

While people that have known me for a while and have seen the "before" vs the "current", notice the weightloss, to people that DON'T know me well, or are meeting me for the first time don't think of me as thin.  I am still fat.  I hate the word and rarely use it, but it's true. 

It can be discouraging and disheartening.  It can make me feel defeated, and all other kinds of D words (LOL...I don't know, I just used alot in the last 2 sentences.)  I try to maintain the positive thoughts and feelings and to appreciate how far I have come.  I think about how I feel more comfortable in my skin and it all makes me feel better. 

But still, the reminders are always there.

I guess I should use this as motivation to keep trying hard.  And I will.  But my partner in all of this is very close to her goal weight.  It will be interesting to see what it is like to continue all on my own.  To continue to struggle and try, when she is able to maintain.  I am thrilled for her, but am nervous for myself.   She looks amazing and has worked really, really hard (I have had tons of cheats and breaks.  She has had one.  That's it.  Sheesh.  :)  She has earned what she has and the attention that is a by-product of that work.  It will be strange however to continue solo, after having a partner for so long.

So, I will try and not focus on the reminders of the bad, and instead focus of the reinforcements of the good.  It's all I can do, if I want to stay sane and successfull.  And I do...I really, really do.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not just big-boned".



- I had a moment of pure happiness.  I don't know what caused it- the sunshine out the window of my desk, the song on the radio, the thought in my brain.  Whatever it was, it roared through my body and soul like a thunder cloud.  And it was great.
- I had a stuffy nose, squeaky throat, and a cough.  But it was still a good day.
- I got taken out for lunch by my new boss.  I like him.  A lot.  And not just because of lunch.
- I pissed off said boss, for attending a meeting through most of the afternoon.  Oh well.
- I woke up in a hotel bedroom, but get to go to sleep in my own bed.
- I am sitting in my bedroom, with a wonderful wind blowing through my window.  It makes me oh so happy.
- I just killed a fast, giant spider in my room.  Yech.
- I got to talk to smarter people than me, about things that I find super interesting.
- I got to see, however briefly, one of my dearest friends.  Happy B-day, tomorrow, LSL. 
- I don't know if I lost or gained weight.  It is the first day in about 6 weeks that I didn't weigh myself first thing in the morning.
- I ate oatmeal for breakfast.
- I let Sebastian get out of bed and chill out with me for a bit.  All because we forgot to say his prayers.
- I also yelled at Sebastian when he frustrated me.  I am not proud of it, and I apologized later.
- I had a new person read my blog and leave a comment.  That makes me so happy!
- I had my hair in a ponytail.
- I am looking forward to bed, and medicine. 

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

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


With the amazing weather we have been having lately, I have been having some great times with my Sawyer Bean. 

Riding bikes.
Asking why the pedals turn the wheels.
I experience motherhood differently with Sawyer, than I do with Sebastian.  Part of it is my age.  I was 7 years older and wiser when I had Sawyer.  I had 7 years of experience dealing with all that life can throw at you, heartbreaks and laughter and trauma and love, in terms of Sebastian and his issues.  I was prepared for the worst and wish, wish, wishing for the best.  I hoped and dreamed about my baby girl for 5 years, through early morning drives, injections, humiliations, tests, tests and more tests.  So, yeah, the experience of raising Sawyer has been different, starting at my very core.
Movie Star pose.
Full of sass.
Sawyer herself, is very different from Sebastian.  She is much more "typical" when it comes to her interests and joys, but in an amazing way, she is not at all typical.  What she says and does at any given time can drive me crazy, make me laugh and is always, ALWAYS memorable.

Always on the move.
What I have been trying to do lately is to stay true and really present in her life.  I know the years, these years, when she is young an uninhibited and free are so short, I really try to make sure that I am living and experiencing all of them.  Yes, maybe that makes me over indulgent.  Maybe I laugh when I should be stern.  Maybe I allow her to be more wild than is socially acceptable.  But I don't care.  What she gives me back is worth all the headaches and more.
Farmgirl Sawyer

She wakes me every morning when she climbs into my bed.  "Good morning, my pretty mommy" is her response, when I say good morning to my pretty princess.

She told me the other day that the apple pie pancakes I made her (regular pancakes with cinnamon and cut up apples in them) were the best things she had ever eaten. 

She thinks I am a genius.  She wants me to stay home, and not go to "big" work.  She tells me that she misses me when I am gone. 

She notices every single time I wear lipstick.  She always wants to give me makeovers. 

And when I sit on the front lawn, in the grass, and watch her pedal her way up and down the street on her tricycle, my heart swells.  She rides past me, yelling "Go, Sawyer, go!  You are gonna win!!" and I marvel at the confidence she has in herself.  I think about how I can make sure that she never loses that.  I worry that the world will beat it out of her.  And then I watch her try and try and try to master the scooter.  And again, I am amazed when she does it.  And I think, how is it that she has the gumption and drive to keep trying?  Why doesn't she get discouraged and give up?  How does she keep her effort focussed?  And I love her a little bit more.
Suited up.

Sawyer reminds me of what it's like to be a kid.  She makes me remember what playing in the sandbox and swinging on swings, going oh so very high, felt like.  She reminds me of picking flowers for my mom, and petting every fuzzy animal I could find.  She makes me remember and relive so many good things- about summer time, and lemonade and water from the hose. 

When her hugs are sticky and sweet, and her kisses on my nose smell like peanut butter and apple juice, there is really nothing better in the world. 

Sawyer makes me thankful for everything I have.  I don't have much, but I have her, and Bastian, and most of the time, it is more than enough.
Me and my girl.

I am the luckiest mom in the world.

Rosie N. Grey
 The N stands for "need my little girl".

New School of Thought

Geoff and I got some awesome news about 2 weeks ago.  Sebastian has been confirmed for his private school in the fall.

The Director of the therapy centre where Sebastian goes, Brick by Brick, is creating a school specially geared towards kids with autism.  And Sebastian is going. 

I am so thrilled, I can't even express it.

We had gotten to the point with Sebastian where we were considering homeschooling him.  He is pretty unhappy with his school.  While he likes his classmates, and some of the EAs, he doesn't like the structure, the teacher or a million other things.  He doesn't argue as much when we try and put him on the bus, there are still days when he is very, very sad to be going.  It breaks my heart to send him. 

If I truly believed his school was helping to improve his learning and his quality of life, I would push through the negative feelings he has, and work on getting him to the point where he could go, be happy and learn.  I would work with the teachers and EAs to make sure that they were capable and willing to provide the type of support that Sebastian needs, so that everyone had maximum benefit from his time there.  But most of my interactions have not been beneficial and productive.  So, I have started looking for alternatives. And we found one...a great one.

The school will have about 5 kids in it.  Lots of one on one time.  A central teacher, and lots of EAs to help with the lessons.  A shorter work day (about 9-1 or 2pm) but an extended year (no summer break means no break in routine).

I think this is going to work for my boy.  I really, really do.  I am taking him out of a toxic environment, and putting him into a nurturing one.  I am replacing indifference with understanding.  I am making the right decision to improve the quality of the rest of his life.

This makes me feel like a good mom.  And I will take that feeling every time I can get it.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new school of thought".

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knitting for Fun and Profit

So, when I haven't been blogging, I have been trying to knit more.  Yeah me!

Knitting is normally something I do more of in the winter- it just seems like a more winter-time-y (no it's not a word, shut up!) activity- but since I like it, I am trying to do it more. 

Plus, someone wants to pay me for it.  Score!

A girl from work approached me a while ago, asking if I still knit Harry Potter scarves.  I haven't knitted any in probably about 4 years, but didn't see any reason why we couldn't do it again.  She requested 2 Gryffindor and 1 Slytherin.  I recruited my mom to help, because she will and she is awesome, so we have completed the Slytherin (me) and the 1st Gryffindor (mom).  I am working on the 2nd Gryffindor now.

I have so many ideas for knitting and sewing.  I wish I had all the time in the world to just sit and do it.  Once Sawyer is a bit older, I plan on teaching her how to.  I want to have some cool and fun designs that I can do, and hopefully sell.  A little extra money in the pocket is always a good thing.  A little bit of extra sanity and happiness is a GREAT thing. 

So, if you want a little knitted something, let me know.  Maybe we can figure something out together. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for " 'nittin' is awesome".


On Saturday of the long weekend, Geoff and I went to a wedding.  Honestly, it is the first wedding that we have been to in about 3 years.  Most of our friends are already married, and the next weddings we will likely be attending are their kids.  :)

It was nice to get dressed up, and see everyone from work looking all spiffy and dudded up.  The wedding itself was very nice.  The bride did an amazing job of planning exactly what she wanted, and it was filled with lots of personal touches that just yelled her name.  She worked hard and it showed. 

At the reception, after an amazing meal, we started mingling with a lot of our co-workers, chatting and gossiping.  Of course, everyone had had a few drinks, so our chatting was funny and hilarious.  And eventually, as it is wont to do, our conversations occasionally turned serious.

It was during one such conversation that someone gave me one of the nicest compliments I have ever received in my life.  She told me that I inspire her.  More specifically, that my blog, and my posts about Sebastian, inspired her.  She talked about how she was having a horrible time at work, some of the worst days ever.  She stumbled across my blog, through a link from a friend's blog, and sat for hours, reading and reading and learning about me and my life.  And at the end, she told me that she had a whole new mindset.  She walked away, thinking "I can do this.  I can live through this.  I am better than this."

And all because of my words.  My writing.  My life.

If I hadn't been sitting at a table in the middle of a wedding, I probably would have cried.  I get misty thinking about it now.  I have never been paid a compliment like that in my life.  I can never thank her enough...first for thinking it, and second, for telling me.

She encouraged me to write.  She told me that I should do it for a living.  And everything she said rang true in my soul. 

With my positive thinking initiative, I have been working towards trying to figure out exactly what it is that I want in my life, so that I can work my way towards it, that I can plan for it, and envision it, wish for it and dream about it.  And yes, writing plays a big part of that.  Being creative, creating, doing, learning, teaching, sharing...all of it.  That's what I want. 

So thanks Nicole.  You were my external validation.  I am going to try and blog more regularly.  I am going to try and write from the heart.  I am going to try and tell my stories. 

Hope you are all buckled in for the ride.  :)

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

Simple vs Easy

So, since it is a major focus of my life right now, be prepared to hear a bit about my healthy living changes and challenges.  There.  You have been warned.

As I hit higher and higher numbers of pounds lost (currently at 51-52 lbs, depending on the day!) more and more people are noticing.  Not only are they noticing, but they are getting more comfortable mentioning it to me and asking me questions.  What most people ask is, of course, what am I doing?  Most of them, however, don't really like the answer.  I get that.  TOTALLY.  For 20 years, I wanted the magic pill, the injection, the mind meld...whatever...that would make it work for me.

I wanted something easy.

What I found instead, was something simple.  And learning that those two words, simple and easy, are not one and the same was a difficult lesson.  One that I am still learning. 

So what I do, to try and lose weight is simple.  I cut out junk- sugar, white carbs, dairy, sweets, etc.  I multiplied my intake of veggies and lean protein.  I eat regularly, instead of once a day.  I drink gallons and gallons of water, and very little else.  And I move my body.  Every day.  I sweat.

It's not rocket science.  It's stuff that I have heard time and time again.  Yes, I have a regime and a plan that I follow, because I have found that I need that.  I need structure and people smarter than me to help me understand what to do.  But, at the end of the day, it really is very simple. 

But it sure as hell ain't easy.

I am challenged EVERY SINGLE DAY.  My family still eats pretty much anything they want.  So there is always temptation in my house.  Today, I nibbled cheese.  It was the size of my fingernail, but still, I shouldn't have had it.  I eat veggies and rice and my kids have fries.  I drink water with lemon, Geoff has ice cold bottles of Coke.  I work all day, then play with the kids, then put them to bed, and then start my workouts at 9, 930, 10pm at night.  I go to BBQ's, and eat around my buns.  I got to restaurants, my favorite restaurants, and order salads and egg white omelets.  So, yeah, it ain't easy.

I am currently on my second round of the program.  I was hoping that things would be so much easier this time around.  I have lived through it once already.  It HAS to be easier.  But it's not.  I still have cravings.  I still want things.  I also don't want to exercise every day.  And when I do exercise, it's not a walk in the park.  I still sweat and struggle and blow hard. 

But then, I hit my goal markers along my journey.  Losing 50lbs was one of them.  Losing 53 lbs will be another (for a reason I am not going to share.  :)  I weigh less now than I have weighed in at least 10 years.  All of my clothes are too big, I have to pin my pants to keep them on me.  My mom is going to help me take them in, so I have something to wear.  I honestly have no idea what size I am, but I know I have gone down at least 4 or 5 sizes (probably more).  Even living with the weight loss, while it's great (and I am definitely not complaining!) is not easy. 

So, if you are interested in what I am doing, please feel free to ask me.  I love talking about it.  I am going to tell you about the program and how it works.  It's no miracle cure.  It's basic, simple.

But just know, it's not easy. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "not easy".

Life gets in the way

I know it has been a long time since I have blogged.  My only excuse is that life got in the way.  I have been trying to avoid being plugged in at home, especially when the kids are awake, as much as possible.  After work is finished for the day, one of the last things I want to do is sit in front of a computer.  Also, my laptop and the Blogger website have not been sympatico lately...lots of error messages.

So, all that and more has all led to me neglecting my blog.  Don't worry, I have thought about it constantly, always thinking of things I should write, and what would be fun to share.  I am sure I have forgotten about 90% of those topics, but over the next week or so, I will do my best to bring you all back up to speed.

So, welcome back, me.  Hope you had a nice vacay.  Back to work.

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "now, back to your regularily scheduled program".

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Sebastian won the effort award for April at school today.  This is 3rd award this school year.  That is a big deal for a kid that up until a few months ago was completely disengaged in his class.  I am so proud of him.

But in that pride is a little tick of worry.  I worry that the only reason the school is recognizing him is because he is medicated. 

Sebastian's teacher was a big advocate of us medicating Sebastian.  If you recall, it was a big decision for us, and one we didn't come to lightly.  We started the meds in December and he has been on them ever since.  We had our own reasons for medicating Sebastian and it is actually something we had already looked into and made an appointment with his pediatrician for, before the teacher and Sebastian's OT ever approached us about it.  I doubt that I would have pursued it, if the recommendation had just come from them.  I needed to be in the right place myself, to want and see the need for it in Sebastian.  I don't give a shit about the teacher and what he needs. That might be harsh, but it's the truth.

So, he very much wanted this.  The therapists at Brick by Brick, where Sebastian does his therapy did not.  The director had a very serious conversation with me about the medication.  Not so much trying to talk me out of it, but to make sure that I was doing it for all the right reasons, and basically not being pressured into it by someone...namely, a teacher.  Once we talked, she seemed good with the decision and hasn't questioned us since.

We have been getting great feedback from his therapy and from school (obviously!  They keep giving him awards!).  And that is very gratifying.  But still...

Are they awarding him and his behaviour?  Are they really recognizing his efforts and his new found ability to try and push himself?

Or are they rewarding the fact that he now conforms to what they want?  Do they celebrate the fact that he is less hassle and less effort for them?

It scares me to think that I am turning him into another cog in the wheel.  I don't trust the teacher enough to believe any answer he gives me, so I don't ask the questions. 

This situation would probably drive me crazy if not for the light at the end of my tunnel.. Geoff and I are going to be trying to get Sebastian into a private school for the fall.  With the director of BbB, who currently homeschools kids with autism and is getting AMAZING results.  She thinks Sebastian will be a perfect fit and is anxious and excited to get him in her classroom.

I am excited too.  I am figuring out the logistics (like tuition!!!  YIKES!) but I am going to make it happen.  If I have to sell a car, blood and Geoff, I will make it happen. 

So, anyway, tonight we will celebrate my boy's effort award.  I am proud, despite of the way it may sound.  I am thrilled that he is being recognized by someone other than us, for being the amazing kid that he is. 

Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "natural born winner!"