Monday, 25 September 2017

Blueberry Pie and A Beautiful Drive!

Yesterday, I went for a drive all by myself. I feel like this shouldn't be news, but usually I have C in tow, and although he makes road trips entertaining, it's really nice to get out all by myself.

I wanted to get some blueberries and pies from McKay's Wild Blueberry stand for the freezer. You need blueberries for "Surpise Pancakes" and muffins, and McKay's are the best. It was such a nice day; I thought I'd jump at the opportunity.

After a really busy week and starting to feel better after being struck down by a cold (maybe a little too dramatic!), it was so nice to enjoy a little time by myself, turn up the radio and take in the scenery.  Of course, my mind is always racing with a never-ending to-do list, but flipping back and forth between the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s channels on the radio really helped to clear it. Elton John's "Benny and the Jets," the Bangles' Manic Monday, Pras and Mya's "Ghetto Superstar," and a little NSYNC were exactly what the doctor ordered. Sorry to the people who drove past the crazy lady singing and dancing in her car. I couldn't help myself.

McKay's was busy! I think I was in line for about 20 minutes, but the ladies that run the stand are awesome, and it doesn't seem like it's that long. There is one older lady who is a reason to stop there all by herself. She is spunky!

The wait also gave me a chance to plan to add more to my order. (I'm sure if C had been with me, it would have felt like hours... that boy doesn't have patience yet.)

I picked up two bottles of jam - wild blueberry and bumbleberry. They're both delicious!

I also bought a 5lb box of frozen wild blueberries. For freezer treats, I picked out 4 pies. They are uncooked and frozen, so when you feel like having pie, you just pop it in the oven, still frozen, and a little over an hour later, you have a yummy pie! My favourite is Raspberry-Blueberry, so I bought 2 of those, and also picked 2 Harvest pies. I discovered those a couple years ago - blueberry, apple, and pear. So good! (This picture is from a couple years ago. I am definitely a repeat customer!)

To make sure I had a treat for the drive home and snacks for lunches this week, I snatched up a dozen buttermilk blueberry muffins. They are to die for... the little sprinkle of sugar on top puts them over the edge. You have to get them when you see them, becuase they go fast. Often, they're still hot!
It started off as 6...

But one disappeared! 
On the drive home, I was driving behind someone from North Carolina. I often wonder what draws people from far away to come to New Brunswick. I know some drive through to get to other parts of Canada, but many stay for a visit. What's the appeal? While driving, I really took a look around me. Sure, things are starting to look a little brown and grey with fall, but really, our province is beautiful. The highway was surrounded by evergreens, sprinkled with a few hardwood trees starting to turn colours. Passing by the rolling hills, waterways, and rock faces, I realized how lucky I am to live in a place with such a diverse landscape, ever changing with the seasons. And this was inland! Don't even get me started on the beaches and tides. I guess I shouldn't wonder why people would want to stop and take it all in. 


New Brunswick is filled with little gems, like McKay's Blueberry stand. With new highways rerouting traffic flows, it's too easy to pass by. I'm glad I know where to find it!

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Don't Spin My Positives Into Negatives, Please!

You know what my biggest struggle is? When people turn the things I love about my son into negatives.
I think that was the biggest problem I had when he was diagnosed with ASD. The professionals would say, "See how he gets down at eye level with the table?" or "See how he lines up those cars?" These would be followed by a sympathetic look and a little nod, as if to say, "That's the autism." I hated that. I hated that I started to look at these things in a bad way.
I love that he gets down so his eyes are peering over the table, to get a closer look at his favourite toys.
I love how particular he is about lining his cars up. I love how he turns everything into a car or train adventure - crayons racing around a placemat at a restaurant, pillows lined up on the floor. Right now, I'm watching him carefully loading a car into the back of a transport truck and using a little wrench to "change" the tires on his cars, all while kneeling down on the floor, up close to the table, to get a close-up look at his work. He's so detail oriented.
I love all his big feelings, even when they are hard to deal with and may make others uncomfortable.
I love that he's such a good judge of character and doesn't get super friendly with just anyone. If you are welcomed into the C Club, then you must be a pretty special person.
I love how he notices text everywhere! He will spot letters and numbers and want to stop to check them out. He can sometimes read letters backwards, when inside a store with window lettering that faces outside. He loves books so much; I know he is going to be a reader.
Over the past year, I have learned to mostly ignore comments and looks, but sometimes they sting. Badly.
Here's the bottom line. All these things are not negatives. Don't feel sorry. They all add up (with lots of other wonderful things) to make Little C who he is - a smart, loving, funny, energetic little boy.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

What a Difference a Year Makes!

A couple weeks ago, C and I went to his one year follow-up appointment with the pediatrician. Last year's appointment led to a trip to the developmental clinic to be assessed by the Child Development Team.

This appointment went much smoother. I kept thinking about our first appointment a year ago while we were in the waiting room. I was watching him play and listening to him talk up a storm and started to tear up. It's amazing. What a difference a year makes. I feel like I say that a lot, but it's so very true.

One Year Ago...
So much has changed. When I look at photos from last year, he has physically grown so much. I feel like he has entered boyhood, leaving the baby days behind him. (Insert sounds of this mama sobbing that her little boy is growing up too fast.)

I've talked about his struggles with speech, (here and here and here) and I have to tell you that he talks NON-STOP now! He loves singing and loves to tease and joke. His sentences get longer every day. Yesterday, he said something, and I stopped to count... it was an 8-word, perfectly formed sentence. Amazing. Things have just started to click.

He's also not as shy or upset in new situations. It's not smooth sailing, but he is much more willing to try new things. I think we have also learned the best ways to support him through new situations and make sure he feels secure. We allow him to take his time. Other people don't get it, but we do. People will expect him to accept their big, loud hellos when they see him, and he is not having any of that! He needs space; he needs time, and he needs understanding.

He is still super independent and has never ending energy. He's also gives the best hugs in the world, which he saves for only his favourite people. I'm always grateful that I'm on that list!

I'm so excited to see what the next year holds!

Okay. I'm ready.

I have bad habits. Not enough exercise. Too many eat-out meals. Too much late night eating. A major sweet tooth. It's not a good combo....