Tuesday, 25 October 2016

What Have I Done? And What Did I Do!

Oh boy. I am  stressed. But also a little excited. Mostly stressed. And a little sick to my stomach. Since I don't have enough going on (obvious sarcasm), I decided to go ahead and organize a movie afternoon for Autism in Vienna. For the past couple of years I have dreamed of taking the Kid to the movies. Yes, realistically I know he would probably only last for about 5 minutes, but what really has held me back is the fact that we would probably have to deal with death stares and people yelling at him to shut it. While I could not care less what people think when we are in public, I do not want to ruin everybody else's grand ole time by me breaking down in tears and screaming a la Jada Pinkett Smith in Scream 2.

So, after hearing about movie theaters in the States and Canada offering special sensory friendly afternoons primarily for families dealing with autism, I decided to put together an afternoon for the community here. For the past 24 hours I have been e-mailing a very nice man at the Film Casino. I told him I needed the theater to have the lights on higher and the sound turned down lower. And I just found out how much it is going to cost. Well, shit. It's going to be expensive. So expensive that I will be giving up all Christmas gifts for myself this year; and I love presents. I decided that we (we? I!!!) will charge 5 euros a person because I want to make it affordable for everybody. According to my calculations, we need approximately half of Vienna to attend to break even. Fantastico! Ugh. Why am I doing this? Because if you don't take a leap of faith, you won't get anywhere. And I also am trying to make autism-inclusion a thing here... like "fetch". (Mean Girls reference). I will probably also be asking for extra donations at the door in hopes of covering our costs. But I am going to have to leave it up to fate to make this a roaring success... and threaten my friends who have kids to come. Heh. Guilt.

Tonight the Husband is out. When I got home, after a quick drink with a friend, the Nanny told me that the Kid had taken a nap earlier. All visions of a quiet night at home, watching Beetlejuice, flew out the window. Perhaps due to some red wine and a little filled with piss and vinegar (also talking about the wine) I decided that I would take a walk with the Kid without his stroller. Twice before have we actually attempted this; a long walk without his stroller. The first time was with the Husband and I held the Kid's hand in a death grip. He was a super star! The second time I brought an innocent victim along. She is German and seems fit so I figured she could chase him down if need be. Again, the Kid was amazing. We often talk about our children with autism reaching milestones and going above and beyond... but we rarely talk about parents doing the same. No, I'm not talking about how awesome I am....and, really, I am (I am confident with who I am, just not with how I look (I am working on that). I am talking about parents reaching their own milestones. It is so easy for me to become Mama Bear (I have furry knees) and to try and protect the Kid from everything in the world.. but I also know that sometimes I have to let him grow. Not only is he going outside of his comfort zone, so am I. And it is terrifying. Tonight as we walked around the neighbourhood, his eyes lit up, he matched my pace and he giggled. It filled me with such pride. Tonight was his night but also mine. Stage mom? Perhaps.

I think today pretty much sums up my life right now: immense fear coupled with immense pride. Now it is time to shoot a blow dart into him and hope he falls asleep soon. I wish you all a fantastic Tuesday night and a happy Austrian National Day tomorrow! Good night!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Thank you for all of the Shares and I Pretty Much Did Nothing This Weekend

See title of post. Yaaaas. It is Sunday afternoon and in a few hours, I will see the Kid again! His grandparents were kind enough to take him this weekend and I didn't even realize how desperately I needed to vegetate. On Friday afternoon the Husband and I went to Wien Museum and then stopped at a beisl for dinner. Then we headed home to watch Bulle von Tölz and drool on ourselves in exhaustion. I passed out just after 10 and slept over 10 glorious hours. I thought I would feel re-energized but I didn't so I just shuffled to the sofa and spent another 6 hours watching crap TV, responding to e-mails and messages and once in a while heading to the kitchen for food.

At 4 I got dressed and headed to the Hilton Plaza to whore myself out.. ha, joking, I'm past my prime... I went to the hotel to meet an old family friend. Last time I saw her I was nine years old and we were living in Düsseldorf. I put on my Chanel purse, a lot of make up and jumped on the tram. As I took a seat, I heard a familiar voice and saw that I had sat across from an ex co-worker who just recently retired. Vienna is a village! It was a pleasant surprise and we chatted briefly. He told me I looked fabulous and if you know me, a compliment will get you everywhere... probably even third base. He exited soon afterwards and I made my way to Schottentor. Just before I got to the hotel, I heard someone yell out "TOVA!" and there I saw a couple of friends who were in town for a visit. They were on bikes and we chatted for a few seconds. Again, Vienna, you are tiny for close to 2 million people! I bid them adieu and walked into the hotel. I recognized my date and she exclaimed "Last time I saw you, you were this tall!" and I of course added "And less wide!" We hugged and she took me to the executive lounge because of course. We chatted for about an hour and then she had dinner plans and so did I because kid-free WEEKEND! I met the Husband at one of my favourite places called Cantinetta la Norma. We had a quick dinner and then went home where I put my pyjamas back on and went into a daze watching more crap TV.

I usually have so much energy but maybe when I slow down just a little bit, my whole body says "Yes! The master has abdicated! Remove the endorphins and back-up storage of caffeine. Make her catatonic!" By 10:30 I was in another deep sleep. I slept another 10 hours and had originally planned to meet a friend for a run but I decided "No. I will stay in bed. Can't put on bra." Around 10:30 I lurched over to the sofa where I spent another 3 hours watching old re-runs of Criminal Intent (Vincent D'Onofrio, I heart you long time). It is just now that I am starting to be able to form sentences (there was a mini crisis I had to deal with online). The Husband will go to the In laws soon and then in the evening, the Kid will be back home and I cannot wait! I missed him like crazy and even though I was able to de-stress, life just isn't life without my little boy. I also am mentally preparing myself for a bit of a regression that sometimes happens when he is at the In laws for more than a night. Brace yourself, sleepless nights.

I missed one day of boot camp so I will be kicking my own ass for the next 5 days. It will be a quiet week save for a lot of party prep. I have some last minute things to do and then some grocery shopping. Wednesday is a public holiday, hurray! and then Saturday is the big day! The big show! The Husband unfortunately will not be attending this year. Babysitting fell through but I think he is actually secretly pleased that he can have a quiet night with the Kid at the In laws place (they are gone for a few weeks, they have a very large TV and a jacuzzi tub). I am not sure how I will be hosting 60 people on my own but I will manage... with a lot of bubbly and sheer determination.

Now it is time for me to put on some clothes and do some cleaning. I am meeting a friend for a quick drink soon and then I will be snuggling the Kid until he rejects my affection; like all the men in my life. Womp, womp. I also want to thank everybody who shared my XoJane article. If I didn't thank you on Facebook, it's because sometimes my dumb newsfeed doesn't show me everything. So I am saying thank you for the shares! I have received about 40 messages from people from around the world this weekend and it is just absolutely incredible. I have responded to all of them and I really need an assistant. Or an intern. Or a speed-like narcotic. I jest, assistants are expensive. Once again thank you for all of the support! It means the world to me! Happy Sunday!

Friday, 21 October 2016

So My Article Got Published on XOJane

I was feeling a little rough this morning. I had had a late night which I will talk about in a bit. But first, YAAAAY! My article for XOJane was published!!! I had been checking the site all week to see if it had been put up and then this morning, it was there! I have always dreamed of being published on a website I read often. I don't think I ever imagined it would be about autism... I kind of thought more "I accidentally ended up as a high end escort" or "Pizza Diet!" I am super excited about this!

There are some not so nice comments... this is the Internet, I am not surprised. But one thing that seems to come up a couple of times is people saying that ABA Therapy is torture for children. This could not be further from the truth in our home. Number 1, we are not repressing his "stimming" (this is a repetitive movement often done by people with autism) and Number 2, he is never ever forced to do something he does not want to do. Our therapist is fabulous and our 2 aides are as well. It is mostly play-based and to see the absolute joy on his face is fantastic. ABA has gotten a bad rap, and rightfully so in some cases, but for the majority of kids nowadays, it is one of the most effective forms of evidence-based therapy. At this time, we are only able to do about 6-8 hours a week while ideally we should be doing 20. Again, it needs to administered by a competent professional and I know this is stating the obvious... but we would never have our child do something that he hates. EVER!

Gah! Just read another terrible comment on the website. And it has been deleted. One friend wrote a couple of responses to mean posts because she is awesome - I did ask her to tone it down because one of her posts was like "WHAT ARE YOU, STUPID?!?!". People can be so mean and I have now decided not to read any more comments because little known fact (totally not) I am incredibly sensitive. So far there have been over 300 shares from the website and this is such a huge boost for the center! Huzzah! Hooray! I will be celebrating tonight... with water. Speaking of dehydration, last night I went for gold! Gold in drinking! I haven't been drinking much the past week and yesterday was a bit of an emotional day so I did the mature thing and drank. I first stopped for a quick couple of glasses of wine with friends. I then jumped into a taxi and made my way over to the Beaver Brewing Company for the Therapy Networking Evening. In the end we had 5 specialists show up and it was great! Seeing how passionate they all are about autism is always the push I need to keep going. These are people who truly care about the state of autism in this city and it is wonderful to have them on my side. And then I drank more. I ended up talking to a friend for a little while after the meeting and then I hailed a taxi much later than I had originally planned and at that moment, I realized I had forgotten to have dinner. This happens quite often when I am out and I always say to people "Remind me to eat." and yes, this is the only time I forget to eat. EVER.

The Kid had a two hour therapy session this morning that I could not attend (bad mother) because I had to be at work by 7:30. I was up at 5:30 with a terrible headache but I forced myself to run a 5K... one reason is because I am a masochist, the other reason is I wanted to sweat out as much beer as I possibly could. It ended up being a great run and I did feel a lot better afterwards... if not a little dizzy. I took a shower and ran to work and now I am counting down the hours until the WEEKEND!
The Kid is at the In laws this weekend and the plan is to pretty much do nothing this weekend. I am meeting the Husband at the Wien Museum at 4 and then we will have dinner and then head home where I will promptly pass out by 8. Tomorrow I hope to get some hot yoga in and then the majority of the day will be spent on the sofa, watching re-runs of O.C. yaaaas. I wish you all a fantastico weekend! And thank you for all the article shares and the support! Tis so awesome to have so many great friends!!!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A Spy Among Us and the End of Week 1 Bootcamp

I had to do a heart breaking thing this morning: write an e-mail to a school we had applied to about 4 years ago. I remember registering for the school with such excitement, imagining the Kid's first day of school, confident he would be a bright and engaged student. It was a school I had dreamed about sending him to. And every morning I walk by it on my way to work. But life throws you curve balls. It's not the school itself, it's the symbolism of it all... to know that he will most likely never have a normal life and that is what cuts me right in the heart.  I know people ask what is "normal" and by that I mean, if something were to happen and when it does, to the Husband and I when he is older, he would probably end up in a home. Those are the concrete worries of a parent with a child with special needs. I love the Kid more than anything in this world and I wouldn't change him. Autism has turned my life upside down but in a way, has made me so much more grateful for all that I have. I have grown as a person and have found a passion that I never really knew I was missing. I could easily let these moments ruin my day (I cried on the Ubahn and briefly in a friend's office. Gross) but I have to be stronger than that. And sometimes all I need is a little perspective. I received an e-mail from a parent last night that was so awful and filled with pain and I reminded myself today that I am fortunate and I am lucky and I just need to keep going for the sake of the Kid.

Speaking of autism, tonight is the Therapy Networking Night. It's a great chance for therapists and specialists to get together and build a community. The concept is that with a strong base, we can support parents in the future. I received some interesting news yesterday from a source and let's just say, I have ruffled some feathers in the community and there is a spy in my midst. This actually makes me laugh because a) why is more support a threat and b) why am I a threat? This isn't business, these aren't State secrets... why am I being spied on? And, dear community, if you are pleased with the work you are doing and the support you are providing, then why am I problematic?

I am being rhetorical. And I totally spelled that right on the very first try! Go me! Now I feel like I need to purchase a trench coat and walk into a bar and talk in a French accent. It's like a John Le Carre novel but without a really good plot. The mind boggles. Vienna, don't you ever change. Actually, yes, when it comes to autism, please change! Besides being spied on, crying a little and being told I look like John Snow (Office Twin is dead to me), I am almost done my first week of bootcamp. Every day I have been working out: either running a 5k or doing a 90 minute hot yoga class. I attended a class this morning at 7 a.m. and I was tiiiiirred. I was the first one there at the Yoga Loft and when the teacher (who is also one of the owners) opened the door she said "You are motivated!" and I said the one thing all yoga teachers always want to hear (sarcasm) "I got fat...er" I rolled out my mat and got ready for the session and noticed there weren't that many people coming through the front door which meant I could not hide. Oh no, I was very visible and I ended up getting my butt kicked. And, besides being a whiny brat sometimes, it was what I needed. I was able to correct a position that I have been doing wrong for a while and at one point, as I attempted to grab one leg while seated the instructor said "That's your position!" and I thought "No, this is how I will die." But it was a fantastic session! I ran home and showered and packed my make up because I didn't have time to spackle my face and headed to work... where I was told I looked like John Snow and that is why I am now looking like a fabulous drag queen.

Tonight when I get home I have to laminate flash cards for the Kid's big therapy session tomorrow. It will be a two hour session that I have to unfortunately miss but I know it will be excellent! I am looking forward to a weekend of watching TV and working out and of course hiding from the evil forces. Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Day 5 of Boot Camp and a Good Weekend

Hello Tuesday! After work I will be heading to the Yoga Loft for another hot yoga session. When I get back home, the Kid will be heading to bed and I will take a bath because my muscles have revolted. I have almost successfully completed Day 5 of my personal Boot Camp! Since Friday I have done 2 sessions of hot yoga (3 after this evening), two 5k runs as well as push ups, sit ups and planks. Tomorrow morning I have another 5k and kill me now. I feel like this a good push for me to get fit again. I am also incredibly happy that I am able to mostly run for the whole 30 minutes and my heel seems to be ok. So I am totally winning at life right now. And maybe I had some m&m's for lunch but I don't want to talk about it.

In terms of the Kid and his freak outs-maybe-tantrums, I am happy to report that we had a fit-free weekend. I followed our great therapist's advice and spent the weekend distracting him whenever he started to get kvetchy. Sunday afternoon he was just on the edge again and I quickly put him on my back and ran through the apartment with him. I.am.exhausted. I pretty much acted like a cracked-out cruise director all day Saturday and Sunday to try and keep him from melting down and it worked! The next step is to figure out how to not have to be Pauly Shore all.the.damn.time. Last night he was great when I got home from work and he fell into a deep sleep around 8:30. This morning he woke up at 5:30 a.m. but stayed in his bed until the Husband went in just after 7. Since we have been experiencing 4 nights in a row of uninterrupted sleep (I am not going to get too excited because that is the easiest way to jinx it and end up with him doing a Lord of the Dance jig on my spleen at 2 a.m.), we are making sure that every morning we go into his room and act like he discovered the cure for cancer, brokered a peace deal and won an Olympic gold in curling. "YOU SLEPT THROUGH THE WHOLE NIGHT IN YOUR BED! YOU ARE THE BEST LITTLE BOY IN THE WORLD!!!" It's kind of adorable because at first he thinks he might be in trouble because we are coming into his room when it is still dark out (central European fall mornings) but as soon as he sees us smiling and praising him, he starts to giggle and ach, I just want to hug him.

This morning I decided to stay in bed (I know, I was surprised too) and the Husband was in charge of checking in on the Kid. As he made his way to the Kid's room I yelled out "TELL HIM HE WAS SUCH A GOOD BOY! SAY IT WITH A SMILE! THIS TIME WITH FEELING! JAZZ HANDS! YOU ONLY GET ONE CHANCE!" and a second later I heard the Husband "What a good boy you were! You slept so well!" Yes, nailed it. The only bad news is that apparently the Kid had a freak out at the kindergarten yesterday but I wasn't there, they don't seem upset, the Kid seems fine... so I am moving on. On Sunday we had a friend over for brunch. After brunch I decided to take the Kid for a walk and my friend joined. It was the second time attempting a long walk without his stroller and I put chocolate in my purse just in case. We walked around for about 45 minutes and then suddenly the Kid just went to his knees and rolled over onto his back. There was no yelling or drama, just a non-violent protest showing me that he didn't want to walk anymore. My little Gandhi. I took out some chocolate and was able to coax him up the last hill home. Poor guy. I seem to forget that he has little legs and an hour walk must seem like a mountain trek. I am very very proud of him though and I am looking forward to more walks in the future... with a lot of chocolate bribes and maybe diabetes. After the walk, we hung out at home and at 3:30, a woman came by to meet the Kid. She has a background in autism and psychology and I met her at the seminar I hosted a couple of weeks ago. Since our psychology student can only work Monday and Friday, we needed someone to come to our place Tuesday through to Thursday. Our prayers (non-religious, and not really a prayer... more like "It would be nice if we could find somebody to come over Tuesday to Thursday".. but whatever, semantics) were answered and we now have some additional help. Yay! We will now be getting the Kid about 6-8 hours of therapy a week and that makes me happy. And poor. Very poor.

In other news, I sent off my very first ever paid for article ever yesterday. As I posted on Facebook on Saturday, Imma gonna be published on an online website that I love. A few weeks back, after a glass of wine, I decided to send through a proposal for an article for the website. I was pretty sure I would never hear back but lo and behold, they said they wanted me to write it and then I did a bit of a dance in my pj's.

I wrote it up on Saturday and I wish I didn't have a word count limit because there was so much to say. I wrote a friend who is a real writer about the news and she offered to look it over for me which was incredibly generous of her. I told her I would have it done Sunday night but I was too excited and sent it to her on Saturday afternoon. I am now waiting for the final confirmation! Once it is up, I will be posting it everywhere because humble I am not. Tomorrow I have to work later and on Thursday I am hosting another therapy networking night. On Friday we will have a therapy session for the Kid in the morning with our therapist who is in town and then after work, the weekend will begin! The In Laws are taking him for the weekend before they go to Asia for a few weeks and it will be great to catch up on some sleep and to maybe just lie down on the sofa and watch crap TV. We might even go to a restaurant together! The novelty! Anyway, I wish you all a fabulous Tuesday. Toodles!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

A Lady Doctor Visit, a Solution (Maybe) to the Fits and Boot Camp

Hello Saturday! Hope it is treating you all well! I am just about to have to some lunch and then I will clean up the apartment and then take the Kid for a walk. For the first time in I don't know how long, the Kid slept in his bed to WHOLE ENTIRE NIGHT! I woke up at 6 a.m. and checked my clock and had a mini panic attack not to find him in our bed. I checked on him and he was curled up still in his bed in a deep sleep. I of course may or may not have accidentally woken him up while checking his pulse. But huzzah to a real night of sleep! HUZZAH, I say! He came and snuggled in our bed for a little while and then I put on some unforgiving spandex and headed to the Yoga Loft for some early morning hot yoga.

On Thursday I stayed at home because the Kid had been under the weather since Tuesday night. Wednesday night he woke up at 3 in the morning and refused to fall asleep again so we both stayed home on Thursday. The Nanny came in the afternoon so that gave me some free time. I dropped by a friend's place and we had a late lunch and talked. We also decided to create our own personal boot camp for the next 2 weeks because we are masochists. It is always better to do something soul destroying with a friend. After my visit, I headed to the first district to meet another friend for drinks and an early dinner. I decided that Thursday was going to be my last day of eating like there would be no tomorrow before starting boot camp the next day. My friend showed up and told me she had bumped into another friend of ours and asked if she could invite her along. OF COURSE! We had some wine, ordered food and chatted. At just before 6:30, we paid the bill and then headed to a book presentation I had been invited to. It was in an artsy space around the corner and we spied a fantastic buffet when we entered. WINNING! I greeted the friend who invited me (she wrote a book! I still find published authors fascinating) and then my friend L.P. spotted a couple of old friends. And yes, Vienna is small. Somebody will always know somebody that you know and that is why it is very important to always be yourself. A little warning: news travels fast. Yes, they are real, no I did not once try and sell an internal organ.The presentation started and it was about digital art and was way over my head because I am not what you call intellectual. After the presentation, we had some wine, chatted a little and then grabbed a taxi to the Beaver Brewing Company so that I could have the one and in the end, the last pumpkin beer! Again, WINNING! We sat at the bar, ordered drinks and I texted a friend who was also at the Beaver Brewing Company with another friend. She dropped by at the bar to say hi and then we continued with our drinks. Mr. B. came by and we chatted and then at 10, it was time for me to head home. Yay to pumpkin beer! I'm like a basic lumberjack (or is that a hipster?).

Earlier in the week, I went to my gyno for a check up! Fun! I haven't been in a couple of years because I am a child when it comes to anything medical. She is great and I love her new office. If you are looking for a great doctor, definitely check out Dr. Eva Rothe. She speaks fluent English and she has a chandelier in her waiting room. A CHANDELIER! We chatted a little bit and I told her about the Kid and autism and how he has the regressive autism. Then we got down to business and I made the same old jokes as I do every.damn.time I am in that chair. "Aren't you going to buy me dinner first? He he he" or "Great light fixtures!" She gave me the clear (thank you Jeebus!) and told me that she would call if my test results showed anything worrisome "Don't worry! I studied! He he he." (Shut up Tova). I felt a huge amount of relief that I finally women'd up and went. I'm a big girl, now!

In regards to the Kid and his fits. Well, last weekend was a disaster and I was a hot mess. I thought maybe we were in the clear until Friday morning, he attacked me again. I always seemed to be the target of all the fits which is unusual. Also, I had a strange suspicion these weren't his normal ones. They seemed to start out as temper tantrums and then evolve into a fit. And due to the fact that I was the only one being attacked (totally taking that personally, by the way). I chatted with a friend on Friday afternoon and she had some great insights. I decided to write the Kid's therapist and I detailed what was happening. She thinks that they are attention-seeking and now I feel like an ass. But a little relieved. These past few weeks I have been home more and I think that I just assumed that by me being around more, the Kid wouldn't need as much attention. I was wrong. This is truly a quality versus quantity thing. So after talking to the great therapist and receiving great tips, I am going to see if the fits/tantrums lessen. I am so grateful to have gotten real advice. In the past we would get a shrug and maybe a reason causing the fits but no real tools to mitigate or avoid them. I feel so  much better now. And I am pretty much non-stop following the Kid today and I think he might be getting sick of me. Good. Fingers crossed this new method works!!

In other news, I received a very exciting e-mail. A little while ago I wrote a proposal for an article for an online magazine that I truly adore. I was pretty sure they wouldn't respond but they did and I am in and now I have to write the article! Challenge accepted! Stay tuned for when that comes out and yes, I might actually end up calling myself a writer. Maybe. Maybe not. It seems too soon. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend. It's time for me to annoy the crap out of the Kid with attention. I'm a great mom.... Happy Saturday!!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Going to the Landespolizei: an Adventure

Well Happy Yom Kippur... Actually, we don't say "Happy" because there is nothing happy about not eating. I made it until about midday with the fasting. Bad Jew! Bad! I was at work and usually you are supposed to stay at home and reflect on the past year and atone for your sins. Since I am saving all of my days off, I had to go to work and that meant having to use some of my brain and without food? No bueno. So again, hope you all had a serious and thoughtful Yom Kippur. The Husband is out tonight and it is me and the Kid. Yesterday he was perfect and today the Nanny said he was great save for a nap. But of course when I got home, he started getting kvetchy so I went proactive and offered him everything in the apartment he is usually not allowed to play with because this Mommy be tired, yo. We still have no idea why he had 3 fits over the weekend. I assumed he was coming down with something on Monday but he was fine all day. I thought maybe his stomach was upset but he ate well on Sunday night. Who knows?! Figuring out what causes the Kid to have freak outs is a bit like the Da Vinci Code... but without the fun history and car chases and pretty paintings.

Tonight I will be watching Beetlejuice (because EPIC) and catching up on e-mails. On Thursday I am going to a book presentation with a friend and then if we are up for it, we will stop by the Beaver Brewing Company for a drink. Tomorrow morning I am visiting the lady doctor. I am not looking forward to it because nobody looks forward to it. But it must be done. Sigh. Otherwise this week is kind of low key... save for the anticipation for yesterday's morning meeting. A week ago I got an official letter in the mail. Nothing ever good comes with an official letter in the mail. Ever. It was the Landespolizei (Ministry of the police) summoning me to their offices because apparently there was an error with my Vorstand (board). I of course saw big German words and put the letter to the side, hoping that magical elves would translate it for me. On Sunday night the Husband asked me if I was prepared for the meeting and I shrugged and said "No." and then he got a little panicky. He's an engineer and is a very linear thinker. I, on the other hand, think glitter makes a fantastic impression in business meetings. I also like to think that Ikea adds extra bolts just for fun. He gave me this look after I said "Meh. I'll just go and see what happens".

Luckily he offered to come with me in the morning because I think he might have had visions of me a la Sally Fields screaming "NOT WITHOUT MY VEREIN!" in the lobby. I dropped the Kid off at kindergarten and went back home to pack my paperwork into my snazzy and very professional hot pink briefcase. The Husband met me in front of the scary intimidating Soviet-block like building at 9:45. The appointment was for 10:15 but apparently the letter said to arrive 20 minutes earlier. Who knows, I barely read the letter. We walked through a small door to the right and had to stand in a small little waiting room. A policewoman behind bullet proof glass asked for our id's and the invite. I almost said "And will there be entertainment this evening?" but I didn't. She asked me if the Husband had to come with me and I went into a bit of panic mode "Um.. he doesn't have to be but uh.. uh.. well it would be nice because I uh.. uh..um..." and thankfully the policeman around the corner yelled out "It's fine if he joins you!" and I stopped from keeling over. Our bags were checked and we went through a metal detector (I almost wrote "medal" followed by "damn straight"). The Husband found the policeman hilarious when he yelled at him for setting off the alarm. This is where Austrian humour still confuses me. We passed the security checks and took the elevator up to the 4th floor where we were instructed to wait in the hallway until we were called. One man came out and apologized that he would not be seeing us and that someone else would take over our file that morning and I wondered if we had somehow stumbled upon some magical land where government officials don't put out cigarettes on your bare arms (not that that has happened to me... yet).

Just past 10:15, a kind looking man poked his head out of his office and asked us to come in. He was dressed in corduroy and looked like a professor. (I am a big fan of corduroy and I don't know why but maybe it reminds me of all the whole cast of Family Ties. Man did I have a crush on Michael J. Fox's character.) Cough. Anyway, his office was filled with plants and anytime I am in an office and feel like I might be in trouble, I Kaiser Soze stuff so that if the conversation goes south I can be all like "Barcelona, eh? Lovely little town." and hope the distraction works. My heart was pounding as we took our seats and I half expected the man to look at my file and be like "You know what I think of your Verein?! This!" and then rip it up, set it on fire and then light a cigarette off the embers. Overactive imagination? Moi? Non! He did not do that. Instead, he looked over the statutes and then said "I only found one tiny little problem... you didn't mention the exact number of people needed to vote on decisions." I told him the number and he smiled and nodded and wrote it down and then looked up and said "All done!" And I looked at him in surprise. I asked a couple more questions just to make sure I hadn't completely messed up the General Assembly procedure from last week and he kindly printed out a form I would have to have filled out and signed. At one point he spelled my name wrong and he giggled and apologized profusely when I pointed it out. I also said, "I'm sorry, my German isn't great. I'm Canadian." And I laughed a little. The guy across the desk stopped and looked at me and in a very serious tone said "No. It's perfect. Beautiful actually." and there was an awkward moment of silence. Then the Husband coughed a little and we moved on.

After 15 minutes, every thing had been cleared up and I almost hugged the guy. He was ridiculously friendly and it was such a relief that the meeting was over with. I am also incredibly grateful that the Husband came with me because I probably would have ended up walking into the bullet proof glass downstairs, giving myself a concussion, in panic. So, I just have to type in a new little sentence into the statutes (that a friend put together for me - she rocks) and toast to the corduroy-clad nice man. I truly was shocked at how nice he was and hats off to his plant collection "Plants, eh?" After the meeting I headed to work and then headed home to make a dinner of carbs. It was Canadian Thanksgiving and I was not going to cook a turkey so I pretty much make stuffing, roasted potatoes and pumpkin cookies. This is why I am fat. After putting the Kid to bed, we watched a Jays game (not live) and I gossiped with a friend over PM. It was a great last minute Thanksgiving but I will totally be hosting a real one in November when there are no longer skulls allover the apartment - Columbus I am not. Oh burn! Anyway, Happy Yom Kippur.. Dammit! Not happy, never happy! Toodles! (Sidenote: stay tuned for my recap of meeting a fabulous lady this afternoon. She has over 30 years of experience in autism and I think I shocked her with stories about the support here. I apologized. Maybe)