Saturday, 30 April 2016

A Plaid and Poutine Party

Well what a crazy crazy party that was! The House of Canada's very first Plaid and Poutine party was a raging success! Thanks to friends for sharing the details because the RSVP's got up to 143. The Beaver Brewing Company was kind enough to host the event and it was the perfect location for it. On Thursday afternoon, wearing my plaid shirt and pearls, I headed to the bar. I arrived around 5:30 and talked to the servers. They asked how many people were expected and when I said 143, it looked like they would pass out. They were all super lovely and when my friend L.P. showed up (the owner of the House of Canada) we were ready. She even had a Justin Trudeau cut out made for the event and well, there were selfies galore!

The party was set to start at 7 but already by 6, people were showing up. By 7 it was PACKED! Mr. Beaver was like "I should have known. Canadians are polite." It was a full house and some people actually couldn't get in. I talked to friends and met some lovely new people. It was amazing to see so many Canadians in one spot and I guess it just takes some french fries, gravy and cheese to make that happen. Forget peace treaties, serve greasy food.

At one point, as I was talking to Mr. Beaver, my friend A came by and was like "You should totally get commission next time." and then I promptly introduced her to Mr. Beaver, owner of the bar. She was like "Oh MERDE!" and I laughed and I laughed. My friend L.G. came by and when she overheard his name she was like "THAT'S A REAL NAME?!" Oh how I heart my friends. Many beers were drunk and many many selfies with Trudeau were taken. By 11, the party started to wind down and by midnight I was in a taxi, happy as a Canadian with a stomach full of poutine can be. We will definitely try to have this event again... but with reservations.

The next day I was EXHAUSTED and it was my turn to drop the Kid off at kindergarten. We headed around the corner and the Kid took off his shoes and started snuggling with his main carer. She adores him and he snuggles with her all day long. At one point she asked "Does he do this at home too?" and I was like "Yeah, sure. Big hugger!" and while yes he snuggles, he isn't constantly draped over me. Apparently he's got a side piece. When it was time to say good bye he put out his hand to shake. Thanks Kid, for making me look like Captain Von Trapp before he falls in love with a girl who went to nun school.

In other news, the Badeschiff challenge continues. A friend and I started a weight loss/work out challenge back in February. While I didn't lose weight this month... I definitely didn't put any on. And I am back to yoga and for the most part, eating well. The Husband has also turned over a new leaf. He joined a gym and just a few days ago, he went to one of those sport supplement stores to buy protein shakes. I wrote on Instagram that I will probably have to buy him self-tanner and a Speedo soon. Just what the world needs, another Austrian body builder. But I am proud of him for getting healthy and maybe just maybe we will be one of those super healthy couples... yeah, no. I like wine too much. This morning I did some hot yoga and I felt great at the end. And in a little while I have 2 meetings regarding autism. Enjoy the beautiful weather and Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

A Finance Course and an Autism Benefit Concert

Sup? Sup? Things are a little crazy right now and I can't complain because while scientists have their own calculations about chaos... mine kind of goes like this: Tova + life = CHAOS. It's not that complicated of a calculation but sometimes you need an addition of the variable "Wine" and it seems to accelerate particles and then we have a Lifetime film starring a chubby Leelee Sobieski. I like a little chaos and I am definitely responsible for 99% of it and yet, I wouldn't change anything. Last time I posted, I fan girled over the awesome article Vienna Würstelstand posted about autism and it had pictures of the Kid and me and he looked adorable and I looked like I like cake (and I do). I loved the article and I loved all the shares. What I didn't expect was to be stopped in the street and for some woman to exclaim "YOU ARE THE AUTISM LADY!!!" I'll take it because that beats "you are that woman who thinks she can sing Amy Winehouse after a couple of cocktails." Heh.

So what is new? On Monday I went to work and afterwards met a very lovely guy who has offered to help me out in regards to figuring out figures for the Beacon Beach House. Now, this might come as a surprise to some of you... but I am awful at math. So this type of help is priceless and after 2 hours of sitting in a cafe, working on a Mac and using an Excel chart, we came up with a very very good financial plan. At one point he turned to me and said "You could actually make a lot of money from this." and I laughed and said "Yeees, exploitation of children is EVERYTHING." and of course that was a joke. I don't want to make a lot of money from this center... I want to make enough money in order to pay for our apartment and to pay for the Kid's therapy and for the darn Marmorkuchen he loves so much. I don't want this to be a cash cow because I believe that this center is more than an income - this is a new wave of autism awareness. I don't want parents here in Vienna to ever go through what we went through and I want this center to be the go-to place in Vienna for all things autism. And I hope that this vision will be shared with all the people I will be asking money for in the near future. Make it rain, possible future investors!

The other day I received quite a scathing post on the Autism on Vienna page. It broke my heart a little and I wanted to have a glass of wine but I was at work and it was 8 in the morning and one can't possibly start drinking until 8:15. I read the post a few times and talked to a couple of friends about it. I decided that honesty is the best policy and I responded. In the end it worked out and I realized that there will always be "haters" but if you are open and you are honest, that truly is the best way to go. My 18 hour days will pay off soon and I just need to grow a bit of a thicker skin because, again, surprisingly, you might not know this about me... but I am sensitive.

Last night was an autism benefit concert and I was lucky enough to be invited. It was in the incredible Musik Verein which looks just like Liberace's bathroom: so much gold. The concert was long... I won't lie. Over 3 hours long. And it was eclectic. But the absolute highlight, cross that off the bucket list, was hearing Anna Netrebko sing. She sang one song with her husband at the end and I teared up. Netrebko has an amazing little boy with autism and he was at the concert and he reminded me so much of the Kid. Except the Kid would not have behaved as beautifully as Anna Netrebko's son. At one point, her son saw a trumpet and walked across the stage to look at it and touch it and I knew that the Kid would have done the same thing... and then maybe would have kicked a hole in a priceless instrument because that's my boy! Siiiigh. After the concert, my friend and I headed to the after party in a tent outside of the Musik Verein and filled up on champagne and met a lovely man named Vito because of course we did. I am so pleased that there seems to be more of a trend to talk about autism and I am very much looking forward to planning an event in the next couple of months (stay tuned for that!).

Speaking of autism, tonight the Kid had a bit of freak out. I was getting him ready for bed and for some reason he was not happy. Since he can't speak (oh, he can speak his own language and we are all apparently idiots for not understanding him because self-confidence? Yes, he has a lot.), it is a challenge for us to understand what is wrong. He proceeded to scream and throw things and I just kept my cool and grabbed a blanket and wrapped him up in it. Our method for dealing with freak outs is to wrap the Kid in a blanket and hold him until he calms down. I whisper "You are such a good boy. I love you to the Moon and back. You are going to get through this. I love you." Over and over again. I am not sure if he understands what I am saying when he is in the middle of a freak out but I want him to know that these freak outs are not his fault. After about 30 minutes he calmed down and I brought him back to bed where he is currently sleeping deeply, happy as a clam. Pass me the wine.

And the last paragraph of the night before I do some yoga: tomorrow is the House of Canada Plaid and Poutine party!!!! We have been planning this for at least half a year and I am overwhelmed to see so many people excited about it! If you are in Vienna tomorrow evening, drop by the Beaver Brewing Company after 7 and treat yo'self to some Poutine Viennoise. I cannot wait! I wish you all a fantastic evening and hopefully see a lot of you tomorrow. I'll be eating cheese, fries and gravy and thinking about my arteries but don't let that stop you from coming up and saying "hi". Happy Wednesday!

Friday, 22 April 2016

A Book Presentation, Cocktails, Karaoke and a Huge Article

Happy Saturday everybody! It's grey and cold but that is a-ok. The Kid has a hacking cough again because of course he does. He is fine otherwise and today it seems to have improved. I ended up staying home with him yesterday and it was nice to just spend some one on one time, trying to bribe him to drink cough syrup and of course stopping him from crawling onto the kitchen counters to get cake. We are very similar. The last couple of days have been a bit of a whirlwind and here is a breakdown.

Wednesday after work, I ran home, fixed my make up and put on a denim dress. I had to look good because a buddy from Vienna Würstelstand was coming over to take pictures of the Kid and me. I only found out the day before that we would be photographed and while I read the e-mail, I stress ate an Oreo cookie. I am not good in front of the camera. I prefer climate-controlled, dark lighting, sepia-toned selfies that I can filter so I end up looking like I have the skin of a 7 year old. This photoshoot was going to involve a real camera and my fear was real.

At 6, it was time and the Kid displayed such a bro crush that I was shocked. He was all over the guy and I suddenly realized that he too wanted to be captured well on camera. I was asked some questions and then we took some pictures and it went by very very fast that I didn't even have time to do duck lips. The Kid was a rockstar! The Husband came home and I then had to run to the 1st district for a book presentation and be all intellectual and stuff. Or at least just nod my head sagely and look like I know what the author is saying.

I showed up at Morawa bookstore around 7:15 and grabbed a seat towards the back. The place was PACKED! The presentation started and I didn't even have to pretend to be interested because it actually was interesting. The book is called Hass Im Netz, published by the Brandstätter Verlag and is about Internet bullying. The author, Ingrid Brodnig covers the topic of Internet bullying and what to do about it. During her presentation, she highlighted different examples and also talked about media hysteria... how one image can be changed/misrepresented to represent a very different event. I will now apply this to every picture that pops up of me drinking alcohol. Total misrepresentation. Heh. After some questions and answers, there was WINE! in the bookstore. WINE IN THE BOOKSTORE! Had there been pizza too, I would not have left. I chatted to a friend who was there as well and then I was invited to dinner with another friend, the author and her friends and some people from the publishing firm. Don't ask me how this happens. I somehow end up tagging along a lot at these events and I'm waiting for the day when someone notices and/or realizes this. But for now... I will enjoy it and not say a word... Ok, I will say a few words because wallflower I am not.

We headed to Plachutta and when we walked in, we were treated spectacularly and I loved every single second of it. Menus were passed around and I noticed that there was just meat... so much meat. I think the menu might have been made out of meat too. I decided on the schnitzel because I am really rocking this vegan journey. I had a glass of prosecco and chatted to my friend. At one point, I chatted with a journalist. She asked me what I was doing in Vienna and I responded with "Drinking free bubbly!!" while holding up my glass and I am not sure that broke the ice so I turned on the North American in me and asked her a ton of questions. After what must have felt like an interrogation, she then asked me again about what I am doing here. I told her about my life and then told her about the autism center that I am trying to start. I talked about how there would be a coffee shop and that it would be a great way to employ people with autism. She looked a little horrified and I wondered why. I kept talking and then she said "I don't know much about autism but you want to force them to work?!?" and I said "Well, the kids would make Gucci wallets after school." and that didn't go over well so I backtracked. Turns out that she had a very different understanding of what autism is and it was great opportunity to talk about it. Dinner ended and I jumped into a taxi and headed home, loving Vienna even more.

The next morning, I headed to work and then in the evening, a few of us made our way to Hammond's for birthday cocktails. The weather was perfect and we sat outside. I drank margaritas and we laughed and laughed. A friend said she was heading to karaoke and asked if I wanted to come. I snorted and then said, "Ok, just for one drink and then I will head home." Yeah, so I sang. I sang a lot. It must have been those cocktails because I don't sing. I do not sing around people. I don't even sing in front of myself let alone a room with strangers. I have to say.... it WAS SO MUCH FUN! And I am terrible singer! There were of course a few Prince songs and that was emotional. And I attempted Amy Winehouse and that was emotional for the people who had to listen to me sing that. It was time for me to call it a night and we all headed home and now I continue to cringe at the memory.

Yesterday was the BIG DAY! The Vienna Würstelstand article came out and for lack of better term... it was AMAZING! You can read it here  . I need to thank my peeps at Vienna Würstelstand for covering this and for helping spread awareness. This type of publicity is priceless and a huge huge boost for my project. So thank you, guys! This is everything. I also want to thank everybody for their support. I know that this center will happen and it is exciting but also terrifying. On Monday I have some finance coaching and another little session on May 4th. And then I think it will be time to start applying for funding and setting up a business license. This will be a learning process and this will be difficult but it makes it easier knowing that I have so much support. Also, I'm not allowed to go shopping anymore for the next couple of years so that too shall be a challenge. Tomorrow morning I am being interviewed for an Italian blog and my life is like what right now?!?!

I wish you all an amazing weekend! I will be busy practicing poses in the mirror for any upcoming interviews because that is incredibly important. Heh. Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Photography Lesson, Hotel Tour, Brunch and an Upcoming Photoshoot

Apologies for not posting sooner. It has been a bit of a whirlwind the past couple of days. We have all day training at work for 3 days for some software so I haven't been able to update Facebook every hour talking about something or other. Speaking of which... yesterday I was on the Ubahn and there were a bunch of teenagers chatting. For the most part, I think teenagers are a-ok. A lot of them are misunderstood and I think it must be a challenge to grow up with social media nowadays: the pressure, the comparisons, the Kardashians. Every adult I meet always says "Oh thank God I did not grow up with Facebook!" and I can only concur. I would have been grounded every weekend for something stupid I posted or bullied for quoting Fiona Apple all.the.time. I once read an article that talked about how bullying is worse for kids these days because back in our day, at the end of school, we could go home and be alone and not be taunted... but these days, with social media, it can keep going and going and that breaks my heart. Speaking of which, I am heading to a book presentation tomorrow for a book that talks about online bullying and I cannot wait! Stay tuned for that summary. Anyway, back to teenagers...

Yesterday on the Ubahn, this group was hanging out and being loud and being awkward and then suddenly one of them dropped his smart phone and oh the cries of shock and horror from the group. There were pats on the back and hang in there buddy as the guy picked it up and checked to make sure it worked. A sense of relief spread across the gang and I thought it was pretty hilarious that the possible loss of a smart phone was such a bonding experience for them. So much compassion. I snorted.

The past weekend was pretty nice and pretty chill. On Friday afternoon I stopped by a friend's for a couple of drinks and then headed home for dinner with the Kid and the Husband. Once the Kid was in bed, the Husband and I watched some TV and then I crawled into bed to read a little. Those first 30 seconds of crawling into bed after a long day is always epic, amirite? In the morning I got up, did some grocery shopping and then headed to the 25 Hours Hotel to meet up with the Vienna Würstelstand crew for some burger tasting and a photography lesson. We sat at Burger de Ville and had a quick tutorial about photography. At one point our "teacher" asked if he was going too fast and the smartass that I am responded with "So this is a camera...?" as I held the camera up. We took some pictures and then the hotel manager gave us a little tour of the hotel. The Husband and I stayed there for a night last year and it was really lovely... and the beds are incredibly comfortable. We were shown one room that has a balcony with a tub on it. A TUB OUTSIDE! Another room boasted floor to ceiling windows overlooking Vienna and it was spectacular. It is all very hipster-ish but I have to say that it is a great place to stay in Vienna. The rooftop bar is also one of my favourite views of Vienna and I will cut you for a seat.

After the tour I headed home and had a small dinner and then once the Kid was in bed, we watched 10.5 Apocalypse which was killing us slowly with its stupidity but we loved it. It was originally made to be a mini-series but the German channel showed it all in one block. We were too tired to watch the whole thing so I told the Husband I would Google the ending. Spoiler alert: they blow up parts of the US to create another fault to divert the fault that is heading towards a nuclear reactor. Frank Langella is in this film! Why Frank?! WHY?!?! Were you in debt? Anyway, it was a great way to spend a Saturday night at home. Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and decided to go for another run. I am aiming to run 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week and continue with my yoga. It feels good to be running again and I just have to be very careful not to overdo it.... Of course, I never listen to my own advice and inevitably overdo it.

After my run, I started cooking. A few ladies were coming over for brunch and the Husband was kind enough to bring the Kid to see the In laws. They just got back from a 3 month round the world tour so it was good for the Kid to see them again. Apparently he remembered where everything was and promptly started watering the plants which is one of his favourite hobbies. At 11, the ladies showed up and we ate and I put on VH1 90's hits which turned out to be epic. Every time a song came on, you could see a wave of nostalgia wash over all of us. The last guests left around 3:30 and it was just a really lovely time. The Kid and the Husband came back home and I did everything in my power to keep the Kid awake until his bedtime... he was zonked. He passed out on the sofa. And now it is Tuesday night and he is in bed. He is coughing a little bit and I am choosing to ignore it for now. He has a had a cough off and on for the past couple of days but otherwise has been his normal self. Fingers crossed it passes. The Husband is out tonight so soon I will sit down and watch the Real Housewives of Melbourne and paint my nails. Just this afternoon I found out that the Kid and I will be photographed tomorrow for an article about autism! I cannot wait to write all about that! I asked on Facebook what I should wear and my dear friends had lots of great suggestions. On my way home, I stopped by a shop and spotted a casual denim-like dress and I think I might end up wearing that. I want to be comfortable and I want to wear blue and also, the planned autism centre is a beach theme so why not look "beachy". Cue the experimental self tanner tonight. This can only end well...

I also reserve the right to change my mind about the outfit 5 minutes before the interview. Heh. I wish you all a fantastic Tuesday night! Nighty night!

Friday, 15 April 2016

Proud of the Kid, Weight Loss and the Weekend

Happy Friday! Huzzah! Friday! It has been a good week and a very busy week at work. Monday I visited Specialisterne and on Tuesday I met a friend for drinks and dinner. Wednesday was my night at home where I spent it watching Real Housewives of Melbourne and doing my nails. Yesterday after work I met a friend for a couple of drinks and then headed home to spend some time with the Kid and the Husband. Once the Kid was in bed, we put on Southern Charm and it was a perfect way to wind down the day.

After work today, I will be heading to a friend's for a little bit to catch up and then will head home to make dinner and try and convince the Husband to watch another episode of Southern Charm. On Saturday I have a meeting with my fellow Vienna Wuerstelstanders and then on Sunday I am hosting a brunch for some ladies. I also have to switch my winter and summer wardrobe which will definitely keep me busy for a few hours.

Yesterday was the big kindergarten field trip. I was a nervous wreck. I wouldn't have been so nervous but he had had that horrible freak out on Saturday so who knows what could happen. My friend was like "What's the worst that could happen?" and I was like "He could run into traffic...or try to get into one of the large fish tanks because he loves water." and she was like "Well, he can't get into the tanks...but there is a crocodile pit..." to which I was like "WHAT?!?!?"

I spent the morning with my phone in front of me and kept reassuring myself that it would be ok. I was also nervous because he had been up since 4 and when he is tired he acts a bit like Godzilla on his period. At 11:45, my phone rang and I saw the big word "KINDERGARTEN" flash on the screen. I snatched it and took a deep breath and my friend whispered "Good luck!" and after I said "Hallo?", the Kid's main kindergarten provider just gushed... gushed like a fangirl meeting any actor from any show that has fangirls. #teamedward. She said he had acted perfectly on the bus there and going in. Apparently one exhibit held his attention for a very long time but I couldn't hear which animal she meant but as I wrote on Facebook: you are all welcome to come by and meet our new pet shark... Bitey.

Yes... we are those parents. Unfortunately (I just heard), the Kid had a freak out after the trip. I think he was probably exhausted and overstimulated. I just hope that this is a temporary phase again. But no matter what, I am incredibly proud of him. I have been a little rattled since last Saturday's freak out and I know that I am going to have to bite the bullet and try our walks again... but this time with back up: chocolate and the Husband. In other news, the Beacon Beach House autism center is still trudging along. I have a meeting Monday afternoon and then on May 4th, I have a more intensive financial coaching planned. So exciting! To raise some funds, I am going to start producing some fun bracelets! Stay tuned for that... too bad the Kid doesn't have a lot of patience otherwise I would seat him on the assembly line. My dreams of a pirate Gucci wallet making factory were dashed years ago... Such is life. And one final point before I end this post: the weight loss continues. The past couple of months, I have been keeping a food diary, pm'ing my daily weight to a friend who is doing the same and have been trying to eat better in general. I also... wait for it... have stopped drinking Coke Zero! Ok, I have had maybe 2 in the past couple of months but no more 2-a-day for me.! It's pretty amazing that I didn't need to put down a tarp and lock myself in a room to get over the withdrawal symptoms... but I have been surprisingly ok. I have noticed that my mood has improved dramatically. I don't feel sluggish or the need to cut anybody: I think with the combination of decent eating (not all the time. Let's not go crazy here), yoga and cutting Coke Zero, I have definitely moved into a more zen-like state. Well, unless you ring our doorbell at 10 at night repeatedly, then ask to talk to the former tenant and then when you are told that this so-called tenant moved out 2 years ago you don't apologize or say thank you.. then I might want to cut you. True story. My head almost exploded.

I wish you all a fabulous Friday! Toodle loo!

Monday, 11 April 2016

I Visited an Employment Agency for Autism

Wow. Just wow. This afternoon after work I was lucky enough to visit Specialisterne based in Vienna. I had never heard of this organization until recently. The Kid's therapist works at this organization once a week. I asked if I could come by one day and she said "of course". My goal right now is to find out as much as possible about what is available in Vienna in terms of autism support. In one case I was not so heartily welcomed. However, not today. I arrived at 4 and walked up the steps. Specialisterne was founded by a Danish man whose son had been diagnosed with autism. Frustrated by the lack of employment opportunities for people with autism. The Kid's therapist greeted me and we walked through to the meeting room in the back. In between is the workspace and there were about 3 men working at computers. The room has a row of windows and is bright and calm. We walked into the meeting room and she told me about the organization.

They are, for lack of better term, an employment agency for people with autism. They find jobs for people based on their skills and primarily focus on IT skills. There are several steps: first a person contacts them with their official diagnosis as well as their CV, then they have several meetings to discern what their strengths are, then they provide coaching and also meet with interested companies. Their goal is to pair the right person for the right job. Some of the people are based in companies and some work on-site at Specialisterne. Specialisterne is the point of contact and so if there are ever any questions or concerns, they are available. I was very impressed by the amount of support they offer and it was heartwarming.

At one point, our therapist invited one gentleman in to talk to me about his experience with autism. W. is 31 and was only diagnosed two years ago. He told me about his childhood, the loneliness and the problems. He was sent to psychologists and they were unable to pinpoint anything. He told me about the dozen jobs he had to quit. He told me about his mother and how she struggled and did what she could do. It was only about 2 years ago that his mother saw a programme on ORF about Specialisterne and suggested he should look into it. They Googled Autism and realized that he showed many of the traits and contacted a center here. It took almost a year for his diagnosis. I asked him how he felt when he was diagnosed with Aspergers and he said "Relief." I had to hold back my tears. It is criminal that such a wonderful man with such intelligence, warmth and a great sense of humour has had to spent most of his life feeling like he just didn't belong. I wanted to reach out and hug him. I told him he was inspiring and he had a look of pride. How can this city let such amazing people like W. slip through the cracks? CRIMINAL! And so, I will say it again and again, this city has got to change its approach to autism. Nobody should EVER feel like they don't belong and parents should never feel so alone. This is my manifesto! For people like W. and for my son... for all the parents out there who have ever felt that they have nobody... for every child and adult that has felt lost because of autism... I won't stop. Or, in other words, I got your backs.

I am so inspired by the people who work with autism daily in this city. They have been fighting an uphill battle and I have only just joined. I will be writing about Specialisterne's work on the Autism in Vienna page soon. I was so inspired by this afternoon and it has made it even clearer to me what needs to be done. I'm sorry if this post was once again ranty but sometimes you have to rant to be heard. I have no doubt that in the next couple of months I will piss people off and that is ok. What's that saying "People don't like you? Good. It means that you stood up for something in your life." I wish you all a great evening. I will be doing some yoga soon and then the Husband and I will watch some Southern Charm because it is the best reality show ever... well, one of the best ones ever. There is a whole lot of great reality shows out there. Or as I like to call them... documentaries. Happy Monday!

Sunday, 10 April 2016

A Nice Lunch, a Horrific Afternoon and a Great Night

Hello Sunday! Today was the Vienna City Marathon and I put on my sweat pants and sat on the sofa and watched it. A lot of my friends participated and I am incredibly inspired by them. So much so, I am actually considering taking a run this evening... maybe when it is darker so I can hide my shame. I am not doing the Frauenlauf this year but I think I will aim for the Night Run in September. I figure that gives me enough time to be back at my 5 K best. The good news is that my back is feeling a little better. I did yoga Friday and Saturday and that helped a lot. I told a friend that I was worried that I injured myself because of yoga and she was like "People turn to yoga to help injuries! How did you hurt yourself doing yoga?!?!" and I responded with "That's how I roll." I am not sure what caused the back pain but I am definitely relieved that I don't have to go to the doctor. Unless my doctor looked like this.

Office Twin hurt his back a while back and my friend S.R. hurt her neck and when we went for coffee the other day, S.R. and I asked Office Twin to ask his physiotherapist the following questions so that we wouldn't have to see one. The questions were: "Can a neck fall off?" "What does lower back pain with sciatica tinges mean?" and "Can one replace necks?" and "My period pain seems to have worsened."  I don't think he will ask but it was worth a try.

Today has been a bit of a lazy day. I got home very very very late last night and luckily I was able to carb load and then take a nap earlier today. I went a little nutso on the wine last night because I had had an AWFUL afternoon... which I will get to in a minute. Saturday morning was chill. I did some yoga at home and then got ready to go for lunch. A couple of friends were in town who I hadn't seen in years. We met at Pure Living Bakery (totally love this place) and I ordered a falafel bagel and a glass of rose. We chatted and caught up and then I headed home. The Husband went to the gym and I decided to take the Kid on our normal neighbourhood walk. He was a little whiny but I figured the fresh air would do him good. I figured wrong. I walked down the street and made a left. The Kid absolutely LOST IT! He was in his stroller and put his feet down and pushed back. I brought him to the bus station, hoping that would calm him down but it just made him angrier. He screamed and pushed me and pulled on my shirt and was in full freak mode. When he gets to this point, the only way to really calm him down is to wait. People at the bus stop kept staring at me as he screamed bloody murder and one woman kept moving closer to watch. I moved to the other side of the bus stop and she followed and just stared. I turned to her and said in English "Enjoying the show?!?!" and then the Kid threw up a little. The bus arrived and I decided to (stupidly) get on with him with the hope that he would calm down. He did and I made the decision (stupidly) to get off at the next stop.

He lost it again and screamed and arched his back and I pulled the stroller on its back two wheels and ran down the street to a side road so fewer people could have a free show. We got up the road back home only 10 meters with him screaming and doing an alligator death roll in his stroller.

And then he threw up again and this time on me. Then the screaming stopped and he started to cry. He reached out to me and put my arms around him and wanted to be held and hugged. It broke my heart. And my coat needs to be dry cleaned. For 30 minutes I hugged him and when I tried to pull away, he would cry harder. I kept trying to call the Husband at the gym but he didn't pick up. Finally the Kid was calm enough to make it back home and once inside, he promptly passed out on the sofa. The Husband called me shortly there after and was like "So, I have 16 missed call from you..." Heh. But yes, it was an absolutely terrible hour and it shook me. He has been so so good and this type of public freak out hasn't happened in a very long time. Usually freak outs are the precursor for a development leap so I have to think of this as a good thing. Today he has been absolutely lovely and has spent the past hour in his room playing which never happens and has me now reaching for the thermometer.

I wrote on Facebook: Raphael just had an epic freak out at the bus stop and threw up allover me and himself. Pretty sure condom Sales just rose sharply in the 4th district.  And received awesome comments and support. My online friends are awesome and I appreciate all the virtual hugs! One friend wrote that she appreciated how I didn't hide anything and I thought that was an interesting comment. I think it would be an incredible disservice to not talk about what we go through in regards to autism. By sharing our story, I hope that others out there can relate and/or feel better about their situation. We are constantly bombarded by images on the Internet of people having the "perfect" Pinterest life and I think this can heighten our sense of inadequacy. I love seeing my friends having an awesome time and I love that I can be in touch with friends and family around the world. But I can also see how draining it could be to spend a lot of time comparing. A long time ago I decided I wouldn't be jealous (and yes, it's a decision to be jealous as odd as that sounds). It took a while but I did it. Sure, when I see good things happen to bad people, I get a little testy, but otherwise, I wish the best for everybody because I like to think that they would want the same for me. Life is a struggle no matter what your situation is and I have learned over the years that what you see is not always what you get.

For the most part, my life is pretty darn good. I have great friends, a husband who is slightly scared of me but loves me to the moon and back, live in an incredible city and I love our apartment. I always have something to write about and I am about to embark on a life changing journey with the Beacon Beach House. I wouldn't change my son for the world but I want him to get as much support as possible because I do not want to go through that scene from yesterday again. I can't afford constant dry cleaning. I guess to sum up, I will always be honest about my life (some things I don't share because it's my blog and I am allowed to censor myself. And I am pretty sure the Husband would like me to censor myself a little bit more), because that's just who I am. I don't think people need to share their hardships if they don't want to... I just feel it is cathartic for me and just how I roll.

So anyway, after the Kid's epic freak out, I got changed, put on my face spackle and headed out. I was supposed to meet someone to discuss autism but plans changed so I decided to treat myself to a glass of wine at Cafe Hawelka. It was PACKED so I headed to Kleinod which was also PACKED and I was like "If I don't a glass of wine soon, I'm going to LOSE IT!" Luckily Kleines Cafe had a free table. I pulled out my Kindle and ordered a spritzer. At one point a man sat beside me and asked in English "Do I have to go to the bar to order?" and I replied "Nope, she will come by." and then returned to my book. I later realized I was a little rude and should have probably been a little nicer but whatevs, my time alone, I will enjoy it. At 8, I paid and headed around the corner to one of my favourite little restaurants La Cantineta La Norma. I've mentioned it before and I just always feel comfortable there. I met my friend and we talked and laughed and I ordered prosecco and a margherita pizza. We briefly discussed the upcoming House of Canada event: Plaid and Poutine Party. We have been trying to do this for over half a year and now it is really happening and I cannot wait! If you are in Vienna April 28th, come on by the Beaver Brewing Company for some poutine and a whole lotta of Canadiana... Woot!

After dinner, I jumped into a cab and headed to the 5th district to La Vita est Bella. I have passed this place so often and never realized it is a fantastic wine bar. I was meeting some friends for a mini reunion and as I walked in, I noticed another couple of friends at another table. This city, it's a village. I ordered wine and there was a lot of laughter. At one point, towards the end of the night, I got a little emotional talking about the Kid. I don't cry much these days which I know probably is a mistake. I think I have this fear that if I start crying, I won't be able to stop. But I keep trucking and I know things will get better. Oh, and earlier in this post, I was talking about the Kid being awesome today and stuff and now he is a grump again so I better keep an eye on him to avoid another freak out. Never boring in this house! I better run! I wish you all a fantastic Sunday! Tomorrow I have a meeting after work at an organization that helps find work for people with autism. I am really excited about this and cannot wait for this visit! Stay tuned. Happy Sunday!