What a weekend…

Emma turned 19 years old on Saturday and since she’s looking for an apartment, I bought her kitchen supplies…

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She was thrilled with them 🙂

She also had a surprise for Jeremy. She used her birthday money from Mark and her grandmother to get a heart tattoo on her forearm, complete with autism jigsaw pieces and Jeremy’s name. Pretty much the sweetest tattoo ever! Then she did his nails…

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And styled his hair…

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I had plans of making Emma a birthday cake but that wasn’t what she wanted. So this year she had birthday frosted cinnamon rolls. They were so good! Made for an interesting blowing out the candle shot 🙂

Emma and Mark went off to celebrate with friends while Jeremy and I went to Karen’s house for a family dinner. Jeremy had removed most of the braid, insisted on clear fingernail polish and scrubbed off his toe polish. I don’t think anyone even noticed either way. The only comment he got was a question as to why his hair wasn’t as purple as before. He used a different dye this time, which isn’t as vivid but lasts longer. So the evening was quiet for us.

Then came today and the second family visit… an all day trip to the zoo. The trip went fine, which was a relief. Jeremy and I took just over 300 photos between the two of us. Jeremy took this one…

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And I took this one of Jeremy, on a Gorilla climb…

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I’ve got better shots of him but they show his face. Both Amy and I went up and my Dad did as well, which was impressive considering he was decades older than everyone else. He went right to the top too.

It was a good visit. I think the only conversation we had with Amy was general chit-chat in the car. The weird part is that both Amy and Karen have posted their big family zoo pictures on Facebook. They managed to get Jeremy in several group shots but, despite me being right there for the whole trip, both managed to miss me in every single photo. That’s pretty darn talented. I’m glad my Mom borrowed my camera and took a few shots because otherwise it would look like I wasn’t even there.

Amy doesn’t leave yet but, while she and Karen have several more outings planned, neither Jeremy or I have been invited. Which means we won’t see her again for another year.

And now that our family obligations are done, us introverts can relax.

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Pokemon and gender…

I was chopping vegetables for dinner last night when Jeremy walked in and leaned against the fridge.

“If you were a Pokemon, which one would you be? Dialga or Pikachu?”

What? I know who Pikachu is, the annoying yellow one, but I had no idea at all what Dialga was. I separated the onion rings, throwing them into the bowl with the rest of the veggies, then turned to look at him.

“But what if I’m not either of them,” I quipped. I smiled wider when he looked confused. “What if I’m a new Pokemon?”

“Oh god Mom, don’t go there,” he moaned. “There’s got to be like a thousand Pokemon already.”

“And yet you only showed me two,” I replied. “When you said you weren’t sure what gender you were, I gave you a whole list.”

He snorted. “Fine, I’ll get you a list,” he said then turned and hurried out of the room, returning less than a minute later with his Pokedex.

His Pokedex has a highly pixelated, almost identifiable picture that moves drunkenly across the tiny screen. Meanwhile it recites the information in a robotic, feminine voice that reminds me of the car voices in the 1980’s, except more annoying. The first picture it showed was Turtwig.

“Great. I’m Turtwig,” I said then motioned him away from the fridge door so I could grab the cornstarch and club soda for the tempura batter.

He watched the club soda fizz as it mixed in with the flour. “Mom, Turtwig is a grass type Pokemon and will eventually evolve into Torterra. You’re going to have a whole forest growing on your back at some point.”

“Thrilling,” I said dryly. “Now turn that Pokedex off before I scream. That sound is beyond irritating.”

He turned it off and I moved everything over to the stove while he got the dishes started in the sink.

“I have a question for you,” I said as I eyed the oil. It was swirling a bit but not enough to start dipping veggies. “You’ve said you don’t know if you’re trans or not. Is that because you know what your gender is and aren’t sure if it counts or because you haven’t figured out your gender?”

“Because I haven’t figured out my gender yet,” he replied promptly.

“You’ll sort it out. I was reading that some people don’t figure out their gender until their early twenties. It’s not common but it’s not unheard of.”

Jeremy nodded. I coated one of the veggies with batter and lowered it into the oil. It stuck to the bottom, fizzing madly.

“Well, that was a failure to float,” he commented. “No, wait… it’s rising now.”

And then the conversation moved on to other topics.

As for now, it’s Emma’s 19th birthday. Jeremy’s snuggling one of the cats on the couch and I need to make a batch of cinnamon rolls for Emma’s birthday lunch; she’s requested them instead of a cake.

And then we’re off to the family reunion…

The best birthday present ever…

Aka, I love my parents 🙂

I should know my Mom by now. I get my complete inability to handle surprise situations from her. She tends to get upset and lashes out when faced with an unfamiliar situation, only to be totally fine later on.

This morning (once we buried poor Bean) we headed off to our favourite Thai restaurant for lunch with Emma. Then, following Jeremy’s counseling appointment, we headed over to my parents’ house. Emma and Jeremy went immediately upstairs to work on Jeremy’s hair. I wandered up a little while later and knocked on the door.

“Can I come in?” I asked.

“Sure. You’re good,” Emma replied.

I stepped inside and Jeremy spun to face me. He was wearing a navy blue sleeveless dress and his hair was pulled back from his face with black barrettes.

“You look very pretty,” I commented before giving him a quick hug.

“Thanks,” he replied with a smile. He spun back to the mirror and his smile grew more uncertain. “I don’t know why I look so good in women’s clothes.”

“C’mon,” Emma urged. “Let’s go put on some makeup.”

Emma loved dressing Jeremy up and trying different styles of makeup on him when they were little. This faded over the years; when I look back it was around the same time she grew more frustrated with him. I had a heartfelt talk with her a few weeks ago and she tearfully told me she’d been being hard on Jeremy because she was scared of him getting bullied. She hadn’t realized how much her behaviour was hurting him.

I headed back downstairs to chat with my parents and came back up a half hour later to tell them it was dinner time. Jeremy had changed out of Emma’s dress but his shirt was sweaty so Emma had given him a tank top to wear along with a sports bra. He quickly covered them up with a plaid shirt and went to scrub his face. Most of the makeup washed away but he went downstairs wearing his sister’s shirt, mascara, and black barrettes.

My parents said nothing about his appearance. They laughed and joked with him like usual while Jeremy tried to pass his quietness off as being tired. He picked at his meal. Then came dessert. My Mom usually makes angel food cake for birthdays but there’s no way to make that vegan, so she had ice cream, sorbet, and fruit salad. Jeremy got himself a big bowl of ice cream then my Dad snuck it.

“Granddad,” Jeremy laughed. “That’s mine, give it back!”

My Dad laughed as well, wrapping his arms around the bowl. “No, it’s mine,” he insisted.

Jeremy made a feign then grabbed the bowl back and the ice was broken. Once his bowl was empty, he turned to Emma.

“Can we go back upstairs now to do my hair?” he asked. And off they went.

I was showing my parents how to download pictures from Facebook when Jeremy and Emma came downstairs. Emma had made two small braids at the front of his hair and something called a fish tail on the back.

My parents looked over.

“Your hair looks nice,” my Mom said warmly and my Dad nodded agreement. Then both kids went outside.

Nothing was said about the purple metallic nail polish on Jeremy’s toes or the pinkish-beige polish on his fingers. It was, hands down, the best birthday present ever.

One of my regrets from when Jeremy and Emma were younger was I never took pictures of Jeremy dressed in anything but boys’ clothing. I was so worried about embarrassing him when he grew up with silly pictures of his childhood; it never dawned on me that he might want them or how he’d feel about his photo-happy mother never taking those photos. Today I took a tonne.

(((hugs))) Jeremy a bit tighter…

I really don’t understand people sometimes. I just don’t…

LGBTQ Youths with Unsupportive Parents Sound Off Anonymously with Whisper App

And… it’s my 44th birthday. First thing that happened was I went to feed the guinea pigs and found our smallest and shy one dead on the cage. They’d just turned six years old. So we’re off to bury little Bean before lunch.

Plus side is it’s not like the day can get much worse… it’s got to be uphill and sunshine from now on. At least once the poor little piggy’s buried.

Happy birthday to me…

It’s my 44th birthday tomorrow and I had my party yesterday, which a whopping three people were able to attend. Ironically enough, two could only stay for an hour then they left and an hour later the third guest arrived, so I had my party in shifts.

P couldn’t attend as his husband M was working and he’s too shy to come on his own, but he sang happy birthday to me on the phone and promised we’d all get together soon. Emma’s at her boyfriend’s family cottage for the weekend but she booked my actual birthday off and is taking me out to our favourite Thai restaurant for lunch. And two more friends are taking me out for dinner on Thursday.

I was my usual scatterbrained self although, like usual, I went into the preparations with the best of intentions. I even made a list of chores just so we’d be organized. I was determined I would have all the veggies chopped for the tempura and start frying it by 4:30pm so I’d be ready for guests to arrive by five.

The morning started off quite relaxed. We both took turns eating breakfast and showering then I leisurely washed the dishes while Jeremy cleared all his electronic bits and pieces off the table, couch, floor, computer desk, and chair. Then he cleaned the guinea pig cage while I gave the piggies a bath and trimmed their nails. Okay, that part wasn’t relaxing for the piggies but they smelled a lot better.

By then we were both starving and took the time to eat at our newly cleaned table.

“You’re so pretty,” I blurted after watching Jeremy for a while.

“Not handsome?” he asked, looking at me quizzically.

“Handsome too,” I agreed. “Would you rather be called handsome?”

He shrugged then said, “Not really.”

“What would you rather be called?” I asked. He shrugged again. “How about fabulous?” I suggested.

Jeremy snorted. “Like that would even work,” he said with all the scorn a seventeen year old could muster.

“You look fabulous,” I pointed out. I could tell by his expression he knew I was right.

“Yeah, I guess…” he murmured. “How about good?”

“Okay,” I agreed. “You look good.”

We cleared off the table and went back to our chore list. I was still confident we’d be more than ready in time. I could see my table all set; a scattering of glitter sprinkled across, my rattan lights softly glowing, my cake all covered in the candles we’d bought yesterday (I’d been aiming for mini sparkler candles but Jeremy fell in love with the rainbow candles with coloured flames instead), and my snazzy paper straws.

Four thirty found me yelling at Jeremy, “What do you mean you used all the vinegar when you cleaned the guinea pig cage? What am I going to mop the floors with?”

He looked at the empty bottle and shrugged. “We’ve got red wine vinegar under the cupboard. Would that work?”

I pictured the apartment smelling like the dumpster behind a bar then realized it was moot, there was no way I could sweep and mop before five o’clock and I still hadn’t made the frosting for the cake, let alone decorated it… and hadn’t even started chopping the veggies that I was supposed to be cooking right this minute.

“Are you okay Mom?”

“Not last time I checked,” I replied. “Can you sweep?”

He made a valiant attempt while I got the frosting ingredients out. Then I pulled the cake out of the freezer and sighed. I’d already had to dump the centre of both layers because they were gooey (vegan here… I didn’t poison anyone with raw egg goop) but they’d sunk even more. I put a bunch of frosting in the centre, hoping to fill it out a bit then started spreading frosting over the top. Crumbs started rolling everywhere but at least I was coating the whole cake in Oreo crumbs so they wouldn’t show up. That was when I realized a cake covered in baking crumbs looks like it got dropped into the dirt then dusted off and stuck on a plate. Hopefully it would taste good.

Jeremy was quiet when my first two guests were here. He said “hi” then went right back to the computer and his game. Then my third guest arrived and he turned into a model host. He insisted on giving her a tour of the whole apartment, introduced her to all the cats, and showed off his electronics. She’s a new employee, he’s never met her before, but somehow they just clicked. He got out a charger so she could charge her phone then showed her some features. At one point in the evening he made a huge derp face.

“I’m so handsome,” he joked.

“I thought you were good,” I quipped. He looked at me like I’d completely lost my mind.

“No, I’m handsome,” he said patiently.

Alrighty then. He’s handsome in public and good in private… at least until everything changes again with no warning.

The evening moved on to sharing different songs. It turned out we all love Penatonix. We listened to a couple of their songs then my coworker had a song to share where everyone took turns playing the same guitars. I shared a version of Royals sung a capella by a teen using a cup for percussion. Then Jeremy plugged his speakers into his netbook.

“I have a song,” he announced. He could barely hold back his grin. That grin just screamed mischief.

“Let me guess, Diggy, Diggy Hole,” I said drily. “It’s a Minecraft song,” I added before I sang a bit of the chorus. I only needed to sing a bit, the song is very repetitive. Jeremy’s grin grew wider.

“I bet it is,” she agreed. “He’s got a suspicious look.” Jeremy giggled.

A few soft piano notes… this definitely wasn’t Diggy, Diggy Hole. Jeremy had put on Same Love.

He started playing Same Love about a week ago, ostensibly for me. I like the song but I’ve never hunted it out (other than when it first came out and I showed it to both the kids) and don’t have it saved on my computer. Jeremy has it saved on his though and plays it several times a day.

My coworker started singing along and Jeremy switched from an “it’s just a joke” grin to a genuine smile.

It was a great day.

My Oreo cake

Happy Birthday Jeremy!

It ended up being a day for just the two of us, and it was great 🙂

I got all the presents out last night then wrapped them…

the presents from me

My Mom and I went shopping yesterday and picked up the Jaffa Cakes (which Jeremy loves). I mentioned to the shop keeper that Jeremy was really into Doctor Who and was informed that all the teens who watch Doctor Who want Jammie Dodgers and Jelly Babies. Okay then, some more candy went onto the pile. And I couldn’t resist the puppy picture when I found it at BouClair (one of Jeremy’s favourite shops). Lately, every time Jeremy’s asked to guess something he asks, “Is it a puppy?” in blatant imitation of my friend M. I was thrilled to be able to tell him today that I did get him a puppy. He informed me this was the best type of puppy because it doesn’t need walking or cleaning.

Jeremy loved his card too although he was disappointed one of the balloons didn’t have a fancy string…

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I’ll work on that next time LOL. The card says “Today is going to be so happy… Today is going to make all the other days jealous”.

I made chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, at Jeremy’s request then he built circuits while I baked his cake. And then we went to his favourite Japanese restaurant for lunch, followed by go-karting…

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I’d deliberately taken this shot from behind so I wouldn’t get Jeremy’s face in the shot, only to realize once we got out of the building that Jeremy had turned so his face would be in the photo. Crap.

“Jeremy?” I asked, holding out the camera. “Do you think anyone could tell this is you?”

He peered intently at the screen. “I don’t know. Maybe.”

“I was taking the picture for the blog,” I explained. “I didn’t think you’d turned. But it’s okay, I can blur your face.”

“But Mom! What if someone sees the background and recognizes the track? What if they think ‘I’ve been there before’ and look at the date and see my birthday was the same day? What if they realize it’s me?”

I look at the stats on the blog. At the beginning, the majority of the readers were in the States so I was able to tell Jeremy no one would know who he was. But I’m getting more visitors from Canada which means there’s more of a possibility.

“Jeremy? What is the worst that could happen if someone recognizes you?”

He stopped for half a second to stare at me. “Well, people would know who I am. People would know this is me on the blog.”

“Okay…” I drew the word out. As far as I could tell, he was stating the obvious.

He stared at me again. “Mom,” he said then paused. “What if I got disowned?”

I had absolutely know idea this was a worry of his. No idea at all.

“Jeremy, that’s not going to happen,” I protested. He didn’t look convinced. “If anyone ever disowned you, I’d disown them,” I promised and he grinned.

We walked a few more steps. “Hon, seriously. No one’s going to disown you. I already have two gay cousins.”

And he relaxed.

Then came Jeremy’s favourite part of the day. We went shopping. We went to Target, Value Village, Staples, Dollarama, and then back to Value Village. Well he went back to Value Village, I ditched him to go grocery shopping. Jeremy loves shopping and, well, it was his birthday so I tolerated it.

Also, I don’t know why I thought his birthday candle was pink, maybe because that’s the colour in every video I’ve found, but it turned out to be blue. It didn’t play music but it did spin so it was fabulous…

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You can see Jeremy’s new Doctor Who t-shirt and his brand new Doctor Who necklace from Emma. The necklace contains both a watch and a mirror. Jeremy loves it. And his shorts really are silver.

Happy 17th birthday Jeremy! You’re an amazing kid. I’m very lucky to be your mother.

10 Handsome Men who were born looking female…

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The above picture gallery just showed up in my Facebook news feed, so I immediately had to share.

Also, tomorrow’s Jeremy’s 17th birthday. We’re having his family dinner tonight; a slightly soggy barbecue with my parents, his paternal grandmother, Emma, my sister, and my two nephews… so a fun evening. Then I’m baking his cake tonight and taking him go-karting tomorrow.

He’s also home today due to a run of insomnia. Last night he went to bed at 5pm (again) and woke up at some ungodly hour only to fall back to sleep at 6am. Considering he needed to get up at 7am, this was not going to work. He’s since had a nightmare about a spider the size of a rat crawling on him and is now up for the day. At least he’ll have plenty of time to clean up his bedroom.