It’s the most wonderful time…

When I was very little, my parents used to ask me what I wanted for Christmas and my answer was always the same. A pretty tree with lots of sparkling lights. Things haven’t changed. Christmas is my absolute favourite time of the year. I love it all. The lights, the decorations, the glitter, the music, time with family and friends, pretty cards, baking, presents, and an ever present feeling of hope and goodwill. This holiday is me.

This is also the time of year I started writing this blog… three years ago. So much has changed since then. Back then Jeremy identified as a femme, bisexual male (who felt a bit like a girl on the inside) and I was completely and totally straight (and deep enough in the closet I could hang out with the lion in Narnia). Now Jeremy’s straight, agender and alternates between masculine and femme while I’m a demi-romantic, pan-romantic asexual. So the fabulous has broadened to include both of us.

Three years ago Jeremy wanted a hair straightener and Jaffa cakes. This year I got them a strand of light up mirrored disco balls and a big stuffed Freddy Fazbear from Five Nights at Freddys. Meanwhile this is what I want for Christmas…

  1. Self-cleaning kitty litter boxes
  2. Self-washing dishes
  3. Magic refilling fridge
  4. Copious amounts of writing time
  5. A huge green space beside my building
  6. Endless supply of free books on my e-reader from my favourite authors
  7. Winning lottery ticket for $15 million dollars
  8. A stay at a tropical resort

Pretty much the only one that can fit under the tree is the lottery ticket. I’m looking forward to seeing it on Christmas morning 🙂

This year we’re staying overnight at my parents’ house, which is new for us considering we live a 15 minute drive from their place. It means we can hang out on Christmas Eve and open stockings with them on Christmas morning. Plus it’s more like the Christmas I was used to growing up, when we stayed at my grandparents’ house with a bunch of relatives. I’m looking forward to hanging out with them, Karen and her family, and my cousin and his fiance.

Three years ago Jeremy and I would be watching Doctor Who on Netflix but they’ve taken it off the Canadian line up. I did promise them that I’d watch Supergirl with them as soon as they finish the dishes. I hope the show’s good.

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Transgender Day of Visibility

trans day of visibility

I made this for Jeremy today while zie went out to Rona to look for “stuff” in general and “needed things” in particular. I’m reasonably sure zie was simply looking for anything to spend money on but zie came home happy with two new plants (both lilies and both well out of the way of our cats) and two wall adaptors that allow zir to plug light bulbs directly into an outlet. I had no idea these were necessities but apparently they are.

Jeremy came home and informed me that zie’s been thinking a lot about zir gender lately and zie’s decided gender is not very important to zir personally.

“I don’t mind when people call me he or him and I’m fine with people calling me she or saying I’m a girl,” Jeremy mused as zie gently pet one of our cats.

“What do you think about me using zie and zir for pronouns?” I asked then watched as zir mouth widened into a huge smile.

“I like those pronouns,” Jeremy said firmly.

Of course it isn’t as simple as that. It bothers zir intensely when people assume zie’s male and persistently refer to zir as he/him. Jeremy’s still furious with zir teachers for constantly referring to zir as a boy and snapped a few days ago when zir father referred to zir as son.

Jeremy’s not male, zie’s pangender so is all genders. And zie is so much more than that. Zie’s a gamer… a computer geek… a Whovian… a cat person… an RC car enthusiast… and someone with a passion for chocolate, flowers, and purple.

Zie’s too fabulous to be invisible!

The shopping blues…

“Mom, I can’t find a clean shirt to wear,” Jeremy said ten minutes before we needed to leave for the bus.

I got rid of all my larger shirts a month ago but that didn’t stop me from frantically pawing through my shirt drawer and closet just in case I missed something, anything. I hadn’t.

Jeremy liked my black velour holiday shirt with glitter across the front but it was too small. It was also a little over dressed for Wal-Mart but if pjs are appropriate than fancy attire should be too. Jeremy finally declared my very last t-shirt to be “okay”. Zie also took my sweater, one I’d long outgrown but loved too much to give away.

Jeremy expressing zir

Jeremy expressing zir “inner cat lady”.

Both Jeremy and I approach clothes shopping with a sense of despair coupled by a frantic desire to flee, which is why we both need new shirts badly. It’s not that either of us hate clothes particularly, we simply hate what’s out there. Why on earth would a t-shirt need pleats on the back? Or a stripe of completely different fabric along the bottom (but just on the front)? Or an entire front panel that’s a different material? Rips up the side? Ties *and* rips up the side? See through material? Jeremy abandoned me halfway through the shirt section with a promise zie’d meet me at the dressing room if I found anything. Zir “if” sounded dubious. I didn’t blame zir.

I eventually found four shirts for me to try and three shirts for Jeremy before calling zir out of the electronic department. Zie dismissed all three as being too tight and too weird; I had similar complaints. Zie finished first and raced back to the electronic department, asking me to meet zir there.

The sales associate looked up from Jeremy’s pile of shirts as I walked over with mine. She leaned close, obviously concerned.

“Did you know all these shirts are from the ladies department?” she whispered.

I leaned close as well. “Yes, I know,” I whispered back. Then I walked away and collected Jeremy for grocery shopping.

I tried not to glare at the old man blatantly staring at Jeremy when I found zir by the cellphones, although, to be honest, he was so focused on Jeremy I don’t think he’d have noticed if I even stuck my tongue out at him.

I vented to Jeremy about shirts on our way home.

“All I want is a plain, simple t-shirt with maybe a picture or a saying on it. Preferably Doctor Who. That’s it!” I exclaimed. Jeremy nodded.

“All I want is a shirt that’s not too tight and pants that have pockets. Oh and both have to be purple.”

After our last round of shopping I’m thinking we might as well ask for the moon.

Jeremy’s birthday extravaganza ~ part two

I promised Jeremy two things this birthday; a ride on one of the quad bikes at Centre Island and a rainbow Doctor Who cake. The first got fulfilled on zir birthday… then I had to complete the second.

I cheated when it came to the cake and bought a plain white cake mix which I made with a can of 7-Up (okay, Dollarama’s knock off “billion bubbles” version). Then I got out six bowls and a box of neon food colouring and got busy.

baking cake2

I’ve seen recipes with six layer cakes but I have two pans and not nearly enough patience. Instead I made each layer three colours, giving the cake an almost tie-dyed effect.

rainbow cake

I’ve baked a lot of cakes over the years and most of them I’ve summed up as “good enough”. This one ended up better than I expected…

Doctor Who cake2

Purple, sparkly, and Doctor Who!!! Also, there’s some heavy duty editing here as my camera is quite insistent that purple simply does not exist.

The purple glitter and silver stars represent space while the glittery circle is the time vortex. My reaction was “OMG… I did it! I actually did it!” while Jeremy was quite blase. Zie figured I’d pull off an absolutely magical cake no problem… despite all my previous attempts.

We had zir family birthday dinner at my parents’ house and Jeremy had an amazing time. One cousin made zir a mansion on Minecraft and then they all settled down to play SuperMario on the Wii-U until dinner.

Of course Jeremy’s favourite part of the day was the present opening and my parents’ gifts were a huge hit. Zie really wanted a remote control car, one that was strong enough to take camping and on our walks. My parents bought zir a huge orange behemoth of a truck, complete with horns and rubberized tires. Plus they got zir a red telephone booth shelving unit with windows and a door. Karen bought zir a gift card for video games which was also greatly appreciated.

I’ve tried to keep my most recent disappointment as far away from Jeremy as I can. Emma has borderline personality disorder which is a hard illness to live with from every angle (hers and ours). The two of them had a fight last week which involved Jeremy pushing Emma out of zir room. She says zie pushed her… Jeremy says zie tripped. I figure zie tripped and ended up pushing her harder than zie planned (which is less hard than she claimed). As always, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. This all would have blown over except Emma went on to tell her paternal grandmother about the argument and went on to claim zie’d been assaulting her every single day and I knew all about it. At the time, she was probably in enough emotional pain that it felt like the truth.

Their grandmother completely and utterly sided with Emma, which means assuming her other grandchild is an abusive bully. And Jeremy heard nothing from her all week; not even a Facebook birthday wish. If she truly thinks Jeremy’s been beating up zir sister every day, she obviously doesn’t know zir.

After dinner was eaten, the gifts all examined, and the cake demolished; Jeremy and zir cousins went inside to play Watch_Dogs. Soon it was time to go home. Jeremy begged to stay just a little longer as zie’d promised to show zir youngest cousin something really cool. Except zir character kept getting in massive accidents.

“My character’s immortal,” Jeremy laughed. “He lives through everything!”

“Maybe he’s Captain Jack Harkness,” I suggested and Jeremy shrugged.

“No, he’s not gay.”

I was about to point out Captain Jack wasn’t either when Jeremy looked speculative.

“Or maybe he is,” Jeremy mused and zir face brightened. “I don’t think there’s any storyline involving his sex life. He very well could be gay. That would be amazing!”

We got home and I sent the cards up on our kitchen table.

“Nobody got me specifically boy cards this year,” Jeremy said happily then zie looked more closely at the card from zir grandparents.

“They made sure to pick out gifts they knew you’d like,” I pointed out and Jeremy nodded.

“Aunt Karen didn’t pick out a boy card though. She got one that could be for a girl.”

And zie smiled the sweetest smile before heading off to zir room.

birthday cards

Jeremy’s 18th birthday presents…

This year I did a video instead of taking pictures of zir presents, simply because I got the coolest animated card…

And, since the lights didn’t show up well on the card, I took a second quick video…

Enjoy 🙂

Edited to add – Big Ben, not the tower of London. I just noticed what I said now.

A new year… a fresh start…

Jeremy and I had a great New Year’s Eve. Karen came over with her boys and we had a vegan fondue and homemade pizza. I got the recipe for the fondue from the Vegetarian Times…

Blonde Bliss vegan fondue

Blonde Bliss vegan fondue

This recipe made tonnes of fondue dip, which would be helpful at a huge party but was overkill for the five of us. I see it being transformed into soup in the near future.

Karen made a chocolate fondue for the kids, which was a success for two of them. Jeremy, in particular, pretty much cleaned it up but zie’s always been a chocoholic (zie comes by it naturally).

chocolate fondue

You can see Jeremy’s favourite cup in the corner. It’s a mason jar on a wine stem and Jeremy thinks it’s the fanciest cup ever.

And then Jeremy and I played Doctor Who Yahtzee. Jeremy quickly decided zie’d gain an advantage if zie surrounded zirself with Doctor Who paraphernalia. Every roll of the dice was accompanied by the TARDIS noise and zir handful of Doctor Who characters joined us.

Jeremy's Doctor Who conga line

The 9th Doctor looks surprisingly relaxed

I love the New Year. For all it’s an arbitrary date, I love the chance at a fresh start, a time to try and make things better. It’s a chance to reflect over the previous year and ponder the future. And I do resolutions.

1) Exercise at least three times a week and eat healthy – in some ways I’d love to look amazing this summer but my main reason is for health. I’m watching as more and more of my friends suffer from type two diabetes, high cholesterol, back problems, knee problems, breathing problems, etc. I’m really the only parent my kids have and they need me. I want to be healthy and here for them.

2) Spend more time with my kids – this one is tricky for an introvert who works in the public. Often by the time I get home, I’m totally peopled out and need time to recharge. But it doesn’t take long to play a game of Doctor Who Yahtzee and it would do both Jeremy and I some good to go for a walk, even if zir purple car tags along. Emma’s coming over this afternoon so I can start this resolution pretty much right away. And, even though Jeremy’s not exactly awake, I started off zir day with a good morning hug.

3) Watching my finances – I’m spending too much time dipping into overdraft and we’ve been eating out a bit too much too. I need to plan more “fancy” meals at home. There are things I’d like to do with Jeremy this summer which I won’t be able to do if our money’s frittered away on take out food.

4) Reach out more – I waited too long to extend an open offer to anyone who wanted to have Christmas dinner at our house. I need to try harder to reach a hand out to others. I put it off because I’m already stretched pretty thin, forgetting that when I’m reaching out to someone, they’re reaching out to me too. It’s a help for everyone including me.

5) Organize my life better – I won’t be stretched nearly as thin if I’m not going three directions at once. Life’s too busy to spend running around in circles.

I hope 2015 is a fabulous year for all of us. *throws confetti in the air*

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Gearing up for Christmas…

Right now I should be baking a batch of cookies, making caramel corn, and filling chocolates. Instead I’m sipping a mug of hot chocolate and writing here.

Today is our family Christmas dinner, held early because my parents are heading out to BC to visit Amy and her family over the holidays. It was also my youngest nephew’s birthday last week so we’ve got a birthday present to deliver as well and Jeremy promised, as the big cousin, to go over and play Minecraft with him. Speaking of which I better wake Jeremy up and remind zir of that promise.

I am looking so forward to Christmas, it’s my absolute favourite holiday. This year is going to be a lot more quiet than usual and I’m looking forward to that too. I love our big family gatherings but find them a bit overwhelming. Having just Emma and Mark over will be nice.

And this year will be a different Christmas for Jeremy too. Lots of purple… lots of glitter. I even found a purple, remote control car. There’s a sonic screwdriver in that purple sequined bag under the tree and gummy bear earrings in zir stocking. I bought things I’m sure Emma will like as well but won’t mention them here. *waves at Emma*

I got you an invisible, inflatable purple elephant hon… just like last year 🙂

I told Jeremy I’d wake zir up in a half hour and I’ve hit that mark now. Plus I really need to get started on the Christmas baking so I can get it cooled and wrapped in time for this afternoon. I’m going to leave you with a video I took a few days ago of a house just down the street from us. Not just any house though… the Merry Christmas house. They really decorate so enjoy 🙂