IT’S FINE!…And Rewiring The Brain

Well, my dad came and went. AND IT WAS ALL FINE!!!

We’ve also been through a friend of my sisters visiting for a few days while she was working in town AND IT WAS ALL FINE!!!

Next major hurdle; Gord leaves on Monday for almost two weeks and when he returns my Nana will be coming as well for almost two weeks…

But so far IT’S FINE!!!
(thank you for the tips and advice here and on twitter, we’ve been using them!)

It would seem the issue is with brief comings and goings but all of our long-term visiting success is reassuring!

***

Since regrouping after our ADHD as Attachment DHD revelation, we have made some small changes (again) that are making an impact (again).

We have taken back a lot of control from Jonathan; giving him fewer choices over even simple things (what clothes to wear etc) and answering a lot of ‘why’s?’ with simply “I’m the grown up, you’re a kid” in hopes of him starting to figure out that he doesn’t have to worry about grown up things or be responsible for grown up things, something that we have figured out he needs to do to keep himself feeling safe and to be in control.
It’s a tricky thing to balance though – when I ask him to help with jobs around the house I feel like I’m contradicting myself, even though those helping tasks are age appropriate and normal things…

We’ve also been emphasizing super high praise and rewarding (we were already but now we are silly over the top) and very strict rules (we already had those too but too many chances make things too tricky and hard to understand). We now feel like drill sergeants and crazy over the top clowns, but we are seeing small successes…and thinking back from where we started we are doing pretty well thank you very much!!!

One more thing we’ve done, which I think is a little controversial in some circles, is ‘holding’. I had posted a picture a while ago with Jonathan and I rocking, and although he asks sometimes for this at night before bed it is when he is half asleep (he takes melatonin to slow himself down) and also it’s very brief – he often asks after 30 seconds or so to go to bed.
We decided to take control over this too and try to fill in what he missed as a baby. We are starting with a goal of 1 min, and unfortunately 1 min may be aiming to high right now.  Everyday, we cuddle together, which is fine with him initially. We rock and I’ll sing to him. He can tolerate about 20 seconds and then he starts pushing back. He’ll say things like ‘too tight’ and he gets agitated. I hold on, keeping him close to my body (which is really hard to do, the kid is a hulk!) and sing a song quickly or talk quietly to him. When time is up he is usually eager to continue sitting on my lap, although not being held, and to keep singing and have some tickles.
We (Gord has done it a few times too) have done this for almost one week now and there has been one afternoon where the fighting back was significantly less and one where is was a bit less. I think for us, for him, this may be helping in building some trust and re-wiring some of those brain circuits that have faulty wiring;)

We’ve been seeing more regression type behaviours, nothing major but behaviours such as wanting to be picked up more and squishing in on a chair beside one of us and being really close since we started these changes. We see them as a good sign and we will continue on this path until he shows us that it’s not working for him any more.

Sometimes adoption parenting all feels so clinical and calculated…and it certainly sounds like here from what I’ve described here. If we aren’t thinking about control and filling brain gaps and reshaping behaviour then we are thinking about speech and communication. It can be exhausting and overwhelming sometimes. But rest assured we do sometimes let it all go and just have fun and be silly:)

The Snowball Problem

I have a problem. And despite the fact that it’s -10, April 15th and there’s a foot of snow outside, my snowballs are not in my backyard.

You see, simple things with me are not simple, they snowball.

Ford example, I went to clean up a few toys of Jonathan’s yesterday and it snowballed into 2 garbage bags of donations and a completely rearranged and cleaned out room. See. Snowball.

This is just how I roll I’ve come to realize. Today, another snowball happened. This time at the garden centre.

What started as a quick trip for some new mulchy mossy stuff to repot my orchid, snowballed into a succulent terrarium, two potted succulents and another new hobby. Aka, entering the world of succulents (in a place that has winter 8 month a year this should be no problem whatsoever right?

Here’s what I did:

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Heeey, check out that beautiful repotted snowball inducer in the background

 

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I don’t actually like these particular plants in here, nor the rocks (the staff were looking at me sideways as Jonathan tore up and down the isles so I thought it would be best to not be picky at that moment) but I figure if I can keep them alive then we’ll worry about aesthetic later.

Fingers crossed the sun room can be set up in the next week or so and I don’t have to truck these beauties in and out every day.

Happy Spring-ish:)

(A Sad) Indoor Winter Garden

I’m a little of tired of saying “I saw this thing on Pinterest”, but…. I saw this thing on Pinterest.

Cut celery, put in water, plant, it will grow forever.

Cut green onions, put in water, it will grow forever.

Well, I don’t know where all these successful green thumbs are at now with their celery and onions but they sure didn’t leave any tips beyond ‘put in water’ and ‘plant’! (To be fair I only looked at a couple of sites)

Here’s my progress:

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Day one – easy enough. After just a few hours you could actually see the green onion had already started growing a few centimeters

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One week later – onions are growing fast, celery very slow. And, I’ve been to lazy to go get soil to plant the celery so I just change the water every couple days (with the onion too) and move along

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Two weeks later – onions are awesome, celery still slow, but growing. And still in water…

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3-4 weeks later – I chopped off the amazing regrown onions to use about a week before this photo and this is what grew back (so the third regrowth for these stalks) –  straggly, uneven, falling over onions (and the roots were a rats nest). Onion is out. The celery is still not planted in soil, BUT it is doing really well (I just pulled off the outer layers of slimy yuckyness  and continue to change the water). So celery can stay for now. Perhaps this week I will even make it out to buy soil and then maybe it will really start to take off?!

Oh Pinterest….

*** It’s now been about 5/6 weeks…I can’t keep track…and I didn’t make it to get soil. The tiny celery stalks got really limp and the outside was just too slimy to carry on. Perhaps the soil IS the key and the failure is all my fault. I shall try again in the spring!

Fall photo explosion.

We have had a beautiful fall. Usually in Calgary we get summer and winter but every few years we actually get a few weeks of warm days, cool nights and yellow leaves on the trees for more than 3 days (really, they’re all yellow, no orange, no red. Yellow). It’s been fantastic.

After getting the news about our match and scheduling our Information Sharing (for October 19th – yeah yeah!) we’ve been balancing all the excitement and freaking out with carrying on with our everyday…or at least going through the motions but now just with all kinds of crazy thoughts running in our heads! This is what we’ve been up to:

 Enjoying a real fall and harvesting the last morsals of our wee garden

Enjoying no-rush weekend cooking and dressing like I’m 
going to the county fair in my new boots (from Seattle:)

 Enjoying being tourists in our own city during a city open house 
(yyc naked) and exploring cool old buildings and spaces.
 
Getting Anthony into the new hobby of model building. And this one I’m not enjoying, but had to post it – Yep that’s a spider in my grapes. You can see where I just pulled one off and ate it before discovering this little friend. I did enjoy that he was dead. I’m now in thearpy.

Enjoying spending time with this soon not to be only child

Working on quilt top number two when number one is still in progress (hurry up Fabricland sales so I can get my batting and backing!!). AND, of course enjoying those super sweet kitties and their peeking under doors when they get left out. Seriously can’t get enough of them. Best. Cats. Ever.

Up next: more quilting, more pretending to work and trying not to check out completely, more freaking out and counting down days (12) AHHHHHH!!!!

Quick photo update

There’s been a wholelotta sewing happen’ around here. Mostly little presents and some epic quilting preparations . I made these pocket warmers for little gifts, and for us too (ok for me; I can never been too warm in winter ’round here)

  
These two bunches of fabric arrived in my mail box this week. I have plans for the one on the left to do a lazy kind of quilt that I saw a tutorial for on Pinterest and the one on the left I want to try a disapperaing nine patch quilt. I think I need to grab a few more pieces to supplement the stash before I start.
 
 This quilt I started today…sort of. Really Christine and I started this 2ish (maybe 3?) years ago, sending fabric back and forth to and from Adelaide and Calgary a few squares at a time. We now have the same stack of scrap fabric cut into 4.5 inch squares. Chris did some serious research into adding linen into the mix and after much colour debate and testing, she picked this grey linen. Which also arrived in my mail on this week. This weekend I washed and cut and started to sew it all together and in the end we will have basically matching quilts but with different layouts once they are all finished!


Last weekend we went to Globalfest. Twice.
It was fantastic. I love fireworks. The shows were amazing and worth the crowds of people and $9dollar bag of mini doughnuts. Nothing more to say. Can’t wait again for next year…maybe we’ll go three times:)

 I made peach jam. It looks better than it is. I panicked at a crucial moment and now it’s a very thick, very sweet jam. That’s okay, it was my first time and many lessons learned. I don’t think I can use it as presents but Gord and Anthony seem to like it…after 12 jars though….

 

 I got some more carrots from the garden! There are a few strays still lingering that might grow big enough (and some beets and radishes and lettuce) if the weather stays nice a bit longer. The plans for next years garden are already floating around in my head…

We kept up our campfires. And of course more smores.
 
   
What’s a week without a cat picture or two?

When I was home in May I went through so many old photos from my childhood and really enjoyed the ones of my whole family together. I realized we didn’t have that many so I made another new tradition that every summer we will take a family photo. This is 2012’s… we may need a bigger porch for next year! (don’t mind the half dead pansies, they’ve been there since May).

That’s it that’s all. Anthony goes back to school this week, we meet with our adoption worker on Friday, and I may, cough cough, need to take a sick day this week to sew rest up.

Weekend, and then some, Review

We had another great summer weekend, although slightly quieter. On Friday night we harvested our peas and potatoes…and one lone carrot. It was nice to convince Anthony to come outside for a while – I’ve been teaching him how to build fires and light matches (Cub Scout prep you know) and he’s getting pretty good at it. He got bored pretty quick with helping in the garden, but did ask if he could practice chopping wood again so that was exciting. We may have have eaten more smores too…

I harvested most of the carrots and beets a few days later. Last year the pickled beets turned out great, carrots not so much. With so much (ha) vast knowledge of pickling behind me, I’m going to do the beets again. I’ve also got a huge bag of cherries pitted and in the freezer waiting to become jam. I think I will spend the coming weekend in the kitchen!
 

On Saturday we had some friends over for a BBQ and I saw this amazing recipe on Pinterest that I really wanted to make. But like all things Pinterest, you have a 50/50 shot of it working out. Deep fried cream cheese stuffed cherries was in the fail category. It was quiet sad.

 

But then you have cute cats who roll around on the deck and 
make you smile and you forget about failing at Pinterest.

I started a sewing kick. I’m so excited to start my quilt with Christine, she’s sending me the rest of the fabric in the mail this week and then we can start piecing our 2(?) year in the making transcontinental masterpiece. (More on that later) but basically it inspired me to get lots of little projects out of the way so I can focus on that when the time comes. That and the awesome fabric I bought on line that should be arrivng any day…I gots some busy fall sewing days ahead! While I wait, I made some hot/cold bags for the little. I also want to make Anthony a big warm bag as he likes to cuddle up with them under a blanket with a book in the winter (sometimes I question if we aren’t related, seriously).

 I also, brace yourself, made some Christmas presents. Little pocket warmers!
They also double for some bean bag action, if you’re into that kind of thing.
 AND, I made another baby quilt, pretty similar to the last elephant 
one but this one involved working around a very cute and cuddly kitty.

Sunday I spent at Fabricland gathering some pieces to supplement the upcoming quilting marathon, and hung out with Anthony playing board games and bocce ball. Now, we are well into the week and I have a few more little sewing projects to catch up on before the weekend, which may or may not require a sick day at work. We are off to Globalfest on Friday and Sunday (a huge fireworks competition) and so it is sure to be another great one!  Hope you are having a fabulous week too:)

Same Same

Nothing much has changed since last week.

More waiting. More small projects (ie. operation goodbye crack tub). More reading and enjoying the sunshine.

And I’m looking for a tutor to learn Spanish. It’s on the bucket list and needs to be checked off before we go to South America again. That probably won’t happen for at least 3 years or so, and so I figure that’s enough time to get a hold on a language;)

 And also this:

 If at first you don’t succeed….it’s definitely worth a second shot. Particularly if the thing you didn’t succeed at was delicious. They are mini but delightful (and don’t small things always taste better?)
 The beautiful grey quilt from the heap on the floor is in the process of being bound. It is looking like it will be on our bed by August, just in time for some late summer snow fall. I’m kidding. Sort of. 
  
A night out at the Thee-a-tar…
 

Anthony had his performance the other night for his theater camp. He loves acting, and he’s pretty good at it. And for the first time he was into getting a bit of a costume together. I was all over it. Even though it only consisted of turning a tie into a bow tie and buying a button down shirt and making it into short sleeves (he was a candy man – not in this picture though. here he was a gingerbread man. it’s all very confusing) you bet it was one helluva bow and spectacular sewing job on those skinny sleeves. Loved it.

Afterwards, Gord and I went for a late night ice cream run (it looks like the middle of the day, but this is about 9:30 pm). I have heard about Village Ice Cream and I will be a repeat offender. Salted Caramel, uh yeah. Toasted Coconut – yes please.

 The garden hath explodeth. I’m not sure how much salad one can consume but I’m about to find out.

 The sun room in the warm summer evenings is my favorite place to be. Sigh….

And today was zucchini madness. I haven’t baked in a while and who cares that it’s 25 degrees out? I certainly did not. Now that the kitchen is 97 degrees, I do actually care a little….

And the time has come to deal with the crack tub. I’ve bought enough chemicals to kill a small preschool and I’m hoping I don’t burn off my skin in the process.

Off to find something to make for dinner that doesn’t require me being in the kitchen…maybe we’ll just gnaw on lettuce!