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:)

Photo Dump

Big photo dump! Here’s what we’ve been up to the last couple of week:)

This cat, she’s killing me with her cuteness. She’s so sweet and gentle and has this crazy connection with Jonathan (more on that later). And, when she’s super cozy and sleepy at night she starts to wink. Always. Sigh, I know I will be the crazy cat lady when I’m old.

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This is as much baking as I’ve got to do on my own/with Jonathan (yes I’m counting pancakes as baking because that’s all I’ve got). I thought I’d get to do this more, but apparently quiet afternoons of tea and sunshine and baking are a myth of parental leave.

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We got Jonathan this spinney Ikea chair. He loves it and I think he’s almost done his first novel.

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I started embroidering. It’s terrible – I can’t stop. I’m so serious I bought these I’m-so-serious-about-embroidery scissors to prove it. I’m on my third project and I’ve abandoned all my other sewing and quilting projects which is a problem as there is a pile waiting to go.  And this guy, even though he’s about to turn ELEVEN next week, he still likes to bake a pie (and murder it) with his step mama…well he pretty much can bake on his own own but I pretend he needs my help;)

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Last week I would do errands and then park in the preschool lot 30 minutes early so I could listen to Canada Reads. I’ve listen before, but this year I was hooked. I’m half way done February by Lisa Moore and man alive, it’s good. I also put up these girly fabric circles (thank you Pinterest) on our wall…so far Gord doesn’t seem to mind;)

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It was my birthday last week and Gordy spoiled me. We had 2 nights of respite and even got away to Banff for one night. It was so nice and appreciated. I got spoiled with presents including this air plant, my first. Hope I can keep it alive!

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We’ve been spending time at the zoo (I’m one visit away from bringing my pillow and moving into the botanical gardens…the smell, the humidity…)

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Off for dinner and then some wine and cheese with my love…I think I have a serious cheese problem developing… more on that later too;)

(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!

June update

This, this is going to be random. I wanted to write something sentimental. Something smart, something inspiring. But I’ve been sitting here for almost an hour chatting with my sister on Facebook and my mind is full of none of those things. Instead, here’s the last week or so in photos.

 Fathers Day: Pancakes and Avengers. All. Morning. Long. (we never eat in front of the tv. It was special)

I have decided to look at cooking dinner as more of an opportunity to hone my culinary skills instead of a chore. This way, things are much more enjoyable. This Sunday I made a roast (delicious), whipped califlower (not so delicious – mostly because the blender is no substitute for a broken food processer. Lesson learned) and procuitto wrapped asparagus (success!)  
 

 And for dessert, I decided “enough Pining, time to do something to justify those hours of clicking and scrolling” so I made this: Apple and Brie with brown sugar and cinnamon (that’s the butter on top pre-wrap and bake). This is the before shot; I ate the after shot. I panicked and skimped on the apple, and let me tell you, don’t skimp on the apple. Also, raisins would be a good addition. Just sayin’ for next time…

 The house has been kid proofed. Tomorrow is our last home study meeting and we have been busy little bees, bolting down tv’s, finding lock boxes for meds, fire extinguishers, baby gates, electrical plugs, first aid kits and the list goes on. I’ve been whining a little (ok a lot) about it, but really in the end it all doesn’t matter. JUST GIVE US OUR KID ALREADY!!!!

Meanwhile, this kid went to his first sleepover camp. No parents, not even 1 out of 4 for a whole 30 hours. Phew. He made it and even had fun (a 7/10 if you ask him). That’s good news since he’s going to a 5 day sleep away camp in a few weeks…ready for the big leagues!

 I made a skirt! It was super easy, about 2.5 hours. I love it and want to make more but I have a quilt at the quilters that will need binding and another quilt that needs to get sewn together and and and about another 8 projects on my list so we shall see how many more summer skirts get done (that and I need to wait for a good sale at Fabricland!)

 About 2 weeks ago on an unexpected sunny afternoon I plunked all our seeds into our garden. Finally. And basically it’s been raining ever since. Such is life in Calgary. Despite all the rain, things are growing already The novelty of growing things doesn’t ever seem to wear thin for me. I love it. I think it’s amazing. This year we expanded our garden and now are attempting to have  beets, carrots, radish, peas, lettuce, potatoes, and onion.Yipeee!

And because of all the rain, I’ve been doing a lot. A LOT. of this. We got a library card and have actually been twice, which is one more time than the last time we renewed the card three years ago. It was cozy and nice the first few days and now I feel like I’m going to loose my mind if I don’t get some consistent sunshine back in my life. I also really need to the sun to shine because it’s embarrassing how much time I’ve spent on Pintrest, particularly the last few days. Enough. Give me my summer!

There’s my not sentimental, smart or inspiring post. I feel it brewing, it’s right there under the surface, so maybe next time I’ll blow your mind with some steller thoughts. Maybe not, but maybe….