Saturday, July 13, 2013

4 Years HOME

Four years ago, we brought our boy Miles home.



FOUR years.

For an adoption that seemingly dragged on forever, these four years have flown by.  So much progress, so much growth and learning, for Miles, of course, but also for all of us.

I am at a point where I am very hesitant to continue to blog adoption/trauma/attachment issues, out of a sense of personal boundaries and privacy for our children.  I blog mostly for family and friends from afar to keep up with our lives.   Given Miles and Keenan's ages and involvement in our local neighborhood, school and community, I'm not really comfortable with airing things out in a public forum anymore.  They deserve to have privacy and share their own story as they see fit.

Also, over the years I have met more and more women in the adoption world, and I think there are a lot of phonies out there who want to be that in-the-know, I'm-so-healing, turn-to person for those families in the throes of this.  I don't ever want to come across as someone handing out advice or pretending I know what to do.  There are some really amazing, gifted individuals who get it and are great resources too the "trauma mama" community.  Utilize them.  But for me, I realize that honestly, I don't know what the hell I'm doing most days.  This experience has been has been a huge learning curve for all of us.  Some of my parenting trauma children attempts have been disastrous, and I feel badly about them for my own children; I sure don't want the burden knowing that I may have contributed to helping you mess up your own children, lol.

And, four years later, I don't think there are any tricks or techniques that are a sure-fire way of helping children with trauma histories and attachment difficulties that work.   I have read a ton and tried the gamut.  I do think that the best thing I have done so far is just to not worry so much, focus on connecting in the moment, giving chances for them to have re-do's, and not letting their behaviors push me away (thereby repeating isolation/abandonment cycles, no matter how little or trivial.)
 
So, all that being said (and wow, was that more said than I thought I would say), I will say this:  Miles is the bravest person I know.  He has let go of so much fear, let go so much need for control, let go if so much of constantly maneuvering himself emotionally to keep people at a distance.   He is still working and trying and growing, and I am often very humbled and always amazed by his perseverance.

The future gives me great hope.  If he can accomplish so much in four years-- four years of fear, changes, tumultous events in such a little boy's life-- I can only imagine just how much growth there can be in the next four.
 
We love you, Miles Jimmy (MJ.)  Four years.  What a journey it has been.






Friday, July 05, 2013

7/1/13 State of the Garden: The Promise of Pickles

Where did June go? I felt a twinge of sadness in my realization that it was July 1st, and time to update my garden photos.   June went by so very quickly, and here we are already at July 5th.

Summer is here, but the weather truly isn't.  While the rest of the country swelters, we have a mix of sunny warm days (70s, maybe low 80s, very breezy) with night showers and an occasional cool, rainy day thrown in there.  Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but it's just very different from recent past summers.

It's not optimal lake swimming weather, but it sure is optimal garden growing weather.

I can't believe how my gardens exploded in June.  Take a peek:

 
Above:  tomato plants, and some Three Sisters' planting.

Three Sisters is a Native American way of planting:  corn in the middle of a mound, surrounded by vining beans, surrounded by squash.  Nature's perfect harmony:  the three grow symbiotically: the corn providing support for the beans, the squash intermingling. And when eaten together after harvest?  These veggies combine to form solid, healthy, vegetarian protein.

Mother Earth is sooooo cool.

I added poles (discarded tree limbs from the Kelly Lake woods) for support because my beans took off(!) before the corn was sturdy enough to provide support.

The Mister spent a week in Vegas mid-June, and in just 5 days, it was as if he returned home to an entirely new garden.
 
So much is going on in the above photo it's hard to know where to begin.  Broccoli is hatching, cauliflower-- well, the plants are growing by leaps and bounds, but I haven't spotted any yet; brussel sprouts look promising and amazing.

Hey!  Ever see a dessicated, winterized Brussel Sprout plant?

 No?

Now you have. 

You're welcome.

Onto the pumpkin patch.  Oh! Lordy! The pumpkin patch!   I have never grown pumpkins or gourds before.

Well. . .  once I thought I was growing gourds, because my mother gave me a bunch of gourd seedlings.  Which turned into nasturtiums, altogether not a terribly unpleasant surprise, although they can't decorate your harvest table.  Turned out I was growing nasturtiums and Mother was growing gourds, because she mixed up the garden labels. 

So that was the closest I ever came to ever planting a pumpkin/gourd patch.

I knew that pumpkins and gourds need a lot of space.  So plunking them down in between the raspberry patch and the pumpkin patch seemed ideal-- lots of space in each for the pumpkins and gourds to grow.

But it wasn't enough, as the pumpkins felt confined and are now they are spilling onto the lawn.  Oh well.  Less grass for the boys to mow!

The side yard gardens are growing nicely.  I have little snap peas starting to plumpen, and the canteloupe looks like it may make it *fingers crossed.*

Plus, the promise of pickles abounds.
'
This year, I purchased a flat of pepper and tomato plants from a local high school greenhouse.  An entire flat for $10. That's it!  S-C-O-R-E!

I put most of those plants in my Triangle Garden Bed.  Yeah, I was feeling quite enlightened when I came up with that descriptive name.
 
At first, I was a bit skeptical of how these plants would do.  They were small, and took a loooong time in taking off.   A few weeks ago, I placed compost around the plants, then mulched with a layer of grass clippings.  What a huge difference compost makes!  Thank you, compost!

And my last garden pic-- one of my cabbage plants.

Who doesn't love a cabbage plant?  They are gorgeous and wholesome and sweet.  Cute, I dare say.  Like puppy cute or cute baby cute.

Only they don't cry.  Or whine.  Or soil things.

Baby cabbage clearly wins today.

I do take some time and non-vegetable/fruit garden as well, as well.  Every year, I try out a new arrangement for my front step urns.  Whatever strikes my fancy at the garden shop at the time is how I choose what goes in.



I love how they turned out this year.  It doesn't show up in the photo well, but on the right side of the urn is this super cool, spiral-shape, wiry green plant.   It adds some interest and completely funkifies my urns.  No stuffy urns here at this home.

Hey Daisy!  Love these happy little smiling faces that greet me these early mornings.

And look what greeted us upon our return home from Kelly Lake!

My day lillies have arrived at sweet last.

 Gardens are good.  Summer is good.  Life is good.

Garden on, my friends, and enjoy each day and the wonders that come with it.