Saturday, May 22, 2010

GOING, GOING

Have you bookmarked the new site yet? This blog is closing soon so don't rely on getting there through here!

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

BLOG CHANGES

A new strategy - the new blog is over here, this blog will close at some stage in the future, I won't be posting here again. Contact me if you'd like the password to view photos.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday, Alice didn't want to get dressed so we ended up having a PJ day. She was fascinated by the pencil sharpener and had to resharpen the pencils that I'd done the night before (they hadn't been done since, but she's 3, they needed doing!)

Monday, Alice discovered that pencil sharpeners cut fingers too. Now she has a sore finger and a new respect for sharpeners. (Note - this happened whilst I was at work and Alice was at home with a very experienced child carer, also note that Alice's finger is sore but not really that bad).

I get the feeling she's a kinesthetic learner and is going to learn the hard way!

LEARNING LESSONS

Alice doesn't really draw. She has an easel in the playroom, one side is a chalkboard, the other is drawing board. She'll draw shapes and different shaped lines but not pictures, never pictures.

Recently she's had several 'star' charts but she always requests a smiley face not a star, I started describing what I was doing as I drew the smiley, then I started getting her to tell me which bit to do next. She still never drew!

This weekend I tried a different approach - I ASKED her to draw a picture and SHE DID!!!!!!!! So simple, so easy, boy I feel daft!

This is my Alice drawing a tiger, she needed encouragement to use some colours (right now her default drawing style is quick to finish in lead pencil, no colours), she identified the colours of a tiger, found them and then used them both at once! (After that I asked her to draw her and I AND SHE DID!!)

Lesson learnt - by Mummy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

ET DON'T BOTHER

. . . phoning home, the phone's not working!

Fault reported, neither line working but we've still got broadband at the moment!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MY GIRL SMILES THROUGH

Today didn't go as planned!

We were due to meet D, A and baby D at the aquarium. Our car was the last allowed into the car park, they travelled separately and were only a few cars behind us. They were directed to another car park with so many others that even though they managed to park, they didn't manage to make it onto the shuttle bus. So we went into the aquarium and they went to the zoo!

Alice smiled through it, she seemed to understand that we couldn't control the situation either and handled her disappointment in a very mature way, she's only 3! We hoped to catch up with them once we were back at home, but that didn't work either. Still no tears. I'm really impressed with her behaviour, communication and maturity. Every day she's changing in incredible ways.

(It's not all sunshine, we're currently focusing on not using baby / made up words, she has an unfortunate way of making words that are very close to rude ones!)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

FAVOURITE THINGS

One of Alice's favourite things would have to be technology, I don't know if it is a case of 'nature' but it's definitely 'nurture'. She loves her 'puter and she's getting really good using the mouse!

CNY 2010, CELEBRATING THE TIGER

Last Sunday we drove (a long way) to Warminster to celebrate CNY with other adoptive families, including several of our closest friends and other Yunnan families.

Alice wasn't looking forward to the lion dance, we went to see it beforehand and met the dancers, it didn't help much. In previous years she's been OK, even up close, but not this year, this year she had a death grip on me, went rigid and shook. After the dance she was quite happy to get up close to the empty head and she's also quite happy to talk about everything that went on!

We watched several Chinese styled dances and I think that we might be driving over the bridge to England for Chinese dance lessons when Alice is a little older! She was VERY keen on the dances she watched. She was very happy to make a Tiger mask with stickers and crayons - she painted another at school yesterday.

She was very proud to wear her qipao and is delighted to tell anyone about it or share this photo. She will definitely be wearing one more often. This is yet another that I bought on her adoption trip in Guangzhou, there are still a few more in the cupboard but she's getting through the sizes more quickly than I'd anticipated!

It's the first time we've been to this sort of gathering where Alice has obviously identified that other children there are Chinese and also adopted, she was happy to make this link and has referred to it several times in the past week. So even though it was a very long way (nearly 2 hours in each direction) we had lots of fun but even more crucially it was important to Alice's sense of identity and she's already looking forward to the Annual (national) Reunion next month (me too)!!

ALICE ENJOYING SCHOOL

If you know where Alice goes to school you can see her on their school website. She's on the Events / Visitors page and the School Life / Charity page.

If you want the link then email me! Once this blog is private I'll post the links directly.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

BLOGS

This one, going private at the beginning of March.

www.kes44p.com will stay public

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

CHANGES

If you're reading this you've done well to find us again, back at the old address.

This blog is staying but will be going private next month, so please comment or email me if you'd like an invitation in, if we're 'virtual' friends please include a reminder of how we 'know' each other or the link between us, thanks!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

JANUARYS - 2010, 2009 AND 2008

January 2010 - big changes since last year. Alice had her second major experience of snow, she loves it, especially eating it and throwing snowballs. She loves our 3 dogs and our fish and snails, currently 6 fish and 1 large and 1 very small snail. She goes to nursery 2 full days per week, she loves going, she has a packed lunch each time and nearly always has egg sandwiches (a real labour of love as I detest them!) She's learning a lot very quickly, especially letters and numbers, she can sing the alphabet song with a few interesting edits (T, U, B!), identify 10 or so letters and count to 13. She's more strongly than ever attached to Flat Panda and was devastated to lose one earlier in the month. As for toys, her favourites are computers and playing games - D*tty Dinosaurs, D*odlebugs, dominoes and Un* Moo. Alice adores technology, I don't know if that's nature but it's definitely nurture! Princesses are a huge part of her life - small dolls, card games, sticker books and bedding but not films. Dressing up is still a very popular activity, especially as a Princess, fairy or an animals, she's more and more into pretending - both telling me made up things or becoming other things, especially animals. Monsters are also a big part of life but not a good one - they're frightening and can be found almost anywhere, a lot of films are frightening too. For most of last year Alice had lots of favourite films to watch but at the moment she'd rather watch TV - Sh*w Me, Sh*w Me or Hi 5 in particular. She loves books and, given the chance, will select a whole pile of books if anyone offers to read to her. Her favourites are Elm*r, the Sn*il and the Wh*le and a mermaid book, she still listens to Elm*r twice every evening after I've said goodnight. In the car she really likes to listen to Be*uty and the Bea*t. She's finally beginning to sing along to songs on the CD and even unaccompanied at times (she tends to sing Twinkle or Christmas songs). This month she began dance lessons and got a special reward at school for dancing too. She is very sure of her favourite people and always delighted to hear that we will be seeing them, especially A, O, L or GFN. She likes going to soft play centres but her very favourite activities always include animals - farms, zoos and aquariums. She also loves going to the theatre and went to the cinema for the first time last month (which she enjoyed but it was a bit too loud for her.) She's a social child who knows her own mind, she's opinionated and you won't change her mind without a good reason! Her favourite foods are mashed potato, cheesy pasta, eggs (especially egg sandwiches or boiled (dippy) eggs) and chocolate in any form, she's recently discovered hot chocolate but really only likes it lukewarm! She's demonstrative and very affectionate, she's becoming more and more helpful but she's still not very good at looking for things, even when they're in plain sight (like me!) She loves water too - playing with in (or in it), baths and swimming, she gets very wet at school and regularly comes home in a different set of clothes to the ones I left her in as she gets SO wet! She continues to love life and bring such joy, we are so lucky.

January 2009 - Alice has given up milk from a bottle (she had milk every morning and most evenings). Her speech is less clear recently but she's speaking in longer phrases and repeating EVERYTHING. She's finally really interested in story books and loves repeating the key phrases - her fav books are Dirty Bertie, Owl Babies and Elmer, she still hasn't got a long enough attention span for the Gruffalo! Role playing doctors and in the kitchen are favourite activities, jigsaws are finally interesting but turn taking games are much more fun - Who Knows Whose Nose is the best yet (ELC). Princesses and dressing up are Alice's most favourite activity. She can count from 2-5 but needs prompting for 1! She can fairly consistently name blue, white and a few other colours and she know the names of most of them but can't match them all up yet. She did love sausages, but not any longer, beans are still off the menu and toast isn't popular. Alice continues to love eggs and has now learnt how to eat boiled eggs. Her most favourite foods are oranges, cheese, potatoes, ham and chocolate.

January 2008 - lots of new words, lots of new teeth and most noticeably Alice took her first independent steps.

Some things haven't changed - most noticeably her easy going, affectionate personality (though that is now matched by being 2 and wanting control!) and her love of dogs.

(This is a post that I originally posted in 2009 and I felt it was time for an update!)

READY AND WAITING FOR CLASS DANCE

When I spoke to the dance teacher she told me that she'd invoiced me after several weeks when she felt that Alice was settled and ready to make a commitment. It didn't surprise me when Alice was given the invoice at the end of her second lesson. This week's lesson was another great success, Alice adores it. With the invoice comes the 'opportunity' to purchase the dance school uniform - blue leotard and skirt, pink cross over cardi, tights and leather ballet shoes (with elastic to sew in, joy!)

We tried various bits on while choosing them, but not the whole outfit until this evening, just like 'Class Dance' Alice loves it and was happy to pose and pirouette for me, now she's anxious for it to be time for Class dance again.

Yet again I can't ignore how quickly she's growing up, wow!

THIS PHOTO JUST MAKES ME SMILE!

(large Flat Panda, still very precious!)

SPECIAL VISITORS

Alice and L were adopted at the same time, we're very lucky to see them often enough to keep a bond between the girls. Alice adores the B/E family and always looks forward to their visits.

They last came to stay in mid October. This time it was noticeable that L had changed more than Alice - but L has had more reason for change this time. It was also noticeable that their relationship is becoming independent of their parents - they now talk to each other and play together, all is lots of fun with many giggles.

Precious times again.


BLOG CHANGES

I will be changing the blog soon, contemplating a domestic adoption I need greater privacy.

This blog will continue but with less identifying information. I'm not totally sure of the changes but they will be happening, including a name change, I know there are readers who regularly G**gle the current name to find the blog - it shouldn't be so easy to find us in future - SO NOW IS THE TIME TO BOOKMARK THE SITE!

Friday, January 29, 2010

JUST BECAUSE . . . I LIKE THIS PHOTO

MY DANCING QUEEN

At Alice's school (just like at mine) they use stickers to reinforce good behaviours. Stickers are a great incentive . . . but badges are better! I got to school this afternoon and the senior (I presume) teacher was very keen for Alice to show me her achievement - a BADGE, for listening and working really hard in Dance class! She was pleased with herself (but not hugely), I heaped on the praise and she earned a lollipop (huge treat) too - hence the smile.

(It should also be noted that the photo draught on the blog has probably ended - I bought a new, grown up camera today! I took nearly 300 photos in the first 90 minutes home, Alice is happier as it has a more effective no flash mode!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

CIRCLE OF LIFE

The snails stopped moving during the very cold weather at the beginning of the year. I searched online for some expert opinions and discovered the 3 most likely reasons - death, resting before egg laying or hibernation. It turned out that 1 of them had died but the other started moving again last week and this week we noticed a minute snail near the water line! So we still have 2 snails or maybe more. Since confirming the presence of the tiny snail on Monday we've lost it again, it's in the tank but it fell from the water line and is so small (10 would probably fit on a 1p piece!) that we haven't seen it since.

On Sunday I noticed that Rusty (our smallest shubumkin) had a swimming problem - every time he (I refer to all the fish as 'he'!) stopped moving he'd immediately start to sink. Another www search confirmed a likely swim bladder problem. I gave an appropriate water treatment but by the end of the day he'd stopped moving. Ironically he was my favourite fish - the one most likely to swim around to me when I approached the tank and follow my finger round. The fish total was down to 3 - Gold and Silver, both Sarosas, and Copper, another shubumkin. They've had a clean filter and a deep water change and today we chose some new fish, 2 more shubumkins ('Merica and Inky - as named by Alice) and a yellow goldfish (I named Sunshine). Interestingly they seemed to have grouped together as 6 fish in a way that they never did as 4?

So there's been drama with the tank and drama in the tank, now I'm hoping for breeding and peace!!

THE PERFECT DAY!

After dance class I asked Alice if she wanted to go to see some fish (at an aquarium), she shrieked her enthusiastic agreement and we drove over the border to B and it's new aquarium. I bought a year's pass for each of us, not only did Alice have a lovely time there but she's already asking to go back! (It would be nice to think that Little Sis might be around before the passes expire, hopefully she'll get in free for a while yet and it's very pushchair friendly - yep, already planning life with 2!)

CLASS DANCE

At Alice's first Parents' Consultation last term I found out that she really enjoyed dance lessons at nursery - a complete surprise, I didn't know they had a special dance session, let alone that Alice loved it and tries really hard to follow instructions (I wish that were the case elsewhere!)

I already knew of a dance teacher locally, Alice could have started once she was 3 but I decided to delay her starting until she showed some interest! I talked her through what would happen several times and she was really looking forward to 'Class Dance'. When she woke up on the morning she asked me if I'd made her a special lunch, I couldn't understand the question - until I realised that she had thought that the class was a full day like nursery!

As she's trying it out for now she doesn't yet have a uniform, she wore leggings and a jersey top with nothing on her feet. She went in without hesitation and came out with feet like ice blocks and a huge grin - she loved it and can't wait to go again this week.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

ANOTHER PANTO

We went to Cardiff to see R*bin H*od.

We met GFN, did some PJ shopping and had lunch on the outskirts of the city.

When we got there they had the usual swords, light up wands, butterflies etc on sale. Alice was insistent that she wanted a 'green stick' and wouldn't be talked into any alternative! The panto was fine and she loved it. I'd left it late to book anything (hence the timing at the end of the season and a weekday matinee) and we ended up near the back of the stalls behind 3 different school groups.

Alice watched all the events on stage with great interest and I continue to be amazed how much she understood and remembers. She really enjoyed it, sometimes from her seat, sometimes on my lap and also cuddling with GFN - she really loved him being there too!

A lovely day, fun times, great memories!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

HELP, COMPUTER (NOT BLOG) TECHIE HELP NEEDED!

*UPDATED*
Not a single comment, no help at all! I went into school and asked today - the most simple suggestion worked, the mouse was broken!! A great relief and £14 later and a new one has been ordered, the same as the old one, but without the finger mark on the left click button, I guess that I wore the old one out!

I've checked that the mouse is correctly programmed but the right click has completely stopped working in all programs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

RUDE WORDS

I've just spoken to the Head of the Adoption Team.

The timings I was given weren't realistic, it's going to take longer than I'd hoped (that's not a surprise but it's still a disappointment).

I'd been told if I applied at the end of last year that my HS should start in the New Year, it will but likely not until April or May with Panel about 4 months later. The more encouraging news was that a child under 18 months was a realistic expectation and that matches within 12 months is also a fair expectation in relation to how it's been in the recent past.

Rude words and a few tears.

I've never been a patient person, I don't need any more 'tests' to prove it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SO LUCKY

Over 2 hours on the phone tonight, with one person, a very special childhood friend, catching up on too many years. It's wonderful to be in contact with her again and I've sent her the link to the blog - so 'Hi G!'

At teh beginning of the phonecall I walked from the study to the playroom, crossing the narrowest part of the hall (also furthest from her room), I was mid-conversation and my attention was with G, until I heard Alice shout for me to be quiet!! (I'm afraid that's going to happen sweetie, until you learn to sleep with the door shut!)