Tuesday, July 31, 2007


E, a little gentleman, even sharing his chips with Alice at lunch!


She's growing up so quickly.

The gorgeous A is turning into a 'cool' little girl.

Delightful and lovely.


Taking advantage of the wonderful weather, Alice and I went to aWharf and met up with K and her children E and A. We sat in the sunshine, E and A played on the 'park', had lunch and fed the fish. Then we came home and E and A road-tested our 'park' while Alice snoozed. A lovely day.


No, we haven't been to te hairdresser's, yet!

Alice slept with her blanket over her head last night. She'd had her hair washed last night so her hair was very soft and the blanket made her hair lie flatter. She looked quite different this morning!


Five things I was doing ten years ago:
  1. Job hunting - I'd just qualified as a teacher.
  2. Supply teaching (see above).
  3. Dating 'Mr Wrong' - funnily enough I saw him again just before leaving for China, only confirmed how Wrong he was!!
  4. Looking for 'Mr Right' (Still doing that one!)
  5. House training Jolly
Five of my favourite snacks (good reasons why I'm the shape I am!)
  1. Chocolate
  2. Cheese
  3. Yoghurt
  4. Crisps
  5. Nuts

Five things I like to do
  1. Make Alice smile, or even better laugh!
  2. Spend time with friends
  3. Blog
  4. Take photos
  5. Aqua aerobics

Five songs I know the lyrics to:
  1. The Wheels on the Bus (as proved recently on national radio, thanks Jane!)
  2. Hey that's my Ruler! (school song)
  3. Any song from 'Les Miserables'
  4. Most Abba songs
  5. Lots of others that although I know the words to I don't know the titles!!

Five things I will never wear again
  1. Leg warmers
  2. A Bikini
  3. High heels
  4. Half my wardrobe
  5. My school cloak

Five things I would do with a million dollars
  1. Find a way to adopt from China again (and maybe again)
  2. Give up work
  3. Buy a house for someone
  4. Invest in a business
  5. Find a way to support abandoned children in China

Five bad habits
  1. Snacking (see above)
  2. Worrying
  3. Putting things off
  4. Not opening my post
  5. Forgetfulness

I tag Meizhi's Mom, Mortimer's Mom, Ellen and Shawn.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I've got an appointment with my hairdresser later this week, after I booked the appointment I realised that Whatshername would be home by the time of the appointment and she might need a trim.

Review the photos from the last month, Alice needs a cut, just a trim, but she definitely needs it!!

She's not going to look like a whole new baby. The 'look' will still be Alice's, but what you can't see in the photos is that the 'no gel required' bit is patchy and different lengths - the objective is to even up the top and take a little off the length, no buzz-cuts or equivalents, just a trim!!


You Are an Excellent Cook

You're a top cook, but you weren't born that way. It's taken a lot of practice, a lot of experimenting, and a lot of learning.
It's likely that you have what it takes to be a top chef, should you have the desire...


Your Brain is Blue

Of all the brain types, yours is the most mellow.
You tend to be in a meditative state most of the time. You don't try to think away your troubles.
Your thoughts are realistic, fresh, and honest. You truly see things as how they are.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about your friends, your surroundings, and your life.


Alice woke earlier than usual, so we were up and raring to go by 9.15!!

We went to Cardiff to collect the changing bag that attaches to her pushchair. We stopped at Mothercare, for a little retail therapy (winter clothes) and to get the car seat installation checked (it was fine).

Alice slept for 15 minutes on the way home, then examined the inside of her cot for 60 minutes - whilst singing to let me know that she WASN'T going to sleep!! Then we enjoyed the sunshine in the garden whilst encouraging Alice to get on all fours and crawl - she'd rather roll around!

[Just look at her hair, time for a haircut! Luckily we're both going later this week.]

Sunday, July 29, 2007


. . . and I'm still surprised that she's called Alice!! (Despite the fact that it was my decision!!)


I found a fab changing table, but it was expensive but I couldn't find a cheap one to equal it, so I ordered one at the Baby Show in May. I managed to get it at a special 'Show Price' with delivery in 5-6 weeks. Confirmation email arrives several days later, confirming the wrong colour - this was corrected over the phone without a problem.

5 weeks later, no news of changing table, I rang to enquire about its whereabouts. With no apology the G*C said it was delayed and due to be delivered towards the end of my time in China. Friends had to arrange its delivery. T put it together (several times, as she discovered that it didn't fit through 1 of the doorways upstairs).

So, we arrive home and the nursery is complete, except the changing table is the wrong colour. We got home at 9am and shortly after 10am I had to phone G*C and explain the problem through gritted teeth - I was FURIOUS! . . . long story . . . The changing tables were exchanged by courier 10 days later, with no apology, compensation or acknowledgement of the hassle they have caused. The new, white, changing table is now constructed and installed in the nursery and it is fab!!

However, it's a trek to go upstairs every time Alice needs a clean nappy - we needed another changing table for downstairs.

I managed to win a £100 changing table on an auction site, I got it for £18 plus £20 postage, but it was only 5 miles away (so no postage needed). The first problem was that the seller was only in in the evenings - so not easy to get there to collect it! I finally managed to get there on Thursday, it didn't seem much - I did query the number of bits and was told that was all there was, I checked again at home and quickly realised that it was incomplete! Luckily they found the other bits and delivered them last night. It's now build and standing in the dog room, works a treat and is much more convenient than going upstairs multiple times during the day!

[Note to self - in future, only ever buy changing tables new, in box, in person from a store!]


Despite the weather, it's definite, summer's definitely here - the hot air balloons are back.

They take off from several fields within a few hundred yards of the garden. They're quite an intrusion, it takes them the best part of an hour to set up and take off, for over 20 minutes we can hear the roar of the burners (and the manic barking of Jolly, who detests the sound of the burners!)


We've been a family for 4 weeks already.

I can't believe it's 4 weeks, it seems forever and just a minute, all at once.

She's growing and changing already - 2 new teeth and I'm sure the 'no gel required' hairstyle is longer too!

We're learning about each other. She definitely knows her name, I definitely know that she's opinionated!! I'm learning about the sounds she makes, the burbling, the fake and real cries, the giggles and the hiccups (several times a day at the moment!)


Can there be too many photos of Alice? Besides, I try to get one proper chore done each evening after Alice is in bed. Tonight's job was to make a chilli - 1 chilli is now cooking in the oven, all 8 pints of it! I love these photos, the second one shows her newest top teeth, she's very proud of them, me too!!


Today Alice tried clementines, the skins were tough so I pealed them, Alice adored them!!

The photos are about bananas. Alice has had them before and likes them alot. Today she had mashed banana in fromage frais (she loves both, but hasn't had this combination before). After tea I gave her some slices of banana, she did feed herself but also enjoyed squishing it!! (Yes, she even managed to get banana on her nose!)

She loves her food.


We've tried several sippy cups.

Alice has shown NO interest in any, until today.

It took a bit of experimenting and encouragement, but she got there in the end, only to choke on water!

Oh well, try again another day!!

Saturday, July 28, 2007


You Inner Gender is Female

You're sensitive, caring, and willing to connect with anyone who's open to you.
You make friends easily, and you enjoy all sorts of conversations.
You understand most people you meet - better than they understand themselves.
You're totally a woman... or at the very least, your soul is female.


You Are Rowlf the Dog

Mellow and serious, you enjoy time alone cultivating your talents.
You're a cool dog, and you always present a relaxed vibe.
A talented pianist, you can play almost anything - especially songs by Beethoven.
"My bark is worse than my bite, and my piano playing beats 'em both."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Lots of readers today, over 300 so far! Probably because I posted the link on RQ.


I can't believe we've been home for 2 weeks.

Alice continues to smile and
thrive. Today we went to a baby music group, she enjoyed it and got more vocal as it went along. I went with friends who are colleagues, B and baby C, D and crawling A. Afterwards D, A, Alice and I went shopping - I needed to exchange a gift for a larger size for Alice and she still needed toys.

The dungarees exchange went without a hitch. I managed to buy some warmer clothes for Alice - and they're NOT pink. I have nothing against pink, but wanted some red and blue for her wardrobe, this time I managed blue, not much red around. I also bought some more toys, so she now has a mobile for the changing table (my attempt to stop her twisting!), a ball that rolls around and a button pressing 4 in a row Jack-in-the-box type toy, enough, for now!!


You Are a Lemon Cake

Strong, sexy, and overpowering.
You know who you are, and you're not afraid to show the world your fabulous self.
You're confident, charming, and extremely popular.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


We chatted several times today on the phone.

He had a powercut for part of yesterday and hadn't charged his mobile, but all is well at home - and here, now I know that he's OK!

He's accepted that I'm a worry-wart and has complained yet!!


Mine, not hers.

Bedtime last night. I lay in bed reading Harry Potter 6 (never got beyond the 3rd chapter when it was published). Suddenly I realised that THERE WAS A BABY IN THE ROOM NEXT DOOR!! Overwhelming, incredible, fantastic.

Wow, it surprises me now and again.

My feelings are changing too, the love is deepening and strengthening. Several people have asked me if I remember life before July, before Alice. I can remember wondering how life would be with Whatshername and wondering if there would be parts of my life that I would miss. I remember the before feeling, I remember the lifestyle. I don't miss a single jot. She's the best thing that's ever happened to me and I feel immensely privileged to be given the opportunity to be her Mum.

I can't believe I've only known her for 24 days. She continues to be incredible, so loving, smiley, laid-back and yet brave.


When we met (1st July), Alice had 2 (bottom) teeth.

Within the first week together the front top tooth on her right came through, its partner came through today!

4 teeth.

I knew the 4th was on its way, Alice has been off her food for the last few days and I've been applying numbing gel at bedtime (despite Alice HATING the gel). She's also getting used to having her teeth brushed at bath time - she no longer fights it and accepts it as part of the routine. She's a good girl, so laid-back and smiley.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Do you have moments that you remember forever and always cringe about? I do, another moment was created today!

I can't sing, ask anyone at school and they'll confirm it. I can't sing. I only sing at home, alone or with Alice and the dogs as the only audience. But they got me, ON NATIONAL RADIO, they got me!! They recorded me, while I was trying to get my (usually vocal) daughter to make gurgling, babbling or laughing noises. They recorded me singing 'The Wheels On The Bus' - the greatest indignity of all was that Alice stayed mute!!! I never thought that they'd use it, ugh!


While I was waiting for referral I got so stressed that I developed eczema, severe eczema, bad enough to be hospitalised.

It's in my nature to worry.

Luckily the worst of the weather has missed us (for once), but it has hit areas quite close to home. It's bad where N is, really bad - loads of rain, lots of flooding and threats to electricity and water supplies. We've spoken most days since we've been home, but today I can't get hold of him. So I'm worried. As my friend E said this evening - you can't go half way around the world with someone and then not worry about them once you're home. So, sorry N, I'm bound to worry. Don't know why I bother to blog about it - he doesn't do computers! But, at least by blogging about it I'm sharing my worry and might sleep tonight.


Toys . . . once the car seat was installed forward facing, we went off to Newport to buy Alice some toys. She's got plenty of cuddlies but not many toys to play with or learn from.

We started in Big W - there were plenty of things on their website that I could have ordered, unfortunately the store was a big waste of time - very little choice and huge queues at the checkout. Then we went on to Tesco, where we did no better except that the baby food of Alice's choice was on offer.

So now I'm contemplating a trip to Cardiff and Toys'R'Us - unless anyone's got any better suggestions?

[Oh, car seat, forward facing? It's a dream, so much easier to get Alice in and out of and I can see her while we're in the car!]


I think it's Peru, I think it was a couple of days ago. I know that the reader was in Lima - it made me think of Paddington Bear. I love Paddington Bear.


Alice loves food, this morning she was pulling the spoon towards her!


Listen here! The BBC are having problems with the 'Listen Again' function at the moment, but it should be available to listen to for 7 days.

Our part went out this morning. I missed the broadcast (due to the health visitor's visit). So I listened to the recording on Sky+ while I fed Alice lunch. I cried through most of the programme and was extremely glad that Alice was there to give lots of kisses and cuddles.


The health visitor came to meet Alice this morning (at 11am, so I missed our part of 'China Girl'!)

Weight: 20 pounds and 15 ounces - 75% on UK charts
Length: 74 cm - 91%
Head Circumference: 44cm - 9%

I'm not worried about her head circumference - it's because the back of her head is so flat. Developmentally she's meeting all the milestones and I think she's fab!!

So, while Alice sleeps, I'm going to move the car seat - SHE CAN GO FOREWARD FACING!!!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


A 2nd attempt at uploading some other photos from today, I deleted them from the original post (my mistake)!


I know this is what you really want to see!!

Alice at the party. Wearing a lovely dress given to us by N's brother and his family, it's lovely, thank you. It gets to something when you have to wear a summer dress with a vest and woolly tights!


I love this photo. I can't believe how much they've changed in the last year.


A's 2nd installment of birthday celebrations was supposed to be a BBQ. It got moved to Granny's. Alice slept through lunch so we missed what would have been the BBQ and got there just in time for cake and pinata (sp?) The adults all gave the pinata a good bashing, but it still needed a little intervention before spilling the contents - chocolate, Alice tried the white choccy and was quickly looking for more!