Monday, August 27, 2007

TAG - I'M IT!

You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

1) Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to you life for each letter of your middle name. If you don't have a middle name, use the middle name that you wish you had.

2) When tagged, you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name facts.

3) At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they're tagged and to read your blog (I don't think you can tag the same people again - that'd end up causing chaos!)

It was very important to Mum (and therefore to me too) that my daughter would also share our middle name. Usually I love my middle name, my Mum and Alice have the same middle name - Elizabeth, but for the purposes of this post it's a bit long!!

All about me, ELIZABETH:

E - is for EDUCATION, I hope that I'm fairly well educated with a degree and post-graduate teaching qualification etc, but as a teacher education is extremely important to me - I hope that it's a value that I can pass on to Alice without 'turning her off'.

L - is for LOYAL. I'm very loyal to my friends and my principles, I believe it's important and it's something I value in my friends too.

I - is for INDEPENDENT. Some of my friends say that I'm too independent, but being single I have to be independent, I wouldn't have survived the last few years if I weren't! I wouldn't be me either!!

Z - is for ZZZZ - I love my sleep. It was one of my biggest fears - how would I cope with a baby that didn't sleep well, how would I cope without enough sleep? Luckily Alice seems to love sleeping as much as I do!

A - is for APOLOGETIC, like most Brits I apologise very easily, sorry! (Told you so!)

B - is for BRAVE, as is anyone who chooses International Adoption.

E - isn't for EASY-GOING, EFFICIENT, ELEGANT, ELOQUENT, ENERGETIC, ENGAGING, ENLIGHTENED, ENTERPRISING, ENTERTAINING, ENTHUSIASTIC, EVEN-TEMPERED, or EXTRAORDINARY (ohh, how I'd love to be just some of those, can you tell that I struggled with this one?!) But it is for EXCELLENT, I'm an excellent cook, just don't practice that often any more.

T - is for THOUGHTFUL, I spend a lot of time thinking about others, I'm just awful at following the thoughts through with actions.

H - is for HAPPY, the last few months have been some of the happiest of my life since the referral of a certain small person.

So now I have to tag 9 people:
Carrie, Ellen, Erin, Kirsten, Janet, Julia, Rosie, Sally, Shawn, sorry!!

BEDHEAD! AGAIN!!

A photographer is coming tomorrow morning to take some photos of Alice.

Judging by her hair this morning I'm going to have to give her a bath before he arrives! Hope it doesn't send her to sleep!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

DAY AT HOME

You may notice that Alice is either wearing a very short dress, or missing her 'bottoms' - it's actually the latter, blame another toxic nappy this morning. She was a bit whingy this morning, until she went in the ball pool, where she played happily! We spent a big chunk of the afternoon in the garden, unfortunately our peace was shattered by 'entertainment' from the pub.

PROGRESS!

In this photo Alice is just lifting her arms up.

But this morning I got a giggle, beaming grin and her arms raised as sign she was pleased to see me and wanted to be lifted up - a good sign!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

MOVING!!

Not houses, Alice!!

She can now get into a typical crawling position and move!! 2 problems - she goes backwards and she can't control where she's going. (Watch the sunlight to measure her progress, this took 10 seconds or less!)

SPECIAL OUTFIT

Special present? No.

Expensive? Not at all.

Worn for a special reason? No.

So why so special? Sentimental mummy - I bought it in Kunming, in Walmart. It's supposed to be a dress but Alice is too tall to wear it as a dress and maintain her modesty! Very cheap, looks fab with plain white leggings. I'm hoping that it's baggy enough to wear like this again next summer!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY M!

I can't believe that it's 7 years since A knocked on my sitting room window and asked, "Well, do you want to come and see her?"

Not only is she a beautiful girl, but she's kind, compassionate and a very patient big sister.

We love you, M, don't ever change.

Friday, August 24, 2007

CRYING

Alice woke up crying . . . just as I was sitting down for supper (luckily only a marmite sandwich!)

I went up and picked her up . . . she cuddled in and stopped crying . . . me being there helped her - it felt wonderful. It's a good sign for attachment too.

I rocked her til the sobbing stopped, but she was still agitated, so I took a towel (after last week's and this afternoon's vomiting) and led her on my bed in the twilight while I ate supper and she held my finger and grinned at me! 20 minutes later she went back to bed but she's been quite unsettled since.

TIME WITH GRANDAD

CHANGING BEFORE MY EYES

This is the outfit that Alice wore on the Monday or Tuesday in Guangzhou (the 9th or 10th of July, can't remember which!) It was the day that we took photos in the White Swan. Then the top was gaping at the front, now it's straining on the buttons at the back, lucky it's the end of the summer, I don't think that it will fit for much longer!

What did we do today?

Well, Alice slept!! She mumbled at 7.30 am, Mummy was grateful for the extra half hour - it's becoming a 7am wake-up call, it was 6.30 am yesterday, ugh. I left her, hoping she might go back to sleep (unlikely), she did! At 8.15 I checked she was OK, at 8.45 I panicked and checked she was still breathing, at 9am I decided to get up - she woke while I was brushing my teeth!!

Most of the day was spent with Grandad and N. It was good to see them, they enjoyed Alice and couldn't believe how strong and steady she's becoming.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

NEW BLOGS!

I read lots of blogs - mostly adoption, mostly foreign. Not many UK adopters blog, but 2 friends have started recently!

E at 3 Motherlands and Kirsten at Kirsten's Family Life - not much point resorting to intials when her name's in the title!!

If there are any other bloggers out there who want a mention or a link then please leave me a comment and if there are any other APs or PAPs (especially those in Britain!) considering blogging I'd say give it a try, it's a great way of gaining support, friends and educating others.

WAVING

Today Alice waved, she waved at the dogs, at me, at A, M and C. The first time she waved at me I went silly, so she did it again, so did I, we had great fun.

I tried to photograph Alice waving, but she decided clapping was more fun!


TEETH!

Her 5th tooth made an appearance last Saturday, I had a close inspection this evening while applying teething gel - the one above No5 is now showing, and so is the one on the other side at the bottom!!

So 4 real teeth and 3 just beginning to show through.

LIFE WITH ALICE

First thing, Alice stood unsupported - this reduced her to tears and she sat down quickly, but her balance is quite steady, it's just that she won't try moving! She's now getting into a crawling position, but goes backwards - but she is MOVING, she just can't control where she's going!! (Just to clarify - she is smiling in this photo, the tears came a few seconds later when standing unaided!)

We went swimming this morning, to the club where I'm a member. The pool is always a bit cold, but they have a creche and lots of aqua aerobics sessions, so I'm not changing my membership! I bought Alice a wetsuit to cover her torso, she stayed warm, had a great time splashing, giggling and hiccuping all at once, back in the changing room when I removed the wetsuit she was still as warm as toast!

She had lunch there, I got the details from the creche - they were very friendly and really keen to meet her. I'm thinking of trying it in a couple of weeks time, once she's used to it I'll be able to go back to the aqua sessions in the daytime.

Then we went into Aber to meet A, M and C. [They've just come back from the US, lovely pressies, thank you.] We had lunch out and then strolled around the shops and had an ice cream (hence photo!) Alice managed to wave at all of us, another first today! Then a we did a few jobs on the way out of Aber.

Another great day, I love my daughter to pieces and I love being her Mum. I knew that I would, but it's even better than I thought it would be!

BLOG HELP NEEDED

I need help with the technie bit of the blog.

People are having problems commenting, as they have to provide my email address (for the record it's the first bit of the blog address at pobox.com). But I'd rather change the settings so it's not needed, I've explored the 'Settings' tabs but can't find where to change it. Can anyone help? TIA.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

LIFE

It WAS chilly when I dressed Alice this morning, so we tried a new outfit (thanks L and G!). She liked it and looked lovely in it, but it was much warmer by 10am so we changed her into a T-shirt and skirt.

It continued to be a topsy turvey day, as Alice had a pre-lunch snooze (shattered after yesterday in Bath). Then this afternoon we went for tea with S.

Late for supper, bath and bed as usual. Good day.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

MOTHER'S BRIDGE OF LOVE

While we were in Bath with M, C and L, we all went to a culture day and performance by the Chinese charity Mother's Bridge of Love. The performers (all children), their teachers and interpreters have all travelled from China, they are also performing in Edinburgh and London - worth a visit. It was a great performance with very talented and
courageous children and it felt very special to be part of the audience. I feel increasingly 'at home' around Chinese people while feeling less at ease around IC1 mothers and their biological children, with the intrusiv
e questions that usually follow.

SPECIAL DAY WITH VERY SPECIAL FRIENDS

Alice and I went to Bath to meet up with M, C and L - our first reunion since we came home! It was wonderful to see them again and to get the girls together. Both girls have grown, relaxed and look healthier, all the parents are relieved and more relaxed!!

(I think that this photo shows that the Orphanage Director was right - the CCAA did match the right baby to the right family! The girls (just like their Mums) are quite different sizes!!)

Monday, August 20, 2007

WHAT A FAB DAY!

Memories of my uncle, led on to memories of my Mum and step-dad, led to quite an emotional start to the day.

Then . . . visitors . . . loads of them . . . just what I needed. What a day - old and new friends from close-by and afar.

This morning J (friend and ex-colleague) and K (friend and still a colleague!) came for coffee, it was lovely to catch up with both of them. J hadn't seen Alice for a while and I'm always interested to see how people think that she has changed.

Alice had lunch and then her lunchtime snooze and whilst she was asleep I sprinted to Waitrose before the next set of visitors. K, her son G and daughter C (C came home from China 2 years ago) all came for a playdate. Before the end of their visit a stranger returned - N!!

We hadn't seen him for a month, but Alice knew him instantly. It was lovely to see him again and wonderful to see Alice with him (notice how Fusspot gravitated to him too!) He thought she'd grown, grown-up, become less wobbly and that her hair was longer and thicker. Looking back I can't believe the changes in just over a month, already my baby is becoming more self-assured, confident and determined, she's got a wicked sense of humour, she's extremely ticklish and has a wonderful, deep, dirty laugh of a giggle.

Oh, and food today - homemade gunk for lunch (veggie and tomato sauce and pasta flowers) and tea (the roast chicken one again - more provisions bought in Waitrose for a repeat!)

REMEMBERING FAMILY

Today my uncle, DJT, would have been 61. He died in 1994 so will never become old - though I can't remember him without a receding hairline (wavy hair - standing up and waving goodbye!)

I haven't many photos of him on my computer because he died before the digital age of photography. This is a photo from my school days - Founders' Day Picnic, I think it's about 1987 (20 years ago!)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

MY FAVOURITE PHOTO, SO FAR

I've been reviewing all the photos of Alice - I'm working on a project for N (don't tell him, he's not IT literate so if he finds out SOMEONE BLABBED!!) So I thought that I'd share my favourite photo of Alice - it's the one C's taken to Guangzhou to have turned into artwork!

I've finally managed to add it to the sidebar!! Hoorah! It took a bit of editing and experimenting to get it the right size and in the right place, but that's what blogging's about!

REALITIES OF MOTHERHOOD!

Sunday, in need of baby supplies, trip to A's - I wanted to go to a superstore with a decent baby clothes department (can't imagine why!)

Checked www for location and opening times. Got there - 10 minutes before opening!! That's the reality of motherhood, up and out of the house before 9.30 on a Sunday!! Just think, 3 months ago it was a struggle to be at aqua for 11am.

GUNK!

Success!!

Earlier in the week I had roast chicken, I cooked without salt and blitzed the leftovers, I put 5 jars in the freezer. Alice had one for tea tonight - roast chicken, boiled potatoes, roasted red, yellow and orange peppers, roasted sweet potato, steamed mange tout and carrots.

Homemade gunk smells much better than the shop-bought jars. I'm recycling the jars to store the homemade gunk - they're a good guide to portion sizes at the moment. Tonight's supper smelt so good that I'll probably do the same again in the near future, Alice certainly liked it too!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

READERS!

Welcome to the 75th country - Venezuela!

BLOGS

I used to love reading fellow APs blogs. They're informative and I love seeing how a family grows and adapts. They were definitely a good way of preparing myself for the events in China, and a lovely way to pass the time waiting! That's one of the reasons why I blogged in China - also it works well as a diary for me.

But reading blogs now? They make me cry. My good friend 3CMum got to Guangzhou today. Reading her blog is extra special, people I know going through things that I've recently been through, wonderful and yet at the same time it makes me cry. It's even worse reading her blog now that they're in one of the places that we visited, yet I can't stop myself reading it either!!

NEW BOOK AND A TAGGY ALL IN ONE!

I love my new book (thanks C).





















Ooophs, dropped it!




















Pick it up, please Mum!





















Yay.

THE LATEST TRICK!

She's been doing this since yesterday - sticking her tongue out, sometimes for a minute or more at a time.

She's teething heavily at the moment, the 5th tooth is just visible (lower left, 2nd from middle) and the one above it is very close to coming through. So she's a bit grouchy and very dribbly, fingers in her mouth and rotten nappies, poor baby.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

PHEW, THAT'S A RELIEF!

You Are A Woman!

Congratulations, you've made it to adulthood.
You're emotionally mature, responsible, and unlikely to act out.
You accept that life is hard - and do your best to keep things upbeat.
This makes you the perfect girlfriend... or even wife!

WHAT A DIFFERENCE ALICE MAKES!!

You Are Very Happy

Your life is totally together, and you enjoy every day.
And you don't need a quiz to tell you that!
You know how to find pleasure in the little things...
And even when life isn't so great, you have a good sense of perspective.

TEETH!

Alice has been showing signs of teething ever since the last tooth came through.

For the 5th night in a row she objected to having her teeth brushed, so I checked (yet again) - but this time there was an extra one!! She now has 4 teeth and 1 more just showing (bottom on her left.)

She ate well at breakfast and lunch, but at supper she was grumpy and didn't eat half of what she normally manages.

The new tooth definitely explains yesterday's toxic nappy, could it also be the cause of yesterday's vomiting and the reason for declining food tonight?

YET MORE TOYS

On Sunday Alice played in A's ball pool and loved it.

The balls were on special offer in T's, £2.98 for 100, Mummy couldn't resist and when we got home, Alice couldn't stop smiling!

I've put them in her playpen in the sitting room. I don't shut her in there yet, but might need to once she's mobile, so the balls are helping her acclimatise to the space. Also the spaces between the bars are slightly smaller than the balls - unless force is used, so they're pretty much contained.



OUT AND ABOUT

Whilst I was talking to the aqua instructor, several of the supermarket staff came over to admire Alice, particularly her hair.

Strangers touching my daughter, it's happened many times (in fact nearly every time we go out someone comments on her hair and feels it without invitation.) It doesn't matter if she's in the buggy, the trolley, the baby carrier or my arms, they still touch. It's an invasion of personal space - mine and Alice's, and I don't feel it's appropriate. It's all done in a very friendly way, but I still don't like it.

Other than telling me to 'chill', any suggestions?

CHANCE MEETING IN A SUPERMARKET!

I met one of my aqua aerobics instructors in a supermarket this morning, she's had a very bad back and so I haven't seen her for a while. She was delighted to meet Alice and I was just as pleased to meet her little girl O. As she's been off work for a while she didn't know that I'd had referral, so we had a lot to catch up on! As we parted she passed comment, "I think that little girl is going to be spoilt." (said with a broad grin and a twinkle in her eye!)

My response was, "What do you mean, going to be?!"

READERS

There've been a very diverse groups of readers on the blog recently and another new country - welcome to someone in Morocco!

Remember, it's lovely to know who's reading, please leave a comment, it's very easy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

HAPPY GIRL!

Doesn't look poorly, does she? (This was before the toxic nappy!)