Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MAJOR WEEK

Earlyish October is the most major week of the year for us, a week of celebrations, emotions and memories.

10th - Mummy's birthday
12th - anniversary of Grandma's death (4 years ago this year)
14th - 2nd anniversary of finally being DTC (Dossier to China)
15th - Alice's 1st birthday

As well as all of those I have friends with birthdays on the 11th and the 13th!

A REMINDER!

I spoke to a very close friend tonight, they're under a deal of stress at the moment. We've known each other since childhood. We had a good catch up chat, during the chat we talked about some significant dates in October (including the GODPARENTS' party on the 13th), I mentioned supper on the 10th, they didn't understand why, THAT'S MY BIRTHDAY!

So Mummy's birthday is 5 days before Alice's, think of it as a dry run and think of this as a reminder!!

This is only supposed to be a reminder to those who would be in the dog-house if they forgot! If you didn't know already then please ignore!!

(If the Mummy doesn't look after herself then no-one else will!)

SUGGESTIONS NEEDED

In two and a bit weeks Alice will be 1.

Her God-parents-to-be are coming for tea on the Saturday and then some family and friends are coming on her actual birthday (a Monday).

I'm going to do a traditional party tea, I'd like to know what would HAVE to be on the party table for you to make it a 'proper' party?

SIGNIFICANT SONG WHILE WAITING . . .

I See The Moon

I see the moon and the moon sees me,
down through the leaves of the old oak tree.
Please let the light that shines on me,
shine on the one that I love.
Over the mountains, over the sea,
I have a love who is waiting for me.
Please let the light that shines on me,
shine on the one that I love.



I've got a short version of this song on my computer. I tried to get it on CD, but the CD is an American format and I can't play it!

The words of this song represent a lot of the emotion of the adoption process. I used to sing this song while I was waiting for referral. It means a lot to me and is particularly special now that I can sing it to Alice during her bedtime bottle.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

JUST BECAUSE

. . . she's mine and I'm hers and I love her, cheesy grin and all!

AUTUMN MOON FESTIVAL

A significant time in China, the brightest full moon of the year. A time to eat mooncakes, tell the story and remember family.

Mooncakes are tricky to find and I'm not sure that Alice would like the taste, so we had fairycakes - it's the round (like the moon) shape that's important. During teatime and during her bedtime bottle I talked about the festival, we remember Grandma and Grandpa sitting on the stars and Alice's birthfamily in China. Sometimes I find it difficult to talk about or remember Grandma and Grandpa without tears, today I managed to hold it together, I told Alice how wonderful they would think she was just because and then extra wonderful as she makes me so happy.

The tears flowed though - when we remembered her birth family in China, I can't help but feel great sadness that they're missing out on this incredible child and that their sadness has brought me great joy. I've understood for years that this would be the case, but this year it's different as I hold my child and marvel in the matching process that brought us together.

I will have to wake her later for the final antibiotic dose of the day, we will look for the moon while I tell her that her birth family will have looked at that same moon to remember their family.

My friend sums it up really well here.

Next year I'll have a story to share with her and no doubt several books too. COMMENTS PLEASE if you have done anything today to celebrate.

LEGACY OF AN ADOPTED CHILD

Once there were two women,
Who never knew each other.
One will be in your heart forever,
The other you call mother.
Two different lives,
Shaped to make yours one.
One became your guiding star,
The other became your sun.
The first gave you life,
And the second taught you to live it.
The first gave you need for love,
And the second was there to give it.
One gave you a nationality,
The other gave you a name.
One gave you the seed of talent,
The other gave you an aim.
One gave you emotions,
The other calmed your fears.
One saw your first sweet smile,
The other dried your tears.
One gave you up...
It was what God intended for her to do.
The other prayed for a child,
And God led her straight to you.
And now you ask me
Through your tears,
The age-old questions
Through the years.
Heredity or environment...
Which are you a product of?
Neither, my darling...neither,
Just two different kinds of love.

Author unknown

STANDING

Pulled up . . . all by herself (Mummy watching but not helping) . . . for the first time. She's tried before, she's got to kneeling but never to standing, until today.

We are so proud - but Mummy is also aware how this is going to curtail Mummy's freedom! My little girls is growing up so quickly!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

WE DID GET DRESSED!

Thanks to Auntie A for the outfit - the trousers are slightly long, but I'm sure they'll be too short very soon!!

I love Alice wearing bright colours, they really suit her colouring.

PJs DOWNSTAIRS!

We went downstairs early, so that I could get a doc's appointment for Alice. She's still coughing and wheezing. We saw the lovely Dr A this pm and Alice now has 7 days worth of amoxycilin, she's becoming well practised at taking medicine and is very good at it! Poor baby, hopefully she'll be feeling a lot better very soon. I wasn't sure I should take her back to the GP, despite her symptoms, but I was very glad I had.

DOGS, PART 2

. . . as promised . . . a photo of my big dog, Daisy, my Labrador. Love her.

THANK HEAVENS

. . . for Chris Evans and Captain Birdseye!!

Why?

For Chris - for reminding me about sandwiches.

For C'tn B'seye - for making the fishfingers to put in the sandwiches.

Yes, fish finger sandwiches have become a staple food stuff round here since Alice has been poorly!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

MEDICAL UPDATE

Alice only took a small nap this afternoon, she woke up screaming (without a temperature) after about 60 minutes and took a longish while to be calmed.

She was more grumpy this afternoon than in previous days, but actually showed less signs of being poorly than yesterday. No rotten nappies or vomit, she managed to wear 1 outfit for the whole day! She ate a little more, but still not nearly as much as a few weeks ago - at least with the size she is I'm not too worried (as long as she's drinking and the nappies are still wet).

I'm still concerned about her health. She's still very congested and wheezy. I'm going to make another GP's appointment tomorrow and at the moment she's supposed to be having blood tests on Wednesday.

We've got big plans for next weekend, I'm beginning to doubt them - Alice is taking much longer to get over this than I'd thought she would.

DOGS

People are sometimes a bit surprised to find out that I have 4 dogs AND a baby! A few people have asked how the dogs are doing.

They're doing fine. They might find it harder in the weeks to come, as Alice is now on the move it is harder to keep out of her way. The little ones, 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, are great family dogs. Daisy, my Labrador, was 13 in March, she's become elderly in the last year, she's quite stiff and most of the time she chooses to keep out of the way.

Jolly(black one in bottom photo), tricolour, just 10, keeps behind or on top of the furniture, she's fine but looks as if she doesn't understand life! She's my little creature of habit, who will quickly let me know if any dog is in the wrong place. She loathes balloons, especially the burners of hot-air balloons. A very faithful dog.

Boozie (slightly cross eyed, brown one in bottom photo), blenheim, nearly 5, walking stomach on legs, always looking for food. She's the 'woofy' dog - especially AFTER visitors enter the house. Quick to check on Alice when Boo's let in from the garden or out of the dog room, puts herself between visitors and Alice, likes to be close to the highchair at mealtimes, in case of scraps!

Fusspot (top photo), tricolour, nearly 18 months, very aptly named. I've never had a dog like her, demanding but so affectionate, not bothered by food but always on the look out for a cuddle. Very tolerant of Alice, beginning to play games with her.

Whenever I leave the 'living' end of the house (study, kitchen, dog room, play room) to go to the bathroom or upstairs, when I return usually all 3 little ones and often Daisy too (no photo as yet, as she's more tricky to photograph well), will be waiting for me at the gate and stand up, ready to greet me/us, as we come through the gate. As we get close to the gate, Alice jigs with excitement and then will peer round me to look for the girls! Alice was terrified when she first saw the dogs but quickly learnt to love them, it took less than 5 minutes from shaking in terror to leaning out to touch them. She treats them like soft toys, likes to pat them and is fascinated by the single dog bone in the playroom.

[To save comments - they aren't left alone together, the dogs have somewhere to get away etc]

STILL GORGEOUS!

. . . if you didn't know Alice, you'd never know she was poorly, until you heard her wheeze or saw her after she sneezed!!

YESTERDAY'S COMPLEMENT!

"I'm very impressed with how well you contained that vomit!"

You know who you are! It was lovely to see you, thanks for sticking with us while Alice was poorly and if you're brave enough we'd love to see you again soon!!

YESTERDAY, SUMMED UP IN A PHOTO!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

TOO MANY BODILY FLUIDS

[Those of a nervous disposition STOP reading now!]

Alice is still poorly. GP diagnosed a chest infection on Monday, but wants Alice to fight it off herself, if possible. She's had a stinking cold all week too. She's still getting worse at the moment, she's been coughing in her sleep since Sunday and now she's wheezing too (she sounds like an old banger going up a steep hill).

So she's full of mucus with a nasty cough. If she coughs too much she makes herself sick.

It's not been a good day today. A very dirty nappy to start the day, soaked through PJs, sleeping bag and onto sheets. She'd vomited before 8am. She reproduced ALL her lunch and managed to redecorate half the kitchen in the process.

This morning I had a conversation with cousin K about poo. This afternoon I discovered the full effects of what she'd been talking about. Very messy nappy, up back, through tights etc and after I'd taken her top off it was also through her hair, ugh, poor baby. I wasn't going to wash her hair tonight (she hates it and I thought today had been hard enough), but I wasn't left with any option. So before teatime she was in her 3rd outfit of the day - thought I'd save time and put her in PJs early, no chance, let's just say I missed some bits with the wet wipes after the messy nappy. The washing machine's on for the 4th time with Alice 'casualties'.

So now she's in bed, sleeping and wheezing. She had a late nap today, didn't wake until after 4pm and yet went to sleep very quickly. Poorly baby, poor baby. For both our sakes I hope she's better soon.

Friday, September 21, 2007

YESTERDAY IN THE CAR

Yes, Alice's coat's too big!

She's quite large for her age and the company the coat came from seem to come out quite small, so her winter clothes from JJMB are 18-24 months and at the moment she's swimming in them! I love dressing her in bright colours, they really suit her. She tolerated the hood much better than before, it might have been because sitting in the car seat she couldn't pull it off. As you can see, she wasn't bothered by the lack of vision!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

HOME - BEFORE AND AFTER

The top photo was home as it was at the beginning of 2007, although I think that this was actually taken last year.

The garage doors were put on in 2006 (I think!) but other than that it is pretty much the way it was when my parents lived here.

The bottom photo was home the day I left for China, 29th June 2007. New windows, new doors, double glazing, new plants in the planters by the front door and redecorated render, aaah, much better!

TODAY'S NEWS!

Alice still has a cold - in fact the doc confirmed this pm that she's actually got a slight chest infection. Luckily the swimming instructor phoned on Friday to postpone tomorrow's class for a week!

The big news for today is that Alice started at creche. It's at my sports club. She's in creche so that I can go back to my aqua aerobics class. I was prepared to leave her today, so it wasn't too bad. Alice was fine. She was booked in for 90 minutes, but I only left her for just over 60. She didn't respond to my voice (from across the room) or to being told that 'Mummy's back!' But from the manager's arms she suddenly realised I was there, went still, shuddered and groaned while leaning out for me, sounds odd, but it's Alice's groan that signifies 'I really want that!' I think that she's already very popular with the creche staff and they were impressed with her behaviour and quite moved by her ultimate reaction to my return (I enjoyed it too!!)

CATCHING UP - 16th SEPTEMBER, THE BIGGEST NEWS

Alice is crawling, properly, forwards, controlling where she's going. She's very proud of herself and I'm very proud too!!

CATCHING UP - 16th SEPTEMBER

Sunday - Alice had a stinking cold, but you'd never know it from her demeanour!

Friends came round to see us, we had a simple afternoon, sitting round playing with and watching Alice - lovely!






CATCHING UP - 14th SEPTEMBER

Why does she prefer the underneath of this one to the toys on the top?!

The crawling posture improves daily!



CATCHING UP - 11th SEPTEMBER

The major blog news from the 11th was the purchase of a baby walker - in the hope that it would get Alice moving, unfortunately it got her meddling instead! I learnt very quickly that things had to be further out of the way than before, Alice's reach is incredible and she's so observant that she doesn't miss a trick!

This was the only day that she moved in the walker, ever since she just sits in it - like the exersaucer, I think she's a bit confused!!

BATTLES WITH THE HEALTH VISITOR

Ugh.

[Before I go any further I must say that I have several friends who are HVs, I wish 1 of them was my HV.]

Started last Monday with inoculations, was greeted with "I thought YOU were going to be here last week." Wasn't - as we had arranged differently.

Alice had 3 jabs, screamed for each, poor baby.

HV wouldn't weigh or measure Alice as she was 'too busy', but then sat and gossiped to another patient in the waiting room for 5 minutes after our appointment.

So we would have to return on a Tuesday between 12pm and 1pm or go to baby group on Wednesday. The Tuesday timing is atrocious for Alice's routine so I opted to go to the group. I don't want to socialise with the group particularly as Alice won't be going to school in this town and the town is too small for many other group activities. So we turn up (on our way to school) for the group, I'd never been to the venue before, found it locked, eventually got hold of HV - she'd told me the wrong time but insisted on seeing the proof of her error. Eventually we make it into the right room and she weighs Alice but then tells me that she won't measure her as it's inexact and measuring too often won't show that she's grown. I told her (3 times) about the issues of adopted children and growth spurts when first home and the effect that this can have on the timing of puberty. Eventually she agreed to measure Alice.

The statistics:

23rd July 07

12th September 07

Weight

Nearly 21 pounds (75%)

Over 24 pounds (91%)

Height

74 cm (91%)

78 cm (98%) !


She's put on 3 and a half pounds and grown 4cm in 7 weeks and 2 days. We will have to watch for signs of early onset puberty.

As for the HV - she's chosen to fight the wrong Mum, I will continue to push for my rights and Alice's best interests.

YET MORE CATCHING UP!

Where do I start?

Monday - inoculations with Health Visitor, but she deserves a post of her own!

Tuesday - swimming and shopping, both great, lots of smiles in the water and the Mall!

Wednesday - visited school in the morning and Mummy had some 'special time' in the afternoon - I went for a pedicure and massage, bliss! Alice stayed at home with the magnificent T, didn't seem to miss me at all.

Thursday - we signed up for a 'Jo J1ngles' course in A. Alice loved it, bounced and squawked throughout - can't wait for this week.

Friday - Alice started at the gym's creche, a 30 minute trial, she was great - her usual smiling self, meanwhile I enjoyed a quiet hot choc and my book in the cafe. She's now booked in regularly so that I can return to my usual class.

Saturday - Food Fest, out all day with family, picnic in the sun at the castle. Saw lots of friends and caught up and introduced Alice. Came home to raid the apple trees, good plan, but no apples!

Sunday - quiet day at home, friends came round to play with Alice in the afternoon.

So we've been very busy having fun, still haven't managed to write a single thank you letter though.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

TO KEEP YOU GOING!

Yesterday . . . Alice The Hippy (trying to grow her hair!) had great giggles swinging in our park.

NO POSTS?

Too busy . . . having fun and taking photos to remember.

Will post properly soon . . . I hope!

Monday, September 10, 2007

76TH COUNTRY

. . . welcome to someone in Austria.

(Other stats while we're at it: 22,489 readers since December 06)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

QUIET DAY AT HOME

Lots of time playing and a bit of time in the bouncer.

Giggles, smiles and bouncing - who could ask for more?

ALICE IS A STAR!

Alice is on the homepage of one of my yahoo groups - ACUK. (Without ACUK I wouldn't have my Alice - their support and advice was and continues to be a great support and I'd advise anyone considering adopting from China from the UK to join the group.)

They used this photo:
I posted to the group about Alice, and then thought that the blog should also include what I wrote:

She's continuing to thrive, just 10 weeks ago (seems like forever and yesterday all at the same time!) she had 2 two teeth, she could sit unaided but toppled easily, she had a ready smile and a giggle if you worked hard.

She's incredibly courageous, new situations make her quiet while she surveys the scene and adjusts, but it doesn't take her long to join in and show everyone her true colours. Now she has 6 more teeth - which came through without any grumps and only a little dribble. A smile is usually close by, repetition is hilarious and dogs are wonderful. She's got an incredible reach (put things twice as far away as necessary and they might just be safe, for now!) and she's beginning to crawl around, mostly backwards. She's incredibly strong, she likes to stand but loves to bounce! Her hair is thicker and is growing at a remarkable rate, we're going for her second haircut this week.

Motherhood is everything I though it would be and much more. My blood pressure's dropped (it was OK before) and most people comment that they've never seen me so happy!

My heart goes out to those of you still in the process. The waiting and uncertainty put me in hospital with eczema - that's virtually gone now too! I never believed the pain of uncertainty would become unimportant, but please know that (for me it was meeting Alice in China) once the paperwork is completed it really doesn't matter how long the process has taken your child takes all that pain away.

With love to all from a very proud Mummy, off to hug her child til she
objects!


ICE CREAM!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

PARTYTIME!

A will be 1 on Monday. We went to her birthday party this afternoon. It was lovely to be part of the celebrations and I really enjoyed introducing Alice to A's family. A's Dad D hadn't seen Alice for a few weeks and could really see the changed in her. Alice was a little reserved to begin with, she stayed with Mummy and quickly began to respond to the friends around.

I can't believe that it's been 12 months since D's phonecall - I was so worried, I knew that her waters had broken on Saturday and then didn't hear from anyone until Tuesday, it was a very long 3 days.

A is and always has been a real beauty, she's growing and changing so fast. She wasn't feeling great for the party, but she was very good nevertheless. Her cake was especially memorable and nearly as lovely as the girl herself.

Alice wore a dress from K, thank you. She looks good in strong colours.

We had a super afternoon.

CULINARY SKILLS?!

Remember this cake?

My fudge cake - the cake I make for others if I'm contributing a cake.

I haven't cooked one since Alice came home, until today. I burnt the cake slightly, but thought it would be OK. Fudge icing fudged rather too well and I couldn't spread it.

You can see the result - I rang D and explained that I wouldn't be bringing the cake after all! Had a slice with lunch, despite appearances, it was delicious as usual!

Believe it or not these cakes were made from the same recipe!! Motherhood obviously isn't helping my culinary skills.

HELP NEEDED!

I'm on a mission - I want Alice to have a new and special dress for her first birthday.

Her birthday is in mid October, so I thought I'd have plenty of time to find 'the dress'. I want an autumn weight dress with sleeves (maybe short sleeved, but it must have sleeves!) I've searched all the obvious places and come back empty-handed. I'm at a loss to know where to go next.

So UK shoppers, where do you suggest?

Friday, September 07, 2007

PERPLEXED!

Last Tuesday we had a photographer to photograph Alice at home. He delivered the CD of photos today - I've been in a quandary ever since, nearly 90 shots, which one to choose?

This is just a random selection.