Wednesday, October 31, 2007


White tights don't go well with crawling and then Alice investigated the dogs' water bowl - hence no tights and a different outfit!

She had real giggles this afternoon, rocking on her ladybird, bouncing around, enjoying the acoustics in the hall (yelling 'Dad, dad, dad,' much to her mother's despair!!)

She's eating up a storm, larger portions and a great variety of tastes. But I still can't get her to drink from anything other than the Playtex travel system bottles. She actively helps me to put on her bib - holding out her arms and looking for the arm holes, she's delighted to see the highchair tray and picks up the smallest crumbs to sample!


Sticky-up hair photo from 9th September, the other is today.

She's going to have looooooooong legs!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Look at her hair - falling down!

We managed to go back to swimming lessons today, she swam underwater but was quite clingy during the lesson, we stayed in after the lesson and gradually she relaxed and managed to giggle in the water. We swam (after the lesson) with D and A (who had spotted us from Creche as we went in for swimming) and then had lunch with them. D noticed how much Alice has slimmed down (especially her arms and legs) over the last month or so - I'm putting it down to the D and V bug and (mostly) to Alice getting moving.


Known as 'Slip Go Down And Never Come Up' by my Mum and her brother when they were little. As my friend D said, "It's quicker to say 'Jelly'!" True, but not nearly so funny. This is Alice's 'Jelly Expression', the face she makes when she has a mouthful of jelly, when the mouthful's gone she'll peer over the bowl, waiting for the next spoonful!


It's a new expression, a very grumpy frown. I saw a lot of this expression today. I hope I don't see it too much!!


Alice is getting busier and busier, it's getting more difficult to get a photo of her looking at the camera - especially as she's learnt that the orange light is followed by the flash (so she looks away!)

Perseverance pays off, occasionally. I think it's worth the effort!


Alice adores 'her' dogs.

They all put up with alot, even her 'pats' - we are still working on gently and stroking!

She and Fusspot both have boundary issues, swapping toys and chewing each other's toys more often than I would like! At the moment Fuss is more obedient than Alice, but she is partial to the play balls - Alice is as bad about chewing them (not the same ones!)

I always make sure that the dogs have an 'escape route' but Fusspot rarely uses it. They really do love each other.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Hoorah!! To the doctor's, again!

I have a chest infection and so another course of a different antibiotic. I've had to rearrange my flu jab as I'm not well enough to have it at the moment. Hopefully this lot of antibiotics will clear everything up and I'll finally get better.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The British public need their heads read.

Len Goodman, sensible chap, wrong choice that he had to make.


Alice hasn't been ill today. No D since yesterday lunchtime. No V since Friday night. I do hope that she really is better.

As suggested I've cut right back on the dairy in her diet, half strength formula, no fromage frais, no cheese and only the merest scrape of butter on her toast. She had a very bland diet today, bread sticks, toast, jelly, quarter strength juice, but she didn't object. Normally I'd only keep it going for another 24 hours or so, but we've got a swimming class on Tuesday and I really want her to be able to go, so we'll keep up the restrictions a little longer.

Me? Still feeling rough. Still taking cough medicine. Still got a temperature on and off through the day. Sick and still sick of being sick. 10 days at home with only 3 outings (to the doctor) is driving me stir crazy. Hope to get to the supermarket at least tomorrow (I've been subjected to too many cookery progs while stuck at home!)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


We had lovely giggles after supper. You truly wouldn't know she was poorly - most of the time!


A fellow AP contacted me this afternoon, to remind me about lactose intolerance. She was very kind in the way she phrased her reminder and the suggestions she made. I'm blogging about it to publicly thank her (thanks A) and to flag it up in the hope that it might help others in the way that it has helped us. So, thank you A - hope to meet you at CACH in March.

So, for now, Alice is off dairy products and on half strength bottles. I was extremely sceptical about whether or not she'd take the bottle half strength (but like most things, I'll try it once and see how it goes), anyway she took it with seeming to notice that there was only half the usual amount of formula.

For supper tonight - toast and jam (just a scrape) and lots of water. I gave Alice the pieces to feed herself, thank heavens it was a hair wash night! Bath time and bedtime were uneventful (I hope that I don't live to regret that statement!) I do so hope that she's on the road to recovery - it's more exhausting when Alice is poorly than when I am!


It's nearly 2 months away, but the shops and the TV are full of messages about Christmas. It's been getting more commercialised every year, but this is ridiculous.

I'm really looking forward to our first Christmas together, but it's not about the 'stuff', it's about family and spending time with loved ones. All the adverts and glitter just add to the stress.

I'm off to watch James Bond, might pause him for a while so that I can whizz through the ads!


Arrived 90 minutes into the 2 hour time slot.

I rejected the part-cooked baguettes as they'd been squashed. The chicken I'd ordered was only 24 hours in date, not happy about that (the website said that they'd selected the longest available date, I needed to be more specific about shelf-life!) Only 1 thing wasn't available, FISH FINGERS!!

Would I order again? Definitely, I got a lot of heavy and bulky stuff delivered - water, coke, nappies, dog food, more dog food. I'll probably have a delivery a couple of times per month, I'm already wondering how far ahead I can book the pre-Christmas delivery!! All in all a good service, probably more useful for the heavy, mass produced things, I still like to select my own fruit, veg and meat!


9th day of illness. In those 9 days we've been out 3 times - each time to visit the doctor, twice for me and once for Alice.

We've missed so much, swimming class, music session, a special tea, meeting up with GMA and her girls, 2 special days with friends and this weekend should have been a special evening out for Mummy tonight and lunch with friends tomorrow.

I'm beginning to get lonely (must be feeling better) but there's no point in even asking people in as these bugs are NASTY and we don't want to inflict them on friends. I haven't made any plans for next week, hopefully we'll be free at the last minute and capable of doing things.


Nervous disposition readers - another warning, STOP HERE!

This morning was a quiet morning, Alice was a bit whingy but the nappies were fine - after last night's vomit there was nothing to come out.

Lunchtime, cheese on toast - Alice liked it, it reminded me of Grandma (she loved grilled cheese!)

As usual, while Alice was eating, some wind and follow-through was heard. After lunch I always take Alice straight upstairs for her nap. By the time we were in the nursery we were both drenched by what should have been in her nappy, ugh, poor baby, still poorly.

Friday, October 26, 2007


This is from the 9th (before the last hair cut), we haven't been well enough to brave the camera.

I love this top, Alice looks great in bright colours and this one is nicely cut with pretty frills, it was one of a mismatched pair from JLP and reasonably priced too, fab combo!


Warning - those of a nervous disposition please stop reading here!

Alice, illness, continues.

She was fine overnight, but woke at 7am ish (early for her), crying (very unusual). The sleeping bag trick worked - you can imagine the nappy, ugh. So, having consulted with the receptionist, I made a doctor's appointment for later in the morning. Doctor confirmed that Alice has a D and V bug - not difficult to do given the smell in the surgery before the end of the consultation. She went through many nappies this morning, but settled down by lunchtime (like yesterday) and was fine this afternoon. I gave her scrambled eggs and toast again (I know she shouldn't have too many eggs, but I'm hoping that they'll help her system). She had a jar of spag bol for supper.

She's more tactile than usual, sticking close to me and wanting to stay close. She's less vocal but more whingy, but if you didn't know her then you wouldn't know that she was poorly.

Bath time fun with no problems. Whingy for her bottle. Vomit, EVERYWHERE. Lots of vomit, screaming child, drenched mother and child. I moved her onto the changing table to start cleaning her up, more vomit, grabbed a towel, more vomit. Alice's 'thing' is definitely vomit, but this out did all previous episodes combined. It was a novel experience to have to change her nappy because the outside was saturated.

Clean up with wet wipes. Pink medicine. A clean baby-grow. A little milk. A big cuddle. Bed. Then I continued with the clean up.

Oh! The raspberry yoghurt? Part of supper, smells the same the second time around as the first, ugh!


More about the online shopping results in another post.

But online grocery shopping got me thinking - what other parenting secrets and tricks am I missing out on?

Please share your parenting sanity saving tips! Comments please (you don't have to be a parent, just be capable of sharing a good idea!)


Welcome to a reader in Tunisia! 77th country.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Over 25,000 visitors since last December. No new countries recently, but 76 does represent a large part of the world.



N realised in China that I wasn't notice anything beyond the most obvious, unless it was to do with Alice.

It's the same still, but causing more of a problem - especially this week.

We've been limping along all week, not really well enough to tollerate 30+ minute drive and then shopping time on top - we hit crisis points today, opening the last pack of nappies (frightening thought while Alice has digestive issues!) and reaching the bottom of the fish fingers. NOBODY MENTIONED ONLINE SHOPPING. I've just spend nearly 2 hours 'shopping' and it will be delivered in 13-15 hours time for a charge of £6 ish, bargain, no trolley, no distracting Alice, no wonkey wheels, no drive. I've ordered lots of the bulky occassional purchases, let them carry the dog food and bottled water, I've specified 'no substitutions' and my fingers are crossed! I didn't order much fresh stuff, hopefully we'll be well enough for a small trip to get the things that I like to pick out myself.


To all my IA friends who have just or are about to adopt from China - especially my blogging buddies, we are REALLY looking forward to meeting you very soon. Please know that we travel around Southern England and Wales and would love to meet you if we're passing close-by or (even better but less likely) if you're travelling near-by! Otherwise, the CACH event in March is already in our diary - please come and meet us there!!

I feel a bit daft putting this on the blog, but the intentions are genuine and we really do want to meet you, soon!

(Oh, S, thanks for the comments, please ring me soon - I need a favour and I can't find your number!!)


. . . the sleeping bag trick wasn't necessary for today's lunchtime nap.

But . . . it is a good trick and I will use it again, when necessary. After all, it's easier to wash a sleeping bag than all the cot bedding!


. . . to put your baby down in a sleeping bag for her lunchtime nap just because the bag may contain the p** when the nappy fails?!

[Usually I remove her shoes and trousers, putting her down semi-dressed. Today she was already in a babygrow due to the earlier nappy failures!]


Alice seems better this evening. No nasty nappies since this morning.

I made her scrambled eggs and toast for lunch. She loves scrambled eggs, but today I had to fight to feed them to her, her newest love is toast!! She had orange jelly for pudding - I'd given her jelly before and she didn't like it, it's only because I made jelly for our party visitors that we discovered that she DOES like jelly (just not the preprepared ones) and prefers orange to red!) I had jelly later on in the afternoon and Alice was actually scrounging it!!

For supper it was homemade chicken gunk - Alice usually loves it but tonight she had little appetite for it (too much early jelly?)

Me? I'm getting better, but it's slow progress, I'm still coughing up a storm but my voice is returning. I finish the antibiotics in the morning. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better, we're getting desperate for supplies (nappies especially!) and we're supposed to go out for tea.


Luckily not Alice or me!

Boozie's sick now. 3 times this afternoon, makes me worry as this is how Jolly started.


Poor Alice . . . let's just say I now understand the NEED for disposable changing mats.

10.30 am, awake for 3 hours, on nappy No 5, outfit No 3. Big Pickles is now in the washing queue.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


We usually go to a music class on a Thursday morning. Alice loves music and she's getting used to the routine of our weekly music class. It's great to watch her progress - recently she's been prepared to crawl away from me (though it takes 15 - 20 minutes for her to relax into the class), she'll go to the box in the centre of the circle to 'get' an instrument, streamer or cuddly, occasionally she'll actually bring 'it' back - usually only if it's a cuddly!

Those of you who listened to the R4 prog will know that I'm not a great singer (understatement!) Even if Alice were 100% tomorrow morning we still wouldn't be going - I don't think they'd appreciate my newest singing voice.

Frustrated by being in the house? A little, more so as I haven't had a chance to actually use the B'Bee yet!



Alice ADORES the dogs, especially the little ones - Boozie and Fusspot. She looks for them when she comes downstairs and they are the only ones she will ALWAYS wave to (to say 'Goodnight' before Naptime).

Daisy stays out of the way most of the time, but the little ones enjoy her - Fusspot actually plays with her. They stay close to me, but are usually close to Alice to - even when they could be out of the way. Fusspot is great with her, but doesn't let Alice have it all her own way and will firmly but gently take back her toys that Alice steals!

But today, coming down after naptime this afternoon, Alice screamed and jigged to get to them as quickly as possible - totally delighted to see them again, they made a fuss of her return too!


This is one of a very few outfits that will be saved in a memory box - probably more for my sake than Alice's.

I bought it from JLP (one of my favourite shopping venues!) It's a pattern that I've bought for several special friends when they've had daughters. Originally I choose it just because I liked it, but I was really pleased to be able to buy this for 'Whatshername' when I realised she'd be small enough (it's a range that only goes up to 12 months).

Unfortunately nearly every time Alice has worn it, she's vomited by lunchtime - not the luckiest of outfits for us, but I still love it!



Another one from yesterday!

Thank you for all your lovely comments about Alice - I agree, but can we please agree not to tell her?!


I'm still feeling rotten, but less so than yesterday, my voice is still squeaky but it is returning. I am getting better, but slowly!

Alice has had a series of awful nappies all day - requiring several changes of wardrobe too. She still makes no indication that she might have a dirty nappy and doesn't seem bothered by them. She's also vomited today, just after lunch - cried at the time but was quickly calmed. So after at least double the usual number of nappies, 4 changes of outfit and 1 set of bedding, you'd never know she was poorly in the time between 'incidents', bless her.

Other than visits to the GP on Friday and Monday we haven't been out since last Thursday - just as I'm feeling a little more human than I have done for nearly a week, Alice is getting poorly and keeping us home for a little while longer, but we'll have to go out soon as the 'staples' are running low (I'm not prepared to go without nappies for anyone!!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


WL - you made me laugh so hard that I had a coughing fit, I'm not publishing your comment yet (but you're partly right!!)

Janet - great to hear your guess, you're PARTLY right.

Come on the rest of you - what do you think? Comments please!


This time on my international DTC group, the Autumn Dreamers!

They used my favourite photo from the early days at home - the one on the swing.

For a limited time, you can see it here.

I started with the post that I used last time Alice was a homepage star on a different group, then I edited it to bring it up to date:

Alice is delightful! She's continuing to thrive, just 16 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!). She's incredibly
strong, she likes to stand but loves to bounce! Her hair is thicker
and is growing at a remarkable rate. She started to crawl in
September and now races round – it won't be long before she's walking
as she's pulling up on everything and cruising with just 1 hand for
support! She adores cuddly toys and today (for the first time) she
offered me her favourite bunny – it meant a lot to her and so it meant
a huge amount to me.

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! The most difficult thing I've ever
had to do is ice the cupcakes for her birthday party whilst trying to
play with her!!

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, once the paperwork is completed it really doesn't
matter how long the process has taken your child takes all that pain away.



. . . just because!


New wheels - Bug@boo Bee, all in black, not released in this country until February next year, I couldn't wait, neither could another AP friend of mine! I'd heard from her that it wasn't particularly light, easy or small, my reasons for purchasing - lightweight, simple single fold, small!!

The verdict? Alice seemed to approve on our journey around the sitting room! Lightweight - ish, simpler and smaller than the M*tsy! (Our opinions vary I suspect because our terms of reference are different!) Most importantly it seems OK, it is a single fold while facing me and it takes up less storage space, it won't replace the M*tsy but it wasn't intended to, the M*tsy will still be the main pushchair as it's much sturdier and seems to be more comfortable, but the Bee will be good for the shortish trips and when space is at a premium.



. . . Big Pickles

. . . Medium Pickles

. . . Small, pink Pickles

. . . and Alice, of course!


I wish that you could hear the groan that Alice was making while I took this photo.

The groan signifies real desire for something. It's not often heard but once heard it's not easily forgotten.

The object of her desires? I'll give you a day or 2 to comment and let me know what you think!


I went back to the GP's yesterday and saw a different locum. Turns out I don't have a chest infection but a throat infection.

I felt dreadful, hence the return visit, it was all I could do not to cry (only the thought that it would make me feel worse stopped me!) She advised me to take Ibuprofen, numbing throat spray and cough medicine - it's made a big difference, but nearly 36 hours later I still feel pretty rough, I've still got a very sore throat and hardly any voice. I'm a lot better than I was over the weekend - I've had Alice on my own for 2 days and I actually managed to get some sleep last night (phew!) I'm still coughing a lot at night, but I think that I only woke Alice 3 or 4 times last night, compared to at least 6 times the night before!

Alice has been so good through all of this - spending time with T and entertaining herself while I groaned from the sofa, with only a fake cough to show she knows what's going on!! This evening she showed signs of surcoming herself, in true 'Alice Style' she vomited. When she'd nearly finished her main course, no warning, she vomited - but the bib contained it. So the dilemma then was what to feed her, she'd been sick, effectively had no food and with a delicate tummy? My automatic solution is scrambled eggs, not too rich but nutritious and one of Alice's favourite foods. I gave her some of the pink medicine (she was a bit hot) and the eggs went down well, but unfortunately (and unusually for Alice), they came back too. I didn't try again, it seemed unfair not to give her any food but I couldn't make her sick again. Luckily she does still have a bottle before bed, so I didn't put her to bed hungry - I couldn't do that. I do hope that she hasn't got my bug as I haven't felt this ill for several years.


At Easter, when rumours were that I'd be included in the next batch of referrals, I bought a little, leggy, cream and soft bunny. It's a Jellycat one, I thought that it was called 'Mr Pickles' - so that's how I refer to him with Alice, actually he's part of the 'Pickles' range.

This little bunny came to China. I gave him to Alice the day that we met. We started a game, holding him away from Alice, jiggling him closer while saying "Here comes Mr Pickles, and Mr Pickles . . . tickles!" while rubbing him against her cheek. She has loved this game from the day we met. In China, Alice sucked on his ears, arms or legs - she doesn't do this so often any more.

Institutionalised children are reported not to like soft toys as they're not used to them, presumably as they're tricky to keep clean in an institutional situation. Alice ADORES soft toys, Pickles especially.

As bunnies do, Pickles quickly multiplied - so we have several small cream bunnies and a pink one, as well as a larger one. For her birthday Alice also had an even bigger one. One small cream one can always be found in her bed, another attached to her pushchair, as well as several of different sizes in the playpen. When we went away a few weeks ago I counted 4 travelling with us - you can't have too many Pickles!!

Today Alice was playing with 3 at once - small, pink Pickles, medium one and the new large one. At one point she had 2 and I had 1, I called her and showed her big Pickles, she grinned and headed towards us. After having a cuddle with him, she did something new - she offered me an ear, to suck (she held the ear up to my mouth, no mistaking the intention)!! BIG PROGRESS - sharing, offering comfort and Pickles, huge - I was so flattered.


. . . fresh from an auction website . . . all the way from New York . . . our new pushchair (less than 2 weeks after ordering, I'd worked out last night that I may have to wait another week or so).

I wasn't too hopeful when I saw the box:

Even less optimistically I opened the bag, the chassy fell out of the damp box - easy to unpack, but were all the pieces there? Would I be able to assemble it? (I've not been very good at reading instructions or following them, recently!) (So far I haven't discovered that anything vital is missing.)

Anyway, it was SIMPLE to add the 2 remaining wheels. I even managed to reverse the seat unit - big issue for me, Alice HAS to face me (actually she now shows a preference to do so, someone has to!) I did read the manual adjust the harness.

Then it was TIME. Time for Alice to try it out and pass judgement.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


. . . I had to cancel ALL the weekend plans we'd made - it was due to be a really busy and special couple of days.

On Saturday M, C and L (Alice's orphanage sister) and GF N were due to come over for the day. We haven't seen M, C and L since mid August, this was supposed to be a belated birthday celebration, now it'll be very belated.

Today we were due to go to Longleat with D and A.

If I wasn't feeling bad enough already, then missing out on these things makes me feel worse. Sorry guys, I hope that we can rearrange very soon.


. . . and sick of being sick.

Chest infection. Sore throat. Incessant cough. Hoarse voice. Aching muscles (from coughing).

Absolutely exhausted from continuous coughing and lack of sleep.

I'm on antibiotics (since Friday am, am hoping that they start to kick in soon), asthma puffers, pandol and hot drinks, don't know what else to do, still getting worse at the moment and feeling dreadful.

The Magnificent T stepped in and took Alice for the afternoon yesterday and all day today - don't know what I would have done otherwise. I cried when she left this morning, couldn't help myself.

Friday, October 19, 2007


. . . you've seen this one before, but I thought that cropping it showed Alice's radiance more effectively.

(OK, I can't get blogger to upload a photo, so I'm going to publish anyway and try editing to add it. I know, daft a post about a photo with no photo. Done, doesn't look so daft now!)


. . . I got Alice's blood test results today - all negative, HIV, Thalassemia (sp?) trait, lead levels, Heb B surface antigens . . . all negative. They had to check, but then confirmed, that was good news. Phew. HIV test isn't conclusive as she's too young, she could still be hiding it, but it's a good indicator.

The best possible outcome, for the moment good news.


I feel rotten, I've got Alice's chest infection.

Special day tomorrow - M, C and L are coming over (Alice's orphanage sister), I hope that they still come as even N can make it tomorrow too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Is it any wonder I spend my time plumping cushions?

The patterned sofa is where I sit in the evenings if I'm watching TV or reading, it feels very big now there are only 2 small furry friends with me (Daisy's only allowed on the small sofa).

The biggest difference without Jolly is the amount of water they're drinking. They're only getting through about a quarter of the water compared to last week. Jolly had always drunk alot of water and adored 'fresh' water, the kidney problems may have been lurking in the background for many years.

Alice adores the dogs. Until recently they could get away by getting up on the sofa or moving into the study - as Alice gets more mobile she can now get to and reach across to many of their resting places - so now Fuss and Boo have an excuse to get up on the back cushions as they're still safe there, for now!


Swimming class this morning, the 4th of 10 but only our 2nd. Alice swam underwater 3 times. She hung on to me quite tightly at times but was happy to splash us both. A good time and great for bonding.

We stayed in the water to meet D and A and then went to the cafe for lunch together.

I'd hoped to go to school's Harvest Festival this afternoon, however Alice needed a good lunchtime snooze - so plans were scrapped.

This afternoon we had quite playtime at home. Alice was quite clingy and the whinges grew through the afternoon. Her new duvet arrived this afternoon and she's trying it tonight for the first time.


Alice can puker-up beautifully, but doesn't 'connect' for a kiss. She can also make a kissy sound. The kissy face and the kissy sound aren't the same look at all.

She's always made the kissy face. The kissy sound was new about a week ago. I've been trying to get her to blow kisses, she just collapses in giggles! Meanwhile she'll receive kisses but not give them. I don't think that she sees enough people kissing without being involved.


Monday, October 15, 2007


The dress was still respectable, so to save from last minute marks, the magnificant T took it off!! Alice was quite happy to play in tights and nappy.