Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NEW POSTS - WHERE'RE THE COMMENTS?

11 . . .

11?

11 NEW posts yesterday and loads of photos of Alice, questions on the blog but NOT EVEN 1 comment?

You rotten lot!

Monday, October 27, 2008

THIS ONE NEEDED A POST OF ITS OWN

At first glance this photo isn't particularly special - it's the way that Alice was playing that made it so special.

Alice put her baby to bed. She took great care to make sure baby was put to bed this way - going back to tuck baby in and make sure that baby's arms were over the covers - just like Alice likes to be when she's in bed. I'm amazed at the sophistication of her play.

WHAT A CARING MUMMY!

GMA bought Alice a dolly's cradle for her birthday - I wish I could have captured the look on her face when she saw what was in her parcel!

These are the photos from the first evening playing with it, what a caring Mummy she is:
  • hugging her baby,
  • kissing her baby,
  • rocking her baby,
  • giving her baby a dummy,
  • reading with her baby,
  • making sure her baby is comfortable (pulling the sleeves down)
  • giving her baby Pickles to sleep with (baby didn't' sleep long - Alice wanted him back!!)
  • watching TV as she gives her baby a bottle (NO idea where she got that from!!)


CRUSTS!

Alice WON'T eat her crusts!

She used to but decided a few weeks ago that she wouldn't any more, so now I cut the crusts off - if I don't she leaves have the bread still attached to the crust and refuses more of the slice!

However the photo tells another story - she'd used the tower to reach worktop height (though now she's pretty much tall enough to reach nearly to the back of the it), she got the crusts, ate a few and then demanded to be let out into the garden to put the remainder on the bird table!!

MORE THANKS!

Alice received a parcel - we should have had it on her birthday but it was a relief postie that day and he didn't know the arrangement I have for leaving parcels. Her parcel was loaded with goodies just for her from a special friend and Alice loves everything you sent, it was very generous and not just the toys but the thought and care put into the whole thing were very much appreciated, thank you!

I think you would also have enjoyed the work out that I got trying to take these photos - playing with Alice by the dishwasher before distracting her to run away before she caught up with me, so that I could capture her catching up, lots of giggles!

BIRD WATCHING

Now Daisy's no longer with us, I've got the bird table out again (she used to pick the scraps off the table or knock the whole thing over!)

Alice and I can both watch the birds from our seats around the kitchen table - we love to watch their activity and it's quite a good distraction at times.

OUR FAMILY SUMMED UP IN A PHOTO?

This was supposed to be a thank you post - and it is!

This book was from O and his Mum (another teacher). She took 'pot luck' and bought Alice a book as a birthday present.

She couldn't have done any better if she'd known every book in Alice's library! I love this author, we already have the ABC book and now we're very grateful to have the counting one too (though not the one from this link, but very similar!) I love the detail in the illustrations and the subtle ways in which the arrangement of the book works to bring the end of the story back to where it began, wonderful.

I took several photos of her engrossed in this book but this one seems to represent our family very well - anyone know why?

NEW POSTS

I'm trying to catch up but I'm also taking advantage of the 'Post Options' and back dating a post about Alice's birthday - it should appear on 15th October so it won't be at the top of the blog, just FYI!

Friday, October 24, 2008

DON'T EXPECT MUCH TONIGHT

. . . I'm to busy cooking for a special get together tomorrow!

Stressful night and day, all better now and much relieved.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

BLOGGER'S BACK!

. . . but now I know how to blog by email!!

Heehee!

BECOMING SLEEP OBSESSED?!

I can’t access blogger – so I’m trying to blog by email.

 

To update on sleep – last night Alice squawked before 9pm and then again around 5am.  I went in to check she was OK and try and calm her without words or taking her out of her cot, which worked until she realised that she wouldn’t be coming into my bed!

 

My biggest problem is that, despite being very tired, once woken it’s taking me hours to get back to sleep.

 

And tonight?  9.30 and all’s quiet (so far)!  We had the conversation about sleeping, not crying and not coming into Mummy’s bed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SNIPPETS OF TEMPTATION!

Lots of little things to blog about but not really enough time - so you'll have to come back again soon!!

Sorry - Alice squawked again at 3:40 ish this morning and the rest of the 'night' was very disrupted. She insisted on coming into my bed and the little tike even told instructed me as I picked her up that I'd forgotten to pick up Flat Panda! I'd had a conversation with her at bedtime about sleeping all night in her cot, she agreed but at yawn o'clock this morning I didn't bother to argue as I had to get up for work.

Tonight we had the same conversation. She squawked before 9pm, I went, I medicated, I set the humidifier going and then I got tough and left - she cried furiously for less than 5 minutes and fell back to sleep. That's given me even more determination to be strong tonight - wonder how long that'll last?!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MUFFINS

We didn't go swimming this morning because Alice still has an ear infection.

Instead I decided that Alice would like to cook! Yesterday I'd try to buy some chocolate chips to make muffins, but they'd been 'withdrawn' so I bought round chocolate pieces (from a purple bag!)

She had great fun, she helped to put the cases in the tin, to mix the ingredients (and taste test them in their raw and floury state!) and finally she enjoyed eating them! They weren't the most successful recipe I've tried, the texture was wrong - I blame the Director of Ops (me), I've never been the best muffin cook (but I have finally succeeded with fairy cakes!!)

NEW BLOG FEATURE - FEEDJIT

I installed it several days ago - it does much the same as the other counter, but it also tells you where people are coming from, how they found the blog and which blog they leave via. It's also more accurate on where readers are - it's easier to guess who is actually reading. I find that sort of stuff interesting - what's it's showing so far is that most of my readers are regulars coming direct from their bookmark, so anyone else fancy linking to me? I'm quite happy to reciprocate and I love getting new readers!

LONG DAYS AND NIGHTS

Alice is better but still not completely well - this is particularly clear during the evenings and at night.

She woke screaming from her lunchtime nap yesterday only 50 minutes after she'd gone to bed. So she was really tired going to bed last night, no fuss, no problem. I went downstairs and continued making 'Thank you' cards for Alice' baptism and birthday presents. About 90 minutes later she started to cry, almost hysterically, I got there as fast as I could and it took over 20 minutes to calm her - very unusual. I hadn't had supper or fed the dogs at this point so once she was properly calm I let her stay in my bed while I went downstairs to sort out food, dogs etc. I was as quick as I could be, when I got back to her she was still wide awake but calm. She made it very clear that she wanted to stay with me so I had an early but restless night - she makes the bed so hot and insists on lying right next to me which makes me even hotter, also she kicks about a lot in her sleep, all that makes for not much sleep. The benefit comes in the morning - when she sleeps longer than she would in her cot.

We're having another quiet day - she's not well enough to go swimming. We had great fun making and tasting chocolate chip muffins this morning and now we're both enjoying her nap!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

WHEN DID SHE GET TO BE SOOOO GROWN UP?

I love seeing glimpses of the future, this one took my breath away!

It amazes me how much she understands, she now likes to help me unload the dishwasher! I'd better take advantage while she still likes to do it!

(S - this was during our phone conversation on a Saturday morning!)



Thursday, October 16, 2008

SHE LOVES HER FOOD!

Supper - French toast and ketchup, or Eggy Bread and Dippy Sauce as we call it!

CATCHING UP - ALICE IS 2, HEALTH AND CO-SLEEPING

Tuesday - a quiet day before the 'storm' of Alice' birthday. As I was blogging she woke late in the evening - I think that the C@lpol wears off so she wakes easily and then feeling congested she starts to cry, vicious circle only slightly relieved by Mummy. She'd never co-slept with me until last Friday night, since then she's done it twice more on Tuesday and Wednesday night. She's started each of these nights in her cot but woken distressed late in the evening and made it clear that she wants to stay with me - I'm not going to object whilst she's poorly. Neither of us get such good sleep as when we are in our own beds, but it comforts Alice to be with me and that's more important while she's ill. I don't think that I'd like to co-sleep all the time as I feel like a punch-bag by morning.

Wednesday - Alice's birthday. Despite the alarm clock Alice didn't wake til nearly 9am - that would usually be good news but really it only indicates what a rough night we had. I wasn't sure if we were going to make it to our usual Wednesday music and drama group but we did. Alice wasn't keen to sit and participate, she preferred to sit in the middle of the group and roll around on the floor. She was happy to go up to celebrate her birthday, then she decided she needed me, I went up, then she went to sit in our space - so I was left in the centre without the Birthday Girl! She was still decidedly off colour, no appetite and sleeping a long time at nap time with disturbed nights. Several friends came round for tea - Alice discovered the food on the table after her nap (before her guests arrived) and proceeded to 'graze' all afternoon! She also decided that she wasn't interested in presents or cards (despite lots of encouragement) I opened most of them for her.

Today - a quiet day at home, we didn't go out. Alice had lots of time to play with toys old and new. She had a very long nap and then watched S*hrek 2 (I'm bored of 3 at the moment!)

Health? She's still poorly with her ear infection, her chest sounds worse but she didn't actually have a chest infection when checked on Monday, she's only got 36 hours of antibiotics left and I'm not convinced that she'll be right at the end of them - I know children bounce back quickly but I can hear her breathing from the next room. Her appetite is poor, her tolerance is low and she's crying multiple times an hour - that's not how my Alice usually is.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

ALICE IS 2!

OK, nearly 2 weeks late and now I'm having trouble with Alice's Happy Cake (her name for anything Birthday is 'Happy'!) (the photo is landscape on preview but portrait when uploaded?) Anyway the Happy Cake was Mummy's homemade fudge chocolate cake.

We did our usual things on the morning of her birthday - dashing out of the door in time to go to T*ick T*ock 20 minutes away, we were late enough that she didn't even notice the strange rug covered monstrosities in the playroom! They sang the Happy Song to her at TT and she even managed to stand at the front (with Mummy) through most of it before taking herself back to our place to sit down (the only time she sat there during the whole class!)

When we got home she unveiled her pressies - an easel from Mummy and a play kitchen (initially a 'chicken') from Grandad - she knew exactly what they both were and played appropriately with them from first sight (I thought that that was pretty incredible - especially the easel, how on earth did she know what it was?)

While she snoozed after lunch I got ready a Happy Tea ready. She wore her spotty outfit for the afternoon and discovered the tea table almost immediately after her nap and proceeded to graze for most of the rest of the day. By mid afternoon her little friends started to arrive (though all 3 of the other mums were working that day), the children played and then ate, Alice unwrapped some of her presents and the grown ups chatted, drank tea and ate too!

It was a lovely day and it's amazing to think back 12 months and reflect on how much she's changed in the past year - I miss the baby stage but I love the walking, talking, playing and independence that is Alice aged 2 (I hope that I don't live to regret that statement!!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SLOW DAY, TIRED DAY

It's not really surprising that we needed a slow day - the last week or so's been hectic and tomorrow will be too.

Usually we go swimming on a Tuesday - but not with an ear infection. So we had a slow start which included several phone calls. Then we went to the supermarket - to return 17 bottles of wine, 47 champagne flutes (broke 1) and all 48 wine glasses.

Got to go - Alice is crying

Monday, October 13, 2008

HEALTH UPDATE - ALICE

Vomit, sorry but there's been quite a bit recently:
  • nap time on Friday
  • sometime Friday evening (whilst in her cot)
  • lunchtime Saturday
She obviously had a bit of a cold too, so I wasn't too worried as Alice vomits easily (that was something I worried about before I was a mum, doesn't bother me too much these days - as long as it's Alice, still can't deal with other people's!) So Saturday morning I watched closely for other symptoms - but she really was fine, I couldn't justify calling for an emergency appointment, they would have thought I was crackers.

Luckily she was OK yesterday - to those who know her well she wasn't quite herself, less resilient and a bit clingy, but OK. She went without her daytime sleep too - that never helps. The party ended quite early and we had some relaxing time in the garden after the visitors had gone - Alice clearly wasn't herself. So I got up this morning ready to ring the GPs for an appointment, I'd expected an afternoon appointment (which would have been tricky) but were lucky to get the last appointment of the morning.

The surgery is in U, it's at one end of a free car park. Unfortunately the car park is increasingly busy and it can take several laps to find a space these days. Today we were lucky and got a good space (wide enough to open doors on both sides, yes I have a big car) quickly and easily. We were nearly 10 minutes early for her appointment. 70 minutes later we were still waiting, ugh. Our GP is lovely, she does run late but not without good reason - so I sat there telling myself that others must have needed that time, I had to keep repeating it and it got more and more difficult to remember those others - especially as I suspected we only needed a quick consultation. I suspected that Alice had an ear or chest infection, despite the rattle and wheeze when she breathes it turned out to only be her right ear this time - so now we have a 5 day course of banana medicine.

Unsurprisingly Alice is off her food (another clue to illness). She didn't eat much yesterday and refused the supper that she'd agreed too as well as breakfast this morning (so I broke my loose no-snack rule and took biscuits with us to the Doc - they were a blessing!) This afternoon we had an appointment for Alice to have a renal ultrasound (to check for kidney stones following the contamination of infant formula and other dairy products in China). As we were due to walk out the door Alice vomited over herself and me. Luckily I was able to remove her fleece top layer and she was OK underneath, she only got me on the arm so I was able to wash it off. We were able to leave almost on time and I wasn't too flustered. I was worried that I hadn't been able to make her drink much - she's not the greatest of drinkers at the best of times and being poorly she doesn't take pressure well, so I hadn't managed to get her to drink.

The appointment was at a local private hospital. We walked in and they were expecting us, they smiled and greeted Alice by name. We were taken straight through. They were calm, welcoming and patient with Alice. The nurse showed her the ultrasound gel, told her it would be cold and asked if she wanted to see some, she did and then Alice rubbed it in a bit and they she showed us the television 'Where we'll look and see what you had for lunch.' The doctor (not sure if he was a doctor or radiographer, I think he was introduced as a doctor) came in an took his time, explaining to Alice and I as he went. After 10 seconds or so I decided that I couldn't watch the screen and distract Alice from touching the gel and keep her still all at once. I decided not to look, I knew that the kidneys had sections within them but I kept thinking what if they were stones not sections that I was seeing? After looking at both kidneys he then went on to check her bladder, liver and possibly her heart. I wasn't sure if he was going to comment on what he saw but he then told me that everything was normal and there was nothing to worry about. I was so relieved that I forgot to ask about stones but presumably if there had been stones then there would be something to worry about!!

It was only when we got home that I discovered that she had got vomit over me before we left - luckily I'd explained when we were greeted that she'd just vomited so I hope that they didn't think I was completely nutty!

No stones, phew!

And how was Alice by bedtime? Tired, more cranky than usual but happy to take her 'Mebsim'. And me? Relieved, counting my blessings and loving her all over again.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WHAT A DAY!

Alice was baptised today.

It was a super day - more details to come in future posts.

CATCHING UP - MY BIRTHDAY, THE 10th

It was my birthday on Friday.

I was too old to be specific about my new age - but if you read enough of the old posts you'll know!

It was a work day. It was busy, as usual. The children found out it was my birthday and several made me lovely cards. Due to the way the day worked out and me being (slightly) more organised than usual, I was able to leave work earlier than usual. I got home to discover that Alice had been sick during her afternoon nap. I really shouldn't have been surprised - Alice had been a little off-form and she seems to vomit easily when she's not 100% - especially on special days (including last Christmas Day).

We had 'Happy Day' cake (that's what Alice calls a birthday!) and she had great fun blowing out my candles - I've tried to upload some video of that but B*logger won't cooperate.

I went out for a pub supper - good company and delicious food, thanks D! But I got home again to discover that Alice had been sick again. She'd cried for a lot of the evening (which is extremely rare) and vomited at some stage whilst she was in her cot. If ever I discover that she's vomited I always get her up and change her - even if it means waking her up and disturbing her. That night she was awake and in need of a cuddle. I changed her. She was very clingy. Eventually I agreed with M that she would leave and lock up on her way out. Luckily I had a clean bottle upstairs (I didn't make it downstairs until the next morning).

I took Alice into my bed - she was still very clingy and couldn't even cope with me being out of sight. Eventually she agreed that I could tidy up my bedroom (within sight from my bed). Then she made it clear that she wanted milk - not a good idea after vomit so I offered her water, she was quite happy and drank several ounces. Then we watched 10 minutes or so of S*tricly before I said 'Goodnight' and turned out the light. She tossed and turned, the bed grew really hot, at some point she fell out the other side (it's over 6 feet wide and she usually sticks right to my side) and she kicked me a lot. Eventually (well after 2am) I shouted 'Enough!' and told her to stop fussing and go to sleep and she did. We both slept until after 8am but woke up grumpy having missed several hours sleep. I struggled to function on Saturday - I was even more forgetful than usual - pausing in mid sentence/task and loosing my train of thought. The effect on Alice was less obvious but she did sleep for nearly 3 hours on Saturday afternoon.

THANKS AND CONFUSION

A huge thank you to all who shared our day today - you helped to make it a very special day and it wouldn't have been the same without each one of you. I didn't take nearly enough photos so please send any that you have.

With all the things happening I got confused about the presents that you've given Alice - some were for today, some for Wednesday and one was even for last Christmas! Several people have also been very kind and sent cards and parcels for her. With my confusion I've tried sorting these pressies and cards into baptism and birthday, I'm not sure that I've got it right and I won't know until she's opened them! Alice was so tired this evening that she's only opened a couple of pressies - though she loved the contents of each one. So, for now, thank you for the pressies - I'm sure that they'll be lovely gifts that Alice will enjoy - specific thanks will have to wait until they're opened.

WHY?

Alice has started asking 'Why?'

I'm surprised how early this has started - I knew that it was a feature of childhood, but I thought I had another 6 months or more before this stage would start!

This evening she wanted to know 'Why?' she shouldn't pull the bathroom light on and off over and over again. I explained that the bulb would go pop like a balloon if she did it again and again, she accepted the explanation and stopped - not sure how long that type of attitude will last but I'll appreciate it while I can!

ALICE'S BAPTISM - NOT FORGETTING LITTLE SIS

Sunday is the day that T (my SW) works on my HS.

Today he met with GFW and Aunty J - they were giving me a reference. T phoned after the meeting to reassure me that it went well - with the amount of things still to be done I was distracted and hadn't had time to worry, aside from the trust that I have in W and J!

While I was waiting for Alice I had a W*innie the P*ooh soft toy - I have several photos of important people and occasions including WTP to show that I was thinking of my baby.

I've bought an elephant for Little Sis, I bought it in July, today I noticed he has a wonky trunk. I chose an elephant as it is the national symbol of Thailand. Today was his first outing - he came to church, Alice held him, but I forgot to include him in the photos! Despite no photos Little Sis is never far from my mind.

I'm sure that some people wondered why the elephant was in church - now things will be a little clearer. I made a very short speech at Alice's baptism, so did GFW (outmanoeuvred by the other GPs who all passed the buck!) Fresh from meeting the SW GFW mentioned our current adoption journey to Little Sis - I'm not sure that everyone already knew about it but they do now!

Little Sis will one day know how long we waited, how hard we strived to bring her home and just how very much she is longed for.

ALICE'S BAPTISM - MEMORIES

(I'm not sure whether to call this Part 1 or just to keep editing it!)

The vicar forgot to add GFW to the list of Godparents - his name was hidden under the note I'd attached to the form! I quickly corrected him - GFW would never have forgiven me if he'd been overlooked, he'll probably never let me forget it either!

Alice. Happy, beautiful, bringing such joy.

Alice - wanting to look in the font repeatedly.

Being surrounded by friends and family - their presence alone confirming their love for Alice.

But most of all - Alice, rebaptising herself several times after the service (still in the vicar's arms!!) She liked it so much that he brought her a shell of her own - so that she can do it again at home!

Please comment and add your own memories.

ALICE, HER GODPARENTS AND ME!

From left to right: GFW (despite the vicar trying to leave him off the list of Godparents - I spoke up to correct him!), GMJ, Me, Alice, GMA and GFN (who came to China with me!)

All of her Godparents are special people in my life - not only are they good friends but they've been a huge support to me during the last few years especially. I know that they will be special people in Alice's life too, in fact they already are. I've know both GFW and GFN since I was about 8 - we went to primary school together. GMJ and I went to secondary school together - we were best friends for most of that time, unfortunately I was a boarder and J was a Day Girl - that didn't make it easy. GMA and I were neighbours in A'g from 1996 until Mum died.

(And special thanks to Aunty J (GFW's wife) who took this photo!)

PARTY PREPARATIONS AND NOTES!

Alice helped to blow up the balloons!


(You can ignore the notes if you wish - they're here for
Alice and also my future reference!!)

Caterer

Spring rolls – veggie and duck – very popular

Prawn bits – Thai style, sesame P toasts, wontons – very popular

Pasties – veggie and meat

Mini quiche

Sausages – plain and honey and mustard - always popular!

Platter of crudités and dip

Sandwiches – egg, ham, salmon

Fruit platter

Mini doughnuts

Mini éclairs Рvery popular

Mini custard slices – very popular

Christening cake, sponge

All very popular except for the fruit platter (but the strawberries went quickly!)

Other Food Bits

Cucumber – hardly touched

Cherry toms – large punnet, over half gone

2 large bags of H*ula H*oops – very popular

Jelly etc

Orange – 4 pints, 1+ pint eaten

Strawberry – 4 pints, 3+ pints eaten

Ice cream – 4 tubs, 1 and a bit eaten

F*lakes – 2 boxes of 16, 1 box eaten

Sprinkles

Choc and toffee sauce

Wine

18 white wine - 7 drunk

12 red wine - 4 drunk

10 Cava – 6 drunk

(They didn't drink much!!)

F*ruit S*hoots – water, 25 drunk

16 blackcurrant (v popular)

8 apple

16 orange

Soft Drinks

Orange 8 x 1litre – 3 consumed

Apple 8 x 1litre – nearly 2 consumed

Fizzy Elderflower – 6 litres, 5 drunk and 6th would have been drunk if it had been out!!

6 x 2l lemonade, untouched

Other things!

50+ pink balloons, 2 weights and a tank of helium

80 fortune cookies - far too many

Party bags - containing alsorts (depending on age)- bubbles, books, magnet boards, colouring books, craft packs, kites, slidey puzzles, fortune cookies and hong bao

ALICE'S BAPTISMAL OUTFIT

I bought Alice's dress for today in July - I found it in a local shop, in the sale! They had 2 dresses of this style - one with royal blue spots in age 3 and this one with gold spots. I preferred the one with gold spots but had to check its fit, we tried it on in the shop and it was OK, but a little baggy!

Over the summer I picked up the rest of the outfit as I found suitable bits. By Wednesday I wanted to try everything on together - to check the fit and the look - that's when I took these photos. I bought Alice the wrap from M*onsoon - I'm not into fluff but I wanted her to have an extra layer for warmth. Alice loved the wrap on first sight and declared it 'Soff!', it is very soft. I'd also bought a hairband - I didn't want her to wear both together but needed to see what they looked like, get Alice used to them and also to see whether the hairband would work, it did.

The dress is age 4 - by this week it fits, it's no longer baggy. It's got an underskirt that gives the dress some body and hang away from Alice's legs - I really like the style of dress on Alice and the length was great, ballerina - elegant and flattering (even for a nearly 2 year old!)

The weather was so good today that Alice didn't need the fluffy accessories - I did put her in a vest but she didn't need anything over the dress. She seemed very comfortable in her dress and still looked presentable by the end of the party - up close she was actually quite mucky, but the dress did well! She's always lovely but I think that this dress will always make me smile - with lovely memories of a very special day.

NEVER FORGOTTEN

My Mum.

Today is the 5th anniversary of her death. I find the 10th (my birthday) is usually a harder day than the 12th.

This year things were a little easier - I miss Mum every day but I've got to a point where I can't regret her death. Her death was as she would have wished - quick and unexpected, very hard for me but hopefully not for her. Mum's death was the direct stimulus to begin my adoption of Alice - I am glad to have regained a positive outlook and once again have joy in my life, thanks to Alice. I can't regret Mum's death as I wouldn't have Alice - the 2 people I love most in my life and they never knew each other. Last year should have been a little easier (for Alice's presence in my life) however a very sick dog (who I shared with Mum) made it harder again.

Mum died on a Sunday evening. This year is the first time that this anniversary had fallen on a Sunday. I purposely chose this day to have Alice baptised. I wanted to turn a day with dreadful associations into a day of celebration. We prayed for Mum and Nick at the baptism. Never a day passes without thoughts of them both.

Today I smiled. My daughter is a joy and the light of my life - she's brought smiles, giggles, silliness and such happiness. Today we celebrated Alice and remembered Mum. Today was a good day, Mum and Nick must have been with us - the weather (after such a dreadful summer) was incredible, warm with a gentle breeze, we spent most of the party in the garden. Today I managed to celebrate and be thankful, the tears stayed away til this evening (I couldn't type this without tears). Mum would wish to be remembered with a smile, today I am a lot closer to being able to do that, the fate of the 12th has been changed.

Always remembered. Always loved. Always and forever.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

NEARLY BIRTHDAY SEASON

Thank you for the comments about my birthday - it's tomorrow.

E's comment made me laugh - Alice would have helped make the cake but we were too busy today. I've been explaining about the big party on Sunday - Mummy's birthday first, big party then Alice's birthday. We've sung the 'Birthday Song' to practise and get the point across (not every night but once a week or so since Grandpa Nick's birthday on 5th Sept - when I discovered that she could sing it!) Anyway, tonight's rendition was followed by Alice blowing (out the 'candles') - I went to a staff meeting yesterday and I think that someone may have been practising with her while I was away!!

Even if I have to sing it with her tomorrow I'm going to try and film it - it'll never sound like this again, she makes every day so special.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

IT'S JUST NOT RIGHT!

I'm not having a pity party . . . but it's just NOT right when you have to make your own birthday cake.

NEW BLOG FEATURES

A little while ago (ie not sure when) I added 2 buttons to the RH bar - to subscribe to blog posts and comments.

I've also added a 'Labels' section (right at the very bottom under all the archive links of photos of Alice) - by clicking on a label you can view all the posts that link to that subject. I wish I'd understood labels earlier as I've created too many but categorising was never a strong point.

Yesterday, when checking my 'Dashboard' I noticed that I had a follower. Later I went into the Layout section and found I could add a Followers section to the blog - now I've got 2 followers but I'm not sure what that means!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

TODAY'S NEWS

. . . sorry - too busy to use the camera too!

Great progress in swimming today - Alice has started to enjoy jumping in, by the end of the lesson she was flinging herself towards the water, I was about 1.5 metres from the edge of the pool and she was getting to me, mostly through the jump but with some just under the surface swimming. Fantastic and more than just fantastic as she enjoyed it so much.

While she napped I emailed the final photos to the caterer for Sunday's arrangements - now I just need to speak to her about some last minute details. Then I managed to finally finish the BAAF form applying to adopt - I definitely didn't do this form last time, it's taken me weeks to complete. When Alice woke up we delivered the form and first payment for the Homestudy, then we went to the supermarket and then onto a new soft play centre. The new SP centre was good - trickier than our usual haunt but also more challenging for Alice but without being too difficult. We met D and A there - it was good for the girls to be together and I'm sure that Alice tried more with A doing it too. Although it was good we came away STINKING of fried food (the kitchen was open to the whole area) and when we looked at the price list more carefully it's only reasonable value on weekdays during term time - so I don't think we'll be going there that regularly!

We went back to D and A's for supper - the girls had fun and it was good food in lovely company. By the time we left it was nearly dark and way past Alice's bedtime, but she was able to look at the moon! Alice adores looking at the moon! It was also very helpful as it kept her awake all the way home, phew.

I've kept at the chores this evening (in between phone calls) but they're still mounting up behind me, but I'm too tired so now I'm off to bed, goodnight!

I'VE GIVEN UP!

You may already have noticed, I'm a bit busy. I'm also a bit stressed, there's a lot to do and probably not enough time to do it in. Not only do we both have a birthday within the next week, but also Alice's baptism with large celebration and then I went and organised a birthday tea as well! Along with all of that there are extra school commitments this week!

So I've given up, I'm not going to stress but the house won't be immaculate - if people are going to judge me on the state of tidiness then they're probably opinions that I wouldn't have wanted to know anyway. I feel so much better for not worrying about it - though I do find it hard not to worry.

The gardener has only been twice since the end of July - despite knowing of this weekend's celebrations since he started the job in June, he's now p**** me off so much I'm going to enjoy our next conversation.

I've got lots still to do:
  • write a note about Hong Bao, stuff the envelopes
  • make several cakes
  • make several dozen thank you cards (yes, this one I have to do for myself!)
  • buy the wine for Sunday and some more soft drinks
  • decide what to wear and make sure it's clean!
  • clear a couple more rooms
  • organise and fill a few boxes with clothes that are too small for Alice (the nursery has to be tidy for Sunday)
  • get contact details for a couple of people and invite a couple more people to next Wednesday's tea party
  • wrap several pressies for other people and send them cards (surprisingly other people have birthdays at around this time!)
  • deal with the post - it just keeps coming!

And that's only what I've remembered that I've still got to do!!

Monday, October 06, 2008

A VISIT TO THE GP

I got Alice's urine sample this morning and then I made an appointment for this afternoon.

I got the info to the GP as quickly as I could.

We went for the appointment this afternoon. I was worried for many reasons:
  • Alice's referral medical (done in China) noted crystals in her urine - that and a small head circumference were the only issues to cause concern,
  • Alice's orphanage are typically Chinese and don't like to admit anything to their detriment - therefore I'll probably never definitely know whether or not she was exposed to contaminated formula,
  • Her urine sample was very dilute - the last time I saw such pale urine was from Jolly, when she had kidney failure,
  • Because I'm a worrier and life is hectic and when I'm busy I get stressed and when I'm stressed I worry more easily - vicious circle!
Anyway, GP was welcoming and sympathetic. Urine dip was clear, though not as acidic as expected. We decided against a blood test - as a negative result isn't reliable (kidney function could be significantly decreased before it showed - that's as I understand it), so we're being referred privately for a renal ultrasound - less invasive, more conclusive and less stressful for Alice and therefore for me! I gather that it shouldn't take too long for an appointment.

While I was there the GP offered me my flu jab - it was a good opportunity and though stretching the rules on appointments I appreciated the consideration and so willingly took her up on the offer! I got the needle stick, Alice got a sticker - that doesn't seem fair to me, that's parenthood (and I wouldn't change any of it)!!

HOMESTUDY - THIRD VISIT

This week we went through the first Homestudy - the section about me and noted the areas that needed editing or rewriting. We discussed most of the revisions along the way. Nearly 2 and a half hours of almost non-stop talking (mostly me) and poor SW only got 2 cups of tea, I was too busy talking to stop and make tea!

This week my SW was very encouraging about my parenting skills and reassured me about Panel. It was a very constructive visit - with the first Homestudy I expected it to be intrusive and while there are some very personal issues to be discussed I actually find it a cathartic experience - at the same time I'm sad that this will be my final experience of paperchasing. It's odd, I don't particularly enjoy the paperchase, but it's the part of the process over which I have the most control.

As this HS is being done within 5 years of the first it's only an 'Update' that's needed. Though it seems like we're revisiting every area. It's a very different experience than last time - and not just because I've a new SW. Last time I was hesitant and bowed to the knowledge of the professionals, this time I have the experience and the support networks, I'm much more confident, more driven (I know the joy and the challenges of adoption), I'm ready for the paperwork and I feel more in control. I also feel like I'm ready to fight - not sure WHO I'm fighting, but I feel like I have to fight, to strive, to be able to bring this baby home - it's not an aggressive fight, just a determined one.

Adoption doesn't happen by accident, you have to REALLY want it for it to happen. Alice will know how much she was wanted because I did it for her and then did it again after I had her. Little Sis will know how much she was wanted because of this blog and because despite knowing the challenge that it is to adopt, I did again for her. Hopefully by the time Little Sis comes along Alice will be old enough to appreciate the experience and for it to give her another perspective on my journey to her as well.

Next time (in 2 weeks - having next week to visit one of the referees while I have a week-off for Alice's baptism) we'll discuss how Alice's presence has changed my life - I think it's going to be an even longer meeting!!

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!

Nothing overly exciting, just busy!

Friday - work! M's in Scotland so T looked after Alice. Alice was happy. She took C to school and collected him too- she asks almost daily about T and C and so it's always a good day when she gets to see them both! Work was good - hectic and varied, the best days usually are.

Saturday - slower start, phew! C came round to see Alice, have lunch and play a little Q. We hatched a plan - at her suggestion, with her volunteering free labour, no argument from me and I'm exceedingly grateful. So after our Q matches and Alice's nap we visited a local garden centre and I bought a boot load (and my car has a BIG boot) of plants. After that I went into town to use a discount voucher that was soon to expire - Alice needed some birthday presents! I had planned to watch S*trictly C*ome D*ancing (the UK version of D*ancing W*ith T*he S*tars) but somehow I never managed to sit down for long enough.

Yesterday was hectic - church (Alice was a very loud sheep in the middle of the Gospel, embarrassing and embarrassingly loud - why is the 'Baa' for the 2 piece puzzle sheep so much more aggressive than the 'Baa' for the H*appyland one?), then I had to pop to another garden centre to pay for some flowers, dash home to meet C (to begin planting Saturday's purchases) and then make lunch. My SW arrived early, but we were running late and still eating lunch - why does that always happen to me? Alice napped late - as SW and I talked for a long time. There was just enough time to wake Alice, calm her (she doesn't always wake gently after her nap, especially if I have to wake her) and tidy the kitchen before the vicar arrived to discuss Alice's baptism!

At some point over the weekend I realised that with all the celebrations that are happening over the next week or so, I was going to need some thank you cards. Also I needed to take Alice to the GP about the melamine contamination of dairy products in China and the potential for kidney damage.

Today was just as hectic. I managed to get a urine sample from Alice and an appointment to see our GP - then I wrote her a quick note and enclosed some research and suggested notes from other GPs about testing and got all of that to the surgery 7 hours before the appointment. While we were in U I collected Daisy's ashes and paid the final bills - so I now have another box to add to the 2 in the Hall (Jolly and Busy), I found it really upsetting getting the box back. From U we went straight on to A'g - I dashed around a couple of shops for card making bits and failed to get any of the 3 things on my list! Then we went on to soft play - where I got the 'Guilts' about Alice not having a second birthday party (aside from the large party for her baptism on Sunday!) and invited several Mums and small children (from 7 days old to 3 and a half!) for tea next Wednesday. I must be a gluten for punishment, the next week or so is already frantically busy! T agreed to look after Alice during nap time - that allowed me to 'nip' to N'p (30 minutes away) to get the card making things and forget half the ingredients for cake making (at least 4 are needed in the next week!) We made it back to U for the GP's appointment (another post to come) and I remembered to buy milk and eggs while we were there! Home, supper for Alice, usual bedtime routine and then before I knew it it was nearly 8pm. Since then I've been emailing directions and notes about Sunday's baptism, chatting to friends, catching up on emails, feeding dogs, getting and eating supper and making endless notes about other things to do before Sunday. Somewhere in the day I also found the time to make 24 bows for thank you cards - now I need to find the time to make the cards to go with them.

I have a funny feeling that this week is only going to get more hectic - one day I'll meet myself coming back! Look out for the photos, I'll be the one doing the headless chicken impression!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

DUBBY

Do you like 'Dubby' (jelly)?

Alice does!