Saturday, February 28, 2009

FEBRUARYS - 2009 AND 2008

2009 - most noticeably Alice's first experience of snow - she adored it! Also more teeth (probably!) Alice has truly discovered a love of stories - especially Owl Babies and Elmer, but really anything she can persuade anyone to read to her. Her language is continuing to explode - longer but less intelligible phrases and she's parroting anything she hears (YOU have been warned), her confidence and independence continue to grow (as does her stubbornness and determination!) (Pre) 'Tending' is a big part of her play, so is dressing up as a fairy or a princess and she'd go to soft play with D and A everyday if she could!

2008 - first shoes and first (and so far only) time leaving Alice overnight (not something that I'm keen to repeat, ever!) You can read the rest in the archives here!


No one guessed correctly! Alice was devouring RASPBERRIES! The raspberries were from the freezer so they'd leaked a lot of juice.

She's loving berries at the moment, demanding raspberries for every meal, but happy to have blackberries or blueberries instead. With the gastric issues we've had recently I've had to be careful to limit her berry intake - otherwise she'd eat them exclusively for every meal. Her tastes have changed recently - the old favourites of sausages are barely tolerated and she won't even try yoghurt at the moment. Meanwhile 'dippy' (boiled) eggs and berries are by far the most requested foods.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


There are plenty of clues in the photo, but here's another - look at her face, it's a nice not a nasty answer!


In this house Thursdays are generally now known as 'Mummy Day'. Alice is in Nursery for most of the hours between 8:30am and 5:30pm. It's the day that I get the non-Alice jobs done.

This morning's drop-off wasn't pleasant. 3 weeks ago it was a snowy day - they put Alice's group with the older children in the older children's room, Alice was most unsettled by being in a different room. 2 weeks ago Alice struggled going into Nursery, big tears, screams, hysterical but not funny for either of us, I cried and found it very difficult too. Last week she was 'poorly' (before I realised that her illnesses were a symptom of teething). Today she started to protest as we left the house, demanding, 'Go Home!' She was fine in the car but started to cry as we arrived at Nursery, the crying ramped up as we walked towards her room and once we got there she was hysterical again. Amidst the tears I told her that I loved her and that I would be back later, reassuring her that 'Mummy's always come back!' I left as they were trying to distract her (unsuccessfully) with Joseff the rabbit. I could hear her scream as I walked down the corridor - I could hear that scream all day.

Not having had a day to myself for 4 weeks I was determined to make the most of it. I went straight to A'g to have passport photos taken for my adoption application to Thailand. Then I went on to the supermarket before going home. I didn't stop once I got home and had a very productive day.

Today's achievements, I:
  • got info on a new mobile phone package - which will hopefully save some £££,
  • did a major supermarket shop, including (hopefully) all the Easter eggs
  • got home, unpacked all the shopping, cleared out a cluttered kitchen cupboard and debugged the fridge,
  • did loads and loads and loads of washing (Pudding is now barricaded away from the that end of the dog room - I now have a laundry area!)
  • made several vital phone calls,
  • got some prep done for school tomorrow,
  • sent an urgent email or two,
  • parcelled up some unwanted Internet shopping, wrote some cards and got them all in the post (which is a major achievement for me!)
  • and somewhere in the middle of all that I had lunch in front of the computer!
I had 3 goals for today - I achieved 1 by sending an email, but the other 2 (application form and letter to Thailand, both for Little Sis's adoption) remain goals - hopefully for next week!

Monday, February 23, 2009


. . . you realise that the Labrador has learnt to PAUSE the washing machine!

Yup! Pudding (not yet 4 months old) has paused the washing machine twice today - the first time she paused it in the first minute and I doubted myself, second time round, no doubt, we're in trouble!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


The weather was much warmer today, the sun shone and it felt warm enough to be outside in long sleeves but without coats.

We took full advantage, the kitchen door was open for several hours as the dogs and Alice wombled in the garden. I restricted Alice to the paths and paving and she's beginning to understand the boundaries (with a lot of reminding and positive reinforcement). 'Baby' had a good walk, Pudding stretched her legs before coming inside to pee on the carpet and Alice had fun - she didn't want to come in for lunch!

(And Cynthia - I agree!! If the rest of you want to know 'with what' you'll have to read recent comments!)


On Tuesday we went shoe shopping to get Alice new shoes (the old ones were falling off as the V*elcro had failed!) The shoe shop had a black rocking horse like Alice's white one, she rode it for over 15 minutes and adored it!

So when we got home it was time to rediscover her rocking horse - it'd been put out to pasture in the drawing room since her birthday in October. In October Alice couldn't ride it, she was too small but enjoyed it when she was pushed on it, in the shoe shop she was able to rock the horse by herself (after some quick tuition).

Alice was delighted to see her horse again, T and I repeatedly asked her what it was called but she was adamant that it was called, 'Neigh!' (said very expressively!)

It's clear to see that she had great fun with Neigh! Her legs are still too short for the stirrups but at least she can reach the top of them now.

I LOVE . . .

. . . the look on her face - taken as a quick snap (don't like the composition!)


Friday, February 20, 2009


Alice slept until after 9:30 this morning, so long that I was up and doing chores, worrying that something was wrong - I studied the (video) monitor closely until I could see her twitch!

With today's plans cancelled we had a slow morning, not coming downstairs again until after 11am, late breakfast, late lunch, no nap (she just didn't seem tired) and a companionable afternoon. I needed her to have a quiet day - intimidated at the thought of D or V when out and about, not wanting to spread her bug and hoping that a quiet day would speed along her recovery. Without graphic details she seemed better all day, but the nappy after supper makes me wonder (better but not right).

This is day 6, day 6! I'm sick of her being sick, sick of serving meals with no dairy, sick of the side-effects of sickness, sick of staying in, sick of cancelling fun plans and I'm not even the one going through it. Meanwhile I'm very aware that this is just a drop in the ocean compared to what some are going through but it's still making me feel like the walls are closing in.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I run a Yahoo group for UK families who adopted children from China in 2007. We're planning another reunion for May - please visit the group and let us know when your family could join us (same venue as last time, hopefully!) If you are eligible to join (or know someone who is) please come and join us here.


Alice still isn't well.

I called nursery first thing this morning to tell them of yesterday's events and explain her absence. I spent the morning cooking but otherwise it was quiet but with 1 nasty nappy. I was being careful with what she was eating so gave her scrambled eggs and toast for lunch, she didn't eat much (most unusual when well). Then she slept for over 2 hours, again very unusual. She was quiet this afternoon - happy to sit and watch a film and then cuddle for as many stories as I would read before another simple meal which she didn't eat much of.

I was supposed to have a friend visit for lunch, but we decided to postpone due to Alice's illness. Now I've also cancelled tomorrow's plans for meeting Grandad and Co and GMJ. Delaying or cancelling social plans isn't the end of the world but I really hope that she starts to feel better. When Alice sees the medicine ('Edsum!') she declares it, 'Make it ALL better!' Let's hope that it does.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We had to stay in today to wait for a D*H*L delivery, it was here at 8am but even so I had decided that Alice needed a quiet day.

Just to recap:
Sunday - V during supper
Monday - hungry for breakfast, D in the morning
Tuesday - no appetite for supper followed by serious D

This morning she wanted W*eetabix for breakfast - that's her new breakfast of choice for the past 6 weeks or so (she hasn't had such a firm choice or a choice for so long, breakfast has always been iffy til now). Through the morning she was OK and asked to play games (dominoes and pop it in the post), she didn't have much of an appetite for lunch (stew and mash, mash is always a favourite). She slept well and I woke her after 2 hours, that always makes her grumpy. She wasn't interested in choosing her supper, had a last minute nappy change and then I sat her in her highchair, turned my back to 'dish up' and heard her vomit, no warning it just happened. So I cleared up and then offered her dry biscuits which she seemed keen on but then just played with.

Bedtime was whiney and tears threatened, yet another sign that Alice isn't well but with nearly 24 hours between the last 2 events she isn't quite poorly either. I was due to have a friend over to have lunch while Alice was at nursery tomorrow and we're both supposed to go to Wiltshire for lunch on Friday. Alice definitely won't be going to nursery tomorrow and I'm rather dubious that my other plans will happen either.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


***Graphic post***

Alice usually vomits immediately after (or towards the end of) a meal and usually its preceded by loud, sporadic burps.

During Sunday's supper the burps started, but her appetite was fine but halfway through her mouse she vomited several times over the course of a minute or so. It's quite forceful but calm - a strange combination. Afterwards she thought that she was hungry and she had a temperature, but after medicine she didn't really eat anything.

She hadn't had a nap on Sunday (as L and her family arrived at lunchtime and it seemed cruel for Alice to be in bed missing playtime now she's old enough to miss the occasional nap), so she went to sleep very quickly in the evening. On Monday morning she seemed fine and within minutes of waking she was demanding, 'Supper!' She ate well but then had a bad nappy - but with no other signs of grumpiness or illness - though she did take L's family departure hard.

Today she's been great, she kept going while we were shopping, tolerated waiting longer than I would have chosen for lunch and then more shopping, once we were back in the car to travel home she fell asleep quickly. Waking up when we got home was hard with quite a bit of crying, not being happy at anything and nothing was right. I couldn't get her interested in supper but I cooked a nutritious meal (after a dismal lunch), Alice picked the cheese out and ignored the veggie sauce and pasta - burping several times so I didn't push the food. She continued to be grumpy but grudgingly accepted some jelly - by then I just wanted her to have some energy inside her or something to be sick on. She wasn't sick but had a dreadful nappy - it changed our plans for the early evening and necessitated an emergency bath and the binning of her vest, ugh!

She was happy to snuggle and watch the end of A*laddin in 'Mummy's bed' but was very cross to be put to bed in her cot. 45 minutes later she started to cry and eventually ended up in the 'Big Girl's Bed' (BBG) in her room. I snuggled with her for a while but she was so grumpy that she wasn't really consoled by my presence. After a little soft crying she eventually fell asleep.

We have to stay home tomorrow to wait for a parcel to be delivered - the duvet for the BBG! I think it's a good thing that we'll be having a quiet day.


Alice needed to have her feet measured again - she had them checked a month ago but hadn't grown. The urgency of shoes increased at the end of the week, when her black patent Mary Janes started to fall off as the V*elcro lost its stickiness.

Locally the only reasonable brand available tend to be fussy with lots of embroidery and icky colours - so it's a 40+ mile return journey to C*ardiff or B*ristol for shoe shopping. I'd heard a lot about one particular store in C*ardiff, so we set off to try them. It took 50 minutes to get there and park (C*ardiff's going through major retail change with my usual haunts and routes disappearing into rubble to be renovated, so I don't know my way round as it's changing all the time).

The trip was made out of necessity (shoes falling off all the time) but the timing (in the half term holidays) couldn't have been worse. Apparently we were lucky to only wait 45 minutes! Unfortunately Alice's feet hadn't grown (it would be easier to pay for new shoes if the old ones had also become too small!) I'm quite picky about what I want Alice to wear (no surprise to those who know me away from the blog!) I wanted plain shoes, navy or black patent, preferably with buckles not V*elcro (didn't like it even before it failed). The lady who served us was great - calm, sensible and she talked to Alice as well as me and listened to my requests! I had a choice of shoes!! The sensible decision came down to the same shoes as before (black patent Mary Janes with V*elcro) or navy MJs with a buckle. The navy shoes were a lighter style and less clumpy but I like the hard wearing nature of patent, in the end I opted for the navy ones - a change and hopefully buckles won't fail! Alice was very good throughout the time in the shop and I was very proud of her behaviour.

Monday, February 16, 2009


M, C and L came to stay this weekend.

It's not quite 3 months since they were last here - but the girls have changed so much in that time and it was clear to see that their friendship is becoming independent of us their parents and it's wonderful to see! As they grow they continue to develop such different personalities.

L relaxed more quickly and seemed happier to be here (not that she ever seems unhappy to be here!) She was happy, ate especially well and was more expressive about being happy and wanting to return. We love having L and her parents here so it was lovely to hear her say that she likes it here and wants to come back!

Special times with very special friends.


M, C and L came to visit at the end of last November - I've only just blogged about it but I've put it where it should be chronologically! Here!

2 weeks before that E and A came to stay, I've blogged where it should have been! Here!

Friday, February 13, 2009


As soon as I mentioned nursery yesterday Alice changed the subject, said, 'No!', or cried.

When we got to the car she demanded 'Soft Play,' and when we arrived at nursery she started to cry as I got her out of the car. We were on-time but nursery were late opening the doors, we had to wait in the entrance hall, meltdown happened and she wouldn't stop crying (but she did calm down with a cuddle). By the time I tried to take her coat off in the room she was near hysterical. I did all the usual things to calm her and we found 'Flat Dog' (thanks C!) but even he didn't help. Eventually I left as they tried to distract her with 'cooking' (icing biscuits) but I could hear her howl as I walked away.

It was really upsetting (and a controversial action - to leave a crying child who's already experienced being abandoned), but I waited outside, close to tears and shakey until several friends (dropping their children in the same room) confirmed that she had calmed down. I had a busy day which would have been quite satisfying if I hadn't been so bothered about Alice all day. When I went to collect her she was engrossed in drawing and behaving as normal. She was very pleased to see me as she has been every week.


A quiet day - I usually work on Friday but I swapped and covered during the snow last Thursday (today was a training day). So we started the day slowly, Alice had a bath while I sorted clothes next door in the nursery - I could talk to her and could hear the splashing but I was quite shocked when I saw the state of the bathroom floor. Alice has never intentionally got the floor wet before but she more than made up for that this morning!

You'd have thought I'd learnt my lesson, but tonight (during the ninetyhundredth reading of Owl Babies) she let her sippy cup slip and has managed to soak my bed!

. . . damp and waiting for the third!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Pretending is a big part of Alice's playing. One scenario is particularly popular - pretending to go to bed on the little sofa, quick snore, wake up and tell me what she's going to do that day - and it's always the same, the same role play and the same thing to do the next day - go to soft play with D and A (so I've rung D and requested another playdate!)


The baby's all gone, just all 'little girl' these days, it's wonderful to watch the changes but frightening how quickly they happen!



Fuss fusses during Alice's meals, so she frequently ends up in the dog room (with or without the others). Most recently when Fuss was removed Pud wouldn't move away from the dog gate, that's serious loyalty from a Labrador when there's food around the other end of the kitchen!


Alice cried immediately that I put her in her cot on Sunday night, she calmed eventually but I never discovered the problem. She then cried out at some point in the night (too tired to check) and would not be comforted, just continued to sob and call for 'Mummy's bed,' I gave in and then neither of us slept much until I got tough and put her back in her cot (I think it was several hours later), she cried the cross cry for less than 3 minutes and then slept peacefully until I had to wake her.

I'd set the alarm clock in time to remember the doctor's phone number and be ready to phone when they opened at 8.30 - I wanted appointments for both of us and was offered 9:10 and 9:20 - only 40 minutes to get us both up, washed, dressed, fed and there (as well as mucking out and feeding Pud), we did it and then had to wait a few minutes before seeing Dr P (always makes me smile - the rush to get there on time and then the time to calm down as they always run late!!) (But I also have to acknowledge how great my surgery are - virtually always getting an appointment for the next surgery and to see the doctor you request AND everyone is friendly and supportive).

I went for a consultation about my rotten hands - the skin's still falling off, they're not as bad as they were but then they're not recovering very quickly so there's not that much area of my palms that could be affected! The pills I'd be given 4 weeks ago had run out, I now have another 4 weeks supply - as they've proved to be the effective solution to me. I was also offered a referral to a rheumatologist, I checked and the doc meant DERMatologist!

I took Alice to be checked as she's had a cold continuously for nearly a month and she's been quite cranky (usually a sign of illness).

The result? We both have chest infections (I'd had my suspicions but neither of us were that poorly, but then we weren't recovering either), we both have different versions of the same antibiotics and they've had the same effect on our digestive systems! I'm hoping that by both being on a similar regime that I'll remember to dose us both and that we'll both be feeling much better very soon!

Sunday, February 08, 2009


. . . by my own tickers!

1 month since I passed Panel for Little Sis, wow!

I didn't have my 'Mummy Day' Thursday this week as I went to work, so I haven't got very far with paperwork recently, also I've done the easier bits so it's the hassly or tricky bits left to do.


The Feedjit tool shows how people arrive and leave the blog, where they are, how they find the blog and where they go afterwards. Look here! It's quite interesting, particularly visitors who come through Google and the searches - mostly 'Adventures with Alice' (that's fine as long as I don't change the name!), more worryingly 'filled her wellies' seems to be effective too.


. . . I'm fed up with the weather! I don't mind snow when it's here, but it's all the weather forecasts predicting snow, it's the threat of snow and disruption that I find so wearing.

It snowed on Monday - blizzards for 15 minutes or so, enough to start to stick on the ground but not on the roads. On Tuesday we woke to a proper covering (but only just) and then it snowed for several hours during the later part of the morning, by the evening it was beginning to melt. On Wednesday it started to snow in the evening and again we woke to a covering on Thursday but it tended to melt through the day. Friday - more snow first thing and through the morning, melting later on. By today the garden was virtually clear of snow but the hill behind the house was still covered, we went out at lunchtime and there was more snow on most of our route than there was at home. It tried to snow this afternoon and the forecast again is for more snow and a winter storm tomorrow evening. The snow's hanging around - and they say that it hangs around waiting for more.

I know that we don't have snowfall to compare to levels in some parts of the Continent or US, but when snowfall is small or infrequent then lifestyles aren't very well suited to coping with the 'white stuff' when we see it!

This post - just goes to show how obsessed the Brits are with the weather!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


My school was closed today - like most of the other local schools.

The press seem quick to condemn schools for closing too quickly at the threat of snow - they hark back to previous generations when life went on reguardless of the weather, don't they realise that communities have changed (staff live further from schools rather than in the communities where they taught) and risk perception is also very different.

I'm not 'having a go' at friends who are parents questioning why their children's schools remain shut, it's the press that are irritating me, I don't watch too much news - the obsessional nature of the press and sweeping generalisations seem to go unchallenged too often.



. . . trying to blow raspberries!


At the end of supper Alice spotted the tub of beads on the kitchen table and asked to play.

She picked out 2 blue beads and started singing one of her favourite songs, 'How Do?' It's a T*ick T*ock song about teaching introductions, as they ask 'How do you do?' in the song they use a castanet in to tap out the syllables (that's what Alice is doing with the beads). She had great fun with the snakes (laces) and beads, she built a snowman (stacked one bead on top of another) and was very confident with her colours.


Playtime in the blizzard, it looks vicious but Fuss could have stopped it at anytime. All the dogs enjoyed being outside in the snow, taking longer to womble round the garden. It was fun to watch Pud shake the snow off her nose whilst trotting towards the kitchen door!


Yesterday we didn't really have enough snow to make an impact (other than changing the colour of everything!)

Today was different - there was noticeably more snow. I debated whether to take Alice to her swimming class but decided that experiencing her first snow was a higher priority (then the swimming company rang to say that the class was cancelled!)

So after breakfast I bundled Alice up (and I do mean bundled) and we went for a walk. We walked down the field, we just made it into the bottom field, made a snow angel and came home, less than 800 yards from home but the return trip took about 45 minutes at toddler speed! Alice want to pick up every snow flake, eventually she learnt how to 'dust' off her gloves to try and keep them dry. The difficult part was trying to stop her eating it (never sure what was under it, ugh!)


The Chinese are known for bundling their children up in many, many layers.

Today I was a Chinese mother. Alice wore:
  • a nappy
  • a pair of tights
  • a pair of thermal leggings
  • a pair of trousers
  • a pair of socks
  • a vest
  • a thermal vest
  • a top
  • a fleece hoodie
When she went out, I added:
  • a fleece
  • fleece wrist warmers
  • fleece mittens
  • fleece neck warmer
  • waterproof dungarees
  • a soft gillet
  • a waterproof coat
  • a fleece pompom hat
  • a pair of sparkly wellies
(I somehow feel that that list should be sung to the tune of 'The 12 Days of Christmas!')

The top coat is a double one - soft gillet zipped into the spotty waterproof layer. Alice has a top by the same company, the top is age 3 and it's skin-tight, so I took advice from GMJ and ordered age 6 - by the time Alice had all those clothes on it barely did up (although most of the time it still has plenty of growing room)!

J asked, 'Could she move?'
Yes, she could move but she couldn't get up when she fell over (think beached whale!)


Monday, February 02, 2009


I've added 2 text boxes in the right hand column - about the timings and major events of both adoptions.


'The worst snow in 18 years!'

Not round here, we had much more 2 years ago (when they'd just taken out the windows to replace the frames and put in)!

We woke to a dusting of snow this morning, enough to see but not enough to completely cover the lawn. Dusty flakes were swirling and seemed to go up as much as down. I showed Alice the view of the garden from my bedroom window, she was interested and she kept returning to the window saying 'Snow!'

We were due to go to Cardiff this morning with D and A. D and I decided that it wasn't sensible to drive that far given the forecast and the warnings on TV. For me it was a doubly good decision - as Pud still had diarrhoea and I wanted to take her to the vets. She's had diarrhoea since Friday night and this morning she didn't want her breakfast - that's when I really began to worry. I was brave and decided to take Alice with us. Pud was fine but Alice was challenging and eventually one of the receptionists offered to distract her (by that time she'd tried to go into the other surgery and gone back into reception too). Pud now has some clay based gunk and an orange pill, both to be taken 3 times per day. The vet wasn't too worried as she hadn't vomited. We came home and Pud took the first doses easily. She was sleepy as usual. Then at around 4pm she vomited - that made me worry even more, I put her to bed (uninterrupted sleep).

Meanwhile the snow got more serious, by 3pm we couldn't see the trees at the bottom of the far field, I cancelled my afternoon appointment and then the blizzard cleared! The snow's continued to fall, the flakes are fat sometimes and now the lawn is truly covered. According to GFN we're due to have significant snow between 7pm and the early hours, but the Welsh news say that it'll all be gone by tomorrow evening! Perhaps GFN was trying to make be feel better about all the provisions that I bought in a panic after he first mentioned snow just after Christmas!

Pud slept until suppertime when she began to cry from her puppy pen, getting the second doses into her was trickier than before. She inhaled her food with head down serious attitude and a wagging tail and now she's sleeping at my feet.

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I've been having wireless issues - the link has been dropping and the speed's been through the floor. This afternoon the link dropped over 5 times in less than 4 minutes - I couldn't even open Google to get a helpline number!! Neither could I send or receive email, in desperation I rang the operator and got put through.

As part of the help desk process I had to connect the laptop directly to the hub via Ethernet cable (a challenge to find rather than connect!) Pud was asleep when I started the call but I soon regretted leaving her snoozing in the playroom when she woke (she's had a very runny tummy since Friday and I'd begun to worry about my carpets!) So I'm sitting on the flags in the hall leaning against a radiator (and very quickly got a cold bum and a warm back), Pud wandered into the study (yes, THAT shortsighted, I forgot to shut the down when I retrieved the Ethernet cable) and eventually came to settle against the baby gate that was separating us! That's yet another reason why I love having a Labrador - and tonight my feet are warm, guess where Pud is?!


Alice went to Sunday School this morning and I got to listen to the service - not sure what it was about as I was so distracted by the fact that I was alone and it was peaceful.

Small post, huge event!

Alice came back into the service with the others, they went to be blessed and she ran back to me with a beaming grin! I spoke to the SS leader (the vicar's lovely wife and a former headteacher) and she's happy to have Alice back and I think that the 'big' girls there would agree!


Whilst we're not living in the freezer like some of my bloggy friends in the US, it has been cold in the UK this winter. I think they said last week that it's been the coldest winter since one of the 1990s (yeah, wasn't listening too well!)

At times it's been really cold this winter, cold enough to go to bed shivering.

Tonight it's snowing and cold (again I must acknowledge those bloggy friends who've been living with the white stuff for weeks), it's been 2 years since we've seen proper snow (remember, the week that they started taking the windows out?!)