Sunday, 15 December 2013

Secret santa! Guest post from Dear Daughter


We are taking part in The Adoption Social's Secret Santa and this blog post is my gift from Dear Daughter, our adoption journey


I like my traditions and Christmas is a big time for traditions.  Traditions shaped my childhood Christmas memories – advent calendar, making the Christmas cake, turkey, opening pressies in our PJs, small presents for the Christmas dinner table, seeing the crib in the local church, carol service, making mince pies and Christmas Log, watching Christmas Top of the Pops … and many more.   Of course, tradition can also be read as ‘routine’ and we know how much our adopted children love routine. 
I always have a warm feeling inside when I think of Christmas as a child and I’d love my daughter to have that same warm feeling when she grows up.  This is the second Christmas we’re celebrating together as a family, her second with an advent calendar and she loves opening it this year – last year I was definitely the most excited probably because she’d never had one before.  We’re making mince pies next week and we’ve started what hopefully will be a new tradition of each making one new decoration for the tree.  We’re collecting the tree this Sunday after the local family Christingle service (her first one) and will celebrate later in the day with a roast pork tenderloin.   Christmas Eve curry, in recent years, has become a new tradition for me and Daddy anyway and since our daughter has recently developed a liking for them, I foresee a new family tradition being set down.   
As time goes on, I hope we’ll develop new family traditions but also incorporate some more of our longstanding traditions too to help make Christmas fun and memorable.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Stories: for WASO


I really feel I should apologise for my lack of blogs lately.  We've given up on nap time now and when we get to the evening I've just been collapsing in a heap.  We've just had a stinker of a week.  Squiblet had a really nasty cold and was up every two hours in the night and just generally feeling miserable…then I got Squiblet's cold…then I got some hideous bacterial infection of my uvula (the waggler at the back of your mouth) and couldn't eat/drink/talk.  Antibiotics and crazy painkillers later and I'm able to sleep, eat a bit and drink a bit.  Mama has taken Squiblet out while I sit by the fire and I thought it seemed like a good time to sit down and write.  So here goes…stories…what a lovely theme.

Squiblet loves books, she loves stories; one of my favourite Mama and Squiblet moments was when Squiblet pulled her 'tend [pretend] book (a folded piece of blank cardboard) and asked Mama to tell her a story.  Mama was so brilliant!  I had no idea!  I was doing the clearing up in the kitchen and I could hear these tales of Squiblet riding on a swan and frogs granting wishes and all sorts.  Squiblet was completely enchanted and so was I!  It was a really precious moment to be able to eavesdrop on.

It seems to me that there are so many classic stories which bring up quite poignant issues for adopted children.  I made the huge error of watching Dumbo with Squiblet.  What an absolute idiot!  I thought it was a cheery tale about an elephant…somehow I had forgotten the part where Dumbo's mother gets violently angry and is then taken away.  Squiblet was so upset.  It took me ages to console her.  She was talking a bit about the daughters of her foster carer and I thought; how scary that all that really is just bubbling under the surface waiting for a catalyst to make it emerge.  I felt so stupid.  But we had to see it through to the end when he is reunited with his mummy and then Squiblet was OK.  But it just made me think…stories are so powerful.  They may be make believe but it doesn't change the impact they can have on children (and adults.)

Squiblet loves us talking about how she came out of her birth mother's tummy and the story of how she came to us.  It's a very familiar story now and one she likes joining in with.  She likes to end it by saying "I grow in your heart!"  Which is very cute.  We still don't have Squiblet's life story book which isn't great.  I think she would be able to use it now and it would help bring colour and clarity to the story.  I need to try and chase the LA but her social worker has been unwell so it's got lost somewhere.

I'd love to write a story.  In fact, I must!  It's definitely on my to do list (although I don't have much time for to doing at the moment!)

Take care everyone. x

Monday, 4 November 2013

It's National Adoption Week: Be kind to yourselves!


As parents (any sort of parent, not just adoptive ones) we are so good at beating ourselves up and feeling guilty.  I'm touching on this as yesterday I had a horrible migraine, the like of which my super mega migraine pills couldn't even stem the flow of vomit, and I felt guilty that Squiblet was crying whilst I was throwing up.  It had been a long day!  A lovely day but she was tired and consequently had a mini melt down which I was just totally ill equipped to deal with, with my body functioning as it was.  So I ran away from my screaming daughter and left my wife to pick up the pieces.  I vomited, I cried, I felt awful, I calmed my self down, I slept, I felt better.  And I had to give myself a talking to, both last night and this morning.  I'm a human, not a robot.  I can't be the best that I can be when my brain is manufacturing flashing lights, pulsating sensations and throwing up.  I should NOT feel guilty about this…it's ridiculous!

Enough about me.  National Adoption Week is about celebrating adoption, encouraging others to adopt and helping find homes for those children that so badly need them.  So this is my message…

The adoption approval process makes you look at yourself in a way nothing else really does.  But not only that, other people are looking at you too…as well they might!  You will ultimately be given a life to cherish, to grow, to nurture to love….could you be given anything more precious?  It's understandable that people would need to check that you are prepared, sorted in your own head and the right people for the job.  But it doesn't always feel like it!  It's easy to feel scrutinised and judged, but mostly because we judge ourselves…and often way more harshly than anyone else.

So be kind to yourselves.  Celebrate your strengths.  Remember that sometimes it's OK to be "good enough" that it's OK to show your children that being a human is alright!  You don't need to be a calm, jolly machine all the time to be successful, and to be a parent.

Our five year wedding anniversary is coming up this week.  I'm beyond excited.  Mama hates surprises…I'm planning quite a big one!  I told her to trust that she will like it!  I know she will.  I've loved her for 12 years and been married to her for 5 of them!  Adopting our daughter has definitely been the best thing that we have done together as a couple.  I feel like our relationship took a big backwards step to make room for all the attention Squiblet needed, and that didn't feel quite right.  The love was always there, always strong and warm and secure but the time for each other some how slipped away.  But it's coming back!  Phew!  As Squiblet gets more secure, she demands less of us and I feel like we're coming to a good sort of balance where everyone is getting their emotional needs met.

I love my family.  I wouldn't change how we got here or who we are.  I just love my wife and daughter so much!  For those of you adopting…be kind to yourselves, you're doing a great job!  For those of you in the process…be kind to yourselves, you will get there and all these thoughts and ideas will help you later.  For those of you parenting birth children…be kind to yourselves, you're doing a great job too!

Funny how a migraine can make you sit back and think and actually come out feeling better about your life….

Monday, 28 October 2013

Activity Toys Direct (with tots100)…my dream garden!

This is a tots100 competition for Activity Toys Direct.  I love a competition, and this one - to design your dream kids garden - really got my imagination fired up!

“This blog post is an entry into the Tots100/Activity Toys Direct garden makeover competition”

Squiblet loves books, she loves imaginary play and she gets lost in her own little world of everything she reads.  A dream garden for us would be a space where she can explore and create and imagine!

At present we have a tower with a climbing wall and slide...

This could be enhanced to encourage imaginative play…
(Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, Swallows and Amazons, The Famous Five)

Telescope and steering wheel:

A hammock or a cosy nook to read and play...

Fairy doors...
(Brambly Hedge, Postman Bear)

A huge sandpit with buried treasure, dinosaurs and footprint stilts...
(How to Grow a Dinosaur)

A broom...
(Room on the Broom)

A child safe pond...
(Room on the Broom, pond dipping, science play!)

A hazelnut tree...
(The Gruffalo)

Three Bears...

A "river" of blue rubber chips with stepping stones and some "swishy swashy grass"
(We're going on a bear hunt)

And lastly, on the Activity Toys Direct website I noticed these trampolines.

Squiblet loves to bounce but I've always felt like our garden wasn't really big enough for one of those giant trampolines...until now!  The way they are sunk into the ground is so clever and makes them seem like they take up less space.

My literary link...Dear Zoo..."so they sent me a...frog...but he was too bouncy so I sent him back!"

Hope you like my ideas!


Friday, 18 October 2013



Firstly, apologies for my lack of blogtendance.  Things have been a bit mad lately what with one thing and another so I've either not been home at nap time, or I've been crazily doing things at nap time or I've been collapsing in a heap at nap time.  Today however I have made a jumbalaya (love that word), cleaned up and got into bed with surprisingly just enough energy to blog!  So here I am.

The second thing I want to do is share this wonderful picture.  It was Squiblet's first paddle in the sea.  Trip number 3 to the beach, and the first time she mustered up the courage to go in the sea.  She *loved* it!  I think a big part of her joy was that she had overcome her fear and she knew it.  She just ran back and forth splashing and shrieking and saying "it's good FUN!" it was so cute, and such a milestone, and just such a special occasion.  It's making me well up a little bit just to remember it.  But I'll stop jabbering, here's the really speaks for itself:

Squiblet's new birth certificate arrived yesterday which made me feel pretty emotional. It's all done!  Her party is next Saturday and we look to have over 100 people coming.  I created an online gift list where people signed up for plates of ham etc so I don't have to worry about catering, and also we couldn't really afford to spend that much on food right now (one salary!) but no-one seems to mind.  Hopefully it should be a really good event.  I'll let you know!  Everyone has to come dressed as something beginning with the first letter of Squiblet's name!  I have a slightly nutty animal onesie.  There's going to be a donut tower....the signs are there that it should be a good day!  And not really having to cater it is making it much less stressful.

I titled this blog post "friends" and haven't really got to that bit yet.  I think Squiblet's getting to an age where she really does have little friends; children she likes to play and share with and chat to and it's so nice!  I feel like I'm finally breaking in to the tight knit Mum crowd where we live...I thought I never would!  From the outside it feels very cliquey.  I think I was trying to break into the wrong clique!  Anyhow, there seem to be some jolly nice Mums out there who don't mind a bit of me and Squiblet in their lives...phew!

I'm still worrying about going back to work.  Yes, it's 11 months away!  If anyone knows how I can crack into the consultant science/medical educational resource market then do let me know!

Bye for now.

Will try not to leave it so long next time!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Growing up so fast!


Apologies. It's been a while.  It's all go here.  Squiblet has made the transition to her big girl bed, we've taken down the massive green room divider which was cutting our open plan living place into two so now our house looks like our house again and I don't know...things just feel different now it's all done!

My friend dropped us off from a trip to the beach and Squiblet had fallen asleep in the car.  Usually she will never transition from car to cot without screaming and crying and having a horrendous tantrum so I popped her on the bed while I went to get her car seat.  When I got back she was so close to sleep that I just stroked her head and left her there.  I then sat there for the next 1 1/2 hours (only leaving for a moment to get my Kindle) as I was worried she might fall out.  She looked like a beautiful peaceful angel with the sunlight falling on her hair from under the curtains.  I took a photo and showed it to Mama when she got home.  And that was it...Squiblet saw the photo and never looked back.  Cue a long bath time with Mama while I frantically hoovered, took down the cot and rearranged the furniture!

Squiblet seeing photos or videos of herself seems to be incredibly powerful.  There is a video of her on her trampoline where she says "more strawberries!" and for at least a month she couldn't go on her trampoline without stopping and saying "more strawberries!"  She is a most excellent mimic which most of the time is funny, but I wasn't quite sure the other day when we walked past our local tramp eating a sandwich and she sat down a few metres on and started tucking into her own pretend sandwich!  All I need to do now is somehow get a video of her using the potty and then maybe she will use the potty.  The tricky part there is getting her to use it in the first place!

The celebration day was magical.  Squiblet was in her element being the centre of attention.  She sat in the Judge's chair and when we said could everyone come up for pictures she shouted "come on everybody!" with an alarming air of authority.  We were so lucky that lots of the special people in her life could be there with us.  There were a few missing but they were there in spirit!  I don't think it would have been nearly such a celebration without our nearest and dearest sharing the day.  The Judge was so kind and so good with her.  Squiblet got to stamp the court crest onto a sticker and then put it on her certificate.  She loves a sticker!  And then she got to roll it up!  And put a ribbon on!  And be given a bear!  It doesn't get much better than that.  Although she was pretty clear that she was "not really sure" about the Judge's wig!

We are back in our routine now and one thing I've noticed is that the gap between Squiblet's public and home behaviour is widening.  Her confidence at home is growing and growing.  She will sing the whole of Baa Baa Black Sheep or Dingle Dangle Scarecrow and dance and giggle if she's around her family and friends, but take her to play group or music class and she sits and clings on and barely participates.  It does make me worry because I don't think she's being true to herself and what she can do and consequently she doesn't enjoy things as much as she could.  I know she's only 2.  I know it's only been 8 months.  I just want to help.  I'm a teacher and I know how those children get lost when they are at school because our education system is so pro extrovert.  But that's my issue.  There's nothing about her which is introverted when she's at home, or even if she's out with friends.  I don't know.  I probably worry too much.  I just want her to be happy and true to herself.  At her music class it's weird though because she will sit and cling on for most of it, but the second the teacher brings out something interesting she's up and shouting "I want it!" or "Mummy stand up!" So it's a curious mixture of completely disengaged or horribly bossy.  For the first time I was actually slightly embarrassed by her behaviour.  I don't think it would embarrass me if she was consistent!  But the mixture of shy and dictatorial was curious and tricky to manage.  I should stop worrying.  I know.

So it's all go!  It's all change.  Our baby is growing up.  My proud parent moment of the week is when she walked up to a lamp post and said "that is 's', that is 'o', that is 'l'" and pointed at the letters of the brand which were written on the lamp post.  I thought she only knew one and that was the first letter of her name.  I was so impressed!  And I am by no means a "Flashcard Mom" she just has a few books with the alphabet in or alphabet themes and alphabet decorations in her room.  It's mad what they learn when you aren't paying attention.  We were in the garden the other day and I overheard Squiblet say "oop...there's a bumbly old bee" and it made me smile because she is getting more and more like her Mummy (and Mama) each day.

I am mostly getting very excited about Christmas, my 30th birthday and Squiblet's big party but not necessarily in that order.

Much excitement to come.

Love to you all.


Friday, 27 September 2013


Just a quick post for #WASO over at The Adoption Social this week. sorry we've not posted much recently - seems like there's been lots going on.

I just wanted to take the opportunity, as the theme is "support", to give my take on the support we have received.

The support from our LA has been pretty dire. We began intros with no social workers in the office available to help us, and it continued in that vein with Squiblet's Social Worker retiring about a month after that.  I think we only had 2 home visits (not including the IRO visits, of which our SW only attended 1 of the 3) even though they were supposed to be fortnightly for 2 months, then monthly. We were left to arrange contact with the Foster Carer on our own, with no guidance. And again, when it came to our first ever contact with Squiblet's siblings the promised support never materialised.

Luckily we have coped well with our transition into the family we are today and we are extremely lucky to have incredibly supportive friends and family who have welcomed Squiblet with open arms, provided advice ("help - is this normal?!") and practical support. 

We know experienced Teachers, Doctors, Mums, Dads and kind, creative people who have all offered their perspectives. We have lovely friends who have babysat so we can go out together, and who we have had such fun with. We have wonderful family who have cooked, cleaned, looked after Squiblet and let us vegetate in their houses. 

Squiblet is surrounded by amazing, kind people who have shared joyful times with us and watched as she has grown from a subdued baby into an amazing little girl.

This afternoon is Squiblet's Celebration Hearing - and we are bringing as many of these lovely people with us as we can to share in our special day.

We really are blessed to have such precious support from all our friends and family - you help has made our journey to becoming a family a wonderful one, despite the hard times. So thank you.

Time to go - I'm weeping at my computer.

L x

Afterthought added later: thanks for all the lifts, trips to the zoo-beach-farm-twinclub, sewing (curtains, cushions, toys), mowing, books, fixing the toilet, help when Mama impaled herself, toys from carboots or the barn... too much support to possibly remember!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Relaxation! For WASO

How I relax has changed a lot over the last few months.  I used to love nothing more than spending a few hours in the kitchen making things like macaroons!  I really admire my friends who ACTUALLY DO THINGS of an evening.  I rush around like a mad thing tidying up while Mama does Squiblet's bath and then as soon as Squiblet is in her cot I collapse in a heap on the sofa, check Facebook, check my emails...sometimes look at Twitter although I don't fully understand what to do!  And then I watch TV for an hour, have a cuddle with Mama and then usually it's bedtime!  Not very glamorous.  I'm definitely not one for baking cakes at that time of day.  I suspect they wouldn't taste very nice as I like to have time and space to cook properly.

How I used to relax:

How I relax (this was Squiblet and I earlier today - we both have the sniffles!):

But having said that, Squiblet is actually now pretty good at baking!  She can crack eggs and spoon and dollop pretty well.  So we make cakes together.  I think I'll have to wait until she's at least three before I teach her the art of the macaroon but for now we'll make do with wonderful gloopy, chocolatey and slightly tacky cakes that we're still both proud of!

All for now! It's nap time and I think I fancy a cup of tea!

Holiday next week....WAHOOOOOOO! *keeping fingers firmly crossed that nothing jinxes it this time!*


Friday, 6 September 2013

Well, hello Autumn!

What a mad old couple of weeks.  I'm still pretty under the weather, now leaking huge amounts of green gloopy stuff but ho hum...I think I'm on the up.  I'm very irritated by the way that a few invisible pathogens have managed to turn me into a mum who allows more than half an hours TV watching and is more likely to manhandle my daughter rather than patiently wait for her to do things on her own unique toddler timescale.  I hate that part of me being below par as it makes us all miserable and afterwards I just think "for goodness sake, why didn't you just bloody wait like you usually do...instead you riled her with your impatience and now you're both more pissed off than you were before" eurgh, I hate feeling like I'm not doing a very good job.

But....I'm not here to whinge and wine.  I have assessed the behaviour above as ridiculous and am now doing my darndest to stop it!

So Autumn arrived today, it doesn't usually just come in a day, does it?!  Mad!  Yesterday we were in a pub garden in shorts swatting wasps and today we're in wellies and jumpers!  But I love Autumn.  I love the hot chocolate, pink nose, outdoor smells, stomping through the woods of Autumn and much as I have enjoyed living outdoors for the past few months, I'm quite looking forward to getting back to baking and painting and play dough etc.

And with Autumn comes our daughter's adoption order.  It's all done...signed, sealed delivered...she's ours!  We've had so many wonderful positive responses to the news and we are feeling very blessed at the moment.  I'm looking forward to the celebration hearing as I think Squiblet will be in her element!  I'm also looking forward to her big old party!  I have been busy making bunting...I am very excited!

We also took Squiblet to Grandad's fancy dress (70s theme) birthday party.  I wasn't sure how she would cope with that many curious outfit choices and wigs in one room (including a very convincing cross dressing Freddie Mercury complete with Hoover - I want to break free video).  But she took it all in her stride and had a lovely time playing with everyone and lapping up the attention - she was the only little one there.  Squiblet was rocking a fabulous combo of tie dye and rainbow leg warmers, she did us proud!

And last of all I have to give a shout out to my mum and dad who have been staying here for the last 4 days cleaning and tidying and hoovering and cooking and just generally letting me rest.  I feel like I've finally turned a corner and I'm on the up and it was so wonderful of them to do so much.  We didn't put that in our adopters assessment...grandparents will come down and do all housework and generally pamper should the need arise.  I wonder if we would have been approved even faster!

And I can't go without introducing Bob.  We adopted him from Build a Bear on the day Squiblet's adoption order was made.  Squiblet was rather bemused by the whole process but went along with kissing his heart and very seriously choosing his outfit.  She chose the sex, name and outfit...and thus a gay icon is Bob everyone!

Every year that she's interested I think we will take her to buy a new outfit for Bob.  It will be a sad day when she starts dressing him in boy clothes! I love how she has no preconceptions about this yet...go Squiblet!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

On the up...and excited about the court order...and look at this amazing art!

Hello everyone.  A week since I started feeling ill, I think I'm finally out the other side of it.  Phew!  I don't think you realise how run down you are until something like that hits you.

Anyway, it's late (pppftt...9.00pm....late...he he) and I don't want to write too much but I wanted to share this amazing art work.  All the work of a very talented person I did biology GCSE with and kept in touch via the wonders of Facebook.  She made this fantastic piece of art for us with the date (now changed) of our adoption order.  We just need to get it printed off and on the wall ASAP!  I can't wait.

If any of you are feeling inspired.  Her website is here:

Twitter: @elliejamdesign

She has some really beautiful things and I'm just so excited to get this one up on the wall.

Will blog properly another day when I'm not about to fall asleep!

Much love x

Friday, 23 August 2013

Sick as a parrot : post number 100!

I’m not supposed to be blogging now because I’m supposed to be at Big Gay Camp with all the other jolly adoptive families with two mums or two dads (or one gay mum or one gay dad) but instead I’m at home having spend around 24 hours throwing up and I’m now feeling totally wiped and steamrollered and can just about muster enough energy to get out of bed.  

But I’m not turning this into a sympathy blog, I want to draw on the positives.  Mama has stepped up and proved to herself (not me, she never needed to prove anything to me) that she can do it.  She can manage Squiblet and have fun and run the house and the world won’t end.  And it has been very heartening listening to them chatter away to each other as I’ve been lying in bed.  Taking a step back and just listening is actually very powerful.  It made me smile and it made me see how far Squiblet has come with her language in a way that somehow you don’t see if you’re talking to her.  It also gave me a lovely insight into the warm relationship that Squiblet has with her Mama now.  All really heartwarming stuff.

So Mama has put up the tent in the garden, she’s taken Squiblet to the shops, to the park and has generally been a SuperMama while I’ve been asleep.  And now I’ve come out of the other side (I’m well enough to sit up and type!) and I’m wondering if we should still go to camp, just for a couple of nights, but in my heart of hearts I know that I’m not really up to it.  But Mama was so excited!  Practically every day she has come home with some sort of jolly camping item...glo sticks, bubbles, sleeping bag shower...batteries...water carrier...etc.  And we have really been looking forward to our first little family holiday.  It makes me feel very sad as I was looking forward to Squiblet doing all the jolly activities and meeting all the other families.  And we have our family set of camp t shirts!  It’s sad times when you have a family set of matching camp t shirts and nowhere to wear them!

Still, we can go next year.  We have Center Parcs booked for a few weeks time when we can try again at having a nice family holiday.  Poor Mama.  She works so hard and just wanted a break!  Love you, Mamasaur.  Couldn’t do it without you.

Not the greatest post for my 100th blog but ho hum.  That's life, that's family life and I love our family life.  And life is positive really.  Not long now and it will be Squiblet’s court date and she will be officially part of our family, although as my Dad said...she already is.

My two wonderful girls x

Monday, 19 August 2013

Making memories: Exciting in the rain, Mummy!

It hasn't really rained for ages and last time it did we stayed indoors which is most unlike us, but I suppose I wasn't feeling housebound like I do in the winter so we just enjoyed doing some indoor rainy day things like painting and play dough.  Anyway, the next time it rained we got out there and enjoyed it.  We felt it tickling our faces, we played with slugs, we splashed in puddles, ate a biscuit in her treehouse (which she climbed into herself) and Squiblet said "exciting in the rain, Mummy!" Memory made.*

[*for those of you who haven't been with me since January, Squiblet used to hate water, couldn't walk, let alone splash and had likely never seen a slug]

Friday, 16 August 2013

Siblings: for WASO

I was just pondering what the focus of my post should be.  Squiblet has 4 half siblings by birth that we know about...two by her birth mother and two by her birth father.  We have contact set up with two but we will never see the other two as they are safely with their own birth mother and detached from the world of social services.  We know their names...we have a few photos...they share 50% of their DNA with Squiblet but who cares?  Well, I sort of seems very odd to me.  But I'll blog about my feelings on that another day.  I'm coming up to my 100th post (fanfare...drumroll etc) and so I thought I would reflect on my feelings about Squiblet having a brother or sister based on the fact that the title of my blog is two mums TWO kids, and we clearly only have one!

It used to be two mums? two kids?  Because when I started it I lacked the confidence that we would even be approved to be two mums! Now here I am, dishing out mummy advice to all and sundry, swanning about in my Birkenstocks and just generally mumming it up large.  But the two kids bit...well that firmly remains as a "?".  Mama is keen.  I'm not so sure.  I feel like being an only child and being a bit "spoiled" (hate that word) is a necessary antidote to the self-esteem issues which come along with having been in the care system.  I like the fact that there are two adults to one Squiblet and I can see that she thrives on it, thrives on the attention.  People have said that you have to wait until your first is at school before you can adopt again, and that's a way off anyway, but right now, I'm not keen!  I like the fact that she has 100% of my attention and the leaps and bounds and jumps she has made make me feel like I'd like to keep it that way.

It feels mad to me now that we were approved for two; we came so close to adopting a sibling pair and our life just wouldn't be what it is now.  But then, maybe it would still have been great.  Who knows? For now I'm happy with being two mums, one kid!  We live in a town where there are loads of kids to play with, we might respite foster, or family link (respite to a disabled child) or something like that.  But right now my little world is looking pretty good and I wouldn't want to do anything to change it too much.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Toddler science/art (fun): Messy play with aqua beads and paint


I tried this out today with Squiblet and it was awesome!  I wasn't quite sure if it would work, but we made some beautiful paintings and Squiblet enjoyed getting messy, having fun, bouncing the balls and making pretty pictures.

Basically I just blobbed some paint into a tray, chucked in some aqua beads (I had already pre-soaked them this time) and Squiblet jiggled the tray around, got stuck in with her hands, bounced the balls, moved the balls around.  She was delighted when they got stuck in the paint and we had to move or jiggle them!  Beware though...this was very messy!  I ended up having to strip and the floor needed a good wash as those aqua beads do travel.  I'm also always very careful that she doesn't eat them as they do look jolly tasty!

I like the way that she discovered how to bounce them (and found this really fun) and also how she learned that if she tilted the tray they would move towards her.

It was a really easy, fun activity to try!

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Toddler science: super sorta logic

We had an impromptu sorting session this morning before heading off to the zoo which was 100% initiated by Squiblet.  That's the beauty of putting these things where they can reach them; it's wonderful to see her making decisions about what she wants to do.

I bought some little pompoms and some toddler tweezers from Amazon quite a few months ago and just encouraged Squiblet to try using the tweezers to get the pompoms into a juice bottle.  She found it tricky and would try a few times, then say "Mummy do it!' or use her hands...but now she can do it fairly easily and interestingly she's much more willing to give it a bash when it was her idea in the first place (aren't we all?!).  I've got this equipment rather nattily displayed in a smoothie cup which I washed out so it looks quite cool on the shelf and makes for a quick tidy up at the end and I've taken the labels off the juice bottles so they look a bit more attractive.

This morning Squiblet put a few pompoms in the bottle but then decided she wanted to sort them by colour which she did quite successfully.  I got some coloured plates out to help her.  Then I said...or we could sort them by size.  She was unconvinced and proceeded to sort them back into colours again.

Then (as I love happens with this sort of play) when Squiblet got bored of that she decided it would be fun to stack the plates and put them away.  Then she explored putting the tops on the bottles and told me that they smelled like dried apricots which got me thinking that I want to do more with smells as she's really interested in that at the moment (watch this space!).

We then moved on to sorting with her super sorting pie (a present from one of our lovely friends) - see picture.  She's really started to get into that now and I love the way it will grow with her as it can be used for more complex sorting and counting later on.  I also love the way it has an imaginative aspect to it too.

But my favourite bit was when she looked at the bottom of one of the bottles and said "got a sun bright." Inspiring!

Friday, 9 August 2013

A whole morning off, including nap time...and the world didn't end!


Today I had an eye appointment in London (nothing to worry about) so my Dad came with me (they usually put eye drops in) while my Mum stayed at home with Squiblet.

Now, it turns out that my eye appointment had been rescheduled for next week...but somehow I didn't get the memo.  A frustrating waste of almost £100 in a time when we are counting every penny, but ho hum...the main point of this post is not for me to moan about's to celebrate Squiblet and Grandma's successful morning.  As it turned out, Dad and I had a jolly old time eating ice creams on the Southbank and all was not lost.  I also took this cool picture.  These bubbles were formed by a guy who had two bamboo canes with a line of string hoops tied to it and just kept dipping it in the bubbles and wafting it around.  The children all thought he was a genius...I thought...hmmm...must try that at home!

Anyhow, back to Squiblet...

She was fine!

Just fine!

No tears, a little wobble when she was hungry but she soon snapped out of it.

Hurrah!  To me, this is a most excellent attachment test (not that that was why we did it), and it seems to me that Squiblet passed with flying colours.  I remember when she first came and she was always searching for people and anxious about the doorbell and wouldn't even let me leave the room.  Eight months on and I'm off to London!  As my Mum's ironic in away that strong attachments actually mean freedom.  Wonderful.  And I love the way that when Grandma tucked her in Squiblet said; "not quite right" and gave Grandma some tucking in tips.

But the fun doesn't stop there because tomorrow I'm off to a spa.  Mama gets Squiblet to herself for the day and I'm dragging my pal, and Mum of an 8 month old, off for a day of bubbles and chats.  We had a spa day back in 2011 and the sauna and steam room weren't working.  They offered us a free spa day and I finally got round to cashing it in...and they let me, which was so kind of them, and after today I don't feel so nervous about leaving Squiblet.  By nervous about leaving her, I don't mean nervous about leaving her with Mama, I just mean being apart.  They are clearly going to have a fabulous day of fun and giggles....and so am I....wahoo!

Anyhoo, I figure that if I'm going to be the best Mum that I can be then I need a little break here and there.

In other news, we are planning Squiblet's "welcome to the family" party.  It's going to be big...which some people (as in people generally, not people who know us) think is a bad idea but I think we know her well enough to know that she will have a jolly old time.  We've booked a venue with a quiet space and outdoor space in case it all gets a bit much.  I've set up an online gift list for food which I think is hilarious, including things like "plate of ham".  But we couldn't afford to feed everyone as well as hire the all etc and it seemed like a good plan.  I figure if people think we're cheapskates and don't want to come then they don't have to.  But hopefully everyone will just enter into the spirit of things and won't mind bringing a dish.

Oh yes, and we have booked a cheerful Center Parcs mini break for some jolly family time roaming about in the forest.

Good times.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Toddler science (fun) : messing about on the river

The folks at tots100 inspired me to make a paper boat to enter their very exciting Center Parcs competition.  I jumped at the chance.  I love a bit of outdoorsy, creative, sciencey fun and so does Squiblet.

We had a few first attempts following the not so scientific approach of:

  • look up how to make a boat on the internet (not a peer reviewed site)
  • attempt to follow instructions
  • become massively confused
  • end up with something which looks enough like a boat to be called a boat
  • poke the middle bit up in a haphazard fashion in an attempt to make it float
  • and repeat
Once we had a model we were both proud of we waterproofed with a coating of paint and glue.  "ooooh, sticky!  Let's get messy!"  cried Squiblet, along with a spot of finger painting too!  The scientist in me was forced to counterbalance Squiblet's pink pom addition with a yellow one on the opposite side, but the artist in me shouted "more feathers, more ribbon!"

This was our final product, complete with gingerbread man passenger.  Very Mardi-Gras!
We tested it out in the sink at home and then in a little stream and much to my surprise, despite Squiblet's best efforts to fill it with water (toddlers love to fill things with water), the vessel was watertight and pretty buoyant!

All that was left was to set the boat free.  We dragged a friend along to take the pictures, to prevent an unpleasant watery accident and let the boat go.  I was amazed!  We shouted "bye bye gingerbread man!" as he sped off along the river and under the little thatched cottage on a bridge.  Squiblet and I went running after it with me keen to ensure we were channeling excitement at the gingerbread man's adventure rather than horror at his loss!  I couldn't believe my eyes when he appeared out the other side of the bridge and kept going until he was finally stopped by a branch.  He must have travelled at least 50 meters!  We make a good team, Squiblet and I!  My friend suggested next time we try building a raft out of this space!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Toddler science: Drop and Roll

Welcome to my first toddler science post!  I can't really take full credit for this as Squiblet gave me the idea when she found a cardboard tube.  It was a great rainy day activity...if you don't mind messy windows!

We gathered a selection of tubes and watched the ball drop through them.  We then taped the tubes to the window (we used fun red spotty tape as I happened to have some in the cupboard and it doesn't leave a residue like Sellotape on windows).  We managed to make the ball run down the tube, along a piece of card and into the next tube.  Squiblet thought it was hilarious when the ball fell out and enjoyed putting the ball in the top and sticking the tubes to the wall.  Then she would try pulling them off and soon realised that the ball rolled out if she pointed it down.

All in, jolly fun and she was learning about gravity, speed and forces without knowing it!  Painless physics can only be a good plan in my book!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Your DNA's the Recipe

Your DNA's the recipe
With C, G, A and T
Your DNA's the recipe
But the baker, well, that's me.

The recipe says brown eyes,
Blonde curls, cheeky grin
But what makes you laugh, what makes you smile
Is the world you now live in.

We choose our ingredients carefully,
We take you outside to play,
We cuddle, kiss and encourage you
We tell you we love you each day.

 Your DNA made a brain like a sponge
 And we help you to fill it
 Your DNA made a beautiful smile
 And we help you to smile it.

 Your DNA made muscles
 And we help them to grow.
 But what made you sparky and funny
 I guess we'll never really know.

Your DNA's the recipe,
 Your DNA's the code.
 But what you become is down to you
 And we'll help you along the road.

 Your DNA's the recipe,
 But we'll throw in some extra bits,
 Some extra love, some extra care
 And hope it does the trick.

 Your DNA's the recipe,
 It gives us a bit of a clue.
 But how wonderfully brilliant you become,
 Is down to us...and you.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Birthday Musings

Birthdays are a funny old time for both adopters and adoptees if you really stop to think about it.  The sickly sweet Facebook posts people usually come out with on their children's birthdays give the impression that a birthday is a day for the whole family to reflect on the day that a little person arrived into the world with all the pain, joy and overwhelming emotion that came along with them.  Not so for an adoptive parent.  But clearly in saying that I don't mean for a second that we didn't feel something on Squiblet's birthday.  It was still the day that this fantastic little mini human popped out and landed in the world with more of a bump than most.  I still feel blessed that she did, blessed that she survived, blessed that she made it to us, but I think what I feel on the day she moved in, or the day we first met has more of the emotion attached to it which birth parents associate with birthdays.

A small part of me thinks about Squiblet's birth family, and what they might be feeling when Squiblet's birthday comes along and they have no way to celebrate it with her.  This is the oversized empathetic part of my brain which I often struggle to keep in check as it can sometimes be unhelpful.

But we celebrate the day she moved in.  We celebrated her six months with us, we compare it to the length of her life and proportionally how big a slice of cake it would be and we feel happy!  We celebrated with massive amounts of ice cream and fizzy (aka "bizzy") apple juice in plastic wine glasses!  We all had a lovely time and I will remember it forever.  We will always celebrate how wonderful it was when she came into our lives forever, and she will always know that her coming into our lives is the thing we are celebrating and not just a "birthday" because that's what you do, because everyone celebrates their birthday.

But now I know how to include pictures, I must share some snaps of Squiblet's birthday.  I went to's what I do! There were spots, there were stripes, there was big art, there was jelly, there was cake. It was a memorable and wonderful day!  I hope you can get a sense of it from these snaps. Enjoy...we did!

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Getting to grips with emotions.


Sorry it's been a while.  I've been a bit pooped and deflated in some ways, and then a bit happy and enjoying the sunshine in other ways, a combination which did not lend itself to blogging!

Things are good.  The deflation comes from a number of sources...we still don't have a court date for the adoption hearing.  It's been weeks and weeks now which means it is very unlikely we will be jetting off, to somewhere where I can sit in the sunshine and Squiblet can swim and splash, this year.  Someone said "well, you have your whole lives to do that!" And I found that rather irritating because, whilst that comment is clearly a massive untruth in the first place (presumably at some point she won't want to come on hols with her tiny mums) but secondly, it would be nice if it was our choice, rather than the choice of someone else, whether we decide to go on holiday now or at some point in the rest of our lives....sigh.  Still we have been frequenting the jolly outdoor swimming pool, drinking Pimms and eating smelly cheese in a bid to convince ourselves that we sort of are on holiday.  

Currently we are at Grandma and Grandad's house as we decided that a bit of Grandma and Grandad tlc wouldn't be a bad thing all round.  Yesterday we had a marvellous time with Squiblet in Maldon.  They have this amazing splash park thing and she really wanted to go in.  I was fully expecting her to just splash round the edges and watch the others but figured as she wanted to, we may as well pay our £2 and give it a bash.  She absolutely loved it!  We stripped her down to her nappy and she scamped about getting her and Mama completely soaked through, all the time shrieking and squealing with delight!  I was thrilled.  I love the little "child focused" button which goes off in my head when my sensible adult brain says no, and the little button reminds me to say yes, as without that button such jollity wouldn't have happened.  So that was a small 1/2 hour snippet of what a holiday could be like!  I suspect we might end off heading to somewhere like Center Parcs where we can do fun swimming and scamping and have a jolly old time.

Another reason why we were feeling a bit downhearted is that we have spoken to Squiblet's sibling's foster carer, prior to meeting with Squiblet's siblings and it turns out that the level of violence, abuse and neglect in that house was just so much more than we were ever told about.  Squiblet was removed so early it doesn't affect her directly but it makes me feel so cross that they kept these things back.  I have always painted Squiblet's birth mum as a sorry old soul who the world let down, which I think still holds true, but I think there was much more to it than that, meaning that we are going to have to think carefully about what we say to Squiblet in the future...bearing in mind that she remembers everything!

Lately I have been struggling a bit with Squiblet's behaviour where she does something which is a bit, what I call, "pickleish" like drawing on her clothes on purpose.  Not terrible, completely salvageable but a wilful act of pickling (hurrah, a small part of my head says...she is pushing boundaries, she is settled).  So I will tackle her on it, hold her hand, stick my face in her face and calmly explain that that's not good behaviour and explain why.  I get her to say sorry and then give her a big cuddle and tell her I love her.  She then becomes hysterical and completely inconsolable that she has done something wrong and it takes ages to calm her down.  It's so bad that it makes you want to ignore any poor behaviour but I know that's making a rod for my own back and you can't just ignore things!  She's very hot on what she calls "not good ahaviour" - I think it's really funny as I'm always trying to label the behaviour not the child - but she will do things, like shake her water bottle and then shake her head and say "no...not good ahaviour" and stop! She says it to other children too, and obviously finds it difficult that some children have different rules and boundaries to her own.  Which is a very difficult thing to explain to an adult, let alone a two year old!  I've just been trying to reinforce that people can be lovely people without necessarily having "good ahaviour", for example her birth brother has some serious attachment problems and really good behaviour considering, but he is a bit of a live wire and finds it tricky to sit down.  This came out the other night when she was lying in her cot "worried, Mummy" she said and pulled a cute worried face like the Worried William on her feelings mitten "Sam bashed his knife and fork...on a a table" she said and I tried to explain the above but I'm not sure how well I managed as she is still talking about it.

I'm quite confused about all her crazy mess of feelings at the moment so god only knows how she feels!  Is she really worried?  It seems like it!  Is she really feeling guilt and remorse when she does something wrong?  It certainly looks like it...but she's two!  It seems quite unlikely...?!

The emotional energy it takes me not to sit in a corner and cry when she's going through a...

Do something pickley
Wait to be told not to
Cry your eyes out
Be comforted for ages
And repeat until nap time 

...cycle is just quite immense.  After that little episode I had to have a lie down!  I should stress that this isn't happening all the time!  Not even once a day really so who am I to complain?!

So that's us.  I have a sun tan...I never have a sun tan...I'm a committed outdoor parent!  I'm still wondering about what will happen with my career...I need to stop worrying!  Squiblet's on her fourth pair of shoes (size 7) in 6 months!  Ridiculous!

It's all go!

Hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine.  Xx

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Making memories

When Squiblet first came to us she was very unsure about being in water. She refused baths for a little while, didn't like her head getting wet, and cried at her first few swimming lessons. We have worked really hard over the past few months to calm her fears and encourage her enjoyment of water.

She has been such a little star and has overcome her fears. Her confidence in the water has blossomed before our eyes and she now giggles, sings and splashes every week in her swimming lessons and every day in the bath - she has even started to pour water over her own head!

We recently discovered a nearby campsite with a heated outdoor pool so this memory is of her swimming happily in the sunshine.

For me it speaks of how far she has come since being with us. From the subdued little bum-shuffler who was kept indoors and was scared of water to the colourful exuberant scamp who laughs, runs and swims under bright blue skies.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Response to Fraser McAlpine's Guardian Article


Really Fraser?  All of the adoptive parents you meet in your panel are middle class snobs?  Because in our experience we have met loads of adopters from all kinds of backgrounds, from factory workers to hairdressers to University professors and radio personalities.  A huge range of careers, a huge range of cultures and ethnicities and many of them, not middle class at all.  But I resent the fact that you assume that because my parents have degrees and paid for me to go to University that somehow that means I'm a snob who would look down on my daughter's birth family and encourage her to forget them.  How dare you!  How dare you tar me with that large brush which you so blindly assume will do for everyone?

Our daughter has a quirky sort of American popstar name and we love it.  We think it suits her.  Her birth father chose it for her...he didn't manage to give her much else apart from 50% of her DNA but what right do we have to change it?  None.  Our social worker (arguably a middle class snob) said "oooh...what a spelling! Don't let that put you can change it!" and we said "no way!  It's her name!"  So how dare you? And she sits in her little music class with the likes of Rory and Jemima and Penelope and I sometimes think "I wonder when you will realise that your name is a bit different?"  But if she does, and if she minds, we will talk to her about it.  If she doesn't like her name, of course she can change it, but the important thing is that it will be HER CHOICE.  

In my opinion a name is a most excellent people sieve.  It weeds out those who are too snobby to contemplate an association with someone who doesn't have a ridiculous middle class name...Katie Hopkins horrendous display on This Morning showed me that these people do actually exist.  Well, her children wouldn't have the pleasure of knowing the awesome, funny, clever and downright cutie that is our daughter...and more fool her.

In a world where University societies hold "dress like a chav" pub crawls, a world where somehow it's ok to ridicule and belittle people on benefits in a way people would never dare discuss race or religion, middle class people (such as me) will have a hard job in shielding our children from this bigotry and discrimination which is about more than just a name.  But though it's a hard job, I'm sure as hell going to try....despite being middle class....which clearly automatically makes me a snob....

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

A laughably disordered day!


Wow.  I'm earning my Mummy stripes by the day at the moment.  Yesterday we had a wonderful afternoon of messy play and making oat and raisin cookies.  Squiblet was in her Fun Pod grabbing hands full of the mixture and slapping them on the tray shouting "plop!" and "eat it!"  Then it all went horribly wrong in the evening because (in the words of Dr Ranj of Cbeebies hit show Get Well Soon), Squiblet has a bug in her wee.  Now, my cleavage has seen its fair share of random things being dropped down it...such is the way of being a rather clumsy F cup...but never before has it been filled with a whole days worth of child vomit.  It was so hideous that after I had undressed a vomit soaked Squiblet and placed her onto her nice clean Mama, I looked down and laughed out loud.  I don't think in all my worries about parenting I ever expected to be picking partially digested satsuma out of my bra!

So today we headed off to the doctor as Squiblet has been crying when she wees, and this, combined with the vomiting and fever, led me to think that she had a UTI (bug in her wee).  The triage nurse called me at 9.00 to offer me an appointment at 9.40 and could I bring a urine sample.  This gave me approximately 30 minutes to feed, dress, clean teeth and catch the urine of my poorly two year old.  There were tears.  My tears.  Her tears.  I'm a bit sickly and a bit tired and having woken up at 5.30 and got up at 6.15, this was just ALL TOO MUCH!  Catching the urine of a non potty trained toddler is tricky at the best of times but with a 30 minute time limit I just couldn't handle the stress.  "Mummy crying...Mummy sad?" Then she rubbed my back.  Heartbreaking.  I told her I wasn't sad but that I was tired and feeling a bit poorly and it was all just a bit much.  Anyway somehow my tears were enough to make her wee!  Somehow my woe guilted her into performing in a spectacular fashion on the potty.  Much to her own surprise I think. 30 minutes we did all of the above and I even managed to clean my own teeth and get her snack ready.  If it wasn't for the weeping I would have felt pretty proud of myself.  We charged down the road and into the doctors as the clock struck 9.40.  Wahoo!  Where was my glass of champagne, bunch of flowers and cheering crowd?  A table with an incredibly small amount of Duplo and some teenage girl fiction books about ponies would have to suffice.  To be fair, I would have been happy with the doctor appearing at 9.40 instead of a cheering crowd.  Instead...we waited...until 11.10....yes 1 1/2 hours...with a 2 year a really hot waiting room with nothing but an incredibly small amount of Duplo and some teenage girl fiction books about ponies for company.  Squiblet was marvellous.  She kept me entertained saying things like " her walk" and when a man came in hopping on one leg she said "man...jumping...kangarooooo!"  "people...not smiling at Squiblet".  And then...when we finally got to see the doctor, she had run out of urine dipsticks and nonchalantly said "oh won't affect my diagnosis anyway!"  Erm...YOU F*CKING WHAT?!  Do you not realise the blood, sweat and tears it took me to get that wee...proudly presented to you in a hummus pot (in a truly middle class fashion).  So she said she would send it off to the lab and packed me off with some antibiotics, calpol and calprofen.

What are the ethics of whether or not to pick up all the raisins your child drops on the floor?  Somehow it seems like littering but today I was in no mood to pick up raisins!

She napped from 1-4 as poorly girls do and then we snuggled up and watched Room on The Broom which Mama and I recorded at Christmas pre-Squiblet's arrival.  So the day ended well!

I'm perky again now.  I just felt very stressed and out of control this morning.  I couldn't really cope with having to dash out of the door and leave the house in a complete state.  I should get over myself really.  The flowers arrived when Mama got home!  What a nice surprise.  I'm so glad I have a co-parent who values what I do, and that I value what she does and we don't have a terrible time understanding each other.  I downloaded a book on my Kindle and happened to pick one about a woman who is a disenchanted Mum who starts having an affair.  There are far too many nobs in the story for my liking but it's the sort of trashy novel I quite like...and it makes me feel very lucky not to have a partner who sits on their arse and doesn't understand, care, or even want to understand.

Squiblet made me laugh yesterday because I coughed and over the baby monitor a little voice said "cough it up chicken Mummy!"  I love that kid!  :)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Poxy poxy pox


So I'm not quite feeling like a super mum at the moment.  Squiblet has The Pox and though she is chipper she is covered in spots and not sleeping too well....which means I have reached a new level of fatigue and am feeling like a real parent again instead of a parent from an advert for gravy powder or some such.

But first I will share a positive.  A massive shiny, sparkly gem of a memory.  Swimming on Tuesday and she swam under water like a little fish and came up with a massive grin on her face.  Her swimming teacher took her hands to help her swim with her woggle and said to me "see how I'm not even holding her?  She's doing it on her own!" I usually hold on for dear life for fear of her sinking like a stone and hating swimming (and me) for ever and ever!  So I need to man up and let the girl swim!  So exciting.  I've just bought her a float so we can keep on swimming even in the holidays when all her clubs and classes are cancelled. I love love love her swimming lessons now where I used to sort of dread them a bit!  So much fun...although we won't be able to go next week because of the dreaded pox :(

Being trapped at home is not much fun.  But I'm just so tired!  I still need to go and get blood tested that I'm not horribly anaemic...but there's no time!  When I'm tired like this everything just seems a whole lot less fun and I feel horribly on the edge of tears all the time!  And it's ridiculous because Mama has been off work the last 3 days as we had our Aunt visiting from America so I haven't really had to do much at all.  But I think it's the teacher thing that you keep going and going and then when you stop you crash and burn!  That and the middle of the night waking and 5.30 mornings!  Poof!  I really hate not being at my peak!

I've been campaigning our local council to improve our local park.  It's what Mama calls being a Pillock of the Community.  But we live in this fantastic affluent place and our park is just so rubbish!  The climbing frame is downright dangerous and there's one of those ride on horse things from the 1950s!  It's pretty bleak.  Anyway, I allowed myself to be patronised and condescended to..."the teenagers break only takes one..." until I pointed out that in fact all of the play equipment was still in the park and had clearly managed not to be destroyed by evil teenagers...even if they did graffiti on it a bit...with chalk (not exactly hard crime).  I think my message got through.  I'm aiming for a toddler climbing frame, fitness trail and teenager can but try!

I think I need to start taking a bit more time out from being a crazy full on parent.  I might have to arrange a night out with a friend or something.  The thing is, up until now I was feeling pretty tickety boo and it's just crept up on me.  It makes me feel somehow it means that I feel like I don't want to be a Mummy...which is just downright ridiculous but I can't help feeling it sometimes and feeling a bit like I wish I could just fly away and lie down in some sunshine on my own!  But I don't mean that...or do I?!  I would miss Mama and Squiblet so much if I didn't see them for a day, let alone a week, and it's completely unrealistic anyway.  But there we are.  Guilt.  Pile on the Mummy guilt!  It will (hopefully) all go away once I've actually slept for a whole night!

I guess the whole money thing is getting a bit scary too.  The running tap that was my pay cheque is now dripping ominously ready to stop soon and we need to stop spending and start scrimping!  I've been buying toys and things in the summer sales ready for Christmas which on some level seems sensible but on another level seems scary!  Eurgh.  I'm scared!  I'm scared because I want to go on holiday in September and I don't know if we should spend our savings!  I'm scared because I like buying things!  I'm scared because it's me who isn't earning and I feel bad about that.  I'm scared when I buy things.  It's all just a bit terrifying.  We had got so used to buying what we want when we want and we are both very clear...her preschool years are more important to us than buying things are...but equally I feel like I'm going a bit mad and could really use someone to cook for me while I lie in the sunshine!  Sorry.  I appreciate that this is a most middle class and ridiculous money whinge.  We aren't counting our pennies before we can eat and we aren't scared about how we will afford nappies...nothing like that so feel free to say "ffs...shut up woman" but I do like to be honest on my blog!  So this is me...being honest...and being a bit tired and a bit scared.

So take care everyone.  Things will be brighter as soon as I've slept properly, I'm sure!

Much love  xx