Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Swimming success!

Nap time is almost over but I had to let you all know about the swimming success we had today! We literally took it step by step (sitting on the edge, then then next step, then the next step) and before long we were playing in the pool and she was joining in and sitting on the giant float with the other babies. Superstar! I was such a proud Mummy and phoned Mama up to tell her the good news! I felt all familyish! It was lovely!

Grandma and Grandad are here (although currently they are both called Grama).  She was a little unsettled yesterday but has been full of beans today and enjoying all the attention and 'ugs!

We are going to try soft play again tomorrow and then the independent reviewing officer person will be there in the afternoon. Scary!

I have been busy mopping up our cat's wet paw prints from the kitchen floor. He came in today and a little person scuttled into the kitchen and came back with a mop! She was 'elpin'! So lovely! We must get her a little mop and things so she can 'elp more!

So lots of positives to share!

Must go!

Lots of love x

Saturday, 26 January 2013



Just a quick update to let you know how it's all going.

In the words of my wise old partner:

"We have managed to have people round, host an impromptu lunch, our house doesn't look like sh*t, our hair is washed, we are eating and sleeping...I think we must be doing bloody well!"

Wise words indeed!

We had some friends round today and our little one was on her best, smiliest, behaviour! She was appropriately clingy at first, but then excited and happy to play and had a wonderful time feeding the ducks with our old friends.  It was great! I felt like a normal parent, and I was so proud of her, she was just delightful! She's great! So they can come again! It's lovely to be able to have friends over and share her with them, and it meant I could make lunch without her asking to come "up!"

The other brilliant thing which has happened all on its own is that she has really started attaching to my partner. The social worker who visited on Wednesday made us worry about it and suggested that I was doing too much (bedtimes and naps etc), but we disagreed as we felt it was important for her to have the security of knowing what was what and so we have been doing these things together but with her sitting on my lap. But today, it was brilliant! She spontaneously wanted to sit on Mama's lap and have a story this morning and she was going to Mama today when she felt unsettled! Victory! We thought...don't push it, don't force it...let her come when she's ready, and it worked!  Sometimes the social workers really don't know best! Our social worker also suggested that we don't go to the music class as it is a low priority for her, but we went anyway and she **LOVED** it!  She was in her element because she loves being around other children and she loves music. So again...not such great advice from SS!

Our friend came round with her 3 month old little boy on Friday and squiblet absolutely adored him! They had lots of cuddles and kisses and she played with him while he giggled, it was very cute.

So things are settling here. She is calmer, albeit crazily walking about just holding one hand now squeaking away in her squeaky boots and putting her heels down when she walks! We are more settled, less anxious and can manage her quite well now. I try to warn her of everything that will happen and she responds really well to that; "when we get to that lamppost you need to get in the buggy because you're getting tired" "we will have one more book and then it's nap time" and I'm amazed at how well it works.

Mama is back to work on Monday and my parents arrive tomorrow so next week will be a bit different. She's a bit worried about it and I will miss her lots and lots but hopefully we will settle down and fit into a routine.

My last piece of news is that I'm starting a "things you do that make us smile" book. I bought a note book and I'm going to start writing down all the nutty and wonderful things she does that make is laugh and smile. It will be great for her when she is older, but also great for us if we have days when things are less rosy!

So I'm off to start that now!

And then I'm going to lie down!


Lots of love x

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Some brilliant firsts and some tears too.

Well what a mad couple of days. I had my biggest melt down today. I burst into uncontrollable tears and had to shut myself away while my other half picked up the pieces.  It was only for ten minutes but it made me feel really shocking as I felt like I couldn't cope and couldn't do this and wasn't good enough. I think I'm ok now. The cause of my melt down was her melt down during our swimming lesson. She howled and howled and screamed and howled. I think part of the problem was that my other half was watching in the safe and dry, and though she attempted to hide behind the changing room curtain, she could still be spotted by our little one (eyes of a hawk, that one). We eventually took her out of the pool and played with toys on the side and she wasn't happy until she was cuddling Mama (not me) in the dry so she wrestled me off to get to safe, dry, Mama and this was the main cause of my tears. I'm used to being her safe and warm and to have her scrabbling and desperate to get away from me, and unable to help her settle, made me feel like a ridiculous imposter mother and all the times over the past two weeks where I've totally felt like her mummy, just melted away into a big puddle of sad. I felt sad too at her fear of the water, as I watched the other children happily splashing and playing, I felt desperately sad for her. Sad that we hadn't been there for her for her whole life, that we were just picking up the pieces now, and that, whilst often those pieces seem to be stuck well together, at the moment, the cracks are only painted over and haven't been properly filled. I don't think we scarred her, by the end she was happily playing with toys and splashing mummy in the face! Next week my Dad will hopefully drop us off, and with no cuddly warm Mama on the side, I wonder if she might get on better with enjoying it. We will see.

I'm ok now. She was unsettled by my tears a little bit which made me feel even worse as she shouldn't be loaded with my stupid emotions too. Eurgh. I do feel quite cross with myself. I knew that it was likely to not go very well, but I feel very annoyed that I got so upset.  It makes me lack confidence a bit. However, she is now nicely settled for her nap, and was super perky at lunch time so no harm done. I asked her if she enjoyed the swimming and she said yes!

Oh, and a word of advice. Swimming nappies don't actually keep wee in! We went through two pairs of trousers and the car seat cover on the way to swimming. Next week we will be changing at the pool!

But yesterday was a wonderful day, a day of fabulous firsts! We bought her first pair of shoes and she was delightful and cute and she loves them! We got her home and amazingly (magic shoes!) she took her first few unsupported steps. It was a seriously special moment for us! She is outdoing herself and surprising us all and we just can't believe the improvement she has made. All we have done is provide her with activities to encourage her to stand (easel, sand tray, fun pod) and held her hands as she walks around, oh and bought her some new shoes!  I think walking outside helps too.

The twins came yesterday and there was merry chaos, but all of her toys became exciting again, when other children wanted to play on them so she spent the evening tearing about the kitchen on her peppa pig push along!  They all played very well together and even shared a few kisses, it was very cute and it felt good for us to see our friends again!

And then last night...the strangest and funniest first. As I was giving her her milk and reading her stories before bed, she was wriggling about and seemed to have a tummy ache. I asked if she wanted her potty and she said no (standard toddler answer to any question). We haven't used the potty yet but we have introduced it and talked about it and sat on it a bit.  A bit later she said "potty" so Mama went to get it. After more scrabbling and squirming eventually she did a massive poo (sorry if that's tmi). She was very distressed and we had to go and watch it in the toilet and say goodbye to it as we flushed it away. She was so upset! She kept crying and hugging me and saying "poo.....potty....gone....flushed....noisy....poo....water.....gone...flushed...." You get the idea. Even as I tucked her in she said "poo...gone!" before she drifted off.  This morning she looked into the toilet and looked up at me with a serious face and said "gone!" I managed to keep a straight face until Mama chipped in with "that's right, he went off to see all his poo friends”. 

Last night at dinner I almost choked on my glass of water! She was finishing her petit filous, eating the last spoonful and she held it out to me and said "mummy". I said "is that for me?" and she said yes.  I said to her "are you sure, because it's the last spoonful" and she looked very solemn and said "yes". I said "so if mummy eats it, you're not going to say "more"" and again she nodded sagely. So obviously the second I ate it, this little voice piped up with "more!" She is a funny, funny old thing!

So again we have had ups and downs and more and more tears.  We are doing lots of cooing and cuddling and snuggling and being calming and kind.

She's great! She's so great! I feel like a stupid head, but when she smiles or cuddles me or is just happily playing, it makes it all better.

Right. Nap time. Must make the most of it and be cuddled by Mama! 

Take care. Xx

Sunday, 20 January 2013

High highs and low lows


What a funny old day.  She charmed everyone at the supermarket (it's the only time in our lives a trip to a supermarket has felt like an exciting day out but we needed to get out of the house and escape from the snow). She spent the trip saying thank you to everyone, saying "'old on" and wanting to hold everything we put in the basket, and giving everyone the shopping list.

She has been testing boundaries at meal times but is responding really well to us just praising good behaviour and ignoring the bad. And the bad isn't that bad...and is usually pretty funny but Mummy and Mama are learning not to laugh when (again) we hear..."uh-oh....drop!" and her peering over the edge of her clip on high chair (it's a phil and ted's lobster which is great as it really means she is part of meal times!). Then she will demand an ookat (yogurt) or some chagachaga button (chocolate buttons) and sometimes we oblige...but only if she says please!

She was really out of sorts after her nap today. Usually I go in and she grins at me from her cot and we have a lovely cuddle and change her nappy. Today she didn't look herself at all and she started crying what I call real tears, rather than the usual toddlery "I don't want to do that" tears. I just cuddled and cuddled her and took her into our bed and eventually she fell asleep on me.  It was a bitter sweet moment as it was the first time I felt like she had really cried tears which I worried were to do with her circumstances, but on the other hand, it was so wonderful that she could take comfort from me and fall asleep in my arms. I cried this evening again, partly for her. A 20 month old baby shouldn't have to feel this pain, but also because I felt like I was out of my depth, and didn't know what to do, and I feel bad every time I feel a little bit exasperated by her because I feel like I have no right to be exasperated as she is just doing so incredibly well.  She took a long while to settle again tonight, I just sat with her and cuddled her quietly repeating "it's bedtime" in my best soothing voice.  I asked her what she was thinking about as I wondered if she might like go try talking about things but she said "animals!" She was talking about the wall stickers of birds and animals in her room! Every night we have to kiss and stroke each one and say "see you in the morning!"  We had tantrums at teeth cleaning time today.  They are funny old tantrums because she will hug me so tight as she cries, even though I am the evil witch wielding the toothbrush of doom.  It's a funny old thing. I just keep on cuddling her and patiently encouraging her until eventually she gives in.  But there were a lot of tears tonight! I don't feel like I can give in on tooth cleaning as it's just so important and she is usually fine with it so she's just being a pickle, but also feeling unsettled and funny and not really understanding why. 

But we had some high highs today. I keep singing the Ne-yo song "she's a monster, a beautiful monster, but I don't mind!" to her, and she loves it. We all danced in the kitchen with her on the hip seat and she was in absolute hysterics!  She was chuckling and giggling her head off it was so funny! She sings along, singing "Munter..." Which seems a bit wrong, but she can't say monster yet!  Oh dear, it's really very funny! We were all crying with laughter!

So that was a high high, and a big family memory for us.

We are getting her first proper shoes tomorrow so that's another landmark day.

Wonderful times, and I'm not weepy in the mornings any more. I bought myself some frizz ease today so hopefully I can feel like less of a frumpy mum! I am a bit run down and have a huge ulcer in my throat (tmi- sorry!) which isn't helping my general feeling of chipperness and wellbeing but we are OK. We are better than Ok, we are great! We are a family!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Exploring the "nose"

We have had a lovely day again today.  She is napping now and I have been sleeping! She is gaining in confidence which means she can play on her own which makes me less tired and we are all happy and settled! It's great!

My fears about becoming a frumpy mum are being realised pretty fast! A combination of two in one shampoo and conditioner and a little person telling me my sleeve is "messy!" and pointing out the "spot!" on my chin tells me I'm currently a long way from yummy mummy! Oh well! Hopefully I'll get there. I woke up with a migraine this morning and had to pop pills and sleep before I got her up but we have managed and I feel ok now! Just a bit sleepy.

Yesterday she stood on her own for the first time. Only for a few seconds but it was just amazing to watch! I can't believe it now when I see her bending down to pick things up with her feet flat. It's really quite extraordinary how far she has come in just a week!  I hear here saying..."right then..." and "careful!" and "yup!" and today I was drinking my tea with my legs draped over the side of the armchair and noticed she was doing the same! It's not taken her long to adopt our funny ways! Scary really.

She has taken to playing peekaboo with the mole on my chest which means she covers it up with my jumper, uncovers it and shouts "boo" in my face! She is a funny, funny old thing! 

We went out in the snow today and her lack of confidence came through again because she just wanted to be held by me the whole time.  It was lovely though as she was catching snowflakes in her hand after a while and looking at everything she recognised as now being covered in snow.

She's great! I'm frumpy and not wearing makeup but still pretty great! I even managed to do the ironing today! 

Take care everyone and don't get too chilly! X

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Hip seat


I forgot to mention this amazing contraption for anyone else adopting I can't rate it highly enough.

Our little one is 20 months and she loves it. Not only that but it settles her down in a most amazing way and I can do things with her on it without hurting my back. We load the dishwasher together, we collect things from round the house, we make cakes and my back doesn't hurt at all. My arms do a bit! It's not as restrictive as a sling so she retains her toddler independence. She loves it, she shouts "seat!" when she sees it and she cries "'elping" as we do things together.

It's a godsend!

I love you so much, and I also love nap time!

Sorry for my lack of updates. Surprise, surprise, we have been rather busy! It's amazing how fast the days go and how absolutely exhausted I am despite the fact that she is (miraculously) sleeping through and I am getting a full nights sleep every night.

She is settling well, napping well and sleeping well and enjoying all the things we have been doing together. We have been for lots of walks and she enjoys narrating everything she sees and saying "more!" Even if it is a bike or a dog..."more!" "Erm...mummy can't make the dog come back, pickle, sorry...bye bye dog, that's right!" We spend a lot of time standing and looking at things, leaves and sticks and trees and clouds.  She loves that (...more!).  The special boots with squeakers in the heels, combined with lots of standing up activities (easel, sand tray, fun pod) means that she is gaining confidence in standing and walking.  She doesn't want to bottom shuffle any more and would prefer to walk everywhere with me and Mama holding her hands. We are happy to oblige as she is gaining in confidence. 

Meal times have been going well, yesterday she toddlered us and refused to eat and we just tactically ignored and then she ate the whole thing (result!) but then she refused her bath so I had to sponge her while she cried (not so great).  In one way it seems good that she is pushing boundaries as she is just being a normal toddler, but in another way we wonder if there is more to it.  We went to a soft play centre today and she was quite overwhelmed and clingy. It was so apparent how much she lacks confidence compared to the other children who were tearing about all over the place and causing havoc.  Partly because she can't walk but partly because she lacks the confidence to embrace new experiences.  I think this lack of confidence is a bit due to her move, but a lot due to her experiencing quite an indoor life with her foster carer.

I've been a bit weepy in the mornings.  After bath time yesterday I cried quite a lot. I just wasn't sure what to do!  And it's ridiculous because we spend the whole day playing and having a jolly old time (even if it's just doing the hoovering) and I let a ten minute bath time tantrum make me cry.  But I'm tired and I'm adjusting and I'm very scared about when I'm on my own with her and there's no one there to cuddle me and reassure me that I'm doing the right thing.

She is happy to take comfort from me now though and the way she cuddles up is really lovely. Today the doorbell rang just as she had gone down for her nap and she cried. All it took was a quick hug and some shushing and cooing and reassurance and she went back down again. That makes me feel like she is probably attaching well.  Sometimes I cry for her, I think "wow, you are just 20 months old, and all this stuff has happened to you and how can you still be so wonderful" sometimes I cry because I think "our life was so complicated and now I'm tired and weeping and what if I do it all wrong" and sometimes I cry because I think "how will I cope when Mama goes back go work?" and sometimes I cry and I don't know why. But don't misunderstand me...most of the time I am laughing and happy and full of beans! I've just been a bit weepy of a morning lately and my friends and partner and mum have been helping to prop me up and keep me jolly! I don't think squiblet really notices.

She mentioned her foster carer's names in the car today. Just said them in the same way that sometimes she says "cow!" Because she has just thought about a cow.  I said something like "yes, they were very nice people and now you live with Mama and Mummy, your new family".

It's odd though because most of her clothes are the ones she had in foster care and lots of her toys came from her birth family. She doesn't know, and clearly it's good for her to have familiar things around but a part of me feels like I'll be glad when she grows and we don't have these constant reminders everywhere. It's strange that's should feel that because I didn't think I would. We have put the picture of her and her half brother and sister up in her room along with some photo albums from the foster carers and I fully intend that they will stay there, along with her life story book, because I understand how important it is, but I didn't realise I would find it hard. When she's in the dungarees and boots we bought her somehow she feels more like our daughter, and more awesome than ever which is just totally stupid but it's the way I feel and I want to blog honestly.

I suspect I have been rambling. It's nap time which is why I have time to ramble! I aim to have a rest every day during nap time. It's so tempting to do chores but I am trying to do those when she is awake so I have time to recharge my batteries.  She was very amused by the hoovering the other day!

So that's us! We are doing well. The social workers are pleased, we are pleased. We are having great fun with her. She is quite hilarious! One of her favourite things to do is point to a mole on my chest and say "mole!" And then she will point it out to anyone who will care to listen. She also points at people in shops and says "man!" Often when they are in fact a lady.  The other thing she does is pull an incredibly funny face and she often does it at the dinner table. We are trying to be good mummies and teach her good table manners but it's impossible not to laugh!  I laughed a lot the other day when she saw me putting my makeup on and said "colouring!" I said, "yes, mummy is colouring in her face!"

She makes us laugh a lot! An awful lot! And we love her to bits, although I still feel like I will love her more the more I know and understand her.  We feel so lucky to be parents to such a vibrant and bright little person! There we are...I sound like a real Mummy! Already thinking my little darling is the best!  And I have juice stains on my jeans and a tomato stain on my jumper so I'm really getting there!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Songs in my head...it's move in day!


Wow.  In half an hour we leave to pick up our daughter and bring her home.

Songs in my head:

"We are mums, no-one can tell us we're wrong" (we are young, not sure who its by!)
"Because today, is the day-hay when two become mu-hu hums (Spice Girls, two become one)

I'm this horrible mixture of Christmas excited and fear in my tummy!

Hopefully now we can all start settling down and enjoying being a family without 2 hours of driving each day and feeling very strange when she isn't here.

The sun is coming up, the sky is blue with some little wispy clouds and today our lives will change forever.

Not sure when I will be back to blog.  Not too long if she's napping and sleeping, ages if she isn't!

Lots of love xx

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Day 8 of 10


Wowzeroonie, what an amazingly brilliant few days we have had, and I don't say wowzeroonie for just anything now...in fact, I'm not sure I've ever said it before...probably for the best...

Anyhoo.  What a wonderful few days!  She has been at our house for the past three days and it's so much easier! Taking her out for the day was lovely and the foster carers have been gracious and lovely hosts, but it's just so much more relaxed and fun in our house and we can do all the things we have been hoping to do with her.  She has been drawing on the chalk board and playing on the swing and the slide, feeding the chickens, doing the "washing up" [throwing water everywhere].  Yesterday we let her play with a big tray of uncooked rice and she just loved it!  She put her feet in it, she threw it around, she giggled and shouted "mess!" It was awesome!  I'm not sure she has had much mess/outdoors yet, and it's wonderful to introduce her to how much fun it is!  The look of concentration and wonder on her little face is just amazing to see and she giggles with delight and says "more" and "again!"

Nap times have been the scariest part.  Yesterday she tantrummed for 10 minutes before settling.  We hug her lots and then put her down and leave her for 10 minutes only.  If she doesn't settle (like today) then I go back and cuddle and calm her and then we start again.  It seems to work.  I don't think that's too harsh.  It seems reasonable that she might be feeling sad and might need a little cry.  I don't know but she seems to be perky and happy again when she wakes up.  Today when she woke up I cuddled her on her bed and Mama read her a story.  It was lovely!  It was just the sort of family moment I have been dreaming of.  We had a lovely walk today too, with her narrating everything she saw.

We just hope everything keeps going as it is, really.  I hope she can sleep on Friday night when she sleeps here for the first time.  She was calmer today when she went for her nap so I think she is getting there.

But we love her so much!  So, so much!  It's wonderful.  When she's not here we feel funny and jittery and nervous and anxious but when she is here it all just melts away and all we do is play and laugh!  She is starting to get a bit of separation anxiety when she can't see me, which I think must be good.  She clings to me when she has to leave and I have to put her down because no-one can prise her off me.

I think we are doing well.  We are tired and I am unusually quiet when she is not around.  I usually spend my life jabbering away but now I sit in the car and I'm sort of steam rollered!

Talking of steam rollered.  I think it's time to stop blogging and start vegetating!

Lots of love xx

Friday, 4 January 2013

Introductions...day 3 of 10


Just a short post as I am 50% pooped and 50% feeling guilty that I haven't posted yet!

We are more tired than I have ever known. We are emotionally wrecked and pale from lack of sleep but at the same time, we are filled with a happiness which we have never felt before.  It's like over the past year or so I've grown an extra bit to my heart which I didn't know I needed, but I could feel that it was empty, and suddenly it's full, brimming!

We took her out for an hour today to feed the ducks and she laughed and laughed.  She has had a bit of a cold so her laugh sounds a bit like she has smoked 50 a day for the past 30 years but that makes it even funnier.  She is beautiful and fun and has a cheeky sense of humour and she has so many words for someone so small!

We took some photographs today and I can't stop looking at them. Not too long now until she is in our lives forever and I won't need to look at photographs any more.

Christmas was weird but relaxing and our families took care of us, but we were really just waiting for now!  And now, now is here and it's knackering but brilliant!

My friend just posted on my "this ones for you" post which made me re-read it, along with her comments and how we both wept!  We are silly, sobbing emotional nightmares!

So, hopefully I will post again in not too long.

I haven't forgotten about you all.  I can't believe 11,000 people have read my blog. I hope it's useful!

Lots of love and happy new year.  Xx