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.