Sunday, 24 June 2007

Wet weekend

Saturday was a fairly busy day, me and Little Prince stayed at home while Mr Messy took the girls shopping. Little Miss Sensible needed some hiking boots and a waterproof jacket for her trip to CLAPA Camp as a volunteer helper. And Drama Teen wanted to get her best friend's birthday present - from Claire's Accessories where else!!

In the afternoon, I dropped LMS off at work, she was too tired to drive after a late night celebrating her friend's birthday. The stables attached to the cafe had some sort of event on, and the cafe was crowded and totally mobbed out busy all day. She was extremely tired when she was brought home by The Boyfriend. The Boyfriend is back from university for the Summer now so we will be seeing a lot more of him, which makes LMS and Little Prince very happy :-)

Later on Saturday afternoon we dropped Drama Teen off at Stagecoach and then went into town shopping. Little Prince was not impressed with this plan and made it clear (all afternoon!) that he wanted to go home and hated shopping. I bought myself a few of the longer, floaty tops that are all the rage at the moment - they will help hide the lumps and bumps until I manage to shed the excess! Out of the four I bought, one looked hideous and is going back another I liked but had a button missing so is going back and the other two are in my wardrobe waiting for appropriate weather to wear them!! Its been so wet and soggy this weekend that its not been warm enough.

Sunday was designated as tidy up day. Mr Messy decided to tackle the garden rather than indoors (strange choice given the weather!), but he hates tidying up so it was probably down to that! We dodged in and out of the house depending on the weather - there were some spectacular, sudden downpours!! We managed to get quite a lot of weeding done, all the pots on the patio emptied ready for new plants, the fence mended (but we need more fencing to finish it) and to empty quite a lot of the raised beds onto the waste ground next door. We are taking out the raised beds, as we don't have the time to grow veg like we planned and we could do with the space to put all Little Prince's slides/climbing frames. Once we've levelled the beds we are going to put loads of bark chipping down and move the slides/climbing frames or maybe buy a playhouse and put that there - not decided yet.

My friend with the newly placed little one sent me another picture and the little one is gorgeous :-) I'll have to get organised and send her present off tomorrow!

Friday, 22 June 2007

Things are no clearer!!

After hearing from another PAP who is at a similar stage in the process, and has sent two lots of £27.00, on advice from the FCO - I rang them myself! What a complete waste of time!! I had to sit through a long (boring) recorded message, to then be given options to listen to more recorded messages, or hold to talk to a real live person. The first time on hold, I was just cut off, second time the phone rang and rang and rang and then cut off!! I tried ringing the other number the recorded message gave, and the lady that answered could not answer my question, but did tell me if I pressed 7 at any point during the recorded message that I'd go through to the people. I tried that quite a few times, before finally reaching Dippy Drippy Lady!! She had no clue whatsoever!!! She didn't know if we needed one or two legalisation stamps and said they would have just followed our Notary's instructions. This is the Notary that was going to give us the dossier to send ourselves (we are not allowed to see/touch it!) and had even less of an idea of what to do than we did!! So the only thing I can do is wait for our dossier to land back at DfES and see what they say. I'll be ringing them as soon as the line opens on Monday afternoon to check, as I have no faith that they will answer my email, apart from the out of office reply.

I do have some good news!! Me and my Best Friend have decided to take Little Prince to Disney Florida for a week in September :-) She has just gone to Florida with her husband and sons, and they don't like Disney (gasp shock horror!!) so she will only get to spend one day there, doing what they want to do. I was so jealous that she was going, that I started to wonder hmmmmmm!! And came up with the grand plan of me and her taking Little Prince :-) We will probably book a really cheap deal via the local airport, not bothered about staying in a 'nice' hotel - anywhere with a comfy bed will do. We won't be spending much time in the hotel - we'll be at Disney :-) So I've got all the brochures out checking, but the deals on the internet bear no relation to the brochure prices!! Once she's back we'll get it all booked. And I am being very very naughty - Little Prince starts school next September and he will go for a week and then have a week off!!

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Possible mistake!!!

I was on the DfES online checklist for adopting from China, checking out what fees I needed to sort out for the next bit of the process - being highly organised for a complete change!! However, I have discovered I might have made a major booboo with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office payment!! I read the letter from the DfES as saying that we needed to send one Postal Order for £27.00 to have our papers legalised by the FCO. However, after reading the online checklist, I'm not sure if we should have sent TWO lots of £27 ie Postal Order for £54.00. I asked on the yahoo list and have got conflicting answers - one person paid £54 and another originally paid £54 but had £27 reimbursed!! So which is right?? I have no idea!!!

I've emailed the DfES and got another 'Out of Office' reply to add to my growing collection!! I'm hoping they will respond tomorrow or Friday and put me out of my misery - otherwise I'll have to wait until Monday afternoon to ring them. I am betting I'll be waiting until Monday!! The DfES seem to have reverted back to their usual 'do nothing' mode - they still haven't sent out two people's referral papers (after having them for TWO WEEKS!!) and other families are still waiting for their ITTs to be sent and they travel very soon!!! It is such a crying shame that these families are being put through this extra stress, at what should be happy and joyous time.

Catching up!!

I've not been blogging very much since I was ill, I suppose I got out of the habit! Anyway last weekend we went away to meet up with friends from Adoption UK, and had a fabulous time. Looking at the weather that weekend, I am SO GLAD I don't camp, and had opted to stay in a Travel Lodge!! Although Mr Messy looked at some of the very big and posh tents that other Adoption UKers were in and wants to camp next time! Hasn't he learnt yet that I DON'T DO CAMPING?!?! The kids are traitors too and want to camp - I don't care I'll be a Billy No Mates in a Travel Lodge!! They have beds, en suite bathroom, restaurant for breakfast - what is there not to like!?!

Anyway we had a fabulous weekend, meeting old friends and making new ones :-) I even got to hold one friends 6 month old baby - very cute :-) Little Prince asked to hold him too (a first as he has shown no interest in babies whatsoever) so I held baby on Little Prince's knee for a few minutes. Little Prince wasn't sure if he liked the experience as the baby kept trying to grab his face/hair/ears/clothes - he insisted that baby be held facing away from him, to try and stop this lol.

And even though the weather was foul for most of the weekend, we had a great time. The campsite was on a play farm, with a barn full of kiddie ride on tractors - Little Prince loved this :-) A well equipped outdoor playground, that he got to play on a for quite a while before the heavens opened. A large field where the campers pitched their tents, and there was room for a mad game of football - although he did complain that no one would share!! He was the smallest and couldn't keep up with the bigger boys.

We all went for a pub meal on the Saturday evening, and sat at two humongous tables there were so many of us!! The food was excellent and the portions were almost as big as the tables!! I was relieved I asked for the lighter menu - the 'normal portions were so big, I think the menu said they served 17" plates!!! How mad is that???

On Sunday morning, after our restaurant breakfast we headed off to the campsite to have a last hour with our friends before heading off to University Town to pick Little Miss Sensible up. Mr Messy couldn't resist a second breakfast at the campsite cafe, with some of the other campers - I'm sure he's part hobbit!! Little Prince had a last football kick around with one of the other boys and enjoyed himself a little more this time, despite being hit in the face by the ball. The other boy got quite exasperated with Little Prince as he wouldn't listen when he was told not to 'handball' the football!!

After an hour or so at the campsite we headed off to drive to University Town, the GPS got very confused and we ended up just following road signs to find a carpark. Unfortunately the one we chose was probably the furthest away from The Boyfriend's lodgings - so he and Little Miss Sensible had a long walk to meet us. The carpark was attached to a small shopping centre, so we took Mr Messy to Next and bought him a new belt (his jeans keep falling down!!), a new pair of combats and a couple of t-shirts, which was all for Father's Day as we hadn't got him anything earlier. All the way home Little Prince kept telling us about the presents he had got for daddy - a Land Rover, a computer and a machine with a green button that makes pies, and the pies make a huge mess!! By the time we eventually got home Little Prince had convinced himself that all these presents were real and hidden in his room - he was very disappointed that he couldn't find them!

On Monday morning I had to return the hire car to the depot, leaving Little Miss Sensible looking after Little Prince. Not long after I got back from this jaunt, I got a phone call from the nursery teacher enquiring if I'd forgotten that today was the day nursery children were trying a school lunch (part of their induction ready for reception in September). Yes!! I'd completely forgotten!!! Little Prince had been hungry all morning and was already eating his lunch and wasn't in uniform!! So we had to quickly (but as calmly as possible) get him changed, take his lunch away and get him up to school. Luckily it isn't that far away and it only took a few minutes in the car - we were met at the door by his teacher who whisked him away to the dining room, while I hung his coat and bag up in the cloakroom. I snuck a peek at him and he did seem to be coping fine, which goes to show how much more settled he is now. He usually needs warning ahead of time of any changes to his routine, or he gets very chaotic in his behaviour. When I picked him up later he told me he didn't eat any of his food and just spat it out, as he hates food. However, I phoned his teacher to check and although he was messy, he did eat it nicely!

On Tuesday evening me and Mr Messy attended a meeting at school for all the new starters to reception (about 7 of them). We were taken on a tour round the school by the headmistress and then sat down in the classroom (on teeny tiny chairs!) while the current reception teacher (and future one - current one is retiring) talked about what the children do in the class and how they are able to tailor the teaching to each individual child etc. The current teacher didn't seem to enjoy (lots of eye rolling!) the constant interruptions from the headmistress!! But the gossip is that quite a few people aren't happy with the change of head!! She talks a very good talk, we'll just have to wait and see if she can deliver!!

Notary Called

I've just had a phone call from our Notary to say that our dossier is back from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office YEAH :-) The secretary that rang said 'if you are in town you could call in and pick up your papers, and pay the bill'!!! I explained (not for the first time lol) that we aren't allowed to have the papers and that they have to be returned directly to the DfES. Given other people's experiences with the DfES at the moment, I'm not sure I want my papers there - but I don't have much choice :-( Next step the Chinese Embassy then CHINA!!!!!! We are nearly there!!!!

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Soggy Cycling

The weather yesterday was lovely and warm - of course it was, I didn't have anywhere to go. Today it has done nothing but rain! - of course it did, I had an hour to stand doing the cycling proficiency training!! The kids only have two more sessions before their test, so that's only two more potentially soggy afternoons. Normally I enjoy the cycle training, its just when its cold wet and miserable that I don't!! Suprisingly enough!!!

I spent yesterday in undercover mode, trying to sort out some acrimony on one of the message boards I visit. Not sure how much good it did, but at least people now know what is happening. Very oblique I know, its just an aide memoire for myself than anything else!! At the moment I have so many aliases that I have to keep checking who I am at the moment?!?!

Little Miss Sensible's boyfriend is home from university for a couple of days, and so she is in heaven at the moment - very happy bunny :-) As is Little Prince - The Boyfriend is his hero. He was so excited when LMS and The Boyfriend arrived to collect him from nursery this afternoon - held tightly to The Boyfriend's hand and chattered away to him all the way home. He barely left his side for the whole evening, unfortunately he got very upset when LMS and TB left to go to the cinema. He was a little mollified to learn that LMS and TB will be joining us on our trip to our weekend away tomorrow. We are dropping LMS and TB at the train station near where we are staying so they can return to TB's university for the weekend, LMS will then meet up with us again on Sunday to return home.

We are hiring a large people carrier for the weekend (to fit us all in!!) and I have to go and pick that up tomorrow lunchtime. I have no idea what car it will be, or how large is large!! Hopefully I will be able to drive it ok and park it - yikes!!!

Friends have now got their new little one with them and sound ecstatic and head over heels in love in their emails :-) Which is lovely, happy news to end today's rambling on :-)

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Feeling Better :-)

Hello again everyone :-) Although I do realise I am probably talking to myself lol :-)

Well after a very miserable and pain filled few days, I am now feeling back to my normal self again wahoo :-) The doctor told me that if the pain got any worse I was to go to hospital and get checked over for appendicitis - problem is we had our Notary appointment on Monday morning, so there is no way the pain would have got worse until the appointment was over!! Luckily, the pain really didn't get any worse and I felt well enough to go to the appointment dressed normally and not wrapped up in a thick quilt!! It was not funny lying in bed in three layers of clothes, gloves and socks, and under two quilts STILL shivering!!!

I had been intrigued about what a Notary actually did - and now I know lol :-) He stamped each individual document with a ready made stamp, which he then signed. Then he 'sealed' each document with a red sticker seal - which was placed under a squisher device, that made a semblance of a wax seal. We worked our way methodically through the DfES checklist of documents, all of which were present and correct (phew!) and he even signed (not stamped or sealed though) each and every page of our homestudy - he said on past experience of doing China adoption dossiers, that the Chinese are extremely picky and he didn't want to miss something and hold us up. He was a lovely man and chatted away about his three grandchildren (all looked gorgeous in the photo he proudly showed us), told us that a Notary Public is a church appointed position (I had no idea!!), and admitted it wasn't a very highly paid occupation 'out in the country' but could be very lucrative in urban/industrial areas, especially if you do commerical notarising. See more than you'd ever want to know about Notaries :-)

Today Little Prince went on his very first (all day!!) school trip!!! We had a long discussion with his nursery teacher about his issues, and she persuaded me that he should be allowed the chance to go - although I did make her promise that she would ring me if there were ANY problems and I would drive over and get him. Well today dragged and seemed to be the longest day of my life!!! I was constantly worrying about how he was coping, if he was behaving (if he isn't coping he doesn't behave!), was he ok, would the teacher remember to take him to the toilet enough, did he miss me??? I rattled round the house wondering what to do with myself, couldn't seem to settle to anything - read half the paper, then watched some of the tv news, then read teletext, then checked my fave websites, then went back to the paper - repeat all day!!! I also ate copious amounts of chocolate and drank gallons of diet coke - they cancel each other out you know?!?!

It was quite scary standing outside the school waving to him sat high up in the coach, but I promise I didn't cry (not while anyone could see anyway). He automatically put his own seatbelt on, which impressed his teacher :-) I also found out from another mum, why there was no room for me on the trip!! The day after the letters were sent home I requested to be a parent helper - but was told the place had already been taken!! Apparently D's mum had told the teacher that D could only go on the trip if she went with him, as he was too young/small to go on his own!! My Little Prince, who has undergone more change/disruption in his short life than her D will ever know, needed his mum there MUCH more, but there was no room for me!! Aaaaargh!!!!

Finally when it was nearing 3pm (I was so excited!!) I drove up to school - couldn't face walking!! The coach had just arrived and the kids was getting out, I could see my little man stood with the teacher (she had said she would keep him in her 'group' so that she could keep a very close eye on him). He was a bit bog eyed and out of it, as he had slept the whole way back to school and only just woken up. But I got a big huge hug and kiss and told the trip was boring and he hadn't enjoyed it at all!! At home later he told me all the things he didn't enjoy like playing on the big slide with mud at the bottom (and now all up his legs and all over his hands - grubby is just the right colour for little boys!), buying a piece of tat from the shop (with his very own lots of pennies), seeing the farm animals (all he could remember were fish!!!) and eating his lunch with his friends. So it sounds like he had a wonderful boring time :-)

He didn't want to do much this evening apart from watch tv and play on the Playstation with his big sisters. He went to bed at his usual time, and apart from a few initial bellowed conversations, hasn't been heard since. I think his teacher achieved the, seemingly impossible - tired him out!!!

Mr Messy had his final OU exam today and feels it went well. The questions asked for opinions and he definitely has plenty of those!!! Little Miss Sensible also had one of her exams today and also felt it went well. So I'm proud of both of them :-)

OH and Little Miss Sensible if you are reading this - you ARE very cute for a grown up :-) and I love you lots :-)

And Kate - is that enough of an update for you :-)

Friday, 8 June 2007

Poorly Mum

Hello to all of you who follow this blog, "Little Miss Sensible" here!

As you may have noticed, mum hasn't updated in a while which is because she's rather poorly. She either has a urinary tract infection (probably) or appendicitis (possibly), the doctor isn't sure. Either way it's got her stuck in bed feeling absolutely rotten! She's on a lot of antibiotics and painkillers, and if it doesn't improve then we're to take her to hospital to have her checked out for appendicitis.

That's about all for now! She'll be back online as soon as she can get out of bed :)

Best Wishes,

P.S. mum - I resent the comment about the "cute for an adult" in your last blog :p

Monday, 4 June 2007

More Spring sorting

I can't believe how excited I get over tidying up!! For goodness sake - is my life that boring?? Don't answer that!!

Anyway this evening me and Mr Messy tidied out the large, pine dresser in the dining room. As with the other weekend's sorting, we threw out loads of stuff we no longer, need use, or could even remember having!! I've got one part of the cupboard to sort out, and I should easily get that done when Little Prince is at nursery tomorrow. I save all the children's birthday cards and put them in individual see through plastic pockets, inside a leverarch file (mildly obsessive don't you think??). Unfortunately I've fallen behind with the filing - and I have a couple of years worth (of 3 kids worth) birthday cards to file away - which is what is in the remaining cupboard. Wonder why I was leaving that one till last!?!

Drama Teen went shopping (AGAIN!!?!?!) with one of her Stagecoach friends and had a great time. She bought herself some very lively clothes (bright yellow) from Tammy (one of her favourite shops) and more make up (I have no idea where the fascination with make up comes from I never wear any!) - and very surprisingly didn't buy any trinket boxes from Claire's Accessories!! Probably a first for her :-) We also learnt, when she came home, that there is a machine in Boots Chemist (I think) that you can Bluetooth a photo from your phone and get a printout for 20p. Which was great value, as she got one average size print, and four 1/4 size ones on the sheet - all for 20p!!! She's a great little bargain hunter :-)

Little Miss Sensible was at work again today, after a late night party last night, and work yesterday too. So this evening she has been hobbling around complaining that her legs and feet hurt :-( She did recover sufficiently after everyone else had gone to bed, to try out her new Belly Dancing dvd. She is finding it quite hard to grasp the moves, but she isn't the most co-ordinated girl in the world (took her a LONG time to learn to ride a bike - pedalling and steering at the same time were difficult!!) and it is her first try. She kept running through to me on my computer and demonstrating the latest move - she's very cute for a grown up :-)

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Can't think of a title!!

Took one of our cars to the garage for its MOT yesterday, and thought it would be straight forward and we'd have the car back in the afternoon! No such luck, it had loads wrong with it (£400 ish worth of wrong with it!) and so we didn't get it back. We didn't have anywhere we needed to go, but it drove me mad being stuck in the house!!! Anyway I called the garage this morning and its all ready and waiting to be picked up, which will make today a bit less stressful as we will have two cars to do all the running round!!

Mr Messy has taken Drama Teen to the local town, she saw a dress she liked when she shopped with her friend earlier in the week, but didn't have enough money to buy it - hence taking the bank of dad with her today!! When he gets back we'll have to go and pick up the car as Little Miss Sensible is at work later (so she'll need it) and we need the other car to take Drama Teen to Stagecoach.


25th May 2009 - See New Child again & Court Date

23rd May 2009 - Fly back to Ethiopia

26th March 2009 - Fly to Ethiopia :-)

3rd March 2009 - Dossier Arrived at Orphanage

26th February 2009 - Dossier sent to Ethiopia

22nd December 2008 - Dossier back at DCSF

28th November 2008 - Certificate of Eligibility ISSUED

6th October 2008 - PASSED Approval Panel

7th July 2008 - Homestudy Update Started

28th Feb 2008 - Told LA we wished to change country


Formally withdrew from the China Adoption Programme 17th July 2008

LID (Logged in Date) with CCAA 16th August 2007

Documents to China 10th August 2007

Passed Approval Panel 5th March 2007

Homestudy started 6th June 2006

First Contact with our LA 1st Jan 2006