Sunday, 30 September 2007

Lazy Sunday

It was my turn for the coveted lie in this morning, but Mr Messy had to come and wake me up so that he could go to the local shop, and get sausages and eggs (we'd run out!!) to make a traditional English Breakfast for the Host student guest, and everyone else of course. Unfortunately I must have fallen straight back to sleep and only woke up again when I heard him come back from the shop!! Whoops - I must have been tired!

Fraulein and our Host student enjoyed their English Breakfast, although I'm not sure Fraulein could taste anything as she is totally stuffed up with a stinking cold. Despite saying he didn't want any more breakfast (he'd had toast earlier) Little Prince still managed to demolish a couple of rashers of bacon and some scrambled eggs with smoked salmon.

We didn't do much for the rest of the day, and had a lazy day chatting, doing homework, watching TV and playing with Little Prince. By mid afternoon it was time to take our Host student back to the train station, Little Prince said he would stay at home and look after Drama Teen and Fraulein, so just me and Mr Messy went with her in the car. I couldn't believe how sad I felt waving to her at the station, I think I'm still hating goodbyes as its only been a week since Little Miss Sensible left :-(
On the way home we chatted about various ways Mr Messy wants to expand and diversify his business. He has lots of ideas, but needs to run them past our accountant/business advisor before launching into anything. Then once we got home we found we had nothing in (or nothing defrosted!) for dinner. So we went to KFC instead. I don't mind fast food every once in a while, especially when I'm having a lazy day :-) When we were back home again, it was off to bed for Little Prince, who didn't complain about it being school tomorrow at all :-) And 'encouraging' the big girls to get their homework done. Drama Teen finished hers very quickly, so that she could get back to playing Sims 2 on her computer! She spends hours on it, designing her people and their houses, rather than playing the game!!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Rest of Today

We went out to visit our friends for tea, our friends are also the local organisers for the Host visitors, and they were hosting a student from Taiwan, so with our two students (from Germany and China) we had a total of four countries represented at the dinner!! As always it was busy, but extremely friendly at our friends house. They have two grown up sons, both of whom were there (one with fiancee and one with friend), friend's mother in law lives with them, and they have a daughter similar age to Drama Teen. It was a FULL house :-) And that isn't even counting the dogs and cats lol.

Dinner was a help yourself buffet style meal, which suits everyone best as you can just grab what you enjoy best. Me and Little Prince shared a plate and he ate quite a lot, he wasn't too keen on the spicey sausages but enjoyed sampling his way round the cheese board. Friend had even put chicken dippers on for my resident fuss pot - Drama Teen :-)

Little Prince excelled himself once dessert was served!! Friend told him she was serving trifle - he went to the fridge with her to find out what this was, and was VERY impressed with the enormous looking bowl!! The only space free on the table was directly in front of him, so that's where Friend put the bowl. Little Prince looked at it "I'll need a spoon please" he said!! Being the enterprising sort, he then grabbed the large salad serving spoon and said he'd use that!!! We persuaded him to try a small bowl though. He ate all that. He then had some chocolate gateau. He ate all that. He then ran round the house for a while, before announcing to Friend's husband that he was still hungry. He was given a slice of beetroot cake (its not as foul as it sounds, I had some and it was delicious). He ate most of that. The trouble was he was sat at the table on his own, and I didn't go and check on him for a few moments!! I found him with trifle custard and cream all over his fingers, and the trifle sculpted with 'tram lines' !!! I suppose it was WAY too tempting too leave sat next to a hungry little boy lol.

Our next task was to take a photograph of Little Prince's class cuddly toy with the three students. Each child in Little Prince's class takes home the cuddly toy and has to write about what they did together, and stick photos in the accompanying book. This posed quite a challenge for us as, due to security concerns, Little Prince can't be in photographs that go out of our possession. We managed to get a photo of him and the cuddly toy playing on the computer - so he is in the photo, but only the back of his head can be seen!! I think that and cuddly toy with his friend's from around the world should be ok??

We had done the unthinkable on the way out, we had forgotten to bring Blankie!! So once Little Prince started getting tired, he got cranky that he hadn't got Blankie and we had to get packed up and come home. Drama Teen and Friend's daughter had spent the evening playing on Sims 2 on the computer and had great fun, I think they would have liked us to stay longer!! We got Little Prince to bed as soon as we got home and haven't heard a peep out of him since!! Drama Teen has been playing on her own game of Sims 2 and we haven't heard a peep out of her either lol.

Fraulein, student guest and Mr Messy are watching a scary movie - so I'm hiding away on my computer!! And will probably sneak off for an early night soon, and keep my fingers crossed that my two legged alarm clock doesn't go off to early tomorrow lol.

Today so Far

This morning Little Prince woke up much earlier than anyone else, just a normal run of the mill day there then lol. I got up with him and brought him downstairs, tried to keep him quiet while we had breakfast and watched some TV, so the others could all have a longer sleep. Eventually everyone else woke up, and Mr Messy took Drama Teen, Fraulein, Host Student and Little Prince for a walk round the village. They visited all the major sites - the church, the park, the school and the high street. While up at the church they gathered the first crop of conkers - which are now all lined up (in size order - Drama Teen was bored!!) on the dining room table drying out. Once they are ready Drama Teen is going to teach Little Prince and Fraulein how to play conkers, unfortunately for Host Student she will have gone back to university before they've fully dried, so she won't be able to join in.

Fraulein isn't feeling very well today, she is obviously full of a cold and we've been dosing her up with lots of hot Lemsips to try and help her recover. She is very quiet and miserable seeming, which isn't like her at all, so it must be bad :-(

Little Miss Sensible has been in touch and is meeting up with the university fencing club that she's joined today. She is feeling quite nervous, but I'm sure she'll get along fine :-)

Host Student

We participate in the Host UK programme, which is a registered charity that works with universities throughout the UK and matches participating overseas students with families all over the UK for weekend/holiday visits. The overseas students typically get to see lots of tourist sites while they are here studying, but never see the inside of a typical UK home - they generally live in university halls. This programme gives them the opportunity to experience a small slice of ordinary UK life and gives the Host families a fabulous opportunity to meet and learn about people from many, many different countries. We have been Hosting for 8 years and find it a great way to meet people from all over the world, and living in a very small (white) rural village it means our children are (or have!) growing up seeing first hand that not everyone looks, acts or thinks like they do.

Anyway this weekend we have the pleasure of Hosting a young lady from Shanghai, who is studying for her Masters Degree in Marketing. Mr Messy picked her up from the train station yesterday, on his way home from work, while I was at home with Little Prince and his friend on their playdate. We try to feed the student visitors typical English food and just be a 'normal' family - which if you know us, you know is quite a stretch for us lol. After dinner we all spent the evening chatting, except Little Prince who was in bed and Drama Teen who ignored us all as she was reading a Harry Potter book. Mr Messy kept us entertained by attempting to speak Mandarin (using the Chinese for Dummies phrase book). Eventually even the student ran out out of polite things to say about his pronunciation and just told him it was rubbish. Fraulein also made us laugh with her mispronunciations of English - she now knows there is a difference between garbage and cabbage!! Could come in handy one day!!! We stayed up really late, so I'm tired this morning!! Oh well it was fun last night :-)

Friday, 28 September 2007

My New Favourite TV Programme

Roary the Racing Car :-) Its FANTASTIC :-) The cars are from all different countries, including one from the Far East who likes to do Tai Chi before his races :-) And the best bit, is Big Chris, voiced by Peter Kay with his zinging Manchester accent. I'm a Mancunian born and bred and it takes me back :-) The kids keep laughing at me cos my accent goes so much broader after I've been watching it lol

Playdate

Little Prince has got a playmate from school round for tea and playing. This is nothing new, apart from previously its only been one little friend (a girl - his Girlfriend) that he's wanted to invite. I'm discovering two little boys together play VERY differently than one boy/one girl or two girls!!! They are chasing each other round making shooting noises, and how come boys can always make such good shooting noises?? Or they are brumming cars up and down in races. They are having loads of fun, but it is very different to how the big girls used to play lol.

Drama Teen has also had her nose pushed out a little, as Little Prince wants to be treated like a big boy in front of his friend and won't let her pick him up or kiss him!

Recent funnies from Little Prince

I've been meaning to blog about these for ages, but keep getting caught up with other stuff (like being mad at school lol). But I need to save these for posterity, or is it for embarassing Little Prince with when he's older mwahahaha?!?!

Anyway, Little Miss Sensible (see told you I've been meaning to write this for ages, she's been gone almost a week now!!) was about to read to Little Prince. She opened the book and read the fly leaf notes to him. He turned to her in disgust and said "You DON'T read that bit, its only the blub." :-)

When me and Drama Teen were chatting the other day, he kept trying to say something and I asked him not to interupt "I'm not inter-trupting I'm trying to tell you something" was the response.

He has taken to getting his pyjamas on behind the sofa, while shouting "Nobody look at me." Trouble is you mention the word bath and he runs upstairs striping off on the way!! Hope he grows out of that one!!!

Better and Better :-)

Little Prince continues to get BETTER and BETTER about going to school :-) I am so proud of him :-) Today he didn't complain, whinge or even mention that he either 'hates school' or 'I'll miss you mummy' and he RAN to line up when the bell was rung!! I had to chase after him (not easy he is VERY fast!!) to give him his school bag!! Then this afternoon on the way back to school, he sort of mentioned in passing that he would miss me but didn't say it in the heartfelt and upset way that he has been doing. I think he is starting to feel safe and secure at school, and that it won't be too long before he can manage a full day :-)

Thursday, 27 September 2007

I Escaped!!!

Yeah!! Today is the first time, since Little Prince started school, that I've managed to get out and about during the day!! The timing was tight and the shopping was a bit whistlestop - but I was out of the house!!!!

I needed to get some more bits to make more Wishes for my OHGWQ swaps and also to get some things ready for my LID groups Secret Buddy swap :-) The first mission was completed very easily. But the second proved a bit tricky!! The shop I was going to buy my bits from had closed down, so I frantically had to find a shop selling similar things, well it was either that or totally rethink my gift ideas lol. Finding a different shop sounded easier!! Eventually on the way back to the car park, I did manage to find the elusive items and my Secret Buddy gift is ALMOST ready :-) Wow I'm feeling organised today - hope it lasts lol.

I even found time to get Little Miss Sensible/Activist a new Winter weight quilt, she'll be able to pick that up when she visits in a weeks time. I wonder if saying goodbye the second time will be any easier - I really hope so. Then again, to be honest, it can't be any worse!!

Should I Change her Nickname??

Little Miss Sensible called earlier on her high horse (rightly)!! It turns out that her floor's shared kitchen's plugs sockets all went off at some point yesterday. No one noticed until today and now ALL the food in the fridges and freezers is unusable and has to be thrown away!! The students contacted the building's maintenance dept only to be told they wouldn't do anything about the student's food being spoilt as they weren't informed early enough!! Come on!! These kids have only been there since Sunday - give them a break!!! So along came Little Miss Sensible - she contacted the Student's Union (Mr Messy told her to suggest that, but she was the only one confident enough to try it!!) and they want to meet the students tomorrow and will help them draft a letter of complaint and support them in trying to get some sort of monetary recompense for their food losses. It might seem petty, but some of the students have lost a LOT of food and can't afford to replace it easily. Even if they only get half of the food's worth back, it will have been worth their while complaining. So should I change the groups new ringleader's name to Little Miss Activist now??? I'm so proud of her for taking a leading role in this :-) Although Mr Messy's work colleagues said she was obviously a chip of the old block lol. She's got her priorities sorted out though, she's going to a departmental party tonight, so has to stop 'campaigning' so she can get ready :-)

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

University Update

Little Miss Sensible rang up again this afternoon - its so nice to hear her voice :-) I let her be in charge of when to ring and only send her a 'good morning' text each morning, then she can chose when/whether or not to respond. I'm trying hard not to be a pestering mum!! Anyway she had just been signing up for various clubs and societies and has joined the Fencing Club, Archery Club and put her name down to attend a talk about volunteer activities around the town. Her Mentor was astonished, and has told her she will have no free time, LMS responded that was what she was aiming for!!! She hates to be bored and yesterday there weren't many things to do and she got very bored!! She is off to an archery meet tonight and fencing on Saturday, although she is dreading lugging her fencing kit around town on foot!! The club organisers said that once they had weeded out the Freshers who weren't going to stick with it, they would start organising lifts for the non-drivers, which sounds a lot better. Her room temperature problems have been sorted out too - apparently the first night her window was open and that was why she was so cold!! So at least I can stop worrying about emergency deliveries of quilts and hot water bottles!!!

Poignant Words

With Little Prince's ongoing struggle to settle into full time school, we chat at breakfast time about what is good at school - so far he likes his friends (and he has two special bestest friends) and PE (because I'm the BEST at that). I then asked him a question that I'd often asked when he attended nursery - that I used to show him that even though Mummy wasn't there, he was still safe. "Who keeps you safe at school?" I expected him to name his teachers (two of which are the same ones as he had in nursery). Instead he looked at me with big, sad eyes and in a small, scared voice mumbled "Nobody." No wonder he doesn't like Big School if that's how he feels :-( I told him I was sorry he felt that way and named his teachers and said they keep you safe, just like in nursery. I think we will have to keep plugging away at this until he does start to feel safe and looked after.

Under the Weather

I've caught the inevitible 'back to school germs' and am feeling a bit under the weather :-( Luckily Lemsips are a huge help :-) I didn't get any blogging done yesterday, so here's a quick catch up!

Talked to the Post Adoption Social Worker at our LA about how school had reacted to Little Prince (not exactly sympathetically!!) and she said she is liasing with the local CAMHS (Child Adolescent Mental Health Service) and between them they will go in and talk to school on our behalf. That is great news as perhaps school will be more willing to listen to professionals on this matter, than they have been to listen to me!! That'll teach 'em to try and mess with me and upset my baby boy!!!

Had a couple of chats to Little Miss Sensible throughout the day, first time she was just letting me know what she'd been up to. Slept better, but too hot this time!! Fresher's Treasure Hunt round town was a bit lame, but she joined in anyway (good girl). Signing up for her course today. She rang again later to check if she could just post her new bank account application using normal post, she has to include her birth certificate, so I told her to go into the Post Office and ask their advice as a more secure way would be better. She had a bit of a moan about that as it meant she had to FIND the Post Office lol.

Drama Teen and Fraulein spent the evening playing on the new Wii game - Sims. Despite me telling them they only had another half an hour left to play, they didn't stop and so no homework or bedroom tidying got done!! Guess who ISN'T playing on the Wii tonight??

Monday, 24 September 2007

University Report

Had a phone call and a smattering of text messages from Little Miss Sensible. I'm glad she isn't texting/calling constantly as that would probably mean she isn't joining in the activities and is just hiding in her room!! But that isn't the case, thankfully :-)

Her room is too cold and she found it very hard to sleep last night, if she can't buy herself a Winter tog quilt in the next couple of days I'll arrange to get one online and delivered direct to her. Can't have my baby being cold :-) Yesterday her Mentor took her (well it was a group of Mentors and Freshers) and showed her all the local pubs. And today's trip is to see where the GP is - talk about student priorities lol. She has been to two talks by her university department, and they even put on lunch for the new students. Apparently many of the older students try to blag their way into this, for the free food!! This evening she is off on an organised treasure hunt round the town. It certainly sounds like she is throwing herself into the social side of university life - which is fabulous :-) Hope she is equally enthusiastic about the study side of university lol.

What is happening with China Adoptions????

The latest news from Rumour Queen is very very unsettling. Apparently a European agency was mistakenly sent referrals ahead of time. That is the official cut off date for referrals being sent out is people registered with the CCAA up to 25th November 2005. However the European agency received referrals for December 2005. They have contacted the CCAA and it was a clerical error. So that's fine then, mistakes do happen etc etc.

The REALLY unsettling bit, is that one small American Agency was outed, as ALWAYS getting their referrals early!! They have apparently received referrals for their clients up to FEBRUARY 2006!!!!!! OMG!!!! This is HUGE!!! One of the big draws for many (and very important to me and Mr Messy) was the fair and equitable way the CCAA dealt with applications. They referred children to families in strict date order, barring mix ups and clerical errors. And no matter how small this agency is, or how few people are included in this early referral stuff its CORRUPT!! How has this one agency got the CCAA to do this?? And it has apparently been going on for a long time - waiting families are TOLD to keep quiet!!!!! That sounds ethical doesn't it?? NO NO NO NO it doesn't!!!!! Is this the only agency that gets this favour?? I can't see that it would be, can you??? They have obviously been successful at keeping this hushed up for quite some time, so how many other 'Golden Agencies' are there out there?? Where does this stop?? What if there are agencies that are able to get the youngest children referred to their clients?? Or the healthiest children?? Or whatever!! How can we be 100% certain that our PAP requirements (usually as young as possible and female!!) are being met from a legitimate pool of available children?? What if the corruption RQ has just exposed is the tip of the iceberg?? Where does that leave the programme?? My concience won't let me be part of a corrupt programme. If this is true and there isn't a reasonable explanation or immediate cessation of 'favours' I don't see how we can stay in this programme.

Our Day

Mr Messy arranged to work from home today, so that I wouldn't be on my own on the first day without Little Miss Sensible. That was very thoughtful of him and he earned lots of Brownie points :-) Little Prince had the morning off school as they were having school photographs, and he can't participate in those due to security issues. With all his other issues around school at the moment, I didn't think him going into class and then not being able to join in with what his friends were doing would do him any good. I half expected a phone call from the staff to check where he was, but they must have (surprisingly!!) remembered the reason he wasn't there. I took him up to school for the end of the lunch break, I'm still refusing to let him be 'looked after' by the insensitive dinner lady!! His class were still in the playground, so we chatted in the car until the whistle was blown, then he ran into school to join his friends lining up :-) He didn't even need me to walk him to class, he was happy to be left at the gate, which is such an achievement for him, and I am so VERY PROUD :-)

Mr Messy collected Drama Teen from school, as she likes to have a lift when its possible. Usually as she and Little Prince finish school at the same time in schools miles apart, she has to just get the bus, its nice to be able to pamper her a bit when we can :-) Fraulein said she had a good day at college and was back to her silly self, I'm glad she is feeling happier as I was getting worried about her this weekend!

After Little Prince had gone to bed we all watched a couple of episodes of Child of Our Times we had on Sky+ I find it fascinating watching how the children have developed and changed over the past 6 years. Its like the programme that was on years ago Seven Up - I loved that too :-)

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Disgruntled Little Prince

Little Prince has been either tired or manic the whole of today. I think the strong emotions swirling round the house, and his own sadness about saying goodbye to his adored big sister are affecting him. We are trying to keep to a routine and keep things calm for him, but with limited success!!! He also keeps following Drama Teen or Fraulein each time they go upstairs to do their homework - I think he wants his remaining family to stay together where he can see them at the moment. I'm planning on giving him an early bath and early bedtime, as he is tiring himself out with all this. I am sure he will get used to the new arrangements, but it will probably take quite some time. Hopefully school will be a bit more understanding if he is even more anxious for a while.
UPDATE: Little Prince has, temporarily I hope, returned to the crazy chaotic behaviour he used to exhibit. I was summoned by a blood curdling scream from Drama Teen, Little Prince had raided her make up and spread it liberally all over himself and her room. I dunked him in a quick bath, while Drama Teen and Fraulein tackled the room. Luckily it was mostly dry powder blusher that could easily be wiped up and it was only on the cover of her school books, he hadn't decorated the insides!! The harder parts were where he had used nail varnish and sun cream!! He is now confined to Mum - he is only allowed to be where I am, not in a different room, or on his own. Oh dear, it is obviously bothering him more than he can articulate that LMS has gone. It could be a LONG week or so!!!

Exciting New Beginnings

We've had a couple of phone calls and quite a few text messages from Little Miss Sensible. The first was to say they had arrived at her University Halls and had brought all the bags and boxes into the room, aided by a random student! Who turned out to be part of the university mentoring scheme, but had just lost his official identification!! The room is tiny and smells like wee according to LMS, she and Mr Messy are off to the supermarket and have added air freshners to the list!! It was only a short conversation as her personal mentor arrived to introduce herself, and see if LMS needed any help with anything.

She rang again a few hours later, just after Mr Messy had left. She sounded happy, bouncy, bubbly and excited. I feel I can now relax a little - she isn't a complete wreck after all :-) She and Mr Messy had been to the supermarket, which is very close to her Halls, which is lucky as she is only a tiny little thing and wouldn't easily manage to lug her shopping long distances!! She was just about to start her unpacking, but said she would send me a picture of the 'before' room!! If I can work out how to get it off my phone and onto the computer I'll post it later. Her personal mentor is sorting out a mix up over her kitchen cupboard keys. The keys she was given only open one cupboard, which is already full of another students food/utensils!! The mentor has also arranged to come over to LMS's room this evening and take her out with a group of other students. That's just the kind of help LMS needs - she is a bouncy, bubbly girl, but needs a bit of a helping hand initially.

The last text message we got said that she had just been collected by a random group of students to go off and search out some cheap lunch!! What's wrong with the lunchbox I packed for her this morning?? lol. The story behind that is when LMS was in Primary School she decided that she would only go to university near to home so that mummy could still make her lunchboxes. So guess who got up early this morning to pack a lunchbox in the specially saved Minnie Mouse lunchbox?? It made her smile, which was the whole point - I'm not bothered if she tosses the whole thing in the nearest bin, so long as it made her realise how much she means to me and that, if I promise to do something (no matter how long ago it was) I will remember and do it :-)

Also spoke to Mr Messy when he was about to set off. He said the pastoral care at the university was EXCELLENT, there were students everywhere offering to help out and nothing seemed to be too much trouble. The staff they met today were all very helpful too. This is exactly the type of atmosphere LMS needs to succeed, which we are both sure she will :-)

Difficult Goodbyes

We all got up extremely early this morning, as it is a 4-5 hour drive to Little Miss Sensible's univeristy and so Mr Messy wanted to set off early. He also realised that long drawn out goodbyes wouldn't be good for anyone, so an early start was essential from that point of view too.

LMS had bought Drama Teen and Little Prince a parting gift, to cheer them up once she had gone. I knew all about this. I didn't know that she had bought me something too - thank you LMS :-) Last night The Boyfriend had given her a beautiful blue topaz and diamond necklace, which of course she was wearing. Drama Teen dealt with her sister's departure by burying herself in a Harry Potter book. Me and Fraulein cried. Little Prince clung to his sister and begged her not to go. And The Boyfriend gave her lots of hugs.

once it was time for her to actually get in the car, which miraculously and tardis-like fitted EVRYTHING in with room to spare, she started to sob and say she didn't want to go. I had to lead her to the car, sit her down and put her seatbelt on for her. We then all cried as we waved them off.

Drama Teen and Little Prince rushed to open their presents, and Little Prince was so thrilled with the book he had been given he said he was happy now and didn't miss LMS at all!! Drama Teen shrugged and said the book was ok. She deals with strong emotions by ignoring them and hoping they go away.

I had to take The Boyfriend home after he had played with Little Prince for a while, and read the new book of course. He doesn't return to his university until the end of next week, so he has said he will come and see Little Prince for one last play before he goes.

When I returned home I found Fraulein sobbing in her room. So I gave her huge hugs and made her come downstairs to be together with the rest of us. Poor thing, she says LMS leaving made her cry more than when she left Germany.

I was going to take us all out to a Shopping Mall, but both Fraulein and Drama Teen have a lot of homework to do, so I think we will stay here. Little Prince's behaviour is getting a little wild, probably because he is found it very hard to say goodbye to his sister. And me? I have half tidied up, half sorted out the laundry and done a lot of other 'half' jobs!! I can't seem to concentrate on one thing and keep getting distracted!!

LMS has rung us up to reassure us that she is feeling a lot better and promises to ring again once she and her dad get there. She did sound a lot better, which is a huge relief :-)

Hope it helps!!

Last night I wrapped a lot of tiny and sometimes silly presents up for Little Miss Sensible. This morning I gave them all to her in a bag marked "Hugs from home." Each present had a little note to cheer her up. I can't say what is in the Hugs as LMS reads my blog, and the Hugs are supposed to be surprises :-) I hope they help her know that even though she is far away, she is still loved and thought about. Although I suspect they will just make her cry!! Fingers crossed its happy tears!!!

My Baby's gone :-(

She's gone, she's actually gone. It doesn't feel quite real yet, although in another way it must do, as I keep wanting to cry. I can't settle down to anything, I've got loads of half started jobs on the go and keep flitting from one to another - it took my five attempts to get the dishwasher loaded and on!!

Anyway back to blogging what we've been up to. Yesterday morning Mr Messy took Fraulein to a nearby town, as she had arranged with a group of friends from college to meet up and spend the afternoon shopping. I was so pleased about this, as she had initially found it quite difficult to make friends. She was out until about tea time, and when she was picked up (rural buses aren't great - so mum/dad's taxi is used more!!) she was tired but happy :-) Well done Fraulein, I knew she would make friends, she is such a lovely girl that once over her initial shyness she is bound to be popular.

I took Drama Teen to her Stagecoach club, and on the way there she was discussing what part she might get in this term's production. She correctly predicted that she would be a narrator and/or a villager! It seems the main parts always go to the kids who have been in the club for a long time, and are known to the principal. Apparently even in the world of kids drama, its not what you know but who you know that counts.

The Boyfriend spent the day at our house, alternating between amusing Little Prince and helping Little Miss Sensible stay calm and get her last packing and sorting out done. He managed both jobs very well.

We had LMS's favourite meal for tea - bangers and mash and Fraulein volunteered to peel the potatoes!! I was very impressed :-) LMS and The Boyfriend took Little Prince to bed and read him his story and tucked him in, she came back downstairs a bit red round the eyes. She adores her little brother and I think she will miss him so much, and she worries about the fact that her leaving is making him sad too.

LMS and The Boyfriend stayed up late into the night working out her weekly budget and finishing her packing. She alternated between manic activity and tears which seemed to confuse The Boyfriend and he didn't really know what to do - so made silly jokes to lighten the mood!!

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Packed and ready to roll

Well that's not quite true. Little Miss Sensible is semi packed and watching X Factor!!! Which is obviously way more important than ensuring she has everything she needs ready for an early start tomorrow morning!! At least she is now part way through her packing, she has been in denial that she needs to get it done for so long I thought she was never going to get round to it!! Looking at how many boxes have already arrived in the lounge ready to be put into the car tomorrow, I'm not sure that she should finish her packing though!! There won't be enough room in the car for her and Mr Messy as it is!!! Have you seen that TV car advert where the cars explode because people try to stuff too much in them?? Well that will be happening for real at our house tomorrow!! We should have rented a removal van like the one in the picture!!!!

She still needs to work out a budget, but I think she is delegating that job to either Mr Messy or The Boyfriend!! We have just had her favourite meal for tea (bangers and mash) and Mr Messy is going to make her some of his fabulous chocolate chip muffins.

I want today to last forever, so that tomorrow won't come. But unfortunately the time is slipping by and tomorrow's goodbyes are getting closer and closer. I'm going to miss her so much - I never imagined her leaving would be this hard.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Bizzare happening of the day!!

I had to buy two new windscreen wiper blades for Little Miss Sensible's car - that's not bizzare you say!!! I had to buy them as someone stole the originals off the car in the night!!!! Why?? What was the point of it??? It was quite funny when I turned the wipers on and these stubby little arms squeaked their way across the bottom of the screen lol.

The Phone call

I got totally fed up of waiting for the headteacher to ring me, so deciding to be proactive rather than reactive, I rang her. I asked if she had received the letter and info I had sent, as I had had to leave it with another member of staff to pass on to her. She confirmed that she had received it, and that she was responding in writing. She read out her letter to me, but I can't remember what it said!! (I'll be able to fill you in after I pick Little Prince up in half an hour, as it will be in his bag). She apologised profusely for the dreadful position and upset I was put through yesterday, and said that the school want to work with us to help Little Prince settle in. I told her that we had always tried hard to work with the school and that I was shocked that they had been so unsupportive and aggressive yesterday. She has read some of the articles I sent in already, and found them very thought provoking - hope she can provoke some thoughts in the Dinner Lady!!! I asked if she could ensure in the future, that if there are concerns about Little Prince could they be relayed to me (or Mr Messy) through either herself (head) or his class teacher, as I didn't want to be accosted by the dinner lady like that again. She totally agreed that it was handled very very badly, and that the dinner lady should not have approached me at all. She said she had spoken to the dinner lady about this, and pointed out that she had made the situation much worse and that it wasn't helpful at all. The dinner lady (and her colleague who I have no problem with at all - and I told the head that) is very upset at having caused so much trouble - so she should be, I have no sympathy for her at all at the moment!! She said that it had been made clear to all the staff that this must not happen again and that we must all work together to help Little Prince settle in. She also confirmed that the staff would now not be telling Little Prince he can't have his comfort blankie or suck his thumb, if that is what he needs to do. Little Prince told me that someone at school told him he can't suck his thumb as he has to be a big boy now, so I'm glad that has been sorted out too.

I asked if school would find it useful to have someone from the local Post Adoption Team come in and talk to them, and pointed out that they would be hearing the message from a professional, rather than someone they have decided is a hysterical mother!! I was in a bad mood I couldn't help myself!!! Anyway the head said she felt that it could be very useful to have someone come in and speak at the next staff meeting. So long as they GET the issues, I don't care who they listen to - me, the literature, the Post Adoption Worker, whoever - they just need to UNDERSTAND!!!!

I rang our social worker and let her know what had been going on and asked if either herself or someone on her team, could contact school and maybe even attend a staff meeting and discuss the issues that Little Prince and other adopted children may face. Luckily the social worker took me seriously (wow a professional who doesn't think I'm a hysterical mother!!) and is going to liase with the Post Adoption member of the team and CAHMS to see who would be most suitable to actually go into school and knock some sense into them, WHOOPS I mean discuss the effects of early trauma and multiple caregivers on children!!

UPDATE: The letter from school basically said thank you for providing the reading material, aspects of which will be shared with the staff. The points made in our letter have been noted and the head reassures us that the school fully intends to work with us in achieving a consistent approach in providing Little Prince with the very best care and education. Hopefully (fingers crossed!) that will be the end of the agro over the matter - we shall see!! I'm not overly trusting of the school at the moment, I wonder why?!?!

School

Went up to school this morning, Little Prince was a bit clingy and kept checking he could come home for lunch, he went in ok, not happily but ok after a lot of reassurance that he could come home for his lunch and that mummy had given the letter to school to make sure there were no more mix ups. I spoke to his teacher and (politely honest) told her that we still felt it necessary to bring him home for his lunch and checked what time I needed to be there to collect Little Prince so there would be no more mix ups.

I handed over the (toned down from last night) letter, books and articles but the headteacher isn't in until 10.30am so I presume she will ring me once she has read the letter and info.

To be continued...

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Taking Action!!!

I will be delivering this letter (as shown below) to the head teacher at Little Prince's school when I drop him off tomorrow morning. I will not be bullied into acting in a way that is not good for Little Prince, especially by people who have absolutely no comprehension of what he has been through and how the effects are life long - love does NOT cure all, although it can help a great deal.

It took a long time to settle Little Prince in bed tonight, not usual behaviour - he usually goes to bed very happily. I apologised to him for me and his teacher getting mixed up and him having lunch at school. I told him I was writing a letter to school to tell them that he would be coming home for lunch, so that no more mix ups happen. He instantly relaxed, gave me a huge hug and asked if he could take the letter every day. Why can't school believe me???

Dear Mrs X,

With reference to our telephone conversations with you on today's
date, we are, as agreed, relaying to you the results of our
discussions about how we and the school can ensure Littly's stress
free entry into X Primary School.

We would first like to point out that Littly only had the benefit of
returning home for his lunch for two days (Monday 17th and Tuesday
18th September). On Wednesday 19th September 2007, he stayed in
school for his lunch as it had been discussed with his class teacher
Miss Y, that we would see how he managed as he was seeing Janet
straight after lunch, due to the church celebration service.

We feel that Littly still needs the comfort of having the short break
at home during lunchtime, and will continue to collect him at 11.55am
to facilitate this. On the two days that Littly has already returned
home for lunch, his whole attitude to the coming school day was
completely different. He eagerly made his way to school, without
showing his previous reluctance. He entered the school much more
confidently, without crying and clinging. And once collected after
school he was happy to talk about what had happened and did not refuse
to even have school mentioned. We feel that as he is still only 4
years old we want him to learn to enjoy and look forward to school.
If the simple act of bringing him home to eat his lunch helps him
enjoy the rest of the day, we feel that school should be more
supportive of this action.

However, due to the total lack of both sympathy and knowledge shown by
the lunchtime supervisor, we will not be returning Littly until school
restarts at 1pm as we do not feel he will be adequately supported
under her care. If we continue to feel that Littly's needs are not
given the appropriate level of attention we will have to withdraw him
from school completely until such care is available.

I have enclosed books and articles (and marked the relevant passages)
that explain the lifelong impact of both early neglect, inadequate
care and changes of primary caregiver on the growing child's brain and
subsequent behaviour. We would appreciate the return of these once
you have made any copies you feel would assist in making everyone
aware that this is not a trivial matter and requires careful handling.

Yours sincerely

Boys are strange creatures?!?!

Little Prince and The Boyfriend are currently in the kitchen having a tasting session!! Nothing strange about that you may think!! You'd be wrong!! They are tasting the herbs, spices, peppers, sauces (garlic sauce and lemon sauce were a hit apparently!!) and anything else they can get their hands on!! Why???? The only answer I can think of is that boys are VERY strange creatures!!!

Still FUMING!!!

Ok I've had the afternoon to calm down and think things through rationally!! And I'm still fuming!!! How on earth does a DINNER LADY for gawds sake, know more about adoption issues than me? And the books/articles I have been reading trying to glean something that will help Little Prince??? And how come TWO DAYS of coming home to lunch is supposed to cure his anxieties??? I have got all the articles and books that support my theory (and gut instinct) about why he is reacting like he is, and have marked the relevant passages - I will be taking them to school tomorrow. And I WILL be bringing Little Prince home for lunch - for as long as it takes to settle him in NOT until the BL**DY Dinner Lady feels he is ok!!!

Bl**dy School!!!

Well Little Prince's school aren't as supportive as I thought they were. At the moment it feels like they were just paying lip service to me, with their 'caring' attitudes. I've even cried in public, something I DON'T do!!!

It all started when I went to collect Little Prince for his lunch. I arrived early (I thought) but the kids had already gone in to lunch. As I'd told Little Prince I'd see him at lunchtime, I told the secretary that I'd just pop to the dining room and see him (she seemed to pull her face, but I ignored it). In the dining room Little Prince was just lining up with his tray ready to get his lunch, I went over to him told him what a big, clever boy he was and how proud I was of him and that I'd see him later. He became clingy and said he wanted to come home with me, so to avoid that as he'd seemed happy moments before, I said I'd stay with him while he had his lunch. No problem, I thought. Trouble is the dinner lady DID think there was a problem, and called me over and told me I was causing his problems, he was fine till he saw me, that I shouldn't keep bringing up his adoption issues he was just like the other kids. I was VERY upset by this, but after explaining and her not listening I told her I didn't care what she thought I was doing what I felt best for my son and went back to Little Prince. I noticed her go and have an indepth conversation with the other dinner lady and with the classroom assistant. I was then told that the classroom assistant/nursery teacher wanted a word with me. Told Little Prince I had to go and chat to Miss and said I'd see him again in a minute, pointed out he was with all his friends and that he would have loads of fun. Miss then told me how I should trust them to look after Little Prince and that I should know that if he was upset they would ring me. During this conversation the (berating) Dinner Lady came in and in a very snarly voice and face like thunder, said he's crying now and not eating his lunch. I just snapped and I shouted that I supposed that was my fault too, and stormed off to find his comfort blankie. His bag was not in the cloakroom and Miss had to help me find it in the classroom storage box. She pointed out that his blankie was still in his bag and that he had managed with out it all morning. She and the main class teacher then carried on in the same vein - I should trust them to know what is best, all kids are like this, all kids struggle to get used to the longer day but also kept saying that as his mum I knew him best! So if I know him best and I know how he is feeling, how come they don't trust me when I say he is struggling?? They also said that the double seperation from me was tiring for Little Prince and upsetting him. And despite the fact that he is upset and each and every morning that I should think hard about going each lunchtime. I ended up in tears during this conversation, highly embarassing :-(

We then found out that Little Prince had gone out to the playing field another way and not through the classroom. Miss insisted on taking me to say goodbye to him, as I'd told him I would. He was sat with Dinner Lady, with a tissue in his hand, and had obviously been crying. This is them letting me know he is ok??? When he saw me he again started to cry and cling and say he wanted to come home. I gave him his blankie and had to push him to go and play with his friends, Miss had to accompany him. By the time I was back in the car I could see him playing, but still with blankie and Miss with him.

Once home I rang Mr Messy and ranted at him. He in turn rang the school and ranted at the head. She then rang me to find out what the Dinner Lady had said and said she would deal with it, as she felt that was inappropriate behaviour on the Dinner Lady's behalf. She has now said that I should ring up at 12noon and see how Little Prince is, and if he is ok leave him. The trouble is (and I pointed this out to her!) he will hold everything in while he is at school and fall apart once he's home. I also pointed out the improvement in his attitude to school, and the lessening of his morning anxiety now that he was coming home for lunch. I said I would discuss the situation with Mr Messy and let her know what we decide, which I found out later is exactly what Mr Messy had told her!!!

Now I don't know what to do. I know that Little Prince finds it next to impossible to hold it together for a full school day. But school aren't supportive of me carrying on bringing him home for lunch, and teachers are human - if they are irritated with me (and they obviously are) they could transfer that feeling to how they treat Little Prince. It is a VERY small school with less than 10 staff, so they will all chat and gossip and have obviously decided between themselves that I'm unreasonably over protective and am making Little Prince act the way he does, due to my anxieties not his. Yesterday I felt school was so nurturing and supportive, and now I feel that they are ranged against me and trying to force me to do something I don't feel is in Little Prince's best interests.

I think I'll join him in saying I HATE SCHOOL :-(

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Another Quilt!!

I've had the (wacky!!!) idea of making Little Prince his own One Hundred Good Wishes Quilt. I was always going to make him one, I just thought I'd make MeiMei's first and then get on to his!! But this last weekend I received a Squish that I had seen 'advertised' on the OHGWQ group, that was for a car licence plate fabric. As soon as I saw the post, I emailed the swapper and asked if she would mind swapping. Little Prince was thrilled to bits to see this new fabric "Is that one for ME mummy?" So I think he has, maybe, been feeling a bit left out with all the Squishes arriving for MeiMei. How on earth I think I can keep this all organised and not get myself totally confused I don't know!! But I'll give it my best shot - he's worth it :-)

When we move him into his new bedroom, he'll eventually be swapping with Little Miss Sensible, I had decided to decorate in an Americana type theme. So he has to have a quilt :-) Probably not QUITE as stars and stripes as the above picture, but something along those lines. In fact I've just found my original 'inspiration' picture on the web - this is more like what I'm aiming for lol. I prefer the less cluttered look - although with the number of toys Little Prince has I doubt I'll ever achieve it!!

More Progress on School Front :-)

There was a celebration at school today, straight after lunch. I discussed this with Little Prince and asked what he wanted to do - have lunch at school, or come home? He couldn't decide and kept changing his mind. So I went up to school at lunchtime, not sure if he was coming home or not! Was met by his teacher, on her own, apparently Little Prince had gone off to lunch with his friends quite happily, and refused to wait for me, saying he wanted to go for lunch :-) I'm so proud of him :-) It did mean I was a bit of a yoyo, up and down to school, as I went home had lunch and went straight back there to help escort the kids to the celebration. Little Prince insisted on holding my hand all the way there, but held his friend's hand too, and was happy to chat away to his friend, more or less ignoring me!! Holding my hand was enough it seems!!

Little Prince was fairly wriggly and not very quiet during the celebration!! Not surprising really as that is what he is like permanently lol. At one point his teacher was trying her best not to laugh, as he was telling her a right tale, and she was trying to quieten him down - without much success!!

On the way back to school, Little Prince got a bit upset and wanted carrying for a while. He was worrying again that school was too long, he has no concept of time really, so telling him there was only about an hour left meant nothing to him!! He eventually cheered up at the thought of party food, what do they say about the way to a boy's heart?!?!

After school Little Prince's girlfriend came round to play. Although most of the time she played upstairs in his bedroom, while he played downstairs!! After we realised they weren't managing to play together very well, I roped Little Miss Sensible in to encourage them to play together. She got them to play with the Mr Potato Head toy and then to play hide and seek, so they did enjoy themselves in the end.

Little Miss Sensible has gone over to The Boyfriend's house to stay over, and although I'm going to miss her like crazy and she has only a few days left, I know they will miss each other too, so I couldn't ask her not to go. It does give her a chance of a lie in too - Little Prince doesn't allow any lie ins here!!!

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Crying over shopping!!

And that's me, not Mr Messy crying over the bill!! Our online groceries were delivered today, and I've been weepy every since!! Why you may ask?? Because its the last shopping that will include Little Miss Sensible for MONTHS!!! Next week when the shopping arrives she will be at university and I won't need to buy industrial quantities of bacon, crumpets and garlic bread (don't ask she's always been a faddy eater!!).

Instant attachment myth

PLEASE PLEASE read this article on the myth of instant attachment. It is an excellent piece of writing and so so true. It should be required reading for every prospective adopter!

Skellington

This is Little Prince's skellington with his bits cutted off!!! It looks more like a Time Team excavation lol :-) He tried his best and is very happy with the results :-)

Tea Shop Lunch

I picked Little Prince up from school as arranged, again his teacher brought him out to me as I was walking across the playground. He was happy and chatty telling me about what he had done that morning. Apparently they have been making skeletons (or skellingtons as he says), but I have been assured that I don't need to be scared as they aren't real ones :-) Little Prince said they had to cut them out, but that he is no good at cutting so he cut all the bits off!! He didn't seem bothered at all by this, or by the fact that his girlfriend managed the cutting beautifully. He spent the whole of the journey to the tea shop deciding what he wanted to eat and drink, so that was obviously much more important to him than decapitated skeletons!!
The cafe was full of bikers (pedal variety) and was very loud and full, but there was one free table so we sat down there. There was no sign of Little Miss Sensible, I tried ringing her a few times but she didn't answer her phone. We had just received our drinks when she turned up, she had heard her phone ringing but couldn't answer it as her nails weren't completely dry and she couldn't get it out of her bag!!
The bikers left half way through eating our lunch, which made chatting a bit easier!! Little Prince agreed that he would eat his cake (chocolate flapjack) in the car as it was getting close to the time we needed to return him to school. He complained throughout the journey back to school that I shouldn't have given him such a sticky cake!! He chose the darn thing!!
His girlfriend came running over to us as soon as we entered the playground and he happily ran off with her, no fussing whatsoever :-) I found the lunch time superviser and explained that he was back, and once again while I was doing that Little Prince came over a little upset. He needed lots of hugs and reassurance, before running off to play again, but didn't cry. I think we may have cracked this!! Fingers crossed I haven't spoken too soon!! NOT A PICTURE OF LITTLE PRINCE'S SCHOOL - although the play equipment is very similar :-)

More School Reports

Little Prince went into school slightly reluctantly this morning, but no tears whatsoever :-) He ran round the playground with his friends waiting for school to start, but with frequent returns to me for a quick hug. He even managed to line up when the bell rang, again with no tears and didn't need to hold my hand either :-) He had changed his mind while having his breakfast, and said he wanted to come home for lunch, so I'll be picking him up later.

Before that though, I had to take Little Miss Sensible to the beauty salon, she had booked herself a manicure. She has worked as a waitress for the past three years, and was not allowed to wear nail varnish to work (she worked every weekend) so didn't want to have a manicure and then have to take it off a few days later. So this was her big treat to herself :-)

When I pick Little Prince up from school we will be going to the next village (where the beauty salon is) and meeting Little Miss Sensible at the English Tea Shop for lunch.

Monday, 17 September 2007

After School Report

I've just got back from picking Little Prince up after his afternoon at school. He was bubbly and bouncy coming out of school, and has again happily chatted about what he did. He has even said that he might not want to come home for lunch tomorrow, as he misses his friends when he is at home!! I'll go up to school at lunchtime tomorrow and see how he is, and if all he needs is a hug and a bit of reassurance, then that's what he'll get. What a difference a day makes?!?!

Success :-)

Me and Little Miss Sensible went up to school at lunchtime to collect Little Prince. We were walking across the playground to the classroom door, when Little Prince and one of his teachers came out to meet us. He was happily skipping along beside her holding her hand, he told us all that he thought he would miss his friends while he was at home and was a bit sad that he wouldn't get to play out after lunch. I said that we could bring him straight back after he had eaten, so that he would get time to play and that seemed to make him happy :-)

At home he was chatty and bubbly, and told us all about his morning at school with none of the usual reluctance to even have school mentioned. When he was taking his shoes off he reminded me that he would need to put them back on when he went back to school, he seemed happy to be home and equally happy that he would be going back to school later.

After lunch when we were going back to school, he again showed no reluctance whatsoever, racing towards the gate and eager to get in, this is back to how he was when he was in nursery last term. We found the teacher on duty (his classroom assistant) and handed him over to her, he went off to find his girlfriend while me and the teacher chatted. She was at pains to point out that he has no problems with the school dinners and is one of the better eaters. We explained that it wasn't the food he was coming home for and how much happier he had been this morning and during his lunch. However, we probably spent too much time chatting and all of a sudden Little Prince came over and flung himself into my arms and started crying that school was too long and he didn't want to stay. His teacher took over and comforted him, which didn't take more than a moment or so, I said goodbye, did kisses and reassured him that teacher would keep him safe, just like she did in nursery. By the time we were getting back in the car, Little Prince was stood by the fence waving goodbye to us happily.

School!

Little Prince woke up and his first words were 'I don't want to go to school.' He then wanted me to sing the songs I sang to him when he was little, and was just not himself. So I told him that he would be coming home for lunch, and then going back to school. Pointed out that it would be two short times at school, instead of one long time and his whole demeanor changed! Instead of being clingy and fretting he relaxed and was much more like his normal self. He raced all the way to school on his scooter, only once saying he didn't want to go, instead of the constant repetition all the way to school. We went straight into his classroom together to tell his teacher, and she wasn't bothered at all - so long as that is what helps Little Prince she is happy for us to do it. Once back in the playground he wanted to line up at the door straight away, so he could be first (he is very competitive). He didn't react at all to the bell ringing, last week it heralded floods of tears. He marched confidently into school, after happily kissing me goodbye. This is such a different reaction to how he was last week, that I think this could be just what he needed and that he will be a lot more settled after this. My only hope is that he will be happy to return to school after lunch!! I'll let you know later :-)

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Farewell Barbeque

We arrived home from the Farming Show, to find some of our guests (Mr Messy's parents) had already arrived woops!! Mr Messy had to drop us off at the door, and drive straight to the train station to pick up my mum and dad (they don't drive). And totally unexpectedly my baby sister had managed to get Little Miss Sensible and The Boyfriend to the house before us!! Well done baby sister :-)

Once Mr Messy returned he started cooking tonnes and tonnes of barbeque food, we have a habit of always over catering!! Luckily we had enough guests arrive to eat most of the food prepared and there wasn't too much left over. The only downside to that is that I hadn't planned anything for our tea, as I thought we could munch our way through the leftovers lol.

It was lovely to see everyone and to chat and catch up on all the gossip :-) Little Prince did get over stimulated, by the lack of concentrated attention and the fact four of his young cousins were there to run around with. He got up to quite a lot of mischief - squirted large of mayonaise into the salad, emptied a very old bucket of chicken feed all over the lawn (it smelt disgusting as it had partly rotted yuk), broke a few wheels off some of his cars and probably other stuff I haven't discovered yet!!

Mid afternoon he started to fret about school, and to say he didn't want to go. Nothing we said could reassure him, and he was still upset at bedtime. I've decided that I will have to talk to his teacher tomorrow and arrange to bring him home for lunch, I don't want to leave it any longer as it is obviously something that is worrying him a lot of the time, even if he does manage to hold it together at school. I hope they are as agreeable to this suggestion as they have to all the others they've already implemented for him!!

Farming Show

This morning, despite not having tidied up or got ready for the barbeque, this afternoon, we decided to go to a local Farming Show. We parked at my friend's house and walked the rest of the way to the Show. My friend and her family normally accompany us, but due to the loss of one of her dogs in an accident, she didn't feel up to coming (Big Hugs to P) so it was just me, Mr Messy, Drama Teen, Little Prince and Fraulein. We saw many different tractors - from the downright ancient ones to huge modern ones, and we had to stop and study them all. Mr Messy and Little Prince thought they were fascinating. There was also a vintage car show, with a military section - where Little Prince was thrilled to find a real Sarge (American army jeep from the Disney Pixar film Cars).
Me and the girls were more interested in the craft tents, where I bought a Russian fairy and small Russian wooden doll, to hang on the Christmas tree, I like to have decorations from all over the world on our tree (they are a lot prettier than my picture shows!!). Fraulein was going to buy her mum a necklace from one of the stalls, but changed her mind when she saw how expensive they were!! After the craft tents we made our way to the donut van - very sickly, freshly made donuts, yum :-) We all only had one each, we couldn't manage any more!
After that we had just about enough time to look at the various other outdoor stalls, and a quick wander through the poultry exhibition. I was surprised at Little Prince's interest in the ducks and chickens, he wanted to look at each one and comment on them. Then we found the local ferret society had a little stall, and they brought out ferrets for people to handle. Little Prince spent ages there, stroking one ferret and then just watching the others in their pen. He has never really taken much notice of any livestock before, so this was lovely to see :-) We then had to rush off back to the car and back home, to greet our already arrived guests!!

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Controversy!!!

I was asked by the moderator of one of my yahoo groups to write an essay about my feelings on the long wait for a referral from China. I worked on this task, and actually enjoyed myself writing it, much more than I ever enjoyed doing homework from school!! My essay (and a couple of others from other waiters) were added to the list yesterday evening. I managed to catch up with the lists daily postings this evening and couldn't believe the controversy my essay had caused!! One person had posted a fairly blunt, and not very supportive comment which set off a fairly major argument between this list member and other (supportive) list members!! I never realised that people would react that strongly to what I'd written - it was just a rough and ready piece of work, that was a snapshot of how I am feeling 'right now'!! The moderators stepped in and asked for calm and for people to be supportive and everything seems to have calmed down again. Is it naughty of me to enjoy the fireworks I provoked?? Yes it is - but I did lol :-) Anyway thank you to those who were supportive - I really did appreciate it :-)

Busy Day

Started the day early - thanks to firstly the postwoman, then Little Prince!! Well I couldn't have a lie in anyway, as me and Drama Teen were off to the beauty salon to buy some beautifuls as Little Prince puts it!! Although he then goes on to say that we are beautiful enough and don't need to go - oooh I love him :-) I have my eyelashes tinted while I'm there, its so much less faffing about than messing with mascara (and then having to remove it every night) and wearing contact lenses and mascara has never worked for me!! But despite my reluctance to faff with mascara, I need 'something' as I'm a natural blonde and my eyelashes look non existant without 'something'!! So this is my monthly vanity fix :-) Drama Teen has her eyebrows waxed and tweezed!! Having them done professionally is much better than her previous solution - trimming them with scissors EEK!!! When we got home Mr Messy, Drama Teen and Fraulein all got on with some of their homework, while me and Little Prince did some jigsaws, read some books, watched some tv etc.
After lunch I took Drama Teen to her first Stagecoach session of this term. She was looking forward to going as she had missed her friends. I dropped her off and returned home again, where I picked up everyone else and we headed out in the opposite direction to the other local big town. We had to go there as we needed to go to the Mobile Phone Shop to pick up Drama Teen's phone. We all have mobiles on contact, and have an annual upgrade (ie chose a new phone). Drama Teen has had nothing but trouble with the model she chose, and it was repaired twice and then broke again!! Mr Messy had had enough by this point and arranged with the Mobile Phone Shop to get her a completely new (different model!!) phone. It has taken over two months and countless visits and phone calls to the shop to get the new phone sorted out!! We are on first name terms with the lady dealing with the case, she even recognises mine and Mr Messy's voices over the phone!! Well today we finally picked up the new phone - phew :-) Mr Messy isn't too impressed as he says the phone looks like a reconditioned one, rather than the brand new one he was promised - a few minor scratches, and its not in its original packaging! But we decided that its taken so long to get this far, we aren't going to make any more fuss. UPDATE - Drama Teen doesn't like the new phone!! It has been roundly condemned as a brick and she hates it!!! She did cheer up when I suggested she ask for the phone she actually wants as a Christmas present :-)

While we were in the town, we called in one of our favourite cafes in the local art gallery - trouble was they were closing early due to staff shortages, so we didn't get to show Fraulein around the gallery. We did manage to have a nice cake and drink though :-) We also did a bit of shopping - including my dad's birthday cards and present, which is only two weeks late, so not bad considering how late it could have been lol.

We went straight from there, back over to the other local big town, to pick Drama Teen up again. Little Prince fell asleep in the car and looked adorable :-) But I think he looks adorable all the time :-) After we'd got Drama Teen we nipped into the supermarket to grab a few bits for tea, and then finally returned home.
Our day still hadn't finished!! As soon as we'd got Little Prince in bed, me and Mr Messy went back to the supermarket to shop for tomorrow's farewell barbeque. Today has seemed like a long day!! Wait a minute - it didn't seem like a long day, it WAS a long day!!

Passes and Pizza Hut!!

Went up to school to pick up Little Prince's bags and scooter as he was off to play at his girlfriend's house. He came out of school happily and was very excited to go and play. It was very strange to walk home on my own, although it did mean I could have a turn on his scooter!! I don't think anyone saw me lol - I'll find out at school on Monday morning!! I had to go back and pick him up by 5pm, and had to walk again (still not heard from the garage!). I had to walk past the garage owner's house and there was my car!!! Very strange - I was a bit worried that it had failed and I was on the last minute to pick up Little Prince, so just carried on. Got to girlfriend's house and Little Prince was in the front garden with only one shoe on playing with girlfriend's big sister! Got to the door to be greeted by a sobbing girlfriend and her mum, girlfriend said Little Prince hurt her. Made Little Prince say he was sorry and promise not to do, whatever he'd done again, which he did.

On the way home I talked to Little Prince about what happened, and he insisted that it was girlfriend's big sister that hurt her, and he just jumped up and said boo!! I will have to talk to girlfriend's mum on Monday and straighten it all out. Arrgh - kids who'd 'ave 'em?

And the fabulous news?? My old car passed its MOT with only minor repairs!! I was so surprised - that I asked the mechanic if he was sure?!?! He just laughed at me. Pity I hadn't realised earlier and I could have picked it up when I was walking past his house lol

As I'd left ordering my online groceries until the last minute and couldn't get a delivery slot, we went out for dinner!! We went to Pizza Hut, the food is ok and they are so family friendly and Little Prince loves it. Drama Teen was quite annoying at the meal as she had taken a book, and wouldn't talk to anyone! Fraulein had never been to Pizza Hut before, but discovered she really likes their ice cream factory :-)

Once we were home again and Little Prince was safely tucked up in his bed, I was asking the big girls to put all their washed/ironed clothes away. Fraulein got her English very confused and said she was going to put her clothes in the cardboard!! And then she took the jeans off the coat hanger and gave me the coat hanger back! I was a bit confused and she explained that in Germany you hang up tops/jumpers but fold up trousers and put them on shelves - you learn something new everyday! At least the meal out and the teasing seemed to bring her back out of her shell a little, as she has been a bit quiet and sad seeming this week.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Stuck in the House!!

I've no car today as its gone off to the garage to have its MOT - please think positive thoughts, it probably needs them!! I'm hoping it won't fail on much as this month is an expensive month (Little Miss Sensible starting university) without the added expense of a huge garage bill!! Every other day this week the car has stood outside the front door, and not really moved. Today when its not there - I want to go out!!!! Why?? I don't know, I'm just peverse like that!! It could also have something to do with the fact that I'm on my own today too. Little Miss Sensible has gone off to The Big City, with The Boyfriend and his brother and girlfriend. The girlfriend is a long time friend of LMS and they want to do some last minute shopping before surrendering into the 'poor student' mode!! The boys are just being dragged along to carry the shopping bags I think lol.
Little Miss Sensible and The Boyfriend are meeting up with My Baby Sister while they are over there, and staying at her house for the weekend. My Baby Sister and her Fiance are bringing them back over here on Sunday morning, in time for the family 'goodbye LMS' party on Sunday afternoon. They'd better not be late, but they more than likely will be!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The most fun I've ever had with a Social worker Present!!

Tonight I went to a support meeting organised by our LA, the speaker was a Theraplay practitioner which is what made me want to attend (Little Prince had a course of Theraplay last year). The therapist spent about half an hour explaining the theory behind Theraplay and then its application. She was quite a nervous speaker and it was very dry and, I'm sorry to say a bit boring. However, she then announced that she was going to demonstrate a Theraplay session - using two of the social workers to play the parent and the child. This is where it got interesting!!! The head of the dept played the mum (imagine your boss pretending to be your mum!!) and another social worker the child (this is the social worker we saw bouncing down the slide and doing the conga with the kids at the fun day!!).

The session started off just like a real Theraplay session - the parent led the child in and the therapist asked them to jump on cushion islands to enter the room. Then the therapist exclaimed over how much the child had grown and how big she was (bearing in mind she is at Weight Watchers at the moment!!) and proceeded to measure her height, arm muscles and smile!! Then the therapist checked the child over for owies - and rubbed lotion into the owies she found. Both social workers were giggling quite a bit by now (as were the audience). They then played various games - mother and child rubbing lotion into each others hands, followed by a pulling game where everyone kept falling over as their hands were so slippery. They made handprints, again using lotion - got the child's hand wet with the lotion and pressed the hand onto a piece of coloured paper, then dabbed the wet print with talcum powder - very clever!!! The mum had to coo over the lovely hand prints and promise to keep them forever. Then the mum was asked to look away, while the therapist and the child hid post it notes with messages for mum all over the child's body!! How on earth was 'mum' supposed to deal with this?? That was the start of the breakdown into fits of laughter. Mum managed to find the papers behind the child's ears, but the child then gave her the others (one up her trouser leg, another up her sleeve). The bits of paper had suggestions of things mum and child could do together - eg sing a nursery rhyme. The 'therapy' session continued to get more and more silly (these activities make sense with a parent and child) but not really with a pair of social workers. It was so much fun to watch though, I only wish I'd taken my camera phone!! We would have aced the annual reviews with that as 'incentive' for the social workers to see our point of view lol

I also managed to have a chat with the social worker who has taken over the job of trying to get hold a Later Life Letter for Little Prince. She seemed a very nice lady and explained where the difficulties in getting hold of this letter lie - the placing authority! Which I knew anyway as the last two social workers trying to get hold of the letter said the same. The Placing Authority just aren't responsing to repeated requests to produce this letter, or even just to acknowledge receipt of the request!! She has said she will get in touch with me next week and let me know where we are up to, and what our options are for escalating our request. I am hoping that we don't have to make a formal complaint, but if nothing is forthcoming soon I think that will be our only option.

The rest of the day

Me and Little Miss Sensible had a quiet morning, getting over the stressful school handover!! Then around lunchtime we went to the neighbouring village (its quite cosmopolitan - it has a bank and some shops!) to run a few errands. While we were out we bumped into Little Prince's class teacher, I had to ask how he was managing, and she said he was doing ok - phew!! She said they had been keeping him busy and he hadn't cried again.

Soon after we were back at home The Boyfriend arrived. He had intended digging some more of the garden, as he has some new bright white trainers and he wanted to mucky them up a bit!! But Little Miss Sensible persuaded him to chat to her while she was tidying her room instead - grrr!!! Well at least one job is getting done, and she does need to sort that room out!! I can't believe how messy it is when she has only been home a short while, and spends most of her time at The Boyfriend's or out with her friends!!

We all walked up to school to pick Little Prince up, and he was delighted to see The Boyfriend. He wasn't so delighted to see me - I think I'm being punished for sending him to school!! At the park on the way home, he wanted comforting by LMS not me!! Oh well I'm a big girl I can take it, so long as it makes him feel better.

OUR ETHIOPIAN ADOPTION TIMELINE


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

OUR CHINA ADOPTION TIMELINE

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