Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wartime Garden Party

We've just returned from Little Prince's school's Garden Party. Despite a heavy shower when Princess Lollipop had her nap and the fact that it is throwing it down now, it was glorious for the Party :-) Princess Lollipop loved it, apart from when she ran off and forgot to come back and then couldn't remember where Mummy was!! She was returned to me by the School Secretary, who told me she'd found her wandering round inside school looking for me!! The scare didn't stop her repeatedly wandering off to find her big brother, I had quite a lot of heart in the mouth moments when I couldn't see her through all the people! The Garden Party was held on the school field, which is totally enclosed and everyone there knows who Princess Lollipop is, so I wasn't worried that she would really get lost, I just didn't want her to scare herself again!!

When we finally got on our way home, we brought Little Prince's friend Y with us. It was still brilliant sunshine, so we stopped at the local park on the way and had half an hour kick about with the football, before the boys got bored and wanted to come home to play Lego. We'd only been home ten minutes or so, when the heavens opened and its now soaking out there!! That's not so great as I've got to go out later and start moving the stacked bricks from where the Playhouse will be going, urgh!! Its going to be a wet and mucky job :-( I'm not looking forward to it at all :-(

Parcel has finally arrived

My luck has held out :-) The parcel has finally arrived :-) That's the good part, the bad part is that it has got quite damaged in transit with a fair few knicks and dints and cracks!! It was a second hand child's cupboard, made to look like a miniature (pink of course) grandfather clock, and was sold with the proviso that it had a few bashes - but I think they've been added to by the journey!! It wasn't particularly well packaged, a few bits of think polystyrene packaging sheets, a bit of bubble wrap and a bin liner!! Then again the seller did state "collection only" and I persuaded them to let me arrange a courier to pick it up to deliver it to me, and so they weren't expecting to have to package it for "posting." Its still perfectly usable and will look so cute in Princess Lollipop's new playhouse (which I also bought today!!) so I'm going to leave it and let Mr Messy have a look when he comes home from OUR shop and see what he thinks.

Whilst playing about on the internet auction site, I had a look for the rubber mulch I want for under Little Prince's trampoline. I found some at an extremely good price, and with a "Best Offer" button, so I put in what I thought was a ridiculously cheap offer and it was accepted!! Yeah :-) I couldn't believe it would be accepted and now that's bought and paid for too, just awaiting all the deliveries. It does put a bit of pressure on the Gardening Man who is coming back on Friday to finish the clearing!! We'll have to get the trampoline's place dug out, use weedkiller on it and cover it with a weed suppressing membrane pretty quickly now. And also get the part of the garden where the playhouse is going cleared too, it used to house Mr Messy's shed (which was demolished by hand by Mr LMS last Summer) and still has a large quantity of bricks stacked up there, which will have to be moved out of the way. That's my job (and any of the children who want to help, and actually CAN help!!) this evening and tomorrow evening sorted out!!

Princess Lollipop has just woken from her afternoon nap, and hasn't quite come round yet, so she is snuggling up next to me sucking her thumb while she thinks about waking up properly :-) I love these snuggle times, when I don't have to force her to be up and about before she's ready and can let her snuggle and come round in her own time :-) She prefers it too, and gets a lot less stressed and grumpy over it!!

Where oh Where has my parcel gone??

I had a quiet day in the house yesterday, waiting for a parcel to be delivered. It didn't arrive! The tracking information isn't working any more and when I rang up last night all they could tell me was that it hadn't arrived!! I could have told them that, without being on hold for AGES!!! The tracking information still isn't working this morning and after waiting on hold for almost 10 minutes I gave up! I'll try ringing them again later and see if I can get through this time!

Other more cheerful news - I've been hunting on Ebay for a bargain playhouse for Princess Lollipop and I've found and bought one :-) Its not the first style I chose, but it is the reserve, and at a price I just couldn't resist! And the price includes delivery and erecting, which saves Mr Messy having to do it while he is so busy at the moment. I've just got to buy the paints now, I want really clear, candy colours (yellow, pink and green) and can't find the right shades in outdoor paint! I've tried Dulux mix your own colour, and they only seem to do exterior paint in gloss and I want matt, or satin at a pinch. I'll have to keep looking.

I've also been searching for Little Prince's trampoline and found a brand new one, less than 10 miles away and am just waiting to hear if I can collect it rather than pay for delivery. I'd need to buy a safety net for it, but its still less than half the price I was expecting to pay :-) And I've even found the rubber safety mulch I want for under the trampoline at way cheaper than I was expecting it would be :-) I'm on a roll lol

Fingers crossed that my good luck extends to my parcel arriving before I have to go to Little Prince's school Garden Party. They are having a WWII style Garden Party and all the children are dressed as children in the war would have done, Little Prince is the cutest little evacuee I've seen :-) I even got him a replica gas mask box, with a toy gas mask inside - he was thrilled :-) Until he noticed that the filter part of the mask is just open, and he did get upset saying he was going to die!! I had to remind him (a lot!!) that this was just pretend and it wasn't really the war!!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Garden Clearance has begun :-)

Mr Messy went out very early this morning to start the five week Boot Camp he has signed up for. He came back very tired and aching and dived straight into the shower. I had only just got up by then and set about getting Little Prince ready for school. He had already almost finished his breakfast, so it was just a case of encouraging him to finish up and get in his uniform. When it got to 8am I decided the sleeping Princess Lollipop had to finally be woken up - not something any of us relish as she can be so bad tempered if she doesn't wake up in her own time!! She wasn't too bad this morning and didn't cry or scream, but did spend a good few minutes on her Daddy's knee "coming round."

Once she was dressed and had her breakfast it was time to take Little Prince to school, loaded up with his swimming kit and lunch box. Mr Messy took his car to the garage to have the last bits of repairs done, the garage hadn't had the parts in last time it was there and this is the first time Mr Messy has had a free day to take it in since the parts arrived! Once Little Prince was safely in school, me and Princess Lollipop went to collect Mr Messy from the garage and take him to OUR shop. Princess Lollipop was NOT happy that she wasn't going to OUR shop with Daddy, and that Daddy wasn't coming home with her :-( Mr Messy is working very hard and long hours fitting in two jobs and she is missing seeing him as much as she wants to.

Once we dropped Mr Messy off, we called at the shop for some bits and bobs before setting off back home. When we arrived the Gardener was just backing his trailer onto the drive. I had thought he wouldn't come today as its SOOOO hot, but he's here and working hard. He's already cleared the hidden path, strimmed the worst of the lawn and is currently clearing the patio. He reckons he can have it cleared today, I wasn't sure he'd do it in this weather, but looking at how fast he's going despite the heat I think he could be right!! Its great to see the garden emerging from under the weeds and mess and knowing that it will be clear and safe very soon - Little Prince and Princess Lollipop are desperate to play out there!! And the weather is perfect to leave the patio door open and let them come in and out as they please. And of course I can't wait to get the trampoline and playhouse out there too :-) They are going to have so much fun :-)

Quieter Sunday

Mr Messy took Little Prince and Mrs LMS out for "Boy Breakfast" ie a full English at the local farm shop, before me and Princess Lollipop even got up! When I did get up Mr Messy and Mrs LMS were almost ready to go out to shoots they had on today, so we only had a quick chat before they left.

I tried to let Little Prince have another medication free day, but he was getting crazier and crazier as the morning passed, and in the end I had to give him his medicine. He was not happy about this, but understood the reasons and accepted that he needed it eventually.

Mr Messy and Mrs LMS didn't get back home till mid afternoon, and Mr Messy was planning to take Princess Lollipop out to a spectacular poppy field nearby to photograph her with one of his friends. However, as the afternoon wore on and didn't get any cooler, he changed his mind! I don't blame him the weather was very hot yesterday and I don't think a hot and sticky Princess Lollipop would have co-operated with having her photos taken!!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rough Start to the Day

Well for Princess Lollipop at least :-( I had to wake her up before she was ready, which she hates :-( And then she slipped when trying to run into Little Prince's room and banged her face/eye on a box :-( She sobbed for ages and her eye was nearly swollen shut, poor little mite. For the next couple of hours she was absolutely foul, moody and shouty with everyone and everything. In the end I decided to take her for an early nap, and keep my fingers crossed that getting some more sleep will help! After a couple of disturbed nights with her I must have been tired too, as I fell asleep too!!

When we returned downstairs Drama Teen was getting primped and preened ready for her boyfriend to come over, and Little Prince was watching TV. Princess Lollipop was a lot calmer, thankfully. However the calmness didn't last long and she was soon tantruming and throwing things, mainly at Little Prince!!

The Gardening Company was supposed to be coming this morning (the reason we had to be up early) to start clearing it out and digging out the patch we are going to mulch and put a trampoline on. However, they rang to say their vehicle was suffering from problems and they wouldn't be coming until Monday :-( I am so looking forward to the garden being finished, and just getting started seems to be taking forever!!!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Toddler Toddling

Today was Princess Lollipop's Big Toddle, a sponsored walk in aid of Barnado's that the Nursery School participate in. The nursery teacher rang up a couple of weeks ago, to ask if Princess Lollipop (and the other children who are already registered for Nursery next year) if they wanted to join in.

I had completely forgotten that the children were invited to wear fancy dress if they wanted to, and Princess Lollipop was among the only children in ordinary clothes, luckily she didn't seem to notice. Although Little Prince did this morning when he was one of two children in school uniform on a non school uniform day!!

The walk was from the Post Office, which is almost across the road from our house, to the school, a distance of about half a mile. Princess Lollipop at just over two, has never been expected to walk that far and I didn't realise that she could have ridden in her buggy if she had needed to!! We started out near the middle of the walkers but ended up right at the back of the group by the time we got to school. Princess Lollipop is a typical two year old walker, she has to stop and investigate every stray leaf, stick and stone and step up every door step she can so it was pretty slow going. She was also the youngest child who actually walked the route, all others her age were in their buggies!

When we reached the school, the children from the juniors (including Little Prince) had lined the sides of the route just before the finish line and were cheering and clapping all the littlies :-) Princess Lollipop walked along incredulously exclaiming "I can't a-lieve it!" (I can't believe it) although she did stop for a victory hug and kiss from her best big brother :-) The nursery children were then all given a picnic box lunch, but the younger children who don't attend nursery yet were told they couldn't have one! A bit upsetting obviously! Nursery staff did bring out some sandwiches and buns for the younger children later, but Princess Lollipop wasn't having any of that and refused to eat at all. She took her shoes and socks off ready to play on the bouncy castle, but then found she had to walk on the grass!! I had hoped she had grown out of her tactile aversion tendencies, but no, she carefully balanced on her heels (I would have though tiptoes would be easier?!?) to the mat in front of the bouncy castle and waited there for her turn!! Of course once it reached her turn she had two bounces and wanted off!! I think she was a bit intimidated by the older children bouncing, as when she had a turn later with children her own age and size she stayed on for ages with them.

Princess Lollipop was upset when we had to leave to walk home again, the school children had come out to play and she wanted to stay with Little Prince! It took us about 25 minutes to walk home again, as each leaf, stick and stone had to be re-examined to see if anything had changed since the last investigation lol. Luckily we had enough time so that I could finally persuade her to eat something, and to pack Little Prince's swimming bag. Then we were off back to school, in the car this time, to pick Little Prince up and take him to his swimming lesson.

Mr Messy met us at the swimming pool carpark, and took Princess Lollipop (in her buggy!) round to OUR shop leaving me to watch Little Prince's lesson in peace :-) He had a great lesson and seems to have come on so well, I can't believe how much progress he makes each week and his swimming teacher is thrilled with him too. Due to his much improved behaviour I have been letting him get in the pool early and I stay on the side and watch him until his teacher arrives. Today I felt that he (and probably me!!) could cope if I went and sat down in the spectator's chairs and supervised him from there. He was thrilled that I trusted him so much and was allowing him some more freedom, and even though I was nervous it was lovely to see him so proud and pleased with himself :-) He joined in with a group of boys around his age, and played jumping in with them, he acted quite sensibly and no sillier than the other boys :-) I'm so proud of him :-)

After the lesson finished we drove over to OUR shop to pick up Mr Messy and Princess Lollipop, who was almost asleep watching Phineas & Ferb on her Daddy's knee. We waited for Drama Teen to arrive and then sent her to the Chippie and had tea in OUR shop. When we got home we hadn't been there for very long, before an exhausted Princess Lollipop fell fast asleep on the sofa! Apart from disturbing twice when Little Prince went to bed, she has stayed asleep since then :-) I'll have to try tiring her out more often :-) Although I'm not sure I've enough hours in the day for her to walk to school and back each time lol.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Planning a short break

I'm planning to take the littlies (and maybe Mr Messy if he isn't too busy!) to a Centre Parcs to meet up with a lovely friend and her littlie over the Summer Holidays. Centre Parcs will be a great place for us all to get together, as it has all the facilities on-site including a fabulous looking swimming pool with flumes etc. We talked about the Children's Activities, but I was a bit hesitant about whether or not Little Prince would be able to cope with them or not. Due to his special needs he would be more interested in the activities for the younger age group (3-7 years) than the 8 years + group that he chronologically would be placed in. I've just rung Centre Parcs and their central booking line was disappointingly negative about this citing insurance issues, and saying Little Prince would have to be in his own age group. However, they gave me the number of the village and told me to try them directly. After being passed through a number of different staff, I finally got to speak to someone who runs the Activities and Children's Club. She was wonderful, she said that of course Little Prince could join in with the activities that suited his development rather than his actual age :-) And she said if we think he will need to have a one to one assistant, then as soon as we book to let her know and she will arrange this - FREE of charge!!

Little Prince has missed out on so many similar opportunities due to his special needs, and staff/organisers of events being unsympathetic and unhelpful, and in some cases downright unwelcoming, that the Centre Parc's attitude stands out as being so totally welcoming and helpful. I can't wait to get everything booked and sorted out now :-) And to tell Little Prince that he will be able to join in with the fun activities other children go to and their parent's take for granted :-) Its the little things that impress parent's of children with special needs :-)

Planning a Playhouse

I think I am getting a little too excited about Project Playhouse!! I have searched the internet and found the perfect little house for the spot in the garden we have chosen. And I've also found some beautifully decorated (mainly American) playhouses, to use as inspiration. I know I could just leave it in the factory wood finish, but I really want to make this special for Princess Lollipop. And I have to admit I think I'm living out my girlie dreams too!! Here is a picture of the house I'm using as inspiration, I love the clear candy colours used, and how girlie and pretty it looks. Part of the reason for making it so girlie is to stop Little Prince and his friends being too keen on playing in there and breaking things!! The other reason is because me and Princess Lollipop like it :-)
The house we are going to buy is quite a different design, but I can take elements of the above playhouse and use them in Princess Lollipop's. Here's a picture of the one we are going to buy.
Princess Lollipop loves playing with her small wooden kitchen we got her for Christmas, so we think she'll love having her own house!! I've already bought some bits and bobs for the house, including pretty solar powered lamps to hang on the front columns, a couple of metal barn stars and a small decorative bell to use as a door bell :-) I've bought quite a lot more but Mr Messy reads this blog sometimes, so I'll save those for a later post lol.

We are planning to buy Princess Lollipop a new larger wooden kitchen for her house for Christmas, as the one she's got will be lost in there! The only nice, child sized sofas I can find are quite expensive, so that might have to wait for Christmas/birthday too! She can make do with a couple of beanbags till then.

I also LOVE some of the older Verbaudet storage furniture that you can find on Ebay and I'm keeping a look out for some to appear near enough to us for us to go and collect, as they are all fairly large pieces and aren't postable!

Studio Conversion Progress

The conversion of the storage room into a studio at OUR shop, is coming along very well. Mr Messy has now almost finished the redecorating, painting the walls a flat grey, which is apparently a great neutral background for studio walls, that can be brightened and changed with creative lighting. A new more attractive and practical flooring has been fitted - we've now got funky grey/silver cushion floor instead of the horrible bright blue industrial carpeting that was in there previously.

Next in is the joiner to fit a run of kitchen base and wall units along one wall to provide large amounts of storage, which we still need! I have been building up our "seasonal window props" and changes of cushion covers etc to match, and don't want to have to try and store these at home - I'm trying to clear things out here not add to them!! And then there is all the general photographic equipment that needs to be stored somewhere too, although Mr Messy's camera equipment is so expensive that it is only insurable if we keep it at home, and cover it with a specialist insurance policy!

Mr Messy is hoping to go and buy the kitchen units and worktop this weekend, and get the joiner to accompany him so that the joiner can fit it all in his van. If they can manage to organise this, then the units will be fitted next week and the studio will be up and running by weekend :-)

Last Week

Some people are never satisfied, and despite doing a mega huge blog just for her, I've been told by Whatshername's Mum to blog more regularly!! So I'll try :-)

Last week me, Mrs LMS and Drama Teen went to the local college, to be models for the hairdressing department. My friend S is one of the students and persuaded us to come along, as the class was desperate for models to try and complete their final assignments before their course finishes. S insisted on doing my hair, and two of the other students did Mrs LMS and Drama Teen. Mrs LMS just had a cut and restyle, and was very happy with the results. Drama Teen wanted her hair trimmed and the blue colour taking out, she's already tried hair dye removal products twice and is still pale blue! However, it would take bleaching to get the colour out completely and the students aren't a high enough level to be able to do that. Drama Teen was very frustrated, but had her hair trimmed anyway. We had Princess Lollipop with us too, and she got quite upset that she wasn't having her hair done too. So one of the students sat her on a chair and put some conditioning lotion on her hair and brushed a few curls. Princess Lollipop was in girlie heaven - she's definitely going to love things like pamper sessions spas etc when she old enough!! As we weren't quite finished another of the students took Princess Lollipop on a walk, they took the towels to the laundry and had an explore - for some reason each time Princess Lollipop came back she had some chocolate!! I've no idea who she charmed it out of lol. Drama Teen was quite indignant about this afterwards, and told me off for letting complete strangers walk off with our baby - whoops!! I was just glad that the clingiest girl in the world was happy to be with someone apart from very close family!! I'm starting to wonder how she will cope starting nursery school next Easter!?!?

I carried on with my sorting out, it took a whole lot longer than I ever imagined, but the results are so much more impressive than when I have tried previously! The lounge is now completely sorted out and clutter free, although I need Mr Messy to help me sort out the TV corner, and get all the cables tidied neatly away, rather than the spaghetti they currently are!! That will be a job for this weekend, whether he likes it or not!!

The weather hasn't been very good so we haven't been able to play at the park on the way home from school very much, and evenings cooped up inside are much harder. Hopefully once the garden is cleared and safe, this will be less of a problem. I don't mind the children playing out in the rain, so long as I can stay inside cosy and dry!!!

Mr Messy had a very busy weekend, with OUR shop and an event shoot on Saturday evening. He is also sorting out the back room at OUR shop and changing it from a storage room into a studio. Although he is a lifestyle photographer, who shoots on location and in natural light, he has been getting a number of requests for portfolio photographs and a studio would be very useful for that.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Busy Saturday

Mr Messy and Mrs LMS were in OUR shop, and I was at home with Drama Teen and the littlies. Once we were all ready to go, which always takes a LOT longer than I anticipate, we went down to the shop to drop Drama Teen off there. Mr Messy took Little Prince to the local Sports Shop to buy him some new trainers. Mr Messy has just bought a pair from there and Little Prince was admiring them so Mr Messy decided to get Little Prince some too. Little Prince was a bit apprehensive as he still can't tie shoe laces, and didn't think the shop would have any velcro fastening ones. Mr Messy assured him he didn't have to worry as these would be trainers for at home and while he was practising tying his laces we would be around to help him if he needed it. Little Prince was very pleased with his trainers that are very similar to Daddy's, although he did say that Daddy's were cooler (which obviously pleased Mr Messy lol). I then left Princess Lollipop at OUR shop with everyone, and took Little Prince with me to run some errands.

First stop was the HUGE home decor/crafts/garden centre shop. I needed some picture frames, which we found very quickly and wanted to have a look for a cushion cover to replace one in the lounge that had split. We had no luck finding a replacement cushion cover, but Little Prince found the "Alien Egg" thing that he was desperate to spend his money on. Its a gooey alien, contained in a plastic egg filled with more goo - I can't even bring myself to touch the things but Little Prince loves them!! Little Prince was hungry so we called in at the cafe where he devoured a bacon sandwich and slush drink. Then we drove round to the next shop, where Mr Messy had sent us to look for an outdoor table like his friend K has outside her Bistro. I found a large metal and glass lighthouse, that will look fantastic in OUR shop window's new "beach/seaside" themed display, but no table. Then we had to call at the supermarket to pick up nappies and some other bits and bobs, before heading off to Argos to pick up the Steam Cleaner I had reserved. We were running later than I had intended (too much browsing on my part) so when Mr Messy rang to see when we would be back to pick Princess Lollipop up and found we would be ages, he decided to take her home himself. Not ideal as her only car seat was in my car, with me!! But its only 4 miles and he had both big girls sit with her in the back. She told me later about "Drive car, not seat bells. It FUNNY" I'm very strict about using car seats, so it won't be happening again!!!

Anyway once we'd picked up the Steam Cleaner, Little Prince decided he was desperate for the toilet. The only option was the nearby fast food restaurant, and he decided he was hungry too, so we ate there as it was past his tea time, and we were over half an hour from home. He enjoyed his meal and ate the lot, it makes such a big difference to his appetite when he isn't on his ADHD medication!

In the evening I got some more sorting out done, staying up till stupid o'clock to get it finished! Which obviously I regretted in the morning when Princess Lollipop woke up, and we were soon after joined by Little Prince. They didn't take the hint when I hid under the covers and I had to get up lol.

Sunday Madness

Mr Messy went out before we all got up, to go to a photographic day, looking at different techniques and honing his, already considerable artistic talents. I was the next one up, with the two littlies of course! We had a snacky, very unhealthy breakfast, but we all enjoyed it :-) When the big girls got up I got them to look after Little Prince while I dealt with Princess Lollipop's hair in the bath. Drama Teen also went over to the village shop to pick up some cordial, as we'd run out and no-one had bothered writing it on the shopping list, so I didn't pick any up at the supermarket! Princess Lollipop is getting a lot better at sitting still while I brush through her conditioner soaked hair, but she always starts getting upset when we reach the last bit, and today was no different :-( I hate that she gets so upset and it upsets me to be hurting her like this, but it is a lot better than it used to be now we are finally using a product that suits her hair and are in a bit more of a routine with it.

After her bath, it was time for an early nap, so that (fingers crossed!!) she would be in a good mood for her catwalk modelling in the afternoon. It took her ages to settle down, so in the end we had to wake her up, which never goes down well!! And by the time we were all ready to go out (well except Drama Teen who wanted to stay at home) it was throwing it down. The catwalk was supposed to be outside, as part of the nearby town's "Street Party" but due to the weather it was moved into the local hall. Despite the weather, the streets were mostly closed and we had to park quite a distance from the hall. Mrs LMS took Little Prince over to OUR shop to pick up one or two things, the most important of which was a camera to photograph our little modelling superstar :-)

Due to the change in venue there were quite a few "schedule clashes" and it took ages for J the Designer Children's Boutique Owner to sort out a few minutes for the children to rehearse. The rehearsals went as well as possible, despite the choreographer running late and not being there and there not being any music!! Then it was time to get the children changed and ready for their first "set." The local paper's photographer asked if he could get a shot of Princess Lollipop and her catwalk partner (the youngest pair in the show) for the paper and Princess Lollipop totally hammed it up for the camera!! She had a grin from ear to ear and both thumbs up - she certainly showed character lol. Then we all had to squeeze back into the tiny changing room, which now had the adult models in there too, and was chaotic, noisy and very hot!! Considering she'd been cooped up in the tiny changing room, Princess Lollipop performed very well on the catwalk, although Mrs LMS who was stood at the front said Princess Lollipop was avoiding looking at the audience at all. When it was time for the second set, Princess Lollipop was much less co-ooperative, she refused to hold her catwalk partners hand and had to be placed on the catwalk half way down the runway, after I'd given her a hug. Afterwards we stayed in the hall while everyone else got changed, so that Princess Lollipop didn't get even more stressed by having to be squashed up in there again. Once the adult models had finished their sets, Princess Lollipop decided it was her turn again, and ran off up the steps to the catwalk and performed her set again perfectly!! She did this quite a few times and was having a whale of a time, she even carried on performing as the catwalk was dismantled around her, and was not happy at all when the last part was taken away and she had no stage to shine on!! She kept telling me afterwards "People clap me" and sounding VERY pleased with herself - I think we could be creating a Stage Diva :-)

J bought us all a drink and cake and we hung around to chat for a while. Little Prince and J's younger son took the opportunity to try to outdo each other with cartwheels, jumps and flips in the large space left vacant by the removal of the catwalk. I didn't know Little Prince could do a perfect one handed cartwheel!! Or walk on his hands!! Or quite a few of the other moves he performed!! I'm now trying to find a suitable gymnastics club that he would be able to attend! Apart from his one to one swimming lessons he doesn't do any other activity or belong to any clubs, as he hasn't been able to cope with any so far. But he seemed to be showing such natural talent and ability that gymnastics might be a good one to try, and be something that could direct his boundless energy and might be something he'd enjoy and stick at. We'll see....

On the way home I called in at the village shop and bought some stuff (well junk food really) so that we could have an indoor picnic and watch a film. Everyone seemed to think this was a good idea, and the big girls made sandwiches, while me and Little Prince chose what film to watch. We settled on The Incredibles, which I wasn't sure Princess Lollipop would like, but she did :-) When it had finished she said "My LIKE it dat one" while pointing at the screen. So perhaps she is more of an action film girl, than a princess film girl :-) Mr Messy came home part way through the film and watched it with us too. Little Prince and Mrs LMS watched quite a bit of the film, but then took a break to go and chat to Mr LMS on Facetime. Little Prince wanted to tell him about his success at Sports Day last week, although Mrs LMS said they ended up talking more about Star Wars instead lol.

Little Prince wanted to watch another film, but we didn't have time before he would have to get ready for bed, so he sat and worked on his Word Search puzzles instead. He is managing to stay a lot more focused and able to concentrate and is really enjoying both word searches and simple Sudoku puzzles :-) After he was tucked up in bed and Princess Lollipop was settled with her Daddy and sisters, I went off to tackle some ironing and get some more sorting out done. Its much harder to get the sorting out done on my own and I'm struggling to find the time to fit it in, so its going a lot slower than I want, but it is getting done and I'm being a lot firmer (Drama Teen says bossy lol) about people picking up after themselves and not leaving things lying around. It makes a huge difference, especially with there being six of us in the house!! If each of us leaves a couple of things lying around each day it doesn't take long for a big mess to build up!!

Saturday, 11 June 2011


I've often written about how I'm sorting out and de-cluttering our house, but it never seems to last very long and within a short time is back to being cluttered up and driving me insane!! So I decided to hire a de-cluttering service to help me out! Today was our first day of working together. The first part was a consultation meeting where the De-clutterer asked questions about who lives here, what our average daily routine is like and what I would like to achieve with her help. I had to give her a tour of the house, which I was dreading as the clutter seems to be breeding and overtaking the place!! She was very non-judgmental and didn't make me feel any worse than I was already feeling about admitting how badly everything has got.

Once the consultation was complete and she had more of an idea of what she was up against, we started tackling the clutter! I decided to start with the lounge, as its where we all spend most of our time and getting that looking better would be a huge boost, and hopefully an incentive to me (and the rest of the family) to keep going and tackle the rest of the place. We started in one corner of the room and dragged everything out and questioned each item before it was either put back, thrown out, put in a bag for the charity shop or moved to another room. It was both exhilaration and extremely tiring to have to constantly make decisions about everything, but it has really made a difference. We didn't manage to finish the whole room, but the parts we did finish look and feel totally different and so do I :-) Knowing that I now have someone independent who will push me to get things sorted out and not let me say "I'll do that bit later" or give up half way through is a huge help :-)

I've even been left with homework!! And had to agree deadlines to finish the jobs I've been given!! The De-clutterer is going to get in touch to check that I'm sticking to the deadlines and not sliding back too. Its a fairly expensive way to tidy up, but I'm so fed up with trying and failing to get things straight, that its worth it!! And despite the fact that I'd tidied up and cleared out the lounge not so long ago, I still managed to fill a bag for the charity shop, throw out loads of rubbish and move lots of things to different rooms! The De-clutterer is encouraging me to be much more ruthless than I usually am, although her philosophy is that she advises and I make all the decisions, I'm finding it useful having someone there asking me if I really need something, if that is the best place to keep it etc. and quite a lot of the stuff that I got rid of today is stuff that has been hanging around cluttering up drawers and cupboards, that we don't use and never will use, but for some reason have hung onto!! The cupboards and drawers are more organised and it will be so much easier to find things, and the sorted part of the room feels so much nicer now :-) Hopefully that will keep me going to tackle the rest of the room on my own, which is a daunting prospect!! Wish me luck :-)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Little Prince's Sports Day

Little Prince's school held Sports Day really early this year, normally it isn't until the last week or so of school!! I think its because when they did that last year, the weather didn't co-operate and it was rained off that often it almost didn't happen!

Sports Day Mark 1 - me, Drama Teen and Princess Lollipop arrived a few minutes before it was due to start and managed to grab a couple of the last available chairs. However just as the Head started to announce the start of the races, the heavens opened and we all got drenched running to the school hall!! After 10 minutes or so when it became obvious the rain wasn't going to blow over, Sports Day was cancelled until the following afternoon.

Sports Day Mark 2 - Mr Messy was able to join me, Drama Teen and Princess Lollipop this time and he brought along his camera to get photos of Little Prince in his races, so he hung around at the finish line. Me, Drama Teen and Princess Lollipop weren't lucky enough to get seats this time, but Princess Lollipop wasn't at all bothered as we'd brought along her football and she and some of the other toddlers played kicking and throwing it around behind the spectators and out of the way of the races :-) Little Prince was in three races, the obstacle race, the flat race and the anchorman in the relay. The last couple of Sports Days Little Prince, despite being extremely fast, hasn't won many races and has been very disappointed afterwards. This time however, he was rocket powered!! He won his individual races by miles, totally outstripping his fellow runners. And in the relay his team was almost a full lap behind when he took the baton, he managed to claw them back into 2nd position and if they had run a little bit further I'm sure he would have won that too!! I was so very proud of him :-) When he was presented with the shield for best sportsman in his year group, I was overjoyed - Little Prince had been hoping to win a trophy, but was convinced he wasn't good enough to do so :-) Before the presentations his teacher snuck over to let me know that he was among the winners and she was thrilled for him too :-) This is the first Sports Day since Little Prince started on his ADHD medication and I'm wondering if this helped him focus his energy on his races, rather than getting distracted and slowed down by everything going on around him?? Whatever it was he was so pleased with his shield and kept hugging it all night :-) It now has pride of place on one of his bedroom shelves, next to his picture of his Birth Mum, which shows how important he feels it is :-)

On the way home from school Little Prince wanted to know if we could go out for tea to "celebrate my victory" who could resist that :-) We had a lovely celebration tea and even let Little Prince try a Coke float as a treat (he is NEVER allowed Coke!!) so he was in 8 year old boy gastronomic heaven :-)

I managed to upset Drama Teen by being so proud of Little Prince, she and Mrs LMS were never very sporty and didn't really enjoy Sports Day at all. I'm really sorry Drama Teen, I didn't mean to make you feel bad, you did your best when it was your turn and we celebrated your victory, even though it wasn't a first place sort of victory. Your (and Mrs LMS) victory was to keep trying and doing your best, even though you hated the whole thing and hated knowing you were going to lose. And I stood on the sidelines and shouted and cheered you just as loudly as I do for Little Prince, knowing exactly how you were feeling as I never won anything at Sports Day either, and usually came a distant last. You all have different talents and accomplishments and we celebrate them all with all of you :-)

A What's Been Going On Post

Well since my last mega blog, one or two things have gone on!! Here's a taste of them... (well its what I can remember from the last month lol)

Little Prince went to see his Consultant Paediatrician again. I had been dreading this appointment, as I was worried that he might be continuing to lose weight, and as he is the skinniest kid I know he can't afford to lose any weight at all!! We saw a different Consultant this time, and on checking Little Prince's growth, he confirmed that he had grown and put on a little weight :-) Which was a HUGE relief :-) The Consultant reviewed Little Prince's behaviour and moods - Little Prince has been very very moody (raging anger, extreme tantrums and heartbreaking sadness) when his medication is wearing off in the evenings, almost out of control moody and his concentration abilities do seem to be tailing off slightly. The Consultant asked then asked if I would agree to him prescribing a stronger version of the medication, due to the moodiness Little Prince has been suffering I agreed to give it a trial. Little Prince has to go to see the Consultant again in three months, to assess him again so I've got my fingers and toes crossed that he responds well and doesn't start losing weight again.

We also had another celebration for my Mum's 70th Birthday :-) My brother, sisters and I had booked a room in a Pub for a Birthday Meal. Baby Sis, her Fiance and their baby were picking Mum and Dad up to take them out for a meal, without mentioning that everyone was going to be there! The rest of us managed to get to the Pub and get seated before they arrived, and Mum and Dad's faces when they walked in to see us all were a picture lol. Throughout the meal Mum kept saying "I can't believe this" lol, she's going to be paranoid whenever any of us suggest taking her and Dad anywhere!! The food was great (thanks for recommending and booking it Little Bro), the company was wonderful and being in a private room meant that the younger children didn't disturb any other diners, which meant me and Little Sis weren't stressing over how they behaved :-) Especially Little Prince and his same age cousin, who both have special needs and struggle with changes to their routine and being in unfamiliar places and in their struggles can unintentionally cause total chaos without even trying lol. At the end of the meal Mum's oldest Grandaughter (Mrs LMS) and oldest Grandson (Little Sis's eldest son) presented Mum with a lovely bunch of flowers and a framed photograph of all of us taken at our holiday weekend. This was after we had given Mum a group photo, that had Mr Little Sis head across it, as we tried to work out if the timer on the camera was working lol. We tried to convince Mum that this was the only photo that we had managed to get off the camera, but I don't think we fooled her at all :-) We all thought it was amusing though :-)

Little Prince started swimming lessons with his class at school, and as he was asked to leave his last group lessons, I was worried about how he (and his teachers) were going to cope! He is VERY confident in the water and has NO fear, he also likes to win at all costs - not a great recipe for a school swimming lesson!! Luckily his TA went to the pool with the class and was even prepared to get in the water and swim with Little Prince if she needed to :-) Little Prince then confounded all our expectations and coped fabulously, was immediately placed in the advanced swimmers group and thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and behaved beautifully :-) Well done Little Prince :-)

Little Prince attended a friend's "Circus Skills" birthday party, and despite initially getting frustrated that he wasn't able to manage some of the balance toys or juggling equipment that the Circus Clown brought for the children, he didn't lose his cool and found something else that he could do and played with that instead :-) He said it was a great party and is thinking about having a similar celebration for his own birthday next year :-)

During half term (and all other school holidays) I have to try and manage Little Prince's behaviour without medication, so that his body gets a break and he regains his appetite and manages to grow! It can be extremely difficult to keep him occupied without spending a fortune going to different places. Apart from the Bank Holiday weekend, the weather was lovely during the hols, so we managed to get out and about in the sunshine. We spent a day at the local National Trust-like property, which had an organised "Bear Hunt" that kept Little Prince busy for quite a while :-) At the playground I nearly had heart failure when Princess Lollipop decided she was big enough to play on the bigger equipment and was VERY good at climbing so high I couldn't reach her!! Lesson learned - I need calming medication to take a crazy 8 year old and fearless 2 year old to the playground lol.

Mr Messy, Mrs LMS and Drama Teen looked after Princess Lollipop one day during the holiday so that me and Little Prince could go swimming. I need a small army to help out if I try to take both of them at the same time!! We went to the pool that is further away from us, but has a selection of slides, a whirlpool area and even an outdoor swimming area. Little Prince had a fantastic time, he was behaving well enough that I let him queue up for the larger slides on his own (the queues aren't visible from the pool, so I was unable to supervise during the queue!! Apart from being a complete wuss and being scared stiff of water slides!!) and he behaved himself and managed not to cause chaos while doing this :-) This would have been impossible a few months ago, which just goes to show that even on an un-medicated day he is learning more self control :-) The rest of the time we didn't spend more than a few minutes in each different part of the pool, as he flitted from one place to the next, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself, which is the whole point :-)

Another day in the holidays Drama Teen took Little Prince on the hour long bus ride to the nearest town with a cinema and they watched Kung Fu Panda 2 together, while Princess Lollipop and I spent the day in OUR shop. I was delighted that Drama Teen decided to take him, as they have a quite antagonistic relationship with each other, and she finds him very hard to deal with and consequently doesn't take him out with her very often. Little Prince behaved very well and they both had a great time - I'm proud of both of you :-)

Princess Lollipop and I attended the rehearsal for an upcoming fashion show, for which Princess Lollipop is going to be a catwalk model (and steal the show). On the day there will be a proper raised catwalk, but for this rehearsal there were just chairs outlining the shape of the catwalk - which Princess Lollipop insisted on squeezing through instead of staying on the catwalk!! I'm hoping she doesn't do the same off the real catwalk!! The show is for our friend who runs the local Designer Kids Boutique, and as she has three children of her own she understands that how stubborn 2 year olds can be, and isn't bothered that Princess Lollipop might not perform on the day :-) She says so long as she is on the catwalk looking gorgeous that's all that matters, which means I don't have to panic about how Princess Lollipop might (or might not!) cope. We have been practising "walk walk walk - pose" every now and again when Princess Lollipop is in the mood and she seems to get the idea - whether that idea sticks when she is actually on the catwalk is yet to be seen... After the rehearsal finished me and J the Boutique owner took her three children and Princess Lollipop to a Family Fun Day at a park near their house. Unfortunately it had already finished by the time we got there, but the children still had a great time playing in the playground and kicking a football around. Princess threw a tantrum when we left the playground (to go to a different one on the other side of the park) and had to be put wailing in her buggy, as she refused to walk! She kept up the wailing and shouting until we got to the other playground, but cheered up once she realised we had just moved to a new play area :-) I think she thought we were packing up to go home and was objecting to that, but its impossible to communicate with her once she gets that wound up!

At the start of the half term we had bought Tangled on DVD and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean for the Wii, as our "rainy day" stand bys!! The weather was so great we didn't need them, although me and Little Prince did have fun playing on the Wii anyway, the graphics are fantastic and the little Lego men look and act so like their real-life counterparts it is great to watch :-) We watched Tangled one evening and we all loved it :-) The characters were so well acted and the film seemed to have a lot of scenes to make the adults laugh, as well as the children :-) I loved it :-) And will definitely be watching that again :-) Watching the DVD is part of my plan to introduce more Disney characters to Princess Lollipop in advance of our trip to Walt Disney World in Florida later in the year. Although some people in the family claim that I am brainwashing her, I just ignore them :-) I can't help it if she LOVES the Mouse already!!! She has sat through and enjoyed Peter Pan and Tangled, wriggled and played through parts of Mulan and Pocohontas and loves having the first Tinkerbell film on in the car. Well she did until my cigarette lighter stopped working so I can't plug the DVD player in!! I keep putting off sending my car back to the garage again, as I'm still enjoying being mobile so much!! But it will have to be done soon, as I'll need to use my SatNav and again I can't until the cigarette lighter is fixed!! And one of the back passenger windows has stopped going up and down, and slips open slightly when I'm driving so that needs fixing too!! I hope these are just minor little jobs that don't take very long, I don't want to be without my car again!!!


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