Friday, 24 August 2012

Direct Contact Meeting

Earlier this month, Little Prince had his second supervised contact meeting with his Birth Mum and youngest sibling.  The meeting was held at the same venue as the last meeting, which helped Little Prince feel comfortable as he was familiar with the place and procedures.  However, he wanted the meeting to be exactly the same as last time, and tried his best to push us all into our previous roles.  He got more and more agitated as it became obvious this wasn't working, and his behaviour became wilder and wilder.  It didn't help that in all the chaos of getting ready for this meeting that I'd forgotten to give him his ADHD medication. There was only one Social Worker present at this meeting so there was less opportunity for the Social Worker to help Birth Mother interact with Little Prince.  I spent most of the meeting trying to keep Little Prince's behaviour within normal (ish!!) limits, which was impossible, but I had to keep trying to help him stay calm.  It took all my reserves of patience to stay calm with Little Prince, and I tried my very best.  I was very conscious that Birth Mum probably doesn't understand Little Prince's issues properly and he was coming over as a very badly behaved little lad.  I have had to grow a thick skin and I am pretty good at ignoring people's reactions to Little Prince's "odd" or naughty seeming behaviours, but this was very different.  This is Little Prince's Mum, and I want her to know that her/our son is growing up safely in our family and that he is a great little boy that she can be proud of.  However, his behaviour wasn't showing this and I was very embarrassed to think that Birth Mum might assume we were raising him badly :-(  Near the end of the meeting Little Prince started to complain about everything "My parents are always grumpy" "I never get anything/go anywhere/do anything" "Everybody picks on me" etc all things that children feel from time to time (whether they are true or not!).  I don't know how Birth Mum took this litany of woes, whether she realised that all children do this, or whether she now thinks that Little Prince's life with us is as awful as he was making it out to be.  I want her to know that Little Prince is (mostly!) a very happy little boy, who loves school and has lots of friends, who has lots of opportunities to do lots of fun things and has a bedroom overflowing with toys and books, and a large family who love him very, very much.  Hopefully despite Little Prince's protests she still understands this...

Another reason I found the meeting very difficult was that I had been suffering with a worsening chest infection for a week or so by then.  I was finding it so difficult to breath on the way home that I rang our GP from the car and got an emergency appointment with the Duty Doctor.  He duly diagnosed a bad chest infection and prescribed some HUGE antibiotic tablets, seriously they were like horse tablets!!  Although over the next few days I could feel a slight improvement I didn't feel I was improving enough, so when it became obvious that Princess Lollipop was coming down with a chest infection too (her breathing at night was all bubbly sounding, and at times it sounded like she was drowning!!) I booked her an appointment with our usual GP.  The GP checked over Princess Lollipop and noticing the difficulty I was having breathing, checked me over too - we were both diagnosed with pneumonia!  I was given an extra prescription for more HUGE antibiotics to take on top of the ones I was already taking, and Princess Lollipop was given antibiotic syrup too.  She was supposed to have her 3 1/2 year injections that afternoon, but they were postponed until she feels better.

The double dose of antibiotics helped me to slowly start improving, much to Mr Messy's relief as he had been trying to work out how he would manage everything if both me and Princess Lollipop ended up in hospital (in separate wards!) as he did this time last year!  The GP did say that I would probably feel "underpowered" for a couple of weeks after the infection was cleared, and I can now understand what he meant!  My cough has more or less disappeared and my breathing is back to normal, but I am tiring very easily and I am finding it extremely difficult to keep up with the housework and amusing the Littlies while they are on their Summer hols.  Mr Messy has been very understanding and has been letting me take it easy as much as he can, he has taken Little Prince to work with him for the past couple of days, as it is much easier to deal with one Littlie than both of them together!!  Especially as Princess Lollipop is still not quite back to her normal self yet, and she is very tantrummy and whingy, and Little Prince just can't resist winding her up - leading to constant screaming and shouting from both of them!!

Luckily we are off to visit our friend's at their farm this weekend, where the atmosphere is always calm and welcoming.  Both Littlies love the freedom of the huge garden and the chance to feed the pigs and chickens, and Little Prince loves the huge, noisy, crowded family meals (he calls them feasts) we eat there.  There will be quite a few other adopters with children from Ethiopia there this weekend too, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the children have grown since I last saw them, and catching up with their parents once they are safely tucked up in bed in the evenings :-)  Me and Princess Lollipop are staying in one of the spare rooms, and Mr Messy and Little Prince are camping, given the wet weather forecast for this weekend, I definitely think me and Princess Lollipop have made the right choice :-)

Friday, 17 August 2012

WELL DONE Drama Teen

Yesterday was RESULTS DAY for A Level students, which of course meant that Drama Teen would find out if she got the grades to go to her first choice University.  And she DID :-)  Despite her hard work and resits her results aren't as good as she wanted, but they were still good enough to get her into University.  I am very very proud of the work Drama Teen put in to get to this position and I've positive she is going to go out into the world and make a difference :-)  Good luck Drama Teen - spread your wings and fly...

For me this means that I can't keep hiding my head in the sand, and I have to face up to the fact that Drama Teen really is going to leave home for University :-(  I've been presented with a shopping list of things she needs to take with her, and its all becoming very very real :-(  I've always believed my "job" as a parent is to give my children secure roots, and the confidence to grow wings and fly to their next adventures when the time comes.  I still believe in this, its just letting my little fledgling spread her wings and fly on her own is harder than I thought!

Catch Up

I've not posted for a while as I've been suffering with a chest infection.  I'm now on two lots of antibiotics (more like horse tablets!!) and am starting to feel better :-)  I could really do without this in the middle of the Summer Hols :-(  Princess Lollipop has, unfortunately, come down with a chest infection too, although it doesn't affect her much during the day, the cough is really disturbing her sleep and so she is tired and grumpy and has been tantruming as only a tired 3 year old can!  I'm finding it hard to deal with, but am trying my very best to stay calm and patient with her.

Little Prince has, unfortunately, lost his freedom to play out unsupervised :-(  There was an incident where a man tried to grab a girl into his car in a nearby village, and then a man matching his description was seen watching children at our village park.  When we showed Little Prince the photofit released on the internet (covering the words) he immediately said "That's the creepy man who was watching me at the park."  VERY scary and worrying.  Little Prince understands why he isn't being allowed to play out unsupervised, but he is getting bored and restless cooped up in the house and garden.  And when he is bored he gets sillier and sillier, and we are having to give him his medication more than I'd really like.

I haven't been well enough to take the Littlies to our village park, let alone anywhere else!  I feel awful that I'm not able to let Little Prince play out, or take them out to fun places - I don't want them to have this as their memories of Summer Holidays :-(  I'm not sure what else I can do though :-(

Sunday, 5 August 2012

No more frills :-(

I have always admitted that I enjoy dressing Princess Lollipop in frills, pink and pretty dresses, but I knew that it was a time limited hobby :-)  And it seems at the grand old age of 3 1/2 years that Princess Lollipop has decided she's a Tomboy and only wants to wear "awesome jumpers."  By this she means either one of her brightly coloured tie dyed Mickey Mouse t-shirts, her Tinga Tinga Tales t-shirt or a pink t-shirt with a cartoon figure of a cute black girl (who she is convinced is herself) on the front.  She throws a tantrum if these "awesome" items are in the wash and she has to wear anything else.  She also insists on only wearing jeans or trousers, or in the recent warm weather shorts, skirts are a complete no-no!  And dresses, well getting one of those out of her wardrobe prompts a full, screaming melt down!!  This time last year she would shout and cry if she couldn't wear a dress, how times change lol.

Princess Lollipop also constantly tells us "I sound like a boy" and won't be told otherwise!  Her best friend at Big School is a little boy that she bonded with so quickly the staff were convinced they must have known each other before school!!  She choose a Batman logo picture for her latest sticker chart, which rule orientated (who therefore has quite firm ideas about gender stereotypes) Little Prince can't understand at all.  My Frilly Princess has morphed into a Tomboy over the last few months and I'm loving this new adventure :-)  I've just got my fingers crossed that she will agree to a "Princess Dress" when she is a bridesmaid at the end of next year!!

Indoor Play Centre

We are still working with Princess Lollipop on improving her sleeping habits, and using sticker charts to help motivate her.  She has just finished her latest sticker chart, for getting herself to sleep in her own Princess Bed with no cuddling or scratching.  And she chose to got to the Indoor Play Centre for her reward, which is what she normally chooses lol.

We set off just before lunchtime, as Little Prince had spent the morning playing out and I'd been conditioning Princess Lollipop's hair in the bath.  As an extra treat we had lunch at the Littlies favourite Fast Food Place, before driving round to the Indoor Play Centre.  It also meant that they wouldn't be pestering for the expensive food and snacks at the Indoor Play Centre too :-)

Princess Lollipop had a fantastic time playing and made a friend to run round with, I'm not sure he knew quite how to deal with her though as she was extremely bossy with him lol.  Little Prince on the other hand played for about ten minutes and then decided he was bored, and sat sulking at the table with me.  I couldn't persuade him that it would be more fun to play than to sit with Mummy and whinge, and he started to lose his temper.  After he had kicked over both a ride in car and a chair, I got cross back with him.  I told him I was reading my Kindle and if he wanted to stay with me that was fine, but I wasn't chatting with him and he had to BEHAVE!  He stopped whinging quite as much, but started to make loud theatrical sighs instead lol.

All of a sudden we heard Princess Lollipop shouting for help, and he ran off to assist, even in a foul mood he just has to help his baby sister :-)  This seemed to snap him out of his mood, and he started to play and even admitted it was more fun than sitting sulking lol.  We finally left when it was obvious that Princess Lollipop was too tired to play nicely, I had been dreading leaving as our next job was to do the Supermarket shopping WITH the Littlies argh!!

I told them before we went in that we would be MUCH quicker if I didn't have to deal with constant "Can I haves?"  Princess Lollipop also agreed that she would be a good girl and stay holding onto the shopping trolley, so that she didn't have to sit in the seat.  She is getting much better at this and I have to keep an eye on and supervise Little Prince more than her!  I'd like to think that my talk about "No can I haves?" worked, but to be honest I think the Littlies were just a bit too tired to fuss lol.  Whatever it was we managed to whizz round the Supermarket pretty quickly and with minimal fuss :-)  I still think I'm going to try and be more organised and do the shopping online for the rest of the hols though!

When we got home Little Prince disappeared for ages to the loo and Princess Lollipop just wouldn't co-operate, so I ended up putting all the shopping away myself.  I was hot, tired and fed up and got grumpy with them, for which I apologised immediately and felt awful :-(

Mr Messy had been away all day on the other side of the country at a photoshoot, he arrived home after Princess Lollipop was in bed, but was in time to see Little Prince.  We watched some Olympics together, including seeing British Somali Mo Farah win the 10,000m race :-)  I loved the scenes of him celebrating with his wife and daughter after the race, what a lovely family :-)

Splashy Summer Fun

Little Prince's friend E came round to play, and despite the weather being overcast and not that warm, they somehow ended up having an all afternoon water fight!!  It started when Little Prince found his water pistol, and then he remembered where another one was for his friend.  Princess Lollipop was feeling left out, so the boys got a plastic bottle out of the recycling for her!  They started to use more and more plastic bottles, and get wetter and wetter!  Then Little Prince's friend H came round to play, after I made her check with her parents that it was ok, she joined in too.  After a while a very soggy H rode home on her bike, and returned in dry clothes over her swimsuit, much more practical.  Princess Lollipop seemed to hate the water fight, screaming and shouting when she got wet, but she refused point blank to come back inside and as soon as she had received enough sympathy, she ran back into the garden to join in again.

E's Mum collected him, but had to wait while I found him some of Little Prince's clothes to return home in, it took a while as E isn't as skinny as my Little Princely beanpole!  Little Prince, Princess Lollipop and H carried on soaking each other for a while, but then it started to get too cold even for these hardy soul, and the water fight had turned into more of a mud bath, my poor lawn!!  I persuaded them all to come inside, and plopped them all (in their swim suits) in a warm, bubbly bath.  I had to drag them out when the water started to look more like bubbly hot chocolate, and it took ages to get the bath clean again lol.  Once they were all warm and snuggly dry in their dry clothes, Little Prince escorted H home, he's such a gentleman :-)  Princess Lollipop cuddled up on the sofa with her Daddy for a rest before bedtime.

Later that evening Little Prince told me that was the MOST FUN DAY he'd ever had :-)  Amazing how much fun you can have with a plastic bottle and some water lol :-)

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Not a lot happening

I fell ill on Monday night, and spent the night in the spare room to ensure I didn't disturb Mr Messy or Princess Lollipop.  It was a good job I did, and that the bathroom is only next door (!!!) as I spent most of the night visiting it!!

Tuesday I couldn't eat or drink anything and just slept on and off all day.  Drama Teen did a MAGNIFICENT job holding down the fort, and I'm so so proud of her.  She looked after her little brother and sister AND did some washing, sorted out the dishwasher and fed everyone :-)

Wednesday I felt a little bit better, and was able to come downstairs, and managed to keep down toast and water :-)  I was still exhausted, but not quite as badly as I'd been the day before.  And once again Drama Teen did a sterling job, looking after her siblings and the house - I honestly couldn't have managed without you darling, and I am truly grateful for all your help.  Hugs (((((((((((())))))))))

Today, I'm more or less back to normal, although I haven't got much energy, at least I'm not dropping asleep all the time!  I got up later than normal, and was still in my bedroom when Little Prince burst in from playing out, holding a cucumber in each hand!!  He excitedly told us that he'd seen a stall in the village that said "take some" and he'd chosen cucumbers as they are yummy, which is a tad surprising as I've never known him to ever eat cucumbers!!  He was so proud of himself and declared he was going back to get some carrots and potatoes next, I told him that wouldn't be fair and he should let someone else have a turn today!  And I'll have to go and find this "stall" and check what donation he was meant to have left, and sort that out!!!  He was so proud and pleased with himself I didn't have the heart to say anything to him though :-)

As he has for most of the holidays so far, he spent most of the day playing out.  He is doing very well at letting me know where he is, and if he visits a friend's house he always rings to let me know where he is :-)  He did come back to play at home for a while with his adored H, but they got a bit fed up with Princess Lollipop following them around and wanting to play, so they didn't stay very long.  Poor Princess Lollipop was heartbroken and couldn't understand why they wouldn't play with her.  Drama Teen played in the garden with her for a while to cheer her up, then when the weather started to look iffy, we cuddled up and watched some Phineas and Ferb episodes we've got saved on the Playstation.  She took over the controls pretty quickly, and she's right, she CAN do it better than Mummy lol.

In the evening we all watched some of the Olympics together after tea, Little Prince is getting quite interested in the competitions (although I have a sneaking suspicion that part of his interest is getting to go to bed later lol).  He was quite put out that the GB women's Judo player only got a silver medal, but didn't react as badly as he did two years ago when teams he was supporting lost in the World Cup.  He was VERY impressed to learn that the world's greatest ever Olympian, the swimmer Michael Phelps, has ADHD.  I have a constant battle to try and get him to see his differences as "opportunities" rather than "problems" and this knowledge does seem to have helped :-)  For a few minutes he was quite interested in developing his own swimming (he is VERY fast, and constantly improving) but when he learnt he would have to attend the club more than once a week, he changed his mind.  At the moment his social life is much more important to him, and I'm not going to try and change his mind :-)  I love the fact that the village is safe enough for him to have the freedom to play out and enjoy himself with his friends, and hope that he will look back on Summers like this and have wonderful memories, like I have of my childhood Summers :-)


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