Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Me and Princess Lollipop were talking about Christmas today, and I introduced the concept of being good because Father Christmas would know, and he only brings presents to good girls and boys.  This is how our conversation went:

Princess Lollipop "How does he know?"
Me "Magic"
Princess Lollipop "OK.  I'll be good then.  I'm always good.  Even when Little Prince is naughty I'm good."
Me "And what would you like Father Christmas to bring for you"
Princess Lollipop "I want a big blue light sabre and a wand, a Harry Potter wand."
Me "What if Father Christmas brought you a dolly?"
Princess Lollipop "I would be VERY VERY grumpy with him."
Me "Would you like Father Christmas to bring you a pretty dress."
Princess Lollipop "NO! I don't like dresses!  I just like tutus."
Me "We could visit Father Christmas and you could tell him."
Princess Lollipop "Do you know where he is?  Can we do that?"
Me "I think we could probably find him for a quick visit"
Princess Lollipop "OK.  I will tell him NO dollies and NO dresses or I will be VERY VERY grumpy with you."

I'm not sure Father Christmas will know what's hit him when Princess Lollipop visits!!

More OT Progress

I had a long chat with the Occupational Therapist yesterday, and she confirmed that they can see Little Prince, but only at the Clinic and not home or school.  I explained that we wanted ideas to help keep Little Prince calm without using his medication and she said they would be able to assess what would help with that.  She also said that if we apply for charitable funding to help buy the resources, they would be happy to write in support of that.  She said that we needed to get our GP to refer us back to them, and that they see the majority of children within 6 weeks of receiving a referral YEAH :-)

I made an appointment to see our GP this morning, I let Little Prince go to school rather than keep him off, as our GP knows exactly what he is like and I didn't think it was worth Little Prince missing school just while we asked for a referral.  Our GP was perfectly happy to make the referral I asked him to, and dictated the letter while we were in the consulting room.  Princess Lollipop was whispering (loudly) "What de nerf is the Doctor doing?" I hope that doesn't make its way into the letter lol.  The GP also said my eyelids looked swollen and puffy, and said it could be something to do with too much protein in my blood!  He said this can happen after coughs and colds, and that I've got to drop a water sample off at the surgery to be tested to see what is going on.  I've been paranoidly checking my reflection in the mirror all day and I can't see anything different, so hopefully its nothing to worry about.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Wonderful Weekend Visit

Drama Teen came home for the weekend, and it was lovely to have her here :-)  We managed to persuade her to bake us some buns, which although they didn't turn out properly, were VERY yummy :-)  Drama Teen assisted her Dad by modelling on his photoshoot, and the pictures turned out beautifully, even though I say it myself she is a stunning young lady :-)  It was hard when her and Mr Messy left to return her to University, but she will be back for Christmas in a few weeks, so I am trying to concentrate on that.

First Play-over

On Saturday Mr Messy was working with a new make up artist, to see if they could collaborate on future shoots.  As we know this lady, I had invited her daughter round to our house to play with Princess Lollipop, who was overjoyed to have a friend to play (she insisted on calling it a play-over).  This is the first time we have had someone over to play (without their parent) specifically with Princess Lollipop, so I wasn't sure how it would go.  Well my little hostess was in her element, firstly she took K on a tour of the house, and they played in her bedroom for a little while.  Then they did some drawing and colouring, but Princess Lollipop got bored before K, and I had to do some persuading to get them to play nicely again.  They enjoyed playing with the jigsaws for a while, and I distracted them with a snack and drink when they seemed to get bored.  It wasn't too much later when Mr Messy rang to say they had finished the shoot, and could I return K to OUR Shop where her Mum was waiting.  Princess Lollipop and K decided they want to play again, and that they would like to have lunch or dinner together next time :-)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Lots going on!

This morning Little Prince had his 6 monthly check up with his Paediatrician.  He has grown 3cm, his blood pressure is good but he has lost a couple of pounds since his last check up.  As his weight loss was so minimal the Assistant Paediatrician wasn't too concerned.  He asked a few questions about how Little Prince was coping at school etc and noted it all down.  I asked if he would arrange a referral to an OT, he said he would check with the Paediatrician in charge, but that he didn't hold out too much hope of us getting an appointment any time soon :-(  I'll be seeing our GP on Monday to see what he can do.  It is at times like this that I really miss our ability to pay for private referrals :-(

Me and Little Prince had lunch together at a nearby fastfood restaurant before setting off to our second appointment of the day, a meeting with *Tummy Mummy.  I had received a phone call from the Social Worker this morning, confirming the details of the meeting and letting me know about some major changes in Tummy Mummy's circumstances.  Unfortunately they aren't good changes, and I drove to the meeting steeling myself in case I had to get Little Prince out of the meeting abruptly, whilst also working out how I could both keep him calm and then explain my actions.  We arrived at the meeting room first, which worried me as I wondered if Tummy Mummy was going to turn up.  I distracted Little Prince by allowing him to play on his iPod, I was both relieved and anxious when Tummy Mummy and Social Worker arrived a couple of minutes after us.

I had made sure that Little Prince had taken his medication, and he was calm and well behaved throughout the meeting, I was very proud of how well he coped.  I had to try and act as though I didn't know what the Social Worker had told me that morning, as Tummy Mummy is not aware that either this Social Worker, or I know.  Luckily Little Prince was in a co-operative and chatty mood and between us me and the Social Worker kept him talking about the different things he has been up to since the last meeting.  He also enjoyed playing with the big boxes of Lego and Popoids in the meeting room and acting out various scenarios with the models he'd made.

At the end of the meeting Little Prince gave Tummy Mummy a hug and said he would like to meet up again, and we set a date for next time.  Given the conversation I had this morning with the Social Worker I think I had better chat to her again, when Little Prince is at school, to find out if she thinks these face to face meetings are going to be sustainable.  I need to be able to prepare Little Prince for whatever happens as best as I can.  I also need to see if the change in circumstances is likely to be permanent, as we have always been completely honest with Little Prince about his Birth Family and if it is unlikely to change then we will need to tell him at some point.

*I mean no disrespect by using the term Tummy Mummy, I use it as this is what Little Prince currently chooses to call her and his views are the ones that are important to me.

We have discussed many of the different terms that can be used in these circumstances, and I think at his age and level of emotional maturity, he needs her to be a Mummy to him and that is why he chooses to call her that.  During the meetings he will refer to me as Mum/Mummy and her as Tummy Mummy.  I have never felt that I have to be his only Mummy, I'm not and I never will be.  It doesn't bother me when he says Real Mummy/Real Family when referring to them either, we are both Real Mummies/Real Families, I know I we each have our own place in his heart.  After all if I can love four different children with all my heart, why can't he love two Mummies with all his?

Friday, 23 November 2012

Retail Therapy

I had a lovely Retail Therapy day when I drove over to meet Baby Sis and her Baby Princess and we all went shopping in the Big City near where I grew up.  We had arranged to meet Drama Teen there too, and we had a fantastic girlie day out in the Big City :-)

We had lunch in an Italian Restaurant, where Baby Princess demanded paella!!  I'm very impressed at her adventurous (well compared to either her mother or my children lol) appetite, but I think she needs to work on her geography a little :-)  As she's not two till next week I think I'll let her off though.  She was such a polite Baby Princess asking the waitress "Paella pweeeese LADEEEE" :-)

The weather was cold and wet, so I was glad we spent most of the day in the indoor shopping centre.  I managed to make sure I pushed Baby Princess round in her buggy most of the day, and she was so funny :-) She started most of our  conversations with an imperious and irresistible  "Aunteeee Janet."  I loved her enthusiastic and utterly surprised "YES" when asked if she would like something.  I love all my lovely and wonderful nephews and nieces, but Baby Princess has a special place in my heart, her Mummy (my Baby Sis) has always been "one of my babies" she was born when I was 15 years and I have always mothered her.  She is only 6 years older than LMS and they are more like sisters than Aunt and niece, and she and Drama Teen are so alike that its scary!!  I even have a photograph of them walking beside each other, in very similar clothes and moving almost in synch :-)  Anyway all that is just to say that Baby Princess feels almost like a grandchild to me, and to cement my position as "Good Granny" I brought chocolate teddy bears :-)  One for each of my girlies that I'd be seeing that day - Baby Princess wolfed hers down and was my new best friend for a while.  Until I gave her Mum (Baby Sis) her chocolate and Baby Princess SCREACHED!!  Apparently ALL chocolate is hers and will NOT be shared even with her Mummy lol.

After our wonderful day out me and Drama Teen returned home, to spend the weekend with us :-)  It was great having company for the long drive home, and knowing I'd have all my babies at home for a few days :-)

Tuesday, 20 November 2012


At Little Prince's Statement Review Meeting his Class Teacher agreed to send us the weekly class timetable in advance, so that we could prepare Little Prince for any changes to the normal routine.  I was so hopeful that this could minimise some of the anxiety and stress (and subsequent behavioural problems) we always get in the run up to Christmas.

However, two weeks in and Class Teacher has forgotten (!?!?) to email the timetable already!!

I replied to the last email asking questions about the resources we had sent into school to help Little Prince with his chewing behaviours.  When he is stressed or upset he chews the cuffs of his school jumpers, and he has "eaten" through most of his cuffs now!  We can't afford to keep replacing the destroyed jumpers, so I found some alternative chewing "toys" specially designed for special needs children.  One was a cuff to wear, that I even managed to source in his uniform colour and the other is a small chewy stick, that he can have at his desk.  Little Prince is STILL chewing his jumper cuffs (we are down to frayed edges at the moment) and says that Miss hasn't talked about chewing toys. or given him a chance to use them.  Urgh!!  I brought this up in my last email to Class Teacher, and acknowledged that she could have brought it up with Little Prince and he has forgotten.  She has ignored the email.

When the children are let out of school in the evening, every class teacher (apart from Little Prince's!!) comes out with the class.  And due to the new-ish Fort Knox style security fences seperating parent's from the playground it is a big faff to go inside school and chat to Class Teacher.  Plus I have to try and keep an eye on both Little Prince (who wants to get home) and Princess Lollipop (who wants to play and run around).  Email communication seemed to be the least stressful and easiest solution to keeping in touch with Class Teacher - until she stopped replying that is!!!

So tonight after school I'm going to have to breach security and get into school, honestly it feels like you are trying to break into a secure bank or something, and talk to her.  I waited until today as Little Prince will be at TaeKwonDo in the school hall, and I'll only have Princess Lollipop to wrangle.


That's not "Off Topic" its "Occupational Therapist"  Ever since Little Prince's Statement Review Meeting I've been trying to get him a referral to see an OT, so that we can get professional advice on what sort of sensory equipment would be beneficial to him.

He was seen by an OT under his previous Paediatrician, and we have a letter from them saying "Ring us if you need to be seen at any time up to your 19th birthday."  Being a trusting soul, I rang them.  Two weeks later, after various phone calls and being told that the person I am speaking to has to check with someone else, who invariably doesn't work that day or is off sick or on holiday, I have been told we are out of area so can't be seen!  I argued this and was told, well you have moved since you were sent that letter - NO WE HAVE NOT!!  I pointed this out to them, and that the letter was sent to our (current and exactly the same as then!) address, so they knew when they sent it where we lived, and it can be the only address on Little Prince's notes.  The person I spoke to is now going to check with her Manager tomorrow (what a surprise she isn't in today!!) and will get in touch again after she's spoken to her!!

Our GP Practice said it would be better for Little Prince's current Paediatrician to refer him to an OT, as the Practice haven't dealt with Little Prince's special needs for a long time.

I have been ringing the Specialist Nurse on his current Paediatrician's team for over three weeks.  I've left countless messages on the answer machine and I'm still waiting to hear back from her.  We have a routine appointment with the Dept on Friday, so hopefully I'll be able to find out if they can refer Little Prince to an OT then.  But that's now 3 weeks wasted, and 3 weeks longer to wait to even find out if they can refer him.  If they can refer him, great but we will have to wait an additional 3 weeks on top of the current waiting time to get an appointment!!  If they can't refer us, then its 3 weeks wasted while I could have been trying to find out another avenue to get Little Prince referred!!!

Urgh!!  Just URGH!!!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Christmas List

Princess Lollipop has grasped the idea of a Christmas List and currently she wants (in her own words):

  • A car, that is THIS long (arms held wide) and has a twoll, a mote twoll (remote control) and boosters with FIRE.
  • A Harry Potter wand like Little Prince
  • A Star Wars Light Sabre, that is THIS long (see above lol)
  • Football trainers (she will just know they are football shoes)
  • Fast scooter
  • T-shirt like a Perry de Pladypuss t-shirt a home one

Today was one of THOSE days!

One of those days where I think I should have just given up and gone straight back to bed!!

I decided that I needed to get Little Prince's bedroom sorted out.  While Princess Lollipop, and then I had been ill I hadn't been reminding him to put everything away, and despite him having a HUGE tidy up the other day it was still a mess.  The most frustrating thing about getting the room put right, was the number of times I had to ask and explain what I wanted done, it is so tiring to keep having to say the same thing over and over again.  I know that Little Prince is more distractable during the weekends when he doesn't take his medication, and I try to be understanding but it doesn't stop it being frustrating that he can get "lost" in the few steps between his bedroom and the laundry basket!  Or that telling him to pick up things from under/behind somewhere takes so long as he stops to play with each and every item!  We eventually got the place looking much better and even if not everything was put away, all the dirty washing had made its way to the laundry baskets ready for me to blitz it all.

Things didn't get any easier when we got downstairs, both Littlies seemed to loudly want totally different things from me at the exact same time, and neither one was prepared to wait their turn.  Again I know Princess Lollipop is still getting over her recent illness, and that Little Prince is just starting to come down with the same thing, but its still frustrating...

When my computer decided to add to the frustrations by running slower than ever when I was trying to find an address I should have realised that it wasn't my day!!  After much hammering on the keyboard and muttered swearing under my breath, I eventually got the details I needed and was able to post the letters on the way to dropping Little Prince off at a friend's party.  Princess Lollipop threw a strop (shouting "I am sulking" and storming off to the car) when she realised she wasn't invited to the party and spent most of the afternoon telling me "... but I'm STILL sulking"  We visited Mr Messy and LMS at OUR Shop for a few minutes before heading off to "Hots" (McDonalds) for lunch.

It should have been a quick and easy treat for Princess Lollipop to distract her from the fact that she wasn't at the party, but no, not today it wasn't!!  The nearest McDonalds happens to be right next door to the local football stadium, and there was a match on!  We drove into the carpark, all the way round and back out again - there was nowhere to park at all.  So I decided to nip to the Toy Shop across the road to see if I could find a couple of black Shelly (Barbie's little sister) dolls.  We have a few left from when they were Drama Teen's favourite dolls, but no black ones and they are the perfect size to go in LMS's old dolls house that we are going to wrap up for Princess Lollipop for Christmas.  Princess Lollipop was delighted to be given a book (Christmas advertising catalogue lol) and didn't pester for anything else while we trundled up and down the aisles looking for Shellys - there were none anywhere!!  So much for that idea!!

The McDonalds looked even busier than before, and Princess Lollipop wouldn't compromise on where she wanted to eat, so I drove to the other side of town to the other Macs.  We had a trainee server and everyone else in the huge queues got served while we were still waiting - fast food, what a joke!!  Princess Lollipop took forever to barely eat anything and it was getting to the point where we would have to rush all the way back to pick Little Prince up, and I was getting more and more irate trying to persuade her to at least finish her fruit!!

We finally left and got caught up in more traffic going to the football match, and there was no way to avoid driving past the stadium!  Princess Lollipop sat in the back of the car, imperiously demanding to know why we were driving so slowly!  Once past the football grounds we managed to pick up a bit of speed before we got caught behind a really slow driver, and on the narrow country lanes there was nowhere to overtake for ages!!  They finally turned off and I thought we might make it back to pick Little Prince up on time, when we ground to a total halt as some horses had escaped from a field and were running around on the road.  Do you see what I mean about it not being my day yet?!?!

There were plenty of other parents only just arriving to collect their children from the party when we arrived, so we weren't last to arrive, phew!  Little Prince ended up going to his friend C's house to play from the party, which left me with a very upset Princess Lollipop to take home.  She wasn't great company and didn't want to be distracted from her sulks until Little Prince returned.  Then as soon as he did arrive home they started arguing and falling out, urgh!!

I let them watch a DVD while eating tea, Princess Lollipop chose the cartoon "Clone Wars" and Little Prince sulked because he didn't want to watch that one!!  Normally its him that chooses a Star Wars DVD and Princess Lollipop that kicks up a fuss!!

Bedtime couldn't have come soon enough, and my head was banging and my ears were ringing by the time they were both asleep.  Hope tomorrow is easier...

Making Models

This post isn't going to be what you think lol.

Mr Messy entered Princess Lollipop in a competition and she won - the prize was a spot catwalk modelling in a London Show!  Mr Messy and LMS accompanied the Mini Super Model to her catwalk assignment, Mr Messy had blagged a Press Pass for the show and LMS was Princess Lollipop's chaperone.

Princess Lollipop was very excited about travelling to London on the train, until she got on and realised she was waving bye bye to Mummy!  That didn't go down too well, but I think she cheered up after a while :-)  Although another disappointment was not being met at the London Train Station by the Queen lol.

When they got back Princess Lollipop was tired but very excited, and told me all about "making models" what she called modelling on the catwalk lol.  Apparently this Super Model doesn't like sharing the limelight, and kept telling her chaperone that she could "Do it myself now, you stay there"  And she was quite indignant that she only got one turn at walking down the catwalk, she obviously felt her public needed to see more of her lol.

But she was even more excited about having seen a REAL RACING CAR :-)  LMS said that Princess Lollipop saw the impressive looking car on display and then marched up to one of the men stood next to it (turns out he is the owner of the Car Company!) and, in a loud voice, said "Man! Excuse me, Man! Can I drive your car?"  Who could resist?!  Well "Man" certainly couldn't and we now have pictures of a VERY pleased with herself looking Princess Lollipop sat posing in the car :-)

Our local paper did a full page spread on Princess Lollipop's experience, and I have had so many people come up to me since saying they've seen it, and how beautiful she looked :-)  Of course I totally agree, but I'm not about to sign her up for a modelling career!!  She loved her day out, including "making models" but it was something fun and different for her to do - I don't want her to be constantly doing modelling as then it would become a chore, rather than a different sort of game to play.  I know she is gorgeous (and so does she lol) and if she wants to pursue modelling seriously when she's older that's fine, but as a 3 year old I just want her to have lots of fun doing all sorts of different things.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Staying Calm

I've been looking into ways to try to help Little Prince stay calm and focused enough during the evenings and weekends that he is able to complete his homework properly.  I've come across lots of research saying that sensory equipment can help children with similar difficulties to Little Prince.  The things that seem to come most highly recommended are weighted blankets to aid sleep and weighted vests for children to wear when they need to try and stay calm/focused, the trouble is that these cost an awful lot of money, which we don't have at the moment.  

After more research I found a number of charities that support children like Little Prince who's families can't afford the equipment the children need.  We have already successfully applied to one charity for a laptop for Little Prince to use at home, I cried my eyes out when I opened the letter saying that they would fund this request. It is going to make such a difference to all of us.  Little Prince has been using an old desk top computer (which Mr Messy cobbled together from old bits and pieces), however it is painfully slow and has started to randomly switch itself off when in use!  Mr Messy investigated this and found it is due to Little Prince kicking his legs against the tower unit so much that he has broken the fan, so the computer overheats and turns off.  This has been making homework time even more stressful, as Little Prince gets part way through his work and then loses the whole thing!  I have been letting him use my laptop, but again that is an old and slow machine and I'm also worried that he will mess about and end up deleting something important (photos, documents etc) off it!!  Hopefully having his own personal (reliable) laptop will enable him to get his homework done with a lot less stress.  And being a laptop it means we can take it with us when we go away for weekends, and that he can work in different rooms of the house enabling me to supervise him while getting on with jobs, rather than being stuck in one place all the time.  

The next application I am filling in is for a sensory equipment pack, that includes a weighted blanket, a "dark den," a light tower and some other sensory lighting.  When I started reading about what was in this pack I realised that Little Prince has "self medicated" and provided himself with similar things for quite a while now!  He has always insisted on using a heavy Winter quilt along with quite a few blankets too, no matter what the weather - is he instinctively trying to make a weighted blanket?!  The other thing that struck me is that he makes himself a den in the bottom of his wardrobe, he stuffs it full of cushions and when he is feeling overwhelmed he hides in there.  The "dark den" is a metre square cube shaped tent, made of light blocking material for the child to chill out in when they feel overwhelmed - similar or what?!?!  I am hoping that if our application is accepted then the items provided will work even better for Little Prince than his own, intuitively made solutions.

Little Prince's Statement Review

During the last month we've had Little Prince's first Annual Statement Review Meeting at school.  The format of the meeting was a bit odd, each person who had  submitted a report about Little Prince read out their report, despite the fact that copies had been circulated to all participants in advance?!  That seemed a bit of a pointless and redundant exercise to me and Mr Messy, but we just went with the flow.

We then talked about the magnificent progress Little Prince has made since being granted his Statement, and having the support of his TA.  I was worried about this part of the meeting, as I was scared that seeing how much progress he has made the provisions of the Statement could be withdrawn.  I needn't have worried, as everyone present agreed that Little Prince will not carry on making such good progress if he doesn't have support.  Phew!  The TA's hours are going to be "tweaked" so that she can be present during a couple of hours in a morning too, as Little Prince is struggling with the writing involved in morning Literacy Work.

The SENCo also said that school were going to apply for "exceptional funding" to purchase Little Prince a laptop for use at school (that he will take with him to High School) to help him overcome his difficulties with writing, although we all agree that he has to carry on working to improve his writing skills too.  It is becoming apparent that despite all his hard work Little Prince will always struggle with writing, and he is finding this increasingly frustrating.  Hopefully being able to work on a laptop and get all his (usually amazing) ideas and work onto paper that way, will stop him becoming so despondant about his abilities.  His frustrations at the disparities between what he knows and what he can get on paper, are leading him to believe that he is stupid and eroding his self confidence :-(

We discussed the problems we have at home trying to get Little Prince to complete his homework due to him not taking his medication during the evenings and weekends (on his Paediatrician's advice).  His class teacher agreed to start to differentiating his homework, so that Little Prince can work on the written elements of it during school time (when he is calmer and more able to concentrate due to taking his medication) with the TA's assistance, leaving just the more practical work to be done at home.  This will take a lot of the pressure off both us and Little Prince, and we are looking into ways to help him stay calm without medication, so that we can slowly build up his "tolerance" of homework.

The rest of the meeting was spent discussing how and when to start an induction programme for High School with Little Prince, and it has been decided that we will start working on that in February next year.  He is now in Year 5 of Primary school, so only has this year and next before he begins High School.  Due to his issues this move is going to have to be handled patiently and carefully to minimise the stress and upset to Little Prince.  The (only) local High School have an excellent Special Educational Needs Dept, and are, apparently very good at working with pupils with similar needs to Little Prince, and sorting out individualised induction programmes to introduce them to the school.

Stop Start Blogger is Back!

I keep trying to get into the habit of blogging again, but life happens!!  Since my last post Princess Lollipop has been ill and off school again.  She was off for a week with no appetite, high temp, tired and grumpy and an exploding nose!  She then generously shared her germs and I've been ill, and now Little Prince seems to be coming down with it too.  Mr Messy thinks he has the beginnings of a chest infection, but as he is seeing the specialist chest nurse next week hasn't bothered going to see our GP.  I'm not happy about this and think he should have gone to the GP as soon as he started with symptoms, but he doesn't listen :-(


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