Friday, 30 April 2010

Daddy lions and Mummy lions!

I've not had a chance to write anything for a week or so. It's been quite a tough 10 days really because a friend of mine died from breast cancer aged only 42 years old.  She fought valliantly against this horrible illness.  Her courage was inspirational.  Sadly she lost her battle at 1am on 20th April 2010.  The funeral took place this Wednesday.  It was a really beautiful service and was attended by so many people it was amazing.  It was an emotional day and so sad to see Christine's two beautiful girls who are aged only 10 and 7 years old.  Christine wanted to be a mummy more than anything else and it's sad that she has been torn from her family so early.  It feels so bittersweet as we have just become parents.  I look at Katie and wonder how Chris felt knowing she would be leaving her girls with so much left unfinished and yet to experience.   I spent many hours when going through infertility and miscarriages questioning the purpose of life and whether things happen for a reason.  I came to the conclusion that it was all bad biology.  This is the only sense I can make of Chris passing.  The biology just didn't work right.  Spiritual and theological debates leave the question unanswered.  All I can say is that I believe I will see Chris again and send my love to her.

Katie continues to grow and flourish.  Her speech and vocabulary improve daily.  It's amazing seeing the world as she experiences it.  She is learning the names of some of the spring flowers.  She pointed to a dandylion the other day and said "daddylion".   She then said "mummy, where are the mummy lions?".  A few days later she can now pronounce "dandylion".  Watching her improve her words each day is really fascinating.  To think that we have all been through this experience.  What a shame we don't remember it.  Katie sees things that I miss because she spends her time looking at everything.  I don't have any worries about her eyesight at the moment. She spots the tiniest things in the sky.  I wish I could slow down enough in my head to see the way she sees.  All I see is things to be washed and jobs to be done!!  I prefer what Katie sees to be honest!

Katie has now been with us 6 weeks.  On the one hand it is getting harder to remember life before Katie but on the other hand I sometimes still can't quite believe that she is ours.  A friend of mine asked if I'd reached a point where it all felt normal yet.  I don't think I've reached that point yet.  I sometimes still feel like I'm doing an extended period of babysitting.  I watch our relationship deepen day by day and laugh at Katie's funny little moments and her quirks and can't imagine life without her though.  Today she kept walking up to me and kissing me on the arm.  These are the moments that I knew I was missing out on all the time we battled with infertility.  I am so lucky to have such a beautiful and gorgeous daughter.  I can't quite believe that after all my years of worrying that I wasn't a mother because there was something unworthy about me, that we have been given this wonderful child to be parents to.

I admit that I have had a fair few moments of feeling overwhelmed by everything.  It is very tiring looking after a 2 year old and I do sometimes wonder how I will manage if and when we also adopt Katie's little brother.  It's a huge learning curve. I am trying to learn to balance my life in a different way than I used to.  I am trying to let bit of housework go and not to worry about it all so much.  I am getting there slowly.  Mike has a week off work next week and I am looking forward to having a bit of head-space for a brief interlude.  I want to get back into a routine of doing my yoga.  I am starting to get backache and some migraines again because I've hardly done any yoga for 6 weeks.  I am going to start using some of Katie's nap times to do some yoga during the day.....so if you'll excuse me, that is where I am going now.........

Friday, 16 April 2010

A very cool dude.....

Where has the Easter break gone?  I can't seem to keep up with time anymore.  My days fly by in a whizz of breakfast; games; napppies; naps; more games; and then collapsing on the sofa after attempting to keep up with the housework!  A thoroughly modern mummy!  I thought work was difficult!! We've had a lovely Easter despite all being unwell and Katie teething and having a few grumpy bugs that needed to be playfully removed!  She is a very sunny and cheerful young lady most of the time so she is easily forgiven her few tantrums.  She seems to accept the word "no" eventually, except regarding food!  If she doesn't want to eat it, it ain't happening.  I am reassured to hear that 0-3 year olds don't need the sort of diet we adults are supposed to aim for and it seems universally accepted that toddlers will scream "Yeeeeuch" at anything remotely related to the vegetable family.  Katie does love yogurt and cheese with the odd bit of ham and also spagetti and sausages, and of course, grapes, grapes and more grapes.  She does like Wotsits as well and today discovered the spicy hot ones which she loves.  That's my girl!  I try her on new things most days alongside the trusted favourites.  She has now eaten some artfully cut sandwiches and today we might even try some honey dew melon for afternoon snack.  Wish me well with that one!

Katie continues to cope amazingly well with getting to know the people in her new family or "bambi" as she pronounces it!  She is a total pickle much of the time. I am learning to recognise the days when she wakes up with a real pickle in her belly and those are the days we are out of the house on a big adventure.  If we stay at home on those days she has been known to do things like turn up the oven when Mummy is making brownies and turn on the grill.  Thankfully the house hasn't burned down just yet!  We can see how much more settled she is because she is exploring her surroundings more.  Of course that usually comes along with me rushing behind her saying "no Katie no!"  She will think that that is her name soon!

We had a lovely day out at our local common with our friend Sophie and her children yesterday.  Katie loves the children and it was so wonderful watching her play with them and also allowing her a bit more freedom with them.

Katie was sent a present from a friend of mine in the USA this week.  She received a gorgeous dress with matching coat, sun glasses and hair clips.  She loves the yellow sun glasses and looks a totally cool dude in them!!

I think I've now come down from the high that accompanied being matched with Katie and bringing her home.  I think tiredness will do that though.  I am still fighting off the remains of the bug and have another low grade infection in my sinuses.  Not bad enough to warrant a trip to the GP but annoying and tiring.  Katie hasn't shaken hers off totally either and that is topped off with her teething some back teeth.  Her poor little face has two little sores on either side of her mouth where she is dribbling constantly.  She is wonderful at letting me put vaseline on it when she sleeps.  We have also discovered that my Soap and Glory Righteous Butter Body Cream works better on her dry skin than the Diprobase we were advised to use.  Her legs look wonderful now.  I am so delighted and Katie loves using Mummy's cream.

Daddy has been working a bit too hard just lately and hasn't been around as much as he would like. We hope this will change once a new person is appointed at work at the end of the month.  He is missing out on a lot at the moment. I have taken to doing little videos for him to watch so he can see the cute things she does.

Katie is getting much more attached to me now.  Today at naptime she finally wanted cuddles before she slept.  That is a real breakthrough.  She is now letting me kiss her as well.  It's so wonderful watching her trust us more and more each day.  Totally amazing.  She is rather amazing without question.  For the first time in many years I am now able to wonder what my child will do during her life and the person she will become.  I can't believe that after 15 years of waiting we have been blessed with such a little treasure.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Guests and colds.....

We've had a hectic, but great week.  A close friend, Lindsey, and her son, Gabe, came to visit for a few days.  We hosted a big get together on Wednesday of friends and children.  We had 9 children on the trampoline at one point.  The older children just took care of the younger children so the adults were able to sit down for a whole 5 minutes and eat their lunch.  I am not very good at sitting down these days.  I have permanent ants in my pants!  The children all played very well together (for the most part) and Katie had a wonderful day.  The weather was dry, finally, so the children were able to play outside all day.  The new playroom also worked well for the children and they kept themselves amused all day.  Katie missed her nap but was a total star, despite the cold.  She is definitely a party girl that's for sure!  It was hard having guests in the house because we are still establishing our routine and tend to do certain things in certain places.  I am sure it will get easier with time though.  Katie struggled a bit with seeing me with other children.  She said several times "That's my mummy" when I hugged another child.  Mind you, she even said that to our neighbours' dog, Mac, yesterday when he sat on my lap!  Katie adores Mac and our neighbour has said we can visit him during the day when they are at work whenever we want.  Mac loves our visits.  He gets so excited he wets himself!!!  Katie loves playing fetch with him, except she forgets to shout "fetch" when she throws his ball and is confused when he doesn't chase it!

Everyone in the house has come down with a cold now.  Katie is really full of cold, poor little thing.  Mike has also come down with it.  I am fighting it off so am just coughing at the moment. I am hoping that the echinaccea and vitamin C tablets that I am downing will help.  We don't need all of us ill!  The Toddler Taming book threatens that toddlers will get a cold every 8 weeks - this is our second cold in a month!!! My daughter is NOT playing by the rules!

We had our big Review Meeting on Tuesday which went extremely well.  One of the Social Workers has known Katie since she was very little and was amazed by how well she is doing.  Katie continues to surprise the Social Workers by her progress and how happy she seems.  Katie's vocabulary is improving on an almost hourly basis.  Her counting has improved as well.  She couldn't count from 1 to 10 when she arrived but is now able to do it confidently when she helps warm her milk up in the microwave for breakfast each morning!  I am very proud of her.  She is very laid back and takes so much in her stride.  I'm not sure I could do it as well as she has.  Children are amazing, that's for sure.  One great thing to come out of the Review Meeting is that we are now down to fortnightly visits from the the Social Workers instead of weekly ones.  It's early days but they've said we can start filling out the formal adoption paperwork ready to send when Katie has been placed with us 10 weeks.

My placement certificate finally arrived this week so Katie and I took it to my work yesterday.  Katie met several of my colleagues and was supremely shy for most of the visit.  Anyone who has met Katie will know that this is not how she usually is.  She is usually a total live wire, running around, enjoying everything around her.  We have a work lunch this week that I will probably pop in with Katie for.  I don't think we will stay long, although Katie loves a pub lunch and did ask today when we could go for another one........

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter!

We've had a great few days.  Daddy has been home for 4 days and Katie has loved having him home.  It has been great watching their bond deepen.  She allowed him to comfort her tonight which was lovely to see.

Katie has loved the Easter Bunny and the, yet more, presents he brought her.  She has a pile of chocolate eggs to eat, carefully monitored by Mummy and Daddy.  We bought her an Easter puzzle and a huge Chick as well as her favourite Peppa Pig egg with a new bowl and spoon.  Yesterday we cooked a lovely roast lunch for us and Nana and Pops and my sister.  We baked Easter cakes which were a real hit and also brownies for dessert.  Today we went to a friends house for an Easter hunt.  Katie was excited that she found four chicks and a painted egg.  We discovered that she loves garlic bread today.

Katie has a love affair with the Teletubbies (or Tebbetubbies as Katie calls them) going on and we have to watch their song over and over on the "puter".  We find ourselves singing the song as we go about the house!  Singing is a real favourite of Katie's and we have so many different songs we sing, both in the form of the usual nursery rhymes and also some silly songs that we have created.  Another huge favourite is the Winnie the Poo song which I remember from my own childhood.

Katie continues to do so well.  She is such a happy and bright little girl.  She is a real joy to be around.  Today she really made me laugh.  She had gone down for her nap and she was still chatting to herself an hour later so I went up to see what was going on.  She was sat in her cot on the top of a pile of bedding reading a book.  She said "I'm awake" when I went in.  No kidding you're awake little miss!  She has developed another cold so her poor little nose is streaming.  She is on good form despite this however and we've had some lovely moments today.  She spent some time with Daddy on her own yesterday to see how she would cope without me around.  We have bought her a new sand and water play tray so we decided to let her play with it for the first time when I went out.  It was a huge hit and they were both soaked through when I returned!

Our first Easter as a family has been great.  So normal.  She has been here three weeks today, it feels like she's been here forever.  I am feeling more tired some days and I really need to get back to my yoga because my back is feeling the fact that I'm picking up 28 pounds of little pickle on a regular basis. It's all an adjustment though and I'm sure it will sort itself out.

I fall in love a little more with my daughter every single day.  She is just perfect.  One of the best things was that she said "I love you" to me last night for the first time.  Magical!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

We all scream for Ice-cream!

I'm sitting here watching Katie eating a bowl of chocolate ice-cream with some raspberries.  She calls it I-keem at the moment. I must keep a note of all the little words she says because she can't pronounce them properly.  Today she announced that "Daddy is a good girl!!"  She has also picked up that Daddy calls me "Gem" and I realised she was calling me that today.  Katie also decided today that she wanted to learn her colours so we are working on that.  There seem to be different thoughts on how best to introduce colours including everything being either one particular colour and everything else being "not" that colour.  We are going to focus on one colour at a time I think.  Today was pink!  She is getting quite good at recognising pink today. 

We also had a visit from our Social Worker today to check up on Katie and make sure she is doing ok.  She is happy with how it's all going, which is great.  We are formulating a plan to help Katie cope with missing Grandma.  She has been asking for her a lot at the moment, although I am starting to realise that my very clever daughter has cottoned on to the fact that she gets some attention when she mentions Grandma and that she is now saying it a lot of the time, I suspect, to get cuddles. They do keep you on your toes!!!

We went to tumble tots for the first time today.  Katie loved it so we will make that a weekly visit for the time being.  I am looking forward to the Easter holidays because Daddy will  be home for 4 days.  Katie loves spending time with him.  We also have some friends coming to stay for a few days which I am looking forward to.  We have invited lots of friends over for lunch on Wednesday with all their children so it will be a full house but hopefully a fun house!

I am still working on my mission to get Katie eating bread.  Today she tried, and loved, tortillas.  I showed her how to wrap her meat and cheese into it and eat it.  She thought it was a great game and ate nearly the whole tortilla.  We have some brioche to try next.

I have to say that I do like spending my time with Katie.  How often do you spend a whole day with someone with such intensity?