Thursday, 28 February 2013

#One Week - Winter 4

*Fun, memories created and shared, redeeming what was lost and recovering some lost ground*
Here goes:
It's snowing, she called - and yes! The magical white carpet had be laid across the land.
Let's go and throw snowballs and go on my sledge, she said. My blue one.
I'm not sure you have a blue sledge, PJ.
I do, I do. It was at the foster carers.
I remembered seeing one at the foster carers but didn't remember one being here.
I looked in the shed.
I could sense the loss mingled with the excitement and anticipation of the snow.
Dressed in coat and hat and gloves and wellies, we went out and did our snow angels and threw snowballs in the park and purchased a NEW red sledge and slid it home, had a quick go on it and built our snowman in the garden.
Fun, memories, created there, in those moments.
I felt her sadness, her loss at there being no sledge in our shed. She hadn't come with one. Despite my logical reasoning and reassurance of "it must have been their sledge, PJ", I had grieved for her. I saw her look of disappointment. Another loss.
So, after the park, I saw a store selling a pile of red sledges and got one.
I felt I was clawing something back for her, redeeming something that was once lost, restoring a joy for her, in some small way.
The blanket of snow stayed overnight.
The next day was one of those profound, to be treasured moments, for me.
 One of those recovering lost ground moments.
It has been hard these last few years, since embarking on our Adoption Journey, with some of the mixed opinions and feelings expressed with some of my closest family and friends. Just a few but it has been a turbulent and bumpy ride as we have sought to try and understand each other and to gain some common ground. Words have stung and cut deep wounds and relationships have been stretched and strained.
It has been a lonely and long Winter, with some of these friendships, where I have at times missed and longed for warmth and intimacy that their friendships had brought. There hasn't been the promise of Spring, just a hope that one day....maybe...
I've worked hard to remain true to myself and to maintain relationship. What became clear over time, was that our friendship and spending time together was important and valued. Around the time PJ was arriving, feelings, expectations and boundaries had been set, rigid, excluding, cold, heartless, it seemed and with it some distance created - and I felt the loss and the separation.
This was not what I imagined nfor how PJ and I would share our lives with them.
This was very different and not what I wanted but it was what they wanted and what they expressed they could cope with.
The outcast, conditional love, distanced, estranged, un loved, un welcome.
The separation of Adoption.
And so Winter has continued.
Cold, barren, empty.
Imagine my joy, when the phone rang and we were asked to go round and to play in the snow,
 PJ and I.
We went of course and together, we built a huge snowman.
There was laughter, hot chocolate and huge beaming smile on PJ's face as she was pulled around on the sledge around the garden.
Lost ground re-covered.
Pure, white, crisp, clean snow.
It has been a long Winter.
Winter has been harsh, with a bitter sting.
The snow has brought some cleansing, healing some of the past hurts.
Relationship building, slowly, with each snowball.
Friendship gathering momentum as the sledge travels along the snow.
Thank you, Winter Snow.
I will treasure the breakthough moment when the ice pick hit and broke the ice.
The ice that is now, slowly beginning to melt as love and joy seem to prevail and join hands, together.
I will treasure the memory of PJ's beamimg smile in the Winter snow.
The winesome smile that won some.
Big time.
The joy of breakthrough.
Spring, I feel is on it's way.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

#One Week - Winter 3

Let's go and feed the ducks, she says.
OK, I say.

Off we go, armed with bread.

Hello Mr Mallard she says and hello Mrs Mallard she says again.

Ducks, ducks she sings,
Where are you?
We've got some bread for you, she calls singing the words, surprisingly gently, to them.

                                                          We get dive bombed, of course.

  Go away seagulls, she shouts, as she stamps her feet on the buggy.

  The bread is not for you pigeons, she objects.

The seagulls win and nick the bread.
We are surrounded by seagulls and pigeons, all around us and our bright pink buggy.
This was not the quiet walk to feed the ducks I had in my mind.
How do we get out and away from the masses that have encircled us?
"Winter" post for One Week  day 3 over at Older Mum - where you can read more!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

#One Week - Winter 2

Discovering magical reindeer in the Winter time
We love Reindeer in our Family!

 Of course, the added benefit of these beauties being associated with Santa has been a source of great delight over Christmastime and we collected a few ornaments for our tree this year, our First Christmas for PJ and I together. I realised that I needed to try and create some ownership and generate and opportunity for connectedness, when I first got the decorations out of their boxes. It was met with tears, tantrums and a few decorations got thrown across the room. We had been out earlier in the day to get a tree together, which I thought would suffice.
Clearly not.

As I unpacked some of my precious ornaments, I realised that they were just taht. They were precious to me. Just me. They had been gifts from family or friends and each of the ones I had chosen for myself had been selected with great care. Memories re-kindled right there, with each ornament being revealed from it's wrapping. The unveiling of a story, a moment, a friendship  to be displayed for all to see like treasures, glistening like colourful jewels. PJ didn't share any of these memories. To her, at this moment, this is just stuff coming out of a box. They hold no memory for her and indeed, the memories that are being triggered for her as I take out this stuff, I know not of. What does Christmas mean for her? What has she experienced in her short life so far at this time of year? Were there happy memories? More reminders of what she has lost? Memories of past trauma? More reminders of the tremendous upheaval she has experienced these last few months in coming to me and that being added to all that has gone on before that, too. I can only guess.

After the boundaries had been re-established - we don't throw things in our family and her tears had subsided and we had shared a hug, we went out shopping. We chose some decorations together. We went to a place that had one of those shopping trolleys with a child sized car attached. Off we went, zooming in and out, steering at times rather precariously around the myriads of colourful decorations. Stop! She would suddenly say as she halted momentarily to get out of her car and hand pick some decorations. Let's sing a concert, Mummy, she would say and get back in the car and off we would go again, with me running after her, until she decided which colours and shapes gleamed appealingly to her Magpie eyes. Some choices I declared too many things, a few I simply put back on the shelves, without her knowing, as we raced along. We arrived at the till to pay and both beamed with joy at our selections: robots, cupcakes, bells, baubles and  a reindeer.
We got home and decorated the tree and the house. At bedtime, PJ asked which was my favourite decoration and then she pointed to one she liked. The next day she told friends we had a beautiful Christmas tree and asked if they would like to come and see it. Often, she would say during the next few weeks: Mummy, look at our amazing and beautiful tree.

In the lead up to Christmas, we fed reindeer when we went to see Santa, randomly spotted them when we went for Winter walks and at night saw them magically all lit up, all glistening and wintry white.
I think, for me, reindeer will always from now on, evoke some rather magical memories for me:
Our First Christmas together.

Winter white Reindeer
Hopefully, next year, when we re-unpack all of our chosen decorations of this last Christmas, they will evoke some good memories for PJ and help establish some sense of connectedness and belonging. I wonder if she will still like reindeer next year?

Monday, 25 February 2013

#One Week - Winter 1

In the bleak mid-winter at the park
I wrote recently about the devastating news for us that our local and favourite played in every day park has flattened the playground area. The play park closed December 24th 2012. Happy Christmas!

We have done our best, since PJ loves running and runs and runs and runs. She also loves playing hide and seek so we run along and do hiding, weaving in and out of the trees. We don our wellies and go puddle jumping and grab a stick and fish for leaves we call fish. We've chased the squirrels and over time, these last few months since PJ came to be with me she is slightly less aggressive towards them and will now stay still long enough for them to come quite close to her. She will now whisper: hello squirrel, softly before she stamps her feet or kicks her legs in the air or jumps up high and then shrieks with laughter as they turn and scamper off up a tree. Chase me, chase me, squirrel she says. It's a learning curve. We have taken PJ's scooter and travelled up and down the paths and practised our listening skills and following instructions as I give directions and help her take turns in choosing which path we go along next.

All this said, we miss our beloved playground within the park. We've spent months playing on the slide and climbing frame, taking turns to cross the bridge and exchange tickets to then spin the driving wheel to reach our destination: the zoo. We've stopped off to visit monkeys, elephants and the giraffe and turned the swings into the vets. Others have been encouraged to join in our games too. They have purchased tickets and yelled all aboard and travelled to the zoo in the park with us too. I have had my heart in my mouth moments when PJ has found it hard to share or to take turns or tried to be Miss very Independent and try and leap off the Fireman Pole - all by my own, Mummy! We've eaten our snack on the benches and sung see saw on the see saw and tried really really hard to get the roundabout to spin - a little. We have bought and sold and shared and devoured deliciously flavoured pretend ice creams from under the slide. And we have both slipped on the wobbly bridge and landed on our bums!

We have waved goodbye and stood in silence at the waste ground that is now the playground and Winter, with this loss, has hit us both hard.

The new playground will apparently be ready April 2014.
Winter is harsh, and seem cruel, sometimes.

I am joining in with the link over at Older Mum who is hosting a rather fabulous seasonal blog hop around the theme of Winter.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Daring with the New

We have been kicking back this week, a little without the normal routine of various Toddler groups happening as it is half term. We've chill axed to Cbeebies in our pyjamas which PJ loves and had an extra movie night which has been great, these last few days. We've previously watched Shrek - a few months ago - and it has gradually become one of the favourites - and now this week we finally managed to actually watch Shrek 2 - which of course she loved - once we got beyond the tears and the protests and the I don't like it statements - that anything new brings. I knew she would love it, as she is fascinated with babies and had previously declared that she wanted to marry the dragon in Shrek one night not so long ago at bedtime. The getting over the "trying something new" hurdle has, as always, been the challenge. Removing the fear from the situation by lowering the anxieties has taken a few weeks of conversation about " the new shrek", thrown in every now and then for good measure and we got there in the end. You don't know if you don't like it yet, PJ, I say. Nooooo, she cries. It has the dragon in, I say and add , you like the dragon, don't you? This week, she finally caved. Shrek 2 it is. She loved it, of course. Another new experience enjoyed and another battle conquered. Another fear dismissed. Hurrah.
We've had to visit some new parks, recently. Our almost daily visited park has been hit by devastation. The Bulldozers have moved in. The little and loved and now familiar playground area we have been to almost every day for the last 5 months has been closed since Christmas and has now been flattened. We have observed the daily changes and tried to say goodbye to our loved playground as carefully as I could, as the weight of loss once again must have hung over PJ. She has lost so much already: uprooted from her birth family to go to foster carers and now uprooted to be with me, her new and forever Mummy. These are the obvious uprootings where loss is a consequence. Where will we play? she asked. Don't worry, I said. We can bring your scooter to the park and you can scoot up and down the tree lined paths, we usually run up and down. Besides, I know of a few other parks we can go to as well. We dutifully spent the next few weeks travelling to the park with our trusted buggy and scooter and played hide and seek and running and practised our good listening skills as I pointed out certain paths to go up and down on said scooter. It seemed perfect, until the tree fellers arrived. It seems as if the park is undergoing a major overhaul. To be ready sometime newxt year. Their timing is lousy, for us. We needed stability and the secutity that the familiar brings. All I can do is reassure that we will have a new playground to play in one day. She looks longingly at the now wasteground laid bare and waves and says goodbye park. I could cry for her. We tried a few times to go but it has been hard as they were felling trees simultaneously all over the park. A bit of a challenge for a little girl who doesn't really like loud and sudden noises and for me, to try and keep her safe when we still need to work on listening skills. Off she runs and runs and runs. Stop I say as i can see the marked off areas ahead, where they are tree felling. She keeps running. PJ. PJ. Wait on, wait on, I try and yell and sign. Stop. Stop. Stop! Finally, she stops and turns and runs back to me. Phew. Did you hear me say stop? Yes she says. Well, I need you to do really good listening and for you to stop running and come back to me, when you hear me say stop. Mummy needs to look after you and Mummy could see that it wasn't safe for you to keep running. Next time I need you to stop and come back to me. I did come back Mummy, she says. Well, yes you did and that was great but I need you to stop running when I say stop. OK Mummy, she says.
We've tried a few new parks.
We went to the big park with trees and playground equipment on the other side of town. We had been there once before, so I thought she would be OK. She wasn't. She screamed in the buggy all the way there, refusing to wear the gloves or the hat I tried to put on her. I'm cold she screamed and I want to go home. I don't want to go to the new park, she protests. Despite me best attempts at ignoring the protests and reassuring the fears, she refused to get out of the buggy, when we got there. We did a token run up and down the paths and then she screamed and cried all the way home. I'm cold, I'm cold, Mummy, she says.Wearing my gloves. Phew.
We've now been there a few times successfully and also found another closer tiny park which she loves. Can we go to the phone park Mummy? she asks. The foam park? I ask, wondering which park she means. The one with the phones, she says. I think about this for a while and realise. Ah, yes the park with the small climbing wall that is phones to climb up. Yes. Let's go to the phone park.
Why did I cry when we went to the new park, Mummy?
You were very cold, I say because you wouldn't wear your gloves or your hat and it was cold. You did wear my gloves on the way home, I say.
I remind myself of how far we have come from the little girl who didn't like wearing clothes and who wouldn't wear socks or shoes or hoodies or coats, who now will mostly wear these. Hats and gloves are new things to wear.
Yesterday we went to play in the garden at her aunties house. She was very excited. Let's go she said, picking up and donning a white crocheted sun hat with purple ribbon, as we go out of the door, wearing a purple hoodie, purple gloves and a purple coat and her purple clip clops (favourite plastic high heeled dressing up shoes). I carried the wellies.
Because it is sunny today, she says.
She takes them all off in the car, of course.
Ha x

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Thursday R2BC

I am very Thankful this week for these things:
1. Time for me today to meet with a friend for a coffee and chat. PJ is at Nursery. I am on a year's adoptive leave, so it is great to have a little me time again, every now and then, this year. And to have a day free from the meetings that often creep in all too often on the "PJ is in Nursery days". Today has been a welcome break from the meetings. Time to walk in the crisp, cold air and talk grown up talk and have a leisurely coffee with a friend.
2. Time to relax a little from the normal routine with some DVD watching fun - and of course those lovely cuddles on the sofa - the magical and much needed nurturing time - with PJ
3. New Opportunities - I have been asked to lead a seminar next month, which I am really looking forward to doing. The seminar is for child and youth workers and it will be on Inclusion with those with Special - or Additional Needs. It will be nice to be back in the dirving seat agin on this one.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Strangely Familiar

Don't travel too far when the adoptive placement starts they said. Don't plan on any big family gatherings, no big family holidays, definitely we wouldn't recommend going abroad - for at least 6 months. Oh, and no big house changes or changes in circumstances for at least a year.

We began our new family life and I intended to take it slowly. I planned on slowly introducing PJ to new family members, new places, new friends slowly - which I did do - gradually over those first few weeks we "met" my close friends - they would come to our house - so that it was on our turf, our terms - and friends stayed for just a short time. PJ is very bright and articulate, hyper vigilant, remembers everything and everyone. I tried to be mindful of these things and tried to prepare her, so to lower the anxieties. Her Introduction book had photos of me and the house and the cat and a few carefully selected close friends and close family members we would meet in those early weeks.  A few friends gradually come and play with PJ and I for about half an hour or an hour at a time. It seems to go OK. She brings out a strange selection of toys that we hadn't really played with together during Introductions. The doctors set, containing some "joke" cut fingers. PJ thinks it is hilarious, my friends think it is gross but dutifully play with her and steer her towards the other items in the doctors set. After they leave, there is a huge puddle on the floor of wet pants. This pattern continues with the arrival of anyone home for the first months. Friends arrive, out comes the doctors set and the joke fingers, they leave and there is a puddle on the floor.

I thought I was prepared.
I was, except PJ is an individual, has anxieties and past trauma as well as been uprooted from everything she has known. Everything and everyone. Everything familiar and previously known has either gone or has been uprooted and moved. Familiar toys are in a new place in a strange room. No person we meet and no place we go to is familiar. We go to the park. We've looked at photos of it before we go and it becomes a seemingly enjoyable experience. Home and the park, our park, become relatively safe. The strangely familiar. I am the most known person to her, now and we have only known each other for an increased amount of time for a few weeks. The reality is, that during the Introductions of several weeks, we still hadn't spent 12 hours together in a 24 hours period until she came home to be with me for the last leg of Introductions. We go to the park everyday. It becomes part of our daily routine, our new ritual. It all still very new for her, the strangely familiar.
We go beyond the park to the river after a few weeks. I thought it would be nice to see the swans and the boats. She becomes distressed and cries and starts saying I want to go home Mummy. We need to go back. I want to go home Mummy. She clings to me and becomes anxious. We return to the familiar park, reassuring her all the time. she seems to relax a little and we  return home. The strangely familiar is more strange than familiar.
Taking her to a supermarket - even if the supermarket was the same brand name - was a completely new experience, new turf, the unknown, the never been here before, place. The trolley is different, the store layout is different, no one walking down the aisles is familiar, the car park is different, the journey to and from the supermarket is different. Heightened anxiety, hyper vigilance, fear, fright, flight takes hold. We kept it to a minimum. I pre-stocked the freezer and cupboards with familiar foods, and meals, based on the list the foster carer had given me that I had requested, prior to Introductions starting. Family stocked the fridge with fresh milk and fresh food prior to us arriving home for the last leg of Introductions. Friends turned up at tea time with a home cooked meal to drop off for us to eat - for the first week - which we then extended for 10 days - so that I could focus on PJ and not worry about having hot things and knives in the same breath, when it was the start of being the wrong end of the day to leave PJ alone whilst I cooked tea. I did Internet shopping for the first few weeks and we went in the buggy to the same small local store if we could. After a month we did a bigger shop. To a bigger store. Not the green one Mummy, not the green one, she cried. No, it's OK, I reassured, we are going to the yellow one. For some reason the thought of going to the green store, triggered a memory, a past trauma that resulted in some anxieties. We went to the yellow store. It was tough going for us both. She refused to go in the trolley, tripped on the wheel of the trolley and bashed her nose. And cried. I cradled her in my arms and did my best to soothe and calm her as we both and the trolley queued at the checkout. With everyone staring. 4.30pm is the wrong side of the day to be doing this, I tell myself. Shopping with a 3 year old is strangely familiar to me, too.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Finding Our Rhythm of Family Life

I wonder what is the Rhythm of your Family Life?

It's half term for many, so is it a chance to kick back and do things differently, or take things at a slower pace? Transition and change - especially for the holidays can be a challenge as well as a joy. The change in routine can - and does throw some children, not just the child who is adopted.
PJ loves routine - it brings stability and breeds security - it is like the receiving blanket that she perhaps didn't have when she was a baby. Routine and structure is her: it's OK I am here, you are safe. You can relax. I am here. This is the Love of basic trust. The foundational bit a newborn receives in those early months. Except for PJ her basic foundational trust either wasn't built on firm foundations at all or simply wasn't there. The receiving blanket of trust of food not being there or provided all the time, the change of many care givers, the cries that weren't calmed perhaps often, or that rocking that rocked her world with domestic violence has shaken and stirred her, from deep within. It has been a rocky start.
We are early into the adoptive placement, nearly 6 months and our pace of family life is still finding it's optimum rhythm. I am trying to find the right pace for life to not rock her world too much, whilst introducing the concept that life isn't always the same. Some things change and do change and that despite the change, we are OK. life carries on.
I have stuck to the same daily routine she had known from her foster carers and her bedtime routines and favourite and familiar foods to try and cushion the rocking of her world with the transition and change as we try and form a new family. Together. A new team.
I am familiar with leading teams. Whole classes that changed every year as a class teacher, where we would network with the previous class teacher to find out about each child, whole school ethos's would be developed for simple things like do we all write the date on the top left or right hand of the page, or do we all mark with a smiley face, or do we all give positive praise and rewards for the same things? These similarities and common practise can really help a child moving from one year to another with transition and change, for them to succeed.
I have led International teams of children and young people and families into nations where we have all had to learn to adapt, to be flexible, to take on a whole new culture and to be team - and in a sense, to be family together. As a team leader, during these times, I have learnt to put in place a daily schedule, good team fun times, plan our meal times, bedtimes and when and where we might shower and wash our clothes. Each time we move to a new location, our rhythm changes and we adapt. It takes time and is a necessary part of their transition. We re-group. Orientation happens. We spend the day learning about the new place we are in, the new culture and spend time exploring the new place with lots of family team time fun before we get on with the rest of our team purpose. As leader, I watch for the warning signs that the team is tired or needs more and we change accordingly. Lead so they can follow, without leaving them all behind.
Now, as a new Mummy, I am building a new team. A family. It's a new breed. Me and PJ. Never been done before. There are times when I feel I am taming a wild horse. Learning to grapple with the reins is a learning process all the time. New places and meeting new people take it's toll. I try and re-group after these times. I try and cushion busy days with quieter days, like I have known with teams. like a buffer, I surround the new with something more low key, something that is more relaxing. Time to process, time to be just us, time to re-adjust, re-align, re-group, to re-merge.
We go out for a busy day and the next day we kick back a little by staying home based where we do some craft, play and then go to the park. Friday nights are becoming known as the extremely popular movie night where we watch a DVD and eat hot dogs or chicken nuggets or a pizza on the sofa.
Over the Christmas holidays we did a few Saturday type days, she is growing more accustomed to. PJ loves to be in her pyjamas, so much so that she would happily be in them all day. Wearing any clothes and getting dressed can be a challenge. I have tried to add Saturday mornings as pyjamas mornings as a bit of a motivator. Is it the weekend? she will say. Can we watch telly with our pyjamas on? Yes I say. She beams. She loves it. Weekdays are distinctly different, more so next year when she starts school and I will go back to work. I am trying to prepare us both now.
I am aiming for us both to be up and dressed weekdays by 8.30am and after half term I am going to aim for 8.15am. It's gonna be a killer. I know. We will get there. We've gone from the pyjama preference and ensuing tantrums over wearing any clothes by about 10.30am to being ready for 9am. We are a work in progress.
This year, we have some Nursery days, some days when we do other things like toddler dance or toddler group and other days when we meet up with someone or travel a bit further afield on a day trip and other days where it is just us.
Who's coming today, Mummy? she says.
No one I say, it is just us. She loves it.
You see, our Rhythm of our Family Life needs to be a mix of both busy and also time for us. We are family and in this for the long haul. Pj needs to grow into the security that our rhythm of family life might change and it does and will continue to change but even so, we are still: Family.
Safe and secure. Just us.
I hope you find your Rhythm for your Family Life.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Twists and Turns

This week has had several twists and turns but within the twists of the harder moments, there have been some great turns. You know, those teachable moments, the pivotal moments of triumph and change. These moments are those I am thankful for but wish we hadn't had to have the twist at the time as the twists have a sting in the tail, don't they. Anyway, here I am, Fridayevening after a busy but fun day out and about and writing this for my 3 reasons the be cheerful and also linking in with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out too. It has been an eventful week.

First up, I am really thankful for the NHS - topical, I know, but they really helped us this week with our unexpected visit to A and E with PJ. I was beginning to think that I had survived our first 6 months together without a trip to A and E.... when....we had been to a party the day before and she had been given a bracelet in her party bag - and yes, she broke the bracelet. I quickly gathered up the beads and we put them in a pocket and then she uttered the words every parent dreads: Mummy I have a bead stuck up my nose! It had happened so fast, that at first I couldn't quite believe it as we had only just gathered up the beads. She was quite insistant that she had one up her nose, so I shone a torch up her nose and sure enough there was a bright blue bead shining right back at me! A and E was busy but we were seen really quite quickly and the Doctor got it out! PJ was very impressed and I was pleased that PJ was so brave and cooperative at the time too. The twist in the tail seemed to come later at bedtime, when she has taken a while to settle again to go to sleep for a few nights and hasn't wanted me to leave her. All calm again now but it has taken it's toll. I guess at some level, there must be the memories of past trauma that this unexpected hospital trip has triggered for her. Very thankful she is once again settling at nights really calmly.

Secondly, I am really thankful for PJ's buggy. It proved great when she seemed to complain and have a tantrum about everything and everything all the way round town and back home again. It started with not wanting to wear gloves and then quickly became the I don't want to get milk, which became I don't want the milk to be in my buggy, which then became I want a treat. A treat? I thought. No way. You have screamed all the way around town much to my complete embarassment and shame. I was so glad that she was in the buggy, as it made the experience more manageable for me. I had had lots of sympathy along the way from passers by who had been in our wake and heard the protests and stamping of wellies in the buggy. they had said: oh I get that too, or we have a grandson who does that or i have been there and done that. With all 3 children. It seemed little comfort to either of us, at the time. as for the treat, it would be a no. I determindly pushed the buggy out of the store and she began screaming about not wanting to leave the shop and then saying she didnt want to go home, we couldn't go home, she wouldn't let me go home. On arriving home she said she didn't like our home or want to live in our home anymore. She said she wanted to go back. I gave her a hug and then she calmed down. A few minutes later she was sat on the sofa and said she loved me all the time. I was so glad that she was in the buggy, as it made it all so much easier. I am also very thankful that I don't have these moments all day and everyday.

Thirdly is being thankful for PJ being more settled once again at Nursery. After she was poorly a few weeks ago and she was off Nursery, it has been hard work getting her settled back into Nursery again. Tears and Tantrums and Distress and Separation Anxiety all rolled into one. It has been a blip. One the one hand, is the fabulous opportunity for positive attachments to be made. the bonding, like a mother with a newborn, cuddling on the sofa time. It has been lovely having the nurturing time with her sat on my lap whilst we watch TV and DVDs but then the challenge of leaving her again at Nursery has been a hard one. This is the other hand. The twist in the turn. The separation anxiety that kicks in again, rearing it's ugly hea, that will calm with reassurance and the provenness that I will not abandon her. I will come back. I will come back soon. this is what Mummy's do. The I leave for a little while and then I come back for you, stuff. The turning point came again. It was much easier going there yesterday. A few protests but no tears. Hurrah. The tail has lost it's sting.

Last chance to add your valentines post to the All About Love blog hop!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

All About Love - Happy Valentines Day - Day 14

    Happy Valentine's Day!

I wonder how you will spend the day, today?

With your loved one, or sad and alone and miserable, avoiding the restaurants with their table for 2 deals and the shops with all the stuff?

For years, I have avoided the day - and sometimes I have adopted or rather adapted my thinking on the day. Let me explain. When I was volunteering for a large International charity full time, I lived around a lot of Americans, who celebrated Valentines Day in a rather different way to how I knew it: they would give out valentines cards and even small gifts given to classmates, children, friends, as well as to their loved ones - saying how much they are appreciated. I have to say, at first I thought the idea was a bit wierd, actually it really did freak me out - having grown up in a British culture of Valentines day only being about the Romantic, sexual, I fancy you, the notion of the will you be mine/you are mine kind of way, being THE way to celebrate Valenbtines Day. It's is ingraned in me. Our culture. Valentines Day is about being with someone. Being a singleton, that day has therefore been a bit of a miserable one. The hide under the duvet kind of day, at times. However, being around another cultural way of celebrating broadened my horizons, lessened my small island mind and helped me think out of the box - the chocolate box, at least.
Being a creative and a friendly person, I faced a choice: either hate valentines day until I may or may not meet the man of my dreams, or do it a different way. After all, I can always celebrate it in the traditional Bristish way as well, if I do meet a guy, can't I? Why be miserable all this time and every year? Birthdays and Christmas are hard, holiday times arent easy, family celbrations and weddings can be awkward, so shy add this day to the list of nightmare timebomb days? It's time to live and sieze the day.Time to live and love and laugh.
Adopting, or adapting to another culture, embracing the new and all that. Some years I have had a group of friends round for a meal and decorated the table and given out chocolates. This year, PJ and I have decorated some wee heart shaped boxes with tissue paper and paint which she is going to give to her teachers at nursery. I also have some love heart sweets and red hershey kisses and some red heart shaped Lindt chocolates to give out to some people we meet today - maybe as part of the Random Acts of Kindness. A chance to spread some love and develop PJ's sense of generosity and develop her skills in making friends and appreciating the ones she has. Helping her to realise the friends she has and the happy times she feels, will help her social and emotional development as well as being fun for us both.    Happy Valentines Day! Add your All About post to the blog hop too if you wish - spread some love to those you appreciate - or some random people you don't yet know if you are brave enough. Enjoy today!


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

All About Love - sparkly lovely fun - Day 13

sparkly playdough hearts made using a heart cutter and glitter - we used a pink and purple playdough and red glitter We did an attempt at Emma's sparkly suncatcher hearts - made from milk bottles and using glue and sprinkles as PJ called them! I cut the milkbottles and she added a pile of sprinkles to the heart - so I spread them out to stick. Thankyou Emma! We have also made some treasure boxes - one to keep some lovely memories in - using a shoe box and simply sticking on wrapping paper, coloured paper, stars, hearts, and random shapes PJ has cut out herself! Lovely! Our other valentime lovely treasure box was made from an old tissue box and we added tissue paper squares and gems. Our idea for this box is to develop our words of Affirmation skills - or encouragements - to write or draw or retell some things about our day we have appreciated about each other - write or draw then on thin strips of paper and fold them up and pop them into the treasure box - and read them out after tea - and treasure them - Positive Praise - it works wonders! Join in the blog hop

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

All About Love - 10 Things for PJ - Day 12

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways - or 10 things I hate love about you (I love that movie btw)
1. I love the way you smile your sweetest smile and whisper a completely ridiculous idea in my ear - like Mummy lets go swimming at 6.30pm, bedtime - and smile and then say, is that a really good idea?
2. I love the way you walk around - in your clip clops as you call them, in the house or in the garden and wear them in the buggy out - or, as you did recently at a friends wedding in yourpink bowed ankle boots gallop from one end of the church to the other, in the REALLY quiet bit - come on Mummy, let's tiptoe. Tiptoe ( gallop) Tiptoe ( gallop) Tiptoe (gallop)
3. I love the way you eat spaghetti bolognese - basghetti gamanese, you call it and the way you declare some meals to be delicious or, still somedays, belicious and state that I have cooked dinner super well - as you did the day I did beans on toast.
4. I love the way you run and jump in puddles and roll down hills and dive in mud with such excitement and joy, asking me to join you - with the request that is hard to resist: "Come on Mum, join in - adding it's great fun," just as someone happens to be walking past us, as they snigger and wonder if I will join in with you or not. how could I resist?
5. I love the way you hug and kiss me and tell me that you love me all the time at very random moments most days.
6. I love the way you often ask and turn your nose up as you quzzically ask: Why have I got a yew (new) Mummy?,  often quite loudly - and often when we are at the bank or walking in the street and how we then go through  the story of how you came to be with me and how you mostly throw your arms around me when I say I found you and say: yes and I found you.
7. I love the way you welcome people into our home and invite people to come to our house for lunch and how you look at me after they leave and say: aww that was..... and name them, and then say aww Mummy, that was nice wasn't it.
8. I love the way you squidge playdough or spaghette and glue in your hands, blue paint all over yourself - and the tablecloth and the floor - and how you declare jelly as wobbleh and how you can slurp said jelly into your mouth and out again in quick succession and with such panache that it might be a party trick one day.
9. I love the way you love and how you talk about our cat so often that Nursery think he is part of our family, like a little brother, and the way you sing him lullabies and read him stories when he is sleeping and look after him with your doctors and nurses set and tell him he is brave and cute.
10. I love the way you love days at home with just us and how we have fun baking and making things and watching a DVD for our favourite Friday night movie night.

Monday, 11 February 2013

All About Love - The Tricky Moments - Day 11

We've had a few tricky moments it has to be said since PJ arrived these last few months. All to be expected and most things were written about, so no real surprises but still they can take their toll when they occur. Unsettled sleep, tears, tantrums, hitting, kicking, wet pants often occur after professionals visit and can last on and off for a few days or up to a week and any new place or experience can trigger some of these "behaviours" to re-emerge again too.
The other week PJ was off nursery ill and so getting back into the routine of going again has been hard work and is at times emotionally draining, for us both. During the week she was off we spent a lot of time having some of those lovely nurturing and bonding mother daughter moments, snuggled on the sofa watching a lot of CBeebies and some favourite DVDs. It has been great for the bonding but the wrench and the separation anxiety is not so fun to work through when it is time to go to nursery again. We will get there but it is like being back at square one again - although in reality I know we are not at square one. This is just a blip. It is hard and I have to remind myself of how far we have come - in such a short time. She usually now loves Nursery and is usually happy to wave me off and is equally delighted to see me when i return to pick her up. She has her cuddly toy that we chose together just after she started Nursery, this cuddly toy, an elephant named Sally Suzanne, whose special job is to remind her that I will be back soon. Mummy will come back, I tell her, that's what Mummy's do. We come back. Soon. She has this same cuddly toy at night time too and she is there when I leave the bedroom at night to remind PJ that Mummy will be back soon. The system works and PJ's anxieties are much lessened. However, since this recent illness her little boat of stability has been rocked. Her resilience is weak and the gaps of her realising that even when we are apart I still love her and even when she can't see me, I still exist and I will be back soon. She can trust me. She is safe in her bedroom and safe at Nursery. Re-embedding this again is hard work. Nursery have been really good understanding - well they knew we were much later arriving than usual and they heard her tears and pleads of just wanting to go back home - and have arranged a swap of the sessions she missed so we can ease her back in to going again, very much like we did when she first started Nursery when she was first placed with me. this will mean for us she will not have the break for a half term at a potentially vulnerable time, we will just keep working at getting back into the routine of going to Nursery. Last week, on returning to Nursery after she had been ill, we had tears and considerable distress getting out of the house and into the car and the challenge of calming down enough to be able to calmly put her in the car seat. It was really hard. She just wanted to stay at home and not go to Nursery. It was an hour to get from the house into the car. Today was much the same, although much calmer once we got into the car. Half an hour ish. When you want to go anywhere, allow plenty of time. The foster carers had said. No kidding. Thoughts of me returning to work and her starting school - and her perhaps not wanting to go to school flash before me - Oh, well - it will only be 12 years or so of school....

Saturday, 9 February 2013

All About Love - 3 Things I Love - Day 9

These 3 things I love. They also link in rather nicely with Reasons 2 Be Cheerful for this week over at Mummy from the heart
I could write a lovely long list of things that I love but I will keep it to just 3.
For now.

In first place, the prize goes to my friends. The reason? I love my friends. I have friends both near and far and wide and back again, but this prize is for my friends living close by to me. My girlie friends. We eat cake together. Every week. We laugh and cry and keep each other going with our tales and tantrums and tasting each others cakes we have baked. These friends have been a tower of strength to me throughout the adoption process this far - and this week have come up trumps again for me. I said at the beginning of the year that one of my new year goals was to get out more - PJ has been with me now for a few months now and I have only been out twice. so new year, new goal... get out in the evenings a bit more. I am going to be aiming for once a month to try and do something, if I can. So we all played diaries and I found a PJ sitter - and this week - we went out to see Les Mis. I loved it and PJ slept soundly.

In second place the prize for cheerfulness and another thing I love and want a loud cheer for is new friends for PJ. Today she has been to a birthday party for one of her new friends. A friend she has made at her Nursery. I was so pleased that she had an invite - and that we got there. She was quite anxious about going and overwhelmed at the eating all together bit at the party but we got round both with lots of reassurance and a measure of flexibility thrown in. It has been great to see her begin to make a few friendships with the children of my friends these last few months but I was particularly pleased with today's success. My little girl has begun to form some new friendships since being placed with me. Woohoo.

In third place the prize goes to this:
What more could I say? join in the blog hop for other reasons to be cheerful

Friday, 8 February 2013

All about Love - Day 8 - Love is Patient

I don't think I am a naturally patient person - more impulsive - I love the thrill of the ride - a bit of risk taker - and often the ride of the adventure is as much fun for me as in reaching the destination. So, there have been some rather frustrating times where I have found myself having to learn patience. I am a S-L-O-W learner on this one, so bear with me!
I patiently practised and re-practised scales and tunes on the clarinet and piano to become reasonably proficient - enough to study Music as part of my degree, that's one level of patience I have learned. However, with my focus on love, I wanted to write about patience found in love, found in the things life throws at us, opften in those relationships closest to us.  My patience was certainly tested during my abusive marriage - and my friends and family would say,and on reflection I can say of myself, that I had an enduring and long suffering patience - to give my now ex-husband many chances to change and indeed hoped that he would, for our marriage to survive. The marriage didn't survive. He didn't change his ways. I walked a painful road with all of it's twists and turns through an incredibly long and drawn out divorce, it seemed at the time, where my patience was once again tested. Character building, some call it. There are times, where I wish that our lives could be like a tick box system, a bit like in education where a child is considered to have reached a goal, where we could tick the learned patience one and simply move on. Life, isn't like that though is it? Love isn't either. Recently, I have journeyed with patience again. This time through the adoption process. 2 years ago, I was remeniscing with my social worker yesterday, I made my initial enquiry with the Adoption Agency, Families That Last, that took me on. Months earlier, I had made enquiries with my Local Authority and that had been a frustrating few months of waiting, with a dead end at the end of it. When I contacted the Local Authority, I knew that I wanted to adopt. For me, it wasn't so much an enquiry, more of a when. It was frustrating to have to push doors to find the right agency - and I know that many of your adoption journeys have taken considerable time, too. For my part, I moved the process as fast forward as I could. I wrote masses and poured my heart out and worked hard to complete my home study assessments in a few months, working closely and well with my social worker but the waiting for paperwork gathering, references to be collected and waiting for panel dates was really frustrating at times. The most frustrating time, my social worker and I were discussing yesterday, was the 1 month wait before we could meet with the social workers to discuss PJ further to then have an agonising wait between being officially linked with PJ and waiting for a panel date - a wait of 4 months - as it was the earliest matching panel date the Local Authority PJ was from had available. Frustrating enough. Then, a further torturous wait of another 3 weeks for the decision maker to make his decision of yes, before I could meet PJ and start Introductions that lasted 3 weeks before we finally came home. Phew. Yes, my patience has been tested. Sometimes patience and I are not the best of friends. Perhaps the most heartwrenching test of patience is when PJ tells her part of the story. Often we talk about how she came to be with me. her life story work, re-told, simply at her initiation. She will say: why have I got a new Mummy? I will tell her a few key things about why she could no lnger stay with her birth parents. She will then say that she stayed with her foster carers and I will say, for a little while, until you came to live with me. I tell her that I found her and that A, her social worker, found me. She will say: Yes. And I found you. Then she will say: And my waited and my waited and my waited for a real long time for you to find me. I say. It took a long time for all the paperwork. There are many changes in the adoption process that need changing and my social worker says that some changes will come to effect in July 2013. Not sure if it will speed up the process for panel dates and the time children wait in care before being moved to their adoptive families once these families have clearly been identified. In the meantime, I have travelled further with Patience and my daughter has learned an improtant life skill of patience. Yes, love is patient. It is also not stupid.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

All About Love - 5 Things Of Love - Day 7

Welcome to All About Love Blog Hop - Day 7 - So here are 5 things that have helped me to understand myself more - and others. It was when I read the book - The 5 Languages of Love Book by Gary Chapman. The book helps to think about how we give and receive love. There are 5 Love Languages, apparently:
1. Words of Affirmation,
2. Giving Gifts,
3. Quality Time
4. Acts of Service
5. Physical Touch
It was several years ago that I read the original book - a bit cheesy, perhaps in places - he is a counsellor and American - and the original book was written with a focus on marriage - but I really loved working out what my primary love language is - and discovering that we can speak more than one language. Cool. I am rubbish at languages, so it is great to be affirmed as a skilled linguist, finally, after all these years. Yes, words of Affirmation is one of my Love languages. Praise can be difficult for us to receive - especially for us Brits - we are a very cynical nation with a sense of humour that thrives on put downs. The theory on the book too, is that of we have been damaged in the past - you know - the you will never be good at such and such, a joke at your expense, being missed out when everyone else has had recognition, an abusive relationship like I had - and shebang - we find it hard to accept a compliment. if we acknowledge it at all, we undermine it by saying - oh it was nothing. The theory in the book is that we need to rebuild into our lives the Language of Love we speak. He also says that one expression of love given by another maybe completely missed if we don't speak that love language. The classic would be that in a relationship the woman might say her man is always busy. She sits alone on the sofa, whilst he is doing the accounts and moving the lawn in his spare time and works long hours during the working day. A bit stereotypical, I know but I didn't write the book. Ha x The Love Language guru would say that the woman's love language is Quality Time - she longs for her bloke to sit with her on the sofa and his love language is acts of Service - with a strong work ethic and to show his love by making sure everyone is provided for. He is thinking he does all this stuff and no one ever notices! He also says that children need to explore all 5 Love Languages - and re-explore if they have been through trauma in the past - he co-wrote one for children available here.
We are exploring all 5 Love Languages in our house - Quality time - sometimes PJ shouts Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, to get my attention, or twists my face towards hers whilst she tells me something, as well as having fun hanging out the washing or doing a craft together. Physical Touch - hugs, cuddles and holding hands and sitting on my lap whilst watching TV. She role plays Acts of Service by making me a cup of Tea - and even gives a cuppa to the Cat! She delights in giving me little Gifts by doing a painting and rolling it up into a parcel, saying here you are Mummy - I got you a gift! Lovely I say and leave it on display for all to admire! Perhaps the most priceless, to date, was her recent Words of Affirmation towards me, when she said after dinner - Mum, you did super well with Dinner - any cook would be proud:

Dinner that night was this:

Loving the words of Affirmation flowing in our house!
What is your Love Language?
Join in the Blog Hop and share your All About Love blogpost.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

All About Love - Love is Messy - Day 6

PJ loves to get messy - she loves squidging playdough, we've played with custard and jelly and she often , if the plate of spaghetti or beans or egg lingers for about 30 seconds longer than when she has finished eating - becomes a great sensory messy experience too. For her, this seems to be some gaps in her early development that she has missed - or at least regressed back to since being with me - that she still needs revisiting - and therefore she needs the experience of,the gap still needing to be filled, so that she can move on. That's the theory, now move on to the fun, messy bit. At these moments I see an 18 month old in a high chair playing with their food - she is 3, so we have fun in lots of other sensory ways too. We tried some of Emma's ideas at my little 3 and me - but this is our version! It started off as Snow Gel (honestly!) but then with a quick flash of inspiration and impulse, the red paint and the pink paint and the purple paint we had been painting with earlier, somehow just got squidged into the mix. A Love-rly messy fun time!.

Thank you myLittle 3 and me for your colourful and creative ideas around A Valentine Theme
- we might just give it a go!
If you havew something fun or serious to add here on the all about love theme, please add your blog post here and join in the linky.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

All About Love - Love Is Kind - Day 5

In celebration of 25 years of Red Nose Day - Comic Relief - I had to dig into the archives of my memory from the past - 1988 - yep I was there. I drove to work dressed up as a clown - complete with clown face, my red nose, a massive green hat I had made and a yellow flower in it I had made and my boss didn't recognise me when I arrived. Ha,ha x I was working in a school at the time and we did lots of activities throughout the day to raise awareness of Red Nose Day and Comic Relief and gave the children and their families the chance to give money on the day. I remember that we decorated a big clown face with coins and did a trail of coins around the school corridor. We did a circus themed day and did a circus celebration in the hall to showcase all the children's costumes and for them to share all that they had been learning during the day about Comic Relief and all that was going on in Africa to help as a result of the fundraising. Later, I remember watching Lenny Henry at home on the telly - and recovering from my somewhat sore nose - yes, those hard plastic round noses were hard and had a tight grip on your nose that you didn't really need the elastic tie - and you could hardly breathe! A small price to pay for such a great day! I think what impacted me at the time was the sense of a gathering of people across the nation to go into the nations and raise awareness of how others could get on board and help, in however small or large way. There was a sense of togetherness in the nation that we hadnt seen for a long time - probably since the coronation or the war - and this was different - as it had and still has, an outward focus. this wasnt about rallying around because it will help us, our nation but this was about helping others. The unknown and the unreachable for most of the nation - and yet, here were garages selling red noses and schools devoting most of their school day to learning about reality and another nation in need and all playing our part. I wonder what memories you have of Red Nose Day - if you are old enough to remember the first one - or how you are supporting Red Nose Day today? There's loads going on to join in with, not least here in blog world through supporting team honk  with letting others know - and also a blog hop!
Acts of love/kindness/serving others are heightened in our thoughts today, particularly. Ihavent set up a charity in a developing nation or lived for a long time in these nations in desperate need. I have visited some and led teams of children, young people and families in acts of kindness: showing kindness to a stranger by dressing up a clowns and doing some juggling acts on the streets and standing in a line and then as someone walks by rolling out a red carpet rug for them to walk on and all standing and cheering in the line up, applauding them as they go. Or giving out flowers or lollipops help to raise a smile and bring a little joy. I have led teams where we have cleared rubbish, cleaned houses, painted railings or community halls as a small part of offering acts of kindness. Today, I wonder what you perhaps have done in acts of kindness, serving others, raising awareness, raising money for others? How can I show an act of kindness towards someone else today?
Love is kind - be kind - and watch it grow. If you haven't seen this, then watch it and have a go and support Red Nose Day too.
and you can join in my all About Love blog hop here

Monday, 4 February 2013

All About Love - Lovely Cupcakes - Day 4

I Love Cake - so here is an idea for you - and if you love Strawberries and like cheesecake, this is a winner - and if you love someone who loves strawberries and chesecake then it must be love, eh?
I used one of my most favourite baking books - the Hummingbird Cookbook, for this recipe - Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes.
Perfect for A Valentine gift - or with tea with friends to share.
PJ helped out - Buns she calls them. Buns! They are cupcakes, I think. Cupcakes! Nature/Nurture differs if you are organised with the ingredients, your kiddoes can help out too - She chose and put the cupcake cases into the muffin tin and helped put in the strawberry pieces in the bottom of the cases. Less interested in the making of the cake - loves licking the spoon - and loved the topping. Enjoyed adding the biscuit crumb topping to the top of the cheesecake topping - and had also really enjoyed bashing the diegstives into crumbs with a wooden spoon. Noisy and fun and fairly instant in result. Perfect!
Belicious, she declares.
Would you like a bun? she offers.
How could I resist?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

All About Love - Lovely Craft Fun - Day 3

From the Gallery:
Enjoy and have fun!
To do similar -
use paper in various colour and sizes - try wallpaper lining for a big painting session,
ready mixed paints - we used red, pruple, white, bright pink and mixed our own pink with red and white paint.
glue - we used a white glue similar to PVA that could be squeezed anywhere and everywhere onto the paper.
foam heart shapes, sprinkled onto the glue, available from craft stores.
Ta Da!
I am going to frame one of these!

Silent Sunday - 3 February 2013

Saturday, 2 February 2013

All About Love - Love At First Sight Day 2

Welcome to my Valentine Theme Blog Hop, around the theme of Love. I thought I would kick off with a wee story of how I met PJ. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin...
The week after I was finally approved to adopt I went with my social worker to an event that was incredibly surreal from beginning to end. The event was for social workers and their prospectively approved adopters. An exhibition with around 40 local authorities, each with their own stand and each with tables full of A4 pages or booklets and displays of a myriad of photos. Photos of children all in the UK who needed to be adopted. Hundreds and hundreds of them. Some Local Authority stands had pens as giveaways, bags, balloons and even cake to share!
Attending a craft fair would have been easier!
Faces and faces and faces, all staring back at me as I walked past the displays, most smiling and all silently crying out: Pick me, pick me, pick me!
We moved around slowly and carefully, from stand to stand. We had previously, weeks before, together come up with a list of my chosen criteria to begin looking for a child for me to adopt, based on what I could realistically be looking for. I had been approved for one child at panel, so that ruled out looking at the many profile pages of sibling groups. I was up for either a boy or girl. We walked past some Local Authorities displays as they were the other end of the country from where we lived, deciding it was too impractical for introductions - and besides there were still hundreds to look at.
We took lots of breaks for coffee, chatted to various social workers, watched some heart-warming DVDs of many children, cried, drank more coffee and collected various possible leaflets and put them on one of the freebie bags, for me to look at later over the weekend. We thought we had been ruthless with our selections of possible children that may have the right child for me...
Look through all the leaflets, and make a top 10 and email me your top 4 On Monday, my social worker said. I opened my bag of leaflets. I had 60 profiles in my bag! I don't think either I or my social worker realised that I had so many. I felt utterly overwhelmed. I wanted to have a home for them all. They all needed families. I am only approved for one, I told myself and picked up the pile.
I read through them and some quickly fell by the wayside due to the matching criteria needed for the child or my preferences. There was a really really cute face that jumped out at me. I put her to the top of my pile and then to the bottom and then back in and then as part of my top 10ish.... I had some questions around some of the information in the initial leaflet and wasn't sure if this one would work.... the next week and over the next few months my social worker and I pursued a few other profiles from my top 4 that fell at the first hurdle. Then, a few months later my social worker sent a profile for me - it was the same one I had really really liked, the one with the really really cute face -and had dismissed because of the unanswered questions I had, but had never asked. I raised my questions and had several answered very quickly. It took several months before all the paperwork was compiled and it finally went to matching panel. It was an agonising few weeks of waiting for the yes recommendation by panel to be agreed by the decision maker. The yes came and I met her the next day. I knocked on the door and she opened the door and just beamed at me. She had been shown the day before a book I had prepared for her with my photo in, so she said - You're my New Mummy, aren't you? Yes I said and she said: Would you like to come in and play with me? Yes please I said. That was it. I was in Love.

Friday, 1 February 2013

All About Love - My First Blog Hop

Welcome to my First Blog Hop! I have looked on admiringly at many blogs and joined in a few and wondered how to do one - and if anyone would join one ! So, after a little research and a sprinkling of imagination I have taken the plunge and giving this a go! If you have got this far, hoorah! With Valentines Day fast approaching, (February 14th, in case you need a reminder) and after all the cold, snowy, wet and blustery January we have had, I thought it is about time to think about Love and have some fun!
The theme for my first blog hop is: All About Love.
Do you have a story to share about love, or have something to share in a blogpost that you believe passionately in?
Maybe you have tried and tested - or even failed - at a fun craft activity to do that you can share?
It could be a craft for you or one for the kiddoes?
What about a delicious recipe - maybe a cake - yummy- that is around the theme of Love to blog about for Valentines Day?
Or your story of Adoption or  a parenting experience around the theme or a great friendship to share?
I will share some of my stories during February here, about Love - love lost - and love gained - and hopefully share some of my creative tails around the theme of Love too. A mix of ribbon, glitter, fabric, a bit of pink and red and a few hearts thrown in - and TaDa! I will share some things insughts from my life - the perhaps profound, as well as lighthearted, about Love along the way!
Wanna hop along and join me? My First All About Love Blog Hop is open from February 1st until February 15th 2013, so you can blog anytime in these next 2 weeks.
Be as creative as you wish - share some love and glitter - please keep it clean and be as honest as your heart will allow you to be. You might be surprised at yourself.
The All About Love Blog Hop Rules?
1.The KISS rule - as my Dad would say - Keep It Simple, S***** (thanks Dad)
2. Write your blogpost around the theme of All About Love!
3. Join the linky love link below and link to your blog post for others to link to your blog!
4. Enjoy reading other blogs and make some new bloggy friends along the way.
Happy February!
Happy Valentines!