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That one time…

Aw memories. As I look back through a collection of photos I take stock of the highs and lows and genuinely hilarious moments of our parenting journey so far.

Here are some of my favourites!

Yup that is actual poo in the bath.

It was all going so well. The children were having a wonderful bath time.

Bath baby who features in the above photo was doing her best swimming and then suddenly Piglet pooped and it spread throughout the bath.

Big Pig became hysterical. I screamed for my husband. Who replied “ok just let me finish this battle” to which I replied “are you ffing serious there is actually shit in the bath” sorry kids.

But sometimes unsweary word are just not adequate.

You know those days that your feeling like a crap parent. Whose child doesn’t eat right or sleep right, or watches too much tv or doesn’t behave in public and on that day you blame yourself.

Then you maybe have the energy to try a little harder.. well my little harder results in the above.

It was meant to be a rainbow plate but everything we had in the house was the same colour, so I added a pack of fizzers for colour.

Whole point of a rainbow plate is fruit and vegetables, well we were all out of broccoli florets but I did find some mango!

We’d just been to the cafe and successfully managed to eat lunch without knocking any thing over or covering ourselves in bean juice.

Then on our way to the lift I was wooed by some M&S children’s wear and as my attention was diverted for a second or two I heard a crash.

My kids had knocked over one of the mannequins. As I then tried to pick it up the whole arm came off!

I was persuaded by the lady in customer services to just “leave it be”.

I brought the dress though. Guilt or fashion choice. I will never truly know!

This photo was taken only a couple of months after the kids moved in.

I’d sneaked off for a bath while my Mum was downstairs with Big Pig. I was just about to pluck my eyebrows when I realised my skin was rather unblemished.

I think I was going to take a photo of said unblemished skin when I was alerted by foot steps!

My peace was about to be broken as Big Pig barged in insisting that my bath was not “ready”. I had to add 4 ducks, a wind up boat and a frog before my relaxing experience was complete.

We were off on holiday to Devon and for those who experienced the British Summer of 2017, you would know that the weather was some what mixed.

So obviously I had to pack for every eventuality.

Matched with a long car journey and promises of regular bouts of car sickness, the kids had no clothes left in the house!

I promised myself I would cook homemade meals every day and that they would never eat chocolate or any refined sugar in fact.

Well that didn’t last long, so we celebrated failure with a plate of frozen left overs including turkey animals and potatobets (that’s my name for alphabet chips).

Every time I look at this photo I well up! Big Pig and I had gone to the woods and we’d done treasure hunts and built nests together, we’d had a picnic and we’d climbed a few trees (I say trees, it would be more accurate to say pile of twigs). When he sat down to have a break I asked him what his favourite moment was. He said “being with you”.

Don’t worry too much about the f bombs and how much you do or don’t do. What kids really need is you. Imperfect you. Who does what you can, occasionally messes up but offers unconditional love.

Mission Mindfulness

I WILL ALWAYS BE HONEST WITH YOU

Dear Big Pig

So this morning you opened up to me and I decided to write it down so if you ask me again we can read this together; as I can often explain things better when I write them down.

Today you told me that your birth Dad was dead. That’s what your Tummy  Mummy had told you.

Big Pig I was honest with you, I will always be honest with you when you ask me questions.

He isn’t dead.

I think your Tummy Mummy might of told you that because maybe she didn’t know how to explain why you hadn’t ever met him so she said that he died.

He agreed to the adoption which I think is very brave. He knew he wasn’t capable of giving you the life and love you deserve.

When I told you in words I hope you understood this morning; you hit the wall, curled in to a ball and started rocking. You didn’t want my comfort, you didn’t shout or scream, you were silent.

After a few minutes I told you about how I don’t see my Dad. How I sometimes worry that maybe I did something or wasn’t worth him changing to be a better Dad. But I know that isn’t true and it’s the same for you.

You were loved. They just couldn’t love you in a way that meant you were safe and fed and cared for.

You said to me “like when my Tummy Mummy didn’t feed me?”

Yes baby, that’s what I meant.

To know you would of been hungry literally makes me feel true sadness.

I said but she did love you, what kind things did she do.

You said “she let me stay up til when I want and do whatever I want”

I think you’re starting to learn that that isn’t ok either but is also why you find boundaries so difficult.

I explained how you need your sleep, but every now and again we will have a late night, on special occasions or holidays but most of the time you need to go to bed and get loads of sleep.

I’m really grateful you can talk to me about things that are going through your mind.

I’m sorry I cried but I love you so much it upset me to see you so sad or to know you sometimes were very hungry.

Eventually you wanted a cuddle and it was the best one yet!

Love you my super star. You amaze me.

Love Mummy

 

 

Where has a year gone?

Dear Piglet and Big Pig

Where has a year gone??

It seems to have flown by but it also feels like you’ve always been with us.

You are both truly awesome. Even when you drive me crazy, I admire your spirit and know it will stand you both in good stead when you get older.

Big Pig when you arrived you wouldn’t be by yourself, you still don’t like it much but when you forget yourself it’s amazing to see you really play.

Piglet you’ve always quite liked your own company but the other day you took your friends hand and walked over Big Pigs school field. This was massive for you, you love cuddles and kisses from your Dad and I and now your grandparents, but you’d rather others kept at a distance!

And your walking. Well, your walking, running, jumping and dancing! We often strut around the kitchen dancing to random tunes.

Your speech was pretty non existent when you arrived but now you don’t stop talking and everything you say is so cute! You sing a lot! Our songs about baked beans and cream cheese have become well known to our neighbours! Who must think we’ve lost the plot!

Big Pig you’ve started school, you go to football club and you’ve made loads of friends. As for your cousins you love them so much and ask at least once a day when you are next going to see them. A highlight of our holiday was when you were speaking to a little girl who asked if you knew the other kids around you and you said “yes of course, they’re my family”.

You can read and write. You get bored by it but frankly I don’t blame you! (Biff and Kipper have a lot to answer for) I have video evidence of how I tried to encourage you to learn some words In a “fun” way! Sorry if me being stupid scars you for life.

I love it when we spend together just the two of us. Your in your element when you have our full focus. It must be hard having a younger sister who takes over but you are so so sweet with her. She adores you, when she was in hospital she asked for you all the time. You have a bond that will never compare to any other bond. I am best friends with my big brother. I hope that for you and Piglet. She’ll drive you crazy but keep your cool like you always do and you’ll be fine.

Piglet I wish you’d eat more than just dairy products and pasta. We are trying really hard at the moment to get you to try things, I’d love it if this time next year you tuck in to a roast dinner!

Big Pig I wish you’d let go. I bet you were the smartest and most responsible in your household for a big part of your life. I know you were the favourite and probably weren’t told no very often. I try not to say no and give you reasons but I can sometimes see you really struggle with giving in and keeping control of the situation. I hope you don’t think I’m being to hard on you. I adore you. I just want you to enjoy being a child and a brother.

We’ve still got plenty to work on. I’ve relaxed so much considering how I didn’t sleep for the first week because I thought you’d both stop breathing or something!

You make my heart swell with love. I’m so, so proud of you. You are both extremely resilient. You both make me laugh and are kind and considerate. The world isn’t a very nice place at the moment but our little world is pretty awesome.

Your Dad and I love you to the moon and back. And as you say Big Pig. We not only love you but we like you, a lot!

 

 

Blockers blog!

I am actually so tired that my words come out wrong! The title should be bloggers block!

And a block I have had.  Truth is I haven’t really had time to write.

I went back to work on the 2nd of May and life has been pretty full on.

I am tired, really really tired. Motivated by spending time with my kids at the weekend I then get to the weekends and feel shattered.

The kids have been ill as well so that has meant some sleepless nights.

But although it probably doesn’t sound like it I am not moaning. Because I have started to
appreciate again how hard some people must have it and that I am extremely lucky.

Yes I’m tired, yes I miss the kids but they are so excited to see me when I get home.

My Mum had been doing the majority of the child care. My husband is able to adapt his work pattern, the kids are adjusting.

I am enjoying being back at work and I know when I get that first pay packet and
We go on our first proper family holiday in a few weeks it will all seem even more worthwhile.

So really it’s another shift in life that we are all getting used to. You can’t have everything in life. Yes I’d like to work part time, term time only for the same amount of money!!

No chance!

But even though I struggle to get out if bed in the morning. I crack on with each day. Because I do feel extremely lucky to have such an amazing support network both at work and home. You are all amazing. Thank you xx

So I cried in Starbucks today…

That’s right I just burst in to tears over my cinnamon swirl and mango and passion fruit juice drink thing.

I had come with my Mum to look for work trousers and I don’t know which was more upsetting; the thought of having to wear uncomfortable clothes or the thought of going back to work.

Of course it is the latter.

I have mixed feelings about going back to work, I love my job and the people I work with are amazing.

I’ve also got an altered view on priorities since the kids moved in. I plan to have a work/life balance not just a work/work balance.

But I feel so sad today, kick in the pit of the tummy sad. Because no matter how much they can drive me to complete distraction, I am going to really really miss my gorgeous, funny, clever children and the massive amount of time we get to spend together.

I know we will all adjust and I will love being able to pee on my own and talk about things other than paw patrol and yoghurt. But it genuinely hurts my heart when I think about not spending as much time with them. But I am going to really try and make the time I do spend with them as special as I possibly can.

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo!

Two Mum’s plus two five year olds on a train and then the tube to London Zoo! What could go wrong?

Well actually not too much! We had an amazing day.

We were all ready to go and I wanted to take a photo of Big Pig in his Zoo Keeper outfit so in return he wanted to take a photo of me! “Look crazy happy” he said, now crazy I can do (what’s with those pointy fingers?)

My friend and her daughter Evie arrived. Evie was wearing the same outfit as Big Pig as it was her birthday and that had been our present to her.

We set off and got to the train station. We decided after a lot of google mapping that the best way was to go to St Pancras, then get a tube to Camden and walk to the zoo.

Well the Mum’s walked the kids were on scooters! I was a bit freaked out by the idea of scooting through the streets of London but we’d talked to the kids about safety and my friend reassured me that it would be fine!

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It turned out to be a great idea. The Zoo is very scooter friendly.

When we arrived we were able to go through the fast track entrance as we have both got family memberships which also includes entry to ZSL Whipsnade.

If you pay by direct debit you get a 20% discount and there are lots of other membership benefits;including a 10% discount at the restaurants/cafes and gift shops.

We went straight to the loos which are handily located right at the front of the zoo!

We then went to see the penguins. The animals living environments are all beautiful and clean.

The penguins were busy sunning themselves as it was a beautiful day.

We suddenly saw crowds gathering so figured there must be a penguin show or talk.

We headed over and they announced a family friendly penguin talk was about to begin.

When it started they asked whose birthday it was, well! I started screaming “it’s Evie’s Birthday, here, here” like some women possessed! Well it did the trick because they picked her, and then dressed her in a penguin outfit!

After the penguins, we walked around the rest of the Zoo. It’s a lovely walk round. There are plenty of grassy areas to sit and relax and of course the animals are amazing. The kids particularly enjoyed the Lions and Tigers.

ZSl put on some wonderful events at the zoos. They had a Dear Zoo event this time at London Zoo and we found a fabulous monkey stamper, so we obviously all had to get one!

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We then had some lunch. There is plenty of picnic areas if you decide to bring your own food.

The restaurant is amazing at London Zoo. It was extremely busy but everything was well organised and there was plenty of friendly faces serving the food.

I noticed that there was gluten free and vegetarian options too.

I thought the food was reasonably priced. Let’s be honest the more affordable option is always to bring a picnic but I was happy with what we paid considering the service and most importantly the quality of the food.

I had a freshly made burrito and Big Pig had Sausages, mash and beans. Maybe a good balance on reflection would of been to bring our own drinks and get the food there.

We then went to the butterfly zone which was amazing. The butterflies are so beautiful.

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We then went to the spider zone. My friend refused to go in which if you’re not keen on spiders I do understand. The spiders were all in webs up above and we were told by the zoo keeper that they never leave their webs!

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The kids needless to say absolutely loved it!!

We then went on to see the gorrilas which was amazing, another fabulous enclosure.

The kids wanted their photos taken as gorrilas and of course we thought we should. Let’s just say I got fully in to character.

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Big Pig then spotted (it’s like he has a radar) a picture of poo! And on reading the sign became hysterical when he found out that gorrilla’s poo looks like our poo!

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We then decided that we’d get an icecream and go to the gift shop! I know gift shops are sometimes the stuff of  nightmares but you don’t have to walk through it to get in or leave which is helpful.

But we went in and there was a great range of different priced gifts and toys. Big Pig chose a tiger biter, I got Piglet a zoo outfit as she’d stayed at home with Granny and deserved a treat!

I also got the kids a tiger tail each which they refused to wear!! So my friend and I decided to wear them, and we wore them all the way home!!

We really did have an amazing day a London Zoo! I have already decided to take Piglet there before I go back to work. In her new Zoo Keeper outfit. Obviously!

 

 

 

 

What to expect when you’re expecting adopting

I have no idea what it’s like to be pregnant. Blinking heck I got a jab straight through my tummy as I wrote that.

I do know what’s it’s like to want to be a parent and as the opportunity gets closer are the feelings we feel similar?

In the last part of the adoption process before we were officially matched. Everything seemed to hang in the balance because nothing was official until the matching panel,  where (very knowldegable and kind) strangers would decided if we were the right match for the children we’d never met but had all ready fallen in love with.

My brother and his wife were expecting a baby and everyone was so excited for them, including me.

But I also felt a bit sad as I didn’t think some of my family were as excited for us as they were for them. I soon learnt that as per usual I was wrong.

I’m not good at hiding my feelings, when I’m excited I show it and when I feel my feelings aren’t reciprocated I feel the weight of that.

Of course I was terrified that we were almost there but not quite and that something could go wrong and we would not be matched.

But my heart was already open to them and I was becoming committed to children I hadn’t even met.

I was committed when I saw their chubby little faces for the first time.

I was disappointed when I was told that another match was being considered.

I was over the flipping moon when I saw those same chubby little faces in an adoption magazine a couple of months later.

When I met their foster carer and saw their handprints and paintings I burst in to tears. They became so much more real at that point.

As more and more information was exchanged. I started to feel responsible for them, and after the child appreciation day a social worker asked if we were still committed or should they go to an adoption event? I replied calmly, we are still committed but in my head I was screaming “no they’re mine”.

If at any point something had happened resulting in the match not being approved we would have been completely and utterly devastated.

Once we were matched though, everyone let their excitement out and I realised what had happened. They were trying to hold back their excitement to protect me and possibly themselves.

Hindsights a wonderful thing and perhaps if everyone had been as excited as I was it may have made it too overwhelming.

My brother (who happens to be one of the loveliest men on the planet) and I talked about it I can talk to him about everything (EVERYTHING), even the stuff that I know might upset him.

I spoke to him about how I felt that everyone was so excited for them and the baby but not for me and that I felt terribly guilty for feeling this way.

He said;

“Everyone is excited for you. But your excitement outweighs everyone else’s. You have the connection with them already, a strong connection and not everyone has that. We are just making sure your feelings are protected”.

He was spot on as per usual.

After the matching panel I was thrown a surprise adoption shower! It was amazing. I was spoilt rotten and so were the kids. My friends had gone out of their way to get presents for the children.. it was so special.

When I spoke to my family everyone started to sound so much more excited for me and were surprised that in less than a month we would meet our children for the first time and 10 days later they would be living with us.

I still can’t decide whether I would of preferred
everyone to be more openly excited or to of held back. I also realise people should feel and react how they want to feel.

I know that how ever anyone reacted or didn’t react it all came from a place of love and for that I am thankful.