Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Our house, in the middle of our street

After repeated requests by Evi (Hi Evi!) here is the Grand Tour of our house. This is about as tidy as it ever gets... Tidiness is not one of our strong points. I'm using a new method lately though, trying to stay on top of things. I allocate a room to every day of the week and try to focus on that room (on top of the usual picking up toys, doing dishes etc maintenance.) I know, I'm sad.

Anyway... Here it is:

Our living room.


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That sewing machine table was my grandmothers... The armchair too. (Apparently my uncle used to have to sit on it on timeout!) We had it reupholstered before moving to the UK, but the cats have been using it as a scratching post...
The photos on the wall are all family photos and that poster was found for me by Evi, days before we moved to the UK...


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Our kitchen table. The bookcase next to it is a permanent mess-magnet... Trying to work on it, not succeeding!


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Aaaand the other side of our kitchen, with Matilda's artwork on the cupboards! The "curtains" over the cupboards are a favourite, allow me to stash all sorts of things back there.


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In the interest of full disclosure, this is where we keep our coats and shoes. The cat litterboxes are there too.

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Our bathroom.

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Our main bedroom. The little single bed next to ours is Matilda's. I love these duvet covers, they make it look like one giiiiiant bed.


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And the kids bedroom. Philip sleeps in the bottom bunk now.


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I love that old school desk that we rescued from the curb! It's our art desk now.

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The cot is functioning as general storage at the moment! Hopefully it will be used soon... If the child we adopt is too old for it, I also have a toddler bed ready in the loft that can go in the same space.


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And there you have it... Our house!

Monday, November 09, 2009

I know what I did last summer

...because I can read it on my blog! What I did last autumn is a whole other story...
Between trying to adjust to Matilda going to school (hate it hate it hate it!) and nothing happening on the adoption front (hate it even more!) I didn't much feel like blogging. Actually, when I finally sat down and went through the photographs I've taken since the last time I posted, I realised I didn't much feel like taking photographs either. So, dear readers, I'm afraid you are about to be treated to a measly update with a small sample of photos. Sorry!

MATILDA:

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Matilda and I flew to Edinburgh in late August to visit Marilena (who will probably not realise I'm writting about her because she doesn't like reading the small black marks on the screen. Natch!) Marilena lives in a house over a pub, with two spanish housemates, and the various other people that come to stay with them from time to time. One of the housemates is a hairy bearded spaniard called Molly (really!) We had a great time (but no photos taken!) It was our last chance for some mother-daughter bonding before school started.

Here is Matilda on her first day of school, wearing her uniform:

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School is largely the reason I went so long without a blog post. So, all I'm going to say at the moment, is we're both having a hard time getting used to it, and I'm seeing some behaviours emerge I'm not happy about. Let's hope we find some way to fix things, and soon.

Academically she's doing very well, (but she could read simple words like cat and could count to 30ish and recognise numbers 1-10 before she started.)
Here she is, reading a book we got from the library. This is the first time she had seen this book.


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Socially, she spent the first couple of weeks saying she wanted to stay with me. No tears, but she was thinking up various arguments trying to convince me. She could be persuaded quite easily to go in, but she always said she didn't have a good time, and that she missed me. Eventually, about a month later, she grew fond of a couple of other children and has become happier about going in. (We still get times that she doesn't want to go, but they are the minority, although quite frequent.)On occasions I went to pick her up earlier, I saw her playing quite happily with her friends.

However, she has become extremely clingy at home. She wants someone to be with her almost always, and we have to have a major discussion to even convince her to go to the toilet on her own! If she wakes up and I'm not there, she gets very distressed. She has also started getting quite angry very easily, and every time she is cross she starts saying we are not a proper family, she doesn't want me to be her mummy any more, she doesn't want a brother, etc. We have had countless discussions about how hurtful this is, and have tried various methods to deal with it; I'm suspecting at this point she is doing it largely for the attention, but it still bothers me that she even came up with it in the first place. She has also had some instances where she has wet herself at school. (She had been completely clean day and night before, for almost a year.) She is starting to become quite manipulative and will start with the stomping, crying and "you're not a proper mummy" every time she is told off.

In all honesty, right now I wish we had decided to home educate her after all. I am very upset by the personality change, and unfortunately, because of the adoption pending (and every social worker potentially carrying their own opinions about home educating,) we can't risk changing things now. I am going to disable comments for this post because I get very wound up about this, and I don't want to start over reacting to anything any "anonymous" says. (No offence, but this is an -over-sensitive issue for me. If you know me well enough to know my email, you can comment by email if you like!)

I do hope and wish that what I'm seeing is largely down to adjusting to change and being overtired. We'll see how she does in the next few months.


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PHILIP:


Philip has gone through a bad phase too (probably adjusting to Matilda being gone,) but he's been very good in the past couple of weeks. He has adopted a stuffed Penguin as his favourite toy, and if you want to get him to do something, you can generally ask Penguin and it's sure to get done! His speech is continuing to improve. He has quite a slapstick sense of humour. A recent joke he likes is coming up behind you, tapping you on the shoulder and dissolving in giggles when you turn around. He also likes grabbing hold of my shirt or trousers and following me around up and down (train style.) Oh, but he doesn't like it if he things you're laughing at him! He will say things like "Not Funny!!!"

Here he is repeating something from a tv programme he was watching. (How to stop the hicups.) Watch out for him getting offended when we laugh. He says "Stop Silly" and "Stop Funny."


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I'm asking him if he's cute because he has taken to saying "No" to anything we ask him, but when he really means "yes" he says it in a very funny way... I'll have to try and catch him doing that.

Deleted scenes from "28 Days Later:"

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