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Join me in my ramblings about my life, my kids, the meaning of the universe, and adopting from China.

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Wednesday, January 30

Summer days...and yummy chocolate


As I write this post I am looking out my dining room window, feeling the warm summer breeze on my face and thanking God that I am so very fortunate. I live in a place which is peaceful and not war-torn. I have three beautiful children whom I adore, and a husband whom I love beyond measure. I have a roof above my head, and a house that I am proud to call my home - it is a happy place, full of children, dogs, laughter and plenty of fun. I am thankful that I am healthy, as are my children, and that I never have to worry about where the next meal is coming from, or if we have enough water to drink. I am blessed in my life, and so very grateful to my God that he has provided so abundantly. So, the sun is shining, the dogs are basking in the sun and my precious China babe sleeps peacefully whilst her big brother and sister enjoy themselves at a school holiday Church program. I have just eaten some VERY delicious chocolate after enjoying the company of a good friend. Life is good, and I am so very, very thankful. Blessings to you all,
Cristina xxx
PS - Fiona, the Ferrero's were very yummy and unfortunately didn't last long......

Sunday, January 27

My Sweet Girl
















Not much to report (apart from lots of lovely sleep!) but I wanted to share my new favourite pic of Alice with you. Will post again when I have something interesting to say!

Wednesday, January 23

A Good Night - and a Sad Farewell...





Well, after all my angst yesterday, last night went VERY well. Alice was a bit spacky when I first put her down, but she slept through until 4am, had a bit of a cry, then went back to sleep until 7am!! I, of course, had one of the worst nights ever, as I was wracked by guilt and worried that she would have a bad night. Perhaps tonight I will be a bit more relaxed (cue CTG's glass of wine!) and we will all sleep.

On a sad note, I was just reading the ABC news and noticed that Aussie actor Heath Ledger has been found dead in his home of a suspected drug overdose. Silly, silly boy. What a tremendous waste of talent and potential. He was a great actor, and will be sadly missed by many....

Tuesday, January 22

A Big Change



















Today I made a VERY hard decision. It was a gut-wrenching one for it played on my insecurities as an adoptive parent. "What decision??" I can hear you asking. Well, it was a decision made by both DH and myself to move Alice into her own room. To cut a long and stressful story short, I have come to the conclusion that I am NOT a good parent when I am sleep deprived. And we aren't just talking missing an hour or so's sleep here - were are talking an average of four broken hours sleep per night. Ack. Since handover, Alice has slept with us, either in our bed or in her cot, but with the side removed so that she can roll into our bed if she wants to. This worked well in the early days, but for the past month or two it hasn't been working so well. The main problem is that Alice is an incredibly restless sleeper. She grunts, groans, talks to herself, farts and mumbles in her sleep. She shifts around the cot constantly, frequently banging her head or feet on the ends of the cot. Funnily enough, she tends not to wake too often, even with all this nocturnal activity, but guess what?? I DO!!! Every murmur or moan has me wide awake, and I then have a shocking time trying to get back to sleep. So, after yet another night of crappy sleep, I cried to DH and said I couldn't do it anymore. I feel like the WORST adoptive parent in history, as I know how important co-sleeping is for bonding and attachment, but I just can't function on four hours interrupted sleep a night. And not only am I suffering, but so are my kids. Unfortunately I have been super-grumpy mum the past few weeks, all because of the lack of sleep. I feel that I owe it to my kids (especially my big kids) to be a less miserable parent, so this is the path we have decided to take. I just hope that it works. Alice is currently having her second nap of the day in her new room, and just woke crying, but she seems to have put herself back to sleep. The nap this morning was fine, but I did put her into bed asleep, so she probably wasn't aware of the change in surroundings. This afternoon she was awake when I put her down, and she did protest briefly but aside from this and the little wake up a few minutes ago all seems to be going OK. Tonight will be the big test!

So there you have it people - I am wracked with guilt, but feeling secretly relieved that my bedroom has once again become MY BEDROOM and not just a room with a bed and a cot in it. I pray that the decision I made was the right one for all of us....

PS - is that one of the Walton girls in the picture?? 'Goodnight Jim-bob', 'Goodnight Mary-Ellen', 'Goodnight me.....'

Thursday, January 17

A Birthday Party - And LOTS of Vomit...
















As you may be aware, Loyal Readers, this week (Monday in fact) was marked by the occasion of Alice's first birthday. We had a quiet family day on Monday, with just a couple of close friends who both have daughters from China. We had balloons, cake, presents and all the birthday trimmings. The Birthday Girl seemed to have a good time, and definitely enjoyed her birthday cake (see slide show for the photographic evidence of this). But prior to the official birthday on Monday we had a very special trip down the south of the island. On Saturday the 12th our family travelled to Margate, about 4 hours away, to join with five of our batch buddies to celebrate the girls' joint birthday. You see, in our batch of nine families, all the babies were born within two weeks of each other. My wonderful batch buddy Leah offered her magnificent house for the occasion, so we left home bright and early on Saturday morning to join in the lunchtime festivities. We were not disappointed. Leah had gone completely OTT, even as far as purchasing a ball pit for the girls to play in. Needless to say, this was a hit (see pic). The girls had a blast, and really seemed to enjoy catching up with one another again. The parents were also glad of the opportunity, and it was just lovely to see Di and Keith, Maree and Tim, Leah and Paul, Grant and Kym, Neil and Roselind again. It was almost like being back in China - without the constant stomach complaints and stinking hot polluted atmosphere of course. Anyway, we all had a ball, the kids stuffed themselves on party food and then it was time to leave. Seeing that it was a four hour drive home, we wanted to be on the road by 3pm to make sure we were home in time for dinner and bed. We left Margate, headed north for home, and Alice conked out at the end of Leah's driveway, she was SO tired. We got into Hobart and I had a quick look in the rear view mirror to make sure all was well. It was then that I saw that DS had THAT LOOK on this face. I asked if he was OK. He said he just needed a drink. Then the spewed. EVERYWHERE. Huge torrents of pink vomit filled the back seat, contaminating my beautiful leather upholstery with bits of regurgitated saveloy and birthday cake. I was, of course, travelling down the main street of Hobart in the middle lane and could not easily pull over. DS continued to flood the backseat with his mess. When I finally managed to pull over, her had stopped being ill, but the damage was done. To cut a very long story short, we spent half an hour on the side of Hobart's busiest street with DS in his underpants looking forlorn, trying to clean up bucket loads of vomit with nothing more than a small pack of baby wipes and a stuffed toy rabbit. Gross. We eventually got back on the road in my delightful vomit-smelling car, but of course by that time Alice had awoken and was very cross that her sleep had been interrupted by her brother's yak attack. So she decided to voice her displeasure at an ear-splitting level. She screamed bloody murder from Hobart to Kempton (about 20 minutes) until she finally fell into a coma. When we limped into the garage at 8pm, I was VERY glad to be home. Kids were bathed, fed and tucked into bed, and I had a calming glass of pinot. Don't get me wrong - it was a GREAT trip to Hobart and more than worth all the mess, but next time I have to travel a long way, I will be leaving DS at home...

Monday, January 14

Blogging With a Purpose


I know I have been a complete slacko and taken far too long to do this post, but at last - here it is! These are my nominees for 'blogging with a purpose' - blogs which really say something special.

1. Jen I have been following Jen's blog for quite some time now and I am always really touched by her overwhelming love for her Chinese daughter. Her posts are heartfelt, and her poetry moves me to tears.

2. Louanne Louanne's blog is a great read, she is witty and insightful, and she is a real humanitarian. Keep up the good work Louanne!

3. Mary and baby Brea A truly amazing family. They adopted Brea as a SN child, and within a few months of being home Brea needed a heart transplant. Mary's faith is awe-inspiring and her positive attitude to life amazing.

4. Paula Paula is an adult adoptee form Korea and her blog is touching and very insightful. She really makes you think about adoption and it's impact upon the individual and the family.

5. Pomegranate These two chicks rock! Just check out the blog and you will see what I mean.

Rules:

1. Awarded parties must nominate five people who have not received the award.

2. The blogs that receive the award must serve some purpose.

3. In their post about the award they need to link back to this entry.

4. Awarded parties must post the award banner on their site. The banner must remain linked to this site.



So there you have it - my five nominees for those who 'blog with purpose'. Thank you all for keeping my mind ticking and my conscience pricking...

Friday, January 11

Wow - an award!!!

Thanks to my good friend OziMum I have been presented with a fabulous award:


I am indeed blown away! Now I have to come up with five worthy recipinets to pass the award on to. Goven that it is realtivley late on a Friday night, and that I have had two healthy-sized glasses of red, I will have to come back to this task in the near future. But thanks OziMum - you are a legend!!

Sunday, January 6

The School Reunion - and a good night's sleep!!!



Some of you may remember that a week or so ago I was getting psyched up for my 20 year high school reunion. I was feeling a bit torn about going - should I just leave the past in the past, or go along and see what everyone was up to?? Well, thanks to my rapid weight loss plan (ie: adopting a baby and being too busy to eat) I was looking pretty good so decided to go along. And you know what?? I had an absolute BLAST!!! About 50 or so of my old classmates turned up, and everyone that I really hoped to see was there - JW, the boy who made my life a living hell at school by teasing me (found out at the reunion it was because he had a crush on me!!); CM, the jock whom I wasted four years of high school mooning over (who has actually turned into a decent bloke); and PG, the boy who broke my heart in grade ten after taking me to the Leaver's Dinner. I actually didn't recognise PG when he walked in - he had grown about a foot in height, lost a lot of hair and had a bit of a tummy - then when someone pointed him out I almost fainted. Funny what the heart still remembers even after such a long time. Anyway, I had a few red wines, and PG and I got to talking. We had a great time, we swapped photos of our kids, and generally enjoyed catching up. There were so many people there to talk to that I didn't get home until about 1.30 am (yikes!!) and it took me a full two days to get over it. And yes, I did indulge in a spot of dancing to some very bad eighties music.....Thankfully there is no photographic evidence of this.

Now, as to the second part of this posts' title- I had an uninterrupted night's sleep last night. Hurrah!!! Alice had a huge day yesterday - we went to Lasunceston to meet the great-grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins that she hadn't yet met. She had a great day, slept there and back in the car, but was so tired and snotty by 7pm that she had an early bottle and bed. I went to bed at 10pm, slept until 3am when my snuffy nose woke me up, then went back to sleep until 7am when Alice woke me up. I tell you what, I feel almost human today! Perhaps this is the turning point??? Or perhaps DH just added a tad too much Demezin in her nighttime bottle??? Whatever the case, I hope it continues!

PS- the photo is from the reunion, and shows me at far right, with CM second from left, along with a few of my other buddies.

Friday, January 4

A Night With Alice


I know she has a terrible cold right now, which is disrupting her sleep somewhat, but the nocturnal goings-on in our household have reached a whole new level of late. About two weeks ago (prior to the snot-fest) Alice decided that waking up in the middle of the night was an excellent idea. And not just waking up - oh no, not MY daughter. This is waking up and PLAYING!!! For 1-2 hours. But she is still (thanks Louanne!) so stinkin' cute she makes me smile even at 3am. She chats away to herself (ba, ba, ma ma, guh, guh etc) and will then have a bit of a stroll around the cot, occasionally banging on the sides. It is also worthwhile testing to see if Mum is REALLY asleep, so I often have my eyelids prised open by tenacious little fingers. She then likes to sing to herself - sort of an 'ooohhhh, aaahhhh, lllaaaaa' very gentle and undulating tune, which can go on for an hour or so. Frequently, the happy little tune is completed by the sounds of a very big poo being pushed out, and we go to the 'changing the nappy in the dark so as not to razz up the baby any more than she already is' routine. And yet she still makes me smile. Anyway, I am sleep deprived, DH has taken up semi-permanent residence on DS's bottom bunk, but I am just so thrilled with this precious wee girl that it doesn't matter. Life is beautiful!

Wednesday, January 2

Happy New Year!!!

Hi again - sorry for the delayed absence but I made the rather silly move of changing Internet service providers right before Christmas. Australia Post took a little longer than the 1-6 business days to deliver my new modem (13 days exactly) so I have been incommunicado for quite some time. We had a great Christmas, despite Alice having a nasty cold, and a very quiet New Year as she had managed to share her germs with my by that stage and I had a bout of bronchitis for the New Year. Hurrah! Feeling better now, but the holidays are whizzing past. DH only has until Sunday left then back to the orifice (office) on the 7th. Poor hubby - he so enjoys the holidays, but the last few days are always clouded by the prospect of returning to work looming menacingly on the horizon.

We have been sharing some special family time together, and thoroughly enjoying Alice's company. She continues to grow and thrive, but her sleep patterns are TERRIBLE!! Last night she woke up every 45 minutes - ARGHHH!!! I know it won't last forever, but it sure feels that way... We have been to the beach, had a few BBQ's, put up the paddling pool and generally just hung out as a family of five. I will post a couple of pics for you, and promise to catch up again soon.